Valve first showed off Dota 2, the stand alone sequel to the hit Warcraft III action-RTS mod, last August at Gamescom. At the time Valve said that it had planned to launch the game to the public sometime in 2012. Now a new post on the game's official web site has announced a change in plans that should result in Dota 2 being made available to play earlier than first announced, even though those versions won't actually be complete.
According to the site, "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." But that plan has now changed due to feedback it has received from players and fans who want to go ahead and start playing the game even without all of the heroes in place. The site now says, "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." The game will still be an invite-only beta for now but the site indicates that situation should only last for a short period of time.
Beta applications are still being accepted at the official Dota 2 web site and if players get accepted they will have no embargo or NDA to work under so they can take screenshots, movies, and reveal any info they want from the beta build to the public.