Valve has announced the alpha release of Dota 2 Workshop Tools - and modders are already impressed.
The new set of tools is designed to let people create, play and share custom maps and game modes for Valve's phenomenally successful multiplayer online battle arena game.
The alpha is a developer-focused release, and so has high system requirements, but Valve said soon everyone will be able to play.
This early version lets you upload and distribute custom game modes through the Workshop. You can also subscribe to an author's custom game mode to keep on top of updates.
If you want to play a custom game you need a 64-bit version of Windows and a Direct3D 11 compatible GPU. Future updates will extend support to more systems and make the whole thing easier to use.
"These tools are for you and we're looking forward to seeing where the community takes us in developing content for the expanding Dota universe," Valve said.
So, where may the Dota 2 community take the game? Users are already hoping the alpha release will spark the creation of a real-time strategy game like Blizzard's Warcraft series - perhaps something akin to what a Warcraft 4 may be. Remember, Dota, or Defence of the Ancients, began life as a mod for Warcraft.
Veteran modder "Jicyphex" is clearly impressed, calling the Workshop Tools "the best patch in Dota 2 history" in a post on the Dota 2 sub-Reddit.
"Thanks a lot, Valve. I can't wait to throw our whole network at this beast. This is a historical moment. In a few years, we will look back and say 'this is where it all started, this is what made IP X and Standalone game Y possible. This is the ultimate proof why Dota 2 got as far as it is now. This is why Dota is still extremely popular today'.
"I have worked with the World Editor, the Galaxy Editor and two other RTS editors. I can already tell: This is the most powerful tool I've seen in ANY RTS genre. The fact alone that we have standalone physics that can be modified like Havoc Physics is astonishing.
"3rd Person RPG? No problem. Dead man drifting racing game? Too easy. 100vs100 live MMO server? Certainly doable."