Valve has announced the rebirth of Dota 2 by detailing features in the new game client running on the Source 2 engine.
The new game client, which has been in the works for some time judging by many hints at a Source 2 release last year, will be available in beta near the end of next week.
The first part of Valve’s reveal centres around the new UI for the game, which also includes improved tutorials and a revamped DotaTV for watching tournament games.
Further details of the support for Custom Game modes, a heavily requested feature by the community, will follow later next week.
The DotaTV changes are substantial, offering DVR-like pausing and scrubbing through live matches, and several tournament-specific support options including brackets, schedules, team info and casters.
The in-client viewer has also been updated to supply detailed statistics of players and heroes throughout the match, as well as what appears to be support for third-party streams and their chat windows alongside the match itself.
These changes have been much-anticipated by the eSports enthusiasts and organisers in the Dota community, as the current tournament model left tickets sold through the in-game store as essentially worthless products thanks to the streaming of matches outside the game.
This was touched upon by David “LD” Gorman, of BeyondTheSummit, recently in a forum post where he explained the current tournament monetisation problems faced by Dota competition organisers.
“The sad truth is that both tickets and compendiums for non-majors have extremely limited value compared to hats,” Gorman wrote. “Perhaps the biggest issue is that there’s pretty much always a free, high-definition stream with no ads (for the majority of users who use adblock) available.”
“Sure, some people like to pay for the opportunity to access replays, watch player perspective, or simply because their internet connection sucks, but however vocal such people may be, ultimately the numbers don’t lie. People who are willing to pay for tickets are a drop in the bucket relative to the number of people who will tune in to the free livestreams.”
However with the new feature-rich client, the watching experience appears to address several of these key issues and could make the in-game route more viable for those on slower connections who don’t want to miss third-party streams.