Dota 2 is one of the best games out there, and a shining example of free-to-play done right, right?
Turns out, all is not well in Valve-land, as a recent update shows. The Year Beast Brawl, a temporary event that celebrates the Chinese New Year, lets players add a ferocious monster to their five-player teams. The monster can be upgraded with ability points acquired through gameplay… or via the cash shop, as The Verge points out.
In other words, you can pay money to power up your beast and increase your team’s chances of winning. Sure, you can acquire the points to do so via gameplay as well, but any kind of direct “pay money to increase power” benefit in a MOBA is pretty much heresy.
Granted, the Year Beast Brawl is a short-term thing, ending on March 2, but it’s still got some players upset about the precedent it sets. Personally, I don’t think Valve would be crazy enough to introduce more of this kind of thing into Dota 2, but if this “test case” makes a lot of money, it’s going to be hard to resist. Developers with nobler intent have done worse in shorter periods of time.
What do you think of all this? Harmless short-term gameplay mode or disturbing harbinger of things to come?