Valve has introduced features to Dota 2 to make the game more welcoming to new players.
Writing on the Dota 2 blog, Valve acknowledged there have been problems which previously deterred new players.
"Some of the most satisfying moments in Dota are found in the first stages of learning the game, as you begin to see intricate strategies take shape in the battles around you," Valve said. "However, there have also been some issues that caused unnecessary challenges for new players in the past."
Dota 2 has introduced two new features in the latest update, targeted at encouraging new players. The first feature is a change to the hero selection system. The game now restricts hero selection to a "curated group of 20 heroes" for fledgling player's first 25 games. The introductory group consists of heroes the team believe are successful in helping new players "learn and enjoy the game".
The introductory group is made up of the following heroes:
- Ogre Magi
- Dragon Knight
- Shadow Shaman
- Wraith King
- Death Prophet
- Phantom Assassin
- Witch Doctor
The second feature "matches new players against players with consistently high behaviour scores". It's kind of like a buddy system. This feature aims to give new players a "good social experience" by teaming them with "appropriately-skilled players that also have a track record of good behaviour."
It is no secret the gaming community can often be toxic and intimidating, especially in MOBAs. This change is Valve's way of easing new players into the game first and allowing them to just enjoy the game - before the trolling begins.
These new features come ahead of The International, Dota 2's tournament, which usually sees an influx of new players. Hopefully this update will help them stay.