Gabe Newell: Dota 2 to be free to play "with a twist"

Archie

Second-rate Anihawk
Oct 15, 2005
29,654
1
0
#1
http://www.theverge.com/gaming/2012/4/20/2961883/dota-2-will-be-free-to-play-with-a-twist

Speaking on a yet to be released podcast shared by the producers early with Polygon, Newell told Seven Day Cooldown that the PC and Mac-compatible real-time strategy game will use a free-to-play funding model, but one that hasn't been used in any other game before.

"It's going to be free-to-play -- it'll have some twists, but that's the easiest way for people to think about it," Newell said.

When prodded over what kind of twists players can expect, Newell said:

"The issue that we're struggling with quite a bit is something I've kind of talked about before, which is how do you properly value people's contributions to a community?

"We're trying to figure out ways so that people who are more valuable to everybody else [are] recognized and accommodated. We all know people where if they're playing we want to play, and there are other people where if they're playing we would [rather] be on the other side of the planet.

"It's just a question of coming up with mechanisms that recognize and reward people who are doing things that are valuable to other groups of people."

Newell provided examples of behavior that would be rewarded, such as players who are useful guides or those who volunteer their time to train others. He said he could not point to an existing free-to-play model that works like the model that Valve has in mind for DOTA 2. He did not specify how valued players would be identified or rewarded.

Newell added that he wants to see this kind of reward system expand into other games.

"When you start thinking about the different games that people play and you try to think about how people can create value or a service in one game and benefit somebody in a different game, you can start to see how the different games sort knit together," Newell said.

"[You can see] how somebody who really likes Team Fortress 2 (TF2) can still be creating value for somebody who is playing DOTA 2 or Skyrim, or if somebody is a creator in one space how it can translate into another.

"In a sense, think of individual games as instance dungeons of a larger experience, if that makes sense as a concept."

When asked if this move towards connecting people in games means that Steam is in the process of morphing into a kind of social network, Newell said that Valve is not looking to turn Steam into a social network, at least not in the traditional sense of the word.

"Most of the time when people try to ask us questions like that, they usually have really specific things in mind that don't map exactly to what we have in mind," he said.
 
Oct 20, 2011
14,631
0
0
#8
Free works for me, it's a game I'd definitely pay full retail for, if the game ends up being worse as a freemium product I'm way less inclined to continue playing. /casual Dota 2 player
 
Oct 4, 2007
2,489
10
910
Somewhere
#9
As long as they don't charge per hero (or at least give me the option to buy all of them in bulk for a reasonable price, say $30-40) I'm fine with F2P. The thing that completely turned me off on LoL/F2P HoN was that you had to pay like $10 each for the situational "1-in-50-games" picks or grind one million games for them.
 
Dec 6, 2008
5,595
0
0
#15
If this system results in more people who at least pretend to be patient while teaching how to actually play a game like Dota... well, that'd make me happy at least, even if niceness and calm isn't really what Dota is all about.
 

Archie

Second-rate Anihawk
Oct 15, 2005
29,654
1
0
#21

Stahsky

A passionate embrace, a beautiful memory lingers.
May 6, 2006
7,349
0
1,140
30
#22
As long as they don't charge per hero (or at least give me the option to buy all of them in bulk for a reasonable price, say $30-40) I'm fine with F2P. The thing that completely turned me off on LoL/F2P HoN was that you had to pay like $10 each for the situational "1-in-50-games" picks or grind one million games for them.


They would never charge for a hero. Half of the game is about counter picking. It would break dota
 
Feb 22, 2010
5,835
0
0
#23
I imagine it might be something similar to World of Warcraft's dungeon finder for pivotal classes - the idea is that helpful/necessary players don't want to play with scrubs but if they do provide a provisional component in the dungeon finder they get a reward.

I have a feeling that DOTA 2's reward will tie into the F2P system, perhaps the reward is something worth in-game store credit or hats.

Also, I love the way this guy talks:

"We're trying to figure out ways so that people who are more valuable to everybody else [are] recognized and accommodated. We all know people where if they're playing we want to play, and there are other people where if they're playing we would [rather] be on the other side of the planet."
 
Jul 13, 2007
14,932
0
0
#24
If this system results in more people who at least pretend to be patient while teaching how to actually play a game like Dota... well, that'd make me happy at least, even if niceness and calm isn't really what Dota is all about.
This could be big. Valve has been rather vocal about addressing the community issue that Dota/MOBA games are famous for, and it'd really be interesting to see them work this issue into a monetization model.
 
Aug 4, 2009
20,974
0
0
33
Citrus Heights
#25
If this system results in more people who at least pretend to be patient while teaching how to actually play a game like Dota... well, that'd make me happy at least, even if niceness and calm isn't really what Dota is all about.
I actually like the idea of a system that rewards nice people and punishes assholes, the horrible communities are what's holding these games back.
 
Oct 20, 2011
14,631
0
0
#28
I won a bet too. :)



Tribes has good models on paper, but it is a bit too grindy for my taste. I doubt you will have to unlock meaningful content (aka heroes) in Dota 2 and it will probably have an item drop system similar to TF2.
Really? Compared to Battlefield/equivalent Tribes is a fucking holiday to me. You can max out a class fairly quickly, and it isn't always teaching you useless techniques/tools that will be superseded. I have a fairly specific play style though, I'm only interested in 2 classes.
 
Apr 23, 2008
34,712
0
0
34
#29
Tribes has good models on paper, but it is a bit too grindy for my taste. I doubt you will have to unlock meaningful content (aka heroes) in Dota 2 and it will probably have an item drop system similar to TF2.
Tribes' additional weapons are XP-intensive so paying for them tends to be the best option, but throwing any money at them gets you a permanent 50% boost in XP, and I really like the fact that upgrades can only be bought through XP. Unlocking classes is also pretty cheap XP-wise.

I expect DotA 2 to go a different route, but Tribes' model seems fine.
 

Archie

Second-rate Anihawk
Oct 15, 2005
29,654
1
0
#31
Re: Tribes: I spent $10 on Tribes and got the VIP bonus, but I got frustrated trying to save 100k EXP for the TCN Thumper.

Also, jerks will likely have to pay a jerk tax. From the item schema:

“item_name”: “Repentant Soul”
“item_description”: “A crystal containing the soul of a saint. Use it to immediately exit the low priority punishment queue. This does not clear leaves or reports from your account.”
 

Ikuu

Had his dog run over by Blizzard's CEO
Mar 7, 2007
14,998
0
0
#32
There is no way Valve are going to charge for heroes, the game isn't designed with the model in mind (like LoL) and it'll just piss off the majority of the community.
 

Des0lar

will learn eventually
May 31, 2007
8,144
0
0
#33
Pretty much expected but nontheless great news.

F2P games have the one great bonus, that I can easily convince my friends to at least try it. They would have never payed money for Dota or Tribes, but being F2P it's easy to get them hooked.

Re: Tribes: I spent $10 on Tribes and got the VIP bonus, but I got frustrated trying to save 100k EXP for the TCN Thumper.

Also, jerks will likely have to pay a jerk tax. From the item schema:
Only problem I see is that you will often be reportet for feeding just because you are new to the game. That sucks because you have done nothing wrong.
 
Jun 12, 2010
13,439
4
625
#34
Gabe has talked about this before, he threw out an idea of charging people if they ruin other players experience like say mic spamming. It was said in jest but the principle is there. Reward people who take the time to help others and enrich the experience/community, cast aside/punish those who fuck things up.

As someone with Marxist sympathies Gabe/Valve is right up my alley. Valve seems to be managed as a Commune rather than the capitalist hierarchical archetype that other devs/companies are run on. Gabe practically said as much in a recent podcast/interview somewhere I forgot where. I wish I could work there as they have the right idea on how to get along with others and produce the best work together.
 
Oct 19, 2010
3,622
0
585
GTA, Ontario
#39
We're trying to figure out ways so that people who are more valuable to everybody else [are] recognized and accommodated. We all know people where if they're playing we want to play, and there are other people where if they're playing we would [rather] be on the other side of the planet.
Didn't doubt it was going f2p, interested in seeing how this works out though. I generally like the recommendation model they've got set up but you still see lots of people in game try to farm with other strangers so..

The way that first part of the quote is set up makes me hope that they're working on some added feature to bring the competitive, well-known players into a larger spotlight. That is, being able to tell when NA/European/Asian players are on and in game, not just from the number of specs on the front page. Quite a few of them also happen to stream on a regular basis and make money from it, so some kinda integration with twitch/own3d/whatever would be cool too

+ wtb Tobi Wan announcer pack Gaben
 
Dec 5, 2008
5,531
0
0
#43
Reckon they'll go for a combined F2P/Subscription model, where subscribing basically unlocks all the content automatically which one would otherwise have to pay for if they were just a standard F2P account.
 

speedpop

Has problems recognising girls
Jun 9, 2004
27,616
0
0
Brisbane, Australia
#44
Some of his comments in the past remind me of the TF2 coaching system - which is great in application but there were some kinks they still needed to iron out.

There was something satisfying about helping a newer player actually perform better by watching over them and handing out advice. I really should do that more.
 

Stahsky

A passionate embrace, a beautiful memory lingers.
May 6, 2006
7,349
0
1,140
30
#45
Reckon they'll go for a combined F2P/Subscription model, where subscribing basically unlocks all the content automatically which one would otherwise have to pay for if they were just a standard F2P account.



It will be much like the TF2 model, but with a reward and punishment system in place. Find loot in games, combine into other things, or buy/trade them.
 

speedpop

Has problems recognising girls
Jun 9, 2004
27,616
0
0
Brisbane, Australia
#47
Haha imagine if a big game some day punished trolls and just your plain idiots/badmouths. I want to live and see that day.
The systems are in place in many games. The only problem is the fact that you need admins available and/or it was abused at times.

Perhaps if Valve magically nailed down something without having compromise issues then it would be amazing.
 
Nov 28, 2007
1,320
0
0
#48
i really hope this all works out... im skeptical of f2p... i feel like you need a certain cost of entry just to keep the trolls out, and enjoying moba games is much more reliant on other players than something like tribes. i guess ill just wait and see what comes of it.
 
Mar 15, 2008
2,021
0
0
#50
God seeing all the beta talk and footage has me feeling all envious. Has Valve or Gabe ever talked about a possible release date. Never played a MOBA before, but I love the look and UI that they crafted.