Valve will release a major update for their multiplayer online battle arena Dota 2 on September 23rd. The "First Blood" patch will provide numerous features including LAN support and Portal tie-ins.
When the update goes live, players will be able to create local servers and host matches with up to nine friends on their same network. These local lobbies have the same rules as private lobbies. Replays of the matches will be stored on the computer of whoever created the match.
Captain's Draft is an interesting new way of selecting your heroes. In this game mode, eight heroes of each type (strength, agility, intelligence) will be selected at random. The captains of each team will then ban two heroes from that list, and select five heroes from the remaining list.
Valve has made the Armory easier to navigate as well. You can use a quick search bar in order to locate a specific item. Alternately, you can create filters that will be stored in the Steam Cloud so you can access them later. Players can sort the Armory by type, quality, rarity and other item characteristics.
The in-game store has also been updated with a few new items. Players can expect new armor, mask, hairstyles and more. Portal fans can buy a themed pack that unlocks GLaDOS as an announcer while also providing Aperture Science Wardcores and a new HUD skin.
In an effort to make the game community more pleasant, Valve has made the punishments more severe for misbehavior. Now, if you received a communications ban, you need to behave yourself for three weeks straight to prevent any subsequent violations from drawing a longer ban. Furthermore, Valve will soon ban Dota 2 players for 30 days if they're caught playing external tools attached to the game.
You can read about the smaller nuts and bolts of the update here. There are a lot of tweaks and bug fixes included in "First Blood." For example, black screens after alt-tabs and continuous loops of "received uncompressed update from server" messages should both be a thing of the past.