dota 2
Dota 2 in action.Valve

Valve has released a new version of their famed Source engine as part of a public beta testing phase for the Dota 2 Reborn update which will launch soon after the conclusion of The International tournament.

According to the official Dota site: "Source 2 includes technology for rendering improvements, performance optimisations, higher fidelity content, and richer, more dynamic games."

You can watch the announcement trailer for custom games in the Reborn update below.

Some of the new features of the Source 2 engine are listed as follows:

More Responsive Input

One of the ways Source 2 directly improves gameplay is by reducing the latency between issuing a command and seeing your hero react to that command. Our redesigned input system now allows the server to process mouse clicks and key presses directly into visible actions more quickly than before.

Enhanced Performance

Source 2 was built to support a wide range of hardware. Dota 2 in Source 2 runs better on older laptops, and at the same time further increases performance on current desktops. Though Dota 2 may not require all of the resources of a high end machine, Source 2 has been built to be capable of driving modern machines to their limits. It can use all of your CPU cores, your 64-bit OS and memory, and includes support for recent and upcoming graphics standards like Direct3D 11 and Vulkan as well as virtual reality if the game demands it. Performance will continue to improve during the beta as we optimize it for more PC configurations.

Rendering

The renderer in Source 2 contains a number of new features and improvements, giving creators more design freedom. It removes many of the constraints on building the world of Dota 2, allowing map designers to create worlds that were not possible to build in the previous engine. Maps in Source 2 can be authored using powerful geometry editing tools and may contain complex meshes which are free of convexity constraints. The engine is capable of delivering many more batches to the GPU, even when using older versions of the OpenGL and Direct3D graphics APIs. This makes it easier to create more detailed worlds and more advanced characters. Additionally, a unified lighting system ensures all game assets have access to the same rendering feature set, ensuring visual continuity. So far Dota 2 is only using a few of the new rendering features in Source 2, including normal mapping on all types of geometry and multiple reflective water planes in the same scene.

This is the first numbered update to the Source engine since initial release in 2004. Originally developed for use in producing first person shooters such as Half Life 2, it has also been used in other genres like RPG, MOBA and RTS games.

Dota 2: Reborn beta is available as a free download via the Dota 2 front end.

For all the latest video game news follow us on Twitter @IBTGamesUK.