Like so many games that are "free-to-play," Valve's planning on selling quite a bit of content through Dota 2. In fact, the Dota 2 store is opening for business, so players can begin customizing their heroes ASAP.
Unlike in League of Legends, all heroes will be available free of charge. "We believe restricting player access to heroes could be destructive to game design, so it's something we plan to avoid," Valve explained. Instead, the Dota 2 store will feature official Valve-designed items, and fan created items via Steam Workshop integration.
Valve is offering early entry to the free-to-play game through an Early Access Bundle for $39.99. In addition to early access, the bundle includes the following tradeable items:
- Mighty Boar
- Stoic Mask of the High Plains
- Wolf Cape of the High Plains
- Aspect Wraps of the High Plains
- Long-Fang the Grey Blade
- Tayrnhelm of the Swordmaster
- Girth of the Swordmaster
- Fluted Guard of the Swordmaster
- Grip of the Swordmaster
Although players may be buying access to a "beta" version of the game, Valve claims that "we don't really think of Dota 2 as a beta." In a FAQ, Valve explains that "we also aren't ready for everyone to show up and start playing just yet," but assures all the items you purchase and all the progress you make in the game will remain intact once it leaves beta.
According to the Dota 2 blog, the store is launching with close to 200 items created by Valve employees and the community. All of the items are purely cosmetic in nature since the team is discouraging a "pay-to-win" type of game. Any items purchased through the store will carry through when the game finally launches.
"The opening of the Dota Store is a big part of our final push to launch," Dota 2's IceFrog said in a press release. "With support for the Steam Workshop, the majority of the items made available on day one were created and being sold by members of the community. By making the game Free to Play, we hope to give gamers the ability to decide how - and how much - they want to invest in the game."