Valve are trying to communicate a little more now, and they've announced some major changes for Dota 2 along with info on more to come. Here's some highlights of what's live and what's coming.
A new season has arrived that runs until the beginning of December 2020, and with it plenty of changes.
Firstly, there's a new Autumnal Treasure 2020 up that can be purchased with Shards, the in-game Dota 2 currency. Valve is planned to have a new seasonal treasure up every 3 months, with the next coming on December 1.
Features moved from the Battle Pass to Dota Plus:
- The Chat Wheel sound effects (e.g. Moo, Orchestra Hit) are now available by redeeming shards.
- The pull timers when holding ALT are now available to Dota Plus members.
- The post-game healing and gold breakdowns have now merged with the existing Dota Plus damage tab.
- The Battle Pass MVP feature is now available for all players, but Dota Plus customers can earn extra shards with a new Seasonal quest.
A much bigger change perhaps is that now anyone can earn Shards, as it's no longer exclusive to the Dota Plus subscription. Dota Plus remains the best way to get them, as they've added the ability for Dota Plus subs to grab 57,850 shards from a new season of quests. However, this is now open to all:
- All players can now reach up to Hero Level 5 without a Dota Plus subscription. Only subscribers can reach Silver tier and above.
- All players can now use tipping for shards.
- All players can now earn the weekly shard reward for winning 3 matches. Non-subscribers earn 500 shards per week, while Dota Plus members earn 1000.
- The Dota Plus Rewards store has been renamed to the “Shard Shop”, and the premium hero sets, legacy hero sets, and tools are now purchasable by everyone. The Seasonal treasure, Chat Wheel sound effects and Hero Relics remain Dota Plus exclusive.
The Guild System they added back into the game with the most recent Battle Pass has been tweaked, and they plan to keep it in place. However, the reward system has been redesigned to make sense outside of the Battle Pass too so that "you can enjoy playing with your guild all the time". Guild Levels are gone, instead you get a weekly leaderboard of guild points and once a week guild members can then claim a reward of Shards, with Dota Plus subs getting more. Anyone can join a guild, but creating one is still locked to Dota Plus.
Buried towards the bottom of the post, in the section addressing their lack of communication, they mentioned that multiple new heroes are on the way. The first is planned for the end of November, along with more that will be spread throughout next year. Their plan is to now spread more content out during a year, instead of focusing a lot of it on The International tournament like they usually do.
They're also continuing to attempt to address the toxic community behaviour, along with improvements to their "smurf" account detection, ramping up their banning of "booster" accounts along with improved detection there. On the subject of toxicity in Dota 2, they're working on a new Overwatch style system, similar to that in CS:GO.
As for the game itself, they're doing some "engine development" which should give us "moderate performance improvements on multi-core CPU’s" which should be out in a week or so.
Hopefully all this will be able to keep it popular. While Dota 2 still remains one of the top games on Steam consistently, there's no denying it's been in something of a decline, which SteamDB charts can show quite well since 2016. It had a big blip in 2019 but clearly trending back down again.
You can play Dota 2 free on Steam.