Dota 2 has launched after two years of beta testing – but you’ll have to sign on to a waiting list to get in.
“During a two year beta, Dota 2 grew to be the largest active community on Steam ever, with an monthly user base over 3 million users, and peak concurrent users of over 300,000,” Valve wrote in an announcement post heralding the MOBA’s release.
“The feedback from these users has put Dota 2 in position to welcome everyone to come play, as we move from beta to launch.”
This doesn’t mean it’s a free-for-all on the client, though; because Dota 2 already commands a huge audience, it will be opened in waves to the general public.
To get in on the action, you’ll need to visit Steam and click the “Get Dota 2″ button. You’ll be added to a launch queue, and emailed when a position is available for you. Emails will being arriving this week.
“Simply put, we want to smooth out the traditional launch spike, but at the same time allow anyone to come in and try out Dota 2,” Valve explained.
“Dota 2’s user base is already larger than any game we’ve ever made, and it continues to grow.”
Valve has added capacity to its servers worldwide, and is ready to add more if required.
“These servers represent the ability to host an additional 450,000 players concurrently. Our worldwide active user base is roughly twelve times the peak concurrency,” the developer added, explaining that working out where and when extra servers is needed is tricky.
If you didn’t cash in a Dota 2 invite, it’s no good to you now, unfortunately, and you can’t buy your way in. However, new players will be added as and when Valve is sure servers can handle the strain.
Once you get in, you’ll have to play through a tutorial section, which is probably a good idea anyway given how steep the MOBA learning curve can be. You can then elect to practise against bots, including with a group of friends, before you jump into live multiplayer.
Valve has posted an FAQ providing more information.
Earlier today, Dota 2 came out of beta, making itself available to all comers on Steam – as opposed to being locked up behind an invite wall, not that any of us are short on the damn things. Unfortunately, it looks like Valve made a mistake, as it almost immediately pushed the MOBA right back into testing; the eagle eyes at IGN spotted it anyway.