Perhaps the biggest change that this update brings is the required linking of phone numbers to the Steam accounts of players in order for them to play Ranked matchmaking.
The company says it's doing this as a way of combating the trend of players using multiple accounts, as this creates "a negative matchmaking experience at all skill brackets".
You'll need to this soon, too.
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Players have until May 4 to register a valid phone number with their Dota 2 account, and phone numbers can't be passed between accounts without a three-month waiting period.
This announcement comes as part of a larger update to matchmaking, which you can read all about here. This is to prevent using the same number on multiple accounts. Online services that create phone numbers will not work either.
Value is also adding a previously default feature in ranked matchmaking where solo players can select an option to be matched only against solo players queue on the same server. In the past some solo players would occasionally be placed in matches with teams to speed up the matchmaking process, but now players can choose to opt out of these games.
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Then there are changes made aiming to "remove undesirable behaviour from the matchmaking pool", which elicits a response of "good luck with that" from my brain. In any case, being marked for low-priority matches now also gives you a duration-based ban from Ranked games as well as requiring you to play a certain number of low-priority games. A MOBA staple seen in a variety of free-to-play titles where secondary and third accounts are treated in a less serious fashion than someone's primary, or utilised in a way to boost lower level friends to higher ranked tiers. From now on when the player's Solo MMR is higher than their Party MMR upon queuing in a party, the former will be increased to a higher MMR.
In December 2016 Dota 2 received a massive overhaul that reworked the game's HUD, refined the map, hero console, top bar, and shop. If you're a casual Unranked player, you probably don't have much to think about except that intentional feeding will be punished more harshly and your solo MMR may impact your party MMR. Probably a step in the right direction, but it's certainly not going to make certain elements of the game less toxic, and that phone number requirement is going to inconvenience a fair few people.
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