Personally, I was never much of a fan of DotA (Defense of the Ancients), a popular mod for Warcraft III where up to five players per team takes control of a unique hero to help an NPC army conquer the opposing forces. It was a fun game the few times I played it, I'll admit, but it also had a steep learning curve and a pretty noob-hostile community. However, I feel like this is pretty significant enough news to be worth mentioning here on my blog.
IceFrog, the mysterious, nameless person charged with maintaining and updating the current DotA-Allstars was hired by Valve in 2009 to work on Dota 2. The sequel is alleged to be pretty much the same game with new technology. The fanboys probably won't complain about that.
All of the same heroes, skills, and items will carry over. However, the game will run on the Source Engine so it will surely look a lot nicer. Voice chat will be integrated through Steam. The art style will retain the quirkiness granted to it by the Warcraft III engine. Dota 2 will be released alongside upgrades to Steam which will allow Valve to integrate in-game achievements, much like Blizzard's new Battle.net.
Valve will also be developing several ways to help newbies assimilate into the DotA community. They're touting skill-based matchmaking to help players develop their own skills and a coaching system, where a veteran player earns special brownie points for logging in as a coach to help a newer player out by whispering advice through a private chat channel. If executed properly, this could really help the new guys get into the game.
DotA single-handedly created the action RTS sub-genre and I can't think of better company and service than Valve and Steam to bring it into the next generation. I might even be willing to drop my stigma against DotA to try out Dota 2.