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Dota 2 is an upcoming multiplayer online battle arena video game being developed by Valve Corporation and the stand-alone sequel to the popular Defense of the Ancients mod for Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and The Frozen Throne. Formally announced on October 13, 2010 via Game Informer, the game is currently available for early access purchase and is scheduled for a full release in 2012, with a free-to-play business model. Dota 2 will be released via download by Valve's content delivery platform Steam, on which the game has been developed to run exclusively for both release and update delivery. Dota 2 will run on Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X.
The game consists of session-based online multiplayer activity, with the primary objective of each match being for teams to destroy their opposing team's fortified stronghold. Each player controls a player character called a "hero", who is given the responsibility of participating in team combat, which generally takes place along a series of lanes that connect their opposing bases, lined with defensive towers. The gameplay elements are largely incorporated from Defense of the Ancients, with the game's lead designer, IceFrog, being the longest-serving and current developer of the Warcraft III mod.
3 Cultural impact
3.2 Professional competition
5 External links
A game of Dota 2 in progress. Team coordination is critical, especially during late gameplay, as base encroachment generally becomes more frequent.
Dota 2 combines the real-time strategy element of traditional top-down perspective, while also incorporating the leveling and itemization system of a role-playing video game. Players are pitted against each other as two distinct factions called the Radiant and the Dire. The Radiant is a faction based at the southwest corner of the map, while the Dire is a faction based at the northeast corner. Players assume the role of one of ninety "heroes" - strategically powerful units with special skills, who, through combat experience, may progress to a maximum level of twenty-five. The heroes' methods of combat are heavily influenced by their primary property, which can be physical strength, agility, or intelligence. The basic setup of Dota 2 places two strongholds containing critical structures called "Ancients" at opposing ends of an geographically-balanced map. These bases are connected by three main paths, (referred to as "lanes"), which are guarded by defensive towers and groups of weaker units commonly referred to as "creeps" periodically spawned, which traverse their lanes, attacking enemy units and structures upon sight. Players are split into two teams, each consisting of up to five players, to compete as the primary defenders for each Ancient.
The overall objective of each match is to battle through the opposing force's defenses, in order to arrive at and destroy the opponents' Ancient. Because Dota 2 is highly team-oriented, players must coordinate with their teams in order to achieve victory. The towers and stronghold defenses are invulnerable to attacks so long as the towers nearest to the enemy side still stand.
The currency of the game is gold, which is granted periodically, but typically accumulates at a more practical level by killing enemy units, which grants a distributed amount of gold to the killer's team, with the greater portion being retained by the killer themselves. A common technique utilized to prevent the opposing faction from accumulating gold from a kill is "denying", which constitutes killing an allied unit or destroying an allied structure and can be employed when the unit or structure it is about to be used on is close to death or destruction, respectively. Players also gain experience, which accumulates to gain higher levels. The greatest portion of gold and experience comes from destroying higher priority forces, such as enemy heroes and towers.
Featured around the Dire side of the river is a powerful "boss" called "Roshan". Typically, multiple team members are required for killing Roshan. Upon death, Roshan will drop an item which resurrects a hero without losing gold. Roshan respawns after ten minutes, however, which removes said item from its carrier upon reset. Following the third death, Roshan drops cheese, which heals its carrier to a significant extent.
Operating system Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7
CPU Intel Pentium 4 3 GHz Intel Pentium Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz
Memory 1 GB RAM 2 GB RAM
Hard drive space 4 GB free HDD space
Graphics hardware NVIDIA GeForce 6600 128 MB, ATi Radeon X800 128 MB NVIDIA GeForce 7600 256 MB or ATi Radeon X1600 256 MB
Sound hardware DirectX compatible sound card
Network Internet access for Steam activation
Input device(s) Keyboard and Mouse
According to Valve's founder and managing director, Gabe Newell, the company's investment in DotA was sparked from the collective interest of several veteran employees, including Team Fortress designer Robin Walker, programmer Adrian Finol and project manager Erik Johnson, who had attempted to partake in team play at a competitive level. As their interest in the game intensified, they began corresponding with DotA's developer, IceFrog, over a series of emails, inquiring what long-term plans he had. The emails eventually culminated in an invitation from Erik Johnson, offering IceFrog a tour of the company's facilities and as a result, hired him to develop a sequel. The first public notification regarding the development of Dota 2 was a blog post made by IceFrog, stating that he would be leading a team at Valve. No official word was given until its official announcement on October 13, 2010, when the website of magazine Game Informer revealed specific details about the game and its development, creating traffic on the website to the extent of crashing their servers. Erik Johnson addressed the confusion over the written form of the brand name, citing it as "Dota," rather than "DotA," due to its increasing context as a concept, rather than an acronym for "Defense of the Ancients".
Shortly following a questions and answers session by IceFrog on the website of Defense of the Ancients, elaborating on his recruitment by Valve, a trademark claim was filed by the company on August 6, 2010. Steve "Guinsoo" Feak, the original developer of the DotA Allstars variant and Steve "Pendragon" Mescon, the creator of dota-allstars.com, both employees of Riot Games, expressed their concern that Valve should not maintain a trademark for the DotA name, due to their views that it should remain as a community asset. On August 9, 2010, Mescon filed an opposing trademark for "DOTA" on behalf of DotA-Allstars, LLC, a subsidiary of Riot Games, in order to "protect the work that dozens of authors have done to create the game". Rob Pardo, the executive vice president of Blizzard Entertainment, the developer of Warcraft III, expressed a similar concern, explaining that the DotA name should remain within the Warcraft III community. Blizzard acquired DotA-Allstars, LLC from Riot Games in 2011, to enforce their claim as not only the creators of the World Editor, but to have the rights from the company that made a claim to the mod previously. During the game's unveiling at Gamescom 2011, Gabe Newell explained Valve's perspective on acquiring the trademark, which was that IceFrog desired to develop a direct sequel to DotA and that players would likely recognize it as such. Blizzard filed an opposition against Valve in November 2011, citing the Warcraft III World Editor and their ownership of DotA-Allstars, LLC as a proper claim on the franchise. On May 11, 2012, Blizzard and Valve announced that the dispute had been settled, with Valve retaining the rights to the term "Dota", while Blizzard would change the name of their map, Blizzard DOTA, to "Blizzard All-stars".
A screenshot comparison between DotA and Dota 2; the aesthetics of Dota 2's design are based heavily around those of the original mod.
As the sequel to Defense of the Ancients, the development cycle of Dota 2 has been concentrated primarily upon fully transferring the aspects of its predecessor to the Source engine, as well as building upon the core gameplay. Dota 2 recreates the factions of the Sentinel and the Scourge from Defense of the Ancients with the Radiant and the Dire, with cornerstone features of the characters' alignment reserved, while ultimately re-establishing the familiar qualities in a new form from Valve. Warcraft III composer Jason Hayes joined Valve to collaborate with Tim Larkin for developing Dota 2's musical score. Character names, abilities, items, map design and other fine details remain virtually unchanged, but the integration of these features to the Source engine allows for continued, scaled development to bypass limitations from the Warcraft III World Editor. Further support for the competitive experience is developed through the use of Dota account matchmaking, which scales a player's automated placement in accordance to their estimated skill level. Non-computed and unranked practice matches are made available through the use of either human players, AI bots or solo games. In the debut Q&A, IceFrog stated that Dota 2 will serve as the long-term continuation of the mod, building upon the original gameplay without making too many significant core changes that may alter the overall experience. According to Valve, the company contracted major contributors for DotA's popularity to assist in developing Dota 2, including the mod's original creator known as "Eul", as well as loading screen artist Kendrick Lim of Imaginary Friends Studios. IceFrog has stated that in order to further emphasize Dota 2's premise as a continuation of DotA, contributions would remain consistent from sources outside the main development team.
To accommodate Dota 2, Valve has worked to upgrade the Source engine to include high-end cloth modeling, as well as improved global lighting and improvements to Steamworks, which includes a wider expansion of utilities, such as player guides and the coaching system. Dota 2 utilizes Valve's Steam software in order to provide social and community functionality for the game. Steam accounts save personal files and settings on the online accounts using the Steam Cloud. Dota 2 also features multiple options of live spectating, in tradition of competitive Valve titles. The game host has the option to fill open slots with AI bots. Another option allows the host to determine if AI bots or other human players will be used to fill the vacated slot of a disconnected player. Valve is introducing a coaching system to allow for more experienced players to tutor newer players. The game will also feature tutorial sessions for further assisting players to mount the steep learning curve before competitive play. In addition to the online platform established by Steam, Dota 2 will support local area network (LAN) multiplayer connectivity. As part of a plan to create a social network based around Dota 2, Gabe Newell announced in April of 2012 that the game would be free-to-play, with an accentuation on player contributions to the community.
To coincide with Dota 2's public debut at Gamescom 2011, Valve opened the sign-up for invites for the beta, with invites being sent out following the conclusion of Gamescom. During the debut, Gabe Newell revealed that Dota 2 would likely ship in 2012, despite original plans for a full release in late 2011. On September 23, 2011, Valve scrapped its previous development and release plans for Dota 2, which would have kept the game in its beta phase for over a year, in order to accommodate the full transfer of creative materials developed for the original DotA. The new plan described by IceFrog looked to release the Dota 2 beta at the nearest possible date and to implement the remaining heroes afterwards. Simultaneously, Valve announced that the non-disclosure agreement for the beta was being lifted, allowing testers to discuss the game and their experiences publicly.
Beginning with the second edition of The Defense tournament hosted by joinDOTA in June 2012, Valve implemented the tournament support feature. Tournaments may be available for spectating in-game via the purchase of a tournament pass in the Dota Store, which provides an alternative to viewing live streams online. This feature supports previous and live matches from tournaments. In addition, teams may be formally identified by the game's software, which automatically recognizes games with players as being team matches and catalogs them as such.
On June 1, 2012, the Dota development team at Valve formally announced that the game would be free-to-play, with no added cost for having the full roster of heroes and item inventory readily available. Income for Dota 2 would be maintained, however, through the exclusively cosmetic Dota Store, where players could purchase in-game items. Until the game's release, players may still purchase an early access bundle, which includes the game, along with several in-game cosmetic items. The Dota Store is composed of custom creations developed by Valve, as well as products from the Steam Workshop, which is a system in which users may submit creations for review by Valve and if successful, would be permanently incorporated into Dota 2. The market model was fashioned after Team Fortress 2, which became successful in June 2011 and had reimbursed cosmetic designers with 3.5 million dollars of income as of the free-to-play announcement.
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