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Friday, September 16, 2011

New Faces of Heroes in Dota2

Community feedback, an always present influence in the development of DotA, looks to becoming just as much of a force in the development of Dota 2. As Gabe Newell said during an interview at Gamescom:
We did early versions of a lot of the heroes, and some of them, the testers said, those are great, and some of them they said, holy shit, you guys completely missed it.

Created shortly after the start of Gamescom’s Dota 2 tournament, community website www.dota2feedback.comwas built to give Valve direct feedback into the hero models, icons, and skill icons and effects that were. Earlier this week, the site was updated to include some high quality, updated images, straight from the Dota 2 Beta.
Only one additional hero past those that we all saw in the Gamescom competition is shown off on the site. This of course is the mighty Axe, who was featured central in the Gamescom trailer, as well as present in the hero pool for Gamescom, but simply saw no play throughout the entire tournament. Animations and icons for his skills, are all available on the site, ones which would certainly strike fear into the player on the receiving end of his Culling Blade.

Through the site's voting features, it becomes quickly clear that there are a few hero’s art directions that are not enjoyed by the majority. The most hated of which is that being the ugly mug of Lion (A mere 21% approval rating at the time of writing), which was shown off in the very first game of the tournament, between EHOME and iG. While this may not of been a spectator’s best introduction to the game’s graphics, at least based off of this community feedback, Valve has been able to make changes to the hero’s appearance. Pictured below, we can see an improved portrait and model for the demon witch himself, sporting a new and very blue cape, as well as a grimace that features drastically less facial horns.
Many other heroes saw, although less drastic, meaningful changes as well - such as a re-crafting of Anti-Mage’s blades. The character now wields an unworldly set of light beams, ready to steal the mana of his foes. Earthshaker’s new Echo Slam now makes a lasting impact not only on enemy life bars, but also on the spectator’s jaws, as he radiates hefty shock-waves from himself and the nearby creeps. In addition to graphic changes, these new images give us a better and more detailed look into some of the heroes featured in Germany. Pictured below is a fully grown Tiny, as well as an equally menacing Earthshaker, both ready to stomp Dire foes into the ground.
All of these new incredible graphics can be viewed in an album, available here, and serve to illustrate Valve’s desire to create a game that is not only fun and exciting to play, but also one that lends itself be a proper e-sport, visually clear and exciting to watch.


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