The Dota community is buzzing right now with the mysterious appearance of two new Dota 2 in-game screenshots.
One screenshot features a level 1 Shadow Fiend about to exit the Sentinel base. The other one looks to be a Doom Bringer by the upper river rune spawn point. Both screenshots are watermarked by Dota2.cn, a Dota 2 fan site in China.
At first glance the images look to be the real deal. Everything seems to be in order. The mini-map is located at the bottom left portion of the screen, the hero details at the bottom center, and the inventory information at the bottom right. The day/night indicator is still located at the top center, and the kill/death/assist stats at the top right portion. Dota players should immediately be familiar with the UI and feel right at home.
Curiously, if the mini-map information is to be believed, it also confirms that very little will be changed from the current Dota map itself. This comes as no surprise, as Valve has already indicated time and again that they will not mess with the existing Dota gameplay mechanics and terrain, and just improve upon what is already a very stable map. Still, it is worth noting that the pathways, structure placements, and neutral and ancient camps are almost exactly where they are positioned right now, as of version 6.72f of the very popular Warcraft III The Frozen Throne map mod.
Debate and speculation as to the authenticity of the screenshots is still going on at various Dota site forums, as no original source has been cited and no official confirmation from Valve is expected.
Another mystery is the source of the leak, as only the development team, closed beta testers, and the 16 teams invited to The International Dota 2 Championships to be held at GamesCon in Cologne, Germany this coming August 17, are known to have copies of the game. Some are suggesting that the timing of the leak points to a professional player with a beta copy being responsible, despite the NDAs that the teams signed before being provided a copy; or that it could be a controlled leak by Valve itself to generate more buzz for the coming release of their next major multiplayer PC game title.
Stay tuned for more Dota 2 updates only here at PGL.