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Today Valve announced that they're changing their plans for strategy game Dota 2's release. No, they're not delaying the game. It's the opposite, actually.
"Our original plan was to spend the next year or so in beta, adding new features and slowly growing the number of heroes until we reached a level of parity with Dota 1, at which point we’d release Dota 2 to the world," designer IceFrog said on the official Dota 2 site.
Valve soon learned through player feedback that gamers are eager to play the game even if the full set of playable units haven't been added yet. So, Valve will grant them their wish. They're going to release the game with the hero units featured at the International tournament at this year's GamesCom.
"Welcome to the new plan: We’re going to take the current version of Dota 2, which has The International set of heroes, and get it out there as fast as we can. We’ve still got some work to do in a couple of areas, so we’ll be keeping it invite-only for a (hopefully short) period of time. But there’ll be no restrictions on what players can do with it – they can release screenshots, make movies, shoutcast matches, write guides, publicly make fun of our HUD, or anything else their hearts desire."
While they do that, we’ll be shipping regular updates with more heroes, new features we’ve been working on, and improvements on the existing content as we get more and more feedback."
To be eligible for the beta, you'll need to sign up here. Note that you'll need Steam in order to participate.