At last, we have the real reason as to why Valve is taking a bazillion years to release Episode 3 – Gabe Newell is hoarding all the play time for himself. In a recent interview with Kotaku, Newell admitted that he has logged a truly absurd amount of hours with DotA 2, declaring, “I’ve played about 800 hours myself. I call it ‘play testing.’ Erik (Johnson) calls it playing it badly.”
“People at Valve are interested in playing this game more than any game in Valve’s history,” says Newell. “With other games, by the time we ship it we’re sort of done with it. With Dota 2, the company can’t seem to get enough.”
What Valve is hoping to bring to this sequel, one that originated from a mod based on a Blizzard game, is an element in which the community can service each other positively. One of the main criticisms of the original DotA was that it was extremely noob-unfriendly, meaning if you got pwned on a regular basis, you probably heard quite a few vulgar phrases from your teammates as they screamed unkind things about your mother. Valve is in fact putting a system in place where players will have a chance to earn in-game items for their positive feedback toward newer players. Not only will it be an incentive for veterans to retain their frustrations, but it will also provide a better learning curve for new players and ease their transition into competitive play.
DotA 2 will also emphasize that very aspect of competitiveness, evidenced by the game’s public debut at “The International”, a DotA 2 tournament hosted by Valve at Gamescom 2011 in Cologne, Germany. If we can expect more of what we’ve seen from Gamescom, DotA 2 will undoubtedly be joining the family of Valve favorites and will be supported by a community of loyal, engaged players for years to come.