DOTA 2 Updates New Player Experience

Netflix's DOTA: Dragon's Blood anime series is out now which means that plenty of people will be experiencing the world of Dota in a new way this week. Some people may even be experiencing it for the first time if they've never played the games before but were drawn in by the Netflix show. It's no surprise then that the DOTA 2 team has also released a significant update for its MOBA game that overhauls the experience for new players to welcome those who might be playing DOTA 2 for the first time or perhaps the first time in a while.

Hopping into a MOBA can be a daunting task considering how much there is to learn not only at the start but during many matches afterwards, but DOTA 2's update plans to make that process a bit less strenuous. Through the addition of things like a "New Player Mode," it's supposed to now be more welcoming for newcomers. This mode places only new players against one another and lets them leave without penalty so that they can test out different heroes. Leavers are replaced by bots which themselves are governed by "more forgiving behavior" to give players time to learn.

In-game tips and a coaching system joined the New Player Mode among other features. Through the coaching system, players can request a coach in-game who can interact with them through text and voice chat and can even ping things on the map. Both the player and the coach rate their experiences afterwards with punishments levied against those who get too many bad ratings to prevent them from abusing the system.

One of the most notable changes in the update deals with smurfing, the act of an experienced player creating a new account in order to trounce players who are actually new to the game. The DOTA 2 creators have banned smurfing and will even go after the primary accounts of people who are caught selling accounts or participating in similar destructive actions.

"Starting today, smurfing will be a bannable offense," the notes for the new update read. "We will primarily focus on new accounts created after today for which we have high confidence in their smurfing and game-ruining behavior. Moreover, we will also occasionally manually ban old pre-existing accounts that are clearly game-ruining. Furthermore, if you are found to be selling accounts, boosting or engaged in similar game ruining behaviors, your primary account may also be subject to a ban. To go along with this, we've recently increased our ban rate for boosters and purchased accounts."

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DOTA 2's big update for new players is now live.