The DOTA community is dedicated to its game, but welcoming, according to Valve.
“We don’t think the DOTA community is a toxic one at all,” DOTA 2 project lead Erik Johnson told Gamespy when asked about the MOBA genre’s reputation for unfriendliness to new players.
“A huge number of users spend a huge amount of their time just writing guides to teach new (and experienced) players strategies for heroes, items, and high-level strategy for the game. In any community of this size, you’re going to run into some people that rub you the wrong way but I think that is true for, well, your average grocery store.”
Valve is drawing on its considerable experience with multiplayer communities to help construct a number of social tools and features which should help, like coaching.
“Most new players come into DOTA via their friends, so we think this makes a lot of sense,” Johnson commented, explaining that the sequel will be more accessible than the original.
“There are a lot of rough edges around the original DOTA for people wanting to get into games and play with their friends, but the fundamental mechanics of the game once you’re in a game seem to be pretty compelling for a wide range of people,” he said.
“We want to make it easy for people to get in and play with people of similar skill levels, and get into a game with their friends, but we think the fundamental experience of DOTA is a good one.”
There’s no reason to be frightened of “hardcore” DOTA fans, either, as Johnson believes most MOBA players could be called hardcore.
“Hardcore used to mean a fairly small group within a larger community that were dedicated to a particular product and spent a lot of their time interacting with the community, both inside and outside of the game experience,” he said.
“In the case of DOTA, there are tens of millions of people that play the game, and it seems like most fit that description.”
DOTA 2 will debut with a $1 million tournament at gamescom next week, and is expected to release this year.