Valve have been taking notes.
Dota 2: A Big Update to Dota Plus, Guilds and Matchmaking!
Valve have really outdone themselves with the latest Dota 2 update which brought big changes to Dota Plus, Guilds, and matchmaking. It even added a new treasure!
Valve rolled out a big Dota 2 update yesterday and it includes various changes to Dota Plus, Guilds, Matchmaking, and more. There’s even a brand-new treasure filled with skins that you can get for free! Without further ado let’s take a look.
Dota Plus Gets an Update
The subscription-based Dota Plus has been quite underwhelming for the better part of the year. Anyone who has played regularly already has all possible skins and voice lines that are exclusive to it. With yesterday’s update there a couple of big things coming to Dota Plus:
Dota Plus members can now use the new Role Assistant hero grid arrangement. As the Dota community finds new and different ways for heroes to be played, the new Role Assistant automatically records the picks of every hero in Ranked Roles matchmaking and displays heroes in their most picked roles. This data is updated automatically to highlight the latest trends and is filterable by MMR rank.
Some of the features from the Dota 2 2020 Battle Pass will also be transitioning directly into 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.
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Last but not least the number of players you can put on the avoid list has been increased from 16 to 25. That’s certainly good news for a lot of players that never want to play with that special someone who ruins their games over and over.
Everyone Can Earn Dota Plus Shards
Previously the only way to earn shards was to get a subscription to Dota Plus. With the latest update anyone will be able to earn shards and more:
- 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.
It’s a nice touch by Valve, as now even if you don’t want to subscribe to the service, you’ll still have a chance to get some skins for free. Thanks, GabeN!
The much-beloved Guilds feature was available back in the Source 1 days of Dota 2 but was scratched when Dota 2 Reborn was released in 2015. After a lot of requests from the community, Valve decided to bring Guilds back with the 2020 Dota 2 Battle Pass. Players were once again able to create or join guilds and complete daily/guild quests to earn points. With enough of the latter guilds leveled up and rewarded members with various prizes. We're glad to see that Guilds will remain even after the end of the 2020 Battle Pass.
We are keeping the existing Guilds, but many of the rewards received only worked in the context of the Battle Pass. We’ve redesigned those features so that you can enjoy playing with your guild all the time. Guilds no longer have a Guild Level – instead there is now a weekly leaderboard of guild points earned in a given region. Once a week, guild members will receive their new guild rank and can claim a reward of shards; Dota Plus members earn double the amount of shards. A Guild’s weekly leaderboard position also determines access to special perks that may change over time.
Guilds will lose some points at the end of each week in order to give new guilds a chance to catch up. Guild quests (contracts) will once again reward points but also shards. Anyone can join guilds but only Dota Plus subscribers will be able to create them.
Ranked Season Changes
Many of us were expecting the end of the ranked season and the MMR recalibration but it looks like Valve had different plans this time.
For this season, we are going to try a new approach to MMR resets. We are making the MMR reset optional, and for those who want to participate, we instead spread it out so it doesn’t create too much volatility at the same time (ontop of the volatility that already exists when you enter calibration). We hope this will remove most of the downsides of MMR resets, and let the people that really want to do it be able to do so in a little bit more of a stable environment.
You can find the new recalibration section in the account settings. In case you want to “reset” your MMR, you’ll be able to do so starting October 22 until November 22.
A New Hero in November?
In past years, Dota 2 fans would usually get a glimpse of an upcoming hero during The International. This one was an exception due to the pandemic, but players are still expecting a new addition to the roster of playable characters. Valve obviously have some plans:
First is with regards to new heroes. We know the community tends to expect new heroes in the fall each year (usually released around November sometime). We are currently aiming for end of November for a new hero release, followed by more that are spread throughout next year with the next one in the first quarter next year. Recently we’ve been thinking about trying an overall development approach of spreading out updates during the year, rather than only having most content and updates centered around The International. We are hoping a steady state of content will prove to be more engaging to users than the previous approaches.
That’s good news and the only question is whether Valve will manage to keep up with that schedule. You know, Valve time and all.
Improved Smurf Detection and Over 14000 Booster Accounts Banned
There’s nothing more frustrating for new players than getting stomped in their first few games by someone who has 10,000 hours in. Valve have reportedly improved their smurf detection and now there’ll be a lower chance to encounter them in your games.
We’ve made improvements to our smurf detection systems, and as a result we’ve started separating new accounts from entering the pool of normal and new players. Smurf accounts are now much more likely to play with other smurfs only, this includes parties where only one player is a smurf. They are also likely to inherit any negative behavior scores of their alternate accounts, to limit their negative impact when playing. We’ve also done a few more improvements on making new accounts converge to their correct MMR faster, however there is still more to be done on that front. We have a couple of approaches to solve that which we are working on but they are in the research/experimental stage at this point.
Boosters also get the boot as over 14,000 accounts have been banned for the malicious practice of selling accounts and ruining the experience for many others.
We’ve also been ramping up our banning of booster accounts, as we’ve improved detections systems in recent months and gained more confidence in the ability to ban for it. In the past 30 days we’ve banned over 14000 accounts, and have set up systems to continually ban for boosting moving forward.
Valve are also planning an Overwatch system in the style of CS:GO, where players will be the judge on some reports. That’s something League of Legends had (The Tribunal) for years and it made perfect sense to also implement it into Dota 2.
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Autumnal Treasure 2020
There’s a new treasure available for purchase in the Shard Shop and you can get it for 10,000 shards a piece. With a total of 12 skins, you’ll need 120k to get them all. That’s quite a good deal considering it’s free (in theory).
The treasure includes community-created skins for Nyx Assassin, Leshrac, Medusa, Vengeful Spirit, Weaver, Clockwerk, Faceless Void, Doom, Sven, Axe, Crystal Maiden, and Tusk. It brings back Ethereal and Prismatic gems.
Now that’s what we call an update. Valve are definitely going the right way and it’s good to finally see some communication coming from their end. What do you think about all the changes? Share your opinion on our Facebook page!