Valve Software announced yesterday that Dota 2 will be coming to PC and Mac next year.
Dota 2 takes its name from the 2003 fan-made mod for Blizzard’s Warcraft III called Defense Of The Ancients. The mod is a team-based, online game that sees players control one individual unit each and attempt to destroy the rival team’s ‘Ancient,’ a structure hidden within the enemy base.
There have been variations on the formula since release, with DotA-Allstars featuring over 100 selectable heroes with unique abilities.
IceFrog, one of the many authors of DotA who maintained and modified the game, was hired by Valve last year to lead development on Dota 2.
In an interview with GameInformer, project lead Erik Johnson hints that the original DotA-Allstars template will remain largely unchanged: “IceFrog is one of the smartest designers we’ve ever met. He’s made so many good decisions over the years in building the product. He virtually never makes a decision that doesn’t have some reasoning behind it and a way to pick apart the logic behind it.”
DotA-Allstars’ 100-plus heroes have been carried over to Dota 2 along with items, skills and upgrades. Dota 2 uses Valve’s Source engine, and introduces gameplay features like AI bots that take over from players who have left a match as well as integrated voice-chat.
Valve is also upgrading its matchmaking and community Steamworks technology for Dota 2, with in-game rewards for contributions to the Dota 2 community acting as incentives for participation in both online games and forums. The Steamworks upgrades will be made available to thirdparty developers using Valve’s tools when the game launches next year.