Issuu on Google+

‘Twas Not Luck, But Skill (Sometimes)

Dota 2 Trading, the Goods and the Bad By Sky McReynolds @SanctuaryCat Illustrations by Biggreenpepper biggreenpepper.deviantart.com

When you open up the Dota 2 client, most times the first thing you see after the loading screen is the “Store” page: THE PLACE TO BUY DASHING SETS OF ARMOR FOR 062 Good Luck Have Fun

your heroes, rare couriers to serve you in battle, and a variety of other extras like pennants to proudly cheer for your favorite professional team. To many, these are just small, inconsequential ways of customizing one’s in-game experience, but for some members of the Dota 2 community those items form part of an elaborate and constantly shifting economy where hundreds, often thousands of dollars change hands for rare, sought-after goods. This is the world of Dota 2 trading. The first thing to know about the average trade in Dota 2 is the currency: keys. A key’s original function, which they still perform, was to open the treasure chests that are given to players randomly at the end of matches, and which contain a random rare item. While some larger trades can involve PayPal transactions, most trades are an exchange of items for keys. The use of keys as the main form of currency is a carryover from Team Fortress 2, Valve’s other free-to-play microtransaction game, where

an in-game trading economy existed prior to Dota 2. Keys can be acquired in several ways: they can be purchased from the Dota 2 Store at $2.50 USD a pop (generally not the preferred way), purchased from other players at anywhere from roughly $1.7 to $2 depending on quantity and your own patience, or just simply traded for using your own items (otherwise known as your average day-to-day trade). Within the Dota 2 economy, the most prized and expensive items are almost always couriers, though there are some exceptions. The price comes in part from rarity, like the Drodo the Druffin courier, which was available only during The International 2012 from chests and spectator drops, and in part from the eye-catching unusual effects like Ethereal Fire that are very rarely found on some couriers dropped from chests. The exceptions are generally discontinued/immortal quality items like the Alpine Stalker set for Ursa Warrior, or items bundled as promotions like The Scythe of Vyse for Nature’s Prophet that will come


GLHF Magazine Issue #7