Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Valve presents: Dota 2

Valve's New Game Announced, Detailed: Dota 2

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"The rumors and speculation can cease. Valve is making Dota 2, we've played it, and it's already amazing even though it's not coming out until next year. And we haven't yet laid eyes on Dota 2's biggest innovation: a radical approach to integrating the game's community back into the gameplay itself."

"Valve's approach to Dota 2 is unusual in that the gameplay itself is remaining almost entirely untouched. "Our first reaction is to assume that [design elements are] there for a reason," project lead Erik Johnson explains. "IceFrog is one of the smartest designers we've ever met. He's made so many good decisions over the years in building the product. He virtually never makes a decision that doesn't have some reasoning behind it and a way to pick apart the logic behind it." This approach means that Dota 2 basically is DotA-Allstars with new technology.

DotA-Allstars' roster of 100+ heroes is being brought over in its entirety. The single map games take place on is functionally identical to the one that you can download for free today in the Warcraft III mod. Items, skills, and upgrade paths are unchanged. Some hero skills work slightly better due to being freed from the now-ancient Warcraft III engine, but Dota 2 will be instantly familiar to any DotA player.

A few things will make significant differences to players making the transition. Dota 2 uses Valve's Source engine, so the game is much prettier. Source itself is getting a few upgrades, including improved global lighting and true cloth simulation. Dota 2's integrated voice chat is a huge step up from having to set up your own Ventrilo server, and the speed of voice communication is very nearly a requirement for a game as team-focused as DotA.

AI bots will take over for disconnected players, and will be available to play against in unranked training matches as well. However, don't get your hopes up for a full-fledged single-player game, though. Johnson says, "Our goal with the AI is just that their experience isn't destroyed just because one person couldn't finish the game.

The visual style is remarkable for retaining the somewhat cartoony feel that the Warcraft III version of DotA-Allstars is built around, while going in a few different directions. "I think there are functional aspects to the art that are pretty significant to the players," Johnson muses. The environment, particularly in the forests that fill in the map between the three lanes that the NPC armies follow, uses a desaturated color scheme to give the colorful heroes and abilities some visual pop. The sizable art team is putting a lot of work into making the shapes and animations of each hero distinct to the point that players will be able to instantly identify any hero they see and quickly gauge the threat level of any situation.

The game will also feature a ton of custom voice work. You'll get amusing lines from heroes as they deny the enemy team last hits on creeps, and champions who have backstory connections will trade quips when nearby.

The bulk of innovation in Dota 2, however, is ancillary to the gameplay itself. Valve is upgrading Steamworks (the company's backend technologies for matchmaking and other gameplay and community-related things) to allow them to create in-game rewards for participating in the Dota 2 community. The idea is to have everything a player does in or out of game tie back into their online identity. Like the improvements to Source, the Steamworks upgrades will be available to third-party developers who choose to use Valve's tools when Dota 2 launches in 2011.

At a basic level, posting useful feedback or participating in constructive discussions on the forums will contribute to your standing in the community in a visible way. Valve doesn't have the specifics on how this will work nailed down yet. Will you get points that contribute to a visible ranking, like a Gamerscore? Will your posts need to be recommended by other community members to count for anything? What counts as a constructive discussion? These questions are all being actively explored at the moment. Valve assures us that the designers have a slew of awesome ideas for how to implement rewards in a way that’s visible to the rest of the community, but there are no details to announce yet. "When we talk about this identity that exists inside and outside the game, we don't think we're anywhere near it with what exists on Steam right now," Johnson admits.

If this was just about getting points for posting comments, though, we wouldn't waste your time by telling you about it. Dota 2 goes much farther than that. Everything from unlocking new skins for your favorite hero to getting a unique title for writing a strategy guide is on the table. Valve has ambitious plans (for which, again, there are no specifics to share) to host everything themselves and provide the best framework for the community to interact with each other. The idea is to reduce the social friction inherent in having to dig around a bunch of different fansites and wikis to find what you're looking for.

Ultimately, two things will make Dota 2 stand out: the coaching system and interactive guides. "

Here some Valve art work:



  

4 comments:

  1. Have some difficulties entering the posted link PBMN:( Maybe 20-30 million DoTAaDDict are now into it! sigh! huhuhuhu

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  2. My questions for Icefrog's Q&A portion:

    1. Is Kunkkha still involve for the new DoTA 2 artworks? Or just for the loading screen perhaps?

    2. Is there a map editor like w3 or they(valve) intentionally did not include it so that there will be no other custom games to be created by other modders?

    3. Sample artworks of DoTA 2 showed some minor changes in their appearances, is it because of conflict in IP or you are prohibited to port DoTA heroes from w3 engine?

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  3. Love Love Love [:

    How much will it cost? I need to remember my steam acc password =-=

    ReplyDelete
  4. Huh, I only want original dota..
    I dont want another dota...

    ReplyDelete