Valve has revealed this year's in-game program and companion for Dota 2 during The International 2016, the game's world championship being held this summer in Seattle. The International Battle Pass will replace The Compendium, a feature of the past three championships, while proceeds from the Battle Pass's sale will supplement the tournament's prize pool as the Compendium did in the past.
The International Battle Pass will deliver the long-requested chance for players to recalibrate their ranked matchmaking rating, alongside new public, weekly tournaments for amateur Dota 2 players. The International 2016 Battle Pass also merges the in-game quests and challenge systems that debuted earlier this year with the Compendiums that have accompanied previous International competitions.
This year's pass includes a number of new in-game, event-oriented cosmetics for various characters, including the greatest piece of cosmetic downloadable content ever seen in any game. Right click the video below to unmute it. Trust us.
The 2016 Battle Pass also features new in-game challenge questlines, which allow players to earn points and level up their pass by completing specific objectives. New to this season's Battle Pass is a star rating for each challenge, which allows players to attempt to complete a challenge faster than the minimum requirement in order to secure even more points.
There are currently three available questlines for different character types, with another to be added at a later time. Players can also earn additional cosmetic items by leveling up the pass, which they can do via play or by purchasing levels with real money. The betting system from Dota 2's last Battle Pass also returns, which allows players to bet a limited weekly allotment of tokens on their in-match performance, which translate to additional points to level up their Pass.
New to this Battle Pass are community challenges. These challenges will force players to work together across games to unlock additional rewards for Pass owners, and new community challenges are expected to debut over the months leading up to the International in August.
Higher level rewards include special dyes that allow players to color the in-game river, as well as new weather and terrain packs that can change the look of Dota 2 dramatically.
Cosmetic-obsessed players will likely pay closest attention to this year's prize pool. Valve has promised that should The International 2016 exceed last year's prize pool of $18,429,613, there will be even more rewards, including some ultra-rare, incredibly expensive items that are no longer directly purchasable. The details, according to Valve:
Each year, Dota 2 fans the world over join together to raise the largest prize pool in all of esports. This time, if the pool surpasses last year's total of $18,429,613, every Battle Pass owner will be granted three 'Trust of the Benefactor' treasure rewards. Each of these new treasures will offer a chance to receive a 2016 Immortal Treasure, a Random Hero Set, an Arcana Set, or an ultra rare chance at one of the following limited-run prizes:
- 200 x Fire Lotus Belt
- 200 x Golden Ornithomancer Mantle
- 200 x Dragonclaw Hook
- 200 x Rainmaker
- 200 x Pipe of Dezun
- 200 x Perceptions of the Eternal Mind
- 200 x Kantusa The Script Sword
- 200 x Shattered Greatsword
- 200 x Golden Gravelmaw 100 x Drodo the Druffin
- 100 x Golden Grasping Bludgeon
- 100 x Golden Shards of Exile
- 100 x Golden Staff of Perplex
- 100 x Golden Huntling
- 100 x Golden Severing Crest
- 100 x Golden Sullen Hollow
- 100 x Golden Lamb to the Slaughter
- 100 x Lockjaw the Boxhound 50 x Golden Doomling
- 50 x Murrissey the Smeevil
- 50 x Ice Baby Roshan
- 50 x Fire Baby Roshan
- 25 x Guard of the Red Mist
- 25 x Axe of Phractos
- 25 x Monarch Bow
- 25 x Burning Fiend
- 25 x ???
For perspective, the Genuine Burning Fiend is currently being sold privately for $156 USD. The Monarch Bow, a cosmetic item for the character Drow Ranger, has been listed on private item trading sites for as much as $1,100 in the last year. It is not currently available on the Valve-sanctioned and run Dota 2 Marketplace on Steam.
The Battle Pass will bring other quality-of-life changes as well. One of the biggest is the new Seasonal Ranked playlist. Previously, players could "calibrate" the ranked matchmaking rating for their Dota 2 profile, referred to in-game as MMR, only once. Now, Battle Pass owners may calibrate a new "Seasonal" MMR in a special playlist. Once a player has completed 10 games in either solo or party play, and, once The International 2016 concludes, they may then replace their existing MMR with the new number and match-make with it.
The Battle Pass is also introducing weekly amateur tournaments for Dota 2's Spring/Summer season, along with a variety of new stat-tracking options for players. The Battle Pass includes the The International 2016 Dota 2 Championship — or TI6 — compendium, an in-game, digital program for the competition with information on participating teams and players. Players may still make predictions for the qualifiers and main event. Predictions will also be available for the Manila Major, the third of Valve's "Majors" series of high profile tournaments leading into The Interntaional, which takes place in the Philippines in June.
A quarter of the proceeds of Battle Pass sales, including level bundles, goes toward TI6's prize pool. Valve started Ti6's prize pool at $1.6 million, as with every previous International. At the time of this writing, that total is now over $4 million — meaning Dota 2 players have spent almost $10 million on the Battle Pass since it went on sale Monday afternoon.