DOTA 2 Auto Chess: When a strategy game mod goes wild

I have never played Dota 2. I’m a League of Legends person myself. So I wouldn’t know.

But if that’s the case, great news! Looking forward to a few matches then.

Yup, just installed it to check. It’s a custom game and you can matchmake or create a custom lobby.

This is a lot of fun - definitely worth checking out even for non-DOTA2 players.

If you create a custom lobby, you’re always the host, so you can lock and launch instead of waiting for an alt tabbed host.

Anyway the game is a deck builder been playing the hell out of it.

I finally won my first match yesterday with a 6 warrior + 3 dragon strategy.

I wonder if this enough legs to inspire a stand alone game at some point like DoTA.

Started playing this weekend. It is very addicting and like what others have said I too wonder if it has what it takes to become a stand alone game.

The real RNG in this game is finding a game without cheaters.

cheaters? how do you cheat in auto chess?

Stuff is client side.

I’ve personally seen gold-locks (rerolling while money doesn’t change). I’ve seen reports of free rerolls and lots of tier 4 units when they shouldn’t be able to. There sub is filled with complaints today.

Disappointing, was just about to actually go check this out but dealing with hacks doesn’t sound terribly fun.

If you’re starting out I don’t think it’ll matter enough to ruin figuring out the game mechanics.

Competitive play is messed up right now though (probably on the Knight + ranks).

Well looks like all you need to do is make a little noise for the devs to come out with a fix in under 24 hours.

Today’s patch has gold-report summary, and apparently, a cheater-detection mechanism.

edit: So more drama, they got Amaz and other streamers banned. Apparently the hack tool makers got pissed and decided to troll.

edit: This looks like the way to ban ppl.

Game seems to be working again, the devs are saying they are under attack by hackers.

The fun and depth of the mechanics is so good it keeps me playing through all the bugs and problems getting games started.

Finally I have some handle on late game and managed to win a few matches.

You gotta get lucky to win, but you need skill to recognize that you got lucky in the first place. Also managing luck intuitively, kinda like bloodbowl.

I started playing this today and can confirm that it is very addictive. It doesn’t seem like it will be at first, seeing as how so much of the game is hands off. Yet once you play for awhile it gets its hooks in, and I think for two main reasons. The strategy is multifaceted with just the right amount of rng, and it makes you feel like a kid. It gives you the ‘these toys are mine, I know them well, now they will fight your toys’ feeling that you got as a 10 year old.

I don’t think a game has impressed me this much since EU4. I have been thinking about auto chess while at work the last couple of days, considering staying up late to get a couple more rounds in, and so on you all know how it is when a game is good.

Every time I log into the game it says over 200k-300k people are simultaneously playing the mod, which is (to my understanding) almost half of total DOTA 2 players. The game looks to be fairly simple to program, and I can’t think of any other game like it. You would think, then, that Valve are working with the fellow to turn this into something official and more polished, and that many other companies are already working on their ‘X auto chess’ derivatives. I wonder if there’ll be a thread in Qt3 in 6 months titled “Gentlemen, start your 3d printers! Auto Chess is the new Royale is the new MOBA.”

There’s an official mobile version coming, in Chinese only so far.

There were some conspiracy theorists saying it was Tencent behind the DOS attacks because they want to make a league of legends version now.

And a warcraft 3 mod:

518 votes and 65 comments so far on Reddit

Steam claims I’ve now played 100 hours of Dota 2, and I never did anything more than the initial tutorial of actual Dota, a few years ago. The rest is all Auto-Chess. What a fascinating design this is. It’s like weaponizing Gacha as an in-game mechanism rather than as a long term progression or cosmetic mechanism.

It’s somehow just incredibly satisfying to see the draft roll, figure out what you can do with it, and then reroll. It’s a really interesting contrast to Artifact, where the player base was incredibly unhappy with much smaller level of randomness.

Just reading descriptions of the game doesn’t do justice for how many decisions there are to do, and how much time pressure there is. 40 minutes per game sounds like a lot for a game where you’re really not doing anything but drafting units and watching the fight it out. But in practice after the first five minutes I’m constantly engaged, often running out of time during the preparation phase, during the two battles trying to keep track of both the home and away games to get an idea of what’s working and what isn’t, and trying to figure out how to pivot both the draft and the unit placement to work against the main opponents.

The thing that’s going to kill this mod sooner rather than later is how unbelievably shitty the Dota 2 arcade experience is, and in ways that are totally outside of the mod developer’s control.

  • Half the time queing for Autochess will create 10 player lobbies that will result in a normal game of Dota 2 if they ever start. But obviously they won’t start, since most people know that a 10 player lobby won’t work, and you need an 8 player one. So everyone would like to bail out of the lobby. Except the lobbies fill up in a tenth of a second, so you never have time to press “leave”. Instead you get a prompt to accept the game starting, and everyone tries to click on reject as quickly as possible, because only a couple of people can get out. The fucking accept dialog fanfare sound effect is seared into my brain by now.
  • Ok, so you’ve managed to get into an 8 player lobby and everyone accepted the game. Then there will be a three minute(!!) load period. Three minutes is often not enough for people without SSDs, on their first attempt. And if one player times out, the game is cancelled for everyone.
  • No way for them to implement skill-based matchmaking.

I can’t believe that it’s been three months, and Valve haven’t tried to address these issues, nor that they failed to snag up the mod team to make this official. This is a mod with 250k players in game at a time where the whole Dota 2 client has a total of 750k players in client.