It’s that time of the year again, and nothing can stop it. I mean, the global pandemic means that Dota 2‘s The International 10 (TI10) tournament has been delayed. Nonetheless — despite the tournament not happening until, likely, 2021 — the Battle Pass cometh. At this point I’m pretty certain nothing short of the actual apocalypse will prevent this annual tradition of giving Valve money for hats.
Despite my snark, though, I’m not complaining. The Battle Pass always provides a bunch of fun diversions and additions to Dota 2, and this year’s Pass looks like no exception. Guilds, Battle Gauntlets, Bounties, two new Personas, and three new Arcana items are just the tip of the iceberg. Also, the Skeleton King returns and has not been removed for pressing ceremonial reasons.
Dota 2’s Battle Pass 10
So let’s quickly go over a lot of the usual stuff that’s in there. Cavern Crawl is the standard “win games as heroes to unlock new nodes and rewards” metagame thing. Achievements, Battle Pass gifting, and tipping are back as standard. You can double down on the MMR you’ll earn from a match, vote on the Collector’s Cache skins, and — naturally — vote on the next hero to receive an Arcana cosmetic. If you fancy spinning a roulette wheel for treasures, then
Crystal Maiden’s Wheel of Bullshit Rylai’s Battle Blessing is back once more.
There are also the traditional trio of Immortal Treasures, offering up shiny cosmetics. Right now only the first is available, containing fancy-looking skins for Tinker, Night Stalker, Warlock, Lifestealer, Keeper of the Light, and Medusa. There’s also a chance of getting a rarer cosmetic for Puck and an ultra-rare weapon for Pudge, plus golden variants of the Night Stalker and Lifestealer shinies.
There’s also a new terrain, Sanctums of the Divine, which is all white pillars and butterflies on the Radiant side. On the Dire side, it’s more black rock and withered trees, but it still looks surprisingly pretty. Living Towers are back, leveling up along with your team’s Battle Pass. There’s a music pack, an adorable cat-thing for an evolving courier, an announcer pack, and various tweaks, effects, wards, and river vials.
Much of this is earned by leveling up your Battle Pass. So far, so standard.
But wait, there’s more (including a 4-player summer event)
And then there’s all the new stuff. And good grief, there’s a lot of new stuff in this addition to Dota 2.
Guilds first. Anyone can join these, but only Battle Pass owners can create them. These offer up a pool of daily contracts, and completing those in a game you win results in Battle Points for you and Guild Points for your guild. There are also weekly challenges, and every single match earns guild points. Guilds themselves offer unique rewards: Battle Pass bonuses, guild banners, emoticons, and bonus challenges are all mentioned.
There’s a summer event coming that looks a little roguelite-y. Not many details here yet, save that it’s for four players and has you choosing your path through various doors. Anyone can have a go at this, but Battle Pass owners will be the ones reaping special rewards. This isn’t here yet, but will be “Coming Soon,” which I’m pretty sure is Valve-speak for “before the heat death of the universe.”
The Sideshop is new this year, too. You can nab gold from Battle Pass rewards, Guild rewards, or recycling items. As in Dota Underlords, you then use that gold to buy heroes — three of which upgrade into a higher tier of hero. From there, you sell those heroes and can redeem the gems you earn for rewards like Immortal Treasures and Arcana Items. There’s also a chance to find the incredibly, stupendously, cosmically rare Emblem of Divinity, but good luck with that.
Further new this year is the Battle Gauntlet, a little mini-tournament. This is a daily thing that costs tickets (awarded by the Battle Pass or purchasable for gems in the Sideshop) to enter. If you win three matches before you lose two, you rank up and earn Battle Points and Sideshop gold, plus a higher rank. Times for this are set by region.
Bounties and Community Match predictions alongside the Dota 2 Battle Pass
Bounties are a new thing in Dota 2 as well. You can plonk a Bounty on an enemy hero by using one of your weekly Bounty Tokens, and your teammates will get the notice and a timer. If a teammate kills that target before time runs out, they get 200 Battle Points. Not a bad way of trying to push your teammates to come and kill the enemy ruining your lane, I suppose.
There’s also a daily Community Match prediction. You’ll see heroes, lane assignments, and the skill bracket for a random community match. Guess which team is the winner, then check back the next day to see if you were right. Naturally, success means rewards.
Then there are pause screen minigames, customizable animations and taunts for the Versus screen, a revamped MVP screen, and frankly a metric shitload more. Some of this may be included even if you don’t have the Battle Pass — I imagine the MVP screen, at least, will be visible by all.
We’re up to the Arcanas, nearly done now
The new cosmetics are both cool and pretty. Firstly: hitting level 375 returns the One True King to Dota 2. Yep — it’s a cosmetic for Wraith King that reverts him back to his Skeleton King form. I have no idea how this’ll be handled elsewhere. If memory serves, one of the primary reasons he became Wraith King was because skeletons weren’t allowed in China (and also because of potential lawsuits from Blizzard when it came to Diablo‘s Leoric). But hey, I’m not complaining. It’s the One True King.
That’s not the only big one, though. Level 255 will get you a Toy Butcher Persona, turning Pudge into a fluffy, stuffing-filled toy. Meanwhile, level 305 offers up the Disciple’s Path Persona for Anti-Mage, replacing him with his disciple, Wei. These are purely cosmetic, but if the Invoker Persona is anything to go by, they change everything: model, voice lines, effects. The Anti-Mage one is particularly interesting, considering that actually replaces him with a different character. Those two are coming soon, but the One True King is (I believe) available now.
We’re not done with Arcanas, by the way. Level 445 is a Queen of Pain Arcana, Eminence of Ristul, making her look a lot more devilish than before. And Level 575 gives you a Windranger Arcana, Compass of the Rising Gale.
Never mind, there’s loads more new stuff
But that’s not all! There are ping cosmetics! Killstreak effects! Disco balls! Hit level 1000 and you can get a 1/5 scale replica of the Aegis of Champions! Good grief, it never ends. You can have a look at the official page for the Battle Pass to see all of these goodies for yourself. Skeleton King has his own page, too, as befitting the One True King.
The Battle Pass itself will cost you $9.99 USD, with further levels earned by playing matches and completing challenges or by paying out more cash. Alternatively, you can go for a boost: A level 50 Battle Pass costs $29.35 and saves you 5% on the purchase price of 25 levels, while starting at level 100 costs $44.99 and saves you 15% on the price of 100 levels.
Dota 2‘s The International Battle Pass 10 is available until September 12. However, the servers are currently getting slammed, so you may want to hold off on purchasing it for a little while at least. Twenty-five percent of the proceeds will go towards the prize pool for The International 2020, which has been delayed indefinitely due to COVID-19.