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Dota 2 goes under the seeeeeeeeeeea with The International 2017 Battle Pass

Battle Pass

Do you have any idea how hard it is for me to concentrate long enough to write a “Dota 2’s Battle Pass for The International 2017 is now available” news story given the theme this year is UNDER THE SEA? I mean !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have never felt more like a target market in my entire life.

You might be here for chat about the new co-op campaign thing or the ranked MMR wagering system or w/e though so let’s try and get through this together.

Right. Battle Passes are digital accompaniments to events or seasonal periods in Dota 2. You buy a Battle Pass and you gain some immediate gifts as well as this kind of digital book which you level up by completing tasks or playing games or generally engaging with Dota in some form. You can also speed up the process by throwing money at the thing in order to buy those extra levels.

It has the capacity to be a real money pit (with 25% of what you spend going into the International prize pool) but if you enjoy Dota it’s more about working out which of the cool stuff you want and taking part in challenges and stuff like that. Sometimes I do feel a bit overwhelmed by all the bells and whistles or the hoops you need to jump through to get stuff. It gets caught somewhere between “I love this stuff!” and “But the coolest stuff is so far out of my reach given I have a full time job and how much am I willing to pay to circumvent the time requirements and clearly that’s kind of the point from a business perspective and I do not feel great about feeding into that”.

Battle Pass

This year there is a two-part multiplayer campaign which drops in May and July:

“Available to play later this month—and with Act II arriving in July—this all-new campaign calls upon you to party up with three friends or queue-met allies to battle through a diverse landscape of loathsome monsters, cunning traps, and other lethal terrors.”

I mean I think it sounds fun and probably like some kind of horde mode as they’ve had in various forms previously but it also feeds into the feeling that Battle Passes are weird online casinos: “You’ll earn Campaign XP each time you play. Earn enough points to spin the Wheel of Rewards, and you could walk away with an exclusive Desert Sands Baby Roshan. Reach Battle Level 165 to unlock an XP booster.”

Looking through the other bits and pieces we have:

  • Battle point tribute, which is essentially a wager system where you get rewards if you bet on your team at the start of a game and they go on to win.
  • Team quests where you fulfil objectives across games to gain battle points and extra presents.
  • Prestige towers which are just a thing that get plonked onto the normal game map in place of another structure and the get fancier the more Battle Pass levels your team has. It’s a showing off thing.
  • A quiz while you’re queuing for a match.
  • Fantasy player cards which are an online sticker book, really, but this year you can also collect sets of them to get team junk for use in games.
  • YOU CAN NOW WAGER RANKED MMR:
  • Battle Pass owners now have the opportunity to double down on the MMR they’re willing to put on the line. At the start of a Ranked match once per week—with more chances available at higher Battle Levels—you’ll have the option to double your potential MMR loss or gain. Win the game, score twice the points. Lose, and you’ll fall ever further down the ladder.

    I definitely can’t see that being a salty disaster zone, once a week or no…

  • Relics. I don’t really understand or care about Relics but it seems to be more playing of specific games to be entered into a competition for a digital present.
  • Then just blah blah pretty much everything from last year PLUS the International compendium which is a kind of subset of all of this because digital loot has started nesting within other digital loot as some kind of financially vampiric matryoshka doll.

    Things I, PIP, am interested in are as follows:

  • The Reef’s Edge Terrain: “Plunge deep into the Battle Pass rewards with a trip to Dark Reef. All pass owners who reach Battle Level 150 will be permanently awarded the Reef’s Edge Terrain.”
  • Battle Pass

    Battle Pass

    Battle Pass

  • Hermes The Hermit Crab (evolving courier): IT IS A HERMIT CRAB.
  • LIST ENDS
  • Thing is the terrain is only available for reaching level 150. A Battle Pass is $9.99 or $36.99 if you want to start at level 75 and then you can buy levels for $2.49 (for 5), $4.99 (for 11) or $9.99 (for 24). Or earn them alongside a full time job and reviewing other games. Let the internal turmoil begin…

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    Philippa Warr

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