Tilting Scales;Why DoTA 2 Will Never Be The Same Again

Defense of The Ancients 2 – Episode 6.86 : The Clone Fix

     A few days ago,DoTA 2 received the famed 6.86 update.Post one of its most game-changing updates since April’s 6.84,DoTA 2 is a very different game for some,whilst staying almost unchanged for many,and here’s our quick little re-cap,and a review of sorts,of the state of affairs after a further 6.86b came out some time ago.

ARC WARDEN

     While a major section of the community might still be waiting with baited breath for the OTHER hero that Valve had promised,fans and players alike were undoubtedly in for a treat,courtesy Zet,the Arc Warden finally making his transition to DoTA 2.Who is he?Well,lorewise,Zet is supposed to be an existence that shares his being with the central plot armor of DoTA-verse – The Ancients,and his primary mission is to stop their war,be it through destruction or “reunification” of either or both Ancients,alluding to further lore of how said Ancients were once one in the same.

     Why the hype around this figure?Well,Arc Warden(For safety’s sake,let’s just stick to calling him Arc Warden) is a hero most professional and high tier players alike refer to having possibly one of the highest skill caps in the game,and that’s for good measure.He’s a utilitarian hero who can freely transition between a semi-support character,a constant objective taker,to even a core of the team,owing to his heavily diverse array of skills and item possibilities.Also,a good thing to include here would be that his Ultimate ability essentially clones himself and ALL his presently carried items(bar few),refreshing their cool-downs on the clone,AND slightly expanding on the possibility of there being…….expensive throws(I’m looking at you,rapier rush).Players across all skill caps have taken to the hero and experiments are running aplenty,with only the future to be a decisive factor in limiting the possibilities of play-style.Also,to note,newly included are the once-rumored Desert Terrain map-mod pack,available exclusively to owners of the International 2015 Compendium,and a brand-spanking new Arcana(DoTA 2 lingo for a fancy new hat) for none other than His Majesty,Zeus.

BIG,SMALL,AND OTHER NOTICEABLE CHANGES

     As with previous,major updates,6.86 brought major changes to the sole primary map,prompting multiple laning/jungling strategies to completely rethink themselves,what with new routes,sneaky juke spots,three new jungle camps,and elevated visibility playing as big of a role as it’s always had,and the customary new items are probably the biggest things to write home about.

     DoTA 2 finally brings to players items that extend spell and ability attack range AND passively increase base damage,and the interaction between active abilities and passive skills with the aforementioned should make for some sweet number-crunching.What this does at base level,is that it makes choice a very decisive factor.Would you opt for that sweet little mobility item,or would you try out something that lets you fling a burning softball that delivers an explosive nuclear shower to die for?Would you rush a Black King Bar for temporary Magic Immunity,or an Aghanim’s Scepter for that oh-so-delectable ability upgrade,or would you take things slow and steady and improvise as per newly acquired game-play options?With pros,scrubs,and devotees off to grind their hours,the struggle is very real.

     Also worth noting,are the immense changes to almost every hero available in-game.Who would’ve thought that the massive attention given to item-based ability upgrades over the past 2 major updates would carry through?Seriously,who in their right minds would think that heroes who are already very viable should receive buffs that catapult them to an even further elevation of game-play?Most,if not all,of the prior favorites from 6.85 have already received major,and in certain cases almost sequential,nerfs while ALL others have been buffed in ways varying from obvious,to necessary,to even insignificant.BUT,HOW DOES ALL THIS MAKE THE GAME COMPLETELY DIFFERENT FROM WHAT IT WAS ONLY THREE WEEKS AGO?Well,factor in 3 instantaneous,long-awaited additions to Captains’ Mode,with Team [A]lliance already starting off the Oracle bandwagon,4 subsequent additions(Death Prophet,Doombringer,Lone Druid,Faceless Void and Winter Wyvern had been removed from the Captains’ Mode hero-pool due to the changes to some of their abilities,and then added back once everything came in order),and whoop-de-doo it’s not so same anymore,innit?

     Certain item-interactions have been altered in ways that heavily affect early game strategies,even extending late into the game for many;Passive skills(VERY different from those in…….THE OTHER GAME) are in for a scare as a specific mechanic that serves to temporarily negate their effects has been buffed;Aghanim’s Scepter is back to upgrading certain non-ultimate abilities that show brilliant synergy with new,old,and forgotten tricks;The role of a team’s core holds as much responsibility now as never before;The jungle and junglers,alike,are in a whole other level of harmony;PRO PUDGE AND INVOKER PICKS ARE COMING;Rikimaru and Faceless Void are most certainly NOT broken,as popular gossip suggests……..i could go on,and on,but i’ll let readers explore 6.86 on their own instead of throwing so many of my own opinions at them.

     In all,it’s a good time to be learning the game.From navigating terrain changes,to working new stuff through and through,the experiences shared will surely vary not just from game to game,but during the different phases of a single game itself.It’s never been more crucial to effectively “Think before you leap”(Sorry Slark and Mirana players,but the joke is real),and fundamental knowledge of characters on the map is key to enjoying even custom games.One thing is obvious though,regardless of how much i’d love repeating it,a lot has changed,so are you game?

Elliot

Elliot

Writer,practitioner of the Sodium Chloride infestation,self-taught MOBA player,lyricist,line artist,avid Duel Masters(OCG),Pokemon,Hearthstone player,and genuine abomination.

  • MandyBoy

    I would beg to differ. Dota 2 has not changed except the OP heroes changing from time to time since the days of 6.84. Low Creep bounty is the main reason, I feel. I reckon, the game has become more casual spectator-friendly than before, but the various strats which you could implement on a DotA match are not viable anymore. Split push and 4p1 both are dead. The days of utility mids are long-gone. Recurrent teamfights are the only way to go now.nnI highly expected, 6.86 would increase creep bounty and would make all strats viable again, but Icefrog has other intentions maybe.

    • Eddy Wolfsbane

      Spectator-friendly,yes.Casual?Erm..i beg to differ on that.nThe lowered creep bounty from 6.84 actually,in my opinion,pushed the game more towards actual team-fights and hero kills as opposed to “farm till the end-game”.nA lot of the strats from DoTA aren’t viable here because DoTA has all of its heroes practically unchanged as opposed to the constant re-scaling/re-tuning that you get in this iteration.Just look at Eredar from DotA and compare him to Shadow Demon from DoTA 2.Both are very much viable as a utility mid hero,especially with the metagame becoming VERY fast-paced when it comes to constant lane rotations.BUT,the necessity of one as a roaming support and the obvious usage of the other as one of the scariest heroes in the game,is what might answer your question.It’s all about choices and how you implement them,innit?Just look at the fact that TINY just got played as a roaming support,why not?nAnd,if you want the game to be more spectator-friendly,and actually accessible to a more varied community that likes to learn through what it observes,then why not push team-efforts a bit more than solo-capability? 😛