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Dota 2 [Official Site, Steam], the free MOBA from Valve has been updated with The Underhollow, a Battle Royale-like mode that's exclusive for Battle Pass owners. It's so good, it should be in the game.

This new mode pits eight teams of three, to be the last team standing in a fight for cheese. You can bring two friends or you can queue up to be matched up with strangers. Even while playing it with people I didn't know, it was an interesting experience.

It's a surprisingly frantic mode, being a mix between a dungeon crawler and a Battle Royale. The map is unexplored, so you've no idea what enemies will be awaiting you in each room. As you move around, you will battle various different types ofAI enemies, once defeated you will be gifted a chest full of gold, items and so on. Eventually, you will come across other teams and so the battle becomes a lot more full-on and more Dota-like. You can revive your fallen comrades, as long as one of you is left alive. Once all players in a team are down, you're completely out.

As you progress, the play area does get smaller (much like a BR game) as the rooms begin to collapse, which can leave you in an awkward position. A game I had earlier forced us back into a room with a team that had already kicked our butt once, but now yet another enemy team had wandered into the same room due to the shrinking play area and naturally—I died first, at least I wasn't as stupid as my team who decided to stay in the collapsing rooms and die from that, at least I tried to make a break for it…

I've had so much fun with it, I really do hope Valve continue to tweak it and bring it back for everyone in some way. It gives Dota 2 a whole new flavour and it's way more fun than I thought it would be.

To access it, you need the The International 2018 Battle Pass, which can be purchased at the lowest tier for £6.99/$9.99.

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15 comments
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Rhythagoras 18 June 2018 at 3:02 am UTC
ExidanI dont even think it is immoral, they are just cosmetics. Actually it is the "most moral" type of monetization for a free to play game I've seen so far.

Even though they are just cosmetics, there is still a touch of the 'buy many random loot boxes to get the one you want' type of unfairness... pure gambling.

For example: this one character skin I want for Abaddon, as he's riding a moose and looks super awesome, is only available in these past treasure box loot cases. This one here: http://www.dota2.com/store/itemdetails/11455?appid=570&r=1f4

My only choice, if I want to own that skin, is to buy that treasure. Although I'm not guaranteed to get the skin I want upon purchase - there are random rewards within the treasure. I won't receive duplicate rewards until I've collected all of them, yet the gambling system is still present. I potentially have to buy up to 9 copies of this treasure loot box until I get the skin I want. Some of these treasures have even more additional prizes.


Last edited by Rhythagoras at 18 June 2018 at 3:04 am UTC
Guppy 18 June 2018 at 7:19 am UTC
Comandante ÑoñardoWhat means "Battle Royale-like mode?

Is like when you say "Rogue-like"... I don't understand the meaning.

Near as I kan tell "Battle Royal" refers to the game modes from quake era games that were called "Last man standing" or "King of the Hill"

"Rogue" - refers to games with randomly generated play levels/dungeons and permadeath
"Rogue-like" - as above but some or levels are hand crafted ( and permadeath may be optional )
"Rogue-lite" - permadeath is not a thing or optional

The terms are just made up by game reviewers*, and they can't even agree amongst them selves what they mean so the above it just how I usually make sense of it rather than a hard and fast rule.





*) to get the title "journalist" you need a code of ethics and most have proven not to have any
tuubi 18 June 2018 at 8:02 am UTC
Guppy
Comandante ÑoñardoWhat means "Battle Royale-like mode?

Is like when you say "Rogue-like"... I don't understand the meaning.

Near as I kan tell "Battle Royal" refers to the game modes from quake era games that were called "Last man standing" or "King of the Hill"

"Rogue" - refers to games with randomly generated play levels/dungeons and permadeath
"Rogue-like" - as above but some or levels are hand crafted ( and permadeath may be optional )
"Rogue-lite" - permadeath is not a thing or optional
Battle Royale seems to require at least the basic elements of the older game modes you described plus the addition of an initially large but shrinking play area. I'm no expert though.

This is Rogue and popular Rogue-likes are games like Ancient Domains of Mystery, Tales of Maj'Eyal and Dungeon Crawl: Stone Soup. It's really easy to see how they qualify for the term. Rogue-lite should probably mean that the game draws some inspiration or features from these classic dungeon crawlers, but the "genre" is stretched to oblivion by being generously applied to anything with generated levels, random loot or permadeath.

And of course all genres have been made up by reviewers or game devs. In the end religiously adhering to genre definitions can only limit a developer's creativity anyway, so I wouldn't worry about their application too much. Genres are useful in describing and categorizing games but arguing about them is a bit pointless.
Grimfist 18 June 2018 at 8:42 am UTC
Hmmm if this gamemode finds its way into regular Dota2 I may be interested in reinstalling it again. But until then, my pile of shame is high enough to not play any Dota2 again. Wasted to much hours into this...
scaine 18 June 2018 at 4:23 pm UTC
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Given my backlog of unplayed games, epic learning-curves like DOTA2 will also put me off. Also, unless the multi-player is co-op, I'll tend not to play. This sounds like it might be cool, but if it's behind a sub, then nope. If it was a one-off payment, I might be tempted. Maybe. Still that massive learning curve though.

What's it at these days? 110+ heroes? How many items are there? And each hero has, what, five abilities? Just mental, the hours you'd have to invest into this game to be effective at it.
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