Valve has just officially announced Dota 2 as a free-to-play game, a development which no doubt surprises very few people. Over the previous months, we've all seen evidence of this, not to mention signs that the company would implement a microtransaction system.
Well, that microtransaction system has been unveiled, appropriate named "Dota Store." It works like any other in-game storefront we've seen Valve use in their titles like Portal 2 and Team Fortress 2, and like said games, the items -- referred to as "Spoils of War" -- are totally cosmetic.
Not everyone's been happy about this, so Valve is trying to allay concerns a number of ways. A thorough FAQ addresses questions, and they've made clear that players can submit more.
Of course, two of the biggest issues were immediately addressed in the Dota Store announcement. Says Valve:
- Dota 2 will not be a pay-to-win game. All the items in the store are cosmetic, and don’t affect gameplay.
- All of the heroes will be available free of charge. We believe restricting player access to heroes could be destructive to game design, so it’s something we plan to avoid.
As the first question in the FAQ notes, even players who'd like to customize their heroes don't need to spend real money. Gear can be attained by playing or trading with other players.
Store business aside, Dota 2 is also a part of Steam Workshop as of today. Here, Dota fans can upload their own creations to be voted on by the community, and Valve's devs will be taking some of these uploads to release them as Spoils of War. Of course, if this does happen to your item, you'll be getting a cut of the store profits. In Team Fortress 2, over $3.5 million was paid out to fans whose creations were added to the in-game catalog.
Be sure to give the new Dota Store a gander here. If it's not loading immediately, just wait a while and stare at the sample image above or something.