DoTA 2 Ditches Beta Keys

| 21 Jun 2013 09:40

Valve has abolished the beta key system and DoTA 2 can now be accessed without a beta key.

Though the thousands of players and million dollar championships may suggest otherwise, DoTA 2 has actually been in a "semi-open beta" the whole time. Valve has abolished the beta key system and DoTA 2 can now be accessed without a beta key, making it completely free-to-play.

Up until now, players had to have a beta key to play the game. Nevermind the fact that Valve gave out the beta keys like candy (i think I have about 30 of them in my Steam inventory) and you could buy them on the Steam marketplace for a pittance, you still needed a beta key and thus the game was not entirely "free-to-play".

It looks as though new accounts from all parts of the world have free access to the game, with the sole exception of China. Chinese gamers can receive free access to Perfect World server (the official Chinese host for DoTA 2) if they clocked in more than 800 hours of the game on the normal Steam servers.

The only noticeable change that accompanies these new "non-beta" accounts is the addition of the game's trailer before the game fully loads.

Valve previously stated it planned to officially release the game before this summer. The abolition of the beta key does not necessarily mark the game's official release, as its steam store page still marks it as an "Early Access Game."

While most fans are happy the game is seeing an official release, some are disappointed at Valve's decision to not implement LAN functions before the release.

Source: Gosugamers

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KeyMaster45:
snippertje

well, this is where we disagree, Dota 2 was supposed to feature the very same heroes as the mod did, making them look like they did in the original is completely logical.
That said, the silhouette is often the only thing they really have in common, the anti-mage does indeed use the same dual-blades like the illidan model in WC3, but he no longer even closely resembles illidan, the same can be said for the juggernaut (no longer an orc) and the Storm Spirit (no longer a panda).

Character detail is also very important, combined with their backstory, can actually give character more of a distinct personality to them, such as the Omni-knight who is adorned with symbols of the omniscient, his god.

scienceguy8:

teebeeohh:

scienceguy8:
Question: I can play a mean Gunner in Super Monday Night Combat, a Third Person Shooter DotA/LoL-esque game. You think I'd be any good at this? Any suggestions?

knowing how mobas work will help you a lot. and, of course, shooter reflexes help with everything
in terms of "clicking at things really fast", have you ever played any RTS?

A couple dungeon crawlers (Torchlight, Torchlight 2, Spiral Knights), and a turn based strategy (Battle for Wesnoth). No major real time strategy experience.

ok, torchlight should qualify you.
if you liked SMNC you will probably have some fun here, especially since it's free. If there are restrictions to the non-key version, those things are about as rare as hats in tf2

teebeeohh:

scienceguy8:
Question: I can play a mean Gunner in Super Monday Night Combat, a Third Person Shooter DotA/LoL-esque game. You think I'd be any good at this? Any suggestions?

knowing how mobas work will help you a lot. and, of course, shooter reflexes help with everything
in terms of "clicking at things really fast", have you ever played any RTS?

A couple dungeon crawlers (Torchlight, Torchlight 2, Spiral Knights), and a turn based strategy (Battle for Wesnoth). No major real time strategy experience.

leet_x1337:
The whole point is that it's a graphical upgrade of Defense of the Ancients that also gets rid of some of the limitations of the Warcraft 3 engine, such as being able to use QWER(DF) as your ability keys. They're not knockoffs - they're exactly the same, except where copyright won't allow it. That's the point.

So then they are knockoffs in every sense of the word.

Combustion Kevin:
The design team actually made it a point that all hero's kept the same silhouette as they did in the original mod so that they'd be instantly recognisable, and just like in Team fortress 2, each hero has a unique silhouette and color pallate to identify them, I actually quite admire it.

TheKasp:
Since one of the original developers of DOTA Allstars is working on DOTA2 to create a standalone of the original (which explains why DOTA2 is pretty much only DOTA in a new engine)... Why should they hide that? It is actually one of the bigger advertisements for the game.

The copyright: DOTA Allstars used characters and designs (Pandaren) that are owned by Blizzard entertainment. They got to an agreement to not use those names and designs but since it is still just a port they keep it as close as (legaly) possible.

Does the game really hinge so importantly on people still being able to recognize the units as W3 units that the DOTA2 team had to continue clinging to Blizzard's shins to have any hope of it being a success? It feels lazy, and to a lesser extent, sleazy to me that they didn't make their own distinguishable game from Blizzard's. They're not just updating a mod, they've built a game from the ground up that is no longer tied to W3. The very first thing that should have happened was ensuring that cursory glances at their characters didn't identify them as the demon hunter, blade master, ranger, brewmaster, abomination, or high elf mage units of W3; just to name a few.

They could have developed new characters and new silhouettes. I suspect their player base would have been smart enough to catch on, and that Valve has the funds to do so. That they've stuck so close with the designs as to be near miss copyright infringement on them, makes them no better than a Chinese knockoff trying to ride on the coattails of Blizzard's success.

The official release date is whenever the Mac version comes out. I'll give them a little longer to bring it to Linux, though they're probably holding out on an official release until that version is ready for prime time anyway.

scienceguy8:
Question: I can play a mean Gunner in Super Monday Night Combat, a Third Person Shooter DotA/LoL-esque game. You think I'd be any good at this? Any suggestions?

knowing how mobas work will help you a lot. and, of course, shooter reflexes help with everything
in terms of "clicking at things really fast", have you ever played any RTS?

Steven Bogos:
snip

Correction: To play this game in multiplayer you still need beta keys (which you can get by asking about anywhere or being a tool and spending 10€ for an early access package with items in worth of 10€). The access without key grants you the spectator client and offline bot matches!

Source: http://www.joindota.com/en/news/10157-update-dota-2-claims-of-open-beta-false

TheRussian:

That's not exactly true. When Dota 2 first implemented beta pass keys, I got my hands on one and managed to trade it for a few good TF2 hats. They have only been worthless relatively recently.

On the subject, good. Even though I personally don't think Dota 2 is any fun, it's good to have a F2P game actually be F2P.

Alcaste:

Strange. I was under the impression that they were used as currency for trading within the game - Like for random drops and stuff. There are price listings for it and everything, but maybe I'm mistaken. I only did it a couple of times.

Right, should've been more clear on this:

Right now they are worthless (and have been for the past couple months since the big influx of invites got sent out). During the time when they were rare they were of course of value in trading but even than it diminished more and more, unlike (ingame)keys they were not a stable form of currency.

Man everyone thought the keys were worthless even when they actually let you access the game, now they truly are worthless. Luckily for me I never cared for DOTA so I don't have an inventory full of beta keys.

TheKasp:

Alcaste:
Hmmm. Interesting. Weren't people using the keys as a form of currency for item trading? What will become of that?

Nope, they weren't. Those keys are pretty much worthless so now they are even more worthless :D

Strange. I was under the impression that they were used as currency for trading within the game - Like for random drops and stuff. There are price listings for it and everything, but maybe I'm mistaken. I only did it a couple of times.

TheKasp:

Alcaste:
Hmmm. Interesting. Weren't people using the keys as a form of currency for item trading? What will become of that?

Nope, they weren't. Those keys are pretty much worthless so now they are even more worthless :D

That's not exactly true. When Dota 2 first implemented beta pass keys, I got my hands on one and managed to trade it for a few good TF2 hats. They have only been worthless relatively recently.

On the subject, good. Even though I personally don't think Dota 2 is any fun, it's good to have a F2P game actually be F2P.

Question: I can play a mean Gunner in Super Monday Night Combat, a Third Person Shooter DotA/LoL-esque game. You think I'd be any good at this? Any suggestions?

Alcaste:
Hmmm. Interesting. Weren't people using the keys as a form of currency for item trading? What will become of that?

Nope, they weren't. Those keys are pretty much worthless so now they are even more worthless :D

Hmmm. Interesting. Weren't people using the keys as a form of currency for item trading? What will become of that?

saxxon.de:
Plus, the game isn't officially released yet. Maybe they started out by saying "first we'll port the original game to the source engine, improve on the community aspects (which they did and still do) and after that's done, we can think about integrating new heroes / items / whatever".

Not quite. There were just 2 new heroes added to the 'to port' list a few weeks ago when a new DOTA Allstars patch got released (changes on already implemented heroes were implemented a week later in DOTA2). Right now while DOTA2 is on its way to get on the same level as DOTA Allstars the work on new heroes and everything else continues.

The porting of the heroes is also a little more complicated than people assume. They need to work the same way but in a different engine, they need to be different enough for the copyright not to apply but be instantly recogniseable. They redesign them visually, add really great voice acting, tons of animations etc. Every weekly patch adds new assets to soon to be released heroes (Abbadon the Death Knight and the Legion Commander).

Plus, the game isn't officially released yet. Maybe they started out by saying "first we'll port the original game to the source engine, improve on the community aspects (which they did and still do) and after that's done, we can think about integrating new heroes / items / whatever".

There's also a fine tuned balancing in place which is still overhauled from time to time like Valve did with the last big patch. Before you implement new heroes you better make sure the already existing ones are finished. That's a well known advice to everyone writing code. First you make sure the stuff you already have in there works. Then you can add new stuff. That way you can make sure the new features integrate well and don't screw everything up at once.

See TF2 for reference. First they build Vanilla TF2 and made sure it played perfectly with a balancing as good as possible. Then they released updates, each after weeks of playtesting. Then they evened out the little problems that occured in the game when a broader player base got their hands on it and gave their feedback. Only then they started working on new features. Even today with all the community stuff, everything still gets tested by Valve before it goes into the actual game.

It's totally possible that there will be new game modes, heroes and other stuff in Dota 2 a couple of years from now.

KeyMaster45:
I know that DOTA was originally a Warcraft 3 mod, but couldn't have Valve at least put out the effort to not make all the characters and units in the video instantly be recognizable as knock offs of the original units and heroes?

Since one of the original developers of DOTA Allstars is working on DOTA2 to create a standalone of the original (which explains why DOTA2 is pretty much only DOTA in a new engine)... Why should they hide that? It is actually one of the bigger advertisements for the game.

The copyright: DOTA Allstars used characters and designs (Pandaren) that are owned by Blizzard entertainment. They got to an agreement to not use those names and designs but since it is still just a port they keep it as close as (legaly) possible.

Aeshi:
"exactly the same, except where copyright won't allow it" is the very definition of 'knockoff', To call DOTA2 a 'update' of DOTA would be like saying that that Chinese knock-off of LoL that made the news here a while back was an 'update' of LoL

Valve didn't seem to care about making sure TF2 remained "exactly the same" as the original Team Fortress in terms of gameplay OR graphics, so I fail to see why they decided to change their tune here other than sheer laziness (and possibly because now they're popular enough to get away with it)

If you want to point the knockoff stick anywhere, point it at something that's not endorsed by Icefrog, AKA the guy in charge of Dota. Perhaps I should have been clearer on the copyright point. I meant Blizzard's copyrights, not Icefrog's. And it's not like DotA: Allstars was the most original game ever to begin with.

Did that Chinese game improve on LoL's engine? The consensus is that you can't improve on Dota's strategic depth. What they could fix was the engine limitations - Warcraft 3 is a ten-year-old game, and besides, there have been a few improvements on accessibility, such as having all your ability keys in the same place for every hero. That's what Dota 2 is about.

If you have a problem with that, nothing is stopping you from just continuing to play the original. And don't say 'lack of population' because we both know that's bull.

I've still got 23 in my inventory! I need to sell them quick before people realize!

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