Interesting news tidbit today about DOTA 2..
- Dota 2 will not be a pay-to-win game. All the items in the store are cosmetic, and don’t affect gameplay.
- All of the heroes will be available free of charge. We believe restricting player access to heroes could be destructive to game design, so it’s something we plan to avoid.
Now I personally have quite a few issues of competitive gaming taste with the whole ‘MOBA’ (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) genre above and beyond all of this kind of thing. The fact they have massive slippery slope design combined with long game lengths being a key one, as well as all the usual common competitive videogame issues around tutorials & teaching, matchmaking and ranking systems which are even more pronounced for games of this nature. However, the issue of grind-to-compete (much like COD!) has also been a major point against most MOBA style games for agoners too.
Agoners were really hoping DOTA 2 wouldn’t go that route, but I must admit this announcement increases rather than assuages my concerns. I can’t fathom how their business model is going to work if they only money they make at all is through purchases of entirely cosmetic items. Perhaps there are plans to garner finance through the spectating / e-sports avenue (advertising &/or sponsorship perhaps?), or it’s all considered a loss-leader for Steam. But even so…
Anyway, here’s hoping for agoners everywhere that something will come along in the MOBA genre that avoids the pitfalls of pay-to-win AND grind-to-compete!