IceFrog Q&A Session #4

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IceFrog Q&A Session 4
Few weeks ago IceFrog blogged that he will do Q&A session #4 soon, Now it's here. In this Q&A session IceFrog has briefly answered some of the questions that DotA Fans asked. It's very interesting to read this Q&A Session as compared to the previous ones. Also, IceFrog has revealed about the upcoming new hero Icarus, The Phoenix in DotA 6.68. You must read it!

Q: When will we hear more about you and Valve? Some people say it will take 2-3 years, can you give us any clues? (from Zeyall)

A: It certainly won't take that long. There are a lot of very talented people here at Valve that are working hard on it every day to ensure high quality in a timely manner. We'll be making an announcement soon actually, and based on the feedback I've been getting since the last mention, I'm sure you all will be as excited as I am.


Q: Can you tell us how you first met Valve and how you like it so far? (from Sodoes)

A: It started off with an email from Valve where they mentioned that they were big fans of DotA wanted to fly me out to spend some time with them and visit their studio. I wasn't quite sure what to expect from the trip. After arriving and chatting with them, the first thing I noticed was how much of their decision making process was like mine. They shared the same aspirations towards building a long term and sustainable community without having short sighted business goals that end up hurting the quality of the game. One of the most important things for me though was that there wasn't going to be anyone standing above telling me how I should be doing things. They trust the developers that have experience to make the best decisions for their playerbase. The atmosphere at Valve allows everyone to be very comfortable and able to focus on what they love doing. It also doesn't hurt that they are huge DotA fans.. until their favorite heroes are nerfed, then I'm the bad guy for a week!


Q: How popular is DotA these days? (from china_white)

A: I can only give estimates based on getdota.com usage, because I can't track ingame downloads or fansites or downloads from China. It is roughly estimated (based on the statistics from popular Chinese sites) that the Chinese DotA audience is about 40-50% of the worldwide audience. Not counting China, the playerbase is estimated to be somewhere between 7-11 million. I expect the audience to grow even more in the not too distant future.

Q: Is your goal to make everything picked the same amount of times? (from j.walsh)

A: I don't think about it that way exactly. Sure it's good if there is a nice distribution and that is something to work towards, but really the goal in DotA's development is, first and foremost, to make the gameplay quality the best it can be. It is the combination of all the heroes, items and mechanics together that makes DotA what it is and not the individual elements alone. Sometimes that means certain things are carefully adjusted to be more frequent than others, sometimes it doesn't, but ultimately the main judge of a game's quality is not in some artificial balance metric, but in the overall gameplay quality and depth that it has.


Q: Can you tell us something about 6.68? (from Carlos)

A: It is still a work in progress and needs some time, but it will have new heroes, more balance improvements, and some new features as well. Here is one of the new heroes in development: Icarus, the Phoenix

Icarus - The Phoenix


Q: What do you think about DotA's future, will it continue to grow? (from Amir)

A: Definitely. I think players like to spend their time on something they both enjoy and trust. While DotA has a lot to offer now in terms of content and gameplay quality, I will always be working hard to improve it and all that work will be maintained when it matures to something that solves all the other non-gameplay elements that it needs to go to the next level. I think it is a good option for players that want to spend time on a game that will grow with them. It also has a very bright future in the competitive scene. In addition to the already announced SMM ($32,000), ESWC ($24,500), a soon to be announced online ($30,000) event and another huge offline event that will be revealed soon, there will also be an even bigger set of opportunities in the future for players that are dedicating their time and energy into DotA. I think players on all levels of play will be satisfied with their choice and experience with the game.


Q:Why are some heroes unavailable in -CM mode? (from Brandom Lim)

A: It is a largely experimental idea so it may or may not remain for the future. There are a lot of different reasons for it though. In some cases it's balance or bug-potential related. Other times it is done to limit the number of simultaneous changes so that certain changes can be more easily measured. In a lot of cases where the above aren't a factor, it is actually done to give enough opportunity for players to understand how to play with and against them and understand the strengths and weaknesses better. This also makes new versions less destabalizing for competitive gaming while still providing a continuous stream of fresh content. That being said though, I've gotten a lot of requests from players that use the mode for casual or semi-competitive play and miss omitted heroes, so I may add a subcommand to unlock all.


Q: What do you think about the fan support of competitive teams? (from Mooseman)

A: Fan support is, for the most part, very good. I think it's great how passionate many of them are about competitive DotA. At times, though, some of them can be a little too judgmental towards teams based on their last few consecutive wins or losses. They have a lot of pressure on them and sometimes they make mistakes or just want to relax and try something different. I don't think it is always fair to judge them for that. They also face top competition regularly, so its hard to win every time. Teams have a lot of pride and spend a lot of time practicing, so it can be demoralizing to them when some fans change their attitudes towards them so fast.


Q: Are we going to see more visual effects in the future? (from Zikaro)

A: Visual upgrades can be a good thing (and they will come in the future) but is extremely important to not add too much visual noise. You want a scene that has a nice atmosphere and theme but isn't too cluttered or shiny that it negatively affects gameplay by making it hard to tell what is going on.


Q: Should we expect to see any more loadscreens by Kunkka? (from 27302)

A: Yes, he is planning a new one now, but I can't tell you when it will be done since it depends on his free time.


Q: Do you use WC3 Editor by itself or other things as well? (from Sasha200)

A: Most of the map development is done outside of the editor actually. There are a lot of separate script files and program tools that are used together to create the map file.


Q: Any interesting bugs or features that were in beta maps? (from OpyyuRDs)

A: We once had a different ability for Techies that used the same visual art and sound effects from starcraft one for the ghost nuke. When he used it, a red indicator would appear on the ground like in Starcraft and then it would play the classic "Nuclear Launch Detected" audio. It sounded a lot cooler than it played out in practice and it was near the end of a beta cycle and had some balancing and design issues, so we decided to remove it instead of rush it in. As far as bugs go, Chaos Knight could pull towers in one beta version, so you were able to have a line of towers pushing on the enemy side!


Q: Will more heroes get an Aghanim upgrade to their ultimate? (from Akder)

A: Yea, I usually try to add some more every version or two. I think it's a good idea to add them in slowly though, instead of too many at once. I've also gotten more requests for extra graphic animations for the ones that already have, so I'll try to find suitable ones for those as well.


Q: What is the hardest part when developing dota? What risks are there? (from Bannion)

A: The hardest part is actually not the development itself, but in how to measure success. The thing I always try to work on the most is increasing the measurability/prediction of a successful patch. The goal is to be able to improve the development process and feedback systems for better accuracy to what reasonates best with players. The riskiest thing is making a change where it might take too long to discover its true impacts on the game where it becomes hard to reverse. We work really hard to eliminate that stuff early on in the theory phase with either careful analysis or specific beta testing.


Q: How do you decide when to release a new patch? (from VinceX)

A: There are two separate considerations for this. The first is frequency. If you update too frequently players do not get a chance to settle into the previous changes and learn the game, if you update too slowly then you aren't providing enough fresh content. It is a balance between the two that I'm always trying to find a happy medium between as I get more feedback from players. The second is when it's "ready". I usually release it as soon as I feel that the value we get out of more internal testing is too low compared to external feedback we'd get from the larger community. If we are still in the experimenting phase where we are trying out ideas then it's not ready. Once it feels like it needs external testing to be able to make more good decisions, then it is released. From my perspective, the game is in constant development and improvement regardless, it just becomes a matter of what is the most effective way to improve something.


Q: What takes the most time each patch? Researching, Balancing, Implementing or Bug Hunting? (from Enders)

A: The two most time consuming are usually research and experimentation. Research involves more than just playing the game, it's also watching replays, reading a wide range of feedback and talking with players. Experimentation is the other time consuming part. It would be fast to just reproduce a patch if I already knew exactly what to do, but the hard part is usually figuring out what you want to do and doing the proper testing before making changes.


Q: What are you most happy about with regards to DotA? (from Artem)

A: I am really thankful for all the support players have given this game, it is more than I could ask for. I see a vibrant community that, despite the very hard learning curve DotA has, grows through the dedication and passion of its players. That shows me how much more potential the game has and encourages me to work harder.

114 Comments yet..:

Anonymous said...

First blood!

IceFrog is pure genius

Anonymous said...

if you read the 2nd question carefully... it looks like icefrog is going to release a standalone dota game :O

Anonymous said...

iceyy is developing dota rocket science???

SinnerSynx said...

^
so true :D

Flamingo said...

Finally, A new hero. Gj Ice..

Fan from Saudi Arabia

Anonymous said...

Quoting IceFrog:
"It is still a work in progress and needs some time, but it will have new heroes."

new heroes, i like it :p

Anonymous said...

wtf?

he didnt answer my question..

Crackza said...

11 million dota players?? are you sure?

i havent seen more than 0.1 million dota players online at garena..

xXx_DominatoR_xXx said...

ICEFORG KEEP GOING MORE POWER!!!

ph rocks

enzaimium said...

Beyond God Like hahaha
nice Your the one Ice Frog

Anonymous said...

b.net has more users than garena

Anonymous said...

^ i agree battle.net has more users but not everyone plays dota there

enzaimium said...

Nice Ice Frog Keep up the good work..

is there new items??...

Anonymous said...

new heroes?

sounds cool :O

enzaimium said...

Best Of The best

Anonymous said...

its 11 million not including china
so i guess its about 22 mil
anyway do not forget that 90% of garena DoTA players are not actually playing at the moment, 1 hour later some of them login and some logout.

not to mention people on battle.net and even people who only play at lan network (offline).

where i live network places are so popular. and most people play at them more than on garena and such

enzaimium said...

Icarus New Hero Who is depressed about this hero it is a peonix

enzaimium said...

Nice Nice Nice Nice Nice Dominating nice..

Anonymous said...

i wonder if this phoenix reborns from an egg like originally from warcraft

Anonymous said...

Icefrog is the man!

Anonymous said...

hopefully the icarus dosent have the same attack animation as in other warcraft games, because it is identical to alchemists stun Would get annoying......

Anonymous said...

best q/a session ever

Anonymous said...

wow..........
nice................

Anonymous said...

good!!!

Anonymous said...

hey icefrog can you remake skeleton king's hellgire blast coz sven's stun is better because sven's stun is an aoe stun and 325 dmg while skeleton king's stun is single target only and 250 dmg but same manacost

Anonymous said...

i hope maphackers or map hack be disabled perminently

Anonymous said...

its true... 11 million,, (include players in battle.net and garena)

Anonymous said...

more hero more hero more hero weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee i <3 new heroes.

Anonymous said...

Scepter for Tauren Chieftan!

Anonymous said...

cr8t new hero that its like ah mud poison type xD

Anonymous said...

icefrog u da man! thanks for creating dota.
plzzz try to make some new equips as well

Anonymous said...

Icefrog is the Albert Einstein of Warcraft gaming. Damn, he is so great.

Anonymous said...

i have a question
how old is ice frog??

Anonymous said...

..GG..
..IceFrOG Rocks!..

Anonymous said...

ice frog rlz !!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Icefrog plz increase technies damage!
U guys are totally genius

Anonymous said...

icefrog 1v1 ... scared??

cooldude^_^ said...

how much time it will take for 68 map to come???

Anonymous said...

I think Icefrog is a group of people. not just one. :)

Sina_the_legend said...

icefrog you're really cool , what else can I say .

Anonymous said...

well i am thinking that the other hero will be str(this one myb int cause of, you know :P) and i think that scaling the dmg of Leoric's stun will be a little improvement(like the other guy said same mana cost and dealing 75 less dmg is kinda sh*tty but you think of it) and i really hope that the other hero is a female str, cause kinda lame to see all str heroes being str sooo cya :P

Anonymous said...

tnx icefrog your awesome genuis
from a dota fanatix

Anonymous said...

except for that phoenix is there any heroes

Anonymous said...

DreadWOoD ......
plzzz do some thing about mh it will destroy the game!!!

Anonymous said...

ice can i have a favor??
create some hero with some awesome skills!!
here's my idea..
Dota Char:
Name:Anthas Melwoo
Level 1 Decreaded Servant
Skills:

1st:Tombust Accriation
effect:
lvl1-100dmg 2seconds stun
lvl2-175dmg 3seconds stun
lvl3-230dmg 3.5 seconds stun
lvl4-310dmg 4 seconds stun

2nd:Eufisticated Shield(passive) -night only
lvl1-10%defence+2armor 5%regeneration
lvl2-40%defence+6armor 8%regeneration
lvl3-60%defence+15armor 19%regeneration
lvl4-100%defence+20armor 30%regeneration

3rd:Estinguies Eye(passive) -night day only
lvl1:4%attack speed,5%movespeed,-2armor
lvl2:8%attack speed,10%movespeed,-5armor
lvl3:14%attack speed,18%movespeed,-8armor
lvl4:20%attack speed,25%movespeed,-10armor

4th:Imprincon Blade Of Lightning:
lvl1-270dmg 3 seconds stun
lvl2-350dmg 5 seconds stun
lvl3-400dmg 6.5 seconds stun
that's my idea!! pm me for the effects!!
this is the imprincon blade of lightning where from:
cabal online force shielder skill lightning storm..
vinas.philip@yahoo.com that's my email.. tnx iceforg

Gezah said...

nICE! ...

Anonymous said...

ICE FROG PLZ MAKE A TIDE ULTI COOLDOWN DURATION DECREASE!! MAKE IT 80 SEC 4 LVL 16 PLZ

Anonymous said...

Is VALVE seemed like a Garena? Gonecting WOrld DotA Gamers??? I think it is better than HON because in Hon I can`t find my hero During Clash because of over Animation Effects.. waaaaa... I love Icefrog, DotA to be specific.

Anonymous said...

ICE FROG.........BALANCE SLARK....hes FAR too IMBALANCED.....EASILY KILLS AT 1ST LVL

Anonymous said...

woohhh!!!!!!!!!

THE BEST!!!!!!!!!

Jefferson said...

ICE FROG i can't wait to see that hero!
Anonymous That hero you mentioned was too strong,it is not balanced

Anonymous said...

HELLO ICE!

can you make a new hero like balanar?

but his skill passive on the day light.....

thank you!!!!

senser: LEVNOEL

Anonymous said...

omg icefrog rocks man

Anonymous said...

keep on doing... =]

Anonymous said...

Icefrog is good. By the way, cann you plz create more new items ...

Anonymous said...

Hey IceFrog how about adding a new skill that has a passive revealing skill that can see those pesky windwalkers.! or can make the opponent loose they're gold harshly.

enzaimium said...

yes even here in my plays the most popular game is DotA..

almost all the computer shops here in my place are playing DotA Lan(OffLine)..
thats why i love here..

Anonymous said...

faster!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I WANT NEW DOTA TOMOROW!!!!!!!!!!!
ICEFROG faster!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I hope there are new heroes coming in 6.68..
Good job..Well done..I hope many DOTA players will be more enjoy playing DOTA.. :j

Anonymous said...

Hey icefrog m a biggest fan of urs.
I only want you to give my favourite hero gondar his evasion skill back pls
he needs that and wud be beyond godlike with its help
THANKS !!
:-))

raysontan said...

what a nice your famoaus rigth now (nana)

Anonymous said...

aaaaaaa

Anonymous said...

i like that new hero!!

Vincent said...

countries like indonesia has their own SET of PRIVATE b.net's sooo, and its like half of the population of indonesia play in their own b.net--"

Anonymous said...

nice new hero
more power to icefrog.

Anonymous said...

U ROCK ICE FROG......................simply the best game creators of the century........

Anonymous said...

PrinceSpoiled said..

ur the man "icefrog"...

ur so great... ehehehe

XD

Anonymous said...

If dota goes steam im gonna kill myself

noob lodde said...

tell some of the powers of the new hero ice frog..!!

Anonymous said...

Zzz..I wana take 1on1 on you all 1 by 1 shh.. ^_^

Anonymous said...

NC 1 ^^

teddy said...

icefrog is me...the person who send you about drow ranger changing idea...i send to you about changing drow ranger ULT past few years change it to increase agility .Now please listen to my great idea i can provide to you ..that is you need to change back spirit breaker first skill..i believe that hero skill become only have 3 and the first skill just useless in the game..trust me ..change it back to how it used to be...

Anonymous said...

icefrog!! plz do something about the maphacks!!!

Anonymous said...

i love u icefrog !! wicked sick!!

Anonymous said...

ice frog.. 1v1 tau..

Anonymous said...

I've never been a big fan of Icefrog for the main reason that I used to think that he USED to rush into things. I changed my perspective though around a year ago and started noticing how far he's brought this game while using a pretty dated WC3 engine. kudos on that...

I never knew though, why new heroes had to be introduced while there are roughly around 60 other heroes that are RARELY ever used even in public games. Sure, everyone loves a new hero.. but speaking for myself, i would rather see a hero, who has been given the credit he deserves, being brought back to life and seen more often in competitive play.

That has occurred no more than a few times in the past.
Anyways, keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Emba

Anonymous said...

IceFrog can you post more did you know facts about heroes

Anonymous said...

ICE FROG YOUR THE BEST :D

Anonymous said...

please easier mute and/or chat disable in the next update would be exelent and bring back my interest in dota

Anonymous said...

damn, looks like icefrog's about to create a whole new separate non-warcraft-related game D:

Anonymous said...

http://archangelx2.deviantart.com/art/DotA-Hero-Concept-Phoenix-123869833

enzaimium said...

what if ice frog made a fish hero..like naga but pure fish
for example
name..Song Of Siren
1st skill--Dive
lvl 1 20% slow 90 damage
lvl 2 30% slow 150 damage
lvl 3 40% slow 200 damage
lvl 4 50% slow 250 damage

2nd skill--Power Song
lvl 1 3 seconds sleep 30 dp/s
lvl 2 4 seconds sleep 40 dp/s
lvl 3 5 seconds sleep 50 dp/s
lvl 4 8 seconds sleep 65 dp/s

3rd skill--Ocean Tide
lvl 1 30 splash damage
lvl 2 50 splash damage
lvl 3 55 splash damage
lvl 4 65 splash damage

4th skill--Tide Of Titanz
lvl 1 5 seconds tide 100 dp/s
lvl 2 5 seconds tide 200 dp/s
lvl 3 5 seconds tide 350 dp/s

thats my suggestion..^_^ i hope it will come

enzaimium said...

what if ice frog made a fish hero..like naga but pure fish
for example
name..Song Of Siren
1st skill--Dive
lvl 1 20% slow 90 damage
lvl 2 30% slow 150 damage
lvl 3 40% slow 200 damage
lvl 4 50% slow 250 damage

2nd skill--Power Song
lvl 1 3 seconds sleep 30 dp/s
lvl 2 4 seconds sleep 40 dp/s
lvl 3 5 seconds sleep 50 dp/s
lvl 4 8 seconds sleep 65 dp/s

3rd skill--Ocean Tide
lvl 1 30 splash damage
lvl 2 50 splash damage
lvl 3 55 splash damage
lvl 4 65 splash damage

4th skill--Tide Of Titanz
lvl 1 5 seconds tide 100 dp/s
lvl 2 5 seconds tide 200 dp/s
lvl 3 5 seconds tide 350 dp/s

thats my suggestion..^_^ i hope it will come

Anonymous said...

please add an effect when mirana leaps it seems so plain...

Anonymous said...

i wish it could be done soon.

Anonymous said...

make it happen

Anonymous said...

i like 2 have a new hero
the name is the titan
skill 1 fist of the fury-electric ^_^ like stun of davion
effect
lvl1 2sec stun 90damge
lvl2 2sec stun 180damge
lvl3 2.5sec stun 250dmage
lvl4 3sec stun 290dmage

skill 2 titans throw (passive)auto throw weapon
effect
lvl1 +10damage throw 16sec cooldown
lvl2 +20damge throw 14sec cooldown
lvl3 +30dmage throw 10sec cooldown
lvl4 +40dmage throw 5sec cooldown

skill 3 clash of the titans- get some of the ancient neutral creeps
effect
lvl1 1neutral creep
lvl2 2neutral creep
lvl3 1ancient neutral creeps (eccept roshan)
lvl4 2ancient neutral creeps (eccept roshan)

Ultimate TITANS FIST
effect
(add +10 damage +10def)
lvl 1 5sec avatar mode
lvl 2 10sec avatar mode auto casting skill 1 with +1sec stun
lvl 3 10sec avatar mode auto casting skill 1 with +2 sec stun and +60damage

hassan said...

i loved the old NIax the new one is good 2 but if the old one was back it would be amaizing

Anonymous said...

I found an easter egg hahaha,
Right click anywhere on the Dota-Utilites site and the message should appear " Thank you " xDD
I am pro xDD

Anonymous said...

New Heroes ?? Nice !! But that does mean there are more than one new hero or atleast two new heroes ?? Like in DotA 6.65 Murloc and Kaldr .

Anonymous said...

i lul'd at the easter egg ^^
its not something special its basically protecting the websites content

Anonymous said...

pwner all this bird

Anonymous said...

erm...slark too damn powerfull on good hands..nerf him a bit ><...and HoN was really hard to play cause of the graphics..dont do that to dota..i got owned in HoN while im good at dota

Anonymous said...

i found suggestion of a hero made by someone :

http://www.playdota.com/forums/14713/int-sent-avarlion-phoenix-int-version/

Icarus the new hero will have some of this skill ?

Anonymous said...

Icefrog is a talented man...
Icefrog... You Put a lot of effort in this game..
I thank you for this game..
In the future the count of Players using this game will be a BILLION!!!
Keep up the good work buddy

Anonymous said...

hey icefrog plz dont create a wtf hero like slark =))

Anonymous said...

new heros
=D

Anonymous said...

wew

Anonymous said...

d

Anonymous said...

w3w....

Anonymous said...

You want to know truth???Icefrog is really good,dunno if he is just 1 man or team of ppl,but he or they stand behind Heroes of Newerth for sure,and not just giving them skins etc from dota,they are Hon creators!!!

Anonymous said...

First Blood!!!!!!!

Glassjaw said...

@craksza DOTA players playing in Garena isnt that much.
what about playrs on LAN?

Anonymous said...

Icefrog is a Pure, Total, Talented Genius...

I wish someone like icefrog is in the philippines right now.... ^_^

Goodluck Icefrog....

{=-GodLikE-=}
PH likes DoTa

Anonymous said...

Thats right when you talk about playing pc mostly most of the people will say that your addicted on playing computer or playing dota its like the same because its like millions of players are playing dota and theres more that are only playing lan

Anonymous said...

11 million is nearly acceptable.

at any given time, only 2% of the total garena registered players are playing dota. Total registered players over garena playing dota is roughly 8 million. Total registered players using the Garena client is around 40 million.

also, at any given time, only 0.60% of the total bnet users are playing dota. About 80% of those who play wc3 know how to play dota, regardless of their skill level. There are roughly 7 million registered bnet users playing wc3, much less than what somebody claimed that there are more players over bnet than in garena. Blizzard sold around 7 million units only.

at any given time, about 5.0% of the total lan dota players are playing dota. there are roughly 65 million dota players around the world, including novices and experts alike, with around 53% of the players are from Asia, 24% are from Europe, 13% from North America, 7% from South America, and 3% from other locations.

Dota is known in almost all regions of the world, except in the Middle East and in some parts of Africa.

So, to sum it all,

Total dota players:
Bnet ---------- 5,600,000
Garena Players - 8,000,000
Lan Players ---- 65,000,000

Total ---------- 78,600,000


Players playing dota at any given time:

Garena Players -- 160,000
Bnet Players -- 42,000
Lan Players -- 3,250,000

Total ----------- 3,452,000

Anonymous said...

IceFrog maybe change sven's WarCry for a melee aura that adds dmg?

Anonymous said...

people do someone thinks that slark is to much imba ....... u buy him blodstone and he have helth recovery and mana recovery and then mask of madnes and staff like that so he is imba maybe to slow him down or something ice pls take this seiously ............. big fan of dota and ur work from europe , serbia

john escobar said...

..
nice wan ice frog ..
ahmn..
wat cn i say?
ahmn...
trol top
riki mid
ako bot..
weee..haha!

SimPanG said...

Can't wait for the new fresh look DoTA! Keep it on IceFrog!

Malysian Fan Community

Anonymous said...

Ice Frog can you balance the chance for barathrum's greater bash?it says 17% but once he gets a mask of madness he pwns like no tommorow that and is hard to kill in early game if used properly o_o

Anonymous said...

I KNOW ALL OF THE "WOW" UNITS....HOPEFULLY THEY WILL SONN COME OUT!!!!!!!!! SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!! :DDDDDDD

Anonymous said...

i Am winner

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