The DotA 2 Team Discusses Their Spectator Mode

DotA 2The DotA 2 team is hard at work making one of the most anticipated games of 2012. In a recent blog post, they’ve detailed one of the core features of the game, a spectator system.

The DotA 2 team has implemented live spectating along with replay spectating in order to facilitate players interested in improving their skills.

From the post:

If you’re following a favorite competitive team, or missed a friend’s great match last night, the game will know and lead you to those replays. If you’re an experienced player who wants to expand your skill with a specific hero, or work on your teamwork as part of a specific team of heroes, we want you to be able to easily find replays that’ll let you see high level players using those heroes in matches.

Interestingly, the spectator system will also incorporate a complete point of view camera dubbed Player Perspective camera mode. This camera mode will let spectators see the current player’s mouse cursor, camera perspective, HUD, and input commands (possibly clicks).

Another camera, the Directed camera mode, will let players relax and chat with spectators who are watching the same thing on their screen. This is a ‘smart’ camera that will focus on action moments and attempt to be in the best place at the best time. That’s a pretty lofty goal but it will be nice for viewers who simply want to eat double-fisted while they watch Juggernaut get a double kill. Spectators who opt to go with the Directed camera mode will share the same view as all other spectators in that mode.

Would this system end the role of commentators? Nope.

The spectating system includes commentators for the streamed games as well as replays. That’s right, they are built right into the replays and with multiple commentator channels for multiple languages. Presumably you can also watch games bare-chested without any commentators at all.

One thing I wonder is if this spectator system will allow you to follow the commentator’s broadcast view like in Starcraft 2. That’s probably a given, though.

In summary:

  • WATCH button prominently displayed in the main menu
  • Live spectating
  • Replay spectating
  • Filtered search (can restrict results to certain heroes/players/skill levels)
  • Player Perspective camera mode (watch a player’s complete point of view)
  • Directed camera mode (a smart auto camera system)
  • Live commentators
  • Replay commentators
  • Multichannel and multilingual commentator support
It looks like Valve and the DotA 2 team are really trying their best to make DotA 2 the best MOBA eSports game out there. Read my thoughts on how the game will coexist with League of Legends and Heroes of Newerth.