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DotA 2's Reborn Update: Part 2

Valve releases 2nd page of update notes for DotA 2's "reborn" update: custom games.

Last week we were given a brief introduction to DotA 2's Reborn update, an update that will put the game back into its beta stages as Valve begins work on implementing the Source 2.0 engine into the game.

Today, Valve released the second part of its three-part info page for the exciting new changes coming to the MOBA: Custom Games.

This brief Source Filmmaker clip highlights Valve's own addition to the Custom Games library "Overwatch" as well as fan-favorite "Pudge Wars"

While the new page does not offer as much as the first update page did, the update does give us a lot of information on the new Custom Games menu. Here are some of the features:

An Easy-to-Use Custom Games Menu

While Custom Games have been available in DotA 2 for a while now, actually starting a match was a complicated task as players would have to install the DotA 2 Workshop tools, then create a lobby and hope that other players were looking to play. Now players have access to an entire dashboard dedicated to custom games and custom lobbies. Here players can: look up the most popular games and mods, bookmark any games they like, see what games their friends are playing, as well as suggest or vote on future promoted game modes.

Launch pages will allow players to quickly join the lowest ping lobby available.

What will also be supported with the new dashboard and UI is the ability to spectate custom games (something that was limited to matchmaking only) as well as the ability to easily create or browse through custom game lobbies. This new interface will allow players to see all sorts of details on current lobbies such as the game type, player slots, ping, and so on. At first glance, it is very reminiscent of old Battle.net lobby lists in Warcraft III.

New Official Custom Game Mode: Overthrow

Overthrow is DotA 2's newest deathmatch-style mode. In this game mode players scramble across a map in 5 separate teams of two, each trying to stay closest to the "Midas Throne" to gather gold to buy new weapons while trying to get the "kills acquired" goal before the enemy.

To assist, chests will appear at certain points in the map to deliver items that will upgrade their heroes, so players will have to decide whether to stay at the throne, get the item chests, or head straight for the kills. According to the page, another game mode is in development at this time, so we will wait and see what else Valve has in store.

Developer Tools

Valve has also released a set of highly advanced developer tools to make custom games. Named the "Hammer Level Editor," Valve's map and code editing tool is a complex set of equipment that allows developers to create new materials, edit existing models, change particle effects, and access the developer console all while the game is still running. According to Valve, the tools will be functional while the game is running, and so all effects and bugs will run in-engine while the developer is working.

Furthermore, the Hammer's "Panorama UI" allows developers to update Lua gameplay scripts while the map is still open. This means that they can have the map loaded up in-game while changing scripts without having to restart the game or reload the map. Developers who have worked with Hammer during its alpha release can find the change log here.

This has all been very exciting news for the DotA community. The next page is scheduled for release later this week, the teaser simply stating: "The Beta Begins, and Behind the New Technologies." Hopefully, the next page will shed more light on how the rumoured release of Source 2.0 with DotA 2 will affect gameplay or graphics, as well as more information on the beta's release features.

Published Jun. 17th 2015

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