Dota Plus: Is Plus Assistant pay-to-win?

The new Plus Assistant only helps those who pay, but I believe I benefit from Dota Plus even without buying it.


(Image Credit: Game Gavel)

Dota Plus is Dota 2’s $3.99 monthly subscription program. It gives subscribers hero progression system with milestones, awards them with badges, lets them collect shards that can be exchanged for cosmetics, take part in weekly Battle Cup for free, and use Plus Assistant.

The former four are rewards that players are already familiar with. The latter one is something unusual, and is able to affect players’ gameplay indirectly.

Plus Assistant helps players choose their heroes, items and abilities, which is not something new. Dota 2 guides and data are available in the internet and they help players with those matters as well.

The main difference is that Plus Assistant gives suggestions in-game based on the game’s situation, while others sources have predetermined plans and builds.

So yes, only subscribers get the more accurate in-game help.

This is unfair

True, this is unfair. If you do not subscribe, then you do not get help, and your opponents will get the help if they spent their money.

For some players, this screams pay-to-win. This is also true, but free players’ disadvantage can be minimized if they spend time to learn, not just mimic, guides in the internet. They are easy to find.

Unfairness in pubs is a less prioritized matter for games that are also popular esports. Making the game fair in the competitive scene is the priority. This can be bad for some players, but this is how it is.

For example, balance patches in Dota 2 mainly attend to the competitive scene. Patch 7.10 was based on the meta during ESL One Katowice and the next balance patch will be based on the meta during The Bucharest Major.

A long time ago, the space cow did get nerfed due to being too strong in pubs, but overused heroes and heroes that seem too strong in pubs are usually not taken care of. Pudge is the most popular pub hero in 7.10 and Zeus has the highest win rate.

If Pudge or Zeus get nerfed in 7.11, the first person to remind me in the comments below will get an Auspicious Battlefury.

The good news is, when you are good enough, you will not need Plus Assistant. Deciding on what heroes to pick and what items to buy are Dota 2 skills that all players should learn to do by themselves.

Because players with Dota Plus are exposed to good drafting and playstyle, Plus Assistant might encourage players to plan well and improve them as players. Eventually pubs will be less toxic and competitive games will be easier to relate to.

Dota 2 is still generous for a MOBA

The availability of all heroes for free players has been one of Dota 2’s difficult-to-duplicate appeals. Newer MOBA games often need to lock some of their heroes behind paywalls to keep their servers up. Drafting and gameplay-wise, Dota 2 remained as an almost free game.

Technically, Dota 2 can already be considered as pay-to-win for years due to effigies. Those fancy statues delay creeps from hitting ancients, but their effect is so small that if it changes the outcome of a game, that game can be a candidate for the best game of the year.

I cannot believe not many people talked about effigies being pay-to-win. They also have probably the shadiest bug in the game. Their health and armor cannot be seen when we click them in-game.

What do you think about Dota Plus and Plus Assistant? Let us know in the comments below!

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