Update: Rumor has it the new engine Dota 2: Reborn is running on is Source 2. Source, you may recall, is the engine games like Half Life 2 and Team Fortress 2 are built upon. Source 2 was announced back in May by Valve and if true this would be the first official game Valve developed on the new engine.
Typically we would see Valve develop a Half Life game on their engines as both practice for their developers and a showpiece for potential licensees of the new engine. Source 2 was announced as a free engine for all developers to work on meaning Valve wouldn’t need their typical showpiece. I’m not sure what this means for the future of Half Life, if anything, but I hope this means we see more games out of Valve soon.
Original Story: Dota 2 is coming out with a beta that features big improvements to the game. This beta will be separate from the main game and is being called ‘Dota 2: Reborn‘. Reborn will feature an entire new interface and dashboard, custom games, a new engine, and whatever else they can pack into it. Valve is only trickling out details week by week, this week they focus on interface, next is custom games, leading up to the launch of the beta the week of June 29th. They do stress this is a beta and it will feature constant updates and bug fixes and they urge the community to report any bugs they find back to Valve.
The interface changes look major. It seems easier to, at a glance, find your way around what was a pretty cluttered dashboard. Now there is a big ‘Play Dota’ button in the bottom right hand corner. Your friends will be easier to wrangle and keep track of with upgraded party features, chat, an activity feed, per hero matchmaking ratings, and even playstyle graphs. They’ve also made it easier to search through the rather large hero menu and even allow the ability to demo a hero before jumping into a match with one. They’re also adding more features to the Dota TV and the tutorial sections of the game which will hopefully help out new players interested in MOBAs.
This is a pretty major update for Dota 2 considering most big updates focus in on individual heroes and not the entire engine. The separate beta is also a smart move since changing the core game, even a little bit, often leads to heady debate and arguments. And this way major changes can be made across the entire game before it’s made official and we start seeing the new engine show up at The International, Valve’s annual Dota 2 tournament. Will these changes be made official before The International or will Valve tinker around until afterward?