Valve has introduced a subscription plan for Dota 2 in the form of Dota Plus. Fortunately, its an optional service; although that hasn’t cause a knee-jerk reaction in the community from those worried that the game has become pay-to-win.
The main draw of Dota Plus is the extension of the strategy guides option for Dota 2. Those willing to pay $3.99 per month will gain access to the data-driven Dota Assistant which provides recommendations and suggestions to improve gameplay, as well as a breakdown player performance in real time.
Recommendations include not only item builds and skill choices, but also additional information about optional hero choices to counter the enemy lineup. The analytics will also provide players with suggestions on which lanes each hero on the team should take to maximise efficiency and strategy. One good thing about this last bit is that it will share the information with team-mates; even if they aren’t Dota Plus subscribers.
All this information comes from Valve’s computers gathering and computing input from the hundreds of thousands of Dota 2 games being played at any given time. Collating the data into a simple presentation that will allow players to make the most of their team composition.
Dota Assistant will also display an overlay that shows players how they compare (in terms of K/D ratio, last hit, and net worth) to others within their skill bracket. Effectively giving people a visual representation of how well they’re doing, and what needs to be done to become a better player.
If that isn’t enough, the game will also display post-game analytics. Allowing players to see how well people performed in the game.
Hard numbers and analytics aren’t the only thing available to Dota Plus. The subscription also provides access to hero challenges and the option to earn in-game currency – called Reward Shards – to buy Relics and new cosmetic items.
As far as benefits go, Dota Plus looks to be more useful for esports enthusiasts and pro-gamers. Seeing that it has the raw data for teams to sift through while trying to improve their performance. It may also be useful in public games to see who isn’t pulling their weight.
Accusations of Dota 2 going pay-to-win feel rather alarmist than actually based on anything. The subscription doesn’t make players better at the game, although it will provide some help for those who really need it to improve. That said, the introduction of Dota Plus means that the Battle Pass is going away.
Alternatively, it could be seen as making the Battle Pass as perpetually existing now; instead of being a seasonal event. Which isn’t too bad if you’re the type to spend extra money to level up the pass anyway.
[Source: Dota 2]