Continuing from Part 1, we’ll take a look at the rest of the features provided by this year’s Battle Pass.
The prize pool keeps on growing and is currently over $ 9 million. If it surpasses the previous one of $24 787 916, all Battle Pass owners will receive an additional 10 000 points, and if we hit the $ 30 million mark, ten more free levels will be added to the pot. So far, no other goals are to be found and that’s a bit disappointing, but maybe they’ll be added soon.
While The Compendium 2017 added ‘Seasonal Matchmaking’, there’s no such thing this time. Another alternative exists though in the form of Team Challenge. Very similar, as it’s aiming at the same direction, giving players a chance to increase MMR. As you make progress through the levels, Team Challenge Tokens will become available and you’re guaranteed one with the purchase of the level 1 Battle Pass. You can then assemble a party of five and fight against better opponents, it really sounds bad in theory. If the matchmaking system is as correct as everyone claims it is, most teams attempting this should be failing miserably, but hey why not give it a shot. There’s only one more negative to it. Smurfing and account buying has already been rampant for years in the community, this provides another option to be exploited. Question is, will the MMR gained be worth the price and time invested.
Another feature to do with ranked play is the newly introduced role-based matchmaking. A subject of many discussions ever-present on the forums, a lot of people kept asking, why nothing like this has been implemented in the game so far. Usually, the counter-arguments are that Dota is much more fluid than similar MOBA games, as there’s no strict meta to follow, unlike LoL. In the latter, every game is the same as far as positions go, namely 1-1-2 + jungle. That’s not the case with Dota and sometimes you’ll get a 2-1-2, a dual mid, two roamers and so on. Nevertheless, this is a good chance for Valve to test the feature out and if successful to implement it permanently in the future. Some players report that the overall quality of games in this type of matchmaking is much higher since it’s hidden behind a paywall. The only downside so far is increased queue time if you insist on playing a core position, especially midlane or carry.
While waiting for the release of the current Compendium I was going through the old ones, checking what they offered us in previous years. One thing caught my eye in particular, custom lane creeps. The last time they were present was back in 2014, hidden behind a community goal, but available to everyone, not just Battle Pass owners. Luckily Valve brought them back for this year, but the feature is exclusive, as you now have to equip them in your Global Loadout, meaning the only way to get them is by purchasing the Battle Pass.
Chat wheel sprays are something brand new and unseen before. Unlockable at certain levels, most of the images are direct remakes of popular Twitch chat emotes and memes, as Valve know their audience well. For instance, the Monkey King one visible below is literally a Twitch ‘pogchamp’, while Invoker’s is the ‘Roll Safe’ meme. Sadly no custom images are available to upload.
To compensate for the lack of options in leveling there are Pro Circuit Predictions. You’ll be able to bet on the outcome of matches during the remaining events of this DPC season. Currently, MDL Changsha is running, followed by ESL One Birmingham and China Supermajor, there should be plenty of time to get extra points. If you manage to guess correctly that is. You get 25 points and once spent they’ll recharge on the next day. So far it’s only available on the website for some reason, but the Battle Pass should have it in-game soon enough.
Once again, you’ll have the option to support your favourite team in various ways. Selecting their logo as a spray that you can use, custom teleport effects and additional ones unlocked when you have a full set of player cards.
The Emblem of the Crystal Echelon is your way to stand out. By pure chance. It’s just a random drop that gives your hero a green effect until The International is over.
Not sure how many people will be thrilled to listen to Meepo’s ramblings, but there’s plenty of players spamming him so at least they shall be happy. The announcer much like last year’s Kunkka and Tidehunter is still not out and will most likely take about a month to be released. On the plus side, you can always purchase it later from the market.
Of course, a courier dedicated to the underground theme is waiting to be claimed. You get the most basic look on level one with different styles unlocking further and further with the level difference for the last being bigger than the previous ones together.
New taunts, twelve in total with the only one repeating on a hero is for Phoenix. A whole lot of them make references to popular jokes and games, namely Wraith King and Omniknight making a tribute to Dark Souls.
Hey, do you remember how Immortals are supposed to be unique in a sense that they’ll be available only during a certain period? Well not anymore, Valve are bringing some old ones with a twist, you neither know which they are or what the alternative styles will look like. But if you’re already at level 615, you’ll find out eventually.
And finally, what’s a Compendium without a Collector’s Aegis or Baby Roshan. Upon reaching level 1000, you’ll get a replica of this year’s Aegis which you can hang on your wall or do whatever you feel like with it. At 2000 you get a different in-game model for Roshan and the Collector’s Baby Roshan for 2018.
Before purchasing, consider that this time leveling is harder and if you’re looking to get your hands on something specific, chances are you’ll have to dedicate more than the initial price. Overall the quality of the content for the initial price is totally worth it. Without buying any levels, rough calculations show that with the current options you should be able to reach and pass over the 100 mark. Of course, if you're really lucky with predictions and bets, that number might increase significantly. The Underhollow is still not released, but expect an update on it when it comes out.