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Dota 2 hero Zeus gets a new skin, and boy is it ugly

Valve loves remodeling heroes in DotA 2 for no apparent reason.

Everyone's favorite Greek god of global AoE ults is getting a facelift. And a bodylift. And an everything-lift. Presenting, courtesy of the dataminers of Reddit, the new Zeus, next to his current, much more compact, form:

Now, remodels in games like this are inevitable. As time goes on, people want their heroes to look better. They want more pixels, more detail, and a more visually compelling character overall. 

Instead, Valve made...this.

This isn't the first time Valve has made some questionable remodeling choices, and it probably won't be the last. It seems that, rather than being strictly intent on upgrading the quality of the model, Valve happily guts the design of the model and reworks it into something else. 

Perhaps the most controversial case of this was the transformation of Skeleton King into Wraith King, with flesh suddenly being added to the hero (and, oddly enough, he remains Skeleton King in the still-running Warcraft 3 version of the game). 

Another strange example would be the transformation of Venomancer. Rather than upgrading the hero graphically, Valve seemed more interested in taking the character and changing it from a snake into...a spikier snake.

Of course, the constant occurrence of "sidegraded" heroes like Zeus would not be a problem if we considered Dota 2 in a bubble. Sometimes game developers want to change art direction, right? However, as everyone involved in the world of MOBAs knows, Dota 2 is in direct competition with League of Legends, and League definitely knows how to do a remodel.

Above is one of Riot's more contemporary redesigns. You can see the transformation of the pirate champion Gangplank from something blocky and cartoonish into a legitimate, grizzled pirate. 

Sivir is another of the many League champions who underwent a similar overhaul - the improvements are striking. 

This might not be the fairest comparison to make, as the graphics that DotA 2 started with were much more advanced than those League had to work with at the beginning. Since Dota 2 released years before, it does mean League has a bit of catching up to do. However, it seems that Riot is upping their game, at least in the graphics department, while, Valve is content to edit their heroes, but not necessarily upgrade them. 

And so we have no choice but to say goodbye to the short, balding man who could blow you up from halfway across the world, and say hello to his new, beefy stunt double.

Rest in peace, good friend.

Published Oct. 22nd 2015
  • TheMortyr
    Except Skeleton King was changed after Blizzard filed a copyright infringement complaint and since it was straight forward rip-off from Diablo's Leoric (which is OK in DotA, because Warcraft is Blizzard's game, but Dota 2 not so much) it had to be changed. So Wraith King wasn't about graphical improvement.
    That said, I totally agree new Zeus is ugly as east side of the horse headed west.
  • Ashley Gill
    Associate Editor
    This is what people get for wanting a Zeus remodel over some of the clearly uglier ones. I mean, come on, look at Jaki.

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