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Dota 2
Dota 2
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Dota 2's 7.00 Patch & What It Means For The Game

Valve has released the new patch for Dota 2, adding in a new playable character, changing many of the gameplay mechanics and improving it in a wide number of ways. As you should expect with every single number update, 7.00 is a big deal. Adding in a number of core changes to the way the game is played, this patch also brings an overhaul to the UI to make the experience easier to read, updated visuals for the game world and certain heroes and even customisable bots. But mostly we're interested in how this patch will change things for the competitive scene, so here's a rundown of some of the most significant changes to Dota 2, and how that could change it for pro gamers and esports viewers alike. 7-dota2-03

New Hero - Monkey King

Every new addition to a MOBA comes with a significant impact on the game. Often they're not quite balanced well enough, and skew the tiers enough that they can't be ignored - even if you have no intention of playing the character. So how will Sun Wukong change a game that he's in? Well there's no denying that the Monkey King certainly brings an interesting new playstyle. His ability to leap onto forestry, for example, adds a unique new aspect to gameplay that could lead to a whole new way of setting up ambushes. Tree Dance also doubles as an escape option, its cooldown reducing the more damage he takes, meaning it might be quite tough to actually bring a skilled Monkey King player down. Except that the tree that Wukong climbs onto can be destroyed, bringing him to the ground and stunning him. This means he's not totally safe while in the trees and utilises the forestry of the map in a new, fun way that hasn't been seen before - it could lead to some very exciting teamfights once pros have figured him out. In addition, the option to turn into different items depending on the Monkey King's location on the map is an interesting way to utilise disguises. It's hard to know how this might affect gameplay. Much like the way most people discover Spies playing on the enemy team in TF2, knowing a Monkey King is playing in the game could leave players testing every rune, courier and item they come across just to avoid being tricked. Time will tell on this one. It might not prove to be too significant an addition to the game, but who knows, maybe it will fool enough to make for some entertaining plays at a competitive level. 7-dota2-04

Backpacks

While this might seem like a pretty simple change to the core game, it's quite a significant twist on the strategic item build side of the game. Here it's possible to carry three additional items that, while inactive, can be swapped out to become active. Items inside the backpack provide no further benefit, but it means that strategies can be changed on the fly without having to sell items or disassemble them into new items. Maybe that doesn't seem so important, but it can mean players can choose two or more potential builds and switch them on the fly. It'll take six seconds - when away from a shop - for the items to become active, so it's not going to adjust anything in teamfights, but it could mean the difference between a team pushing on for a win or having to return to defend. Perhaps a successful teamfight will lead to a carry swapping in more defensive items with lifesteal to help them recover from the battle sooner and keep them out on the map for longer. Or perhaps a supportive tanky character has utilised his value in the fight and took the brunt of the damage and survived, but found that many of his team have also fallen. Here he could swap in more damage dealing capabilities or items with helpful passives and actives to help with that final push into the base. There are some limitations on this, but it's a pretty exciting change that could dramatically change the way teams build their compositions from this point on. 7-dota2-05

Changes To Hero Levelling

The way heroes worked have been changed in a number of ways, from recalculated levelling and XP requirements, alterations to gold earned from bounty and AOE kills as well as the total cost of buybacks. But the biggest change is the addition of talents. Now ultimates level up at 6, 12 and 18 but in addition to that there are options to pick from one of two talents at 10, 15, 20 and 25 - similar to the way Heroes Of The Storm handles its ultimates. The difference here is that Dota 2 will now alter abilities or stats in two distinct ways. Every character will have options specific to them, but one of the given examples is Vengeful Spirit, who are level 20 can choose between either +50 damage or +20 movement speed. The benefits here are obviously very specifically different, and will likely be adapted to the outcome of the game or a preferred playstyle. For viewers it's unlikely much of this will have a considerable effect on the proceedings in any real noticeable way, but for players it enhances the number if options open to them to decide how they will play the game. 7-dota2-02

Changes To The Map

Any change to the map is a big change, but Valve has really gone all out with this patch to move things around, add in new structures and finesse the map in many different ways. Roshan, for example, is a weaker beast with his health reduced from 8000 to 5500 and but his armour reduced from 5 to 15. Alongside this his health gain per minute has dropped while his armour gain per minute has increased, and he's been given a new home near the top Powerup Rune. Speaking of Runes, they have now been changed to be one of two categories: Powerup or Bounty Runes, the former encompassing the likes of haste or double damage and the latter no longer appearing in the river. Only one Powerup Rune will appear in the river at any one time, and that location can differ. Greevil's Bounty Rune only awards a base 2x multiplier now, too, rather than scaling. Changes like this to Runes are significant, of course, but these particular tweaks don't seem to dramatically change the course of the game in any significant way - really it'll just alter the way players will approach these objectives while simultaneously making the lone Powerup Rune more valuable. Whether that alone will be enough to fight for, well, that remains to be seen. A new addition is the new Shrine structures which will be located new each side's Secret Shop, new Ancient Camp locations and inside each base. These will apply a buff that adds regenerating HP and MP over 5 seconds when right-clicked, and - alongside the ability to teleport to these structures - it's likely all these structures are for are to keep players in lane for as long as possible. While this won't change the core gameplay itself, the likely decision to implement these is to keep the gameplay moving. Players taking breaks returning to the base to recover HP and MP will always affect the pacing of the game and as an esport this is likely a concern for Valve. 7-dota2


  Dota 2's 7.00 patch is live now, and comes with the above changes as well as nerfs and alterations to some of the game's characters. You can check out the full details of Dota 2's 7.00 patch for more info on how your favourite character has been affected.