VR Spectating Puts You in the War Room

VR may be a ways off, but with it you could be right in the thick of your favorite games.
VR may be a ways off, but with it you could be right in the thick of your favorite games. /

VR tech puts you right in the heart of the action. What can we look forward to when VR spectating comes to DOTA 2?

Speaking as someone who’s already played around a little bit with VR, let me assure you it’s awesome. I got to use a Sony Vive not too long ago, and while I was skeptical of the headgear and image quality, within minutes of strapping that thing on the real world was all but forgotten.

That's exactly what I'm telling you, it's all in your head.
That’s exactly what I’m telling you. /

Based on the short clip Valve posted on their Steam VR page, when you connect your VR duds up to your computer and enter the matrix you’ll be instantly transported to a massive viewing hall. Standing to either side of you will be the heroes of either team as an enormous screen in front follows the action.

Most interesting is the battle board, a miniature replica of the field on which the ancients do battle, which appears to be populated with tokens that represent how the game is progressing. It even seems to be interactive, allowing you to check in-game stats like experience differential and team networth.

But why stop there?

What you shouldn't do in this case, Valve
What you shouldn’t do in this case, Valve /

How incredible would it be if Valve allowed you to view the game from above as an in-game spectator? Heck, they could even make the battle board like one of those books from the Myst series so it literally sucks you into the action.

Gee, I hope this battle board takes me somewhere safe.
Gee, I hope this battle board takes me somewhere safe. /

Frankly, I’m a little disappointed with Valve’s lack of vision here. Sure, the battle board is cool. The in-game metrics seem to be nicely integrated. And yeah, chilling with the heroes of both teams is pretty dope. But all these features are poor substitutes for actually feeling like you’re right there in the action.

A teleportation ability could zap you right into a team skirmish. Or how about a feature that allows you to view a hero’s perspective first person? To give a viewer a truly like-you-were-there experience, 360° cameras could be used at tournaments so you could be “present” at major and premier tournaments all over the world.

I’m excited for what VR spectating might mean for DOTA, but at this stage, I think most producers are still stuck in the past. Here’s a clip of the DOTA VR preview, in case you missed it.

Pretty neat, right? But not as neat as it could be. No worries, though, I’ll be keeping a close eye on the DOTA VR scene to keep you up to date and in the loop on any developments. Especially if they use one of my suggestions.

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