Meet The Shopkeeper: DOTA 2’s First Trailer

Friendly, yet beyond creepy.

As if from out of nowhere, Valve have released a trailer for DOTA 2 ahead of Gamescom. Essentially a class trailer, if you’re hoping for in-game footage that’s not happening yet. That’ll be happening during the live-streamed tournament taking place during the big German convention. But if you’re hoping for Valve’s world-class in-house animation, then bingo. An astonishingly gorgeous cartoon short explains the different ways to play the game, which you can see below.

Valve’s animations are very often complimented by the comparison with Pixar. It’s a huge and deserved compliment. But it’s interesting to note how DOTA 2’s trailer feels in a different aesthetic category. It doesn’t have that crisp perfection of Pixar’s work, which is often shared by the TF2 vids. Instead here it bears so much more in common with Russian folklore animation, while maintaining what is emerging to be Valve’s distinct style. Well, watch it and see what I mean.

Some will suggest it looks more like WoW’s animation style, but I’m going to take a stand against that. Sure, I can see the similarities, but that shopekeeper is something completely other, as is so much going on in there.

Perhaps my obsession with the art style is a slight by-product of honestly not being interested in the game it’s for. But flipping crikey, it’s doing its job properly when it makes someone who has never gelled with the whole Dota thing want to watch it over and over.


  1. skinlo says:

    It does show that the Source engine does have a lot of ability to look different.

    • icupnimpn2 says:

      You really think this is in-engine? Very optimistic.

    • Falcon says:

      Yes, that’s definitely in-engine, just like Valve does all of their videos. Those are the in-game models. They just use Source Movie Maker. It looks great and the models aren’t unrealistically high poly or anything. It looks comparable to the in-engine Diablo 3 class trailers.

    • Andy says:

      I can’t tell if this is sarcasm or not?
      That is definitely not in game. No way, no how. I’d love to be proven wrong and all but, well, just no.

    • dsi1 says:

      @andy: difference between in-game and in-engine, obviously we won’t see crazy animations like this. But it is in-engine, as always.

    • passingstranger says:

      Yep, it does look in-engine. Source Filmmaker is their tool that allows for really fancy animation, high detail, and bits of eye candy that make a huge difference, like object-specific motion blur. It’s a testament to their work that it looks like something the movie industry would produce.

    • Adam says:

      I never played DOTA, but this one has got me a bit excited. And yes, the Source Engine still rocks!

    • PoulWrist says:

      Just because it’s “in engine” doesn’t mean they use the realtime renderer. They could use the engine to set and build the scene, then use a raytracer to render the movie. And of course afterwards there’s a lot of post production. So, in-engine, sure. In-renderer, nah.

    • Theory says:

      It’s the standard renderer plus fancy effects that can’t be done in real-time (proper depth of field, proper motion blur as mentioned, proper ambient occlusion, probably more).

    • icupnimpn2 says:

      Right, so the Source engine has a lot of ability to look different… in post-processing

  2. Hindenburg says:

    So, any bets on how the HoN-LoL-Dota2 scene will be a year from now?

    • Xocrates says:

      Well, assuming Dota 2 goes f2p and uses straight dota-mechanics (as opposed to a lol-like simplification) which seems likely as the characters of that video are straight up warcraft 3 characters, my bet is along the lines of it becoming mostly dota 2 – lol conflict due to HoN -> dota 2 migration.

    • Dana says:

      HoN will die, since it the most similar to Dota. And LoL has enough of different elements and gameplay mechanics to survive, although it will take a hit.

    • Boozebeard says:

      Yeah, I would say HoN will probably die because it’s so similar but without the valve sticker. LoL is much more appealing to new players as it’s over all a much easier learning curve but the competitive scene will probably take a big hit with DOTA 2

      I wouldn’t be surprised if LoL actually remains the more popular game. Most people just don’t get over the learning curve of HoN. Maybe vavle will have done something to make it a bit easier.

    • KaL_YoshiKa says:

      You mean things like not obscuring crucial stratergy and tactics underneath layers of non-information, a hostile community and a terrible item shop interface? It’s likely Valve’s DOTA will be much more streamlined like LoL – and if it’s not you can be sure that’s where it’ll end up – for any free to play game to survive it can’t alienate players.

    • Boozebeard says:

      That is what everyone who goes from LoL to HoN says. Most who actually sticks with it and give it a decent go and realises they aren’t playing LoL and need to forget everything they learnt in LoL grows to appreciate it’s subtleties and complexities. Quote made by someone I know to illustrate point:

      “What Jamie said. Ive been playing HoN a lot recently and im loving it!. I used to hate it cus i was so bad and played it like LoL. Now i realise that actually there quite abit different and now me Mark and Jahangir have been playing it quite a lot together and winning matches lol!!”

      By all means carry on believing it’s the games fault you are bad at it. No skin off my back.

    • FriendlyFire says:

      It is entirely possible to get good at any game, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the game’s designed properly. You can work around a terrible UI, unintuitive design choices, etc. but they’re still there.

      NB: I am not speaking of HoN as I have never played the game; I’m speaking in general.

    • Spider Jerusalem says:

      I played HoN before I played LoL, and while I firmly dislike both, my reasons for doing so are vastly different.

      I found HoN to be frustrating not because it was difficult, but because it was difficult and offered me no real incentive to get better at the game outside of my own narcissism and/or desire to be adept at something commonly accepted as /hardcore/. LoL I didn’t like because, well, when it comes down to I just don’t think DoTA and its clones interest me very much (45 minute games? no thanks).

    • oddshrub says:

      There was that whole drama thing about valve employees disliking the production of DOTA 2 where they said it was a direct copy of DOTA. Since the heroes in that video are pretty much complete copies of DOTA heroes (and I’m sure Blizzard wont be too happy about that as all DOTA heroes are warcraft 3 units) there might be something to it.

      I doubt a direct copy of a previous game will do too well. Maybe it’s just me but while I liked DOTA I havn’t played it for 6 years or something and I can’t imagine why I would again.

      But it’s F2P and it’s Valve so I’m sure it’ll have some followers.

    • Trillby says:

      LoL is just going to ramp up the fun, whereas Dota 2 will probably try keep slightly po-faced in order to appeal to the hardcores. LoL’s (relatively) friendly community and constant stream of new champions should mean that it’ll always have a space in the Dota-clone territory, especially with the new Dominion mode, which emphasises quicker action and shorter games.

      What I am most impressed with though, is Dota 2s replay and game watching options. They say you can spectate any game being played, and even just pick a champion and player skill level, and it will find a game currently being played for you to watch. I wish Starcraft 2 had something similar.

    • InternetBatman says:

      HoN will go the way of Demigod. They made an almost exact copy of Dota, but I think Valve and Icefrog can probably do it better.

  3. Lemming says:

    Yeah I’d say it’s WoW by-way-of TF2, which sort of makes sense if you think about it.

    The sad thing about that it is, I was hoping for something out of the ordinary, I guess.

    Oh well, I imagine there is only so much you can do.

    • tenseiga says:

      Me too, i was wondering what kind of art style valve is going to go with. And was sliiiightly disappointed by it initially. But then you cant have tf2’s everywhere, plus this isnt photorealistic nor is it completely cartoony its a weird inbetween and quite pleasing.

  4. Flukie says:

    I agree, it does look like a Valve video.

    I just hope this game is as accessible as LoL and just manages to have a community that arn’t complete dicks.

    Yes people complain when people feed in these games but its a game… I just want to enjoy myself and I want others to enjoy themselves.

    • Josh04 says:

      I wrote a blog-post-thingy on what it is about LoL which makes people be dicks:

      link to

    • Premium User Badge

      Aerothorn says:

      Really good write-up, Josh04. Adding you to my blogroll!

    • JackShandy says:

      Good stuff, number 4. Seems obvious that the kind of community a game generates is often more important than how fun it is.

    • KaL_YoshiKa says:

      Since Valve DOTA is where the majority of the jerks on LoL seem to be planning to go (I QUIT LOL RIOT SUCKS I PLAY DOTA2), along with the ship jumpers from HoN and the hold outs playing DoTA if anything Valve DOTA will have the poorest community – especially if the mechanics are less forgiving.

      On the subject of wasted time – in most competitions the teams are evenly matched so you feel a constant challenge win or loose. In MOBA’s sometimes you get caught out with a game that’s so uneven it just feels like a waste as not only could you not win but you also didn’t get to play the game in any meaningful way.

    • ColdCoffee says:

      Valve isn’t going to release this with a non-hardcore component.

    • Yosharian says:

      Actually, if you know how to play DotA you pick a team that is always capable of winning. Example: if you pick a team consisting entirely of early gamers, your chances in lategame are slim to none unless you play in the correct way. Picking the right team means you are never in the situation where you DEFINITELY WILL LOSE no matter how well you play.

      The problem with a lot of DotA players is that they don’t plan ahead with the items they choose, so when the overfed sniper or whatever starts dominating, they don’t have the tools to deal with it.

      Mind you, in the history of DotA there have existed heroes that were so overpowered lategame that they literally COULDN’T be stopped, if they had bought the right items. E.g. old style N’aix. Or Nihax as we used to call him. Good times.

      Back ontopic, I hope Valve includes ALL the heroes and keeps the fun ones as fun as they were. Goblin Techies ftw.

    • Kdansky says:

      The problem with Dota games is that you need to know a bazillion things about the game or else you lose, and most of that information is hidden or very obscure. I mean: Pick the right hero at the start to have synergy with the other four, and then use the correct build. At the point where it matters, it is much too late to switch, so you lose. In Starcraft, you get a chance to figure out the response while playing the game, not browsing the forums. What I am trying to say: You can become a better player while playing SC2 and having fun. DOTA does not work that way, because you’d need to spend at least one game per hero. 60 heros, 45 minutes each until you’ve seen the equivalent of three SC2 games. Good luck.

  5. Synesthesia says:

    it does look gorgeous, go valve animation team! …but calling it russian folk animation because the narrator has a weird hat is maybe stretching out a bit.

    • Lemming says:

      I thought maybe that was because the shopkeeper had a Russian accent?

    • John Walker says:

      That’s really not it. There’s something more to it, something about the whole thing. (Also it’s Russia by way of Arabian Nights – dodgy accents I guess being another Valve signature.)

    • Lemming says:


      Baba Yaga is a hero choice! Including flying mortar and pestle


    • Dowson says:

      I think its due to the way the Shopkeeper looks, he has a very Russian animation quality about him, I could imagine him in a early colour soviet cartoon.

    • Juan Carlo says:

      I agree it’s very russian in style. It’s not the hat, but the way his nose, mouth, and facial features are drawn and exaggerated that gives it away as Russian.

      Since video game graphics are finally catching up with movies, hopefully video game designers will start getting a bit more stylized and interesting in the way they do animation. Here’s hoping that Team Fortress 3 will be done in the style of a Brother’s Quay stop motion animated movie (yeah, it would never happen, but it’d be awesome).

    • Metonymy says:

      Eastern Europe is also a place you find jewish tribes, and the accent and appearance fits that, as well.

    • Jahandar says:

      “Tell me, Mr. Reynolds. Do you know the writings of Shan Yu?”

      Must be the voice, but for some reason as soon as he started talking, that popped in my head.

    • Jake says:

      It does look fantastic – the shopkeeper more than the action parts which are very nice and clean but still a bit familiar.

      The shopkeeper parts though are so unusual and unique. I think it’s the colour palette, earthy hues and muted lighting combined with soft simple textures that makes it look painterly rather than flashy and shiny – full of reflections and textures and the latest bump mapping or whatever – like a lot of these scenes are.

      Got to wonder how long it will be before Valve do make their own films. They talked about a live action Half Life film but they should totally go for a Pixar style animation instead.

    • BurningPet says:

      The shopkeeper DOES NOT look jewish at all. what a silly remark.

    • CalleX says:

      Haha, right on D3xter

    • thecoolonion says:

      This guy reminded me of the storyteller from the opening scene of Aladdin.

    • mrbungle says:

      It won’t happen anytime soon. People see high end graphics and they want “hyper realism” on characters – and there’s a reason that isn’t used in movies.

    • Synesthesia says:

      dammit dexter, you made me spill my tea.

    • onodera says:

      The shopkeeper’s accent is definitely Russian (уж поверьте мне), but the animation itself doesn’t strike me as having a Russian feel to it. Maybe the shopkeeper’s face, with all its gribbly bits, is to blame. American animation doesn’t usually draw fat people this way.
      The trailer itself is quite vertiginous. Last time I had such feeling outside a cinema was when I played King’s Bounty for the first time. When at 2 am the game keeps throwing new things at you it’s quite easy to lose your bearings.

  6. Moni says:

    I really hope Valve are planning to do a Meet The Team style video series.

    • LukeAllstar says:

      A meet the hero video series for every hero? if you meant that .. i guess they won’t do that, 100+ heroes in the pool so a bit tooo much heroes
      i can imagine that they do it for a group of heroes which have something in common due too the lore or whatever

    • Thants says:

      They haven’t even gotten through the nine classes in TF2 yet.

    • dsi1 says:


      At first I was wondering why they wouldn’t start doing a ‘Meet The’ for every hero, but doing ‘Meet The’s for groups with similar backgrounds just sounds too awesome.

  7. NathaI3 says:

    Hmm. I’m having a disturbing premonition of a fantasy/russian folk version of the Mann Co. Store. Is this Valve’s way of gently introducing the concept?

    • Delusibeta says:

      Considering buying items for your hero using gold is very much a core component of MOBA games, I would be hesitant to say that.

  8. Ezhar says:

    DOTA games make no sense to me. Nice video though.

    • Megadyptes says:

      Same with me, I haven’t a clue what they are all about. I always like a nice Valve vid, though.

    • Azradesh says:

      Two teams of 5 “Heroes”
      Two bases
      3 “lanes”
      NPC armies from each side clash in the middle
      Towers defend the routes to the bases

      The goal of the game is to push forward down one more more “lanes” and destroy the main structure in the enemies base.

      What’s not to get?

    • JackShandy says:

      Where the fun is, I’d imagine.

    • Azradesh says:

      Jack, you could say that about every game ever made.

    • tenseiga says:

      There are 3 hero types, agility (the frost archer at the start) mostly late game DPS heroes, strength (the red guy with the axe ) mostly tanks or support dps, and intel (the electric guy fighting the blue guy) mostly spell casters and early game heroes. Most dota fans could identify all the heroes even though the appearences have changed quiet a bit. Its mostly random 1v1 fights with a few classic parings (the frost caster vs the fire caster). All from the perspective of the shopkeeper who sells the items to these heroes during the game

    • JackShandy says:

      Azradesh, that’s totally untrue. “Jump on an enemies head to kill it” is immediately and obviously a fun mechanic – I don’t think the source of the fun is as obvious in any of DOTA’s rules.

      Not asking for an explanation, here, just saying that I don’t think the appeal is obvious, and I’m not sure a vague pre-rendered trailer like this helps clear it up.

    • Azradesh says:

      Well DOTA’s gameplay was immediately clear and fun to me, where as I find Mario type games to be very, very boring.

      This is my point, fun is subjective and I’m sure you’ll find someone, somewhere that finds every one of you favourite games to be anything but fun. Thus, you can say the same thing about any game.

    • blind_boy_grunt says:

      but the point of the two games is the same, reach the goal. Now if you don’t like the “clicking on enemy to kill” mechanic that is understandable, but it is kind of ubiquitious so hardly a valid criticism (as in singling that game out for it).
      And if you absolutely can’t see the fun in the strategic parts of the game(where to enforce, what to defend, do i go leveling up or do i push forward, what skills to use at what time, how to play off your strength in combination with the other players) than you probably don’t like strategy games but than your opinion is like a vegetarian’s on the taste of a meatpie. Maybe not wrong, still somewhat pointless.
      But i have say that i never played a dotalike so my guesses of the strategic parts could be completely off =/
      (the maintainance/error page of rps took me completely by surprise, i really love it)

    • Koozer says:

      Okay then, look at its roots: RTS is fun right? You throw one army against another and whoever is stronger can destroy their opposition’s base. You might have a hero unit that does fancy things, like the Cyborg Commando or the Mammoth MKII. What these games do is make the army-throwing automatic, leaving you with a hero to focus on to turn the tides, with all the complexity of building an army squashed into one unit worth of item choices. It’s like RTS micro-management for people who can’t micro-manage. Like me.

      Also, you can jump out of bushes and kill people.

  9. HeavyStorm says:

    Hmm. It _does_ look like Warcraft. See, the archer looks elven and it’s blue. There’s a char that looks a lot like the pandarem brewmaster. And there are the curved blades that were trademarked as the demon hunter’s one.

    Now, I know Blizz didn’t created those things… They are a part of folklore and literature. DotA is a Warcraft mod and this is DOTA2, so they should avoid similarities in aesthetics (since there _will_ be similarities in mechanics).

    • frenz0rz says:

      As soon as I saw that archer, I instantly thought of this:

      Edit: I just made myself very very sad watching that. Damn, what I’d give for a true successor to Warcraft 3. Unfortunately the success of WoW seems to have caused the end of the Warcraft RTS series. And yet, it also made me sad because WoW was my first and only MMO, and it gave me the best 3 years of gaming I’ve ever had. Anyway, sorry to sidetrack your thread.

    • Lemming says:

      Yeah it is slightly worrying that some of the character choices don’t look like they thought very hard about how similar they look.

      Elf archer = night elf.

      fat asian dude = pandaren.

      big thing smashing a big cylinder = tauren style weapon?

    • skinlo says:

      Half Life and Half Life 2 have similar aesthetics, so why shouldn’t DoTA and DoTA2?

    • admanb says:

      I’m pretty sure they thought long and hard about exactly how similar the characters look.

    • Lemming says:

      What I meant was: it doesn’t look like they even tried to be different. Not very Valve, really.

    • skinlo says:

      They’ve said they didn’t want to be. They are doing a direct remake, not changing stuff.

    • trigonometryhappy says:

      “Half Life and Half Life 2 have similar aesthetics, so why shouldn’t DoTA and DoTA2?”

      Here’s the problem Skinlo.

      Valve created the character designs for HL1 and HL2. The DOTA creators did not design the characters of DOTA 1, Blizzard did. So In that respect I feel its a little cheep.

      Not that its huge deal I suppose, but some blizzard employees toiled away on the beautiful character designs in WC3 and now are being copied.

      It does raise some questions though, can a company buy a mod team that maybe hasn’t totaly converted a game and then mimic their assets in a sequel. Surely you can’t copy the Gorden Freeman character design for some such remake of a mod.

      The First Dota’s story line took part in the Warcraft universe if I remember correctly…will that be the same here? If so, could I use the HL universe in a mod’s sequel/remake if I bought up a HL2 mod team who have a mod set in the HL universe. Food for thought.

    • Lemming says:

      “The First Dota’s story line took part in the Warcraft universe if I remember correctly”

      You do, because DOTA stands for Defence of the Ancients. The Ancients being part of Warcraft lore.

    • Merus says:

      I’m more disappointed that Valve didn’t take the time to evolve the character designs. Blizzard’s art style has been kind of stuck in a rut lately, and I’d love to see Valve take it in a different direction. Specifically, I think I’d like to see the female characters without fantasy corsets.

    • Erd says:

      There was also a corrupted grom hellscream orc, the elf sorceress model and the naga flying creature, all looking like a HD warcraft 3 remake. It feels… creatively bankrupt.

    • Grygus says:

      Hi I can’t post in the right thread.

    • zeroskill says:

      Isnt it kind of obvious it looks like Warcraft since its a remake of Warcraft mod? Dum dum dum.

    • Koozer says:

      Well it’s like if Valve made Narbacular Drop 2 instead of Portal.

    • Ovno says:

      removed after slap down by kg

      also in wrong reply thread….

    • MadTinkerer says:

      “The DOTA creators did not design the characters of DOTA 1, Blizzard Games Workshop did.”


    • zeroskill says:

      @Koozer : Just that Narbacular Drop didnt have a 10 million strong player base you can easily piss off by changing the art direction…

    • Stevostin says:

      Actually I’d be really surprised if they’re is no heavy action in court about this. Unless there already is a form of settlement with Blizzard getting some royalties. Because I really can’t see how you could deny Valve will be making money with character designed by Blizz – and by designed, I mean something straighter than the “heavy inspiration” ala Blizzard with Games Workshop. I mean, it’s not like Warcraft was originally a licensed adaptation of Warhammer. Dota has its lore coming from Warcraft OTOH. If I get anything about IP and brand’s legality, Valve shall pay something.

    • 1R0N_W00K13 says:

      Of all developers, Blizzard can’t really complain about copying other people’s intellectual property.

      Ooh, I went there.

      EDIT: Stevostin, I was under the impression Warcraft was intended to be a licensed Warhammer game but Blizzard couldn’t afford the royalty fee from GW, so took their assets and made their own game from it.

    • Yosharian says:

      @1R0N_W00K13 Haha, indeed!

    • Brise Bonbons says:

      I agree with TrigonometryHappy’s point; it strikes me as slightly unethical – but mostly lazy – that the DotA 2 devs didn’t differentiate the character models and animations a bit more.

      More than that, however, I worry what this says about the vision that Icefrog and the other leads have for the game. It strikes me that some director-type had to tell the artists to specifically copy the appearance of pre-existing War3 models, while being different enough to avoid lawsuit. The mere fact that no one in a position to guide development had any desire to take this full-scale dev team and create something visually unique or new with it really worries me.

      Now, I’m all for games being true to their roots and all, but this strikes me as either inconceivable laziness – no one even thought to try new designs – or misguided conceit – that DotA was somehow immaculate in its form, and there is no way to improve on or evolve that form, even down to the models borrowed from another game out of ease/necessity.

      Maybe they feel that the heroes have to retain the exact same size and animation set for the sake of collision and attack timing? I suppose that’s possible, but again, wouldn’t it be a more interesting challenge all around to make a new set of heroes?

      I guess I just don’t understand these games. :)

  10. mkultra says:

    As with all trailers within the previous three years, I am totally underwhelmed.

    • skinlo says:

      Maybe you expect too much then.

    • JackShandy says:

      So that goes for Dead Island, the Deus ex 3 Sarif and Purity First trailers, and Meet the Medic?

      Jesus, dude. Maybe you should stop interneting.

    • Stupoider says:

      DAMN my opinions affecting my IQ, I need to get that sorted, right?

    • Grygus says:

      Or it could be that you are unaware what “opinion” means. If the only way you can respect the thoughts of another is for them to think exactly like you, there is ignorance involved, not stupidity, and the ignorance is your own.

      I’ll also point out that if you haven’t liked any trailer in the last two years and yet you still watch them, even when the accompanying article says that the trailer is typical, then you are far too slow a learner to call anyone else an idiot.

    • Wulf says:

      Heh. What a one-dimensional view of the world. It’s surprising how equal people are but to understand that you need to first understand that humans specialise as much as insects. Now, consider, on one hand you might have an artist able to paint the most breathtaking fantasy scenes one might ever see, that would take the imagination, the mind encasing that imagination, ensnare and enthrall it, and carry it far away to a place that could never exist. But that artist might be more than a bit of an idiot with the physical sciences.

      So, if that person were to say something that a scientist saw as stupid, would that mean that that person had no worth? And likewise, if the scientist attempted his hand at the arts and failed miserably, ending up with nothing better than stickmen, does it mean that the scientist has no worth? Everyone specialises, and there is worth to every person once they understand their specialisation. I frankly don’t believe in idiocy and I think that ‘idiot’ is a far worse cuss than anything you might find rude, negativeedge.

      I don’t believe that there can be instances of lesser intelligence, only of a lack of education. But in regards to opinions, there can only be different opinions, and I’m sorry to tell you but yes, everyone is entitled to have a valid opinion, even if it’s wrong to someone else. And to be honest, calling someone an idiot for thinking differently just shows a lack of perspectives, and an inclination toward limited thinking on your part. You aren’t stupid, negativeedge, I don’t believe in stupidity, but I do think that you could use a few experiences to educate you and broaden your perspectives.

    • negativedge says:

      and you’ll note that my comment was simply the inverse of jack’s. but jack thinks himself above this sort of thing because his emphasized the positive (like what I like!) whereas mine the negative (dislike what I dislike!). he is being 100% as exclusive as I am. he just doesn’t think he is, because his comment accords to his tastes–and his tastes can’t be wrong. because they are his.

      the difference between he and I, of course, is two-fold:

      1. I harbor no pretense that my “argument” is any better than his.

      2. I’m actually right lol (provided you interpret “idiot” as “someone whose words and beliefs in this field should not be considered”)

    • negativedge says:

      the only way to use a word is a way that adheres exactly to what (one) dictionary defines it as.

      shoot all the poets.

      but to amuse you, here’s a lesson in Advanced Inference: should one “whose opinion should not be considered in the slightest” offer his opinion anyway, and then not only offer it, but present it as a definitive argument in favor of his conclusion (here: dead island has a great trailer, ergo not all trailers from the last three years (or whatever) suck, with the implied “and if you don’t agree with that, you are a bit of a nob”), he would certainly be considered “utterly foolish.” for either he would not care that his opinion was utterly void, making him a true idiot (“my opinion is void, but here I offer my opinion as proof of my argument”), or else he does not even know that the opinion he is offering is void, which would truly make him foolish.

      please make the expected counter to this. I promise you will learn something in the process!

    • Ovno says:

      Sorry KG happy if you want to remove it.


      Poetry and a comments thread are two very different things…
      And yes the correct way to use a word is in the way in which most others understand it as defined strangely enough by the dictionary.

    • negativedge says:

      “So because you feel I was insinuating that anyone who disliked Dead Island was an idiot, you were justified in calling anyone who liked it an idiot.

      Let me clear up the victory conditions here; now that you’ve gotten three other people to respond against you, how close are you to winning?”

      oooh, jack has returned!

      I didn’t “feel” anything. Your argument itself is so completely anemic that it was patently obvious that I could invert it and draw your ire (which is useful). You could have used the same argument to imply that the guy you were responding to was a saint, an alien, a republican, or the king of the world and it would be just the same. The point: your post was fucking idiotic, and now you might even know why. Which, in the future, might prevent you from responding to posts like the one you original responded to in the manner you did, thus drawing us all down into that muck. I want to help you, really.


      (notice: not a single soul gives one third of a flying fuck why I might think the dead island trailer is idiotic, or why you might not. that should set off alarm bells regarding the quality of the discourse you promoted).

      But in all likelihood you will continue to promote the self-affirming fallacy that I am the troll, while you were merely fighting off rampant cynicism with a much needed dose of level headed enthusiasm as to the State of Video Game Trailers. That you are eager to undermine my posts by pinning me as needing to win says all that needs to be said. Who needs to be right when I just came here to affirm and promote my Gaming Identity, bro? I won’t apologize for being abrasive (neither will you), because you and I both know you’d never have read or responded to anything after your post that wasn’t.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      To remind everyone, negativedge is a self-confessed troll. Leave it.


  11. noexes says:

    The thing that it reminds me the most of is an obscure JRPG from Atlus named Digital Devil Saga, in that it doesn’t hide its simple geometry and has a taste for the outlandish.

    • Hindenburg says:

      Aside from the little cannibal savage hero, I can’t really see it. Whiiich is kinda nice, given that any memory of Seraph should by fire be purged.

  12. Velvetmeds says:

    Looks pretty bad

  13. Froibo says:

    Huh.. I didn’t know DOTA2 was a spin off of Aladdin.

  14. Acefrog says:

    I dont get why they are remaking the same heroes as the orginal, even though it is the sequel to DOTA cant they come up with some new orginal heroes to play and advertise rather than the same old ones we have been playing for years in the orginal DOTA mod?
    This is what put me off HoN and why I prefer LoL, it was just an exact clone of DOTA whereas LoL came up with there own orginal heroes.

    Why would I want to play the exact same game with improved graphics.

    • skinlo says:

      Why wouldn’t you? Its got improved graphics, and if its free to play, there are no downsides.

    • DrGonzo says:

      That’s why he wouldn’t, exactly what you just said. He pretty clearly explained that in his comment.

    • Froibo says:

      Because DOTA still has the better mechanics?

    • Acefrog says:

      Actually the only mechanic I miss from the orginal DOTA is denying, most of the other stuff missing from LoL were just more of an annoyance than anything.

    • skinlo says:

      No, he’s explained in his post why he would. If its exactly the same game just prettier, why wouldn’t you upgrade? Its like the same model car, just one with a bigger engine for not added cost, same fuel economy, safety etc. There are no down sides.

    • Aforis says:

      Well,its an old recipe that works, an example would be counter-strike and counter-strike source.
      Both the same game and both still popular even after that much years.

    • negativedge says:

      it could be possible that some people don’t want to play the same game for the rest of their lives until the day they die

      or, possibly, that resources dedicated to marginal upgrades of existing, popular content feel like resources wasted. DOTA 2 combined with CS: GO look like a concerted effort by Valve to move to a business model that really benefits exactly zero gamers. blizzard made wow, and suddenly making one game sold to a player base one time was no longer an acceptable revenue stream; valve made steam and then noticed that people were actually dumb enough to pay them for hats in an FPS, and all of a sudden releasing one game sold to a player base one time seems to no longer be an acceptable revenue stream. it should be pretty obvious that valve is now very interested in iterative tweaks of established gaming modes sold in a way that promotes a sustainable income over a long period of time. great for their bottom line, I’m sure (and good for gamers in the sense that steam in general has been a boon to gamers), but not too exciting for those interested in game design in the way that valve was interested in game design.

      surely the BUT PORTAL 2 CAME OUT THIS YEAR YOU DUMMY crowd is going to show up, so we’ll do this: Valve themselves said Portal 2 might be their last single player game, only to retract that statement when the internet went nuts (and Portal 2 was a little tepid anyway). I’m sure we’ll get a Half Life 3 eventually, but it’s on the back burner for a reason. And Left 4 Dead, while multiplayer, was certainly inventive, but it should be pretty obvious by now where Valve’s attentions are focused. New L4D content is pretty sparse because it is free; new TF2 content shows up all the time, precisely because you can pay for it. What would you do if you were a video game company: produce new levels, game modes, and other things that take work for free, or slap a new texture on the universal Hat Model and tweak some stats on the Rocket Launcher Model and then charge for them?

      But hey, if you’re super interested in new coats of paint every few years, continue being interested. I’m sure Valve will be happy to throw in six different TF2 hats when you subscribe to their DOTA and CS Premium Zone content

    • JackShandy says:

      Iterative game design is the bomb.

    • Pliqu3011 says:

      Your comment is one pile of steaming BS.
      “appealing to 0 people”:
      I know lots of people who are avid fans of these series and would love to see just a HD remake. Unless you are all people on the earth I say “adult male of the species Bos Taurus’ excrement!”.
      What’s wrong with a business model that works. If people want to pay for a hat (I have never done so btw), does that make them idiots? No they just don’t want to play for ages to differentiate themselves from the rest.
      “game design yaddayadda”:
      Oh, so because Valve is making two “HD remakes” (which we can’t tell because we haven’t seen it yet) right now, they are never going to innovate again. Nice reasoning there.
      “P2 last singleplayer”:
      NO, they cleared up that misunderstanding ages ago. What they did say is that from now on every game they make will at least have a co-op/multiplayer element.
      “more about hats n stuffs”: Do your really think it takes a whole gaming studio to make friggin’ hats? This is a way they make money, and it has proven to be a good one, so what’s the problem? One or two guys are making hats. AND THE REST IS DOING SOMETHING ELSE.
      AAAaarggh, arguing on the interwebs!1!!

    • Yosharian says:

      Because it’s one of the best games I’ve ever played?

    • Xan says:

      HoN currently has : 37 unique heroes (4-5 being drastic changes from DotA heroes rest unique) out of 84. I wouldn’t call that bad.

      On the other hand LoL recently made Monkey King which is one of their most bland (ability synergy and mechanics wise) heroes, Yorick was awesome, need more like him. Skarner is cool too.

    • negativedge says:

      all of these games need less, not more. who the hell needs 100 characters? who is getting anything from that? make far, far less and then balance them better and give them more things to do. LoL is kind of fun but I’ll never do much with it because I have no desire to put in the hours and hours and hours of time necessary to even recognize all of the characters, much less know anything useful about them.

    • negativedge says:

      then again, the free to play model means that this would never happen. why make less characters when you can make more and more and more until the end of time, collecting gobs of money for each one? it’s a clear example of the business model directly hurting the game.

    • Xan says:

      Yeah I’d agree with make less.

      Now that HoN went free to play they are pushing out two heroes every two weeks :/ So a hero per week.

      Now both LoL and HoN want you to pay to play, because you’re gonna need some of the new heroes released.

  15. Derpentine says:

    Well, that was a bit of a underwhelming first trailer… but then again, Valve have got stuck in their own tryhard world now ;/

  16. Dana says:

    Source has still best facial animation out there, after all these years. screw la noire.

    • somnolentsurfer says:

      Yes. I don’t own the consoletoys, but Source somehow still produces believable characters, where everyone else falls into the uncanny valley.

    • Lemming says:

      Um, isn’t it good artists and Maya doing that? I don’t think it’s got much to do with Source.

    • Kryopsis says:

      Nothing to do with Source.

    • Dana says:

      Its all rendered on the engine.

    • Ovno says:

      Actually source has a full facial animation system built into it, they even got scientists involved and modelled the effects of facial musculature if I remember rightly.

      In fact its so good they had to give the G-Man a weird muscle structure to make his weird alien face look.

  17. Xander77 says:

    Weird disclaimer that I feel obligated to toss in – I still have no idea what DOTA is, nor am I that interested in finding out. So, no agenda.

    That said, this is the third or fourth time people have linked the trailer at me with “man, this is so cool” in commentary, and I have to note that this is really bland generic fantasy shit, as far as trailers go. And not only that, it’s weirdly subdued. If you’re going with generic fantasy shit, you may as well play it up for drama and be really overblown about it (Skyrim style). The first part of the trailer, with all the arrowing that lacks blood, or “snickety” sound effects, or any sense of fight choreography / danger really encapsulates the lack of effort or direction in the trailer.

    So yeah, if you thought this trailer rocked, the trailers for Skyrim or the star wars MMO must have literally blown your mind, aneurism and all.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      I have to agree. Bland is the word. It feels like a second-rate Blizzard ripoff. Not as in badly executed, but just out of ideas. Competent, yes, but not inspired.

    • johnpeat says:

      it’s CGI – it tells you almost nothing about the game itself – why the drama?

    • Atomosk says:

      DOTA is multiplayer action RPG. Exactly the same as League of Legends and Bloodline champions as far as I can tell. They’re more like extremely competitive wanna be sports then roleplaying games like Skyrim. I’ve never been able to get into games like this because everyone I know that plays them tend to be egocentric “pwn all the noobs, I win the internet” types. Awesome animation though.

    • Boozebeard says:

      bloodline champions is really nothing like dota/lol/hon.

    • Rii says:

      I’m not sure if ‘bland’ is the right word for what I saw, but it was certainly clumsy; so much movement lacking entirely in both choreography and any sense of physicality. It’s like the characters are made of air and pillows. So yeah: not exactly a memorable trailer.

    • Newblade says:

      Animation in the archer sequence does not convey much sense of physicality but I found the rest fine.

    • Premium User Badge

      Gassalasca says:

      I’ll agree as well. Bland, underwhelming, uninspiring.

      But I bet the game will be of Valve grade quality.

    • Yosharian says:

      Who cares about the flipping video, DotA 2 is coming!

  18. johnpeat says:

    No comments on the fact that it’s being front by a SHOPkeeper who’s clearly offering ‘pay to win’ stuff then? :)

    Hey ho – just me thinking like that – phew…

    • sleepysalt says:

      All the major Dota games have a shop where you buy items using gold earned during that round. How you earn gold and choose which items to buy is an important part of the strategy.

    • Yosharian says:

      No no no no do NOT go there! You’ll give them ideas!

  19. Adekan says:

    Gabe’s lost some weight.

  20. Anton says:

    LAN please!

    I feel for people not feeling the online-dota-scene for not being friendly to those who just want to play. I usually don’t play online without my dota friends. Stepping laterally, to me, a way to solve all this problems is to have a LAN component! Basically a way to play your own way, without the pressures of online play.

  21. fishdinner says:

    It would have been better if it had ended:

    “What does a hero need?”
    “.. GOLD”

    • Ultra Superior says:

      +1 LOL

    • Catalept says:

      -1 LOL
      +1 Insightful.
      Because really, that’s the first thing you need to know about DOTA-clones. As it stands, if you play DOTA-clones, that trailer tells you absolutely nothing about why you should switch to Valve’s… quite the opposite, in fact. If you don’t, that trailer tells you that the game involves something to with chicks, fireballs and sweaty meatbags with giant metal whack-sticks. Is it the ‘hunting’ part of a low-fantasy taxidermy simulator? We’ll never know.
      … by the way, why are the DOTAs so keen on a fantasy setting? If someone ever made a DOTA-clone set in the WH40K universe, I’d give them many, many pennies. Just putting that out there.

    • Ultra Superior says:

      -1 Insightful
      +1 Boring

    • The Sentinel says:

      -1 Ultra
      -1 Superior

    • Ultra Superior says:

      +1 LOL
      -5 Sentinel

  22. Stupoider says:

    I chuckled at Russian folklore animation and tried to mentally visualise such a thing, maybe I’ve been under my rock too long. Parts of it, particularly some stills of Bloodseeker, struck me as claymation-y, which I can dig.

  23. Ultra Superior says:

    Choose warrior ! Speeeeed ?! Streeength?! Maaaagic ?!

    Wow I am amazed! Such a fine selection of neverseenbefore fantasy treats! Worth making trailer for undoubtedly.

  24. Ultra Superior says:

    Would you be swift? Then for you I have shoes beyond measure!

  25. CaspianRoach says:

    I can’t see the difference between Valve and Blizzard anymore.

    • Aforis says:

      Just open your eyes.

    • Tei says:

      Valve seems to make more games and change topic/gameplay often (zombies, rogue AI’s, scientist…). Valve take indie, new devs and modders and turn then into products that are worth buy.

      Blizzard is making a few games about the Warcraft 1 universe. Seems to ignore the modding scene potential to create new products (not his style, but DOTA will force then to stop ignoring it).

      Valve would have hired the DOTA team very early, and created a DOTA game very early. Is his style.

      Anyway Blizzard style seems to work for Blizzard and Valve style work for Valve.

      I hope nothing serius happend, but Is a very complicate situation, that directly break on the main rules, the NO NO number #3: Don’t mod in game of company A, something from game company B. I hope if Blizzard and Valve are negotiating this, is never made public. Whatever is the result, it probably will be full of disgusting details.

  26. shoptroll says:

    Slick video.

    However, I’m a bit worried they’re baiting a lawsuit from Blizzard with the character designs. I know they’re probably trying to keep things familiar for DOTA players, but a bunch of the hero designs are still really really close to their original Warcraft III models/designs.

    Like… “Oh look, there’s that hydralisk model from that easter egg” or “there’s a pandaren brewmaster”, or “hey that’s a night elf ranger”.

    Granted we haven’t seen any in-game footage yet, but based on this teaser video, there’s definitely enough there to make one stroke their chin and go “hmmmmm” in regards to how much of the character design they’re lifting right from Blizzard.

    I love Blizzard and Valve, and this is not a fight I want to see happen as we gamers always lose in the process. Hopefully they can hug it out.

  27. MuscleHorse says:

    I’m with John on not being especially interested in the game but enjoying the cartoon’s (for that is what it is, not a trailer) animation and style, even if it does just boil down to ‘You will be able to pick rogues, warriors and mages!’

  28. SprintJack says:

    Wow, RPS has the best “unavailable” screen ever!

  29. Hakkesshu says:

    Don’t listen to this guy! He wants you to pay with real money!

  30. D4t4v4mP says:

    Is it just me or does he look like he came out of an Aphex Twin video?

  31. Very Real Talker says:

    I am a Valve fan but neutral to the Dota franchise, and I have to say that this trailer was ugly, or at least completely uninteresting.

    Original or interesting art style: nope.avi
    Interesting character: no
    Interesting or well done action sequences: no
    exaggerated unrealistic animations: yep

    This is the ugliest video produced by valve until now

  32. Okami says:

    What does a Hero need?

    A large selection of hats, obviously!

  33. Nallen says:

    Valves unique style blah-de-blah. It’s Blizzard animation stuck through a Valve rendering pipe. I mean it has qualities of the L4D intro in the way it looks. I couldn’t really say if they want that to be a ‘style’.

    I watched some Pro LoL last night, looked like a frikkin WoW deathmatch, no thanks.

  34. RF says:

    Is it just me, or does the shopkeeper look a lot like Bobby Kotick?

  35. PatrickSwayze says:

    Everybody can see the shop keeper looks like Bobby Kotick, right?

  36. Muzman says:

    Like Demigod, I don’t really understand why strategy games sell themselves on exciting unit to unit action when you never really get to do any of that (I assume that’s still the case with this one, but I guess we don’t know).

  37. inertia says:

    The shopkeeper looks like Gaben.

  38. zoombapup says:

    I loved this line “What does a hero truly need?” near the end. I immediately thought “hats” :)

    Yep. This is going to be a customisation hatfest soon enough. Probably do really well with the hardcore but not my kind of thing (tried some of the dota games but honestly didnt get along with the strategy involved). Same with Monday Night Combat truth be told. I just dont really get along with the NPC+player combat thing when the NPC’s are just chaff.

    I’m too much of a carebear I guess.

  39. Danny says:

    What makes me a good shopkeeper? If I were a bad shopkeeper I wouldn’t be SITTING HERE DISCUSSING IT WITH YOU NOW, WOULD I?

  40. mechchimp says:

    After the whole economic-gaming news we had to withstand as of late (e.g.: EVE monocles, DIII real-money auction house, various online passes/tickets, etc.) I find very fitting that the main character of the first DOTA2 trailer is a shopkeeper.

    A merchant directly addressing us.
    A shopkeeper whose obvious job is to sell stuff.

  41. Koozer says:

    I sincerely hope this game has hats.

  42. Skystrider says:

    Wow. I have to remind myself this is a Valve game. Totally unlike anything they have done before.

    I’m interested if it got a single-player mode.

  43. Inigo says:

    I haven’t been wholly impressed with the DOTA 2 screenshots. So far it’s just been “Oh look it’s that Warcraft 3 mod only now it’s been remade in Torchlight with more anti-aliasing how about that”.

  44. Nallen says:

    Also, needs a ‘Staring Nose’ tag.

  45. fenriz says:

    oh lovely i wasn’t tired about fantasy, WoW, moving numbers to optmize quickbar skills, and deathmatches at all.
    Thank you for this!
    Can i get impaled? Plz plz plz

    • Thants says:

      Quick, someone tell Valve that fenriz isn’t interested. I’m sure they’ll shut this down at once.

  46. Noodle says:

    Nowhere in this trailer, nor the post, nor any of the comments can I find what DOTA stands for. Is this really so superfluous?

    • InternetBatman says:

      Defense of the Ancients. It’s the original mod’s name.

    • cosmicolor says:

      It stands for defense of the ancients.

      edit: and beaten.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      Well, the game is actually called “Dota 2” not “Defense of the Ancients 2,” possibly due to some legal skullfuckery on Valve’s part.

  47. Scandalon says:

    Forget what he looks like, is no-one else hearing The Heavy talking about shop items?

  48. Bilbo says:

    “Some will suggest it looks more like WoW’s animation style, but I’m going to take a stand against that. Sure, I can see the similarities, but that shopekeeper is something completely other, as is so much going on in there.”

    The stuff that doesn’t look like WoW looks like Starcraft. Your idea of “Valve’s unique style” is bogus.

  49. DOLBYdigital says:

    Damn you Valve!! Why must you be so good at this stuff…. I have had a mixed reaction to the moba game style… I liked Demigod (mainly for the rook) and thought LoL was okay. However I agree that I just don’t have the dedication to play these games for long enough to get good. I tend to jump all over different platforms and game types.