Many are discouraged by the new patch and feel like after waiting for so long, the changes should have been more drastic. After all, we have been on a single major patch for roughly half a year and this time around we didn’t get a new toy in Aghanim’s Shard, or new mechanic in Neutral Items. What we got was more reminiscent of the pre-7.00 era: a slew of balance changes, some new ways to play the game, a couple of new items and a new hero. From my experience of more than fifteen years in Dota, that is a lot more than meets the eye.
Valve really like their Strength offlaners, it seems, since we are getting the third one in a row, though it is less of a complaint and more of an observation. There is very little to complain about right now, to be honest, as the hero was released seemingly underpowered.
Once the numbers are tweaked, the Primal Beast should be a nice addition to a rather niche, but growing pool of position three heroes who, in theory, do not fully rely on Blink Dagger for initiation. Though, truth be told, despite a rather nice mobility and initiation skill in Onslaught, it is going to be hard to beat Blink + Pulverize in terms of efficiency and ease of execution.
The hero is definitely in need of some extra care, so a more thorough discussion will follow once changes are made.
Hearing all the complaints about how Dota was slowly turning into a lesser, more casual game, Valve decided to go back to the game’s RTS roots and give all Chen, Lycan, Beastmaster, Visage and Enchantress players a massive influx of new and exciting options.
This isn’t the biggest part of the Dota player base and four out of five aforementioned heroes have been the least played heroes in pubs in the last month. Three out of five have been the least played heroes in Dota in the last year. This is probably the biggest reason a sizable portion of the community feels underwhelmed by the patch.
It is a massive patch. It will have a very distinct impact on the meta, especially the professional one. It might take some time for players to adjust to it, though and the changes won’t be noticeable in every single game.
However, Dota players adapt to win and more adaptable players, who will be willing to learn the intricacies of Microing units, will be rewarded. Pretty much every single mechanic can be covered by a right neutral creep and that means creep-dominating heroes are no longer synonymous with a mindless mob rush playstyle — they can be a swiss knife of Dota. It is no longer a Zoo, it is an Exhibition.
Almost every single complaint we had in our recent Blog Post was addressed: Vlad’s can be a support item once again, Mage Slayer now has a progression and Drum of Endurance is back, at least theoretically.
We also got a stat-agnostic Orchid and seemingly more reliable and useful Bloodstone that doesn’t get weaker than Kaya and Sange after one death. The Ethereal Blade is finally a caster item that now deals damage based on the enemy's primary attribute, making it great against most Agility carries, but, ironically, especially devastating against Morphling.
There is also Revenant’s Brooch which looks like a fun item for right-clicking Intelligence cores. Coming from HoN and having first-hand experience playing against Puppet Master with Harkon’s Blade, I am almost sure that it is a big deal, especially considering it allows the user to ignore ethereal effects on top of all the other benefits. Which pairs nicely with the new Ethereal Blade.
However, personally, I feel like the biggest changes are not the ones highlighted in bold. They are small one-two line alterations to two existing items: Radiance and Diffusal Blade.
The latter now costs roughly 20% less and the moment I saw it, I fully expected a full on Riki rework later on in the patch notes. Spoiler alert: it isn’t there and Riki now wins 55%+ of his games. This might be a go-to item for any aggressive Agility core.
Radiance, on the other hand, might now rival Maelstrom and Battlefury as a farming tool. Since it can now be disassembled into Butterfly/Halberd and Nullifier/Rapier, there are so many ways to make use of the burn aura while it is relevant and then pivot towards right-click items later on.
Possibly the most disappointing part of the patch notes, as Techies aside, there are very few noteworthy changes. Even Techies isn’t that different, in our opinion: he can still be quite annoying and do a lot to prevent push and now one doesn’t even need to pay attention to the map. The hero is objectively weaker and is one of the biggest losers of the patch, but he will probably get tweaked to become competitive.
There are many noteworthy first trends, like Tiny, Pugna, Axe and Huskar, but very few heroes were changed on a fundamental level. Tiny is still a magic nuker who grows into a right-clicking nuker, Axe is still an initiating hero, but now he scales ridiculously well, Huskar is still Huskar, but tankier.
We feel like Brewmaster and Omniknight are the two main changes when it comes to heroes. The former is in a weird spot, where he technically got stronger, but to fully tap into his potential you need a very experienced player. He is basically Tread Switching: the Hero, and when played well can be devastating. No hero has a 70%+ chance 1.9x crit, 60% magic resistance, 60% status resistance and 90% evasion on demand. Utilizing it perfectly is close to impossible, but some professional players will definitely want to tap into his potential.
Omniknight can and seemingly should be played more aggressively now. Losing status resistance on Heavenly Grace is a big deal, but it is still a very strong counter-initiating save ability. Coupled with Hammer of Purity, we get a rather formidable lane support or an offlane core with high kill potential. It will take time before his role in the game is decided, but the problem with the hero was never his effectiveness — he was just, frankly, boring to play. The last change should change this fact, while also retaining some of the hero’s identity.
There are tons of things to discuss in this patch and it will have a huge impact on how the game is played. It is also very clear that there will be adjustments to newly reworked heroes, as well as the Primal Beast, as there are certain balance issues around them.
We usually get these changes in the first week of the patch, so stay tuned for our coverage of the first meta trends and new builds and playstyles for existing heroes.
First! Nice work.
I really like the changes to Axe and Necrophos with permanent scaling for every kill. Its something that makes the hero a lot more fun to play even if it is not that large of a change and will increase pick rates for sure. Look at what happened to Lion, before the permanent finger of death damage bonus lion was just another intelligence support, but after that change lions pickrate skyrocketed to the top of the charts and has stayed there ever since.
omni got nerfed hard as a utility offlaner. since GA doesnt have a heal lol.
Late game carries just got a lot harder to manage I think. All these breaks and disarms in the jungle are going to make stacking less desirable. Not UNDESIRABLE, but if you can win with heroes that don't even care to jungle, you're going to have an easier time invading those stack farmers that are now more irritated outside of lane.
I feel like the games in a really basic spot atm, it’s now at a spot where everything is op which in theory is great but you are relying on 4 random people to help you and that’s difficult
Slark updates I really liked. They could have finished it perfectly by replacing Level 20 Shadow Dance Attack Speed with Shadow Dance Duration, and Level 25 Shadow Dance Duration with Invisibility.
This would have completed the hero as a whole.
This patch is great. I have no idea why anyone could hate this patch after they did the mind bending work of adding another spell steal for Rubik, changing Techies, and adding a new hero. I'm impressed with the quality of life style upgrades on everything. My invoker is faster which is really nice. My forage spirits have the ability to farm more effectively for me. The 3x upgrade feels nice. The upgrade for Razor is great. I'm happy that the developers are starting to recognize that this game is hard and they are stopping it from changing in a drastic way. Fixing the game so it's at 120 tick and not so sluggish on higher settings while leaving everything alone sounds like a good use of resources. That way casual people can teach friends how to play who don't know how instead of waking up to a different game and feeling like quitting because something they really like is strange now. It's a relief to people who like their food the way it is made already to see their familiar dish. In the same way, I'm happy that I didn't wake up to a totally different Invoker. Instead I got a nice upgrade and quality of life changes. I don't want them to change the speed of hook and arrow and tornado... things like this. Players who have taken a break from the game can come back to their game able to use their skills. Put energy into the game running well on more hardware. Think about this... people have been playing chess for 300 years and we will love it for another 300 years. Dota is basically the same way if they do this correctly and don't ruin the game because someone had a "great idea". Look at all the people for example playing turbo mode or something and actually help them like adding ranked. Make the game smoother on more hardware through optimizations. Get actual marketing people and a mobile app version of the game.
This game is almost over optimized from a game perspective. Now it needs other type of optimizations and a good marketing team who tests lots of marketing strategies to bring in new players and keep existing players interested. Not just the tournaments, actually ads marketing the game and it's different game modes.
IDK I'm just in a little bit of shock seeing these remarks about how much we don't like the lack of change and realize that this game's longevity might depend on it starting to solidify more.
As a Chen player, it is incomprehensible to me why people are complaining about it not being a big enough patch
I'm astounded at how positive the reaction has been about this patch from the people I have played with. Doom and Chen players are feeling the type of meta changing fun we wanted while stapes are left with a few quality of life improvements / upgrades.
New techies is a lot more fun, and I'd argue much better for team fights. Techies in your team always felt like a man down late game in teamfights, but now you have to be right in there, and tazer can cause a lot of problems to right click cores. I've now played more games as techies this patch than since his introduction, just because I really despised the hero before.
Rubik is even more fun. Aghs is pretty much required on the hero anyway, so to get an extra spell to steal from it is a bonus. Get the right combination of spells and you can put out a lot of damage.
My final favourite change is Pugna. Channelling your ult into the netherward so it hits more than one hero can be devastating in a teamfight if you have a strong frontlaner.
All in all, I'm enjoying the patch so far and the new hero is quite good fun to play as well, so all's good.
Primal Beast being the third character in a row to be a str melee offlaner is boring as fuck. All three basically have the same role too? Why not work with Dragons Blood and give us a duo release to celebrate the release of the second season by giving us Kaden and Fymryn?