Update June 8, 2017: Valve have finally released the new co-op campaign for Dota 2, which is yours for the price of a Battle Pass. Terrors no doubt await.
Every time you play through the campaign, you can earn some new in-game Artifacts for use in the campaign during the Battle Pass season. These Artifacts are stuffed with brand new items for the strategy game, and equipping them will bolster your powers in future runs.
If you’re looking to get into the regular side of the game, here are the best Dota 2 heroes for beginners.
"As Act I opens, Siltbreaker awakens in the depths of Dark Reef, and the mysterious Conclave of the Brine calls upon you to halt this dark power’s ascent, starting with Siltbreaker’s twisted creation - Rhyzik the Corruptor," says the official blurb.
"As you battle through multiple play zones in search of Rhyzik, you’ll earn completion stars based on your performance level. The first time you complete a zone with one or two stars will net you Battle Points rewards, and delivering a three-star zone performance will grant a treasure from Siltbreaker himself."
Siltbreaker Treasures have a chance of being packed with a rare Immortal Desert Sands Baby Roshan courier. Additionally, if you have a Battle Pass level of 165 or higher, double Treasure is available for every three-star zone completed with an active reward bonus.
So grab a friend and get stuck in.
Update May 30, 2017: Dota 2's single-player campaign has been delayed a week as Valve put on the finishing touches.
Those assuming that the May release date for Dota 2's new campaign would stick can stop holding their breath - Valve have, perhaps predictably, delayed it until next week.
The news comes, in classic understated Valve style, via the barely used official Twitter account:
We are currently finishing up the Siltbreaker campaign and will unfortunately need to delay it until next week.— DOTA 2 (@DOTA2) May 29, 2017
No word on exactly when it will pop up, or if this puts a delay on the July release date for an update, but it should give you something to do before E3. In other Dota 2 news, rosters are locking up for The International and EG took down the Manila Masters at the weekend with some incredible games. Here's Sumail with the sweetest Aegis steal you'll ever see:
Original story May 5, 2017: Life is a flat circle. StarCraft leads to Warcraft leads to World of Warcraft leads to StarCraft II. Warcraft leads to Dota leads to Dota 2 leads to a Warcraft III-like co-op campaign, available later this month, and expanded upon in July, for the price of one Battle Pass. For the unfamiliar, that’s the microtransaction system that Valve use to fund Dota’s International tournament and its legendary prize pool. It’s available to buy right now.
The campaign will come in two parts, the first released this month and the second some time in July. They’re titled The Sands of Fate and A Vault in the Deep respectively, sending you and three friends (rando-queuing also available for those, like me, with a deep-seated hate for anyone more familiar than a bus driver) exploring the Dark Reef in search of fame, fortune, XP, items, cosmetics and probably justice or something as well.
“As Act I opens, a dormant evil stirs in the depths of Dark Reef, with only the secret Conclave of the Brine prepared to face it. Will you answer the Conclave's call and journey to halt this dark power's ascent?” explains Valve’s official blurb over on the TI7 splash page. Spoilers: things do not go well for you and your band.
If campaigns aren’t your thing but sexy, sexy cosmetics are, there’s roughly twelve billion of those available in the battle pass as well. New immortal items, towers changing shape based on your battle level, relics that give unique effects until TI8, a new version of the map based on the co-op campaign, new chat options, prestige items, the kitchen sink - too much to list, really.
On the gameplay side they’re even letting you bet MMR on matches now, with a double system that sees whatever post-game change that occurs be twice as powerful. Lose and down the ladder you go, win and it’s a mega-climb. Along with the usual battle cup, battle pass predictions and a thousand other things that get people spending, it’s all classic Valve money-spinning.
How high will the prize pool go this year? The International tracker is already up and running, and tracking slightly higher by the hour than previous years. With everything involved, and things like the co-op bringing in people who wouldn’t normally buy, it seems inevitable that $20 million will merely be a starting point this go round.