The animated series based on Dota 2 is now available on Netflix, expanding elements of the MOBA backstory into eight brave episodes. Expecting an influx of curious newbies who would be horrified by how unsympathetic Dota is, Valve last night updated the new Dota player experience to be less completely useless. They have added new playable tutorials and a new player mode that smoothly introduces players to low-risk games, as well as improving bots. Also, they have made the Smurfs a bannable offense, to keep the sharks out of the paddling pool.
For starters, the game’s sparse tutorial section is now chock-full of playable videos and scenarios introducing everything from basic gameplay to techniques like stacking creep camps and the last major hit. Completing these tasks also provides cosmetic rewards to customize magicians, as an incentive that all players can benefit from. I took a look and played a few scenarios and yes this is useful. I like that everything is guided by the much loved “shit wizard”.
The new new player mode is part of the limited mode of the previous new player experience. It only has a small number of the scrawny wizards in the game and uses some of Dota’s Turbo Mode settings to speed up games. Players will also not receive a penalty for abandoning new player games, and a bot will instantly step in to take over its wizard. Bots will also step in to complete a match if matchmaking is taking too long as well. And solo players will never face teams, because teams will face bots.
Valve says they have improved the bots as well. And added pop-up tips that warn new players when they’re doing something they might not know is silly. And added a friendlier and simpler store interface for new players. And put up a Glossary section with written information and statistics on a lot of things. And he expanded the training system for players who want support. And, gods! We launched a new website with lots of useful information, including stylish new hero pages. New players will also receive a two-month free trial of Dota Plus, which offers additional tips.
Another change apparently made with newbies in mind, but useful for everyone, is banning Smurfs. High-skill players diving into new accounts to ditch their matchmaking rankings and melt faces has long been a problem in Dota. It makes less skilled players miserable and empties the matchmaking pool at the higher end. So smurfing is now a prohibited crime. Valve says they will focus primarily on accounts created from now on, although they will occasionally manually ban pre-existing Smurf accounts “which clearly ruin the game.” The in-game reporting tools now allow you to encourage people to make Smurfs too.
See Valve’s announcement for more than everything. It is quite impressive and long overdue.
This is more than I expected from Valve and evidently more than many fans did. A group of fans were so keen on Dota being more welcoming to newcomers that they raised $ 30,000 to make an unofficial playable tutorial, which they released Tuesday as a mod. I guess Valve was doing all of this quietly in the background. Valve has at least slipped that tutorial into the new tutorial section, and it says “If we see other similar activity in this community space, we will look to add it in the future as well.”
Speaking of the future, Valve says they plan to release update 7.29 on the Friday after the Singapore Major (it will be April 9). It will add a new hero and rebalance the game a bit.
Oh, the series. Dota: Dragon’s Blood is on Netflix. Eight episodes, all now. It’s about boring the old Dragon Knight, with other wizards like Mirana, Luna, Invoker and Terrorblade. It is animated by Studio Mir, the South Korean studio known for its work on series including Kipo And The Age Of Wonderbeasts and Voltron: Legendary Defender. Kipo was pretty.