Dota 2 is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) video game developed and published by Valve Corporation. The game is a sequel to Defense of the Ancients (DotA), which was a community-created mod for Blizzard Entertainment‘s Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and its expansion pack, The Frozen Throne. Dota 2 is played in matches between two teams of five players, with each team occupying and defending their own separate base on the map. Each of the ten players independently controls a powerful character, known as a “hero”, who all have unique abilities and differing styles of play. During a match, players collect experience points and items for their heroes to successfully defeat the opposing team’s heroes in player versus player combat. A team wins by being the first to destroy a large structure located in the opposing team’s base, called the “Ancient”.
Development of Dota 2 began in 2009 when IceFrog, lead designer of the original Defense of the Ancients mod, was hired by Valve to create a modernized remake for them in the Source game engine. It was officially released for Microsoft Windows, OS X, and Linux-based personal computers via the digital distribution platform Steam in July 2013, following a Windows-only open beta phase that began two years prior. As the game is fully free-to-play with no heroes needing to be bought or otherwise unlocked, revenue is made from microtransactions, such as loot boxes, and a battle pass subscription system called Dota Plus, which all only offer non-gameplay altering virtual goods in return, such as hero cosmetics and voice-line packs. The game has also been updated with various other features since release, such as a transition to the Source 2 engine in 2015 and support for virtual reality.
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