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At long last Dota 2, short for “Defense of the Ancients,” is ready for its official debut, celebrating its public launch *checks watch* TODAY!
Okay, so, for most of you that actually want to play this massive online battle arena (MOBA) game, chances are pretty good that you've already been digging deep into its two-year beta period. But you know how the folks at Steam are. They don't like to launch something until its well and truly ready...Or never, in the case of Half-Life 3. But that's a different story.
For the uninitiated, a MOBA usually features two teams of players, each with their own unit or units, attacking one another across a symmetrical map. Sometime the goal of the game is kill count and other times it's gaining points by controlling key locations on the map. The characters in the game offer unique abilities and the key is figuring out which players work best with which characters and how, as a team, they can all work well together to earn a victory. Successful MOBAs have to be extremely balanced, which probably explains why Dota 2 has been in beta limbo for so long.
If you're familiar with the more recent MOBA king of the hill, League of Legends, then you already know basically what to expect out of Dota 2. Steam's game is also free-to-play, meaning that all of the core content is at your disposal. Additional characters, skins and whatnot will be available for purchase as the game moves forward and, based on how much attention the beta got, Steam have likely created themselves a nice little money machine in Dota 2. Offer a quality free experience and charge a little every now and then for additional content, and people might just flock to your game. Who would have thought?
“During a two-year beta, Dota 2 grew to be the largest active community in Steam's history, with a monthly user base of more than 3 million users, and peak concurrent users of over 300,000,” reads a statement from Steam announcing the public launch of the game. “The feedback from these users put Dota 2 in position to welcome everyone to come and play, as we move from beta to launch.”
Due to the size of the audience of current players, the official launch will apparently take place in waves to ensure the current players don't get booted due to all of the newbies rushing in.
“Our goal over the next few weeks is to continue to make the game more enjoyable as more players are brought in,” said Valve's Erik Johnson. “We hope to make it as smooth as possible for existing players and new players alike.”
In order to throw your hat into the ring to join Dota 2 ASAP, simply head to the game's official page, sign up, and wait patiently for an email telling you that you've been invited to play the full game.