Recently it was announced that September 2015 saw the biggest drop off of Dota 2 players throughout its history. A massive 16.28% of Dota 2’s average players decided to give Dota 2 a break and move onto other things and, while a certain drop off is expected after The International and when children go back to school in September, this drop is unprecedented. For example, after TI3, only 5.53% of average players moved onto other things and, after TI4, only 2.62% of players took a break and, having been one of the players that has stuck with it, I can see why so many people have left.
Let’s start with Reborn. I’ve complained about this before but I have no idea what Valve were thinking when they “upgraded” the main client to be Reborn, despite the fact that it was still in beta. I feel like this is the biggest frustration for people as Reborn just doesn’t work. Every time they patch it there are still a clusterfuck of bugs still in the game, and some new ones brought on by the new patch. The most important bug; getting randomly disconnected from a server or straight up not being able to connect, and then being unable to reconnect, is still at large a whole month after Dota 2 made the change.
6.85 has been seen to do very little to change the game and so hasn’t been much of a draw for people. That said, 6.84 wasn’t the greatest of patches for most people (though still a welcome change from 6.83 which got very tired very quickly) so maybe some people would have been clawed back. I feel like the public’s perception is more important than what it has actually done however and, since it hasn’t drastically changed the game, people don’t feel the need to come back because of it.
The Compendium. This one wasn’t really Valve’s fault. They had announced The Majors a long time before TI5 even started and people knew that there was going to be a Compendium for it, however, Valve couldn’t account for the fact that the pro-scene took so long to get going again after TI5. People just feel a bit burnt out after TI5 and how much Valve milked it. Okay, maybe it was mostly Valve’s fault for doing that. To top it off the Compendium barely works half the time. The finally kick that made me write this blog post was the fact that I couldn’t open it, despite relaunching Dota 2 a couple of times.
I just feel such negativity towards Valve. Dota 2 in Source 1 had some issues, everyone knows this. The armoury has been improved, the actual way the client looks is a lot more sleek and modern now and there are a lot things that look and navigate a lot better once you know how to use them, but the actual game, the actual reason why people play Dota 2, has so many glaring faults when compared to Source 1. Valve have taken something that worked, broken it, and then glued it back together with a blindfold on in the hopes that it might work. They release a free game that dominates the MOBA market for years alongside League of Legends, they come off the back of the biggest esports tournament ever and they put Source 2 in beta with Reborn to update the main client in future and then, with just a little bit of poor timing, 11 million people’s opinions are completely changed on Valve. They really don’t need this right now, not so soon after paid mods were created and after so much fus has been made over Greenlight and some publishers’ attitudes towards PC ports. They need to get their act together, though, with a monopoly on Dota 2 players and digital distribution of PC games they see themselves as having plenty of time to do so.