Valve has given some insight into the ways Dota 2's replays will go above and beyond what players expect in a recent blog post. Most exciting is the "player perspective" camera, which lets you watch a replay as if you're looking at a player's screen. You'll see their mouse movements, UI interactions, and everything. What better way to learn how the pros own so hard?
The Dota 2 team also shared its thinking on the "directed" camera mode, shown during the broadcasts of the Gamescom tournament, which has the system automatically place the camera where it thinks something interesting is happening. The idea is to give spectators a common view so they can share a viewing experience to talk about. It's a nice thought in theory, but I came away from The International unimpressed by the implementation. I'll take a skilled commentator's manual control over the camera in a broadcast any day.
You won't have to dive into fansite forums to find interesting replays to watch, either. The game will have filtering built in, so for instance you can easily find the best videos to teach you how to play a new hero. This is huge; a game as popular as Dota 2 is bound to have a ton of content out there for it, so being able to quickly discover the best community-produced replays will be a massive help.
Finally getting some details on the much-hyped community features is fantastic. I've never had any doubt that Valve will nail the gameplay aspect of Dota 2 – the team is pretty much straight-up copying Dota-Allstars – but I have no such blind faith in the community support. This is a great start, though, and hopefully we'll get more details on the coaching system and in-game rewards for community contributions that Valve has talked about previously sooner than later.