Do the milkshake the milkshake do the shake
IceFrog, one of the creators of the original Warcraft 3 mod, Defense of the Ancients, explains that the company's "original plan" has been thrown into disarray, after the game's rabid fanbase became more and more vocal.
Our original plan was to spend the next year or so in beta, adding new features and slowly growing the number of heroes until we reached a level of parity with Dota 1, at which point we’d release Dota 2 to the world.
But the feedback we’re seeing everywhere is that people just want to play it, even though there’s still a ton of heroes yet to be implemented. We’ve also seen that the folks who are already in the beta are chomping at the bit to show everyone else some of the fun games they’ve had. So we decided our original plan was dumb.
So - the new plan is simple. Rather than spend 12+ months adding all sorts of bits and pieces to the game, Valve will instead polish up the version of Dota 2 that was used as part of The International cybergames championship. There's already one complete set of heroes, so the company's promised to push it out there "as fast as we can".
Obviously, that's not going to mean an immediate release (in fact, no dates have been even hinted at, at this stage), but Valve have come to what it hopes is a happy compromise. The game will remain in invite-only beta for a while longer, but there will be no restrictions. Screenshots, videos, live streams, guides and virtually all other content can be published from the game, to make sure everybody knows just what's going on (and, we imagine, to raise a bit of hype for the game).
Hopefully, IceFrog and Valve will continue listening to fans, and make any necessary adjustments to the game going forward - but, even if they don't, this is a pretty awesome step in the right direction.
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Jimmy the Geek