Today is a big day for fans of Valve’s team based real-time strategy game Dota 2, as update 7.00 is set to launch.
While game updates and patches aren’t usually big news this one brings with it a number of changes that will have an impact on not only the Dota 2 meta-game but the core mechanics as well.
Before we dive into that however, players can expect a new hero to come with the update, Monkey King, Sun Wu Kong.
The hero will be the first new character to appear in Dota since the game was a mod for WarCraft 3. Although the Monkey King was present in the original game he only appeared as a boss in a secret quest in version 6.79 of the game and was never a playable character.
The Monkey King has arrived
The hero is voiced by Matthew Mercer (who also voices Rexxar in Hearthstone) and is billed as a melee carry who can disable opponents, and make a quick getaway using the trees scattered around the map.
While players will have to get acquainted with how this hero works and where he fits into the meta-game they’ll also have to get to grips with the new Hero Talents. Every hero in the game now has base abilities as well as the chance to select a talent at levels 10, 15, 20 and 25.
At those levels players will be faced with two choices. In the instance of Wraith King players can choose to give the hero +8 Intelligence or +15 Damage at level 10. Choose wisely though because once you’ve selected one talent the other can no longer be chosen.
Three heroes have also received a remodel including Slardar, Viper and Enigma which can you can check out below.
Tired of not having a teleport scroll because you’re playing support and your carry is moaning about wards? That is all set to change with the addition of a three-item backpack.
Players can now carry three additional items with them but there is a caveat. Items in your backpack grant no passive bonuses and cannot be activated they also have a six second cooldown when moved from the inventory.
It’s also worth noting that items stored in your backpack cool down at half the rate they would in your inventory so think carefully before you put that Refresher Orb in there.
Valve has also restricted certain items from being placed in the backpack including: Gem of True Sight, Divine Rapier, Bloodstone and Aegis of the Immortal. When disassembling items, the items will attempt to fill your inventory and backpack before dropping to the ground.
A new map
While Dota‘s main map is still three lanes split down the middle by a river, there are a number of notable changes. Perhaps the most important of these is the changing of Roshan’s pit. The pit is now to the north-west of the middle lane rather than south-east. The big burly beast has also been nerfed ever so slightly.
Valve has also added a new building to the map, the shrine. The building grants heroes a 500 unit area of effect aura when activated that regenerates 12oHP and 40MP per second with those values increasing by 2HP and 1MP every minute.
Shrines grant no vision and can be destroyed after the Tier 2 lane towers go down. When destroyed by an enemy the Shrine grants 150 gold for the each player on the team which destroyed the shrine.
Runes have also changed. Power-up runes such as Regeneration and Double Damage will span at one of two points along the river. Bounty runes which grant additional gold and experience will spawn in each of the four jungles every 2 minutes and will no longer appear in the river.
There have also been a number of changes to the terrain, juke spots and ward locations that are too extensive to cover here but you can acquaint yourself with all these changes on the Dota 2 website.
The heads up display (HUD) which once spanned the entire width of your display is gone in favour of a more streamlined design. “With the debut of a completely redesigned in-game interface, players gain increased vision of the map and multiple new ways to see details of what’s happening in each game,” said Valve.
There have been a number of quality of life improvements such as displaying an item’s mana cost should it have one, one-click ability upgrades and an improved shop and courier system.
For those wondering what will happen to all the HUD skins they have, Valve has said that legacy skins have been remapped to fit the new HUD layout.
Loading up a new game will also be different. Team will still have a picking phase but there is now also a strategy phase. For 30 seconds teams will be able to buy starting items, debate where wards should go and which heroes will go down which lanes. Players can also suggest heroes for their team.
This is perhaps one of our favourite changes to the game. Rather than making a mad dash for the top or bottom Power Up rune teams can now plan their first moves more carefully and hopefully avoid those pre-horn smoke ganks.
We’ve just scratched the surface of what update 7.00 brings to Dota 2 and there will no doubt be countless dissections of the patch and what this means for the game by folks such as Ben “Noxville” Steenhuisen and other analysts such as Kevin “Purge” Godec.
Oh and before we forget, congratulations to Team OG who won the Boston Major 2016 at the weekend, they played like stars and truly deserved what is now their third Major win.
Patch 7.00 goes live around the world today.