Earlier this year, Valve announced Source Engine 2 and within a few weeks, the availability of Dota 2 Reborn Beta was made public.
If you are one of those PC gamers who play Dota 2, and haven’t tried the Reborn update yet, the recent updates must have been a surprise for you. If you are still trying to fathom the new changes, don’t worry, we are here to help. This is a detailed guide of the Dota 2 Reborn.
The latest updates not just brought cosmetics changes to the game but how you interact with it as well. To give you a background, earlier this year, Valve announced Source Engine 2. And, within a few weeks, the availability of Dota 2 Reborn Beta was made public. This was the new game client for Dota 2 based on the Source 2 Engine. The latest updates have scrapped the older client completely and in its place made the Reborn client, the main game client.
Valve also has plans to update the rest of its games — Counter Strike and Team Fortress 2 to the new game engine. We might also see Valve finally announcing the next Half-Life game in the series (GabeN, please), but all these things are for some other day. Let’s turn our attention back to Dota 2.
What has changed?
Well, a lot, there is a new dashboard, the UI has been reworked and small map elements have been changed. Let’s start with the new dashboard first.
Dashboard: Your new command center
The dashboard of the game has been redesigned to suit the tastes of a growing and newer audience. The top tabs have been shrunken down to just four from the usual six with the inclusion of a new menu called “Custom games”. While custom games or mods have been around for some time now, Valve is now finally letting them in the game. More on that later.
The main home page now looks like Steam’s Store page, as instead of the large update window, it now has smaller windows which open into more sub-menus. The top three panel hold the updates info and below that, two windows hold popular custom game launchers and the last one holds the Tutorial launcher.
Just press the “Play” button
The ‘Chat’ and ‘Friends’ window are now replaced by a more prominent player mini-profiles, and a friend’s feed window underneath. However, the most significant changes are done to chat and the match finding menu. The chat has now moved to the lower left corner of the dashboard which is now available all the time. The chat integrates channels, lobbies, private messages and more, all of which can be accessed from a single message box. Quite nifty, we must say. The best bit here is the new match finding menu, which simply slides from the right side when you click on the ‘Find Match’ button. You can just select what match type you want to play and go on poking into other menus and the “Finding Match” icon will remain visible wherever you move into the game.
Another good addition to match finding is the new accept bar. Once the server finds players, you can see who denied the match or who was AFK. This will make it much easier to single out and blame the person because of whom the match finding was abandoned. Talking of which, the ‘Friends’ menu slides out from the bottom as soon as you click on the friends icon in the bottom. From there, simply select who you want to invite to your party and start playing. Another neat feature is the small antenna looking icon right next to the friends list which will let you broadcast that you are looking to play and won’t mind joining a part. You can also check stats of your friends from the last twenty games by clicking on their icon, and compare your stats with theirs as well. Good for gloating purposes, we believe.
Heroes get the limelight they deserve
Moving into the Heroes tab. The redesigned tab has heroes at the very centre of things. The new UI is far more friendly and intuitive than any other MOBA game we have seen so far. Filters are abundant, whether you are looking for your favourites hero, most played or if you just want to personalise a hero, it is all here. If you are interested in an in-game item like an “Arcana set” for example, just tap onto it and try it. One can also try a hero then and there from the menu to give players a taste of all the abilities and general behaviour of the character. This will ascertain an easy transition for gamers who want to improve their skills or just want to try out unplayed heroes.
Live games with stats
The watch tab and its elements have also been reworked and the match-watching experience itself is crafted from the ground up in the Reborn update. While you still get a similar set of sub-menus, more elements have been added to enhance the viewing experience. In Reborn, you will be able to watch live matches with snap-on stats, separate chat windows and more. Big tournaments or “Featured Tournaments” will cater more info on current positions, brackets, caster and more.
Don’t be a NOOB anymore
The Learn tab now adds two more features for the newcomers in the game. There is a new mechanics tutorial as well as new guided bot matches in addition to the usual bot matches. The guided bot matches will provide in-game tips to help novices improve their game. Valve has thoroughly covered each and every aspect of the game from last-hitting to laning and put into these tutorials.
The cherry on the cake: Custom games
Yes, this is the most fun part of this entire new update, “Custom Games”. Just like in-game items, custom games will be developed by developers. While previous custom game mods like “Pudge Wars” are here, Valve developed a custom game “Overthrow” which is currently ruling our hearts. The supremely fun, fast paced, deathmatch is a delight to play and might turn into a separate game some day, now where did we hear that before? Well, more games are in the works and with a community as big as Dota 2, it should be an easy audience to please.
What about the gameplay?
Well, the gameplay has remained untouched in this entire process. However, thanks to the new Source 2 Engine, the detailing on the map is now better. Some of you might have observed that till now. Some areas in the map have been tweaked to look better and Valve has sparked some more butterflies and squirrels onto the map, the usual stuff.
So, What’s next?
At the moment, nothing. Valve is still patching up things with Dota 2 receiving small updates almost every day. Besides that, more custom games will be available via the game. And, Valve is still developing new characters so we might see a new hero before the year end.
Hardik "fluffyVader" Singh
Light at the top, this odd looking creature lives under the heavy medication of video games. Fluffy swore by PC gaming way early in life and has stuck to it. When he is not working, he spends his hours decimating the enemy in Dota 2.