While most of the eyes of the gaming world are focused on E3 this week, there is a special type of person who has only paid attention to one game, the game that to them is the One True Game: Dota 2.
Last week Valve announced Dota 2 Reborn, the same game that fans know and love (and occasionally hate), rebuilt in the new Source 2 engine, and now a beta is available. Of course this means improved graphics, but the update also brings a UI overhaul and a boatload of new features to the game.
One of the biggest new features comes in the form of Custom Games, which are essentially mods. “These games can be anything from a grand brawl between ten Invokers, to a story-driven dungeon adventure, to something creative that no one has seen before,” the Dota 2 website reads. “For us, Custom Games represent a continuation of the tradition that gave birth to Dota, Team Fortress, and Counter-Strike. We’d like to build an ecosystem where you can experience something new every time you launch Dota 2.”
Unlike the standard Dota 2 test client, players’ cosmetic items, friends, MMR, and match history are shared between the main game and the Reborn beta. That said, Ranked Matchmaking isn’t available in Reborn yet, though Valve expects to turn it on in a few days.
The Dota 2 Reborn beta will run alongside the current version of Dota 2, so if you’re running on an older computer, have issues with the new engine, or just like the older version better, you don’t have to worry about a sudden change to the game, at least for now. Valve plans to bring Reborn out of beta “sometime after The International,” at which point it may be the only version of Dota 2 available.
The beta for Dota 2 Reborn is downloadable and playable by anyone, anywhere right now. If you already have Dota 2 installed, you’re well on your way. Head over to the Dota 2 Reborn update page for the full rundown on how to get started with the beta.