DOTA Development: Trouble in Valve-topia

Striving for utopia sometimes comes at a bitter cost (youtube screencap)
Striving for utopia sometimes comes at a bitter cost (youtube screencap) /
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Valve’s corporate organization sheds light on their scatterbrained tendencies in DOTA development and many of their other flagship titles.

As DOTA 2 gains popularity and receives more and more global attention for large purse events like TI6, many people are criticizing Valve for failing to deliver or taking too long in the delivery of certain promised content. You can only dangle that carrot for so long, valve, before the horse wizens up and takes up the sport of human chest-kicking.

Abyssal Underlord, recently hinted at, is still unreleased. Compendium content for TI6 is in a similar state. In game frame-rate has suffered since the move to Source 2, the “user” interface for guilds is nigh unusable, and Replay Takeover has yet to be ported over.

Well, maybe not everything, but we're approaching "George Lucas episodes I - III" level.
Maybe not everything. There’s a ways to go before “George Lucas episodes I – III” level. /

A moment of silence, please, for our dear friend Perspective

Before anyone goes full rage mode and collects torches and pitchforks, I’d like to take a step back from all these valid complaints. Putting on an international competition takes a lot of coordination and logistical support. With this year’s TI6 looking to be bigger than ever, it only makes sense that Valve is going to allocate more resources to ensure the the tournament doesn’t turn out like Shanghai.

If only they'd stepped up exhaust vent maintenance.
“Hank, should we put a grill on that vent?” “Naw, Tommy, she’s too big to fail.” /

And just think about the outrage there would be if TI6, in the face of all its publicity, were to tank harder than a noob in a 5k+ MMR rated match. It would be a crushing blow for the pro circuit, eSports, and Valve, too.

So about those pitchforks…

Even so, it’s bad business to promise a bunch of features and then fail to make good on those promises. I believe this is one of Valve’s motivations for their secrecy and ambiguity about many of their projects. If they say something like “[We] expect Abyssal Underlord to be out by TI6,” it gives some wiggle room if they don’t make the deadline.

Don't judge my Paint skills. I'm a writer, not a digital artist!
Don’t judge my Paint skills. I’m a writer, not a digital artist. /

But the problem here may be bigger than simply having too much going on. The problem may be with the way valve organizes itself…

Next: Flatland, population: Valve