DOTA 2: Reborn Beta Impressions
Valve always seems to take their sweet time when it comes to major updates. By doing so, they ensure that when a major update goes live, it will not disappoint their fans. The latest Dota 2 Reborn update does not fall short of the expectations we have for Valve. This update brings a lot of features that many players were requesting and looking forward to. Read on to learn more about the Dota 2 Reborn update.
Dota 2 Reborn is still not ready for the main client but all players can play the beta. This can be done by launching Dota 2 through Steam (shortcuts won’t work) and selecting Dota 2 Reborn Beta as the launch option. If this option is not appearing for you, you may need to download the Dota 2 Reborn client as a DLC. This can be done in the same way any other DLC is downloaded on Steam (right click the game and download the DLC through the game’s properties). The Dota 2 Reborn client seems to be separate for now as it doubled my Dota 2 folder’s size. However, it should be merged with the main client once the update has left the beta stages.
When booting up the game with the latest update, the first thing I noticed is the new UI. It all begins with the boot screen logo, by being greeted with a new logo. My excitement began to build up right from the beginning. This excitement is rewarded by a brand new dashboard that is easy to use and looks great. The dashboard features a large card style interface allowing players to easily navigate and consume information.
It wouldn’t be a major update if only the presentation was changed, the new UI needs to offer additional features as well. In the new Dota 2 Reborn client, there are new ways to browse through the hero pool, spectate games, set up parties and chat with friends. It would be great to see these features ported over to other games by Valve such as CS:GO. I think it is highly likely they will be ported over once both games move to the Source Engine 2.
The new hero browser allows players to both learn about and customize Dota 2 heroes. Players are able to filter through the heroes using filters such as carry, support, ranged, melee, and more. Once a hero has been selected, you can try on different cosmetic items and even demo the getup in game. This is a great way to see if you like a cosmetic set, but if your aim is to learn new heroes, the hero browser should only be used as an additional resource; the best way to learn a hero is to play with and against that hero.
Continuing on with the idea of learning and getting better at Dota, the new friend and party system allows you to easily play with friends. If you have a group of people who are serious about improving and regularly play with, you will learn the game at an expedited rate. This new system features a better chat system with party voice chat and even allows parties to be merged. Often times I have found friends forming parties and have had to invite everyone one by one. By being able to simply merge parties, we can now easily get into the game.
Everything that has been described above is great, however, we have yet to get to the main dish. With Dota 2 Reborn, Valve is now officially supporting custom games! Using Valve’s Hammer editing tool, anyone can create their own custom games which can be played by Dota 2 players around the world. There are already hundreds of custom games available in the beta with many more on the way. If you’re tired of or don’t have enough time for a full game of Dota, you can sit back and play custom games such as Tree Tag, Skill Shot Wars, and Valve’s own custom game Overthrow.
Overthrow is a simple arena game where five teams of two players fight to control the map and reach the kill goal as fast as possible. Unlike a normal game of Dota 2, you do not need to farm. You can gain gold and experience very quickly by staying close to the Midas and picking up gold coins. This gold can be used to purchase items, but items can also be found by picking up item deliveries. Overthrow is a great game mode to play when you do not have enough time for a full game of Dota 2. Valve is also working on another custom game mode which should be released in the coming weeks.
Many players, mainly the older ones, should be familiar with the custom games found in Warcraft III. A lot of these custom games have been ported over with more to come. My friends are looking forward to more tower defense games in Dota 2. It is great to see Valve introducing custom games into Dota 2. Even Dota 2 started out as a Warcraft III custom map so who knows? Maybe we’ll see another Dota come out of Dota 2.
The Hammer editor has been improved to make the creation process easier for developers and content creators. The editor can be used to create new maps, models, and even custom user interfaces. Once a custom game mode has been created, it can be added to the workshop and rated by the community. Higher rated games will show up more often in the suggested game list. I’m excited to see what the community can come up with using these tools.
Moving away from the front end, the latest update also brings a lot of backend changes to Dota 2. The game should run smoother, load faster, and play better with the latest engine updates. Changes in the backend are never appreciated enough. If you notice the game running smoother, loading faster, and feeling more responsive, it is not just you. Hopefully these engine changes are pushed to other Source games such as CS: Go.
Conclusion: A lot of potential in Dota 2 Reborn
Valve is set to deliver a great update for Dota 2. The new custom game modes and Hammer editor introduce a lot of potential to the game. If someone in the community has an idea, it is now possible to add it into Dota 2. There are still some small issues with the update such as laggy lobbies and players not connecting successfully, but this should be fixed upon release. At least I hope they are, as lobbies seem to be hosted by players and not Valve.
For fans of Dota 2, it is a no brainer to check out the new features in Dota 2. Even new players or players that do not like Dota 2 should check out this update when it leaves the beta stages. Custom game modes and the new learning options can ease the learning stages of Dota 2. You can even stick to only custom game modes. There were always Warcraft III players that never ventured outside the custom maps. Dota 2 will no doubt find similar players within its massive rank and file playerbase.
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