The latest Dota 2 Patch 7.20 is out. And I must say that rarely have we seen such a large patch, not just for Dota 2, but for any game that is played competitively. Usually, companies like to proceed in small steps, test everything thoroughly and then make additional changes according to what is needed to either balance the game or give it a fresh new look.
Patch 7.20 brought about so many changes that if you stopped playing the game a week before its release and came back now, you would start to feel a bit like Gandalf: “I have no memory of this place.” And yet, the core of the game is still the same. Or at least, that’s what you need to tell yourself to make it seem like your strategies will continue to work in spite of all the hero reworks and game changes.
Many of the standard elements of the game have been modified. Here’s a list of them:
Dota 2 Patch 7.20 New Hero Selection
- The Daily Bonus Hero concept has been removed
- The Random function once again picks from the entire hero pool, but now ignores your 25 least played heroes
- The Random function can now only be used for the first two hero picks on your team
In other words, you have less freedom, but also fewer options to ruin your team’s game. Which is good I think. Too many people used to troll by randoming their hero pick late into the draft, effectively rendering their team’s entire strategy ineffective.
- The Armor formula was changed to this: ( 0.052 * Armor ) / ( 0.9+ 0.048 * Armor )
- Updated various armor values to closely align with the new formula:
- Tier 1 Towers: 17 to 12
- Tier 2 Towers: 19 to 14
- Tier 3 Towers: 19 to 14
- Tier 4 Towers: 29 to 21
- Ancient: 18 to 13
- Fillers: 14 to 10
- Shrines: 24 to 17
- Melee Barracks: 18 to 13
- Ranged Barracks: 12 to 9
In some sense, everything has become easier to destroy. Rushes and sustained push strats will now be a much more common thing than in previous patches. What patch 7.20 does is to increase the tempo of the game and make it a lot more like StarCraft. You can still play a long waiting game, but there’s also a good chance that your opponent will force you to fight early.
- The Town Portal Scroll can now be canceled and prevented by Root
- Stasis Trap now provides True Sight
- The following roots no longer interrupt channeling spells or the current action: Dark Troll Ensnare, Searing Chains, Naga Siren Ensnare, Crystal Maiden Frostbite, Entangling Claws, Nature's Guise, and Overgrowth
Teleporting out in the middle of a fight has just become a lot more difficult. That’s because there are plenty of Root sources in the game, including the obvious Rod of Atos, which isn’t all that expensive. And with this nerf to teleporting, heroes such as Arc Warden and Tinker may have a hard time winning and abusing their abilities as easily as they used to.
DOTA Map Changes
- The map has been reworked
This is a neutral change, although some say it’s for the better. I personally don’t like it because it ruins my farming habits. It also disorients me for some reason but still, I’m pretty sure I’ll get used to it within a few weeks. There are also new pull and stack timings, as can be seen below.
- Denies no longer give the denier 25% XP
- Creep denies now give the denier 20% of the gold bounty
This is an absolutely massive change that will bring about a completely new meta in early game 1v1 battles. Coupled with the sound of receiving gold, it will compel players to dedicate a lot more focus to denying creeps from their opponents.
On the other hand, this change makes the game more balanced early on. In the former version of Dota 2, 1v1 battles were often so one-sided that after just 2 minutes one of the heroes got a massive level advantage which translated into a lot more damage and power to control the lane. This used to snowball into a game winning situation for that player’s side.
- Added a new dedicated inventory slot to hold Town Portal Scrolls
- Boots of Travel: No longer shares cooldown with Town Portal Scrolls. Upon teleporting, +10 seconds are now added to your Town Portal Scroll cooldown
The inventory space is pure gold and basically allows people to buy a lot more early game items without having to worry about inventory management. So it’s not entirely unusual to see heroes with 3 Wraith Bands at the 10 minute mark.
- Stacked Neutral creeps now give the stacker 35% of the bounty instead of 25%
- Non-Ancient Neutrals now provide 5% more gold bounty
People who play heroes that tend to stack camps and kill them easily, such as Templar Assassin, will certainly enjoy this change.
Hero Kill Bounty XP
- Killing Sprees now give an XP bonus ranging from 200 to 1250
- Reworked and simplified XP hero kill bounty system. No longer includes a team XP component
What this means is that supports will feel incentivized to steal kills, just to get more levels early on. And it will probably be worth it for their team if they succeed at it.
DOTA 2 Reworked Mana and HP Regen
- Reworked Mana and HP regen from attributes. They are no longer multipliers of your regeneration values
- Mana Regen: Intelligence now provides +0.05 mana regeneration
- Mana Regen: rebalanced mana regen values based on the formula change
- Mana Regen: removed the +0.9 base mana regen value
- Health Regen: Base regen values reduced by 1.5
- Health Regen: Rebalanced health regen values based on the formula change
- Health Regen: Strength now provides +0.1 Health Regeneration
These are positive changes for the most part, although it all depends on what items you buy. Some builds might have to be adjusted because of them.
Cleave Damage and Splash Damage Changes
- Cleave damage is now normal physical damage type, causing it to get reduced by the armor of each unit impacted
- Cleave abilities damage values have been rescaled
- Increased standard Cleave area. Distance increased from 625 to 650, the final width increased from 330 to 360
Effects: Great Cleave, Empower, Battle Fury, and Talents
- Templar Assassin: Psi Blades can now spill off of illusions
- Changed how illusions' incoming damage is processed; it now happens at the final step
- Fixed Splash damage being affected by Spell Lifesteal and Spell Amplification
- Fixed Splash damage not considering armor type
- Black Dragon Splash Attack damage type changed from Magical Damage to Physical Damage
- Black Dragon Splash Attack now does its full damage in the 250 AoE
- Similar adjustments to Dragon Knight's splash damage described below
- Black King Bar: Recipe cost increased from 1375 to 1450
- Poison Sting can now be dispelled
- Hex state can now be removed by strong dispels
Cleave is now a more powerful thing, which means that heroes such as Magnus and Sven will probably become a thing again.
The new Hex mechanic is also a big deal. I believe that it will lead to fewer Scythes of Vyse being purchased, as the nerf is substantial.
Towers and Structures
- Towers no longer gain extra armor per nearby enemy hero. Tower health increased to account for some of this:
- Tier 1 Towers health increased from 1600 to 1800
- Tier 2 Towers health increased from 1600 to 1900
- Tier 3 Towers health increased from 1600 to 2000
- Tier 4 Towers health increased from 1600 to 2100
- Melee Barracks health increased from 2000 to 2200
- Ranged Barracks health increased from 1200 to 1300
- Ancient health increased from 4250 to 4500
This balances the armor reduction for structures a little bit, but not enough to deter those who like to use rush strategies.