Support us on Patreon to keep GamingOnLinux alive. This ensures we have no timed articles and no paywalls. Just good, fresh content! Alternatively, you can donate through Paypal, Flattr and Liberapay!

With Dota Underlords available for testing, I've now taken a look at it (thanks Scaine!) and so far I've been quite impressed.

Valve have essentially rewritten the rules of "Valve Time", considering how quickly they've made it available and how promptly they've been responding to feedback. They've already adjusted it so you can switch between a Mobile and PC style for the user interface, fixed up the Linux version nicely (it runs beautifully!), removed the odd character outlines from the PC version and so on. Honestly, I'm genuinely surprised at how fast Valve are reacting with it.

Since this is apparently the next big thing, it's nice to see that Linux gamers can jump on in right away thanks to Valve. As a reminder, the original creator of the mod is making a stand-alone version for the Epic Games Store and the League of Legends developer Riot are also doing their own.

A basic overview

For those who have no idea: Dota Underlords is Valve's stand-alone version of the popular Dota 2 Auto Chess game mode. It's basically a strategy game with real-time battles that you don't have any direct control over. You go through rounds of picking Dota 2 heroes, combining three of them together to make them more powerful and then placing them onto the board. Once ready, it's time to hope for the best since they fight without your direct control.

There's also a player level system (which resets each game), allowing you to reach a maximum of level ten and each level allows you to add one more hero to the game board. You gain XP by winning matches or by spending Gold to advance a little.

It's a little odd, confusing and it can be overwhelming to begin with but also surprisingly addictive at the same time. One thing is for sure though, I currently suck as badly as I do in Dota 2.

The above intro is the real basic gist of it, but there's a lot more going on.

For example: Each hero belongs to an Alliance, with 23 different alliances that all give different bonuses. These bonuses activate, once you have enough heroes of the same Alliance in play on the board. Some Alliance bonuses might only need a single hero in play, while others activate when you have 2, 3, 4 and so on and there's multiple tiers to the buffs too.

As you progress, certain rounds have you fight a Neutral Wave rather than an opponent, giving the chance to earn a special item. Some of these items are Global modifiers, while others you can give directly to your heroes (one item per hero). From there, the gameplay basically loops over.

There's plenty more to it and plenty of it will change, since it's still in development but hopefully this gives you some sort of idea if it's something you will be into.

How get it

How to access Dota Underlords right now? You need to pick up the Dota 2 Battle Pass ($9.99), load up Dota 2 and make sure your Battle Pass is activated. Once done, Dota 2 will give you an option in-game to redeem Dota Underlords so it's added to your library.

Don't worry though, Valve said they will open it up to everyone else in around a week as they said in the announcement post once this initial stress-test is over.

The future

What does the future hold for it? For starters, they're working on a tutorial, which it's really going to need for the wider release. Right now, it can be pretty frustrating for newcomers so I hope Valve's tutorial is nicely streamlined.

For things that might be a little more interesting, well, SteamDB retweeted two interesting posts on Twitter. One of them, seems to indicate multiple maps and another a possible BattlePass system. I'm curious to see what they would offer with a BattlePass, I'm assuming some sort of cosmetic items for heroes.

There's already one thing I think it could benefit from, which is a slightly faster game mode. Dota 2 can be quite notorious for games lasting a long time and Dota Underlords seems to be the same. A faster mode might help both player adoption and player retention I think.

Given that it's only available to Dota 2 Battle Pass owners, the player numbers (SteamDB) seem to be around a pretty healthy level too. Early days though, that could easily change. However, Valve are going with something already popular and so I do expect it to fare much better than Artifact especially since they're gathering feedback early.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
16 Likes, Who?
We do often include affiliate links to earn us some pennies. We are currently affiliated with GOG, Humble Store and Paradox Interactive. See more information here.
21 comments
Page: «2/3»
  Go to:

TimeFreeze 16 June 2019 at 8:18 am UTC
Linuxwarper
TimeFreezeMark my words the time will come when valve made more DotA games than any of their other ips.
They are developing VR games. One of them is a flagship game. They are working closely with Node, developers who are pioneers of VR.

Underlords is a smart business decision. And just because they released it, it doesn't mean they are just working only on it.

First of I never said they only work on that DotA game alone. Secondly I personally couldn't care less about the VR Game's. Unless you can play them without VR.
kuhpunkt 16 June 2019 at 8:37 am UTC
TimeFreeze
Linuxwarper
TimeFreezeMark my words the time will come when valve made more DotA games than any of their other ips.
They are developing VR games. One of them is a flagship game. They are working closely with Node, developers who are pioneers of VR.

Underlords is a smart business decision. And just because they released it, it doesn't mean they are just working only on it.

First of I never said they only work on that DotA game alone. Secondly I personally couldn't care less about the VR Game's. Unless you can play them without VR.

Autocorrect again?
TimeFreeze 16 June 2019 at 8:46 am UTC
kuhpunkt
TimeFreeze
Linuxwarper
TimeFreezeMark my words the time will come when valve made more DotA games than any of their other ips.
They are developing VR games. One of them is a flagship game. They are working closely with Node, developers who are pioneers of VR.

Underlords is a smart business decision. And just because they released it, it doesn't mean they are just working only on it.

First of I never said they only work on that DotA game alone. Secondly I personally couldn't care less about the VR Game's. Unless you can play them without VR.

Autocorrect again?

Yep. Just using Phone right now and too lazy to correct it myself.
monnef 16 June 2019 at 10:08 am UTC
I might give this game a try, if it has at least passable PvE mode(s) and not P2W MTX.

I, for one, am interested in their upcoming VR titles. I like how Valve is contributing to tech evolution. Even though Index is pricey, their hw and sw improvements will bubble down to cheap VRs. I also think they are not planning on locking their VR games to only their HW, that's in my opinion very positive for customers.

Just curious, why is it Dota and not DotA, doesn't it mean "Defense of the Ancients"?
kuhpunkt 16 June 2019 at 10:20 am UTC
monnefJust curious, why is it Dota and not DotA, doesn't it mean "Defense of the Ancients"?

DotA refers to original Warcraft 3 mod and is an acronym for Defense of the Ancients.

Valve doesn't own the trademark for that. They only own the word/title "Dota 2."
liamdawe 16 June 2019 at 2:26 pm UTC
monnefI might give this game a try, if it has at least passable PvE mode(s) and not P2W MTX.
You can already play against various levels of bots.

Edit: When doing bot play, there's even an option to not have rounds move on without you clicking - seems like they're already trying to allow players plenty of time to do it at their pace.

Once a proper tutorial is in, it should be fantastic.

Honestly, as crap as I am, I'm truly enjoying it.


Last edited by liamdawe at 16 June 2019 at 3:35 pm UTC
Naib 16 June 2019 at 9:54 pm UTC
View PC info
  • Supporter
  • Top Supporter
same here. Really fun BUT damn soo fking crap

I can usually get some lvl2 hereos but some bot has amassed lvl3... Likewise not fully up to speed to the best strats, Viper and Alc just wreck me
liamdawe 17 June 2019 at 9:22 am UTC
Naibsame here. Really fun BUT damn soo fking crap

I can usually get some lvl2 hereos but some bot has amassed lvl3... Likewise not fully up to speed to the best strats, Viper and Alc just wreck me
I've managed to get into the Top 3 quite a few times, but I've been in a number of games where the top player has lost zero health and they absolutely wreck me. I assume that right now it has a lot of balancing issues between the alliances.
MisterPaytwick 17 June 2019 at 4:27 pm UTC
eldakingIf they made a good single-player mode for it, I would even consider trying my hand on it. Ideally it would even be pausable, but that is probably too much to ask...

While right now the solo is only bots (I mean, it's unlikely insanely good bots, but easy to medium are decent, hard are likely hard, and insane likely cheat like in Dota), but you have the ability to play at your own pace.

liamdaweI've been in a number of games where the top player has lost zero health and they absolutely wreck me. I assume that right now it has a lot of balancing issues between the alliances.

There is no real matchmaking either, so you may face people that have been playing it since Day0 of the Dota Autochess mod. And if you want, try to dig the hunters, they are beyond broken right now (with the right perk, it's simply weird it even went live)
Avikarr 17 June 2019 at 9:31 pm UTC
I never played Dota Auto Chess, and when I looked at Underlords (thanks to you Liam), I had to try this new genre. So, I downloaded Auto Chess form Google Play on my phone. Now I'm addicted and can't wait for open beta of Underlords! (I just don't like this cartoony style of Android version).
And man, I don't know if I'm so good at it, or people are so bad, but I played around 10 matches, and I just wreck everyone Are there bots in phone version of Auto Chess? I think so, because It's impossible to be so good in game that I never played before. Beginners luck?


Last edited by Avikarr at 17 June 2019 at 9:35 pm UTC
  Go to:
While you're here, please consider supporting GamingOnLinux on Patreon, Liberapay or Paypal. We have no adverts, no paywalls, no timed exclusive articles. Just good, fresh content. Without your continued support, we simply could not continue!

You can find even more ways to support us on this dedicated page any time. If you already are, thank you!

Due to spam you need to Register and Login to comment.


Or login with...

Livestreams & Videos
Community Livestreams
See more!
Popular this week
View by Category
Contact
Latest Comments
Latest Forum Posts