Dota 2 is not free to play if you wish to have the very best expertise. On this yr’s Dota 2 “Battle Cross” — a premium subscription that normally affords cosmetics and different optionally available curiosities to the sport — Valve bundled one of the vital options it has ever created. Gamers who purchase the Battle Cross can now use an “experimental” Keep away from Participant function, which is meant to maintain poisonous gamers away from you. Right here’s a unique strategy to say it: Valve is now charging gamers a minimal of $9.99 to keep away from harassers.

I’m glad to see that Valve is lastly taking extra steps to handle its poisonous participant neighborhood and defend Dota 2 gamers from the worst of the bunch. However it’s telling that the corporate sees this as an add-on, and never a part of the core expertise that must be provided to all gamers without spending a dime. Enjoying the sport solo continues to be a wild gamble. Simply final night time I performed a pair rounds of Dota, and whereas I used to be positioned with a wonderfully pleasant group of teammates within the first spherical, within the subsequent sport I used to be subjected to a workforce of poisonous gamers who argued for 40 minutes and launched vicious racial and homophobic slurs at everybody within the match.

And sure — it’s simple sufficient to mute others — however Valve hasn’t even taken fundamental steps to guard gamers in a sport that has been round for six years. I nonetheless routinely encounter gamers with racist and different offensive phrases of their participant names. It’s unconscionable that main builders and publishers like Valve can’t be bothered to implement probably the most fundamental participant security options of their video games. No main firm appears resistant to this obtrusive lapse in duty; in my first few months of Battlefield V, I witnessed outrageous quantities of racist harassment every day that was presupposed to be mounted by EA’s allegedly intelligent moderation AI. (The system couldn’t even appear to dam the n-word, and EA by no means returned my requests for remark about why it was so damaged.)

After all, Valve’s new premium “keep away from participant” function most likely isn’t even price paying for in its present state. Gamers report that the function merely permits you to specific a desire to not play with somebody — not a assure that you simply gained’t see them once more. What the hell is the purpose of an keep away from participant function that doesn’t really allow you to keep away from gamers? Why does this lame function value $9.99?

Gamers who purchase the Battle Cross additionally get entry to a brand new high-five function that they’ll improve over time. However till Valve fixes its neighborhood mess, I recommend you allow them hanging.

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