Steven R. September 27, 2020
Valve is willing to take users’ money when it comes to Dota Plus, but the company isn’t especially keen on giving back.
September 26, 2020 marks the one year anniversary of the last Dota Plus content update. This has many crying foul when it comes to Valve’s handling of the subscription service, and further strengthens Dota 2 fans’ skepticism regarding Valve’s commitment to the MOBA.
The Dota Plus Autumn Update in 2019 added a trio of new skins, rolled over some The International 2019 Battle Pass chat wheel sounds, and made the “avoid player” function available for subscribers year-round. It also added a trio of skins for Lion, Slardar, and Crystal Maiden as rewards for dedicated players.
In the 12 months since, Valve hasn’t made any new additions to Dota Plus. This may change following the end of The International 10 Battle Pass as battle pass chat wheel sounds are added as Dota Plus rewards, but this is still less than the bare minimum most fans think they should be getting from the subscription service.
Dota Plus offers cool features, but is rarely updated
For the most committed Dota 2 players, Dota Plus offers a number of interesting features that could be worth the $4 per month price tag. This includes in-depth stats for games played, the aforementioned avoid player function, and a year-round tipping function that allows users to give one another Dota Plus’ Shards currency.
This doesn’t sit well with most users, though. Many wonder if the feature will ever be updated again, or if it's now entirely dead.
Dota Plus is largely structured on building a paywall around features that should be available to all users. There is no real cause for locking away quality of life functions like an avoid player functionality, and having different sets of chat wheel sounds available to different players largely strips away most of the novelty.
The kicker is that the few actual exclusive offerings of Dota Plus have largely been abandoned by Valve. The Dota Pro Circuit mobile app was largely non-functional even before the Dota Pro Circuit was canceled. Alongside that, despite having an abundance of excellent skins available on the Steam Workshop, Valve hasn’t been bothered to add any.
Valve has come under fire over recent months due to the long list of issues with Dota 2, including the game's wilting professional scene, the elusive “new player experience,” and the company’s extensive pruning of The International 10 Battle Pass.
The one year anniversary of Dota Plus’ last update is something of a sad milestone, though it’s likely Valve will roll some TI10 Battle Pass features into Dota Plus in the near future.