DOTA 2 Site Up, Questions Answered

The Defense of The Ancients 2 site has now gone live, and IceFrog has answered a bunch of questions derived from (presumably) the DOTA-playing community: it will support reconnecting, there will be no region limitations, there will be bot support, there will be a spectator function. There are also a few pieces of artwork from the original announcement, but no screenshots as yet. We shall be keeping an eye on this one, particularly in light of the potential funny stuff going on between Valve and Blizzard.


  1. Tei says:

    “You can join a game your friend is in, see what your favorite clan is doing, or simply pick a skill level and a hero you like and it will find you one to watch. We also have a system in place that automatically distributes the load to multiple servers so that the game itself won’t be affected by users joining to spectate. Our distribution network will allow us to support any number of users that want to watch, by dynamically assigning more servers to the task.”

    Since this game is a e-sport, this feature make absolutelly sense. A lot of people seems to enjoy watching sports (?). IF this work, don’t smell like something easy to make. Also the “we will assign more servers to the task” is a red flag because the same exact substring is associated with events where similar features failed on other games.

    Do DOTA able guilds drama?

    • Sam says:

      Blizzard need to learn from Valve with regards to features like this. A spectator mode for SC2 would be amazing. Imagine hopping on to and watching the GSL finals live in the actual game.

    • markcocjin says:

      EA tried to do the same with with Command and Conquer: Kane’s Wrath where people who didn’t own the game could download a crippled version that could spectate on matches. I have no idea if they got it to work.

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      “We also have a system in place that automatically distributes the load to multiple servers so that the game itself won’t be affected by users joining to spectate. Our distribution network will allow us to support any number of users that want to watch, by dynamically assigning more servers to the task.”

      That’s a longwinded way of saying “SourceTV exists & unsurprisingly will be available in this Source Engine game too”.

      SourceTV (and it’s predecessor HLTV) have been doing this since 2001. I get that this is the first time live spectating will be available in this type of game but we’ve been doing it in HL1 & Source games/mods since Natural Selection was at it’s peak (v2.0/v3.0).

  2. Lord Huggington says:

    Regardless of Valve and Blizzard being in a kerfuffle over the DotA trademark, I’m looking forward to this game. The pics on the site don’t look too bad, and I’m glad the hunter lady doesn’t look as Sylannas-esque as she could have, though the cloak leans dangerously in that direction.

  3. pkt-zer0 says:

    “Dota 2 is the result of Valve hiring the community developers

    Is the plural there intended to obfuscate the fact that the other folks who developed DotA aren’t too happy about Icefrog running off with the trademark and whatnot? I’m not liking how they still haven’t addressed that issue.

    • subedii says:

      As far as I’m aware, Riot Games said they were a bit nonplussed with the idea of Valve copyrighting the term DOTA, I’m not sure they ever said anything against IceFrog specifically. They did after all choose to leave it in his hands to develop.

      Blizzard’s voiced opinion on the matter was along similar lines, but to be honest what they think is largely irrelevant here in this particular case.

  4. Sigma Draconis says:

    Lovely artwork on those posters. I’d order print posters of those if they were ever sold (hint hint!).

    I was hoping that they would go into some more deeper details regarding new players and the resources to help them get into DOTA 2 easier (nothing wrong with their response, though). With features like the coaching, in-game guides, and skill-based matchmaking. It’s clear that Valve and IceFrog are trying to foster a constructive and generally positive playerbase. Which, as anyone that’s played LoL/DotA/HoN can tell you, is nothing short of a gargantuan task.

    But even then, it’ll likely have the same community issues, because the basic design of DOTA (and LoL/HoN, by proxy) fuels the animosity that its players are known for.

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      VALVe tend to be quite good with stuff like posters & other game merchandise if that’s your thing. I wouldn’t be surprised if those end up in the VALVe store around release time (usually slightly before or slightly after going by their other games).

  5. Miguelese says:

    “tutorials, matchmaking, AI bots, identity, coaching, and community contribution will go a long way to making it easier for new players to fit in.”

    Is that all?

  6. Asskicker says:

    Still no answers about the pricing. :(

  7. bookwormat says:

    From a casual multiplayer point of view, DoTA is like communism: It is great in theory, but in practice it fails because humans are selfish and ruthless. That the weakest tplayer so obviously ruins the game for its team members is a design flaw in the game. It’s not just “that one community” I think.

    On the other hand, I found that these games can be very entertaining if played casually single player. That is, when you only play from time to time against bots and if you try to ignore any AI patterns for as long as it goes.

    I keep playing Demigod this way.

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      Heh I played Unreal (1) deathmatch that way for years as it was the only way I could enjoy it even though I played Quake 3 Arena & Half-Life mods competitively at the same time.

  8. Rii says:

    I’ve little interest in this game, but I like the artwork.

  9. subedii says:

    Surprisingly, that Q/A assuaged a lot of my worries about the game, they were very up front about community concerns about the nature of the gameplay.

    I mean I’m primarily worried that they’re choosing to stick with the formula, and not essentially do a TF2 style evolution of the gameplay, but I can at least see where they’re coming from with this one:

    Q: Don’t you think you should make a lot of changes to the gameplay? (by Robert)

    A: Significant changes would not necessarily make it a better game. There are countless features we are building around the game that will make the experience a much better one. The gameplay itself, though, has always evolved step by step, and it will continue with that methodology. We consider this a long term project, in the same way DotA has always been. We want to provide a quality experience and not just change for the sake of change. You’ll naturally see additions and improvements to the game as time passes, but it would be a natural progression aimed at improving the game for the players and not for other arbitrary reasons. Valve and I strongly believe that the player focused development process the game has gone through is what will allow us to continue making the best decisions with regards to where we spend our development time.

    DOTA’s essentially stuck with the same problem as Starcraft 2, there’s such a huge and invested community around the game that any significant changes would be unacceptable to it, at least straight away.

    I do like that they’re saying they’ll evolve the game over time, it’ll be interesting to see where they take it.

    I was also surprised with just how dedicated they are being to the community / competitive features, even to the extent of allowing you to simply jump in and spectate practically any game running. They’ve even got the minor details of the replay system in place (being able to jump back-and-forth in it), which is a rare but useful feature in RTS replays.

    He even talks about whether the updated graphics will be too flashy and obscure the detail, as often happens in games where the devs simply think the more flashy, the better. This was a KEY concern for something like Starcraft 2, which is why the visuals in that game look good, but also very clean and take care not to obscure anything under a mass of particle effects and debris and other good looking but obfuscating features. The fact that he even addressed that question shows he understands this.

    So basically after reading that Q/A, I have a bit more hope about the game than I initially did. I’m still not sure how accessible it’ll be to newcomers like me, I don’t know that building the community features around the game will actually help that in any real way. But it does look like they have a good idea of the direction they want to take DOTA.

    And finally: Thank GOODNESS, customisable keys! This is one of those sticking points than an entrenched community can bring that I was talking about. For some reason this isn’t allowed in Starcraft 2, and I’ve seen it said that the reason for this is because it would make the game less balanced somehow if people could use their own preferred keybindings. Which is wholly bizarre to me.

    • Brumisator says:

      I do like that they’re saying they’ll evolve the game over time, it’ll be interesting to see where they take it.
      Seing how far apart TF2 2007 and TF2 2010 are, there’s potential for a lot of changes to the game over time.
      But it’s probably pointless to compare one valve game to another, they are all managed so differently.

    • subedii says:

      More to the point, I’m certain that the DOTA community will be far less willing to accept changes to the gameplay. DotA’s community is pretty hardcore and entrenched, which is what I meant by the Starcraft comparison. Blizzard were stuck with a game where even minor interface tweaks were shouted down as dumbing down the game and destroying the gameplay (literally, things like being able to select more than 12 units at once, or even multiple buildings, were seen as the taking the “skill” away from the game).

      Which is why I was pleasantly surprised that they’ve been able to evolve Diablo 3 the way they have. The community wasn’t as “entrenched” on the issue of all of Diablo’s mechanics and systems (even those being engine limitation derived) being immutable and sacred.

      I’m not sure how the community surrounding DotA would react to any significant changes, but it’s apparent that they can’t make any sweeping changes to the core gameplay straight away, even if they want to

  10. markcocjin says:

    Can you play Blizzard DotA on LAN too?

  11. O_O says:

    Valve trademarked a genre? (really, forget AOS, “DOTA” is pretty much a genre these days)

    Explains why Blizzard would be pissed off.

    • subedii says:

      Nobody trademarked a genre, genre’s aren’t even…er… trademark…able?

      Regardless, I believe the fans call the genre of games “MOBA” or Multiplayer Online Battle Arena. Which basically encompasses DotA, LoL, Hon and whatever else gets released in that style of gameplay.

    • CJohnson03 says:

      No, they didn’t they merely trademarked that exact word “DOTA”, all capitalized, because that is exactly the name of their game. They didn’t trademark Defense of the Ancients, or anything like that, only “DOTA”.

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      No, they didn’t they merely trademarked that exact word “DOTA”, all capitalized, because that is exactly the name of their game. They didn’t trademark Defense of the Ancients, or anything like that, only “DOTA”.

      If you’re seriously suggesting that given the acronym “DOTA 2”, and a game that’s highly similar to a War3 mod called Defense of the Ancients, you’re not supposed to make any sort of mental connection whatsoever, I don’t know what to say. That’s Tim Langdell style craziness, just in the other direction.

    • Azradesh says:

      They trademarked DOTA/Dota as a word and not an acronym. He’s not suggesting it, this is what happened.

  12. markcocjin says:

    Hey RPS,

    I see that there’s some clues telling me that the “Fart Cops” counter trolling of the fake IceFrog blog may be authentic.

    Someone at Valve is poking fun at Fart Cops in his Steam profile. You can see that he’s part of Valve’s official Steam group.

    link to

  13. DrGonzo says:

    I read him mention denying. I really can’t believe they are leaving that in. It really slows the game down and takes away a lot of the fun. In League of Legends you can deny, by harassing the enemy and keeping them away from the creeps. In my opinion that is a lot more fun that just right clicking on health bars when they get low. How does it make any sense to kill your own troops and buildings?

    They’ve lost a sale from me on that one.

  14. Rich says:

    Does anyone else find the use of a nonsensical acronym, as the official name for this game, more a little annoying? Particularly since you don’t normally include “of” and “the” in acronyms.

    What’s wrong with “Defence of the Ancients 2”?

    • stahlwerk says:

      What about PITA, WOW, T(I)NC, WTF?

    • Azradesh says:

      @ Rich

      “What’s wrong with “Defence of the Ancients 2″?”

      They didn’t trademark “Defence of the Ancients” only the word DOTA.

    • Polysynchronicity says:

      I don’t know anyone who calls the original game by its full name anyway, honestly.

  15. James says:

    Looks like they got the training idea from here:
    link to

  16. Gabe Kotick says:

    You know what DOTA2 needs?