Dota 2 welcomes new players with a new matchmaking system focused on good behavior and a curated hero selection screen.
Dota 2, like many multiplayer gaming communities, is not always the most friendly to new players. Due to the game’s popularity and age, and with veteran players frequently using alternative “smurf” accounts, new players frequently will get matched with more experienced teammates. And often times, those teammates aren’t the nicest of people. Toxic comments are rampant in the community at all levels of play. And nothing turns a new player off from a game faster than their teammates telling them to “uninstall” or even physically threatening them.
It appears Valve has recognized that new players aren’t experiencing the most friendly of multiplayer environments. Dota 2‘s most recent update introduces a new matchmaking feature to help curb this unnecessary social hurdle. New players will now only be matched with other players that have a consistently high behavior score. This is in addition to matching them based on skill level. Each player’s behavior score is kept a secret in-game but can be revealed through a series of console commands (as explained by Reddit user xNIBx).
New Dota 2 players will also be restricted when it comes to hero selection. For an account’s first 25 games, players are limited to a curated group of twenty heroes. Valve claims that these heroes are good introductory heroes that have been shown to help new players learn the game’s complex mechanics. This limits players to about 18% of the 113 heroes available in the game.
As a MOBA player who has experienced the toxicity of Dota 2 firsthand, these changes regarding player behavior are definitely welcome. However, I have my doubts about the hero selection limitations. Twenty-five games are nothing to joke about when games run on average between 45-60 minutes long. And if a player is coming from another MOBA like League of Legends, this can seem like an overly limiting feature.