1. Valve 2. IceFrog 3. ? 4. Profit!

Exerpted from http://www.playdota.com/forums/blogs/icefrog/

Pending some Valve confirmation, it seems like the signal this genre is going big time. I guess it was only a matter of time that a huge player moved into town… S2’s upstart beta of Heroes of Newerth boasts more concurrent players daily than any Steam game short of Counterstrike.

A big name and a bigger following meet huge money… should be interesting to say the least!

Wow. Good thing Demigod got out there first ahead of Valve; I sense a powerful disturbance in the Force.

Who is IceFrog?

He’s the developer of DoTA (Defense of the Ancients), a popular Warcraft 3 mod that has been copied by Demigod, Heroes of Newerth, and League of Legends

Thanks. I have heard of DoTA, and assumed he was somehow related to it, but I wasn’t sure if he was the developer it DoTA or one of the clones.

Great. Can he now take the game away from its shitty RTS need-last-hit-kills-to-not-suck-dick roots?

Hmm. I don’t like the potential that this move has to stir the DOTA douchebags into the general gaming populace.

You should check out League of Legends, I believe they’ve moved away from last hitting.

That’s pretty interesting. I was surprised that S2 didn’t hire him. When you download Heroes of Newerth, one of the first things you read is a statement about IceFrog (basically saying that S2 got his blessing to make a DotA clone).

The comparison to the Counterstrike numbers seem pretty apt then. As far as I’m concerned, both playerbases are a bunch of insular immature asses.

Immature player bases, half baked mods that were ported into full games, sounds right up Valve’s alley.

Why hire him when they can leverage all of the game mechanics for free?

Demigod was my first experience with this type of game, so keep that in mind. I enjoyed my one frantic, “oh dear I’m in over my head” game with Qt3rs (and I’m looking to get in a game or two this week) in Heroes of Newerth.

The last hit thing I did not like one bit. I also wasn’t crazy about the need to manage my own creeps as a means of depriving the enemy of exp/gold.

I am terrified of the HoN playerbase, though.

All of those things said, I think there’s huge potential for this sub-genre or whatever we want to call it. Demigod is certainly flawed but an excellent game.

You’re already going to have to pay somebody to implement the mechanics. Why not the foremost expert in the genre?

Other publishers have been trying to hire him, so it’s interesting that Valve became the company that finally picked him up.

Hiring good people is incredibly tough… if someone has developed a mod played by hundreds of thousands (or millions?), well, there aren’t many candidates like that. Great hire by Valve.

What the heck is DoTA? I’ve heard it’s a Tower Defense game, but then its multiplayer and a Warcraft 3 mod so I have no idea how that would actually play out.

HoN has an insane learning curve if you’re not familiar with DotA, even if you are it’s significant. I don’t mind the last hit and deny mechanics. The early game would nothing without them. People would just stand there and soak up experience or run back and forth to avoid or attack the opposing hero. You wouldn’t really be able to do anything that would affect the game long term.

It’s not a Tower Defense game at all. It’s two opposing teams that have purely AI controled creeps on fixed paths fighting each other while the players each control a Warcraft 3 like hero.