At this point, I have spent nearly 50 hours with Dota Underlords. I still do not know what an Underlord is. This is because Valve’s early-access auto battler still does not contain its shadowy namesakes. In a matter of weeks, however, that’s going to change.
Wednesday, Valve outlined its plans for the future of Dota Underlords in the runup to its full-release, non-early-access version. Within the next few weeks, the company said in a Steam post, Underlords will be getting many major new changes: a duos mode that allows two players to team up and battle three other teams, big UI tweaks, new heroes and alliances, and, yes, some gosh dang Underlords.
Presumably, Underlords will act as stand-ins for the player, not unlike Teamfight Tactics’ Little Legends, which players can move around arenas and who take HP damage when players’ armies lose rounds. Valve, however, is still being cagey about how exactly Underlords will function, saying only that the development team is “really excited about this feature” because “these Underlords are a core part of the game, and we think they will add a layer of fun and strategy to every match.”
Valve also noted that the order and content of upcoming updates is subject to change, but that hopefully, these things will put the game on track to becoming a complete experience — as opposed to the somewhat barebones proof-of-concept it is right now. The goal, ultimately, is for new features to culminate in Dota Underlords season one, with a fully functional battle pass and other fancy fixings.
“This is normally where we’d say ‘that’s about it’ — but knowing us and our community, we can pretty honestly say that things will change,” Valve wrote. “Season 1 is the update where our Beta turns into a fully released game, so expect features like the new and improved Battle Pass and others like City Crawl to make their first appearance there. Stay tuned.”