So, Dota Reborn is out and has replaced Old Dota 2 [official site] as the game client, like how when you have a second child you love it more and it’s better than the first one so you just pretend the other one doesn’t exist and stop supporting it and call the second child by the first one’s name.
Reborn is the version of Dota which uses the Source 2 engine, but rather than just switching to the new engine and keeping the front end the same there’s been a massive overhaul of the UI as well as the addition of custom game modes.
According to Valve a little while back:
“Moving away from the Source 1 engine soon will allow us to better focus our efforts entirely on Source 2 in preparation for various upcoming tournaments. There are still a few features that will need some work when the update is released, but we plan to finish them quickly. Expect the weeks that follow to focus on ironing out issues, refining the dashboard and iterating based on your feedback. Afterwards, we’ll begin shifting our attention toward the in-game UI, where we plan to redesign the HUD and work on a variety of other in-game features.”
There’s a whole bunch more detail on the Source 2 side of things here although Alice gave a pretty neat summary when it was first announced:
“You’ll fine reduced input latency, better performance, a unified lighting system, better use of multicore CPUs, an improved audio that they say noticeably improves voice quality and latency among other benefits, new physics and cloth simulation, native OpenGL support that’ll make Mac and Linux versions faster (Reborn’s Mac and Linux clients are due “in the coming weeks”), and streaming loading that lets animation, voice chat, and so on continue while loading. It also brings a new version of Source Filmmaker, with new features like editing replays.”
The custom game modes is what I’m going to be keeping an eye on, though. That’s the bit where Valve has basically provided in-game support for mods. You’ll find old favourites like Pudge Wars but I’ve just taken a quick peek and there’s a ship-focused mode (I have no idea why it wasn’t called Boat-a), there’s the 10v10 mode showcased at The International 2015, a version of chess, and something called “Don’t Click The Crab”.
I like the way the inventory is now organised. I didn’t know I had Gin Hammond’s signature in there. But sometimes I find the new menu system unintuitive – for example, when I’m looking for my armory, for some reason it doesn’t instantly click that I need to check under the “heroes” tab. I think my brain automatically assumes that will just be a list of heroes and so I stare blankly at the other options for a second or two. I also miss there being a separate store, rather than there being purchase options embedded into your inventory.
Oh, and I think I have a bug which has rendered all of the heroes bodyless when I look at cosmetics to buy for them.
I’ve tinkered with Reborn a bunch when it was in beta but last night I had things to do. Important Destiny things involving the new crucible maps and picking a shader I liked and experimenting with the blast radius of a newly acquired rocket launcher (the less said about the latter the better). I have, however, seen a fair few gripes from Twitter friends about things being wonky and there’s a megathread on the Dota 2 subreddit which collates all the bugs and complaints about the new client (coaches seeing through fog of war, low priority games not being counted, options being glitchy, no team tab/team functionality, missing compendia and so on). Basically bear in mind it might have some bugs or crashes for you to contend with.
If you need me I’ll be trying to figure out why Death Prophet doesn’t seem to have a body anymore. Or whether I’m still a member of a guild. Or looking at my profile page and wondering if perhaps it’s time to stop playing support: