Valve expanding Dota 2 beta 'as soon as we can'

Valve has shaken up its Dota 2 beta plans in response to fan excitement following its tournament $1.6 million The International, now saying that it hopes to bring the current version to a wider audience "as fast as we can."

"People just want to play it," the company explained.

"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," pseudonymous DotA maestro 'IceFrog' explained on the Dota 2 blog.

"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."

The revelation of Valve's previous plan is somewhat surprising, as previous comments from co-founder Gabe Newell had given the impression that Dota 2 was a lot closer than IceFrog now says. Still, now it certainly does seem to be quite close.

"We're going to take the current version of Dota 2, which has The International set of heroes, and get it out there as fast as we can," IceFrog said. "We've still got some work to do in a couple of areas, so we'll be keeping it invite-only for a (hopefully short) period of time."

Then, Valve plans to release "regular" updates with more heroes, new features and the like.

Valve will also lift the NDA on Dota 2 so testers can share anything and everything about the game, meaning those of us on the outside can at least gawp at their screenshots, reports, commentaries, live streams, and the like.

To get in on the beta, you can still sign up for a shot, or try winning one in various contests.