Dota 2’s tutorial sucks, so Dota 2 players are spending $25,000 to make a new one

Dota 2's tutorial sucks, so Dota 2 players are spending $25,000 to make a new one

It’s a perennial joke in the Dota 2 community that the last tutorial started with the objective to buy a Stout Shield—an item that was removed from the game three weeks later. Everyone who regularly plays Dota 2 knows that a key “feature” of the game is that any tutorial for Dota 2 is a truly awful, nigh-unusable new player experience. What tutorials once existed were rapidly loaded with outdated mechanics, inaccuracies, or worse: Dota 2 is a game that regularly reinvents huge parts of itself with massive shakeups like the late 2019 Outlanders patch. Since the Stout Shield fiasco, a tutorial has been all but written off as impossible or even undesirable: Most Dota players just learn from an internet personality or are roped in by friends who teach them the game.

It’s a strange, gaping hole in one of the PC’s most popular games since 2013. And it’s something that’s in the forefront of some Dota players’ minds as the release of a high-profile Dota 2 anime spin-off on Netflix approaches, an event that could draw a surge of new players to Dota in years (either in anticipation or reaction, The Witcher 3’s average concurrent players more than doubled in December 2019 as the Netflix series released). Community member, streamer, Dota host, and notable Techies-playing degenerate SirActionSlacks is spearheading an effort to create and fund a one-time tutorial for Dota 2 to release around the show’s premiere.

Once upon a time, this is what Dota 2’s tutorial looked like. It hasn’t existed for years. (Image credit: Valve)

It’s bizarre that a game which regularly awards a prize pool of tens of millions of dollars for its largest tournament, with the reward for the top players in 2019 coming in at $15 million, would need a community handout just to have a tutorial. But that’s what it’s going to take, apparently. Dota 2 modders, people who can make a really functional custom game, aren’t so common that they can freely work the crunch hours it’ll take to get a tutorial working in just 30 days.

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