Valve's much-anticipated multiplayer action-RPG, Dota 2, will include both LAN and mod support, the developer announced today. Local-area-network enabled Dota 2 matches are obviously a nice option for all Dota 2 players, but is an especially attractive feature in China, home to the "largest Dota audience in the world."
Dota 2 project boss Erik Johnson confirmed the news in an interview with JoinDOTA.com. Johnson also confirmed that though nothing is set in stone, Valve hopes to hold The International--the gigantic worldwide Dota 2 competition held in Seattle--on the weekend that straddles the end of August and beginning of September.
The release date of Dota 2 is still unknown, but as Eurogamer notes, Johnson's comments seem to indicate the possibility that the game will be out by then as well. "Our release date is not tied to The International," he said, "but we do have a goal of everyone being able to view the matches live inside the game."
As with all highly-competitive online experiences, latency is an important factor that must be monitored to ensure a level playing field for all participants. "Our goal is for everyone around the world to have sub 100ms latency to our servers," Johnson explained. "We will continue to deploy servers around the world until this is true."
Johnson also indicated that Valve is "still working on" whether or not Dota 2 will utilize a free-to-play business model, or something more traditional.