Valve to make small changes with new testing feature in Dota 2

Time to play lab rats.

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Valve, while making changes to the Dota 2 matchmaking system and preparing for the next big patch, has implemented a new system that will help it gather data on small changes in the game.

It appears today’s update added a live beta testing feature that will let Valve not only learn about the gameplay but also make small changes as well.

Valve said this change could help it when, for example, it creates a gold formula update. It will use a small window during weekdays, from 6pm to 8pm CT, to test changes.

And while this could impact the outcome of several games where the new elements are being tested, Valve has included a way for players to be exempt from participating.

“We expect the number of times that we actually do this during the year to be very low, however when we do it it’ll be during weekdays only at the lowest point of user activity, between 4 and 6PM Seattle time,” Valve said. “In addition, we are adding a convar ‘dota_disable_experimental_gameplay’ that can be used by players to disable it. Any gameplay changes will only be active in matchmaking games where no players have the convar set.”

Valve assured players the live testing will never be active in any lobby or league games, which means tournaments and private matches are exempt automatically. 

All of the changes will not be announced before testing, Valve said, because it does not want players to start calculating any potential update into their gameplan.

This update is live for all players and Valve will likely begin using the feature to test things in the near future.