Seriously Valve, just come out and announce your Defense of the Ancients game already. To go along with the earlier Twitter statement from Duke Nukem voice actor Jon St. Jon, Valve has now filed a trademark for the term 'DOTA'. So unless they're stealing my idea for a new age musical RPG, Dance of the Ages, I think they're making a Defense of the Ancients game.
We've officially entered 'Valve Time', Ranters. Valve's history of teasing, worrying, frustrating, and angering their fans continues even with their unannounced properties. We know there's a game, we know the game's genre, and I bet we can even expect it to be free, but no one knows when Valve will confirm any of these details. I'd write a stern letter to them if I wasn't so blissful under their boot. Love you Valve, send me Portal 2 please!
Seriously though, was this a direction anyone expected Valve to take? The environment has to be competitive as hell, what with the amazing popularity of League of Legends and Heroes of Newarth. There's still a large portion of the fanbase that will never leave the original Defense of the Ancients mod in WarCraft 3, either. Naturally, Valve will pull a lot of players simply off of their strength of brand, but they'd be set for disaster unless they implement a robust set of features you can't find anywhere else.
It's hard to tell what direction Valve will go in though. Will they aim for a more casual-friendly system like LoL, or a classic system like the original DotA? The rumor right now is that Valve is paying IceFrog, the relatively anonymous developer of the original DotA mod, to help create the game for them. If that's true, I'm more inclined to believe the new game will be much like the original DotA than like League of Legends.
Still, Valve has much to learn from the free-to-play LoL. The combination of a complex matchmaking service, ranked play, constant updates including new characters and skins, and the promise of replays and observer modes keep players coming back every single day.
It's Valve though, and because of they're Valve, you can never count them out. I can't wait to see what they've got in the making, even if it takes a long, long time. Do you agree, Ranters?