Q&A Session #1
Q: Tauren Chieftain is very popular in China, but he's the only hero model from the original WC3 which doesn't show up in DotA. Do you have any plans to revive him? (by replays.net)
A: Absolutely! That is one of my favorite models as well. There have been a few concepts that I considered for a beta version but nothing good enough to do the model justice. I am still working on some other ideas for it and am hoping to have a new hero with this model in the near future.
Q: Are you going to do any mystery quests like the previous Invoker quest?
A: I can't say when I'll do it, because it would ruin the surprise, but I do try to do some fun side quests every now and then. You can expect one in the next few versions ;)
Q: You published your email address in the DotA loading screen. How many emails do you get there every day and what is the craziest email you have ever received? (by dota-league.com)
A: Quite a lot of emails come through, but it varies a lot from day to day. Yesterday was many hundreds. I do my best to read and reply to as many of them as I can. I feel that if a user takes the time out to write an email to let me know his thoughts, I should try to do the same. It also helps me to understand some of the concerns players have or things they would like to see. There are some funny emails for sure, but i'm not sure it is appropriate to share private messages :)
Q: What kind of bugs happen in beta testing?
A: We have lots of different bugs that come up ranging from minor issues to game-wide memory corruptions that can cause a map to be delayed. There was a very funny but easy to fix bug that happened recently. Some neutrals spots had a chance to spawn as a hero tavern instead of the neutral. You can only imagine the expression on the beta tester's face when they go neutraling only to find a hero tavern instead! Another funny bug was Lucifer being able to Devour the enemy fountain.
Q: Many Asian players complain that map updating is too frequent and they aren't familiar enough with the present version when another update is already released. What do you think about this? (by SGamer.com)
A: Some players like new updates often, while others prefer to settle on a specific version for a longer period of time. I think the main difference is actually with regards to what type of changes they are, rather than just the frequency of them. It is a complex issue that I am trying to deal with in order to strike the right balance between the two and to ensure fluid game play from version to version while providing refreshing content without making it too unsettling for players at the same time. This is something I frequently consider and will continue to give it more focus in the future because I also hear these kinds of comments regularly.
Q: When do you start working on a new version?
A: There is no waiting or rest period actually, I am always working on Dota. The first beta of the next version (with some experimental things) is always posted for testers the same day as when the new patch is released.
Q: When can we expect 6.58?
A: The short answer is the usual "when it's ready" line. I've learned from the past that it is very difficult to accurately give a date because you cannot predict when bugs will happen and what other issues come up. Another problem is that when the date isn't met, fans are upset because they waited for it. It is certainly past its half way point as far as development goes, but for a specific date I will have to defer to "soon" for now.
Q: I have a question, how do I ask it?
A: The best way is to send me an email, which is listed on the DotA loading screen, or to use the contact form at http://www.icefrog.com/contact. I will either respond directly as soon as I can or use it for a future Q&A Session.