Looks like one of the folks lucky enough to be chosen for the very private Dota 2 beta has decided to share their good fortune with the rest of the world by leaking the client to the public. The rabid Dota 2 fanbase has quickly begun mining the files for new info and content, leading to an unprecedented outpouring of new details and assets.
Most notable are some strings found in the game's files that point to a microtransaction driven, free-to-play model similar to what Valve's own Team Fortress 2 currently employs. This text seems to imply that you'll be able to spend real-world money to buy bundles, gear, tools, and effects, though any mention of paying to unlock individual heroes is suprisingly absent. Other sections point to custom, cosmetically distinct couriers, a prospect reinforced by some of the models that were also leaked in the below image.
Valve has previously stated that they're looking to finish the game before they commit to any particular pricing model, but this newly revealed info seems to indicate that they're at least prototyping a microtransaction-driven system internally.
Other snippets of code have revealed a list of game modes and mentoring features. Included among the game modes are Single Draft, All Random, Random Draft, Captains Draft, Captains Mode, Death Mode, and Easy Mode. The mentoring system, which Valve has touted heavily as one of the most important community features, will allow players to gain karma and levels for writing hero guides or taking players under their wing.
The game's spell icons have also surfaced, courtesy of Cyborg Matt. Judging by the MS Paint Admiral Ackbar currently standing in for Psionic Trap, a lot of these are probably still placeholders. They're downright hysterical, though, and a part of me desperately hopes that the Takeru Kobayashi Consume icon makes it into the final game.
As if that weren't enough, someone's been uploading all of the game's sound files to YouTube, organized by hero. He (or she) is currently up to 52 heroes and the Announcer.
To finish off this massive leak, forum users at PlayDota.com have gotten their hands on an exhaustive list of hero backstories. At least one of these backgrounds matches up with a previously leaked screenshot, and given the amount of undoubtedly legitimate content we've seen this morning, it's likely the real deal as well.
Dota 2 is currently slated for release on the Windows and Mac PCs sometime in 2012, with a public beta expected to kick off within a matter of weeks.
BONUS! Valve's loaded the game with a creepy new intro: