Valve has officially rolled out the first beta for Dota 2 Reborn. They go into extreme detail about some of the new features that are now possible in Dota 2 thanks to the advancements offered by Valve's own Source 2 game engine.
It's kind of strange that the Source 2 is being introduced through the free-to-play MOBA Dota 2, but that's just how Valve rolls.
Over on the official Dota 2 website they detail how the Source 2 engine is used in the MOBA. Input lag is decreased, allowing players to execute skills and moves much faster in Dota 2. There's also enhanced optimization for performance gains on both new and old computers, this means that the game will have better frame-rate and loading even on laptops.
Source 2 is also designed from the ground up to support multithreaded prioritization and streaming. Now that last one might seem a bit confusing but what it means is that if you have a computer or laptop with multiple CPU cores it'll ensure that all of them are put to work in a proper manner and that the game is running as smoothly and as fast as possible without taxing just one or two cores at a time, which is what happens in some games like Arma.
The engine upgrade also brings increased rendering performance to the table. This is essential for making maps fast and easy in Dota 2 without having to worry about limiting your vision due to engine constraints. Many map makers for Garry's Mod would continually complain about the limitations they faced with the Source Engine when making maps in Hammer. For Dota 2 that constraint is no longer in play and you can get creative with the different game types, game modes and game maps that you make for the popular MOBA title.
The Source 2 also contains improved physics, and they are in the process of adding more advanced cloth and object simulation physics. I feel like a lot of games these days could be so much more immersive with interactive physics and it's nice to see that the software technology when it comes to physics simulations are now at a point where they can work hand-in-hand with more adequately priced hardware technology.
And last but not least, in regards to the Source 2, Valve has made it known that the engine will be primed and ready for Mac and Linux users, with native OpenGL support so you won't have to use wrappers to get the graphics running clean and pristine in some of your favorite Linux-supported titles, such as Dota 2.
The beta for Reborn also brings with it the built-in integration for the Source Filmmaker. This is a pretty big thing because it means you can easily use assets, prefabricated materials and objects from Dota 2 and manipulate them using the new and improved Source 2-powered Source Filmmaker.
That's right, the Source Filmmaker has been redesigned in the Source 2 engine to allow more control over character and object rigging, 64-bit rendering support for longer and more complex movies and instant H.264/AAC encoding support so you can output to an MP4 on the fly.
You can sign-up for the Dota 2 Reborn beta right now by paying a visit to the official website or just learn more about the new features that Valve implemented into the popular free-to-play MOBA.