Confession: I'm a League of Legends player. This may seem like a trivial piece of information but for some reason the DOTA2 players I've experienced have an innate ability to sense this. I played the original DOTA on Warcraft 3 a fair amount but when I first got invited to the closed beta a few years ago I played a couple of games and my teammates and opponents could tell I was primarily a League of Legends player. Naturally this was a thought going into the design of the Pio One keyset for DOTA2, I knew people would be able to tell where my knowledge lies and I certainly wanted the keyset to be a true reflection of how DOTA2 would work on our product.
I started working with a couple of regular DOTA players, who hadn't touched LoL which was the best way of getting a fair reflection of the way most players would use this board. First of all we wanted to pick a hero that could really show off the benefit of the Pio One versus a standard keyboard. Initially we chose Invoker as a hero where his abilities are very dynamic, he has a total of 14 abilities from only the QWER keys, however this is only truly demonstrable with a video of the changing keys which will be a different undertaking. We instead opted for Chen as a hero with multiple creeps to micro manage and fairly simple spells. We like the idea of cooldowns being displayed on the keys as they are used and even dimming the keys when they are on cooldown to give a really immersive feel to using the Pio One. From here we added the item slots(again with cooldowns) and the simple hotkeys like chat and attack-move commands which would help the new players get to grips with the game.
Chen has the ability to take control of creeps and micromanage them. We assigned each of these creeps to the additional hotkeys to the left of the tab, caps and shift keys for easy access. Another additional aspect to take account of in DOTA is the use of couriers, we decided the courier could be again assigned to one of these additional hotkeys in order to give the player quick access to it.
Finally when it came to the top screen we wanted to do something different than our LoL layout by adding a few more interesting things. Firstly the standard minimap and healthbars which make sense on a lot of games. It also became apparent the benefits of having the courier status for easy viewing. Finally we chucked the scoreboard to the far right hand side so you can keep and eye on just how fed the enemies are.
Apologies for any errors in terms, minion/creep, hero/champion or otherwise, I am but a humble LoL player, trying my best.