The competitive scene in Dota 2 is, for lack of a better word, huge. Like, really. Valve is mainly to blame (or thank) for this. They’ve intelligently found a way for us regular people to participate. Sure, it costs money, but what doesn’t.
It all started with The International 3, TI3, and the compendium. With this virtual book you could keep track of your favor teams, participate in events, and draft a team with your favorite pros. Or at least the pros who you thought were good and get you the most points for virtual rewards. I named my team the Raucous Rumps, and it didn’t do too badly. Nor did the compendium itself. The thing sold really well, and was brought back for TI5. Then in TI5, a portion of the proceeds went to the prize pool, and helped to make it one of the biggest in gaming history.
Evidently the success cause a light to go off in someone’s head over at Valve, and now you can probably build a library around the amount of compendiums offered for Dota 2.
That brings us to the Winter 2016 Battle Pass.
Valve’s page for the Battle Pass is huge, and goes over everything this 7.99 bit of DLC offers, including, you guessed it, a compendium for the 2016 Shanghai Majors. Hope you’ve got a spot ready in your library.
But that’s just the beginning, really.
The Battle Pass introduces a quest system for each of the game’s three roles (support, carry, mid), and if you complete enough quests, you can unlock items for your chosen role. Then you can sell those items on the Steam market, and the cycle will repeat itself – endlessly.
Few games do Free to Play as well as Dota 2. When I was playing the game more actively, I found myself buying the occasional something or another, not because I felt I had to, but because I wanted to. It’s actually quite the scary slope, but one more developers could probably learn a thing or two from, for better or worse.
Maybe Valve is evil and knows how to get people to drink the kool aid without actually realizing it.