Valve are making some big changes in the matchmaking update for Dota 2, ruining the experience for cheaters and disruptive players, while hopefully streamlining it for legitimate players. If you’re one of those legitimate players, you’ll have to meet Valve halfway, however.
Related: the best Dota 2 heroes.
If you want to play in Ranked, you’ll need to have a unique phone number registered to your account. This is to counter all the throwaway accounts created by players, negatively impacting the experience. Basically, Valve want to make this slightly awkward, making multiple accounts more hassle to set up, therefore reducing the number of people who can be bothered.
You have until May 4 to set it up - after that date you’ll be locked out of Ranked until, you do. You can add a new number if you change sim, but the old phone number will have to wait three months before being registered again. Online services that generate numbers are not allowed, say Valve.
Valve are also adding a new Solo queue for those who want to be matched with only other Solo players.
As for parties… “Starting today, if a player’s Solo MMR is higher than their Party MMR, queuing in a party will result in the matchmaker assigning a higher MMR to that player,” explain Valve. “Effectively, these players will search for a match as if their MMR were halfway between the Solo and Party MMR values.
“While the current Party MMR number generally reflects the likelihood that you’ll win a given match correctly, we’ve found that when a Solo MMR is dramatically higher than a Party MMR, the match becomes extremely volatile, resulting in an unpleasant and uncompetitive experience for both teams.”
On top of all that, Valve are making it even harder for disruptive souls. For example, if you’re marked as low-priority, you now get a duration ban from Ranked, in addition to the current game-count-based low priority requirement. It will increase as players remain in low-priority.
Dota 2 also now has better detection for clear cases of intentional feeding, with stricter punishments coming to those who break the rules. Botters should also now be more easily spotted, and those found guilty of using bots will face permanent bans.
Lastly, Ranked will no longer be available in South Africa, India, and Dubai. The playerbase is just too small to fracture it into two queues.