The new Dota 2 Patch 7.33 is out! You might as well be playing an entirely new video game when you finish downloading the update. With Icefrog back in the development reins, Dota 2 came with the biggest update in its history. Patch 7.33 unveils all-new mechanics, map layout, and objectives, on top of the existing game elements. The patch is a breath of fresh air into the game on the same patch for over a year. But aside from the good changes, it poses issues moving forward.
This patch makes clear the design philosophy of Dota 2 in the future. A discussion must be made about the increasing complexity of the game. While this complexity is welcomed by veteran players, it may not be a breeze for newer players. The complexity issue is also a problem for players who can’t keep up with it in a dynamic game like Dota. Without any changes to the trajectory of the design, Dota is on its way to becoming an MMO-like game.
A Long To-Do List in Patch 7.33
By definition, an MMO is a genre where a player interacts with numerous players. Dota 2 is defined by Valve as an Action Real-Time Strategy, as opposed to a MOBA. For one, Dota certainly sees you interact with other players, but not enough to be an MMO. But the issue lies within the number of things to do and keep track of, like in an MMORPG. Icefrog is notorious for being ambitious with added mechanics, even if those are similar to other games.
We did say that Dota now looks like an MMO, and we stand by this. The defining trait of an MMO is the option diversity with character progression. Dota 2 is a game that thrives on creative expression from players. Another one is that the map is more “alive,” so to speak, and the MOBA’s “farm while fighting” design. The jungle is more impactful, and more neutral structures were added in 7.33 to add to the essential option diversity.
Dedication to the Craft
This update then expects more from people who theory-craft Dota 2 for a living. Each new patch demands time and effort to understand and find new tech each time. MMOs are the same in that vein, where players and content creators are engrossed in research and experimentation. Dedication to a game is a good thing for developers, it means that players care about the game to start digging. But we must understand that these types are only a minority of the player base.
Sure there are cosmetic traders or custom game players, but professional Dota 2 is a profitable thing. This amount of effort puts player and coach salary and fees into the conversation. Valve must step once again in their commitment to the esport scene, each time complexity is added. With 3rd party tournaments like the ESL Pro Tour turning up, Dota’s untapped potential needs to be realized. While it is a so-so choice to add more things to Dota, it is undeniable that this patch reinvigorated the game once again.
Let us hope that this MMO-like approach doesn’t continue and that they keep it simple. Not only that but let us hope that the next patch doesn’t take a long time to arrive!