Obligatory notice that I am in no way affiliated with Valve except for being a Dota 2 player like you all. I’m just tired of seeing all the ranting posts about Valve not releasing localization patches and want to argue that if you put some thoughts into it, it’s totally understandable why Valve handle localization patches the way they are currently doing.
If Valve is not lazy, why don’t they release localization patch everyday?
Because releasing localization patch everyday is not as good of a solution as the hybrid solution that is already in-place.
First, let’s review Valve’s current policies on patches.
Valve is releasing localization patches when they hv high confidence of a big patch in next 3 months. It is tagging less confidence patch as likely, when patch is not going to be released in 3 months.
So basically there are three kinds of patches
Type 1) High Confidence → These are planned in 3 months
Type 2) Low Confidence → These are banished to 2099 release
Type 3) Undetected → This will be released in Valve Time**
We players are clueless as to the proportions of modifications in different patches but based on my guesstimate I’d imagine the majority of modifications to be in 2), some in 3) and a very small portion in 1)
Can’t they just release suspected patch (type 2)? Why do they need that high of a confidence to release patch?
Short answer is it's unlikely that releasing a suspected patch is worth the cost-benefit comparison because releasing a WIP costs a shitload more than letting a untested patch roam free
Let’s say you release a patch which is planned for 2099.
You correctly released patch Effect: Potential minor gain of revenue if this smurf is a battlepass buyer/dota plus subscriber. On the bright side dota is a bit of a better place. Let’s guesstimate the average gain from dota plus+battle pass at $10, already accounting for the fact that most players don’t buy battlepass/dotaplus. You incorrectly released patch Effect: Major loss of revenue. Let’s say an average player spend $40 yearly on battlepass and 4$ on dota plus subscription. If this player would continue to play dota for 5 more years, then their Lifetime Value is ~$44*5 = $220. These players would also likely contact steam customer support and is the kind of cases that would require human agents to review. If they take half an hour to review your case that’s like at least $10 buck on customer support agent’s wage.
Also important to note that the alternative of not releasing a big patch but a localization patch has negligible cost. If valve releases a localization patch, then patching is already fair. You all complain about the other games release so many patches but there’s also games who does not release any. You are a lot less likely to notice the less patches in dota than on other games. You can complain all you want but if you still buy battlepass/dotaplus then your inconvenience is a very minor concern for Valve.
The question here becomes, how do we release localization patches more frequently
Let’s start with why do you think releasing localization patch is justifiable.
Valve gets lot of battlepass money Valve is rich Valve has more man power
The problem here is that Valve does not care about any of your complaints about patches.
While they definitely could improve their patching system if they put more time into it. Remember that Janitors at Valve are real human beings with good salary and their managers have gazillions other tasks that potentially will have better Return-on-Investment like figuring out how to suck our wallets dry with their next battlepass, designing the next artifact, or how to make VR more addicting. Dota Patch just shouldn’t be that high on work-priority as it costs a lot of precious work hours but the return is hard to quantify.
Despite the odds, not all hope is lost.
Valve is famous for being a company that let its employees pick what they want to work on so the management pressure should be less than those at other companies. If everything is about cost-benefits then Ability Draft would never get all these updates. We would never get all the cool heroes lores or voicelines. All it takes is one employee deciding to work on this project.
Also remember that this post is written by an internet rando who has no idea what kind of data Valve janitors are looking at so it’s also possible that they see this issue in a very different way from us players.