The Winter 2016 Battle Pass is the best thing to happen to Dota 2 in a long while, but as with all add-ons that affect the moment-to-moment gameplay of Valve’s competitive strategy game, it’s also having a profoundly negative effect on the way Dota is played. I’m a massive part of the problem.
Dota 2’s Battle Pass — which includes the Compendium to this season’s Shanghai Major — layers on a series of fun new meta-game systems that have my usual group of Dota players playing more aggressively than usual. A new quest system, segmented into categories correlating to carry/core/support roles, introduces seductive long-term goals. Unlocking the incredible Dragon Knight set, the elaborate Lich outfit, and the stylish Lina costume for completing each quest track is all I’m really thinking about when I launch the game client.