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When the biweekly patch system was announced, I was a bit skeptical on whether or not it would be the best move for the game and if it would be appreciated by professional players as well as the community. 10 weeks into the new system, I can definitely say it is good in the way it makes players think and the meta never gets stale. For the last few patches, IceFrog has been trying to negate the early aggression and give teams that fall behind a better chance to make a recovery. I thought nerf to roaming heroes coupled with change in the gold mechanics (making buyback only net wroth dependent and removing the buyback gold penalty) seemed to be a good way of doing that, but even those changes did not have a drastic effect on the meta. Granted teams have started preferring a 2-1-2 lane system instead of a babysitter and a roaming support, but the same heroes seem to turn up in most professional games. The reason is much of the line of thinking this patch has been win lanes, get the mid TI tower early to secure better map control, grab the Aegis, play as five and get the outer towers to force the opposition into a shell in their base.

Patch 7.13 has the potential to change that. The structures have been strengthened, benefits to teams taking early objectives have been reduced and the mid-game death penalty has been eased a bit. And from the first look, it appears the new changes in attribute stand to benefit strength and intelligence heroes a lot more than agility heroes. Let us try to decipher the effect the changes can have:

1) Strong Structures

* Tier 1 Tower Team Bounty reduced from 120 to 100
* Tier 2 Tower Team Bounty reduced from 200 to 120
* Tier 3 Tower Team Bounty reduced from 200 to 140
* Tier 4 Tower Team Bounty reduced from 200 to 160
* Range barracks team bounty reduced from 150 to 100
* Filler buildings gold bounty from 125 to 75

As I mentioned earlier, the team that comes out on top in the laning stages and secured the first Roshan is most likely to get rid of the outer tower (tier 1s and tier 2s) in the first 20 minutes. The reduction in bounty puts bit of a halt to their snowball as it is less gold in the coffers for all the players. Tier 1 is only a reduction of 20 gold per player, which is not too much. Tier 2 is quite substantial, with a reduction of 80. For all three towers:

Total reduction from tier 1 towers – 60 per player, 300 per team
Total reduction from tier two towers – 240 per player, 1200 per team

That’s a total net worth setback of 300 per person and 1500 per team. That’s a decent chunk of gold for the early stages of the game, especially for supports. Tier 3 and tier 4 bounty reductions should not make too much of a difference. But a team taking a T3 and ranged barracks, the team leaves with 450 gold less as compared to earlier (90 per player).

* Glyph duration increased from 5 to 6
* Melee Barracks HP increased from 1500 to 1800
* Shrines HP increased from 1500 to 1750
* Shrines now have 5 HP regen

This is a change that will have massive repercussions in the game. Not only is less rewarding (in terms of gold) to go high ground, it just got a lot harder. The 1 second increase in Glyph duration may not seem like much, but believe me, it’s a lot! Mathematically, it’s a 20% increase in Glyph timing and more than enough to draw out a mistake from a team attempting to go high ground. This has great synergy with the buyback time rescaling, which we will see in the next section!

The increase in HP of Melee Barracks and Shrines is better than what meets the eye. The two building have a lot of armor, which means the effective HP (EHP) increase is even more.

 

Building

Armor

Earlier

Now

Melee Barracks

15

HP = 1500 (EHP = 2850)

HP = 1800 (EHP = 3420)

Shrine

24

HP = 1500 (EHP = 3660)

HP = 1750 (EHP = 4270)

 

The high armor, increase in Glyph duration and increased HP is going t make taking melee barracks a lot harder unless the team has some armor reduction in the form of a Desolator or Assault Cuirass. With Shrines having HP regen, it could make sense to pop the Glyph to defend a Shrine and take a fight there. Of course, the team would have to be ready in a good position or it will just end up being a waste of Glyph (like all my pub games). But done correctly, it could turn the tides.

 

2) Mid Game Death Punishments

* Rescaled Level 12->25 respawn time curve to be slightly less early and the same later on (changed from 48/52/54/56/58/60/70/74/76/78/82/86/90/100 to 44/46/48/50/52/54/65/70/75/80/85/90/95/100)

While playing a late game hero like Antimage or Spectre, it is all about getting to the critical mass in terms of levels and inventory, after which you are a threat that not many can deal with. The problem lies in reaching that point, especially in a meta like the one we have been playing on. Getting picked off in the process of getting there, there is a likelihood of getting picked off by the opposition. More so if they have a fast paced lineup and have take all outer towers. In cases like these, the enemy either ends up taking a set of racks or drawing out the buyback, which is really detrimental for a farm dependent hero. The rescaling of death timers gives heroes like these a bit of a margin for error. Let’s see how much a earlier or later a hero is likely to respawn with the latest change:

Level

Old Death Timer (seconds)

New Death Timer (seconds)

Earlier/Later Respawn (seconds)

12

48 44 4 seconds earlier

13

52 46

6 seconds earlier

14

54 48

6 seconds earlier

15

56 50 6 seconds earlier

16

58 52 6 seconds earlier

17

60 54

6 seconds earlier

18

70 65

5 seconds earlier

19

74 70

4 seconds earlier

20

76 75

1 second earlier

21

78 80

2 seconds later

22

82 85

3 seconds later

23

86 90

4 seconds later

24

90 95

5 seconds later

25

100 100

No change

In the scenario that a level 16 or 17 Spectre dies (which nearly at the point where she is ready to fight but not quite there), she gets a 6 second bonus to be back before the opposition come knocking on the high ground. But oh wait! There is also the additional scond in Glyph, which makes it 7 additional seconds! 7 seconds in a game of Dota 2 is big time. It can be the difference between losing a T3 and successfully defending it. Even better, it could be the difference between having to buyback and saving it.

A combination of the changes discussed till now should be good enough to increase game durations and bring back some late game heroes who have been totally neglected in recent times.

 

3) Attribute Mutations

* Removed hero class specific perks, the bonuses now affect all classes.
* Removed Status Resistance as a Strength based attribute bonus
* Rebalanced str/int/agi bonuses below (they still provide +1 bonus damage to primary attribute holders)
* Primary Attribute now provides +25% more benefit to the bonuses it provides

Old Strength:
20 Health
0.71% HP Regen
0.15% Status Resistance

New Strength:
18 Health (+25% for str heroes: 22.5)
0.55% HP Regen (+25% for str heroes: 0.68%)
+0.08% Magic Resistance (+25% for str heroes: 0.1%)

I would say this is actually a great change from the point of view of strength heroes. 0.15% status resistance per point of strength would mean 15% status resistance for every 100 strength. A 3 second stun reduced to 2.55 seconds. Not bad, but not the biggest deal in the world either.

With the change, 100 strength will grant 8% magic damage reduction to agi and int heroes and 10% magic damage reduction for strength heroes. Now, here is the tricky part. All heroes already have 25% magic damage reduction. Magic resistance from strength stack additively with that, which would take the magic resistance to 35% (40% for 150 strength). Making a Hood of Defiance increases the magic resistance to 43.5% only, reason being it stack multiplicatively, not additively. The new magic resistance is providing high strength heroes with a free Hood! High strength gain heroes like Centaur (4.3), Treant Protector (3.6), Doom and Pudge (3.5) will have a lot of magic damage mitigation. It is beneficial for agi and int heroes as well, but as they are not natural strength item builders (not most of them, anyways), the overall strength will not be too high.

Almost forgot about the HP. Strength heroes receive 4.5 additional HP for every point of strength and they have a lot points of that attribute! Let’s see how making Heart of Tarrasque makes a difference”

Before 7.13, HP gained by Heart: 900 (for all heroes)
After 7.13, HP gained by non-str heroes: 810
After 7.13, HP gained by str heroes: 1012.5

Not only is it a buff for strength heroes, but the other two attribute holders have gotten a nerf. Strength heroes are smiling right now!

 

Old Intelligence:
12 Mana
2% Mana Regen
0.07% Spell Amplication
+0.15% Magic Resistance

New Intelligence:
12 Mana (+25% for int heroes: 15)
1.8% Mana Regen (+25% for int heroes: 2.25)
0.07% Spell Amplication (+25% for int heroes: 0.087%)

The magic resistance that int heroes received has been taken away from them and rightly so. Each attribute should offer an equal number of benefits. However, I would still say it is a win for most intelligence heroes. For a mid int heroes like Lina, Zeus and Storm Spirit, early game brings a lot of mana issues. Constantly shipping in the Clarity Potions from the courier is a solution, but that doesn’t help in fights and it also eats away at the net worth.

The increase in mana per point of intelligence (only for int heroes) and the additional mana regeneration will play a role in curbing this problem int heroes have. Not just the core heroes, there is a huges list of support int heroes who stand to benefit from this. The icing on top of the cake is that the spell amplification has also been increased for int heroes, which means a seller’s market for heroes with burst potential like again, Lina and Zeus. Let’s take a look at how this change affects an int hero with 100 intelligence:

Factor

Before 7.13

After 7.13

Mana from int

1200

1500

Mana regen from int

+180% (2 mana per/s to 5.6 mana per/s)

+225% (2 mana per/s to 6.5 mana per/s)

Spell Amplification

7%

8.7%

 

Just keep that int coming and int heroes should be able to sustain themselves quite well. This does prove to be bad news for Bloodstone though. After being nerfed, it isn’t made on a lot of heroes in the first place. With the attribute changes, heroes like Lina and Storm, who do build the Bloodstone once in a while, will prefer to go for a Kaya and other int based inventories. It remains to be seen if Bloodstone will receive any buff in the next patch.

 

Old Agility:
0.17 Armor
1 Attack Speed
0.06% Movement Speed

New Agility:
0.16 Armor (+25% for agi heroes: 0.2)
1 Attack Speed (+25% for agi: 1.25)
0.05% Movement Speed (+25% for agi: 0.062%)

This seems to be the most underwhelming change of all the attributes. I’m not saying agility heroes don’t stand to benefit from it, but I believe the bonuses to the other heroes are better. The reason for this is agi heroes already have very high armor and attack speed. And both, armor and attack speed have diminishing returns as agi increases beyond a point. Once we go a bit deeper into the meta, I will analyze this further, but for now, agility heroes have had the stale end of the deal.

 

The final verdict for the patch is that it is one that puts a halt to quick pushing lineups and potentially brings back late game heroes into the game. The ability changes seem interesting and strength is the attribute that seems to have been blessed the most by IceFrog. How things turn out in the professional meta, we will find out soon enough!

 

 

Cover Image Credits: www.dota2.com

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