The Dueling Fates update, which is now live on the main servers, has had everyone in the Dota 2 community either amazed or extremely baffled since the patch notes were posted two days ago.
Lead developer IceFrog has always been known for his insane approach to balancing the game. Pretty much every major patch has had its share of jaw-dropping changes, with the last one almost always topping the one before it.
With an unreadably long changelog, Patch 7.07 could very well be the largest update in the game’s history. And boy, did the almighty frozen toad provide and deliver.
There are minute adjustments to gameplay mechanics, heroes, and items like usual—but the more significant changes are making people wonder whether IceFrog has truly gone off the deep end.
Before you try out the new patch, we decided to break down the changes we think are the most stunning and stupefying. Read on, and be prepared.
New toys to play with
Dota 2’s extremely powerful, momentum-swinging items set it apart from others in the MOBA genre. Things like Black King Bar, Force Staff, Boots of Travel, and Aghanim’s Scepter can sometimes win games on their own.
In this update, IceFrog has added five new items for players to include in their builds. Out of the five the Aeon Disk is perhaps the most interesting, as it is the first item in the game to provide a strong dispel.
Ability-reliant heroes that are susceptible to stuns and long duration disables will definitely appreciate the Aeon Disk. Initiators such as Magnus, Earthshaker, and Enigma would also find a use for it, since the strong dispel also reduces incoming damage.
Items thrown into the trash
It’s official: IceFrog is absolutely unafraid to completely delete things from the game outright. The items Iron Talon and Poor Man’s Shield have both been removed from Dota 2, making it seem as though they were always a huge mistake.
Iron Talon was a very cost-effective item for both junglers and offlaners, allowing them to deal incredible damage to large neutral creeps from level 1. Even heroes that were not necessarily designed to be able to jungle from the beginning of the game could benefit from an Iron Talon pickup, making the laning phase much easier on them.
Poor Man’s Shield, on the other hand, made sidelane farming heroes unfairly resilient in the laning phase. Melee carries with Poor Man’s Shield did not have to fear harassment from enemy offlaners and/or supports, giving them all the confidence in the world when it came to last hitting creeps.
But more important than the actual removal of these items is the precedent this sets when it comes to the game’s balance from here on. Now that we know IceFrog isn’t above banishing items from the game, who’s to say that we won’t see the same happen again in the future—maybe even to heroes? He’s certainly done it before.
The Immortal One’s refreshing reward
Going for Roshan is a very rewarding endeavor. The first time your team kills him, you get an extra life on one of your heroes. The second time around, you get that plus an item that instantly restores a large amount of health and mana. Oh, and you get gold and experience, too.
This time, though, IceFrog is kicking it up several notches. Upon Roshan’s third death, he now drops a single-use, consumable Refresher Orb.
No, we’re not kidding. An item that normally costs more than 5,000 gold is now dropped by Roshan, giving teams even more incentive to contest the area around his pit in the late game. Having the ability to instantaneously reset your cooldowns without spending any money can be tremendously valuable, especially if your draft contains a hero with a big teamfight ultimate.
Just imagine how scary a Refresher Orb-fueled death push would be, with the Aegis and Cheese factored in as well. On the flipside, this addition will inevitably produce some more hype moments where players try to steal the Refresher Orb as soon as Roshan dies.
Everyone is truly talented
IceFrog has gone for a total overhaul of every hero’s talent tree. More than a few talents from the 7.06 era have been completely swapped out for new ones, with most of them being bound to specific hero abilities.
Some of the new talents are innocuous at best—but there are ones that will make you stare at the changelog in disbelief.
Let’s start off small, with Doom, for example. His left branch level 25 talent now gives Infernal Blade a scaling component to its damage calculation, dealing three percent of the target’s maximum health as additional damage. Not bad—this allows Doom to better deal with tanks in the late game.
Working our way up the ladder, we have Puck’s new right branch level 25 talent, which causes Dream Coil to auto attack all enemy heroes caught in it once every 0.6 seconds. Interesting, yes, but not really crazy enough to warrant screaming at your monitor yet.
And then there’s this:
We wish we were hallucinating. At level 25, Techies players can now choose to make their mines mobile, as if dealing with the hero wasn’t enough of a headache.
Whether or not this will truly change the hero’s dynamic has yet to be seen, of course, but either way this is proof positive that IceFrog likes to make ridiculous mechanics that seem like they came from Reddit.
There are many, many more talents out there that have the potential to make you laugh, cry, or both at the same time. Faceless Void’s old Backtrack is making its return via a level 25 talent. Tiny can now opt to have three charges to cast Toss with, and the same goes for Mirana with her Leap.
Death Prophet’s Exorcism now grants Haste with the right branch talent. Invoker gets Cataclysm, which places two Sun Strikes next to every enemy hero on the map. Wisp can now grant Aghanim’s Scepter bonuses to the hero it uses Tether on, and at level 15 no less!
Love or hate these changes and additions, it’s clear that IceFrog still has plenty of ideas left to keep Dota 2 interesting and fresh for years to come. Every new patch seems to shatter all expectations in terms of how ludicrous the changelog will look.
One thing’s for sure, though: The respective metagames of both the public matchmaking and professional scenes will be practically unrecognizable for the next few weeks.