posted by Abelle,
In the last two TI Battle Passes, we've had opportunities to win Battle Points via Pachinko-esque "games" known as Lina's Battle Blaze and Slark's Riptide Rumble. Lina's Battle Blaze was first. It gave players three chances with the purchase of a Battle Pass and a further three every time the community successfully completed a series of challenges.
These challenges were things that would happen over the course of a game, but had to happen in vast numbers before the challenge was complete. When the first, the Clearcut Challenge, was being completed far too slowly (despite the best efforts of SirActionSlacks), Valve stepped in and added a queue minigame to cut down trees.
Lina's Pachinko had chances to win between 100 and 24000 Battle Points, but next year's had a much lower potential jackpot. Slark's Riptide Rumble awarded between 100 and 4000 points. However, unlike the past year, players could simply try their luck three times per week. Compared to 7x3 tries with Lina, this was far more chances at those juicy bonus points.
Valve may have chosen not to include such a simplistic way of winning Battle Points this year, but they've added plenty of more interesting methods instead - like DPC predictions, Underhollow, and tipping that doesn't come out of your total. Pachinko may have felt like an easy way to get points but, with a strong likelihood of winning just 100 points per try, it's hard to be sad to see it go.
Good riddance. These things wasted time getting into a game with the "whose is bigger" animation and didn't fit the aesthetic of any of the maps. Did anyone actually want these back?
I might be in a minority here, but I really appreciate a good effigy. Combine a funny pose with a clever pun and you'll get a commend from me every time. Plenty of people didn't use them to their highest potential, but it's still super fun for people to have the option to decorate their base with a favourite hero. Pro players' effigies also make great filler content for casters during a pause. What's not to love?
Emoticons are fun but if you're anything like me, you're probably experiencing a bit of an overload. I've got 126 emoticons unlocked on my account, some of which are essentially duplicates (gold-bordered versions). It would be nice if Valve implemented some kind of system which prioritized favourite emoticons but its hardly practical to type out your thoughts and include emoticons in the middle of a game of Dota anyway.
The newly implemented sprays solves both of these problems. They need to be assigned to a chat wheel, so you're already curating which ones you're most likely to use. They also don't take time - no need to form a coherent sentence, just express yourself with a quick keyboard shortcut.
Unfortunately, it's been two years since Valve added any weather effects to the game. Three effects were added in each International Compendium or Battle Pass from TI4 through TI6. They were notably absent from last year's Battle Pass and, with their exclusion this year, it seems that Valve have decided against continuing the tradition.
The effects have been proven to reduce FPS in-game, but not to unplayable levels. If you're not concerned with maximizing your game's performance, weather is a fun addition to the customizability of Dota 2.