Game developer/publisher Valve is currently working on Defense of the Ancients 2.
“Valve’s approach to Dota 2” — according to GameInformer.com — “is unusual in that the gameplay itself is remaining almost entirely untouched.”
And yet much will be new and different — very, very different, in ways that intrigue me:
Valve is upgrading Steamworks (the company’s backend technologies for matchmaking and other gameplay and community-related things) to allow them to create in-game rewards for participating in the Dota 2 community. The idea is to have everything a player does in or out of game tie back into their online identity. Like the improvements to Source, the Steamworks upgrades will be available to third-party developers who choose to use Valve’s tools when Dota 2 launches in 2011.
At a basic level, posting useful feedback or participating in constructive discussions on the forums will contribute to your standing in the community in a visible way. Valve doesn’t have the specifics on how this will work nailed down yet. Will you get points that contribute to a visible ranking, like a Gamerscore? Will your posts need to be recommended by other community members to count for anything? What counts as a constructive discussion? These questions are all being actively explored at the moment. Valve assures us that the designers have a slew of awesome ideas for how to implement rewards in a way that’s visible to the rest of the community, but there are no details to announce yet. “When we talk about this identity that exists inside and outside the game, we don’t think we’re anywhere near it with what exists on Steam right now,” Johnson admits.
If this was just about getting points for posting comments, though, we wouldn’t waste your time by telling you about it. Dota 2 goes much farther than that. Everything from unlocking new skins for your favorite hero to getting a unique title for writing a strategy guide is on the table. Valve has ambitious plans (for which, again, there are no specifics to share) to host everything themselves and provide the best framework for the community to interact with each other. The idea is to reduce the social friction inherent in having to dig around a bunch of different fansites and wikis to find what you’re looking for.
Ultimately, two things will make Dota 2 stand out: the coaching system and interactive guides ….
— Adam Biessener @GameInformer.com
In-game rewards for community participation? Coaching system? Interactive guides?
Count me in!