The new service promises to bring a host of improvements and new features the Battle Pass didn't offer Dota 2 players.
Here's how to play Artifact - the Dota card game. In the past, these have taken the form of limited-time compendiums that centered around major Dota 2 esports tournaments, including The International and Majors. You can also gift subscriptions to friends.
On top of that there are also tailored challenges for each hero too, allowing you to train your skills with said hero, and each challenge offers three tiers of difficulty, with more XP awarded depending on how many stars you get. However, Battle Passes for Majors are now being replaced with what Valve describes as an "ongoing, uninterrupted service" called Dota Plus. "Once unlocked, Relics update and display your statistical milestones as you play, with a breakdown of progress in each match available on the post-game screen". It gets this information by analyzing data from recent games from all skill levels to help keep gamers up to date with current meta builds.
Typically, Dota 2 has monetized through the sale of optional cosmetic skins, announcer voices, or new characters so the addition of an optional paid subscription to the longtime free-to-play game is a notable change.
But perhaps the most interesting new offering included with the monthly subscription is access to the Plus Assistant, an in-game utility that provides players with a more detailed record of their own past play statistics and data-driven suggestions for things like items and abilities mid-match. Those shards can then in turn be spent on, among other things, new items that are only available for Plus subscribers. Non-subscribers will have to buy tickets for $1.
"Dota Plus is an evolution of the Battle Pass", the announcement read. For the monthly price of $3.99 Dollars you can also track in-game progress, select a challenge before the game (with these challenges refreshed every two weeks), and make use of the Hero Chat Wheel, allowing you to choose phrases for your hero to say.