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DOTA 2 is, of course, the Valve-produced sequel to Defense of the Ancients (DOTA), a mod of real-time strategy game Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos.
Lau's latest work is a series on DOTA 2 heroines Lina, Crystal Maiden, Windrunner, and Drow Ranger. You can see them in the above gallery. Remember to click on each photo's lower corner to expand the image to its full size.
If you want to see more of Lau's wonderful art, check out his Deviant Art page.
DotA2 Heroines by 'Artgerm [DeviantArt, Thanks Alex!]
Most gamers know him as the guy who helped create the soulful vibe of Gordon Freeman's world in the Half-Life games. However, way before he came to Valve, Marc Laidlaw was an author with a number of published works to his name. He's kept on writing outside of video games, too, but his most recent work plops him right into another video game universe.
Over on Newsarama, Laidlaw talks about working on The Secret Shop: Are We Heroes Yet?, the webcomic that spotlights the Shopkeeper, a.ka. the guy with all the hook-ups in the popular PC franchise. One of the highlights from the interview offers this:
Lore is continually in development, and we try to work it into all aspects of the game. Mostly, so far, that has shown up in the character vignettes that accompany each hero when you view them in the game. These are meant to give a quick verbal impression of the hero in a heroic moment, with just enough evocative imagery behind them to make you want to go deeper into the story, and they are meant to be very short and highly distilled. Creating the comic was the first place where we had a chance to work our way more deeply into the lore, and to lay out some of the concepts we've developed. Ideally, we can keep finding stories that let us flesh out the underpinnings of the DotA universe in compelling ways.
Of course, the main part of the DOTA experience happens in the games and the release of DOTA 2 is one of the most anicpated things anywhere. People really, really want to get into the beta. As it turns out, the final entry of the Secret Shop webcomic holds a survey that could get you into the beta. You'll need Steam, of course, but most anybody who's itching to get in the DOTA 2 beta probably has it already.
It's being used once or twice a week to accompany the reveal of new characters and/or features for the game, and seeing as it hasn't been plastered all over the internet, I figured it was worth collecting it all in a single gallery.
Note that this isn't all of it! There are more heroes to dress up this nice as the game gets closer to release, at which time we'll probably check back in and do this all over again.
Also included are the original four pieces of character art released for the game because, well, they're badass enough for a second (or third!) look.
Dota 2 is currently in closed beta, with invites going out, oh, maybe as you read this.
To see the larger pics in all their glory (or so you can save them as wallpaper), right-click on the "expand" icon on the main image above and select "open in new tab".
Yesterday, it was announced, and today, it is happening: Valve is ramping up the numbers of participants in the Dota 2 beta.
If you took part in the survey, go check your email and then, more importantly, check your spam folder. If there's nothing in there, unlucky! If there's something in there, congratulations, you and two friends are now part of the beta.
While we're on the subject of Dota and betas, I'd like to point something out: I don't work for Valve. I work for Kotaku. I don't send out the invites. I just pass the news onto you. So don't send me emails like these people did!
I accidentally made a mistake(I put that i played with 108 heroes instead of 104, because last article i read about dota said dota has 108 heroes and i have automatically put 108 instead of 104) while i was filling in the survey, so i was wandering if there is any way to correct the mistake.
Friend gives the game more than 5 years, and I'm dying to play dota 2.
please send me an invite. Can not stand to wait. Thank you!
Hi i got the email regarding the dota 2 survey, but i cannot click the link.. seems like either hotmail or my steam is bugged somehow... damn i really want to try the beta. i am playing lol and hon all the time and i can asure you that i wuold more then gladly accept taking the survey!!
can i have beta key only 2 mexican have beta keys i really want i play dota for 5 yeaer
Hi, can u present me dota 2 beta test key to 8th of november, that would be my 19th birthday
I am a huge HUGE dota fan and have been a dota player ever since version 5.84c came out. I've been dying to play dota 2 and would just ask from you 2 beta keys. For me and a friend to play with.
The only game ive played since is dota, i hooked half of my town in dota now literally the only game that is played in pubs is dota so i wanna ask is there anything i can do to earn myself a dota2 beta key im desperate at this point i tried everything i can think of but all atempts fail im willing to pay whatever is needed to play
Beginning later this week, the company will be 'handing out Dota 2 in increasing volumes", with prospective testers/early players urged to complete a survey on the game to be in for a shot of securing a beta invitation.
By increasing volumes, Valve really means increasing volumes: for every person who gets an invite, they'll be given two extra codes to be handed out to friends.
Oh, and to commemorate the occasion, there's also a new Valve comic for the game kicking off today, called Tales from the Secret Shop.
He looks like one of the guys outta From Dust. If they grew a pair instead of just standing around begging for help all the time. What, you need me to do everything? Make a sword and do it yourself. Like this guy. He's got initiative.
You have summoned Juggernaut [DotA 2]
How very unlike Valve. In a post on the game's official blog, DotA 2 developers say that while they had planned to keep testing the game for another year or so in a very private beta, they now want to "get it out there as fast as we can".
"Our original plan was to spend the next year or so in beta, adding new features and slowly growing the number of heroes until we reached a level of parity with Dota 1, at which point we'd release Dota 2 to the world", the post says. "But the feedback we're seeing everywhere is that people just want to play it, even though there's still a ton of heroes yet to be implemented. We've also seen that the folks who are already in the beta are chomping at the bit to show everyone else some of the fun games they've had. So we decided our original plan was dumb."
So there's been a change.
"Welcome to the new plan: We're going to take the current version of Dota 2, which has The International set of heroes, and get it out there as fast as we can."
That means a more public beta is on the fast track. You'll still need to sign up for an invite, but the number of people invited is going to ramp up.
As an added bonus, those in the beta are now no longer forbidden from taking screenshots and videos, so expect to see a lot more of that stuff in the weeks to come.
I Said Good Day Sir! [Dota 2]