We live in strange times. Food chains are trying to poison us, we can probably save lives by putting heads on dead people’s bodies, and games can corral a million-gajillion players without ever being “released”. Madness. Nothing makes sense anymore. Civilization has been replaced by a steaming crater of contradiction. And while those first two things have much further-reaching, highly disturbing implications, this is a videogame site so let’s talk about the last one. DOTA 2‘s beta ran for two years. During that time, it dominated all lanes of Steam’s most-played list because people like MOBAs a little bit maybe. But now – finally, amazingly – Valve Time has aligned with Real Time for a brief, shining moment. DOTA 2 is out. Oh, but you might still have to wait if you want to actually play. Why? Because – as I said earlier – nothing makes sense anymore.
Valve explained its rather atypical approach to shoving this behemoth of a game out the door in a celebratory launch update:
“The launch of Dota 2 is going to take on a different shape than products we’ve shipped in the past. Our thinking is that we want the existing audience to have uninterrupted access during the launch, in addition to bringing new players into Dota 2 in a way that isn’t frustrating. Simply put, we want to smooth out the traditional launch spike, but at the same time allow anyone to come in and try out Dota 2.”
“If you want to give Dota a try, or you have a friend you want to bring into the community, click the button and you can get in the launch queue. You’ll see your place in line, and when it is your turn we’ll send you an email letting you know you’re in. We’ll begin sending those emails this week.”
Valve claims the process is different from early access in that there’ll be no limits except for what its server infrastructure allows. The second there’s enough space, they’ll squeeze you in. The current setup can host roughly 450,000 players concurrently, but even that might not suffice. Why? Because the total player count is apparently twelve times that.
So yes, DOTA 2 is out, but it might be a little while before everything’s running full steam ahead. But hey, at least the tutorial‘s, um, slightly more existent now. That’s presumably helpful – though I don’t think it’s actually possible to design a MOBA tutorial that does anything other than balance precariously on the tip of the iceberg.
All that said, who’s thinking of making this their first MOBA experience? I mean, LoL is generally considered more newbie friendly, but Valve’s certainly trying.
(P.S. VALVE LAUNCHED A VIDEOGAME. HALF-LIFE 3, 4, 5, 6, AND 12 CONFIRMED FOR YESTERDAY. DOTA 3 CONFIRMED FOR NEVER.)