Dota 2 is generally a free-to-play game, but Valve has in the past introduced Battle Passes as a way of generating revenue and supporting events such as The International and Majors. Valve is doing away with the Battle Pass system, and has introduced a new service called Dota Plus, a subscription based model that grants various bonuses to members.
With Dota Plus, each character gains XP and levels up outside of games, which nets players Reward Shards and responses for a new Hero Chat Wheel. Each character will also have a list of character-specific challenges, with different difficulty tiers and XP rewards based on said tiers. Characters also receive Relic slots, which track different stats and change what can be displayed on post-game screens.
Dota Plus also introduces the Plus Assistant tool. This gives information based on data gathered from live games at various skill brackets. It will then make suggestions to the player such as what items or abilities to choose during a match. It’s designed as a way to help players keep up with the Dota 2 metagame.
Dota Plus members will also be able to earn 1,000 shards a week for winning three games. The shards can be turned around for goodies only for Dota Plus members, such as exclusive items. Members will also have free access to weekend Battle Cup tournaments, which will otherwise cost $1 to enter.
Dota Plus is live now, and costs $4 a month, with additional discounts for subscribing at 6 or 12-month tiers.