Valve have launched a subscription service for Dota 2, named Dota Plus, which is replacing the old tournament-centric Battle Passes with gobs of ongoing statistics and cosmetic bits. Basically, paying £3 per month for Dota Plus member gives you a load of progression tracks and challenges to unlock new skins and voiced taunts and bits. It does have something for beginners too, offering access to an AI assistant giving advice across matches. But it basically continues Dota’s free-to-play philosophy of monetisation being optional and not changing the game.Basically: if playing Dota isn’t enough and you want extra cross-match challenges with numbers and progress bars and stars and shards and statistics and points, Dota Plus has you covered. Exclusive and vintage cosmetic items will be available through this. Dota 2’s Battle Passes, which ran for a few months around competitive events and seasons, offered similar tracks and bits before. With Dota Plus, they’ll run all year.
One thing that newer players in particular might find useful is the Plus Assistant, which draws from Valve’s vast Dota databanks (their dotabanks?) to suggest which heroes, skills, and items players should pick across games, as well as laning tips and more. Dota 2’s existing Builds system can recommend skills and items to players, but these are fixed – the Assistant dynamically adjusts its suggestions.
Subscriptions also include free entry to the weekly Battle Cup automated tournaments, which otherwise cost $1 per go, and the seasonal map themes that Battle Passes covered.
Dota Plus costs £3/$4 per month with tiny discounts for longer stretches, going down to £32 for a year. The old Battle Passes would cost $10, coming two or three times per year.
This isn’t something I’d buy for myself, even if I were still playing Dota every night, but sure, fine. Dota 2’s monetisation is very generous, unlike most free-to-play MOBAs, offering all characters for free to everyone and having no game-altering progression tracks that players can pay to power though. I trust that Valve will confine Plus’s benefits to things I’m not interested in or bothered by. Other than stupid voice taunts and distractingly flashy effects on cosmetic items, which do bother me.