The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing aloud for all to hear. Or, in Valve’s case, to streamline Dota 2’s accessibility in order to open up the free-to-play title to novice players interested in dipping their toes into the fantastical waters. Specifically, this involved the removal of the game’s queue system — which raised several issues during the game’s launch back in July — thereby allowing players to download and play immediately.
In a post on the Dota 2 blog, the developers outlined the goal of removing the aforementioned barriers to entry:
“We’ve used this system to gradually increase the size of our playerbase, as we ramped up our infrastructure and improved the experience for new players. As we have recently completed a set of server management upgrades as well as released a huge number of enhancements to the new user experience, we’re going to remove all restrictions to playing Dota 2.”
This announcement follows up on the recently released festive update for the game, which brought over the Legion Commander — a strength hero who can be found in the original Dota — as well as introducing the all-new Wraith Night mode. Essentially, the fittingly chilling add-on is a wave survival mode that pits five players against the titular enemy. And, as is the case with the previous festive updates, there are currently Christmas-themed prizes up for grabs, too.
What started as a humble mod for Warcraft III has now extrapolated into a global phenomena. Valve pegged the number of active monthly users at 6.5 million people, and with global championships such as The International event taking place every year since 2011, Dota 2 has cemented its reputation as a cornerstone of online and indeed competitive gaming.
What do you think, though? Following Valve’s move to streamline the requirements for Dota 2, are you tempted to give the popular MOBA title a go? Let us know in the comments below.