Blizzard DOTA unveiled at BlizzCon 2011

by Garnett Lee, Oct 21, 2011 3:15pm PDT

We've known Blizzard had its own Defense of the Ancients (DOTA) inspired custom game in the works for Starcraft II. At BlizzCon 2011, the wraps came off to reveal the game now to be known as Blizzard DOTA. The trailer below offers a good first look at the game in action and some of the heroes. We also got a massive drop of screens that show off heroes, map lanes, and more. And to go with them, Blizzard supplied a number of answers to some of the questions you're sure to asking. We've got those details below but to answer one of the top priorities; Blizzard says it plans to offer a number of ways to Blizzard DOTA for free, but the specifics aren't set as yet. It could be part of the Starcraft II: Starter Edition, with some sort of content restrictions. Another possibility under consideration is to give exclusive content to owners of games such as Wings of Liberty and Heart of the Swarm.

Blizzard promises its take on DotA will be based on the company's "easy-to-learn, difficult-to-master" design philosophy. A twist on how towers work was given as an example of this approach in action. In Blizzard DOTA towers have a limited supply of energy that recharges over time. This means that an attacker making a push can more easily overwhelm the tower by effectively running it out of ammo. The middle ground of maps, known as the "jungle," also sees some changes. As opposed to clearing out creeps to earn power-ups for individual heroes, there are power nodes to capture that boost the strength of your team's attacking creatures out in the lanes.

As the title implies, the setup for the game takes full advantage of the Blizzard catalog. The basic idea is that two gods (the players) battle for fun and ladder points in a transdimensional pocket universe by pulling in heroes from the great Blizzard franchises. Twelve of them are on display at Blizzcon, including Witchdoctor, Nova, Thrall, Arthas, Queen of Blades, Muradin, Za'gara, Stitches, Zeratul, and Sylvanis. Plans call for more to be in the game before it officially releases, but Blizzard advises that it intends to go for quality over quantity. Every hero will have a role to play, and not all of them will be killing machines.

Yes, a beta is planned for some time in the next few months. Until then we'll have to be content with this video and the screenshots.





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