Valve has announced “Dota Plus,” a subscription-based service, that provides enhanced stats, a “Hero Leveling” system, the return of their Battle Cup, and much more.
According to the release blog, Plus works as an “ongoing, uninterrupted service” explicitly created to replace the seasonal Battle Passes. Prices begin at $3.99/month, with 6- and 12-month “discount” packages; these can also be gifted from person to person.
Included already are many of Battle Pass’s features, including the Seasonal Terrain and an altered, hero-specific version of Missions. This also brings the return of the Battle Cup, which comes free to Plus members. Non-Plus members can still buy into the Cups at their original price of 99 cents.
Plus brings plenty of incentive to keep playing Dota 2 and improve. For one, the Hero Leveling system will include the aforementioned missions, motivating players to keep at one hero (for better or worse, really). Doing well will unlock Shards that unlock rewards, such as exclusive item sets and lines for a “Hero Chat Wheel,” which features a number of the hero’s voice lines usable at the player’s whim.
More intense players will look to the Plus Assistant, an enhanced, native analysis feature that brings in new ways to learn about the way one plays.
The Assistant aggregates community gameplay data to suggest builds, meaning you won’t have to flip back-and-forth between your browser and multiple guides to figure out what everyone’s actually playing. Before and during the game, it provides hero pick suggestions, lane suggestions, a “death summary” to help you figure out what did you in, plus a real-time in-game comparative tool that compares how you’re doing versus others at your skill bracket. Spectators can even follow a “Win Probability” spectator graph that uses real-time stats to guesstimate who’ll “gg” or bring down the Ancient.
After the match, or between games, Plus gives players a wider look at how the world is doing. You can check out official “Global Rank Trends” that show how heroes — and you on these heroes — are doing in different skill brackets, as well as more extensive post-game analytics, including damage dealt source-by-source, and likely more.
With the statistics aspect, it also seems to be targeted at serious players that utilize third-party sites such as Dotabuff, DatDota and OpenDota.
Dota 2 will remain free-to-play, but players looking to dive deeper into the game’s intricacies will likely be interested in the upgrade.