This week’s update includes the first piece of a large set of features aimed at introducing new players to Dota 2. Dota’s a deep game, and there’s a lot of things to learn, but we felt it was important that the learning was entertaining in itself, so we’ve tried to avoid building a dry tutorial. Did we succeed? That’s where you come in.
If you’re a new player, you’ll be automatically guided towards the first tutorial adventure, where you play Davion, The Dragon Knight. If you’ve already been playing Dota, you’ll find it under the Quests tab of the Play screen. Once you’ve completed it, please drop by the New Player Experience forum and tell us what you think.
We’re sure that you’ll think of a million things that we’re not teaching new players yet, and you’ll be right. This is just the first step, and we felt it was important to ship it so that you could help us figure out the right next step. Bringing new players into Dota is something we’ll be doing in collaboration with you, combining single player tutorial adventures with features like the recently released Hero Guides.
This week update also allow players to preview the content of all chests before unlocking them. You can also preview the contents in full 3D!
We’ve also added the ability to specify a custom status on your Rich Presence area. You can find this in your Career Profile panel.
See you next week!
What does a hero truly need? Now you can find out with Hero Builds.
Dota 2 has a vast number of heroes to choose from, and we’re adding more all the time. Player-written guides are a great way to learn more about these heroes, but that’s a lot of information to keep in your head in the heat of battle. That’s why we’re introducing Hero Builds: integrated guides that allow you to see which items to buy and which abilities to level (and when), all within Dota 2.
You can create builds for yourself, or you can publish them to the Steam Community to share them with others. Hero Builds can also be embedded into the great guides that players have already been writing on the Steam Community, meaning you’ll always have invaluable advice at your fingertips no matter which hero you’ve chosen.
To find and use Hero Builds while playing, open the “Hero Build Panel” from inside a game.
It has been two weeks since we released Team Matchmaking and one of the most requested features people have been asking for is the ability for players to be in multiple teams at the same time. There would be no point in mentioning that unless we just added that feature in, so there ya go. Starting today player’s will able to join up to 10 different teams, so feel free to make a team for when you want to be serious and another team when you just want to play 5 carries.
Changelog is here!
Tusk is going to knock you out, Tusk’s mama said to knock you out.
In this update you will also find Mirana’s first item set: The Garments of the Nightsilver Sentinel. I have never heard of an Owlion before but after reading Beastmaster’s Great Big Book of Big Beasts That Happen To Be Big, I learned they are one of those creatures usually bred for their skills in magic.
Speaking of weird creatures, the new season of the Star Series begins tomorrow and v1lat managed to summon a Grillhound using one of the many incantations you have probably heard him chant over his many great casts. The Grillhound will be by your side in your many adventures and grow stronger as you watch more games of the Star Series Season V.
This changelog is pretty cool.
Today’s update includes the initial release of the long awaited Team Matchmaking feature.
Dota 2 is a game that inspires its players to improve. Our data shows that one of the best ways to improve is to regularly play with a set of friends who have the same goal. Our data also shows that the quality of matches between groups of friends is simply higher. In addition, we can give you more accurate feedback on your game-to-game performance when you play with a fixed set of team members.
We’ve revamped your Team’s profile, which can now be accessed from your Career Profile’s page.
Also this week you will find The Premier League Season 4′s Bundle. This bundle will give you access to the upcoming league and to the brand new courier Wynchell the Wyrmeleon!
This is our first evolving courier; as you watch more Premier League games the courier’s look will change and become more impressive. You will also become a better person.
And since you are now a better person why not stop by the DotA 2 Charity Invitational: Heroes Helping Heroes website? It should be a lot of fun and its for a good cause!
We’ve also added a bunch of new stuff to the Dota 2 Store, there you will find new item sets for your favorite heroes including Sand King’s first change of clothes.
Would you like a freshly baked changelog?
Don’t feed this guy.
In happier news, our new Calendar system is now available. Leagues can add events to the calendar making pro games easier to follow than ever before.
And what better way of using this new feature than by following the new SEA League? That GoDz guy is so dreamy.
We’ve also added All Random mode and tweaked Least Played to now hide a player’s top 40 heroes.
And unlike last week, I will properly link to the changelog this time.
In Today’s update you will find a new game mode called Least Played.
In this mode, players can only pick from their least played heroes. Having an even playing field for everyone in the match will hopefully encourage players to break out of their comfort zone and try new heroes. Give it a shot!
We’ve also changed the Shared Content panel. Some items in Dota 2 can be shared and used by other players in a match. The new panel should make it easier to browse the available shared items and help you be the coolest kid in town when everyone picks yours.
In other news, we recently saw game number 100,000,000 played. With over 3 million unique players every month, the Dota 2 community is blossoming into a beautiful flower.
Yep, we are back!
One little known fact about the world of Dota 2: Winter lasts less than a month. Astronomers have yet to figure out why but they think that it might have something to do with Doombringer’s hatred for wearing sweaters.
This also means those Frosty Treasures of Frostivus items will be melting away soon, so make sure you get a key and open them up! Glorious rewards await inside (we promise no tube socks will be found).
Have you been following the G-League tournament? If not, you have been missing out! Teams like DK, LGD and International Champions iG have been putting on a show. If you haven’t watched any games, do not worry, you can always find a ticket in the Dota 2 store which will not only grant you access to the live games but also any replays for games you might have missed. Check out their website for more details.
And here’s the little changelog that could.
Ah yes, it is that time of the year. A time to buy the courier, a time to let that other guy have the last hit, a time to be grateful if you happen to be a frost Lich or Crystal Maiden.
Frostivus is our Holidays event, enjoy it responsibly with a nice cup of Greevil Eggnog.
And the winner of the Polycount Contest is… *drum roll*
Most of you have already guessed but it’s time to make it official: Danidem and Hunter’s Rider of the Storm set for Disruptor wins the distinction of Best Overall Polycount Contest entry!
The winning sets will ship in next week’s Frostivus update. The winners will receive a share of sales, special versions of their items, and a custom trophy-ward to show off their accomplishment in game.
A collection of seven items created by Danidem and Hunter.
In the times of the Oglodi a well trained Stormcrafter knew he was never really in control of the storm but merely a vector for its power.
Through Stormthrasher, Disruptor wields the ancient power of the Stormrider. Stormriders laugh in the face of order and through force of will bend storms to do their bidding. Clad in the armor of his ancestors and riding a scaled storm beast, Disruptor is a true Rider of the Storm.
No one will be shocked to discover that Danidem & Hunter’s set “Rider of the Storm” is our team’s pick for the best entry in the Dota 2 Polycount Contest. The mount, Rampant the Scaled Hunter, is a wicked alternative to the default with both runed beak and feathers drawing attention and creating a sleek sense of direction. Disruptor himself looks battleready and grim. The beard design and eye-patch make the portrait stand apart and both also read well at game-distance. Technical execution is at the professional level.
Perhaps the only adjustment we would make is to tone down the feathers behind the saddle, but they hardly interfere with readability and this is a minor observation.
Polycount Discussion Thread
Day three of the Polycount Contest winners announcements begins. We won’t spend a lot of time on introductions as we know you want to get back to maniacally murdering trees with the newly introduced hero Timbersaw.
That guy is clearly compensating for something.
Now on to our distinguished winners! Coming in as winner number seven we have…
A collection of seven items created by Bisho Bola. Dota 2 Polycount Contest Finalist.
He that burns and is not consumed now walks the battlefied, shielded by the ancient promise of the Eleven Curses. Eleven Eyes, eleven seals, eleven curses. All to insure victory in even the worst of battles.
Doom Bringer picked up several great entries during the contest. Jeremy Klein’s Impending Transgressions and Jacque Choi’s Apocalyptic Raiments are examples of two sets with potential to go all the way. Ultimately we chose Bisho Bola’s Eleven Curses as one of the top entries to emerge from the contest.
THAT SWORD…that sword is pure metal. If King Diamond were battling Satan for the throne of hell this would be the sword he’d use to do the deed. The blade is anchored with interesting detail that reads well in game, from the weighted disc embedded at the end to the wicked hooks that lead into the hilt. Bisho Bola uses darker tones to break up the armor which pushes the design away from Doom’s default appearance. Small details picked out in red help unify the set, like the back of Doom’s helm and the armored tail tip. Doom’s belt buckle bulges a bit giving him the appearance of having a bit of a gut. We aren’t sure if this is intentional, but we like the way it adds an extra touch of heft to this massive hero. The set has a lot of detail that reads well at a distance. The horn tips and eye sigils on the helm and shoulders glow and stand out at night adding additional interest.
There are a few adjustments we might make to this set, but they’re really minor. The transition from bright to dark is abrupt in a couple of places along the wings. We might also tone down the detail at the hips to make the shoulders pop out a bit more. We’d also adjust the light location in the portrait so the horns don’t cast so heavy a shadow over Doom’s face. We may also tone the fire particles down a bit on the blade so the sword’s detail is more visible. Overall, this is an impressive and fun entry.
Polycount Discussion Thread
Our eighth winner…
A collection of five items created by Willypup. Dota 2 Polycount Contest Finalist.
The early shadow priests of the Dezun Order were said to have woven their vestments in utter darkness, for only in the total absence of light could they properly channel the essence of the Nothl Realm into the fabrics. It was believed that once complete, the enchantment would grow stronger as the garment aged. The oldest regalia are therefore not only prized for their hallowed creators, but for the heightened Nothl power they bestow upon the wearer.
Willypup’s Ancestral Trappings for Dazzle is one of our favorite entries in the contest. Here is a set that pushes Dazzle in a direction that expands the hero’s story and maintains his readability at a glance. Contrast is used to great effect in the the bone-white skullcap, the white stripes in the feather cloak, and the bone dream catcher. What’s really impressive are the number of small details that pop at a distance. The feathers hanging from the headdress and delicate wiring of the dream catcher are two examples. Our only suggestion for this set would be to add a bit more of Dazzle’s pink flesh-tone to the right arm and maybe a touch of emissive glow to the business end of the staff. A fantastic entry we want to see the lanes right away.
Polycount Discussion Thread
And the contest’s ninth winner…
A collection of four items created by kremrhi. Dota 2 Polycount Contest Finalist.
In the final years of the Sordid Era, after thirteen seasons of drought, shamanic ways fell into disrepute, with all itinerant mages blamed for failing crops and disease. In order to continue his travels, Rhasta was forced to adopt a new appearance. While still offering many of the same services, during the end of this Era he disclaimed all knowledge of shamanism and professed only the knowledge that any vagabond might acquire along the road, and practice (in a strictly nonprofessional sense) for a few coins. Thus he survived into the next era, when many another was separated from their hide and stretched out along the roads as a warning to the next shaman who might happen along.
Kremrhi’s Mysterious Vagabond was one of our top picks when considering which set could win the whole thing. This set exudes character and thoughtful design. The banner poles and back-scroll (perhaps advertising the vagrant’s services), the hat covered in script-blessings, the jug, the small hip fan…each detail is a piece of a puzzle telling a new Shadow Shaman story with exacting attention to detail. Kremrhi has even maintained the vertical framing of the Shadow Shaman’s face with functional leather slips to keep the hat in place. It goes without saying the set is well executed from a technical perspective. Our only suggestion would be to brighten ever slightly the parchment color on the scrolls and banners.
Polycount Discussion Thread
The tenth winner…
A collection of five items created by Honey Badger. Dota 2 Polycount Contest Finalist.
Long ago exiled from the valleys of Knollen, Sniper has travelled to many lands, fought in many battles, and learned much along the way. From these adventure, heâs garnered mementos of his travels, collecting armor and weapons as he strives to fulfill the prophecy of his youth, in the hope of one day rejoining the keen folk of his ancestral village.
Our tenth winner might be an unrecognized underdog. Honey Badger’s Gear of the Tally-Ho Hunter was submitted earlier in the contest and didn’t receive as much attention in community voting as a result. When we looked at this set in game it became clear that it looks as good or better than the default Sniper. The set engages on all dimensions without going over the top. The execution is top notch. Small details make the set from the medals and scope that enhance the portrait to the regal looking cape, distinguished mustache, and arm-strapped dagger. Sniper, in contrast to Naga, has taken to his exile with exuberance and a sense of adventure. This is a set we love more and more every time we see it in game.
Polycount Discussion Thread
Remember to check back tomorrow for the Grand Winner!
Today’s winners may all come with a certain degree of controversy. Here are three standout sets that have beaten very close competition to clench victory.
Our fourth winner…
A collection of five items created by Anuxi. Dota 2 Polycount Contest Finalist.
It is little known of Crystal Maiden, that in her long study of the Frozen Arts, she once greatly displeased her Ice Wizard master and to restore herself to his graces and prove worthy of his instruction, she passed a year dwelling in the climes of slush where the Blueheart Glacier spends itself at the edge of the Boiling Sea. Here, where snow had never fallen, Rylai spent months in deep meditation, mastering her powers, before waking one afternoon with a single frigid word upon her lips: “Snowdrop!” For a moment, the steam that filled the air turned to ice, and the warm precipitation became a softly falling snow. When she returned to her old teacher, she found him waiting with a smile, fully aware of the magic she had wrought, as he presented her this outfit to show her worth and mastery.
Belle of the North Star (created in part by the TF2 polycount winner Chemical Alia along with her cohorts Dry and jCool) was the hands-down winner of the community’s affection and votes. 5129 ratings with less than 1% downvotes. An impressive run for a professionally executed set, bold in its re-envisioning of Crystal Maiden as a confident and wealthy princess. There is a lot to like about the entry from the ornate but extremely readable cloak to the intricate portrait presentation. We know Belle is a fan favorite and one we expect to find its way into the game soon.
So it may be with a certain note of controversy that we announce the selection of Anuxi’s Snowdrop as our favored winner (pushing Belle from the winners circle due to our decision to focus on a broad set of heroes). Anuxi has crafted something really special. We love the way Crystal Maiden’s cape has been reinterpreted as a pair of fluffy tassels, changing the shape of the hero and really pushing on her design while maintaining readability (the tassels outline the cape’s profile and profiles are a critical component to at-a-glance recognition). The portrait is awesome, with the fluffy hood contrasting a wayward lock of hair. Here is a truly beautiful and mysterious ice witch, one eye and mouth occluded. Snowdrop is a perfect example of redefining a hero without changing her identity and doing so with an ‘our artists wish they made this’ level of execution.
Polycount Discussion Thread
Our fifth winner…
A collection of five items created by ENODMI. Dota 2 Polycount Contest Finalist.
No Slithereen may fail. Though Slithice swam victorious at the battle of Crey, a single jeweled chalice was taken. The punishment for the lost bauble: banishment. So she wandered the deeps, bitterly searching for the chalice, and where once dwelt honor and humility now crept the tendrils of cruelty and malice. If she was to be exiled, then so be it. She shed the lighter tones of her ancestral armor, instead taking up darker armaments, and all who looked upon her felt the indomitable will of the exiled siren.
Our selection of ENODMI’s Naga Siren “Exile” may come as a surprise. After all, Anuxi won hearts with two brilliantly presented sets for Naga the Slithereen Knight and Empress of the Deeps and PsEuDo’s Tempest entry captured our attention with bold use of color. (We should point out that we have no restriction on any one contributor winning multiple times with multiple entries.)
Exile is an example of an entry that defies expectation. ENODMI has chosen to work with two colors that are not prominent in Naga’s palette: dark green and blood orange. Despite the challenges this poses, the set excels when viewed in game, under motion. Good decisions can be found throughout. The wide, crimson tipped helm enhances Naga’s undulating fish-like motion. The colors add contrast and pick out the armor against Naga’s skin tones. A dark belt separates Naga’s upper and lower torso, but the armor pieces don’t occlude her chest creating a bright vertical line that helps preserve readability. The swords are heavy and grim, far more evil looking than the delicate blades we normally attribute to the Naga Siren. At the same time, not so heavy as to be unbelievable or silly. The blood orange edges of the armor and light edges of the blades help cut the character from the scene’s background. Here is a dark set that looks as good on Dire ground as on Radiant – a detail many contributors overlook. Naga’s story is not a happy one and the Exile set captures the darkness in this character’s heart.
Polycount Discussion Thread
And the contest’s sixth winner…
A collection of five items created by Tickwomp[RamRod]. Dota 2 Polycount Contest Finalist.
Since escaping bondage in kingdom of Slom, Beastmaster has always drawn strength from the natural world around him. When other heroes turn to steel or magic, Beastmasters turns to more ancient implements: feathers, leathers, bones and fur. With these primitive tools, he’s proven his worth against even the most well-armed knight.
Beastmaster received a couple of high quality entries that we want to comment on. One standout was the ‘Fierce Warrior‘ set from T_Vidotto. Both of the critters impressed us, but ultimately we felt the set didn’t try to press on Beastmaster’s identity as a hero. Another worth noting is peppi’s ‘Curse of the Cryptid’s‘ set. The execution on peppi’s entry is extremely professional, but some choices made us feel the bold design was inconsistently applied (such as the cleavers).
Red Talon, by comparison, is an entry to take on all comers. The vibrant red hood is sharp, with great execution both in color and in the modeling. Hoods are hard to get right. Modeling the way cloth frames the face without occluding expression or making it so wide it looks unnatural takes attention to detail. Tickwomp has nailed it. Another nice touch are the three feathers that adorn the back of the hero. These add contrast and interest and also enhance the downward directional pattern established by the hero’s ponytail and shoulder strap. The attention to detail and thoughtfulness in this set makes it stand above competing entries from other heroes.
Polycount Discussion Thread
Remember to check back tomorrow for four more winners!