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Remember when Valve said it was looking to hire all sorts of people from every walk of life – from lowly programmers to the giant-bow-tie-wearingest of fungineers? Well, one bit in there stood out: “And if you’re a first-class economist,” Michael Abrash wrote, ”please> check us out. You’ll have a sandbox with 40 million users, and I promise you’ll never be bored.” Well, apologies to RPS’ substantial> audience of budding TF2 hat economists. That position, you see, has officially been filled.
Valve have posted some details about DOTA 2′s (previously revealed) free-to-play status, over on the the DOTA 2 blog. They’re pretty upfront about two points: “Dota 2 will not be a pay-to-win game. All the items in the store are cosmetic, and don’t affect gameplay.” But also: “All of the heroes will be available free of charge. We believe restricting player access to heroes could be destructive to game design, so it’s something we plan to avoid.”
Perhaps more interesting still – and something I hadn’t realised – DOTA 2 is already part of the Steam Workshop, meaning folks can submit items just as the have for Team Fortress 2: “If you’re a Dota 2 fan with some artistic skills, here’s your chance to get in on the ground floor of what’s sure to be a vibrant community for years to come, and be able to contribute directly to the game you’re already playing non-stop.”
Well, that was close. When last we checked in on Blizzard and Valve’s legal frontlines, the two were arming up for all-out war over the DOTA name. Blizzard was adamant that it owned the “Ancients” part of “Defense of the Ancients,” and therefore, Valve had no right to trademark “DOTA” for use in DOTA 2. Happily, however, neither side will be drafting up a legal defense (of the Ancients), as the PC gaming empires have called off their cold war. Hands have been shaken and babies kissed. So then, let’s have a look at the terms.
A couple of bits of DOTA 2 news turned up. The first is that Valve have announced that The International Dota 2 Championships 2012 will be held at PAX Prime in Seattle, which takes place from August 31st to September 2nd. Valve report that the event will entail “16 of the most elite Dota teams competing in a group stage, double elimination playoff format for a grand prize of $1 million.”
The second bit is that PCG noticed the game is now moving ahead of Counter-Strike: Source, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, and Skyrim on Steam’s player stats. And it’s still just in beta. Huge it is going to be. Yes.
Back when DOTA was nothing more than an elaborate WarCraft III map, it used to be my way of relaxing. Sure, I wasn’t some unholy whirlwind of might and magic, but it was an experience that fell somewhere on the spectrum between “pleasant” and “killing a million things.” Flash forward to today: I don’t really play LoL very often. It’s stressful! If I can get a couple friends together, sure, but the community’s a grab-bag of mean people who use curse words>. So, how does Valve plan to avoid walking down a similarly suicidal lane with DOTA 2? How does an oddly utopian-sounding player-driven wonderland strike you?
Our e-sports correspondent is ESFI World’s Samuel Lingle>
It’s been a month since the last e-sports update, but fear not. They’re returning with weekly regularity. In theory.
Today I’m going to recap most of the bigger events of the past month or so, considering there was a lot of exciting stuff you guys may have missed. It’s StarCraft heavy by necessity, as the majority of e-sport events these days feature Blizzard’s popular RTS.
I was thinking the Blizzard/Valve cold war over DOTA had gone tellingly quiet of late. Here’s why – because it’s gone to the courts. Valve are, of course, gearing up to release Dota 2 as a standalone game of their own, but DOTA – or Defense of the Ancients as it was originally known – sprang to life as a Warcraft III mod. Valve were already facing a trademark-off with some of DOTA’s original team, but now, after some passive aggression in the media, Blizzard have stepped fully into the fray. They have lawyers. And they are contesting Valve’s registration of the Dota 2 trademark. (more…)
Our e-sports correspondent is ESFI World’s Samuel Lingle.>
E-sports in 2012 got going quickly as a number of January events opened the year. The Global StarCraft 2 League (GSL) kicked off their new season. The fighting game community knocked off APEX 2012, featuring Super Smash Bros and various other titles. The DotA 2 beta continues to chug along with various tournaments and leagues. The biggest of the past week, though, was the StarCraft 2 tournament at HomeStory Cup IV. Coverage and results right here. (more…)
The open-ish beta for Valve’s action-RTS remake Dota 2 is apparently impending, with a clutch of far’n'wide folk last night mailed a link to a survey intended to assess your level of experience with the multiplayer-only title. I’m ashamed to say I couldn’t complete it myself, such is my inexperience with these things – I put a fair bit of time into Demigod, but only really in singleplayer, and my one experience with a Dota game was a shower of incompetence. Keep meaning to check out League of Legends and see what the fuss is about, though.
If, unlike me, you are not entirely ignorant in such matters and thus can easily answer questions such as “Please estimate your average total gold earned in a DOTA match”, then set Steam running then click on this link. If that doesn’t work, hit Run from your Windows Start menu, paste the link in, hit enter and you should be presented with the questionnaire.