DOTA 2 is getting "Reborn" as Source 2.0 nears Release
After almost two years since its release, DOTA 2 is going back into beta as Valve applies its new Source 2.0 engine to the popular MOBA game.
Titled DOTA 2: Reborn, Valve has released the first of three pages of notes involving its plans for DOTA 2 to re-enter the beta process. According to the page, these changes will involve redesigning the in-game dashboard using a new user interface, fully replacing the current Source engine, and adding new features such as custom games and public lobbies. All of these features are expected to roll out with an open beta period that - according to the notes - will begin sometime late next week (Valve time).
While you can find these proposed changes to DOTA 2's client on this page, I will list some of the major changes below:
Dashboard UI Overhaul
As visible in the image above, DOTA 2's dashboard has been completely reworked, no longer hoarding all the menu options at the top of the screen. All categories that were originally separated or awkwardly placed among different sub-menus are now sorted into the following headers: "Heroes" for equipping cosmetics and browsing various hero stats, "Watch" for viewing replays or tournaments, "Learn" for tutorials and practice modes, and "Custom Games" for mods and customized maps that are available in the Steam Workshop.
Players will now be able to start the matchmaking queue or enter a custom or public game lobby from any screen (above). According to Valve this was done to streamline the game-entering process so players can quickly start a game queue without leaving other menus such as the shop, armory, or player profiles.
The Player Profile has also received a rework, now allowing users to see not only their friends' matchmaking ranks, victories, or total games, but also a comprehensive data chart that has information on everything from play styles to career accomplishments and recent activities.
Hero browsing has received a complete overhaul, as the UI is no longer constrained to the left side of the screen. The image above seems to show store items on the bottom row, while the one above it displays item sets that the player has equipped in their loadout or owns in their armory. How separate items will be equipped to a hero is not yet clear.
Party/Guild System Changes
A last change to the dashboard is the party system. According to the notes page, players will now be able to:
- quickly add players to their party without going through the right-clicking process already in place
- voice chat among party members before a game begins
- merge two or more parties together
- broadcast when they are looking to join a party
Other changes to the UI are much more subtle, such as improved tutorial modes and greater explanation of gameplay mechanics in said tutorials. Already we can see that Valve has put a great investment into modernizing DOTA 2, and with announcements about Custom Games and how the Source 2 engine will affect gameplay coming early next week, fans are undoubtedly excited for what will be the biggest update in a long time.