Dota 2 : Development
The Dota series began in 2003 with Defense of the Ancients (DotA)—a mod for Blizzard Entertainment’s Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos—created by the pseudonymous designer “Eul”An expansion pack for Warcraft III, entitled The Frozen Throne, was released later that year; a series of Defense of the Ancients clone mods for the new game competed for popularity. DotA: Allstars by Steve Feak was the most successful,and Feak, with his friend Steve Mescon, created the official Defense of the Ancients community website and the holding company DotA-Allstars, LLC.When Feak retired from DotA: Allstars in 2005, a friend, under the pseudonym “IceFrog”, became its lead designer.By the late 2000s, Defense of the Ancients became one of the most popular mods in the world, as well as a prominent eSports title.IceFrog and Mescon later had a falling out in May 2009, which prompted the former to establish a new community website at playdota.com.
Valve’s interest in the Defense of the Ancients property began when several veteran employees, including Team Fortress 2 designer Robin Walker and producer Erik Johnson, became fans of the mod and wanted to build a modern sequel.The company corresponded with IceFrog by email about his long-term plans for the project,and he was subsequently hired to direct a sequel.IceFrog first announced his new position through his blog in October 2009, and Dota 2 was publicly announced by Game Informer in October 2010.
Valve adopted the word “Dota”, derived from the original mod’s acronym, as the name for its newly acquired franchise. Johnson argued that the word referred to a concept, and was not an acronym.Shortly after the announcement of Dota 2, Valve filed a trademark claim to the Dota name.At Gamescom 2011, company president Gabe Newell explained that the trademark was needed to develop a sequel with the already-identifiable brand.Holding the Dota name to be a community asset, Feak and Mescon filed an opposing trademark for “DOTA” on behalf of DotA-Allstars, LLC (then a subsidiary of Riot Games) in August 2010. Rob Pardo, the executive vice president of Blizzard Entertainment at the time, similarly stated that the DotA name belonged to the mod’s community. Blizzard acquired DotA-Allstars, LLC from Riot Games and filed an opposition against Valve in November 2011, citing Blizzard’s ownership of both the Warcraft III World Editor and DotA-Allstars, LLC as proper claims to the franchise.The dispute was settled in May 2012, with Valve retaining commercial franchising rights to the “Dota” intellectual property, while allowing non-commercial use of the name by third-parties. In 2017, Valve’s ownership of it was again challenged, after a 2004 internet forum post from Eul was brought to light by a studio known as uCool, which stated that the “Dota” brand was an open source project.uCool, who was previously involved in a lawsuit with Blizzard in 2015 due to a mobile game they released that involved the use of characters and lore from the Dota universe, argued that the forum post invalidated any ownership claims of the intellectual property.Judge Charles R. Breyer denied uCool’s motion for summary dismissal, but allowed the case to be moved forward to a jury.
An early goal of the Dota 2 team was the adaptation of Defense of the Ancients’s aesthetic style for the Source engine.The Radiant and Dire factions replaced the Sentinel and Scourge from the mod, respectively. Character names, abilities, items and map design from the mod were largely retained, with some changes due to trademarks owned by Blizzard. In the first Q&A session regarding Dota 2, IceFrog explained that the game would build upon the mod without making significant changes to its core.Valve contracted major contributors from the Defense of the Ancients community, including Eul and artist Kendrick Lim, to assist with the sequel.Additional contributions from sources outside of Valve were also sought regularly for Dota 2, as to continue Defense of the Ancients’s tradition of community-sourced development.One of the composers of Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, Jason Hayes, was hired to collaborate with Tim Larkin to write the original score for the game, which was conducted by Timothy Williams and performed and recorded by the Northwest Sinfonia at Bastyr University.Valve had Half-Life series writer Marc Laidlaw, science fiction author Ted Kosmatka, and Steam support employee Kris Katz write new dialog and background lore for the heroes Notable voice actors for the English version include Nolan North, Dave Fennoy, Jon St. John, Ellen McLain, Fred Tatasciore, Merle Dandridge, Jen Taylor, and John Patrick Lowrie.
The Source engine itself was updated with new features to accommodate Dota 2, such as high-end cloth modeling and improved global lighting.The game features Steam integration, which provides its social component and cloud storage for personal settings. An in-game fantasy sports and digital trading card system also exists, which is modeled after traditional sports and feature professional Dota 2 players.In November 2013, Valve introduced a coaching system, which allows experienced players to tutor players with special in-game tools.As with previous Valve multiplayer titles, players are able to spectate live matches of Dota 2 played by others, and local area network (LAN) multiplayer support allows for local competitionsSome of these events may be spectated via the purchase of tickets from the “Dota Store”, which give players in-game access to matches. Ticket fees are apportioned in part to tournament organizers.Players are also able to spectate games in virtual reality (VR) with up to 15 others, which was added in an update in July 2016. The update also added a hero showcase mode, which allows players to see all of the heroes and their cosmetics full-size in virtual reality.
Dota 2 includes a matchmaking system, which is measured by a numerical value known as “matchmaking rating” (MMR). MMR is updated based on if a player’s team won or lost, which will then increase or decrease respectively.The game’s servers, known as the “Game Coordinator”,attempts to balance both teams based on each player’s MMR, with each team having roughly a 50% chance to win in any given game.Ranked game modes with a separately tracked MMR also exist, which differ from unranked games primarily by making MMR publicly visible, as well as requiring the registration of a phone number to their accounts, which help create a more competitive environment. The highest ranked MMR players are listed by Valve on an online leaderboard, which lists the 200 highest for each region.he game also includes a report system, which allows players to punish player behavior that intentionally provides a negative experience. Other features include an improved replay system from Defense of the Ancients, in which a completed game can be downloaded in-client and viewed by anyone at a later time, and the “hero builds” feature, which provide integrated guides created by the community that highlight to the player on how to play their hero
As part of a plan to develop Dota 2 into a social network, Newell announced in April 2012 that the game would be free-to-play, and that community contributions would be a cornerstone feature.nstead, revenue is generated through the “Dota Store”, which offers for-purchase exclusively cosmetic virtual goods, including custom armor and weapons for their heroes. It was also announced that the full roster of heroes would be available at launch for free.Until the game’s official release in 2013, players were able to purchase an early access bundle, which included a digital copy of Dota 2 and several cosmetic items.Included as optional downloadable content (DLC), the Dota 2 Workshop Tools are a set of Source 2 software development kit (SDK) tools that allow content creators to create new cosmetics for the heroes themselves, as well as custom game modes, maps, and bot AI scripts.Highly rated cosmetics, through the Steam Workshop, are available in the in-game store if they are accepted by Valve. This model was fashioned after that of Valve’s Team Fortress 2, which had earned Workshop designers of cosmetic items of that game over $3.5 million by June 2011. In January 2014, Newell revealed that the average Steam Workshop contributor for Dota 2 and Team Fortess 2 made approximately $15,000 from their creations the previous year. In 2015, sales of Dota 2 virtual goods had earned Valve over $238 million in revenue, according to the digital game market research group SuperData.In 2016, Valve introduced the “Custom Game Pass” option to custom game modes, which allows content creators to be funded by way of microtransactions in order to add new exclusive features, content, and other changes to their game mode.
In December 2016, Dota 2 was updated to gameplay version 7.00, known as “The New Journey” update. The update was notable due to the fact that the Dota series had been in version 6.xx since IceFrog originally took over development of the original mod in the mid 2000s.The New Journey update added and changed numerous features and mechanics of the game, including adding the first original hero not ported over from Defense of the Ancients, a reworked map, a redesigned HUD, a pre-game phase that allows for players to discuss their team strategy, and a “Talent Tree” hero augmentation system.In April 2017, Valve announced changes to the game’s matchmaking system, with the main one requiring the registration of a unique phone number to a player’s account in order to join ranked matches, an anti-griefing and smurfing practice they had previously implemented in their first-person shooter game, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
Transition to the Source 2 engine
In June 2015, Valve announced that the entirety of Dota 2 would be ported over to their Source 2 game engine in an update called Dota 2 Reborn, making Dota 2 the first game to use the engine.Reborn was first released to the public as a beta update that same month, and officially replaced the original client in September 2015. Reborn included a new user interface framework design, ability for custom game modes created by the community, and the full replacement of the original Source engine with Source 2. Largely attributed to technical difficulties players experienced with the update, the global player base experienced a sharp drop of approximately sixteen percent the month following the release of Reborn.However, after various updates and patches, over a million concurrent players were playing again by the beginning of 2016, with that being the largest amount of users in nearly a year. The move to Source 2 also allowed the use of the Vulkan graphics API, which was released as an optional feature in May 2016, making Dota 2 one of the first games to offer it