Yesterday, Valve shed some light on what players can expect from custom games for Dota 2. It was the second of a three part announcement detailing the new Reborn patch which will give the MOBA a big overhaul. I wasn’t expecting the last part of the announcement till tomorrow to be honest, but right before I climbed into bed last night, Valve shared the last piece of the puzzle. They also officially kicked off the new beta. HOORAY!
You can read about the new changes right here. It’s a bit lengthy, so I’ve gone and plucked out what I feel are the most notable additions and updates:
More responsive input: One of the ways Source 2 directly improves gameplay is by reducing the latency between issuing a command and seeing your hero react to that command. Our redesigned input system now allows the server to process mouse clicks and key presses directly into visible actions more quickly than before.
Enhanced performance: Source 2 was built to support a wide range of hardware. Dota 2 in Source 2 runs better on older laptops, and at the same time further increases performance on current desktops. Though Dota 2 may not require all of the resources of a high end machine, Source 2 has been built to be capable of driving modern machines to their limits. It can use all of your CPU cores, your 64-bit OS and memory, and includes support for recent and upcoming graphics standards like Direct3D 11 and Vulkan as well as virtual reality if the game demands it. Performance will continue to improve during the beta as we optimize it for more PC configurations.
Physics: Source 2 also includes new versions of our physics and cloth simulation engines which implement higher quality, more stable simulations. In the future, more advanced Source 2 cloth and physics simulation technology will be used to power Dota 2 Custom Games content.
Gameplay recording and editing: Record and edit your favorite Dota matches – ones you’ve participated in or any that you’ve downloaded. Animate dynamic camera moves, add or remove characters, and change map environments to showcase your wins or highlight an exciting team fight from a tournament.
New backbone and relay protocol: In order to more efficiently and securely carry user traffic, we’ve created a new network backbone that connects our US, European, and Asian datacenter sites. Over the next six months we expect to double the number of links in this network. We’ve also created a new game server relay network protocol, which can quickly adapt to determine the optimal route to the game server and take best advantage of our backbone. We’re currently testing this protocol on a percentage of games played in the US. We have installed these relays at every data center, as well as additional edge locations in the US. In the coming months, we’ll be rolling out this protocol and additional edge locations to the rest of the world.
Better Connections: Typically, when clients connect directly to a game server, the route is determined by standard IP routing, which is often inefficient. When connecting with our relay protocol, clients choose the relay that gives them the best route. This means that we can move game traffic into Valve’s extensive worldwide network earlier in the route, resulting in packets spending less time traveling over congested public internet links and more time on our dedicated links. Once there, we can ensure routing is optimal and general internet traffic doesn’t crowd out game traffic. Our experience shows that often the direct route is not the best one. In the US, 40% of all clients get a better ping when they enter our network earlier by selecting a relay closer to them. The improvement is usually modest, but for a small percentage of players, the ping is significantly lower.
Physics? I can’t wait to see that in action the next time I play Techies!
I was hopeful that the new update and its network improvements would mean playing on European servers would be a lot better. I started up a lobby this morning to test it out, and while there is a bit of an improvement, it isn’t significantly better (in my opinion). Maybe this will change over the coming weeks. Also, there are no South African servers in the beta.
Bummer! I hope that doesn’t persist till the new update launches officially.
The download weighs in at 7.1gb. Even though there are no SA servers, I would recommend grabbing it. There are a ton of custom games just waiting to be played!
Last Updated: June 18, 2015