DOTA 2's annual Battle Level Bundle is upon us again.
The Battle Level Bundle is a limited time offer that gives players plenty of bang for their buck. For $29.99 USD, Valve offers up 120 Battle Levels, nine Immortal Treasure I, six Immortal Treasure II, and three Immortal Treasure III items. In theory, players can only take advantage of this deal once per year.
However, savvy players figured out an exploit that allowed them to buy it more than once. As detailed in a Reddit post by u/whatsthissoundfrom, players with deep pockets and a little bit of extra time were able to get sixty dollars' worth of value - and sometimes much more.
Before Valve addressed the exploit, players could go into the Steam store page in their browser and add the bundle to their cart, then go to checkout. Then, after waiting for 30-45 minutes, they could go into the actual game client and add the bundle to their cart. The final step was to buy both simultaneously. If done properly, the player would have double the amount of loot than they would ordinarily. Other users reported the ability to purchase it several more times, as well.
Yesterday, however, Valve came out and released a short statement on the official DOTA 2 blog. But the statement wasn't exactly what people were expecting.
"Earlier today we disabled a loophole that allowed players to purchase two of the Weekend Bundle rather than just one," Valve wrote. "Enough people exploited this loophole that we have decided that, for the next 24 hours only, we will give a chance for players who did not exploit it to also buy up to two bundles total within the client directly."
In essence, Valve gave players a free pass to continue buying two bundles for an extra day. It's worth noting that there have been similar exploits in the past, and Valve has patched them without much of a notice. At the release of a new bundle, there's often a scramble to find an exploit and buy more than one. This is the first time, however, that Valve has not only acknowledged the bug, but given players extra time to buy more than the normal allotted amount in a sort of fire sale.
The rationale behind this might lie behind how much money Valve makes from the bundles each year. As seen on this handy tracker, the bundle has historically spiked the prize pool for The International exponentially upon release - for several years in a row, at this point. That prize pool only accounts for around 25% of the earnings from the Battle Pass, too, meaning that this whole thing is a very lucrative venture for Valve.
With the acknowledge and condoning of the exploit, it will be interesting to see how Valve deals with the bundle going forward. Will there be more exploits? Will there be the potential to buy more than one in the future, officially sanctioned by the developer? We'll just have to wait and see.