Neslyn A. March 6, 2020
Valve has warned fans of an upcoming series of experimental Dota 2 updates.
In a recent post to Dota 2's Steam Community page, the publisher revealed that there will be a few short-lived changes introduced to the game for data-gathering purposes. These changes are meant to serve as a test run for potential permanent tweaks to Dota 2. Before implementing the changes, the developer is looking to gather data to get a read on whether the change is beneficial for players at scale.
Valve did not discuss the possible changes since it does not want to reveal potential patch notes. It did cite the gold bounty formula and gold distribution as possible changes during experimental games. Valve also added a console command, “dota_disable_experimental_gameplay”, to let players opt out of these experimental games.
The scheduled experiments will happen between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Seattle time, the time frame with the lowest player average.
Experimental Dota 2 updates are nothing new
Though Valve is publicly discussing this approach, it's actually not much of change. Valve has been implementing and reversing small, short-lived Dota 2 updates for a long while now.
The big change change here is how communicative Valve is being about these updates.
Fans pointed out that Valve has been notoriously quiet in the past. This has led to a number of issues and controversies over the years, with some of the best examples being fan outcry in 2013 over the lack of a Diretide event and Valve's probable lies to fans over a government ban on at-the-time TNC Predator player Carlo "Kuku" Palad.
Over recent months, Valve has been rebuilding a good rapport with fans through regular blog posts explaining and detailing each change to the game. This has been particularly prevelant on the topics of Dota 2's matchmaking and MMR systems.
Valve encouraged fans and personalities to give their feedback on the new changes.