Valve recently announced the details of DOTA 2′s Free2Play mechanics – and it puts the competition to shame. One of the biggest faults of the Free2Play market, is that you often have to pay to win. Games like League of Legends requires you to purchase characters in order to play them. This creates multiple issues.
For one, team composition is one of the most important aspects in winning a game. So if you don’t have access to all the heroes, you severely limit your teams capabilities. Also, If a hero gets too buffed, or a new character is released that is a little too strong (sometimes way too strong), you will often be forced to purchase these heroes, just to stay competitive.
In DOTA 2, everyone has access to all the heroes. That alone would have made it the best Free2Play game in the genre, but Valve didn’t stop there. Heavily borrowing from the successful Team Fortress 2 model, DOTA 2 gives 3 random players, random items after each match.
You can also earn items as you gain battle points. You can even trade items – so if you got something you don’t like, you can trade with another player, for something you do like. However, if you don’t want to deal with all the randomness, you can simply pay for items you want, with real money.
Unlike most aesthetic purchases in comparable games, in DOTA 2 you can actually buy individual pieces from armor sets, and match them with others. So if you like a sword for Sven in one set, but don’t like the helmet, you can simply buy each piece individually and equip them. As opposed to just buying an entire set.
The best part so far, has been the pricing. Having spent countless hours in both Heroes of Newerth and League of Legends, I’ve never spent any real money on either of them. Their prices have just always been so ridiculous for what you get.
I’ve only seen the first batch of items for DOTA 2, and they already look awesome. Considering how low their prices are, in contrast to how high the quality is of the items, I’m simply impressed. I can already see myself spending money on this game and Ican’t wait to see what they come up with for some of my favorite heroes.
What’s even cooler is that the Steam Workshop is already implemented. It’s only been a day since they released Steam Workshop and already there’s been a player made, player voted, item set to buy – and it looks great.
I’m even more excited to see what the community comes up with, than I am to see what Valve creates. As incentive, players who create item get a cut of the in-game profits when that particular item sells.
I honestly see no downside to this model. Team Fortress 2 is a proven system that makes a lot of money. This Free2Play model is the best in the genre, because it doesn’t compromise balance, or player experience in game. Rather, it enhances the community through trading, collecting, creating, and voting. This game is gonna be great!
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