Diretide is Fun. Dota 2 Needs More Events

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Valve surprised the Dota 2 community with the release of Diretide 2020. The game mode, once the most popular mode in the game, returns to Dota 2 after seven years. It was a surprise to most, although some players had already found evidence of a Diretide 2020 event in the game’s files. 

Diretide has received positive reviews from the community, with Dota 2 players flocking to the game mode. Diretide 2020 is very similar to the original Diretide, although there have been changes to the map, there are many new heroes in the game and Valve has added objectives with the introduction of Scarecrows three times in a round.

What is Diretide?

Two teams of five players each compete in this custom game mode and collect candies. The Halloween-themed Dota 2 event was first introduced in the game in 2012. After much public outcry, Valve reintroduced the game mode in 2013. But it has been seven years since the last Diretide event. Just when Dota 2 players had stopped demanding ‘Giff Diretide’, Valve surprised the MOBA’s massive player base with Diretide 2020. 

The game mode requires players to collect candies and deposit them in their Buckets. The team with the highest number of candies at the end of each round wins. The mode sounds simple, but here are some tips that can give one team the advantage. 

Diretide Tips and Tricks

Dota 2 players are well-versed with Diretide, but there are some tips that will help you gain an advantage over your opponents. Dota 2 players can take advantage of certain playstyles to secure their team the win. When Diretide released, the strongest heroes included Clinkz, Undying, Shadow Shaman and even heroes like Leshrac, Techies and others. But in the latest Dota 2 update, Valve nerfed several heroes that could reduce the enemy’s candy count with relative ease. 

Valve’s November 2 update nerfed heroes like Clinkz and Shadow Shaman. Image Credit: Wykrhm Reddy.

The biggest changes in the November 2 update were as follows.

  • Player owned non-hero units deal only 25% of their normal damage to the home bucket for purposes of stealing candy.
  • Taffy Guardians take 50% damage from player-owned, non-hero units.

So Dota 2 players can no longer spam Clinkz and Shadow Shaman and try to steal the enemy’s candies. Leshrac’s Diabolic Edict still works surprisingly well on the Scarecrows. But Leshrac is not as overpowered in this mode as Clinkz and Shadow Shaman of the past.

Valve Needs to Change its Approach in Dota 2

The past few years have seen the decline of Dota 2. Once Valve’s crown jewel, Dota 2 has been hemorrhaging players for several years. The game received a lifeline with the auto battler mode, but Valve decided to remove the auto battler mode and spin it off into a separate game. Underlords has not achieved the same success as Autochess did within the Dota 2 client. Regardless, Dota 2’s player numbers kept plummeting with CS:GO overtaking Dota 2’s record of highest peak concurrent players on Steam earlier this year. 

Valve has always prioritized The International in its gameplay updates and esports plans. The International is the biggest prize pool event in esports and continues to break new barriers every year. However, for all its glory and big numbers, The International acts as the single biggest obstacle to the growth and development of Dota 2 esports. It is the biggest (and only) advertisement of Dota 2 but remains a tough feat to match for third-party tournament organizers. 

Dota 2 esports prize pools continue to look small in front of The International. Professional players scoff at smaller prize pools, even if they might be similar to what other game features for their events. The significance of a Dota 2 event falls off massively when you compare it to The International. 

The International, The International, The International…

No Dota 2 esports talk is complete without a mention of The International. If the International is breaking new prize pool records every year, why is Dota 2 player base plummeting? Surely it’s something to do with this event, mostly because Dota 2 discussions have to include The International. 

In one of its recent communication posts, Valve announced that they will spread out their updates throughout the year. This means hero releases going into 2021, more gameplay updates and more action throughout the year in general. In my opinion, this is the right approach for Dota 2, a game that sees a massive drop-off in players after the International.

Dota 2 player base reached its highest count in the past five months after the release of Diretide 2020. Image Credit: Steamcharts.com.

The release of a new game mode, one as popular as Diretide, has brought back many old-timers to Dota 2. The community response has been overwhelmingly positive with players commending the developers on this release.

Valve should release more content every few months to keep players interested in the game. Events like Diretide, a possible Chinese New Year event and hero releases at regular intervals will keep the interest in the game at an all-time high. Coupled with regular balance updates, Dota 2 development should see a flurry of action in the next few months. Hopefully, this brings back a lot of new players to Dota 2 and the ‘dead game’ won’t be dead anymore.


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