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Dota 2: Two features released to create a more welcoming experience for new players

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Dota 2 is by far the most popular game on Steam and it is, in my opinion, the greatest current esports title. The International 2017 is almost here, boasting the biggest prize pool in esports history. Clearly, the game is extremely popular and continues to grow, but a game like Dota 2 can be very difficult for new players to get into, even if they really want to.

There are various reasons why the game is difficult for new players to get into, but some of the most frequent things I see is that the number of heroes (133) is overwhelming. The heroes are all unique with their different abilities, play styles and item builds as well as preferred roles. There is also the issue of toxicity in the player-base.

Let’s face it, Dota 2 isn’t the friendliest place for new players as they are often treated quite poorly. Everyone has to start somewhere, but if luck isn’t on your side and you are matched with toxic players in your first several games, that might put you off the game.

Well, Valve has implemented two new features that are aimed at creating a welcoming experience for those playing the game for the first time. Valve explains in a new blog post:

“Some of the most satisfying moments in Dota are found in the first stages of learning the game, as you begin to see intricate strategies take shape in the battles around you. However, there have also been some issues that caused unnecessary challenges for new players in the past. With today’s update we’re introducing two features designed to help new players face as few barriers as possible to enjoying Dota.

The first feature is a change to the hero selection system. To help new players, we are now restricting hero selection to a curated group of twenty heroes for their first twenty-five games. This introductory group consists of heroes that we’ve learned are very successful in helping new players learn and enjoy the game.

Today’s update also introduces a feature that matches new players against players with consistently high behavior scores. It is especially important for a new player to have a good social experience while they are first trying to learn the game. The matchmaking system will now ensure that new players will play with and against appropriately-skilled players that also have a track record of good behavior.” - Source

Both these features won’t impact veteran players at all and will hopefully help new players have a better experience. The International 2017’s group stages kick off this coming week, which is an excellent time for you to watch some matches and show your friends who don’t play Dota 2 what the game is all about.

Watching a Dota 2 stream where casters and analysists go deep into the game’s mechanics might sound like a foreign language to those who are new to the game. Thankfully, there will be a Newcomer Stream available for those who are new to Dota 2. So if you know anyone you want to get into the game, show them the stream during The International 2017. The more the merrier I say!

Source: Dota 2 Blog    

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