Dota 2 Phantom Assassin Arcana artwork

[Update #2]: Dota 2 devs have started up a new blog detailing development challenges and interesting bug fixes.

[Update]: Dota 2's Patch 7.33e has brought in nerfs to most of the overperforming heroes from the Bali Major.

Out of all the Battle Pass systems I've interacted with over the years, I'd argue that Dota 2's is one of the absolute worst. Progressing through it is slow and extremely grindy, the majority of the actually interesting cosmetics are locked behind high levels that can only be reached by spending copious amounts of money, and a solid 90% of the 'rewards' are either useless filler or quite literally nothing. Even after getting it for free thanks to Valve's giveaway last year, I found the whole thing to just be highly disappointing.

As such, I am delighted to say that Valve has now announced they're giving up on the whole Battle Pass system! Not only that, but they're also aiming to refocus their efforts on adding more elaborate events and gameplay updates, such as the absurdly massive Update 7.33 that expanded the map and reworked many core mechanics.

“Each step we had taken made sense when considered independently: any single piece of content would be more valuable when bundled as part of the Battle Pass, so we bundled more and more,” explains the developer update. “This led to a momentous content drop every year, but it also greatly limited our ability to do things that were exciting and valuable for players but didn't fit into the Battle Pass reward line.”

“Most Dota players never buy a Battle Pass and never get any rewards from it. Every Dota player has gotten to explore the new map, play with the new items, and accidentally die to a Tormentor; every Dota player benefits from UI improvements and new client features. Community response to New Frontiers has helped us build confidence that working less on cosmetic content for the Battle Pass and more on a variety of exciting updates is the right long-term path for Dota as both a game and a community”

“We're going to continue on the path that started with New Frontiers. This means we're building a wide variety of features and content for the game, delivered in different ways. We'll still ship a range of cosmetics over the year, but we're also going to ship more diverse updates for all Dota players to enjoy.”

The good news doesn't end there as Valve has also revealed that there will be a The International themed update in September whose content will directly contribute to the prize pool, much like the Battle Pass. How exactly the new system will work, I'm afraid nobody currently knows, but it should be quite interesting since it looks like Valve will be putting the focus on the actual in-game event rather than on a massive array of new cosmetics to purchase.

Once more information becomes available, most likely in September, I'll make sure to let you know. Until then, you can read a few more tidbits about Dota 2's future over at Steam. Enjoy!