Valve is cleaning up Dota 2, and for many, that’s actually kind of disappointing.
The publisher is pruning out some unused files that are included when installing Dota 2. Among those files are numerous incomplete heroes that have been the subject of fan theories and predictions over recent months. The change was unearthed by DOTA Datamining and posted to Reddit.
The changes removed files relating to 23 unreleased heroes. 19 unreleased heroes were discovered in Dota 2’s hidden files in August, but four more were added in the months since.
These heroes had varying degrees of work put into them, with some being largely incomplete and others seemingly being ready to ship. Some of these heroes had names and abilities that may have been repurposed and built into other heroes that have been released over the last few years.
The most fully realized of the lot were codenamed Valkyrie, Puppet Master, and Vampire. Theories were abound when Valve announced that a new hero was slated for release in December, with many thinking that one of these heroes was set to launch. Instead, Valve released Hoodwink as part of the Mistwood Update which did not seem to be related to any of these unreleased heroes.
Valve has not addressed the removal of these files and it’s unclear what it may mean for Dota 2’s development. It may be Valve removing files simply to lighten up the download size for users, or Valve may not want fans to have an early look at potential upcoming content.
The next new Dota 2 hero will likely launch in early 2021. In October, Valve stated that two new heroes were set to launch in November and in early 2021, respectively. The November hero was pushed back to December and was eventually revealed to be Hoodwink.
Valve has not given a definite date for the next Dota 2 hero and it’s unclear whether the delayed release of Hoodwink may have impacted the company’s plans for its next new hero. Either way, it’s likely the next Dota 2 hero will arrive in the coming months.