Hey, DOTA 2 Is Free-To-Play, Valve Confirms

By Jim Rossignol on June 1st, 2012 at 11:00 am.


Valve have posted some details about DOTA 2’s (previously revealed) free-to-play status, over on the the DOTA 2 blog. They’re pretty upfront about two points: “Dota 2 will not be a pay-to-win game. All the items in the store are cosmetic, and don’t affect gameplay.” But also: “All of the heroes will be available free of charge. We believe restricting player access to heroes could be destructive to game design, so it’s something we plan to avoid.”

Perhaps more interesting still – and something I hadn’t realised – DOTA 2 is already part of the Steam Workshop, meaning folks can submit items just as the have for Team Fortress 2: “If you’re a Dota 2 fan with some artistic skills, here’s your chance to get in on the ground floor of what’s sure to be a vibrant community for years to come, and be able to contribute directly to the game you’re already playing non-stop.”

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  1. vee41 says:

    Derp. And now I can even play with my bot pals so I don’t have to worry about everyone flaming me to hell!

    They should implement bots that flame you for authentic DOTA experience though.

  2. Cerzi says:

    Once my Diablo addiction passes I’ll be looking forward to getting back into this. By far the best multiplayer game I’ve played in a long time (which suprised me, as someone who can’t stand LoL).

    Valve are just doing everything right with this one.

  3. Flukie says:

    LoL player here, still interested in Dota2, but I prefer LoLs gamer friendly ideas, and by gamer friendly it does end up being noob friendly but somethings in Dota2 are just there because they were in WC3 I believe.

    • pakoito says:

      Don’t be scared by complexity, my dear. LoL, like weed, is a gateway drug that leaves your brain numb and ready for the real deal.

      • Unaco says:

        Last I checked, the ‘cannabis as a gateway drug’ theory was debunked. Get a better informed analogy, please.

        • Lemming says:

          Wow touchy Stoner! Clearly, you aren’t smoking enough.

          • Unaco says:

            No. Psychologist and Neuroscientist. And despiser of the faux Science peddled by rags like the Daily Mail and their sheep-like followers, such as you Lemming.

          • Pamplemousse says:

            You wanna chill out unaco?

          • Unaco says:

            Sure… when people stop accusing me of being a ‘touchy stoner’ and stop peddling faux scientific rot they read in the Sun or the Daily Mail as if it makes them an expert on the subject. I bet Lemming will come back and say my aggression is due to all those violent video games I play.

            Also… I’m perfectly calm, btw. I just think that the twisting and misrepresentation of Science should be confronted, head on.

          • Mr. Mister says:

            Don’t mind my informal attitude, but I agree with naco (on his last point. I don’t have any first nor second-hand experience with any kind of drugs. Alcohol included).
            Science is VERY misrepresented in the media.
            Including videogames… I wonder if Aperture Science, any space game which doesn’t explain (or argue) its interactions with relativity and auto-health regen are partyally culprit.

          • Skull says:

            I smoke cannabis every day – spend about £50-70 a week on it. Never take anything else though, even alcohol. Weed does its job just fine

          • Pamplemousse says:

            SCIENCE MUST BE DEFENDED BY UNSUBSTANTIATED CLAIMS TO COUNTER OTHER UNSUBSTANTIATED CLAIMS WITH NO SOURCES OR SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERIES TO BACK UP WHAT I SAY.

            This is rather a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Don’t step up to *defend* science if you’re just going about it in the same way as the ‘rag’ newspapers.

          • ScubaMonster says:

            Unaco must be a fun guy to hang out with. Someone makes an amusing comment as a joke and he puts on his serious hat.

          • Lemming says:

            @Unaco “I bet Lemming will come back and say my aggression is due to all those violent video games I play.”

            Nope, but he’ll come back and say you’re a humourless douche!

        • Exole says:

          “bunked”? Hardly. You sound like another non-stoner throwing around things you heard like they’re facts. It’s a gateway drug to the weak or curious. It has everything to do with personality and thus no way to be proven.

          • Unaco says:

            No way to be proven? So… the ‘cannabis as a gateway drug’ theory cannot be proven? And as such, is debunked. Thank you for proving my point.

          • jojotheindiancircusboy says:

            Science doesn’t ever “prove” anything. You test the null hypothesis, and the most a theory can ever achieve is “Not yet disconfirmed.”

          • derase says:

            I think you mean ‘canabis as a gateway drug hypothesis’, Mr. Neuroscientist.

        • mr.ioes says:

          I’ve worked in a drug ambulance and we had many people that were sent to us by court for marihuana consumption to get treatment. There, those people get to know other people that are involved in way harder drugs.

          I’ve seen it first hand how a 16 year young really charming girl went from stoner to heroin addict due to bad laws, forcing her into an environment of really difficult cases. Shortly before she stopped her treatment she told me her story under tears on how she exchanged her friend-circle with drug addicts since she was on treatment, in a matter of months.

          Once you’re caught with marihuana, you’ll have a tough time staying away from bad people.

          You think you know everything cause you dipped your nose into books, I’ve seen it.

          • Unaco says:

            So… It was the cannabis that led this anecdote of a girl into heroin? Or was it, as you say, that she progressed from “stoner to heroin addict due to bad laws, forcing her into an environment of really difficult cases”?

            Is it the cannabis itself, or if we were to replace the cannabis with, say, alcohol, would it be the same? Is it the cannabis itself, or the way that society/laws treat cannabis users? If these laws pushing stoners into the presence of harder drug users were removed, would you still see the same progression?

          • Zelius says:

            Wait, a “drug ambulance”, and they send people to you for marihuana consumption?

            I see what the problem is… It’s not the marihuana, it’s the ridiculous laws you have over there!

            Here’s an idea! If you want to avoid people who smoke marihuana to get involved with people who do much, much worse drugs like heroin, don’t lump them all together! Especially if they’re as weak-minded as you seem to think they are. It’s akin to sending a guy who stole a pack of gum to a maximum security prison, right next to the guy who set fire to that orphanage with the kids trapped inside.

            And you wonder why people step up to harder drugs… Jesus Christ… You’re the gateway!

        • pakoito says:

          It was a joke. Stop overanalizing.

          • BroHipster says:

            watching Unaco act like a stoner on a soapbox is quite amusing

          • Unaco says:

            It was a joke based on a misconception and fallacy. Apologies for trying to educate and inform. Won’t bother wasting my breath next time.

            @BroHipster,

            Watching people assume I’m a ‘stoner’ because I’m trying to correct misconceptions, misrepresentations and misunderstandings of Science, is even more amusing.

          • Arglebargle says:

            Other than Unaco having an itchy trigger finger, he’s still mostly correct.

            Occaisonally even the most harmlessly intended quip will bring out the bear.

        • DrBomb says:

          No one mentioned cannabis here, champ

      • JackShandy says:

        A: “LOL, like Yo Momma, serves thousands of people every day and is getting bigger all the time.”

        B: “If you review the facts of the matter I think you’ll find that my mother has had sex with very few men and is the perfect weight for her height, with a BMI of 19.1.Your claims are totally spurious and, as you’ve cited no hard evidence, I think we can safely dismiss your entire hypothesis as base slander. Good day, sir!”

      • Kresh says:

        Complexity =/= fun. Complexity = less accessibility.

        • Brise Bonbons says:

          Fun == whatever you happen to think is fun.

          I think complexity is fun, you do not, there is no need for us to be enemies.

          Seriously though, when was it decided that complexity is necessarily the natural enemy of “fun”?

          As far as I’m concerned, between LoL and DOTA2, the thing most impeding my fun is the horrible grind in LoL. Neither DOTA’s complexity nor LoL’s accessibility have much impact on my enjoyment at all.

        • WhiteHawke says:

          Unfairness != fun. Unfairness = less accessibility.

    • Hunchback says:

      Ex long-time LoL player here, switched to DOTA2 and not going back to LoL.

      DOTA2 IS much harder than LoL at start, since every action has much greater consequences – Skills cost A LOT, most items have uses and very few “passive” bonuses, the map is bigger and requires better awareness… However, DOTA is much slower than LoL and if you are experienced in LoL you shouldn’t take that long to adapt.

      Some free tips for all newcomers to DOTA:

      1. At the start of every match announce on GLOBAL that you are a newbie. That way they might rage about your mistakes, but people generally go easy on others that directly announce that they are newbies. Otherwise they will just presume that you are a nub.

      2. Dotafire.com – just like mobafire.com, guides etc.

    • Robil says:

      The one thing that really, really turns me off even trying Dota2 is Denying. To me, Denying is the most awkward, unintuitive, borderline passive-aggressive mechanic ever – the perfect example of something that’s in DOTA purely because of the limitations of Warcraft 3, not for any logical reason.

      Maybe it’s silly to avoid the game just for that reason – but I know that it’s not something I could avoid in game, by necessity if I want to win matches, it’s one of the things I’ve got to be thinking about constantly.

      Also just indicative of a really luddite design philosophy that also seems to be coming through in the character designs – this idea that DOTA is already perfect, and while improving the graphics, etc is fine, changing any of the core concepts is heresy.

      For better or worse, LOL at least tries to move the genre forward. Obviously for my money it’s for better!

      • Vorphalack says:

        LoL is arguably regressive. I’ve had fun with it in the last few years, but i’m under no illusion that it sacrificed a lot of interesting mechanics in the name of accessibility.

        By the way you speak of denying, i’m going to have to assume you have never put denying into practice. When attempting to deny a creep, you often open yourself up for counter harassment. It’s not as simple as just walking up to a creep and timing your attack right. If you try too hard to deny it can cost you the lane, open you up for ganks, get you killed for free, etc. It’s a mechanic that makes hero selection more tactical as counter picks stand out even more than in LoL. It keeps the lane dynamic and aggressive, avoiding the fuck awful stalemate that is LoLs early game. In short, it isn’t half as bad a mechanic as you make it sound, even though it was initially just a quirk of the Warcraft 3 engine.

      • Sensai says:

        Gotta respond to this. Also, I’m going to guess, not unkindly, that you’ve never played DotA before.

        “The one thing that really, really turns me off even trying Dota2 is Denying…the perfect example of something that’s in DOTA purely because of the limitations of Warcraft 3, not for any logical reason.”

        While the first part is an opinion, the second part is absolutely false. While it did, yes, start as a problem of the Warcraft 3 engine, it was quickly molded into something that allowed a good player to shine, whereas a lower skilled player might be troubled by it. There’s proof in this by the way denying is handled: you can only deny a creep when it is below 50% health, only deny a tower when it is below 10% health, and only deny a hero when they are inflicted with a lethal damage-over-time spell. Also, the amount of experience gained when something is denied differs depending on the type of hero (melee heros still get 2/3 XP when an enemy creep is denied, while ranged heroes get 1/3). Surely you don’t mean to imply that this was all just sheer luck and that everything I just wrote above (which doesn’t cover it all, mind you) was because of the Warcraft 3 engine?

        “For better or worse, LOL at least tries to move the genre forward. Obviously for my money it’s for better!”

        Having played League and DotA 2 about the same, I must agree with Vorphalack above. How, in your mind, does taking out features that set apart great players from good players from bad players move the genre forward?

        Checkers is a grand game in its own time, but I’d rather play chess, personally.

        • JackShandy says:

          “How, in your mind, does taking out features that set apart great players from good players from bad players move the genre forward?”

          You should only put in skills that set great players and good players apart if they’re interesting skills to learn.

          Say you needed to put in a 45 digit code every time you select a hero- the faster you do it, the more health you get. That differentiates the noobs from the pros, but it’s an exceptionally boring skill to learn. I feel the same way about Actions Per Minute in Starcraft – the game would be just as high-skill if you played it using your mind, so why is it necessary to place emphasis on the skill of “Navigating the interface as fast and precisely as possible” ? It’s just a tedious tax you have to pay to get into the interesting game.

          I haven’t played Dota, so I don’t know if Denying is an interesting skill. Just wanted to point out that not everything that lets high-skill players distinguish themselves is automatically good.

          • dewey15 says:

            denying is a fun mechanic… something i didn’t even know about the first 20+ dota2 games I played probably… it adds not only a layer of tactical thinking (allowing you to control the position of creeps which matters way more on the bigger dota map) but gives support player something to do in lane other than fight over farm with a teammate and still be engaged. a lot of the mechanics that initially appear obtuse in dota (secret shops etc.) actually increase team play, team fights and make the experience more dynamic.

            i checked out LoL never having heard of Dota and never being into competitive games, but Dota is by far the most dynamic, engaging and challenging system I’ve ever experienced. other games just seem easy/dull by comparison.

          • Sensai says:

            “You should only put in skills that set great players and good players apart if they’re interesting skills to learn.

            ….

            I haven’t played Dota, so I don’t know if Denying is an interesting skill. Just wanted to point out that not everything that lets high-skill players distinguish themselves is automatically good.”

            You make a fair point. If a skill is not rewarding or simply tedious (like your 45 digit combination), it clearly isn’t doing anyone any good. But, as far as I know, there’s nothing like that in any game. You mention APM in Starcraft (a game I admittedly know almost nothing about) and point to it as something similar to you analogy, but I don’t see that as true: APM isn’t necessary for a good player (just because you have high APM doesn’t make you good, just as having a low APM doesn’t necessarily equate to being bad), but it is usually a sign of it.

            You’re spot on, though: if the skill that separates good from bad is tedious and not relevant to the rest of the game, then it isn’t something that should be kept simply to distinguish good from great.

          • Vorphalack says:

            I think denying is interesting, both to watch and to execute. Most denies will be a judgement call based on the state of the lane, combined with timing your attack perfectly. As I said earlier, if you force it too much you can very easily get yourself killed. I think denying is objectively more interesting than last hitting, yet you very rarely see so much hate towards last hitting. This might be because denying is just an unfamiliar mechanic, where as most people fully understand what’s involved in a last hit.

          • JackShandy says:

            I remember hearing about a less extreme example in the multiplayer mode of Resident evil 5 : by performing a certain interface trick, you could get a larger inventory or something. Thus, every pro player was forced to twiddle around in the menu before every match. There’s a lot of games where high-level play degenerates to become less fun than low-level play like that. Obviously no games like that have become good e-sports, though.

            I’ll have to get into Dota over the holidays, it sounds like a great game.

          • Brise Bonbons says:

            I also let the deny mechanic turn me off DOTA for a long time, but can report that after watching a few videos and playing a few games, it is actually an incredibly interesting and versatile mechanic.

            As mentioned above, in dual and tri lanes, it allows for all player to be active without the supports stealing gold from the cash hungry hero they’re babysitting. The greedy bastard takes last hits for gold, the supports deny to slow the enemy getting items.

            Denying offers an interesting choice in a solo lane: Do I benefit more from focusing on getting cash fast, or denying it to my enemy? As with most mechanics in DOTA, it comes down to knowing your hero, your enemy hero, and how and when each hero is strong or weak.

            In DOTA controlling the momentum of creep waves is far more important (and involved) than in LoL. This is emphasized by the more complex map layout in DOTA, the increased effectiveness of early ganking, and the relative importance of creep gold versus player kill gold. In short, denying your own creeps slows the lane momentum, preventing it from pushing across the river, up to high ground, or into range of the enemy tower.

            So while denying is certainly a mechanic that started because of the War3 engine, and is very gamey and somewhat unintuitive, after learning to use it I would miss it dearly if I ever went back to LoL.

          • Joshua Northey says:

            I don’t know in Wesnoth multiplayer the DotA mods were basically the realm for people needing baby’s first strategy game and part of that was the denying. Ditto with Dota on WC3, it was just a haven for people who couldn’t hack the actual game to get an easier to understand experience with quicker payoffs for actions and less need to think long term.

            The game just doesn’t have that much decision making going on, and what decision making there is kind of lame “should I kill my own units or not”.

          • Brise Bonbons says:

            I’m familiar with that attitude, but I’ve never understood it. I’ve played far more SC:BW, WAR3, and SC2 than I have MOBAs, and they’re entirely different games with different skill sets.

            I’m terrible at the multitasking required by RTS games, and have no interest in improving, because I don’t find the games themselves that compelling anymore. I’d rather just play Star Ruler or AI War or some other grand strategy game that focuses on big picture choices and multi-hour games rather than micromanaging a handful of units.

            For me DOTA is about compressing the decision making of a cRPG into a single-session, team vs team format. It has no overlap with games like SC:BW or War3.

          • danielfath says:

            Say you needed to put in a 45 digit code every time you select a hero- the faster you do it, the more health you get. That differentiates the noobs from the pros, but it’s an exceptionally boring skill to learn. I feel the same way about Actions Per Minute in Starcraft – the game would be just as high-skill if you played it using your mind, so why is it necessary to place emphasis on the skill of “Navigating the interface as fast and precisely as possible” ? It’s just a tedious tax you have to pay to get into the interesting game.

            I haven’t played Dota, so I don’t know if Denying is an interesting skill. Just wanted to point out that not everything that lets high-skill players distinguish themselves is automatically good.

            Ok here is my view, I’ve played DotA from time to time. And I’ve played games without last-hit or denying. I can tell you YOU LOSE NOTHING. Remember SC2 and the whole auto-mining vs manual mining in SC. That is what denying is. It’s manual mining. In fact if you replace last-hit with shared money you gain:
            * Supports are more powerful since keeping creeps alive is now a better move.
            * Gold becomes more abudant
            * Heroes clump and gank more often
            Only thing your lose is that creeps in woods become less important.

            But DotA is a sloppily made game. It took the easy roads out. For example have you ever wondered why killing your barracks gives opponent stronger creeps?

          • Joshua Northey says:

            Brise Bonbons-

            Thanks for the interesting response. I had never thought of them as a compressed RPG. Just a stripped down RTS. Makes slightly more sense now.

        • Raiyne says:

          @danielfath

          Giving you stronger creeps which give smaller gold rewards when you destroy the enemy barracks is to help push the game along to prevent stalemates.

          It is also a tactical decision, because launching a frontal assault on their base is risky, they have the higher ground. If your lanes are pushed towards theirs, it means you don’t have any where to farm except neutrals, and farming close to their base is obviously risky, with you open to getting ambushed. So if you choose not to push through, they could possibly be buying time to out-farm you from the safety of their bases.

          I do think one of the worst aspects of DotA is that it can be easy for a game to snowball into an inevitable victory or defeat, and not being much fun for the losing team, but more often than not, it is the player’s fault that they lose. However accepting defeat is one thing, not having the option of surrendering is another.

          The biggest reasons against an option to concede are that it creates a community with a bad attitude, most often pointing to HoN, but I believe that they just executed the function poorly. If there is sufficient study to determine reasonable circumstances to allow a ‘concede’ vote, then it’ll really be just be saving time, which, let’s face it, is hard to come by these days. Not having the option is just going to force people to continue when they don’t want to.

          • danielfath says:

            Giving you stronger creeps which give smaller gold rewards when you destroy the enemy barracks is to help push the game along to prevent stalemates.

            It is also a tactical decision, because launching a frontal assault on their base is risky, they have the higher ground. If your lanes are pushed towards theirs, it means you don’t have any where to farm except neutrals, and farming close to their base is obviously risky, with you open to getting ambushed. So if you choose not to push through, they could possibly be buying time to out-farm you from the safety of their bases.

            Yes in fact originally losing a barrack meant losing a creep wave.

            Now think about that for a second. Losing a barracks was difficult not for the team losing the barracks but for enemies since they are denied the gold from creeps. IIRC it was so good that people would destroy their own barracks ASAP so enemies don’t have the gold from the creep wave and enemies would never push until fully fed.
            To me that reeks of bad design choices and patching up horrid gameplay with random crap so people don’t complain. I mean if you destroy a barracks couldn’t you get refunded for each creep that was in the wave via a game mechanics (e.g. periodically get gold/xp) Nope. Too hard to code. Let’s add slightly bigger creeps to opponent that give less gold. The logic behind that move is baffling.

            Instead of making creeps in large numbers a threat and DotA did the opposite, it turned them into walking piles of gold. And denying/preventing enemy from having creep’s gold is now a good move. In other AoS losing a barracks means you get overwhelmed by creeps and die. In DotA that is impossible. Also spells that manipulate and steal creeps would be counter-intuitive to DotA, because why give your opponent more gold…

      • danielfath says:

        The one thing that really, really turns me off even trying Dota2 is Denying. To me, Denying is the most awkward, unintuitive, borderline passive-aggressive mechanic ever – the perfect example of something that’s in DOTA purely because of the limitations of Warcraft 3, not for any logical reason.

        Well… no. It is a awkward, unintuitive borderline passive-aggressive mechanic ever, it’s not a limitations of Warcraft 3 engine. It’s just that Ice never coded it. Whether it is that due to incompetence or just tradition I don’t know but I do know that his maps haven’t used a lot of JASS in the start, so I am leaning towards former at start and latter now (he learned to code in vJASS yay!).

        With JASS and it’s extension vJASS you can code pretty much anything in Wc3 engine, including a custom buff, damage, physics engine. Coding up is relatively trivial. In fact I’ll guide you how to code it (my memory of Wc3 is a bit old so some thing are wrong).

        1. Disable any bounty on death (they have several variable like Initial Bounty, Bounty Dice, etc.) by setting appropriate values to 0.
        2. Create a trigger.
        Event – Unit Death
        Actions – Select all enemy units in 300 radius. Give each +35 gold and 100xp.
        Create fancy letters in appropriate color that says +35.
        Create an effect of gold splashing.

  4. pakoito says:

    “No pay-for-powed”, and that is why I will quit Heroes of Newerth after three years. The F2P model ruined it BAD.

    DOTA is very familiar and the game runs in slow-mo compared to HoN, so the jump will be easy.

  5. Godwhacker says:

    Don’t forget that you can also buy early access to the beta on the store for the low, low price of £24.99!

    • Koojav says:

      Could you provide a link?

      • markcocjin says:

        Here you go:

        http://www.dota2.com/store/itemdetails/57939587?appid=570

        Dota 2 Early Access Bundle
        Legendary

        Hero: All heroes
        This bundle includes a tradable Dota 2 Early Access Pass, a Mighty Boar courier, and a full set of items for Sven and Axe! Use the Dota 2 Early Access Pass from your Steam inventory to unlock the game.

        Mighty Boar
        Stoic Mask of the High Plains
        Wolf Cape of the High Plains
        Aspect Wraps of the High Plains
        Long-Fang the Grey Blade
        Tayrnhelm of the Swordmaster
        Girth of the Swordmaster
        Fluted Guard of the Swordmaster
        Grip of the Swordmaster
        Tradable: Yes

  6. Premium User Badge

    Phinor says:

    While the game is pretty great, I have one major issue that keeps me from playing it: of a 45 (or 60, give or take) minute match, the first 30 minutes is almost always meaningless, useless, waste of time. I know that’s not true at high skill levels but at the level I’m playing, it’s pretty much how it goes. If over half of the playing time is waste of time, it’s not ideal. If they could somehow fix that without ruining the game for higher level players, it would be pretty perfect MOBA game.

    Anyway great to see they went the free-to-play-route. This will offer some hours of fun during LAN parties without any entry fee.

    • InternetBatman says:

      In LoL they have different modes that make it much faster. 3v3 only takes about 25 minutes, and the fighting starts very soon. Dominion is much faster than that even. It took about 5 minutes the few times I tried it.

    • Vorphalack says:

      You can gank in DotA within the first few minutes of a match, on the right heroes, and certainly against less skilled players. If you find that the start of the game is too slow, you can do something about it by learning how to play aggressively.

    • Cerzi says:

      A game of DOTA is much more dynamic than a lot of new players realize. There are hundreds of different timing windows that emerge and fade during a game, depending on a vast amount of variables such as the hero make-up, what items have been purchased and the flow of the game.

      The one that most new players will first encounter is the generic hard-carry timebomb, where one team might appear to be miles ahead for the first 30 minutes, but then suddenly find the other team’s hard carry has hit a critical mass and starts being able to kill everyone on his own, because the previously winning team didn’t keep things in check.

      The more you play the more these different variables become apparent, which in turn creates more and more uncertainty about the outcome of a game after x minutes.

    • rockman29 says:

      “The first 30 min is useless”

      That is the biggest load of crap I have heard. There is so much misinformation about Dota, and this is just piling more onto the the already enormous heap.

      That is a big lie. You can win a game based on performance in the first 30 min. If you wreck your lane and kill your opponents heroes within the first 30 min, that will be enormously beneficial to your chances late game.

      There is not any period of time in a Dota game which is not relevant. If you slip up or don’t play as a team or play solo as needed, you will fall behind and it will count towards the end game.

  7. ugervaca says:

    They can make it as free 2 play as they want, you will never see in Steam Stats 3 million players playing at once like they do in LoL… 60.000 max for DOTA…
    Nuff said…

    • Lemming says:

      You are going to be so wrong. :)

    • vee41 says:

      “There can be only one!”

    • Hunchback says:

      I’d take 60k decent people over 3 million retards anyday. Not that DOTA players are much better, they tend to be quite snobby actually, but the point is – the exact number of players is not important if it’s enough to find a game in 2-3 minutes. Which already is the case, and DOTA is not even out yet.

    • Koojav says:

      60.000 for a closed beta. Meh. Not like it beats most of the games on Steam already.

      You’re probably right.

    • lordfrikk says:

      I, too, see the future.

    • Sensai says:

      Actually, DotA is the more widely played game, last I checked. Even if that statistic has changed, there are many, many millions more people playing DotA than you seem to give it credit for: by Icefrog’s guess (from 2 years ago, mind you), there were 7 to 11 million people playing DotA….NOT counting China, which he guesses makes up about 50% of the player base. Also of note, this is all 2 year old information and, by all accounts, the game has gotten more popular in those 2 years.

      The most recent statistic I can find for League is, sadly, a year old, but the article states that there are only ~15 million accounts (and I’d wager at least a fourth of those are smurf accounts). Furthermore, it states that the highest amount of people ever playing at once was 500,000.

      So, while 3 million logged in and playing at a time may seem impressive (although less impressive, since it might be that you’re making it up)….22 million is also a pretty big number. And bigger than 15 million, definitely.

      Sources: http://www.gosugamers.net/dota/news/11833-icefrog-i-m-sure-you-all-will-be-as-excited-as-i-am
      http://massively.joystiq.com/2011/07/26/league-of-legends-boasts-15-million-registered-players/

    • yutt says:

      You know your data is wrong, right?

      League of Legends does not have 3 million simultaneous players. They have, at the latest information I can find, 1.4 million *active* players (which they define as people who logon daily). Peak concurrent users was over 500,000. Not 3 million as you incorrectly claim.

      Given that DOTA 2 was invite only behind a survey wall that only experienced MOBA players would not be intimidated by, and it RIGHT NOW has 60,000 players… well, your prediction is obviously incorrect. I’m not sure why you would willfully say something so completely wrong.

      Sources:
      http://store.steampowered.com/stats/
      http://www.joystiq.com/2011/07/26/league-of-legends-surpasses-15m-registered-players-1-4m-play-da/

    • dmoe says:

      I’m pressing the ‘lol’ button as fast as possible.

    • Delusibeta says:

      Considering there’s 52k people playing DOTA 2 right now and the game is still in closed beta, I think you’re going to be eating crow.

  8. FreudianTrip says:

    One day, I shall get a beta invite. I mean I worked for the 2 biggest community sites in HoN and I still can’t get a fucking invite. So frustrating that that shitty survey seems to be the only way to get one outside of badgering friends for invites.

    • markcocjin says:

      If you really really do not have a friend who could give you a beta key, and you’re desperate enough to pay for one, you’re in luck.

      Valve is now selling an early access key to play Dota 2 that comes with a custom courier and 8 cosmetic items. It’s like a starter pack.

      http://www.dota2.com/store/itemdetails/57939587?appid=570

      You’re welcome.

    • pakoito says:

      Dude, I wish I could give you one, but I trade them for games :3 What was your handle in HoN? I was very active in GD until they banned me.

      • FreudianTrip says:

        FreudianTrip, I did graphics for Honcast (for an incredibly short amount of time) and GameReplays (for about 18 months). I wasn’t active on the official forums as they’re a fucking cesspool of retardation.

        • vonepp says:

          What’s your Steam ID? I have no friends (that would want to play DOTA2) and a free invite (yes, I know I could try to sell it, but that’s not my style).

        • pakoito says:

          I was part of the problem, more than the solution. Honcast is a clusterfuck of egos. In hindsight they stalled the shoutcasting community.

  9. Kollega says:

    What i wonder is when there are going to be sci-fi and modern warfare items in DotA 2. My guess: ten days after release.

    • Spookie says:

      Quoting the FAQ:

      “Q: If fans are creating content via Steam Workshop, how will you ensure it fits the theme of a hero/game?

      A: We’re acutely aware of the community’s concerns around remaining true to the theme of the game, so much so that we think the community should be directly involved in the process of choosing what goes into it. The Steam Workshop allows you to submit your votes and thoughts on contributed items before we make any decision to put them into the game, so jump in and help us stay on the right track. We think the community at large is actually really good at making these kinds of decisions.”

      • Kollega says:

        TF2 was also all about “keeping true to the theme” untill hats began to be sold for real money. Then Valve basically said “we got over it”.

        Even if the DotA community downvotes items not appropriate to the setting, Valve still might put those items into the game in the name of maximum profit.

        • lordfrikk says:

          Why would they put it in the game for maximum profit if everyone down-voted it? Who are exactly the people who will be making the profit?

          • Kollega says:

            Do you think they’d lose anything by NOT including, say, a sci-fi hat? At least a few people would buy it, and i don’t think they would lose any profits from including the item. The upkeep costs for virtual hats surely can’t be high.

          • iGark says:

            ‘cept it takes time to put stuff in, and they won’t put in stuff everyone downvotes if they have something everybody upvoted to put in — the upvoted will make a lot more profits. A better example would be they’ll include a sci-fi hat if everyone upvoted it.

      • Brise Bonbons says:

        This is a game with a clockwork metal goblin and a tinker riding a battle frame shooting lasers and missiles.

        How will a Sci-Fi hat be out of place again?

        I don’t think the problem in TF2 is items like the Manmelter or the Cow Mangler, it’s obviously anachronistic stuff like the modern-day sunglasses, silly stuff like traffic cones, and the Samurai helmets, Deus Ex items, and other marketing tie-in shit.

        In short, I think the real danger for DOTA is not the community – who, if you look at TF2, tend to be more reverent of TF2’s theme than Valve is – but Valve and their publishing partners…

  10. NathanH says:

    I’m always somewhat baffled that it’s possible to make a free-to-play game where everything you sell is useless to gameplay.

    • Cerzi says:

      Yeah people only ever buy things that have direct functions.

      • Dominic White says:

        Because as we all know, nobody has ever bought a hat in TF2.

        • Cerzi says:

          Or a hat in real life.

          • NathanH says:

            A hat in real life protects my beautiful hair from the ravages of the environment, allowing me to win the hearts of pretty ladies when I go indoors.

            I doubt that the TF2 hat will have such an effect.

          • Cerzi says:

            I was thinking more along the lines of the top hat or the shako, perhaps.

          • misterT0AST says:

            Or TF2 in real life.

          • zeroskill says:

            Stout Shako for 2….I am so sorry.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Odd as it is, it does mean we get to try (nay, play!) this for no moneys.

      • NathanH says:

        I am not complaining that people are being silly for my benefit.

  11. squareking says:

    I’ve tried LoL and this and…I guess I see the appeal, but I know it’s not for me. Maybe it’s a combination of the gigantic roster and legendarily unfriendly approach to noobs, but I didn’t really have a good time neither in bot nor human matches. I”ve read some strategy guides and watched a few vids, but I find myself wishing I was playing an RTS instead. Classic case of It’s Okay to Not Like Things!

    • Joshua Northey says:

      Yeah I have a hard time understanding the appeal. It is taking what I think is one of the less interesting elements of the experience and focusing on that.

      • dmoe says:

        Actually, one of the attractive things about a game like Dota 2 is that it takes out the long-sitting “build and wait” mechanism you do find in most rts’s. Here your focus is on building your character and leveling him/her in a specific way with the help of items. Dota 2 makes for a rather deep game. There are tons of elements in this game that people with over 500 hours are still managing to “get” and or master.

        The map also having destructible surface terrain helps add to that strategic design. Once you sit down and begin to see what this game has to offer. You realize just how impressively meta it is. This is where the addiction to a game like this stems from, for me anyway.

    • Brise Bonbons says:

      As I mention in reply to another comment, for me MOBAs have very little to no overlap with the RTS games they’re built on. I see them as PvP ARPGs, compressing the decision making process of an RPG campaign into a single-session format.

      You’re making character specialization choices, getting stats and items, killing monsters, leveling up, creating a build… It’s an RPG, but instead of talking to NPCs you’re talking to your fellow players. And there happen to be some objectives to complete in the form of killing towers, of course.

      I think it’s natural that sometimes we see a specific sub-genre and wonder what the appeal is. After all, I look at games like SC2 and wonder why someone would enjoy focusing on the boring combat stuff, instead of playing a proper 4X game with the truly fun mechanics like trade and diplomacy…

      • Joshua Northey says:

        I think my impressions are probably colored by the types of people I saw playing t in WC3 and Wesnoth. But with your explanations it makes more sense to me. Kind of makes me surprised Demigod didn’t do better, isn’t that pretty much what that was?

        • jon_hill987 says:

          Yes, Demigod was exactly this sort of game, and the only one to break from the DotA mold as well, having more and varied maps but less heroes. It also added extras mechanics like capturable creep spawn sites.

  12. porps says:

    Lol player here- I’ll try dota 2 for sure, I just hope that the community is a little better than dota 1 (lets face it, it couldnt be any worse).
    I still highly doubt it will be more fun than lol though, for the sheer fact that lol is based around being a fun game but from what i have seen dota seems to be based around sneering at people, be they teammates, enemies or people who play different games.
    Only nerds care if dota takes 0.0001% more skill than Hon or LoL, most people are more concerned with “is it fun to play”

    • Brise Bonbons says:

      I mean, I already knew I was a nerd, but I guess this seals my fate.

      You know, some of us equate depth and challenge with fun, too. You don’t have to be an esports-athlete wannabe in order to enjoy a game for its complexity and the sheer breadth of choice and variety it gives you.

      I’ve tried picking LoL up again after playing DOTA2, but I can’t get back into it. More than anything else I miss how varied and unique the heroes, items, and strategies in DOTA are, and I find that aspect alone more fun than what LoL offers.

      In short, different people have fun in different ways. That said, I can totally see why LoL scratches a certain itch better than DOTA, and the games are shorter, which I approve of. Also, the persistent advancement aspect of LoL (getting runes and mastery points) is like anti-fun for me, but again, I understand some people like them.

    • Kresh says:

      “Only nerds care if dota takes 0.0001% more skill than Hon or LoL, most people are more concerned with “is it fun to play””

      See, I would have replaced “nerds” with “elitist douchebags trying to make themselves feel better about the button-mashing Pavlovian simulation they pour their precious time into,” but only because I consider myself a nerd who doesn’t care what people play. I also think “fun to play” is more important that “what makes me think my e-peen look bigger.”

      • porps says:

        i thought nerds was a little more succint, tho i understand its an unintentional insult to nerds (nerd is the new cool) and your choice of words is more accurate.

    • NathanH says:

      I find it a sad day when it is possible to dismiss people as nerds on a PC gaming blog.

  13. SkittleDiddler says:

    By the majority of the accounts I’ve read, it seems the DoTA2 community is much more intolerant (of everything) than the Left 4 Dead 2 community. That’s enough right there to keep me from playing it.

    • dewey15 says:

      that hasn’t been my experience at all, and i came into it as a ‘noob’ completely ruining some games in retrospect.

      first of all, there is matchmaking, so you do get placed with other newish players generally. second, who cares if some asshole 16 year old brazilian kid calls you a “noob” on a computer game that you are new to playing?!

      its hard for me to relate to people who stress out about the Mean Community of Game Bullies. i think its pretty funny when certain players get heated during the game and like “talk smack.” Just laugh it off, or sincerely ask for advice. it always works. then, when you get pretty good and someone on your team is awful or abandons, you realize that like 9 other people are counting on you to at least try to do well, and it pushes you to care about what’s happening in the game.

      i encourage everyone to try it and give it a few hours. its a beautiful game to look at, is complex and challenging, encourages player interaction and has a great learning curve.

      • porps says:

        well let me explain it for you – many people play games for fun, and listening to 16 year old kids insulting each other or spamming the latest memes very much detracts from the fun for most players above the age of 20. You think its ‘pretty funny’, so thats ok, you’re well suited to these kinda communities, but alas for those of us who arent teenagers anymore it isnt funny and it isnt fun either.
        It’s not about being “stressed” over the things people say, it’s about not wanting to spend your free time with those sorts of idiots. You wouldnt want to do it in “real life” hobbies, games are no different.

        • zeroskill says:

          I learned to ignore and laugh at those kind of things. Guild Wars Arena was a good teacher.

        • Psychopomp says:

          Rule #1 of dotalikes: Don’t pub.

        • SkittleDiddler says:

          Exactly. I don’t stress about it, simply because I tend to ignore games that attract those kinds of people. Although I did play LoL for a few hours and managed to stalk and harass a particularly abusive player until he rage quit out of frustration. That was fun.

          When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Or pee in the lemonade jar and make the assholes drink it.

      • jon_hill987 says:

        I don’t know what everyone’s problem is, I have played 40hours of the beta and seen very few people get upset and start ranting about “n00bs” on their team, most people I have played with are quite accepting of a loss.

    • Brise Bonbons says:

      I just ignore DOTA matchmaking entirely, and play custom in-house games launched from the RedditNoobs channel. For the same reasons, I really only play FPS games if there is a server browser and I can be certain I’m returning to a known community of players who suit me.

  14. Brise Bonbons says:

    “All of the heroes will be available free of charge.”

    And that by itself is enough to guarantee I never touch another MOBA which thinks charging for heroes (and inevitably releasing new, “poorly balanced” heroes to stimulate cash store traffic) is a decent business model.

    That said, I am skeptical of Valve’s ability to stay disciplined, given their mediocre performance with weapons in TF2. We shall see how long this “costumes and cosmetics only” deal actually lasts. Though if they do keep on track, and it does well for itself, it will be a great example to deploy when other developers argue they need to include “convenience” items (i.e. get-out-of-grind free cards) in the cash store to make money.

  15. Saleck says:

    Ummmmm and this has been known for ages actually.
    C’mon RPS, keep up.