Valve Reveals Dota Plus Subscription Service
Tired of playing Dota 2 for free? Well you're in luck! Valve has just announced a new premium service called Dota Plus. For $3.99/month, players gain access to new types of account progression, the ability to earn a new currency called 'shards', hundreds of new challenges, and a real-time 'Assistant' that provides item/ability build suggestions and other in-game information.
Valve bills Dota Plus as a re-imagining of their Majors Battle Pass feature. Every year, Valve sells an in-game Compendium that serves as a companion to the annual world championships. That system is not being replaced. Instead, Valve will no longer sell smaller Compendiums, called Battle Passes, that have historically accompanied regional Dota 2 tournaments. The features and bonuses traditionally found in those Battle Passes will now be a permanent and ongoing part of Dota 2, at least for those players with a Dota Plus subscription.
Most of the features unlocked by Dota Plus seem like the usual mix of cosmetics, optional challenges, and access to bonus game modes (the Battle Cup is making a comeback), but there is one feature that has sparked controversy. Dota Plus subscribers will be given real-time suggestions by an 'Assistant' based on data gathered across millions of Dota 2 matches in all skill brackets. These tailored suggestions, along with more neatly presented in-game information risk giving paying players an advantage over free players.
Valve has a full page dedicated to the features included in Dota Plus, and it will undoubtedly prove to be a great value for hardcore Dota players. The shift to an optional premium model also highlights Valve's struggle to keep revenues growing despite a shrinking userbase. Monthly player numbers for Dota 2 have dipped from over 700,000 in Feb 2016 to just under 440,000 for the same period this year.
Further Reading: Official Dota Plus Page