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Twice the blood shall I shed!

First things first, today’s update introduces Bloodseeker and Kunkka. Have fun!

This update also enables the practice bots. While they’re still a work in progress, they’re a great low-pressure tool for trying out new heroes and item builds. While practicing with them, note that you can ping the minimap to send commands to your allied bots – ping an enemy tower to tell them to push a lane, an enemy hero to ask for assistance in a gank, and so on. At the moment they only know how to play a subset of the current heroes, but they do know how to use all of Dota 2′s many items.

They’ll also use text chat to indicate their plans, so you can join in. For example, they’ll:

  • Let you know when they’re coming to your lane for a gank.
  • Communicate when they’re fleeing or losing a fight.
  • Indicate their high priority targets in upcoming team fights.
  • Expose their thinking about whether they should push or defend their lanes.
  • Call for assistance versus Roshan if they think the timing is right.

If you’re interested, here are a few features we’ll be adding to them next:

  • User specified difficulty levels, so you can tune them to your skill level.
  • Deeper control over your allied bots, so you can “command” your team at a high level. For instance, you might want your team’s carry to not join a fight, and instead keep farming their lane. Note that they do a good job of making these kinds of decisions themselves, but if you really want to be hands-on, you can.
  • Support for several more heroes.

As always, let us know what you think.

Finally, we saw that Playdota’s Photo Competition finished up, and handed out several Dota 2 keys. If you haven’t taken a look, there’s some great photos there.