Valve recently announced the introduction of a prototype battle pass for Dota Underlords, or Proto Pass if you would. It sounds very much the same as the Beta Pass from League of Legends - a testing ground for future monetisation.
Proto Pass will be free for everyone who boots up Dota Underlords and the mechanic will offer a variety of cosmetic changes for those who grind through it. Valve's prototype battle pass is pretty much the same as the one introduced by Riot Games in Teamfight Tactics, with a few exceptions.
It will serve as a basis for players to provide feedback for Valve in order to improve future battle passes that will be paid for, which is not much of a surprise since Dota Underlords is a free to play game - the money has to come from somewhere.
Players will be able to earn battle pass experience from each game in Underlords, unlike in Teamfight Tactics though. Daily quests and weekly challenges will help speed up the process.
The full list of rewards is as follows:
- Win streak effects - pretty much self-explanatory
- Respawn effects - trigger when you are making an entrance on a board
- Banners - representation of chosen Underlords
- Firework effects - trigger on match victory
- Standards - customisation of the framework on which the banners stand
- Yo's - emotes that let players communicate in pictures
- Portrait rings - basically fancy frames around your portrait
Dota Underlords' battle pass features many more categories than that of Teamfight Tactics but it remains to be seen if all of them were necessary. Things like Standards are most likely filler content so there are no empty levels in the Proto Pass.
The cautious approach to monetisation through a free battle pass that will get feedback from players is probably the best move Valve can pull right now. No one would like a replay of the disaster that Artifact turned out to be.