It’s a truth universally acknowledged that Dota 2’s tutorial sucks, to such an extent that the community has pooled funds to create its own. But Valve has just announced its own huge update, which is aimed at making the notoriously complex game more palatable to newcomers. It’s timed to coincide with tomorrow’s premiere of the Dragon’s Blood anime adaptation, which will no doubt attract hordes of new players to the game.
In a lengthy and detailed announcement explaining the update, Valve confirms that the update, which it rightly describes as “comprehensive”, will roll out tomorrow. Acknowledging that conventional tutorials aren’t really suited to a game like Dota, the update introduces a bunch of major and minor changes to a new player’s experience. A lot of these strip layers of complexity off the game, or else offer on-the-fly advice.
The most significant of these is the New Player Mode, which has a static pool of heroes. It’s designed to help players understand the game without having to worry about encountering too many heroes and abilities at once, which can be intimidating. “To keep an even field, solo-queue new players will always play with and against other solo new players when queuing in this mode,” Valve writes. “They won’t meet any parties or Dota veterans.”
That wizard in the image above also features heavily in the update, taking on a Clippy-like role for new players. Basically, if you’re about to do something blatantly reckless, that wizard will notice and a pop-up will appear. In one example provided by Valve, the wizard will pop up if you try to 1v1 an especially difficult enemy, or rock around the map too long with low health.
Elsewhere, new players will see a dramatically streamlined version of the shop, rolling out new craftable items based on what the player has crafted in the past. This process can be opted out of whenever, but it’ll sure help new players overcome the stifling amount of choice on offer. A new series of player objectives will also encourage new players to tackle and learn different elements of the game “in a controlled, scripted environment”.
There’s other stuff too: a dedicated chat channel for new players, updated and improved bots, an updated and “more flexible” coaching system, a free three-month trial for Dota Plus and more. Significantly, Valve is also taking a zero tolerance approach to smurfing starting from today: now it’s a bannable offense. Oh, and that community-led tutorial created by SirActionSlacks will be incorporated into the new player objectives feature.
To peruse the very lengthy update post for yourself, here it is.