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.
  • 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.
  • 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…


    1. Artiforg says:

      I stopped buying into Battle Passes/Compendiums a year or two ago. All the good stuff was gated by having spent the most money and it started to just feel like a greedy cash grab rather than a fun extra. Being a bot player I also felt left out of, not just the game (as they’ve got worse over time) but the whole battle pass concept. Originally you’d get the XP booster thing which would help you level up more quickly, but now you have things to do in game and they only apply to human vs human games. Since I’ve broken that tie I’ve not even felt inclined to purchase treasures as they’re another awful lottery.

    2. shaydeeadi says:

      The terrain is all I really want out of this and it’s at level 150!!! I get they are a business but this is absurd. Also market locking treasures for 12 months is pretty bad; I’ve got lucky on treasures a few times and have made a nice bit of market cash as well as some decent sets but if they want to shut down chest flipping even more then thats a real shame.

      • Banyan says:

        Yeah, I’m also an avid scuba diver so actually had to stop and tell myself I was not going to spend $50 for a map skin, since I typically refuse to by a game for more than $10. But it sure looks pretty…

    3. Shinard says:

      Not a fan of the Battle Pass system, but I always buy the International Compendium (as was, at least), and it’s always a good deal so I’ll happily pay for this. Plus, I loved Wraith Night, so another co-op vs. AI hordes battle royale sounds perfect.

    4. kentonio says:

      It scares me that PIP has now started capitalizing her name. It can only be a short route from this to underground nuclear programs and declaring herself the supreme ruler of RPS..

    5. Vandelay says:

      Yes, no chance I will ever be seeing that shiny terrain. I do buy these passes and feel like they are ok value for money, as well as being a reasonable expenditure on a game I play so much, but I never would put more money in above the basic pass. I’m clearly alone in this though, seeing the large numbers next to most people’s name (or the large amount of time they spend on the game!)

      I am already terrified by the rage that the gambling MMR is going to result in.

    6. MyrddinE says:

      I have bought the compendium / battle pass every time, but never spent any money beyond the basic $10 or $15 buy in.

      Until this year. Just dropped $180 to leap straight to level 400. I’m a weak, weak man. In my defense, I recently got a raise… but still… weak…