Valve is celebrating Dota 2’s tenth anniversary with a significant break with custom. Though the game has acquired a battle move (initially referred to as a Compendium) to accompany and fund the prize pool for yearly’s Worldwide match, Valve has determined there will not be one this yr. In truth, it is dramatically ratcheting down how a lot it focuses on battle move content material on the whole, and pledges as an alternative to concentrate on different, extra common updates that may be skilled by all the Dota 2 playerbase.
In a put up to the Dota 2 weblog titled “Studying from the Previous, Seeking to the Future,” Valve mentioned that the Dota 2 battle move had grown “to embody nearly any content material we produce for Dota over the yr”. That created “a tremendously thrilling time in Dota,” however it meant “the remainder of the yr [felt] barren by comparability”.
So Valve ran an experiment. The studio took growth sources that will, in some other yr, have gone in direction of creating the battle move for The Worldwide 2023 and “as an alternative put them in direction of extra speculative updates, together with options and content material that could not match right into a Battle Move”. That experiment bore fruit within the type of Dota 2’s New Frontiers update, the patch that was so large it made the game “mainly Dota 3 now,” within the phrases of PCG’s Jody MacGregor.
“Most Dota gamers by no means purchase a Battle Move and by no means get any rewards from it,” mentioned Valve, however “each Dota participant has gotten to discover the brand new map, play with the brand new gadgets, and by chance die to a Tormentor; each Dota participant advantages from UI enhancements and new consumer options”. The constructive neighborhood response to the New Frontiers update has given Valve “confidence that working much less on beauty content material for the Battle Move and extra on quite a lot of thrilling updates is the fitting long-term path for Dota as each a game and a neighborhood”.
It’s kind of stunning to listen to that almost all of gamers by no means even purchase the battle move anyway, however it is sensible. It isn’t unusual to listen to that massive chunks of microtransaction income for video games are pushed by a comparatively small variety of very dedicated gamers (“whales,” because the widespread and unflattering parlance goes). Dota 2 clearly is not any completely different.
Valve remains to be loads eager to promote you all kinds of wondrous cosmetics and overwhelming particle results, thoughts you. “We’ll nonetheless ship a spread of cosmetics over the yr,” says Valve, “however we’re additionally going to ship extra numerous updates for all Dota gamers to get pleasure from”.
It seems like that can kick off with an “[International]-themed update” this September, which is able to concentrate on the occasion itself, the gamers, and the video games that happen, and whereby “new beauty gadgets will not play a notable half”. “To make it clear that we’re shifting focus in direction of the occasion and away from the large reward line of cosmetics, we’re deliberately not calling this update a Battle Move,” says Valve. Just like the battle passes of yore, gross sales from that update will contribute to The Worldwide prize pool, although it is possible it will be a bit decrease this yr with out the singular glitz, glamour and FOMO that the battle move often brings.
It isn’t clear from the put up whether or not it is a full cease for the battle move system in Dota 2, or if Valve is simply skipping it briefly in an effort to return with a lighter, much less dev-intensive model in future. I’ve reached out to the corporate in an effort to discover out, and I will update this piece if I get a reply.
For now, you’ll be able to stay up for a celebratory tenth anniversary update for Dota 2. Valve hasn’t mentioned when that’ll come out, besides to say that it positively will not be on the precise tenth anniversary (July 9) of Dota 2. “Sure, we’re engaged on some enjoyable stuff for it; no, we’re positively not going to hit the July ninth date listed on Steam,” says the corporate. Take coronary heart, Dota followers, some issues by no means change.