The South African Dota 2 community has been hit by a tsunami of largely Eurasian item farmers in the wake of a new Dota 2 patch, which has resulted in many games for players queuing solo degenerating into multi-hour stalemates. The patch, which went online on October 30th, adjusted the item drops from being level-based to time-based. The change log for the patch simply states, “Item drops are now entirely time based instead of level based. Drop list now includes full sets, treasures, bundles and Arcanas at a rare rate instead of frequently dropping common items”.
Unfortunately, while the improved item list is welcome, it has resulted in some interpreting the “time-based” portion as the amount of time spent in a single game, which brings us to our current dilemma. The South African Dota 2 server has a relatively low population base in comparison to the other servers, and a number of enterprising Russians have realised that they can use this to their advantage. By queuing on the South African server, they greatly increase the chance of encountering members on the opposing team with a similar goal, which is where the exploit begins.
Typically opening with calls to “abuse” and “180” — which seems to be the standard number of minutes they prefer to drag the game out — they enlist the aid of their compatriots (but really, anyone who would rather aim for items than a win) on the opposing team, they proceed to draw out the game as long as possible.
Typical tactics include feeding off heroes on the opposing team who simply offer themselves, being fed the courier, using abilities such as Chen’s teleport to negate non-acquiescing players and so on. Other tactics include forcing abandons on players not playing ball on the opposing team in order to decrease the number of players eligible for item drops.
Having myself been in a couple of these games now, I can attest to the level of frustration such behaviour introduces to the game. EGMR has reported on it, and there have been several Reddit threads on the topic, but it’s unlikely that the problem will resolve itself any time soon.
The best that South Africa can do, at this point, is to present a united front. I’d recommend the following:
- Try to form five-man parties with other South African players. You can always ask within the South African chat channel. While it won’t prevent the other team from employing delaying tactics, you at least will not have to deal with snitches, deliberate feeders and obstructing members of your own team.
- Be sure to use the report button when there is clear and obvious collusion occurring between players of opposing teams, and encourage others to provide a similar report for consistency.
- Take note of the match ID for reference and, depending on your level of engagement, post it in the applicable threads on Reddit and the Steam forums.
- I’ve found pushing strategies to be particularly effective at combating the tactics used. Consider selecting heroes with a high degree of mobility (such as Nature’s Prophet) and forcing engagement. A combination of such heroes (Shadow Shaman, Death Prophet, etc.) has proven quite suitable to this end.