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    Dota 2 – Walk Down Memory Lane – Crazy Concepts And Heroes

    When we launched our new achievements feature, we were happy to see how the community reacted to it. Our Arbitrary Awards, especially, seemed to be well received– who doesn’t like bragging about playing Dota since 2011 and remembering things such as when Io was still called Wisp.
    DotA:Allstars and Dota 2 both have a rich story behind them and in the years of developing this game into the big title that it is today, we’ve seen some crazy things. If you look back on it now, it seems almost surreal to think that some concepts were once part of the game.

    Crazy hero concepts

    Still today we see hero concepts being reworked and further developed. Patch 6.86 had 5 heroes see their spells reworked, and to some degree, their fundamental playstyle as well. Faceless Void was designed out of a carry position into more of a utility core and Riki is still looking for his identity.

    These concepts needed little tweaking, as the following patches 6.86b to f showed, but we have long passed the point where almost every second balance patch would introduce some big ability or concept change. Riki is certainly one of the more recent examples with vast changes to the abilities in the past two years, much like Bloodseeker, Terrorblade or Silencer.

    Back in the day however, we used to see changes of concepts much more frequently. Why? Because some concepts just turned out to be way too strong and would probably even today be deemed “op”.

    For one, there have been several heroes and concepts that were just completely disregarded. Gambler, a 25 spell heavy Invoker and the undead monster that Pudge once was would be challenging to balance around nowadays. For a refresh on these heroes and their abilities, read this forum post.

    Fat Pudge and Crazy Zombies

    Pudge is a good example of one of the crazy heroes to think about. Flesh Heap currently provides extra strength based on the amount of heroes that have died near Pudge. Up until 6.64, he used to gain strength from creep kills as well though.

  • Each unit Pudge kills grants him 0.03/0.06/0.09/0.12 strength if it was a non-hero unit, and 0.9/1.2/1.5/1.8 if it was a hero.
  • Pudge has to make the last hit to gain the strength. Works on denies.
  • With how efficiently camps are stacked these days, the idea of gaining strength based on creep kills seems surreal. Granted these numbers seem somewhat balanced (100CS for 12 str), but it is still a concept that we haven’t seen around since.

    Note: Loud music, careful with headphones

  • Calls the Undying’s fellow zombies out of the earth to fight. Once a zombie attacks six times, another one will rise alongside it.
  • When a zombie dies, its reanimating life force returns to Dirge, healing him by 50 hp.
  • Do you like playing against Undying? Let’s be real here, nobody does. Unless you like picking Gyrocopter. Either way, Undying is not fun to play against, since he can be a pest as Tombstone seems to be too strong early on. Not to be that guy, but Tombstone seems like a kid’s birthday party compared to what Undying used to be able to do before. As mentioned above, “Raise Dead”, one of his former spells, used to summon zombies that could summon even more, much like an Eidelon. All kinds of playstyles seemed viable, such as jungling him, solo-ing Roshan or just diving the tower whenever you felt like it.

    Interactions and mechanics

    Blink Dagger – Now gets disabled for 3 seconds upon taking damage

    Yes, you are reading this correctly. There was a time when Blink Dagger would not be disabled when taking damage.

    Do you know this feeling? Chasing an opponent who has a Blink Dagger, nervously trying to keep the damage up so he cannot Blink away. All of that was moot once, so picking off an opponent was quite the task without any lockdown. These days, people are annoyed by [missing hero: outworld-devourer], whose Astral Imprisonment allows him to Blink out of danger as much as he likes, much like Puck‘s Phase Shift.

    Elder Titan (Tauren Chieftain) Spirit

    Elder Titan is the third least played hero in the pub scene right now and virtually non existent in the professional scene. The hero doesn’t seem fun to playThere was a time however, when there was something special about him that made him quite interesting. Up until patch 6.75, roughly half a year before ET was added to Dota2, his Ancestral/Astral Spirit was not controllable. Not by conventional means anyway. It would act as a mirror image and move the same way you did in the direction you casted it into. While this was heavily confusing for newer players, it allowed more skilled players to abuse the mechanic for some neat little tricks, such as sniping weakened opponents in their base.

    Phantom Assassin – Don’t you dare buy Aura items

    In DotA, Phantom Assassin’s Blur used to be quite the spell. Not only did it provide the evasion as it does now, but it also provided transparency. Yes, you could be virtually invisible in the game with this hero once. A level 4 Blur would leave Mortred to be the silent assassin that she was. Often enough, you’d almost be dead before even noticing her presence.

    There was however one little trick that allowed you to see her: Auras! Back in DotA:Allstars, auras would be visible around the hero, indicated by a certain ring or symbol at the feet of the hero. This was often reason enough not to purchase any aura items, such as Ring of Basilius, to keep her less noticeable and stealthy.

    You will always remembers

    Dota as a game has such a rich history. With millions of players, everyone develops his own attachment to the game and has his own experiences. While all the crazy ideas and concepts mentioned above were all in DotA:Allstars, Dota 2 itself has had some crazy ones as well. To think that Io‘s Tether once stunned enemy heroes upon impact seems unreal at this point. Even the most recent changes to Winter Wyvern make the hero look stupidly strong in retrospect: an AoE ulti that pierced magic immunity and you could damage all affected heroes/units? Madness.

    Every patch, there is a new “op” hero, a pubstomper, a go-to hero that people despise. It may be Invoker or Spectre now, but in a year it could be some hero we don’t even have on our radar just yet. And that’s the beauty of the game. It keeps on changing, it keeps on giving and it keeps on creating beautiful memories. Except for 6.83’s Hoho Haha, there was nothing beautiful about that.

    Image Sources:

    kunkka on deviantart

    As seen on Dotabuff

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