Dota 2 player and modder Matthew Bailey created a mod of the game that replaces the Broodmother spider and her spiderlings with frogs in top hats in response to a fellow player who has a fear of spiders.
Posting to the Dota 2 subforum on Reddit yesterday, a player who uses the handle Wits wrote about how the Broodmother character, who is a giant spider, "scares the shit out of me." The player asked the Reddit community if there were any mods that could turn the spider and her spiderlings to something less scary, like fluffy kittens.
In response, Bailey, who has had experience with Valve's Source Engine, got to work on a mod, live-streaming the process and knocking it out in about an hour. According to Bailey's description of the mod, it changes the model of Broodmother and her spiderlings to that of frogs, as well as the texture of the web. It also mutes her voice and replaces her icon, portrait icon and minimap icon.
"I decided that I was in a position where I could help ... which is exactly what I did."
"Normally my free time is pretty limited, however it was on a Sunday that I came across a post on the Dota 2 Subreddit from a poor gentlemen who was seriously concerned about the next balance update (Dota 6.79) increasing the viability of a hero called Broodmother which, as a result, would lead to her getting picked a lot more in games," Bailey told Polygon via email. "The user in question suffered from what sounded like a very severe case of arachnophobia and would most likely cause him to physically leave games if she was picked. In Dota 2, [this] is classed as an Abandon and will eventually drop your account into a separate queue known as 'low priority' for a set period of time due to the fact that it is classed as a major disruption to the rest of the players in your game."
Bailey told Polygon that, at the time, there was nothing available that could help the player with the fear of spiders, and it was unlikely that someone would go out of their way to help find a solution. In fact, other players in the thread made fun of him.
"Off the back of that, I decided that I was in a position where I could help him and fix this issue with a few slight modifications to the game, which is exactly what I did."
The mod is available for download here.