Q: Will I be able to customize my character without buying anything?
A: Yes, players who don't want to buy things from the Dota 2 Store will be able to earn them in a variety of ways, such as by simply playing the game, increasing their Battle Level, or by trading with other players.
Q: Will I have to pay to get access to heroes?
A: All of the heroes will be available free of charge. We believe restricting player access to heroes could be destructive to game design, so it's something we plan to avoid.
Q: What are Battle Levels? What are Battle Points?
A: Each time you complete a matchmaking game, you will be rewarded with Battle Points. Earn enough of them, and your profile's Battle Level will increase, at which point you'll receive a new item.
Q: If fans are creating content via Steam Workshop, how will you ensure it fits the theme of a hero/game?
A: We're acutely aware of the community's concerns around remaining true to the theme of the game, so much so that we think the community should be directly involved in the process of choosing what goes into it. The Steam Workshop allows you to submit your votes and thoughts on contributed items before we make any decision to put them into the game, so jump in and help us stay on the right track. We think the community at large is actually really good at making these kinds of decisions.
Q: Won't this hurt Dota's competitive scene?
A: All the items in the store are cosmetic, and don't affect gameplay. In addition, we have plans for how the Dota economy can directly contribute to professional players.
Q: Why would I spend money while Dota 2 is still in Beta?
A: We don't really think of Dota 2 as a beta, but we also aren't ready for everyone to show up and start playing just yet. We are constantly updating the game with new heroes, bug fixes, and new features. None of the items you purchase or the progress you make will be lost or reset once the game is available for everyone.
Q: Why did you choose Free to Play?
A: We think it fits the way we build and iterate on our games over time. We (Valve and the Dota community) will be building lots of interesting things in the coming years, and learning every step of the way. The more people we have generating ideas and providing feedback, the better Dota will become.
Q: If it is Free to Play, why can't I play now?
A: We've still got work to do before we can support the number of players who've shown interest in Dota 2. Right now we're working on expanding our server infrastructure, which is the primary bottleneck.
Q: Won't griefers and leavers ruin games by repeatedly making new accounts?
A: Similar to how we're approaching the problem of players leaving games early, we have a number of ideas to experiment with to prevent players making life hard for new players in this way. We know this is one of the big challenges we have to solve with a Free to Play game.