Dota 2 players have been curious about what's next for the action-RTS, and Valve is finally pulling back the curtain a bit. Yesterday evening, the company published a new update, discussing the recent lack of communication about updates and the future of the game.
It was a weird summer, especially for Dota 2. The long-running competitive game would've had its tenth annual International, featuring the best from around the world competing for a multimillion-dollar prize pool. Instead, the COVID-19 global pandemic caused everything to move indoors and socially distanced. That didn't stop this year's Battle Pass from raising $40 million for the next International's prize pool, but it has left a gap where Valve usually makes big announcements around new content for Dota 2.
In an update about changes coming to its paid Dota Plus add-on and the Guilds system, it addressed its own communication too, acknowledging the community has wanted Valve to share more about what's being worked on. Valve says there are a "variety of reasons" it doesn't share news leading up to release; plans change, ideas don't work out, or shifting dates could set up false expectations.
"That being said, we recognize that sometimes we need to balance that approach with the desire for some information to the community," Valve says.
A big one is new heroes to play in Dota 2. New heroes usually arrive in the fall of each year, and Valve confirms that it's aiming for "end of November" for a new hero release. The company also plans to release more heroes spread out throughout the year, starting with the next one in the first quarter of 2021. "We are hoping a steady state of content will prove to be more engaging to users than previous approaches," Valve says.
The publisher says it's also looking into issues with player behavior and toxicity, especially in detecting "smurfs." (Smurfs, if you've never heard the term, are new accounts made by a veteran player of a game, so they can match against low-level players.) It's working on banning boosted accounts too, as well as a new system for handling game-ruining behaviors.
Other various Dota projects have been in the works at Valve, from the reboot of Artifact to the recently uncovered Dota RPG that never was. It's nice to hear some more updates are coming to Dota 2 proper, though. As someone with, literally, thousands of hours sunk into this game, a new hero and some other content would be pretty rad.