Valve has released a new player experience update for Dota 2. The new features are largely geared towards helping brand new players find their footing. These include brand new features like an in-game warning system and some previously removed features such as the return of Limited Heroes mode.
Dota is possibly the most complicated esport, but the free-to-play game has lacked a tutorial since the transfer to Source 2 in 2016. Aside from a very elementary introduction and a handful of training minigames, there have been almost no in-game resources for five years. With the release of the community tutorial yesterday and the features added in today’s update, Dota 2 is a much more approachable game.
In-Game Wizard Tips
Dota’s lowkey mascot can now appear to warn players of potentially dangerous actions. (Picture: Valve)
Longtime Dota players might be familiar with the Shitty Wizard, an inside joke Valve employee responsible for all of Dota’s bugs. He finally makes an in-game appearance as a Clippy-esque tool that warns new players about dangerous behavior. He’ll appear to warn them about taking Roshan too early, crossing into enemy territory, and more.
New players will no longer see the massive list of over 200 items when they open the Shop. Now they’ll see a short list of Hero-relevant items with clear descriptions and build-ups. Valve stated that they want to avoid overloading new players with information, and the complicated Shop is a major source of analysis paralysis.
New player can request the assistance of an experienced player mid-match. (Picture: Valve)
Picture: New player can request the assistance of an experienced player mid-match.
If the Shitty Wizard isn’t helping, newbies can additionally call on experienced Dota players to give advice or instructions. Players can request help even in the middle of a match, so they don’t have to tank the loss before learning from their mistakes. All coaching requests must be sent out manually.
New Player Objectives
Novice Dota players will also gain access to a list of quests that reward them regardless of game outcome. These quests are self-contained scenarios that teach mechanics, like TP Scrolls or controlling the Courier. Existing players can also earn the cosmetic and Dota+ Shard rewards.
New Player Mode
New Player Mode features a very tight roster compared to normal Dota. (Picture: Valve)
New Player Mode features a very tight roster compared to normal Dota.
Limited Heroes returns with a much more drastic cut to the roster. Dota’s 120 Heroes can overwhelm new players, so the noob-oriented mode only features 18 choices. All of the options are low-complexity Heroes, though the inclusion of Pudge in the support category might send some mixed signals. The mode runs on the Turbo modifiers, so games are fast and decisive.
The list of additional features also includes updated Bots, an in-game glossary, and an overhaul of the Dota 2 website. All of these features have been added in anticipation of a player bump from Netflix’s new DOTA: Dragon’s Blood series. The impact of the anime is yet to be seen, but Valve appears to expect a large influx of players.