Valve has listened to concerns from players and talent, and you can now purchase voice lines without entering the sticker roulette.
On September 29th, Valve release The International 2022 Talent and Qualifier Team Stickers. As part of the Talent stickers, Dota 2 Talent Voice Lines made their return. However, after numerous complaints, Talent Voice Lines are now available to be purchased separately from stickers.
The change was announced in the small hours of October 1st, just two days after the initial release of stickers. Now players will have the option to directly purchase a talent's voice line with 50% of the revenue going directly to that talent. Players can purchase these voice lines directly from the Talent page in the Battle Pass.
What was the issue with Talent Voice Lines?
A feature first added as part of the 2021 TI10 Compendium, talent voice lines were an instant hit when released. However, this year fans and talents alike were upset to find that the voice lines were locked behind the random sticker draw.
This means in effect there was no way to support your favorite Dota 2 talent. Instead, you would have to purchase random draw stickers in hope of pulling your favorite caster and their voice line. Voice lines were only available on Gold and Holo stickers, meaning there was only a 4% chance you’d draw a voice line at all. Additionally, this meant your purchase was spread across all the talent in the region,
However, you were able to purchase the voice lines second-hand on the Steam Marketplace. But this would mean that no money went to the talent, and instead it all went to Valve.
Kyle’s cutting remarks
Unhappy with this sticky sticker situation, many fans, talents, and most vocally, Kyle Freedman took to various online platforms to complain. The caster, producer and talent made a scathing Medium post framed as an open Q&A to Valve. In of the questions asked was “Why are talent voice lines sold in a capsule, instead of individually?”
“This also means that all money spent on Russian Caster Sticker Capsules will be distributed to all casters, including those that are pro war. There’s no way for me to support an individual Ukrainian caster directly.”
Kyle’s post covered far more than just the voice line situation, touching on the TI11 broadcast being hosted in Oslo, Norway, the confusing choice to sell the broadcast rights to The International to a Russian betting company, and other points. But making a very public complaint is the way to get things to change. After all, it seems like Valve is becoming a lot more responsive than in the past.
Valve’s new quick response attitude?
The turn around on the Dota 2 talent voice lines is part of a surprising trend from Valve, where quick changes and responses to criticism seem to be more forthcoming. The free Dota Plus week due to service outage, the reformatting of Battle Points after players complained they were making little progress, and now the voice line change are all quick responses to loud public criticism. It’s perhaps a positive trend from the Dota developer.