Image by JUCH
Social isolation got you feeling isolated? Quarantined and tired of counting the tiles in your kitchen? Well there’s a new game in town, it’s called Dota 2! Well, it’s not new but if you’re looking to start playing again since you’re stuck inside all day, it’s almost a new game, a lot has changed.
In this article, we’ll be covering some of the most prominent changes Dota 2 has seen in the past year so you can get excited about playing again.
Quality of life changes
A main driving force behind changes to the game has been to increase the quality of life for players. One of the most frustrating parts of the game (and in life) is sharing. Sharing one donkey to deliver items to five different players wasn’t the smoothest part of Dota.
It often led to griefing and it was a little tilting to have your courier taken and then die because your BKB didn’t get delivered.
Now that problem is solved. Everyone has their own courier now so you don’t have to share! Position 5s can now buy items from minute 0 without getting flamed now.
Couriers also level up when you do and gain flying abilities at level 5.
In more quality of life changes, Observer Wards are now free. Sentry Wards cost 75 gold and there’s a stock of 10 available.
Now cores have no excuse for there not being wards on the map. Get your own free ward from your personal donkey and place them yourself!
If you kill an enemy ward, whoever placed the Sentry Ward gets the gold. So there are more ways that griefing is canceled. Having an Anti Mage blink in and use Battlefury on a ward you were auto attacking as Crystal Maiden to steal your gold can be tilting. Now you call over your Anti Mage to blink in and kill the ward so you can get out of there faster.
Everyone gets three TP scrolls at the start of the game.
One of the biggest changes to the game has been the addition of neutral items. Neutral items are items dropped by neutral creeps after you kill them and the items scale in effectiveness as the game progresses.
These items aren’t as impactful as you may think. They’re pretty useful in the best case.
Neutral items are another addition to promoting harmonious gameplay between teammates. Since the items are free and different items benefit different roles, you want to give these free items to your teammates because it helps your chance of winning when your team has more useful items.
Snapfire is a ranged strength hero that has emerged as a support. She had her moment as a very overpowered hero as discussed in this article but it seems like she has stopped being so strong recently.
Void Spirit is a melee intelligence hero who has emerged as a mid and core. He also had his moment as an overpowered hero but now his win rate is around 50%.
Both of these heroes are unique and fun to play. If you’re thinking of coming back, becoming good at these heroes could be a good idea since everyone is pretty new to them and you can quickly pick up a niche hero.
The map is always changing but the most prominent map changes have been the addition of Outposts. Outposts are buildings that reside in each team’s large jungle and they provide some vision, can be overtaken by each team, allow you to TP to it, and provide bonus XP every 10 minutes.
Shrines have been removed from the game. Shrines used to provide health and mana regeneration to those near it when it was activated.
The removal of Shrines and the addition of stealable Outposts in the jungle promote aggressive gameplay whereas Shrines promoted unaggressive gameplay because invading the jungle was risky.
On top of it, the most recent change also removed most net worth-based comeback mechanics from the game, instead increasing the kill streak Gold and XP bounties.
Heroes can now level to level 30. At level 30 all the talents are unlocked. This provides additional gameplay during super late game. By adding additional scaling in super late game, it can help players close out games that seem to be stalling forever.
GPM and XPM talents are also completely gone from the game. The only source of extra passive gold income is a Philosopher’s Stone neutral item.
Professional scene updates
OG made history by repeating as TI champs. They broke a few curses: no repeat champs, no back to back champs, the East and West champion tradition, and winning with the same roster twice. This was quite the lucky fluke \s.
Team Nigma (formerly Team Liquid) cemented their status as lower bracket kings. Kuroky and co. have always been a great team that can beat anyone but their performance last year (and this year) has been up and down. But when it counts, they show up big time. Not many people expected them to make it to the Grand Finals at TI9 but they dominated the lower bracket to face off against OG.
Valve is also updating their DPC system once again. They’re moving to a regional system with three majors that lead into TI. This system is meant to help the tier 2+ scene because there will be 16 teams competing at each regional league.
All in all, a lot of these changes seem to be focused on promoting harmonious team play and removing things that promote tilting. Some issues of the game have been solved like super late games dragging on and allowing heroes to scale to level 30.
Valve is also finally showing support to growing the tier 2+ professional scene. There will be Valve supported leagues that bring fans Dota all year round and people with ambitions to becoming a Dota 2 pro will have more chances to improve their skills.
If you’re looking for something to do while self-isolating at home, why not try Dota 2 again? A lot has changed and many things have changed for the better.