One of the biggest gaming titles in the world in terms of popularity and multiplayer tournament prize money has been Valve‘s Dota 2, and it has always been a free to play game. But like all online multiplayer games players in Dota 2 have always faced the issue to toxic players and trolls who ruin games and the atmosphere in them. Now, Valve has always had options for players to report such individuals where if enough reports about a particular player is received they are dropped into ‘Low-priority’ which is technically a punishment zone. That being said, there haven’t been any clear options for players to avoid such toxic players one they serve their term and are back to the normal priority.
Earlier this month, we saw the introduction of this year’s The International Battle Pass which brought with it an abundance of new features in anticipation of the upcoming annual Dota 2 tournament, The International. Now, besides the cosmetic items and other features, is a new ‘experimental’ feature called ‘Avoid Player’, which will apparently keep toxic players from matching with the user.
Although the game is free, users will have to purchase the new Battle Pass to get access to this new feature which makes lives better, and the price of the Battle Pass begins at Rs 699. This is a troubling thought because players should not be charged a premium to get a safe and non-toxic environment to play a certain game.To be sure, there were options to mute players previously who were toxic, but that only restricted the player in the current match, and didn’t stop Valve from matching that player again with the user, sometime in the future. This is an unconscionable effort from one of the biggest game developers in the world.
As for the Battle Pass this year, it includes many rewards like Wrath of the Mo’rokai custom game mode, a Jungle Expedition mode, an unlockable “Guardians of the Lost Path” custom towers which are extremely reminiscent of the towers in Dota when it was a custom map for World of Warcraft. There are other items that “will never be tradable or purchasable on the marketplace”, like the last couple of years and players will either have to unlock them with the Battle Pass, or miss out.