Bloody Wonderful: DOTA 2 Getting LAN Support, GLaDOS

It's like they say: you can't squeeze blood from a stone. You have to use a really, really big axe.

You might remember that DOTA 2 officially launched not too long ago. This may in part be due to the fact that it’s one of the biggest PC games ever, making it difficult to forget about in the same way that a herd of rhinoceroses just kind of hanging out in your living room would at least spend a fair amount of time in your peripheral vision. It is, of course, already quite good, but Valve plans to continue updating it until the Earth molts away its wriggly organic shell, leaving behind naught but dust and roaches. The first step in that process? A (very) soon-to-be-launched update fittingly titled First Blood. It includes LAN play! Also lots of other things, including Portal’s own wise-cracking cracker of psyches GLaDOS as an announcer. Details below.

The update’s gleaming core is held up by three pillars: LAN play, a Captain’s Draft mode in which teams take turns choosing from a pool of randomly selected heroes, and an improved armory with custom filters for things like item type, quality, and rarity.

Meanwhile, the DOTA 2 store will be bolstered by the addition of a Portal pack – which includes GLaDOS as an announcer, Aperture Science Wardcores, and a Portal-themed HUD skin – and various new items (for instance, weapons, masks, and hairstyles) from the community.

So it’s not the biggest update ever, but it’s a solid start. And honestly, who doesn’t appreciate the option to play over a connection that lives in your house’s most secret spaces during these brutal, LAN-less times? I have no reason to use it right now, but I’m very, very glad that it’s at least there.

First Blood will be available on September 23rd, which will be yesterday in only a few days. You will be a few steps closer to your inevitable end, yes, but at least you’ll have some cool new stuff for your videogame. Take solace in that, and then be nice to someone who gravely insults your playstyle/parentage/choice of MOBA (I personally and respectfully prefer LoL, you, um, dooty… faces).


  1. HexagonalBolts says:

    As in, my internet is shockingly bad here but I dearly miss DOTA, so could I play singleplayer against bots in LAN mode without connectivity issues?

    • Artiforg says:

      Yes. “Practice with bots” is played locally but you can’t control the level of bots on your team. Using Create Local Lobby is a bit weird with bots. If you create a lobby and assign the bots manually without selecting “Fill empty slots with bots” then when you start the game you’ll be on your own. If you select “Fill empty slots with bots” and configure the bots manually then the bots will spawn on game start and will be the level that you picked.

      • tanner03 says:

        my roomate’s half-sister makes $61 every hour on the computer. She has been out of a job for 6 months but last month her payment was $17179 just working on the computer for a few hours. Learn More
        >————–> link to

    • LionsPhil says:

      Edit: I did miss “in LAN mode”; the below predates that.

      Not when it was in beta. This is one of the things that put me off it—I was into a long, slogging battle of learning what-the-fuck, finally getting the upper hand, and then one connectivity blip dropped me back to the menu with a “lost connection”.

  2. Horg says:

    LAN mode is in, but fountain hooks are nerfed out. Valve giveth, and Valve taketh away : (

    • Ruffian says:

      awww for reals? that makes me sad. Guess it makes sense to a degree though, what with pudge being denied a blink and jazz.

      • SkittleDiddler says:

        It’s like you guys are talking in a foreign language.

        • jrodman says:

          Я відчуваю, що Blink Dagger дійсно високої кваліфікації контрольні для Pudge. Будь-яка людина може налякати людей в Laning фазі, а той, хто може використовувати утиліту елементів йти “ganking” в середині гри вражає мене.

  3. Psychopomp says:

    “Wecome to Dota. It’s like chess..for idiots.”

    • vivlo says:

      5v5, real time chess. For people actually able to remember a lot more rules than chess.
      Come on, that basic stupid dota-moba hate is becoming old. It’s understandable to not like that kind of game, but if so just move on, stop focusing on irrational bad feelings.

      • misterT0AST says:

        Ehm… he is quoting a line the Glad0s announcer pack says.
        So yeah.

      • zin33 says:

        id be more interested if the game had 1v1
        playing with randoms against randoms is just… i just cant see the point to that

        • jon_hill987 says:

          It does. You can turn off the two outer lanes and play mid 1v1. The win conditions are the other player typing “GG” which should be agreed to happen after first to two towers or first to two kills whichever comes sooner.

          • jrodman says:

            I’m curious, why those win conditions?
            Also does this feel satisfying as compared to botvbot games?

          • vivlo says:

            those win conditions because it means that the other player is too much behind, at that point, to be possibley ever doing a comeback ; and going from that point to destroying the Nexus, with only 1 player in each team and one lane of creep, would take forever.

            Never tried this nor botvbot so can’t say. It’s really a duel, you fight hard for each last hit/deny… and must brain your opponent, luring him with well timed jumping/retreats, it’s quite intense.

          • jon_hill987 says:

            Yeah, it is basically to stop it going on forever when one person is inevitably going to win, but take another 30min to do so.

          • jrodman says:

            so 2 kills to 1 is inevitable? Or it’s usually 2-0?

          • jon_hill987 says:

            It might not be completely inevitable 2-1, but that is just the rules that have seemed to work. Also, forgot to mention that it is normal to be a mirror match with both sides of the 1v1 picking the same hero.

  4. boe2 says:

    I’m still convinced they are either faking stats on DOTA2 or the stats are just plain wrong. I know plenty of people that tried DOTA2 using one of the gazillion invites sent out. I know NOBODY that actually enjoyed it.

    • HadToLogin says:

      Judging by my Steam Friends, you either play Valve Free-2-Play games, or you play other-games. I’ve got one Team Fortress 2 dude (and he also buy every preorder that has TF2 items…) and one DOTA2 player and you can’t see them playing any other game. Rest from my 100 friends never start neither of them (well, maybe outside of events).
      So those stats actually might be right and you don’t know anyone playing Dota because you’re not playing Dota.

      • vivlo says:

        taht’s more like it… personnally, i play dota a lot, so do nearly all of my steam friends – heck, it’s how i got to know most of those. And i rarely play any other game (although i happen to, but not a lot really), because, well… Dota.

    • Jools says:

      You know the original DotA, which is effectively the same game as DotA 2, was pretty much one of the most popular PC games of all times, right? DotA 2’s learning curve is like a brick wall that spits in your face and insults your mother when you try to climb over it, but it’s a very good game with an absolutely huge fanbase. If anything, the Steam stats are shocking for how low they are.

    • Ysellian says:

      It’s very hard to get into Dota2 on your own. You either get into the game as a group or you will have a tough time getting into it. I have sent out half a dozen keys myself and all of us tried it for a couple games and just quit, which is a shame because it is definitely a great game.

      • subedii says:

        You know, I used to think DOTA’s supposed to be an impenetrable game to get into, but after playing it, actually completing the tutorials and then going online, I can’t say I feel that way anymore.

        What DOTA has is a ridiculous amount of stuff you can learn about as you get deeper into the game, but that doesn’t really matter for a beginner. You just need to play with other people of around the same skill level to start learning and having fun, and the matchmaking system is actually pretty decent at that.

        There’s a really good quote from Erik Johnson that I felt sums it up nicely (bold is mine):

        link to

        IGN: On a broader note, you’re obviously trying to make things easier for newcomers to the game, with tutorials and training missions and things. Given the very steep learning curve, how far are you going to go with those?

        Erik Johnson: There’s kinda two parts to that; the learning curve of Dota, I don’t think it’s steep. I think it’s infinite, and if you look at the bottom end of learning, and at the stage of the International, the distance between those two is roughly the distance from here to the sun – it’s immense. We do look a lot at the attachment point; like how much Dota do you need to play to really want to invest your time – turns out it’s about five games.

        And it’s the notion of depth, the game telling you; as much as you want to invest, we’ll reward you back for your knowledge and your skill, and stuff like that. But the entertainment exists at every level of play – from our finance department at Valve, they all play Dota together, to you know, Alliance, who just won the best-of-three against DK. People have fun at all of those levels. The trick for us is to kind of show people the mountain, and that they’ll have a bunch of fun at every point that they climb up it. The International is this incredible spike, where all players that aren’t in the tournament – including me – we watch this event and go ‘Well I never really thought of doing that,’ and you get a big spike to your knowledge of the game, and that’s fun – I don’t feel like a worse player because I hadn’t thought of that, I think ‘Oh, that’s clever.’

        The hardest thing is probably the community, but fortunately whilst I’ve seen angst, it hasn’t been overpowering. Not any more than what I’ve seen in other games anyway (or maybe I’m just suffering for the fact that I used to see a tonne more rage in DoW 2 multi, which was all the more frustrating since there’s no way to safely leave a game without being penalised on record, even if others already have. There was concede, but it was always hit and miss whether you’d be able to. Typically if you were in with new players they never wanted to, whilst continually losing whole squads).

        I suspect that since the report system was put in, the community has improved.

        • Vandelay says:

          It is true that the game is no where near as complex to get into as some seem to think. The basic idea of pushing up a lane, killing enemy creeps to help your creeps push further, destroying towers and killing enemy heroes are all fairly easy to grasp. Even ideas such as last hitting to gain more money is something that you only need to hear about once. It does baffle me slightly hearing that people can’t understand the mechanics of games like DOTA, when there really isn’t that much to get a hold of and it isn’t that much more complex then your standard RTS game. Five games definitely sounds like plenty of time to get to grips with the simple objectives, although most of that is due to time it takes you to figure out the nonsensical UI.

          The complexity does come from the large number of heroes and the selection of items you can equip those heroes with. Valve have made this much simpler though, with modes that limit hero selection and item guides. Just stick with those will get you through, until you know the role that each item fills.

          • subedii says:

            Single Draft is probably the best way to learn. Don’t pick your own heroes, just jump in an experiment with them (use the recommended items until you know what you’re after). And don’t be afraid of losing as a result.

            I suspect that’s one of the key factors in why it’s always decried as “impenetrable”, the fact that you’ll lose plenty. In most online FPS’s it’s very easy to fob off a loss as being a result of your team mates, or simply the “chaos” of online. In a game with only 5 team members though and In RTS’s and MOBA’s (or whatever you care to call them), where every death counts, it’s far less easy to do. There’s not as much of a safe buffer between your actions and an eventual win or loss, and it can often feel more personal.

            Anyone who’s played a lot of online RTS’s always has to start off getting over that initial hump, that frustration of losing. Technically most online games are about one team winning and the other losing, but personally I’ve found that it feels far more acute in RTS’s than FPS’s, and that matches with MOBA’s as well.

          • Vandelay says:

            Very true. FPS games are also much more likely to have mini-successes; make a run of kills, cap that point, planting the bomb. With DOTA, when you are losing and don’t really know what you are doing, you normally lose badly. Although comebacks are possible (as the obsessive fans will constantly shout about at the merest mention of a surrender button/surrender vote,) they are rare outside of organised games and the lose will normally be accompanied by hopelessness.

          • subedii says:

            I think you’re right in the “don’t really know what you’re doing” department.

            In RTS’s, and MOBA’s, it’s very easy to lose without knowing why you lost. And until you learn to look back at how the enemy played, what they did, and look introspectively at what you did, you’re not going to be able to learn from your mistakes.

            Failure is often the greatest teacher, but that’s only if first you’re willing to accept that failing was your own fault, and second that you’re able to analyse and interpret what went wrong where.

            It’s like in Starcraft where a novice player will be tootling along and all of a sudden find an army twice his own in size knocking at his front door. He doesn’t necessarily understand how and why that happened. As far as he’s concerned, he was doing everything as fast and efficiently as the game would let him. In his eyes it’s very easy to think that either the game is broken, the other player is “cheesing” somehow. It’s very easy to blame the units, side, or tactics he was using as “OP” instead. And if you think along those lines, the game becomes extremely frustrating. Why should you trust playing a game that’s so broken?

            Similar in DOTA. People will complain about heroes like Riki or Drow Ranger or Sniper as OP (there’s almost ALWAYS a Sniper in games with beginners. Those players dominate early games and then have no idea why their same tactics have less and less effect as they go up in matchmaking). It’s not because they are, but because players don’t know how to handle them, and the wider meta-game.

            It’s easy for two players to look at the same replay and see completely different things. Someone not trying to analyse will see it as a string of isolated incidents (this happened, then this happened, then this happened). Someone intent on analysing it will often see it as a sequence of cause and effect (this thing happened, which allowed this thing to happen, and that influenced this choice happening…).

            After that you can start looking for counters for what you see, and that’s when you can really start getting somewhere in the game. But things like looking at replays and working through meta-game is rarely something people ever do with the vast majority of online FPS’s.

    • Malk_Content says:

      Nobody I know plays football, so I’m pretty sure the stats for the amount of people who participate in football events (whether casual, professional, spectator or playing) are grossly over inflated. Or it might be the fact that I’m friends with people with similair interests and tastes as me and thus trying to extrapolate any kind of trend from my rather limited group is pretty dumb.

    • TehK says:

      Here, me. I actually played Dota2 for the first time (i.e. no previous Dota or LoL or other MOBA experience – except Awesomenauts) after getting one of those beta keys. And I’m enjoying the living hell out of this game.

      So… if you count “posting in the comments on RPS” as “knowing”, then now you know someone, who fits your statistic :)

    • Ljud says:

      From where I come from, most of the population only plays WoW, Starcraft 2, LoL, Dota 2, World of Tanks and FIFA + mayor release titles like GTA V and Skyrim. But mostly it’s just Blizzard and F2P games + FIFA.

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      I received an invite in February last year having never played any Dota-clone. Coming up on 1800 games played now. I used to be more of an FPS player (TF2, CS:S etc.) until Dota 2 came along.

      Although I got Payday 2 at the weekend & it’s doing a really good job of dragging me away from Dota 2

  5. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    “You’re doing really well so far. Battle begins in thirty seconds.”

    “Your top tower just came crashing down in ruin because you abandoned it, just like every relationship you’ve ever had.”

    “You killed Roshan. You monster.”

    “You denied your own tower. It trusted you to protect it, and you killed it.”

    • Nicodemus Rexx says:

      You know the writer is doing something right when you start reading and automatically hear the dialogue in the intended character’s voice.

      *Now* I’d be disappointed if these lines aren’t in the game. Of course, I’ll never get around to actually playing DOTA, so maybe you should just tell me that they are since I’ll never be able to prove to myself otherwise.

      • Mirdini says:

        Good news! You can find out for yourself through the power of THE INTERNET by following either of these two links:

        link to

        It is a pretty excellent announcer pack all in all.

        • Nicodemus Rexx says:

          Ya know… whenever I assume the powers that be (or even fans) would publish something like this for other games, they never do. Now that I take the opposite for granted… well… ta da!

          Thanks for pointing this out. Props!
          I never thought listening to 20 minutes of GLaDOS belittling me in a game I’ll never play would be so strangely… soothing.

    • vivlo says:

      i would buy the Lord Custard Smingleigh announcer pack, day one.

      • LionsPhil says:

        For real life.

        • The Random One says:

          Just point me to its kickstarter.

          Stretch goals: Ellen McLain, Logan Cunningham, Jon St. John, the one person who voices 80% of one-line NPC’s in Bethesda’s games

      • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

        “Thirty seconds to battle? Wait, I haven’t got my hat!”
        “Okay. Got my hat, with only ten seconds to spare.”
        “Oh blast, it’s the wrong hat. Oh well… Three, two, one…”

        “That was my grandfather’s tower. I never liked it much. Neither did he, for that matter.”

        “First blood! Capital! No, wait, it was the other chaps. Boo I say!”

        “Monster kill, as the youth of today is wont to say.”

        “Tower denied, which is what Lady Smingleigh said about my plan to build Sauron’s Fortress of Barad-dûr on the South lawn.”

        “Victory! Everybody back to Smingleigh Manor for celebratory drinks. Please use the rear entrance.”

        “You have shamed me with your defeat. Think about what you’ve done while I fetch my thrashing-stick.”

        • Dances to Podcasts says:

          “Tower denied, which is what Lady Smingleigh said”
          Should’ve stopped there. Would’ve made the next one funnier as well. ;)

        • The Random One says:

          Forget my previous post, I want Lord Smilingleigh to create a voice pack for Saints’ Row.

    • BooleanBob says:

      I know I usually try to piggy-back on your posts with some middling-or-worse follow-up, but this time I can only stand back and say – these are perfect. Bravo.

    • rockman29 says:

      That is fantastic!

  6. Megazell says:

    I am going to play this now.

  7. Don Reba says:

    Hahaha. That’s not an axe. (pulls out a pen) That’s an axe.

  8. frymaster says:

    I was at i49 and when the internet got taken out for half an hour (DoS attack against the router apparently) there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth from the MOBA players, so this can only be a good thing.

    Ironically, lack of access to reddit (and RPS, natch) meant we took this as our signal to play games for the first time that weekend, and spun up a LAN TF2 server. Nothing like having 26 people all on the same voice comms during a tense dustbowl finale :D

  9. Stevostin says:

    Only use for a LAN mode is for esport. It’s 5 vs 5 game. Getting room for 10 people to play in a private house is not impossible… but really not a crowd.

  10. The Godzilla Hunter says:

    In the next update they will include the Gordon Freeman announcer pact.

  11. MichaelPalin says:

    So how does LAN work on Steam? Do you still need to be connected to Steam or to the Internet? If all the players have Steam in offline mode can they play without connecting to the Internet? And if one offline mode fails that player can no longer keep playing?

    • jeti says:

      I think cyber cafes are popular in various places around the world.

    • says:

      FWIW, I’ve never had offline mode “fail.” The only issues I’ve had with it were when I was dumb enough to download an update and then go offline. (when you restart Steam, it tries to apply the update and reconnect, and attempts fruitlessly) Or something like that.

      • jrodman says:

        I’ve had it fail many times.

        • says:

          What caused it to fail? It spontaneously stopped working, or what?

          It sounds so odd to me because the only issues I’ve ever encountered can be summed up as user error.

          • jrodman says:

            I don’t have the code.

            The most common case is booting up in ‘online’ mode with internet I know is going away shortly. I click Go Offline. During the offline process, the internet fails. Now it refuses to ever be offline until the internet is back. Ths happened on commutes around 20 times.

            There are also cases like starting in offline mode, where the system has already been in offline mode for quite some time, like hours to a couple of days, where it spontaneously says that it isn’t going to work anymore. This occurred on Day 2 of my 14 day internet outage.

            Offline is just not reliable at all. It’s kind of a joke.

  12. satsui says:

    DLC worthy update – free. Good guy Valve doing it right.

  13. jeti says:

    “You’re back. You must really enjoy crushing defeat.”
    I do, my dear.

  14. The Random One says:

    GladOS is quickly becoming the Wolverine of games. I can get behind that.

  15. AlienMind says:

    The L of LAN stands for local which means: No internet. Now. please install this game, which requires steam btw, in a LAN. Tada. Another corporate bullshit.

    • jellydonut says:

      Is it that hard to understand that you download this game, for free, and *then* play it via LAN?

      Why is that such an anathema to you?

    • oWn4g3 says:

      You could still use the backup function of Steam to install Dota2 from the medium of your choice in an offline environment. Of course to get the game in the first place you need internet (which is the case for almost every F2P Multiplayer based game). The option to play in LAN however is pretty rare.

      Apart from that there is a big difference in having an active Steam connection when playing or having 10 players connect to the Matchmaking servers via one connection.

      • jrodman says:

        You could get the game via sneakernet. I did. I downloaded it at work, took it home on the bus on my laptop, and then put it on an offline steam environment.

        • oWn4g3 says:

          Yes, I think the backup function of Steam doesn’t do much more than just copying and zipping the files as well.

          • Aninhumer says:

            It also does it much more slowly than pretty much any other compression program… I ended up just using 7zip for all my backups.

      • MichaelPalin says:

        But doesn’t the backup system of Steam need a connection to Internet to validate an installation? As far as I know, the back up system is just to save the downloading time, but it still needs a validation from Steam anyway.

    • Kaiji says:

      It must be tough trying to game while stuck in the late 90’s.

      Sarcasm aside, DotA LAN is obviously not intended for people who have no access to the internet whatsoever. Why would you act like that’s the only reason people would put LAN support in a game?

  16. Dances to Podcasts says:

    Is this the first of the three announcements that were announced? If so, it wasn’t really worth announcing the announcement.

    • says:

      No. This is a Dota 2 update via the Dota 2 blog.

      It’s not Valve announcing how they’re going to bring Steam to the living room. That’ll be from Valve proper.

    • Don Reba says:

      Yes, today is indeed that fateful Monday. Speaking of which, how was work today? Don’t tell me you called in sick and just read RPS all day.

  17. Hwacha says:

    GLaDOS is now 95% of the reason I want to try this game. I used to play LoL but kind of gave up. I have a hard time dedicating myself to any one game, and these games seem to demand it.

  18. Tei says:

    accodring to reddit
    [o ]

    this form the sign [dota]

  19. PopeRatzo says:

    I would like to play DOTA2 but I don’t know anyone who plays it and after several attempts, I still don’t know what the hell to do. I’ve played three games.

    The guy from DOTA2 says you have to play 5 games to get into it, so I guess I’ll give it another go (or 2 more goes), but I have little confidence that I’m going to come out of it knowing what to do.

    Would it really have killed them to create a tutorial? They went through the trouble of getting GladOS and couldn’t make a bloody tutorial? If they’re trying to keep the number of people playing DOTA2 to a certain level, I guess it makes sense. But they’d probably double their playership if they just put a little work into a tutorial.

    • dr. fondles says:

      At great risk to my internet pride, I will assume you aren’t trolling. There is a tutorial. There has always been a tutorial. They have even updated and expanded said tutorial.

      Just play an easy char like Riki/Drow Ranger/Sniper until you get the general idea.

      • Yglorba says:

        Part of the problem with tutorials for games like this is that much of the gameplay is emergent and dependent on the metagame, so the tutorials rapidly become obsolete.

        • Premium User Badge

          Malarious says:

          …no. Not at all. The tutorials don’t teach anything about the current meta, or laning strategies, or anything like that. They cover core, non-changing game concepts such as last hitting, denying, leveling up, item combining, wards, pulling and stacking. And honestly, you don’t need to know anything else to have fun playing Dota. All of the knowledge that makes you a better Dota player (knowing which hero does what, what abilities they have, what their abilities do, etc) can be learned over time by simply playing. The tutorials are really good at teaching you the non-intuitive stuff.

      • jrodman says:

        The tutorial is relatively new, like less than a year, I believe.
        However, they’ve done a fair bit of work on it.

      • Vandelay says:

        I would avoid Riki. He can be good character, but he can easily be nullified by a team that knows what they are doing. Sniper is a good choice and Drow is easy to play as (a little too easy – it might make you bored quite quickly, as her abilities are mostly passive or can be autocast.)

        Personally, I found using ranged heroes to begin with is the best route, as it is far easier to last hit with them and you can keep a safe distance. Just experiment in bot matches until you find something you like.

    • Kaiji says:

      This is the best guide for beginners: link to

      The most important thing about starting out in DotA is having the humility to accept that you are bad at it, and will remain so for a long time. DotA has no skill ceiling – it’s not possible to play it perfectly – so you just do the best you can with the knowledge you have and enjoy the unbridled insanity.

      When you have a sufficient knowledge base with one or two heroes, that’s when the game starts pulling you in. You’ll want to be more efficient in the next match than you were in the last. The feeling of satisfaction you get from doing well in DotA is more rewarding than any other game I’ve played in over 30 years of gaming, because reaching that level is a challenge, and an enjoyable one if you allow it to be.

      DotA is the gamer’s game, designed by gamers for gamers over many years, without fat people in business suits and dollar signs in their eyes involved, insisting on certain features being omitted or included in the name of short-term profit. It will test your reactions, your motor skills, your strategic abilities, your memory, your teamwork and your spider-sense.

      If you spend every game pouting because you’re bad (as I did for way too long) you’re missing out on one of the best games ever made.

  20. Shadowcat says:

    If the “First Blood” expansion doesn’t include shiny plastic-wrapped torsos, then no sale.

  21. The Dark One says:

    Adding Portal-themed cosmetics seems like a no-brainer.

    My real concern, though, is why TF2’s Balloonicorn isn’t available as a courier.

  22. Hieronymusgoa says:

    jesus christ allmighty and mary + joseph! yes, yes yes, i give up! i will install it and try it and will be overwhelmed by the fact that the same “people” play it as LoL, even with every DOTA guy saying otherwise.
    there is a good reason why i am just playing ARAM since months…

  23. FeeNiiX says:

    Why not introduce LAN for Dota2 that doesn’t require internet; I only wants to plays LAN. Internet sucks in our part of the world