In the dead of last night, Dota 2’s Shop opened its doors. It’s the most significant update that Dota 2 has received since it first went into beta, and it means more than just making very clear exactly what Valve is planning to do with the game and exactly what they are and what they aren’t willing to do in the name of financial gain.
The most significant announcement is that they’ve confirmed that it’ll be free to play, funded entirely by the sales of cosmetic items that the new shop sells. This also comes with the news that allheroes will be available to everyone from the moment you boot up the game, which is important in more ways than one. There’ll be nothing along the lines of League of Legends unlocking mechanic, and nothing will ever be sold that will give anyone a competitive advantage in the game.
There’s an extensive FAQ on the update pagethat details exactly what they’re trying to do with the free to play aspect of things, as well as addressing concerns that have been flying around fan forums for the past few months as the evidence for cosmetic items started to mount. The greatest of these, that of keeping of a thematic tone consistent in the game, is one of the first questions answered.
“We’re acutely aware of the community’s concerns around remaining true to the theme of the game, so much so that we think the community should be directly involved in the process of choosing what goes into it. The Steam Workshop allows you to submit your votes and thoughts on contributed items before we make any decision to put them into the game, so jump in and help us stay on the right track. We think the community at large is actually really good at making these kinds of decisions.”
Which alludes to the second huge addition to Dota 2 with this update. Along with the shop, there’s going to be an extensive workshop presence, allowing the community to both make new items for their favourite heroes, but also vote on those that should be considered for addition to the game. With so many people getting extremely antsy about exactly what goes into their game, this should be a great way to keep something like Alpine Ursafrom ever becoming a reality.
The addition of the shop is clearly the big news here, but Valve have also managed to sneak a few things onto the shelves that have suddenly changed a lot of things with Dota 2. The most important of these is the Early Access Bundle, coming in at £24.99, that gives you a beta key and £14.46 worth of items for both Sven and Juggernaut, as well as giving you the Mighty Boar courier. Which essentially means that, for £10, you can buy Dota 2 right now.
Which is kind of huge.
“We don’t really think of Dota 2 as a beta, but we also aren’t ready for everyone to show up and start playing just yet. We are constantly updating the game with new heroes, bug fixes, and new features. None of the items you purchase or the progress you make will be lost or reset once the game is available for everyone.”
The translation here is that Dota 2 is now released, for all intents and purposes. You can buy it, and that means that anyone can have access to it from this moment forward. It’s not officially released, and there’s always going to be changes and additions made to it, but right now you can go into the store and pick yourself up the Early Access Bundle and you now have Dota 2 on your account. Congratulations.