Dota 2 beta rollout held up by server capacity

By Alice O'Connor, Feb 13, 2012 6:00am PST

Though the Dota 2 beta already has enough players to land a stable spot in Steam's top-ten list of most-played games, it's not enough. In a recent blog post, Valve explains that the beta is still closed and expanding slowly because there haven't been enough servers up and running.

"The primary reason we haven't allowed everyone access to the game is because we don't yet have enough server capacity to run all the games it would require. Our server deployment team has spent the last few months flying around the world setting up new server clusters to increase that capacity."

"You are probably aware that the number of people with access to Dota 2 is not equal to the size of the Earth's population (our internal estimate of the number of people who want Dota 2)," Valve writes in a blog post.

Valve co-founder Gabe Newell said last year that it planned for the beta to "go into progressively wider and wider distribution." While invites are still trickling out in dribs and drabs, the beta's not expanding at the pace many--Valve evidently included--had hoped for.

The blog post also notes that the beta will go offline for 24 hours on Tuesday, starting at 11am PST. The downtime's so Valve can roll out network changes, which'll support a new replay format and other shiny things. One feature the new replays bring is "Autospeed," which will automatically fast-forward through the slow parts of games until it hits "high intensity moments."

Blizzard Entertainment is giving Valve stick over trademarking "DOTA," formally filing opposition with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Blizzard claims that Valve can't lock down the DOTA name as its Warcraft III mod roots mean players associate it heavily with Warcraft and Blizzard. Valve, naturally, denies this.

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