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6.80 Patch Comes to DotA 2: Adds New Heroes, New Event and Big Changes

UPDATE: The patch is now live!

If you’re a fan of Dota 2, you should know that there are big changes coming to the game in the latest patch; chief among them are the new heroes, Terrorblade and Phoenix. Several changes will be made to the games heroes as well- there are many nerfs and several buffs. First, though, let’s take a look at the promised event.

New Bloom Festival and New Game Modes

Valve has announced the New Bloom Festival, which seems to be based around the Chinese New Year- the festival brings with it a gorgeous new themed map, along with a new game mode: Battle of the Year Beast. In this mode, players fight the mythical Year Beast- the better they do, the better the items they receive shall be. The Year Beast is one tough cookie- apparently, he can grab players. Should this happen, it’ll become necessary to free said player with a firework- a new item that’s crafted using Flamesalt Ingots, which are granted automatically at the end of matches.

DotA 2 New Bloom map screenshot

A screenshot of the New Bloom map in Dota 2. The Chinese New Year theme shines through clearly, and it’s a nice change of scenery.

“Pieces of the Year Beast” will also be dropped- it’s used to craft fancy new items for Earth Spirit, Enchantress, Alchemist, Juggernaut, and Phantom Lancer. There are plenty of new item sets for other heroes as well, such as Lina, Windrunner- excuse me, Wind Ranger, Legion Commander and more.

Besides the Battle of the Year Beast, there’s also going to be a new mode called Random Ability Draft- here’s the official description:

Trade the organized chaos of Dota 2 for a taste of pure bedlam! Unlocked at level 11, in this mode each player is randomly assigned a hero, and each hero’s abilities are placed into a pool. Players then take turns choosing which abilities their hero will bring into battle. Behold the majesty of a Pouncing Pudge, witness Axe fumbling with Psi Blades, and experience the terror of Illusory Orb Magnus.

What would Broodmother be like with Keeper of the Light’s abilities? What would Bloodseeker be like when combined with Puck? I’m not sure, though I have a sneaking suspicion that this mode might be handy for creating new heroes once the heroes from the original Defense of the Ancients are all added to Dota 2.

New Heroes

Probably the most exciting part of this update (not to say that the new game mode is unexciting) are the new heroes- Terrorblade and Phoenix.

Screenshot 2014-01-29 12.22.35

Terrorblade, to start with, has some pretty terrifying abilities. His first is Reflection, which creates a double of whatever foe he happens to be facing, which attacks the original and slows its attack speed. His second ability, Conjure Image, brings forth a second, slightly smaller Terrorblade (L’il Terror) to fight alongside big Terror. Metamorphasis is his third ability, and it swaps his usual melee attack for a ranged, while granting additional damage. His ultimate ability, Sunder, is truly horrifying. It swaps his health with that of any hero- ally or enemy. Thus, a dying Terrorblade can steal the health of a well-to-do enemy. This will be terrifying when paired with a Refresher Orb- the cost of the recipe for said orb, by the way, has been reduced from 1875 to an even 1800.

DotA 2 Phoenix ArtPhoenix is a character that I’ve been looking forward to for quite a while- in spite of never having played the original DotA, I loved the idea of having a Phoenix character in Dota 2- here’s what he can do:

Phoenix’s first ability is Icarus Dive, which causes him to dive forward and deal damage to enemies, as well as slowing them. His second ability, Fire Spirits, costs health instead of mana, and creates little phoenixes that can be tossed at enemies to cause damage over time- it’s a little reminiscent of one of Weaver’s attacks. Phoenix’s third ability, Sun Ray, causes damage to foes and heals allies, at the cost of health. Finally, Phoenix’s ultimate ability, Supernova, allows him to become a ball of burning energy that both burns nearby foes and, if allowed to “finish”, will stun any who dare remain nearby and restore Phoenix’s health.At the time of my writing this, I haven’t yet played Phoenix- looking at his abilities, however, I suspect that players comfortable with Crystal Maiden will have a good time with Phoenix- they just have to be sure to purchase items that regen HP to make up for the health loss from Fire Spirits and Sun Ray. Whatever the case, Phoenix will be a fantastic support.

Changes

Dota 2 is a strategy game with over 100 playable characters, each with a different set of abilities; as a result, it’s tricky balancing them to play well together. The full changelog is here, on the official Dota 2 website. There have been a few notable nerfs and buffs, along with changes to the game in general- check them out below.

A few hero changes stuck out to me- to start with, my favorite hero received a severe nerf. Broodmother can no longer walk off the the map’s bounds, and her maps no longer provide 200 vision of whatever area they’re built over- both fair changes, though the latter certainly makes her less spider-like. The last change, however, seems a little harsh- to directly quote the official announcement, “Free pathing is now removed when enemies have vision over you”. If you’ve been playing the latest (6.79) version of Broodmother, you know that she can drop her webs anywhere and use them to escape- she becomes invisible after sitting still in her web a little while, and can run through a solid object wherever her web is placed. Now, however, she won’t be able to instantly run into the trees beyond the reach of enemy heroes, being forced to wait until she’s invisible- this is problematic. Suppose the enemy team has a Bloodseeker and Broodmother’s health is low- the enemy team will be able to see her, and she’ll have a much harder time escaping. Frankly, I have a big bias in favor of Broodmother- she was the first hero I ever played, and I’m a little disappointed whenever she’s nerfed. This nerf in particular makes her, a fragile hero, far too easy to counter- hopefully she’ll receive a buff in the next patch.

At least there's a new custom spiderling coming to this set.

At least there’s a new custom spiderling coming to this set.

There have been a couple of interesting changes made to Meepo, one of the most difficult characters to play as- they are as follows:

  • Divided We Stand level requirement reduced from 4/11/18 to 3/10/17
  • Divided We Stand now passively reduces your revive timer by 10%/20%/30%

In short, we’ll have more Meepo in less time- perhaps players will find him less intimidating to play as.

The little-seen Treant Protector has also seen some interesting changes- his ultimate ability, Overgrowth, now stretches further, and Nature’s Guise has an increased cast range.

As for items, there have been other little changes as well- Iron Branch now costs 50 gold instead of 53- good news for folks building items with them at the start of the game. Both Observer and Sentry Wards can now be shared- a team with a pair of supports is now able to ward both rune locations without losing time- a very smart change. The selection timer in All Pick mode now takes 75 seconds instead of 60, and you lose one gold per second if you haven’t picked a hero by the time the timer runs out. This seems to have been done primarily to reduce the amount of counter-picking- how well it will work remains to be seen.

For a more in-depth examination of the patch, check out this fantastic analysis!

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