As the community continues to wait for a post-TI patch that would reset the meta, Valve released patch 7.19c. It may take some more time for the usual upheaval with a mega patch, but this minor one still doles out significant changes to a meta that sees nearly Wraith King or Spectre every other game. Those two heroes got the brunt of the nerfs, with their winrates dropping close to 5% in the days following the release. Grimstroke also had his Ink Swell reworked to be a more offensive spell. The consequences of those changes are still to be determined, and we'll be following up with a more extensive recap soon.
In-game tipping, select Sound Effects, and Ranked Role Matchmaking--formerly Battle Pass features--have now moved over to Dota Plus. While Ranked Role increases queue times, mostly for position 1/2 players, the community has clamored for the feature to stay after the expiry of the Battle Pass. With Ranked Role being a paid feature, the paywall presumably deters smurfs, boosters, and toxic players--with nicknames like "mid or techies" or "offlane or riki jungle"--who wind up sabotaging their team when they don't get their desired roles.
The feature would aim to benefit players in the middle tier of MMR, when players don't necessarily fall into expected roles. A detriment to pre-determining roles is removing those opportunities where players learn something by moving out of their comfort zone. Playing a different role, sometimes by necessity of the team, creates a more versatile player base. Cores who play support, at lower tiers, can have greater empathy on the difficulty of warding. For now, the incentive to play support, for core players, is that queue times are significantly shorter. It wouldn't be surprising for Valve to throw in some shards in a future quest reward. Another reason, perhaps more virtuous, is that playing different roles creates better Dota players.
This week marks the roster lock period before the beginning of Season 2. Some of the most recent developments include:
The Artifact open beta just went live and our sister site Artibuff has been updated with card statistics to help you make the right choices in the draft.