Over the past few months, a new trend has emerged in the games industry. Where Battle Royale once reigned, Auto Chess now stands. With games like Teamfight Tactics and Dota Underlords snapping at the heels of Twitch’s most played, their popularity is undeniable, and the hype is still building.
Valve’s rushed-to-market take on the Auto Battler is Dota Underlords, which is a separate entity to Dota Auto Chess, which was developed by Chinese studio Drodo who has now broken off amicably from Valve to make its own ‘true’ Auto Chess game.
Naturally, Underlords takes advantage of the Dota heroes MOBA fans know and love, which is why it’s so accessible. Riot did something very similar with Teamfight Tactics, which uses heroes from its very own League of Legends.
Unfortunately, not every single character from Dota has made the leap to Underlords yet – there are pools of different units you can use that have certain allegiances depending on your formation, but it’s not the complete Dota roster.
However, over the weekend the game received its first Battle Pass (because of course it did!) titled the Proto Pass, which gives players access to new cosmetics and a fun progression system to enable consistent play. Shortly after its release, data miners got to work on the update and quickly found out a number of interesting details.
The data was collected in this video from Tyler McVicker who runs Valve News Network – basically, the internet’s best source for Valve rumours news.
New heroes potentially coming to the game have been found via references in the code, and these include Chen, Clinkz, Dark Seer, Dazzle, Earthshaker, Pangolier, Riki, Rubick, Spectre, Storm Spirit, Sven, Undying, Vengeful Spirit, Weaver and Zeus. Quite the rogue’s gallery!
As well as a replay viewer, McVicker also showed off some teases concerning a new chat system and ‘Turbo Mode’, a quicker style of play grafted straight from Dota 2. McVicker also dwells on the upcoming ‘Underlord personas’ which will represent the player whilst in-game, much like the couriers from the original mod.
If anything, it’s good to see Valve’s commitment to this project even in such an early stage – Dota Underlords is evolving at speed, which should please fans who are already hooked on its addicting gameplay loop.