The Fall Season is upon us and we’re excited to announce updates to Dota Plus and Guilds. The Season begins today and it will run through the beginning of December, 2020.
Autumnal Treasure 2020
Dota Plus members can now purchase a new treasure with shards. This treasure features 12 community-created sets for Nyx Assassin, Leshrac, Medusa, Vengeful Spirit, Weaver, Clockwerk, Faceless Void, Doom, Sven, Axe, Crystal Maiden, and Tusk. It also includes the re-introduction of Ethereal and Prismatic gems, with the very rare Blazing Hatchling courier coming pre-equipped with a random one of each.
Our plan right now is to have a new seasonal treasure available for purchase with shards every 3 months. The next treasure will be available on Dec 1st, and then again every 3 months after that. This will also align with seasonal quests and seasonal terrains.
Updates to Dota Plus
In addition to the existing ways to earn shards, Dota Plus members can also earn up to 57,850 shards from a new season of quests for Fall 2020. These extra shards will give the currency you need to take advantage of the Seasonal Treasure.
Dota Plus members can now use the new Role Assistant hero grid arrangement. As the Dota community finds new and different ways for heroes to be played, the new Role Assistant automatically records the picks of every hero in Ranked Roles matchmaking and displays heroes in their most picked roles. This data is updated automatically to highlight the latest trends and is filterable by MMR rank.
Several features from the Battle Pass have also moved into Dota Plus:
- The Chat Wheel sound effects (e.g. Moo, Orchestra Hit) are now available by redeeming shards.
- The pull timers when holding ALT are now available to Dota Plus members.
- The post-game healing and gold breakdowns have now merged with the existing Dota Plus damage tab.
- The Battle Pass MVP feature is now available for all players, but Dota Plus customers can earn extra shards with a new Seasonal quest.
We’ve also bumped up the number of players allowed to be on the Avoid Players list from 16 to 25.
Shards for Everyone
We want all players to enjoy earning and spending Shards, so we have changed the currency to be available to all players rather than being Dota Plus exclusive.
While the most effective way to earn shards is to have Dota Plus, we’ve enabled the following subset of features to be available for all players:
- All players can now reach up to Hero Level 5 without a Dota Plus subscription. Only subscribers can reach Silver tier and above.
- All players can now use tipping for shards.
- All players can now earn the weekly shard reward for winning 3 matches. Non-subscribers earn 500 shards per week, while Dota Plus members earn 1000.
- The Dota Plus Rewards store has been renamed to the “Shard Shop”, and the premium hero sets, legacy hero sets, and tools are now purchasable by everyone. The Seasonal treasure, Chat Wheel sound effects and Hero Relics remain Dota Plus exclusive.
We reintroduced Guilds during the Battle Pass, and we were happy to see how many players participated in Guilds and shared their feedback with us. We are keeping the existing Guilds, but many of the rewards received only worked in the context of the Battle Pass. We’ve redesigned those features so that you can enjoy playing with your guild all the time.
Guilds no longer have a Guild Level – instead there is now a weekly leaderboard of guild points earned in a given region. Once a week, guild members will receive their new guild rank and can claim a reward of shards; Dota Plus members earn double the amount of shards. A Guild’s weekly leaderboard position also determines access to special perks that may change over time. The current set of perks is:
|0-24th Percentile||Bronze Tier|
250 Shards per week (500 for Dota Plus)
3 Guild Emoticons
500 Shards per week (1000 for Dota Plus)
3 Guild Sprays
Includes Silver Tier Emoticons
|75th Percentile or higher||
750 Shards per week (1500 for Dota Plus)
3 Caster Chat Wheels
Includes Silver Tier Emoticons and Gold Tier Sprays
At the end of the week, all existing guild points will decay by a percentage. This is so that new guilds have a chance to catch up to existing guilds; however, they’ll naturally have to work hard to catch up to the leaders! We want this feature to reward active and engaged guilds working together week-by-week to gain points – so with that in mind we’ll be monitoring and adjusting the weekly decay to achieve that goal.
Guild contracts now earn both guild points and shards. All players have access to one contract slot per day, and Dota Plus members have access to a second slot. Guild challenges are still completed in parties of 3+ guild members, and they earn guild points for leaderboard position. Playing a match while in a guild earns guild points, with bonuses for being in parties with your guildmates.
All players can participate in a guild, but only Dota Plus members can create them.
In the past we’ve seen a bunch of negative aspects to forcing everyone to reset their MMR at the same time. That has been part of our reluctance to continue with resetting every 6 months. However after we’ve expressed this reluctance recently, we’ve gotten a lot of feedback about how valuable they felt this functionality was to them, along with various suggestions to handling this topic.
For this season, we are going to try a new approach to MMR resets. We are making the MMR reset optional, and for those who want to participate, we instead spread it out so it doesn’t create too much volatility at the same time (ontop of the volatility that already exists when you enter calibration). We hope this will remove most of the downsides of MMR resets, and let the people that really want to do it be able to do so in a little bit more of a stable environment.
Upon logging in, you can go to Settings, and under the Account tab there is a new MMR Recalibration section. To prevent everyone from recalibrating at once, start-times will be spaced out evenly between October 22, 2020 and November 22, 2020 and can be activated anytime until the Season is over. Feel free to press the button the moment it’s available to you, never press it, or warm back up to competitive play before activating it.
The community has been wanting us to talk a bit more about things we are working on. There are a variety of reasons we don’t tend to get into those things until something is ready to release, because sometimes plans change, or an idea doesn’t develop into something solid, etc. Sometimes we also aren’t sure about dates yet, and don’t want to set up false expectations for either the scope for an update or to create disappointment if estimations are wrong.
That being said, we recognize that sometimes we need to balance that approach with the desire for some information to the community. So we’ll share more information on a few topics below.
First is with regards to new heroes. We know the community tends to expect new heroes in the fall each year (usually released around November sometime). We are currently aiming for end of November for a new hero release, followed by more that are spread throughout next year with the next one in the first quarter next year. Recently we’ve been thinking about trying an overall development approach of spreading out updates during the year, rather than only having most content and updates centered around The International. We are hoping a steady state of content will prove to be more engaging to users than the previous approaches.
Another area we’ve been doing work on recently is player behavior and toxicity. Some of that has been work we’ve been doing recently in public without patch notes, while some is upcoming stuff that is still in development. We’ve made improvements to our smurf detection systems, and as a result we’ve started separating new accounts from entering the pool of normal and new players. Smurf accounts are now much more likely to play with other smurfs only, this includes parties where only one player is a smurf. They are also likely to inherit any negative behavior scores of their alternate accounts, to limit their negative impact when playing. We’ve also done a few more improvements on making new accounts converge to their correct MMR faster, however there is still more to be done on that front. We have a couple of approaches to solve that which we are working on but they are in the research/experimental stage at this point.
We’ve also been ramping up our banning of booster accounts, as we’ve improved detections systems in recent months and gained more confidence in the ability to ban for it. In the past 30 days we’ve banned over 14000 accounts, and have set up systems to continually ban for boosting moving forward. This is an area however that needs constant work and improvements to not stagnate, and some of this will benefit from more advanced detection methods that are also in early research/experimental stages.
In terms of toxicity and game ruining behaviors from players, we are working on a new Overwatch style system, similar in some ways to that of CS:GO. We aren’t ready to share more information about this yet, but we will as soon as we are able. We are hoping to get this in the game as soon as possible.
Lastly, we’ve done some engine development that results in moderate performance improvements on multi-core CPU’s and will be bringing those to Dota. There’s still a bit of testing to do as it may result in some bugs, but we are aiming towards the next week or so for it. As you can expect, given the code changes required, the release could be a little bit spooky.