How very unlike Valve. In a post on the game's official blog, DotA 2 developers say that while they had planned to keep testing the game for another year or so in a very private beta, they now want to "get it out there as fast as we can".
"Our original plan was to spend the next year or so in beta, adding new features and slowly growing the number of heroes until we reached a level of parity with Dota 1, at which point we'd release Dota 2 to the world," the post says. "But the feedback we're seeing everywhere is that people just want to play it, even though there's still a ton of heroes yet to be implemented. We've also seen that the folks who are already in the beta are chomping at the bit to show everyone else some of the fun games they've had. So we decided our original plan was dumb."
So there's been a change.
"Welcome to the new plan: We're going to take the current version of Dota 2, which has The International set of heroes, and get it out there as fast as we can."
That means a more public beta is on the fast track. You'll still need to sign up for an invite, but the number of people invited is going to ramp up.
As an added bonus, those in the beta are now no longer forbidden from taking screenshots and videos, so expect to see a lot more of that stuff in the weeks to come.
I Said Good Day Sir! [Dota 2]