Friday, October 18, 2013

6.79 Changelog Highlights


DOTA2 6.79 changelog

For the most part, changes that involve pure "number" tweaks - changing values on damage, cooldown, or mana cost - generally don't require a player to change their playstyle in response and thus can be more or less ignored if you're in a hurry.

Thus here's a "quick guide" to patch 6.79 - I'm going to summarize the key changes that force players to alter their playstyle and approach to the game.

Jungle Changes

* Non-Ancient Neutrals now split XP with all heroes in the AoE instead of just the team that killed them
* Swapped the medium pullable Neutral Camp with the small camp

This makes disrupting enemy supports trying to pull a lot easier, as you only need to be nearby to claim exp from the camp. Switching the camps around nerfs junglers who have to start with the easy camps, as doing so will disrupt your pull camp. The net result of these changes is to reduce the pool of possible junglers and make it more rewarding to lane instead: though, this doesn't affect specialist junglers like Nature's Prophet, Chen, Enchantress, or Enigma. I suspect Icefrog didn't like the passive jungle play that revolved around non-jungler specialists just clearing the easy camp over and over again. Some games would even devolve into a mid, safelane carry and 3 junglers passively farming away. Those specialist junglers typically have a kit that allows them strong gank potential and even the ability to offensive jungle.


  Tranquil Boots

Active Boots:
+ 85 Movement speed
+ 4 Armor
+ 10 HP Regeneration

Broken Boots:
+ 60 Movement speed
+ 4 Armor
Restores when you haven't attacked or been attacked in the last 13 seconds.

Cannot be disassembled

I honestly have no idea what will happen to these boots, except that these are excellent for gankers and roamers, which have fallen out of favour due to defensive trilaning. Now that Icefrog is trying to nerf defensive trilaning, the meta may shift towards roamers using these boots. They aren't useful for lane supports who harass the enemy and deny, and not useful for junglers. Especially not for heroes that would currently build these as early sustain and disassemble them into Vladmir's Offering or other items later. Or maybe they will be - who knows.


Mechanics Changes

* Can no longer orb-attack while attack restricted (such as Ethereal or Frostbite)

Orb change is primarily aimed at Huskar abusing Ghost Scepter to attack the enemy while being physical immune himself, but this is a large buff to Crystal Maiden and other heroes which can disable attacks (Treant, Invoker, Silencer) but couldn't disable manual-cast orb attacks before.



- Culling Blade no longer goes on cooldown if it successfully kills a hero
- Culling Blade manacost reduced from 150/200/250 to 60/120/180



- Base damage reduced from 48-52 to 38-42

This reduces his overly strong laning phase, so he's not such a dominant solo. Note that his 50 damage previously was average to high, while 40 damage now is low - however a single stack of sticky napalm increases his damage by 10, so his laning phase isn't a complete loss but he is forced into skilling that first. 



- Drunken Haze affects a 200 AoE around the target
- Reworked Primal Split Aghanim upgrade.
No longer upgrades any stats, cd, duration, etc on Aghanim.
Instead, it now grants Thunderclap to Earth, Drunken Haze to Storm, and Drunken Brawler to Fire.



- Spin Web AoE increased from 650 to 900
- Spin Web no longer destroys trees
- Broodmother now has completely unobstructed movement when under the web (can walk over cliffs, trees, etc)

Very nice thematic change here, strengthening her ability to play the solo offlane role.



- Added Aghanim's upgrade: Static Storm silences items, and lasts an extra 2 seconds

This was necessary because Disruptor was completely countered by BKBs. Now if he gets the initiation off the enemy can't simply BKB, shrug off the silence then walk through the kinetic field.



- Darkness causes enemy vision to be reduced by 25% (affects heroes, creeps and wards)

This ability is probably in homage to the Dark Lady in HON and gives you an incentive to use Darkness even at night. It will work well to reduce the enemy team's situational awareness, especially given the nerfs to many heroes night-vision range in this patch.


  Phantom Assassin

- Stifling Dagger shares the same crit chance/factor as Coup de Grace

With max Coup de Grace a Stifling Dagger crit is devastating, doing about 405 pure damage. (in comparison, a level 1 Laguna Blade does only 338 damage after reductions)


    Pudge / Vengeful Spirit

- Can now use Blink Dagger

This was previously prevented because you could hook people into impassable terrain. Instead now heroes that get hooked into impassable terrain are able to walk through cliffs and trees for a few seconds to escape.



- Added Aghanim's upgrade: reduces cooldown from 20/18/16 to 5, increases cast range from 1000 to 1400 and makes all stolen spells be considered to have their Aghanim's upgrade

This actually makes Aghanim a core item on him similar to Invoker.


  Skeleton King

- Removed Mortal Strike active
- Vampiric Aura now provides full effectiveness on ranged units



- Sprint speed increased from 20/27/33/40% to 20/28/36/44%
- Sprint manacost removed (was 50)

This is a large buff to Slardar's ability to roam and gank. This will become a core element of his gameplay much like Phase Shift did on Puck when it lost its mana cost.



- Shadow Dance duration reduced from 5.5 to 4
- Shadow Dance cooldown increased from 25 to 65
- Shadow Dance can no longer be revealed by Truesight

Players will need to use Ghost Scepters to counter Slark players instead of detection.



- Nether Strike now uses 1.2 Cast Time instead of a 1 sec magic immune delay (can be interrupted as a result)

Being able to interrupt this is pretty crucial: it will be similar to having a Sand King using Burrow-Strike, you have to be ready with the stun to cancel the Epicentre.


  Linken's Sphere
- Linken's Sphere can now be cast on an allied hero to transfer the buff