It finally seems like it might be time for me to put another 500 hours into Dota 2, as Valve has given the game quite an interesting upgrade for The Summer Client Update.
Firstly, they've completely changed the way you view and buy cosmetics. Before, it was quite a mess. Now there's the Armory where you can go and view all characters and shop around for all the cosmetics available. Allowing you to see what you're missing, and what you currently have. It's much better. It also allows you to quickly demo a hero while previewing a cosmetic set.
That's not the best bit though. The new matchmaking and reporting system is finally sounding like it might actually make Dota 2 a better place to spend your free time.
Now the commendation system will affect matchmaking. A player you commend is more likely to show up in future games, while a new "Dislike" button will make them less likely to show up. There's also the new reporting system allowing you to report Toxic Chat, Toxic Voice, Smurfing, Griefing, Cheating and Role Abuse. You can report any time during or after a match, allowing you to make a report for either your team or the enemy and removes the cap on the number of reports you can submit.
There's also now real-time processing of toxic chat. So when you report someone during a game, Valve say it will be analysed in real-time. If they detect it's toxic, Valve will mute that player's voice and text chat for the game and put a timer on pings, alt-clicks and pre-set chat wheels.
Valve will also notify you when action is taken thanks to a report.
Each player also has a behaviour and communication score between 0 and 12,000. While it previously only affected who you got matched with, it will now also disable access to certain features like post-game item drops, game pausing, and ranked play if you're particularly naughty.
This update sound fantastic. Valve has clearly put real proper effort into making Dota 2 better going forward. I can't wait to spend some time with it again.