Dota 2 7.23: What a time to be alive!

Nov 27 2019 7 min read
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Finally! After so much time spent waiting, we've got ourselves a patch! And not just 'a patch' but 'the patch.' Valve has just introduced Dota 2 7.23 with an enormous changelog (big enough to spend a wedding night with it). People have already accused the developers of releasing "Dota 3", but that's not true, to be honest. Let's figure it out.

All hail supports!

Pic: #Chaser

After Dota 2 role matchmaking was introduced, it turned out that not all players like to be a support. We had to search the games for twenty minutes if we wanted to play as 1, 2, or 3 pos. Valve then decided to award supports with Dota Plus shards and Fast Queue tokens to first prove that there's a problem and then trying to solve it. But here we are: 7.23 makes support players' life much, much more comfortable. 

  • Observer wards are now free — a big step towards making Pos Five something more important than just an errant kid who sets wards. Alongside courier changes, now any player can take wards and place them. Still, people have to learn how to. 
  • Couriers for everyone. This change can make Dota 2 less toxic. How many conflicts there were because someone stole the courier from another player, and how many players started breaking their items, feeding and ruining. Now everyone is responsible for their own courier, and the ability to place wards will allow full supports to die less: it is better to lose a courier than your life.
  • Gold given for Observer Ward destruction goes to one who revealed it. A significant change that will tempt some carry who loved to steal some honestly earned support money.
  • Now, the players who have recently caused damage or negatively affected an enemy hero killed also get gold for helping even if they died or are not nearby. Needless to say, how sometimes it hurts when you give a chic five-enemy ult with Crystal Maiden or Venomancer then die having done your job, but you don't get gold for an excellent job? It's over. 

At the same time, the support's job did not become less interesting. Five and Four positions now can concentrate on other useful actions. Wards are still limited, and now we need to be more precise in the macro due to jungle changes.

Map changes

Pic: Wykrhm Reddy

Landscape changes have made the map more open. Now it’s much easier to enter the enemy's high ground and, as well, harder to defend it. On the one hand, it will be necessary to re-learn ward spots; on the other hand, everything has become more intuitive.

Bounty runes are now on neutral territories. There are no more 'side runes.' Now bounty runes appear at outposts and in the river. 

Outposts are the most significant changes on the map. We won't see any side shops from now on (but they are compensated by personal couriers). Instead, there are two unique buildings: when you control them, the Outposts, you gain even more experience and can teleport there (requires at least 6 seconds, so it’s impossible to get there quickly). Outposts will become a critical factor in map control: they can increase the team's tactical flexibility, as well as to prepare a surprise attack.

We can say that now map control has become even more important. And it's not just about landscape changes, but also about how the neutrals were reworked.

Sixty-two new (and old) items!

Source: Wykrhm Reddy

Neutrals will now drop random items capable of making massive havoc in the game. Many have already complained that the chance of dropping an item is too big: a 45-minute public game on the Ancient level had seen 12 'creep' artifacts in total. On average, they are more powerful than their purchased counterparts, but this change will require players to adapt. Moreover, the supports are only getting positive stuff from it: "jungling" will now allow getting artifacts even if you are not farming them because your teammates can share them with you.

It is essential to understand: the current balance of the game with the priority on map control and fights is not welcomed by the so-called 'afk farm': you won’t get enough gold and experience farming the woods, and even those items can’t compensate it. Therefore, the optimal strategy now is as follows: push the lanes, capture the map, farm the jungles. Given the fact that the Cloak Aura effect no longer stacks, some competent creep stacks work will be highly appreciated. 

Late game equilibrium has shattered

We all know the horror of the situation when it's 75 minutes into the game, the core heroes have already got all the slots, and the teams are frantically trying to figure out how to win it with minimal risks. Previously, this all ended in rare Roshan fights and even more rare attempts to enter the enemy’s base.

Now the late game will no longer be boring. Firstly, some fifth-level 'creep items' are very strong and solely can turn the map. Secondly, there are now 30 levels, and unlocking the whole talent tree makes the game very diverse.

However, do not pay too much attention to this. Considering the Outposts, the amount of experience per minute increased sharply (where previously there were 700-800 EPM now there's 1200-1400); however, you can get to level 30 only in a super-deep late. For example, the Ancient-level public game already mentioned above:

The game lasted 44 and a half minutes, while only Pudge and Sven managed to get to level 29. At the same time, the 7,500 experience required for level 30 could only be achieved in 5 minutes. Considering that the balance of heroes and items did not change much (one cannot say that the game will slow down sharply), you won't complete the talent tree before at least the fiftieth minute. And it's not that realistic: most games will end much faster.

Nevertheless, the teams got one more tool for the late game, and surely there will still be a lot of long epic matches that we don’t want to fall asleep for.

Good old fellas

Here's a funny thing: 7.23 changelog makes some gamers feel nostalgia. Someone missed Ring of Aquila and Poor Man's Shield, someone burst into tears from the return of Arcane Ring, while Enchantress, for example, had her skills switched, returning, in fact, that old dryad from DotA 6.4x (and that was twelve years ago!).

These changes will undoubtedly please the old-school players. And, you know, there's no such thing as new. 

It's Dota 2

We won't speak about the new heroes — Void Spirit and Snapfire — on purpose for one simple reason: it will take some time before players will understand how to use them as efficiently as possible. However, no matter how impressive the changelog may be, it does not much change the ratio of heroes: some especially popular ones (e.g., Night Stalker) got their nerfs, some like Vengeful Spirit got some severe buffs. Nevertheless, the overall character design (we're not talking about cosmetics) remains about the same.

Fancy snowballing? You are welcome! Late game tactics? There are even more options on how to do it, but the complexity did not increase much. Now all the characters are even more versatile, and teamwork is even more critical. No, this is not Dota 3, it's still the same Dota 2, and the news will not let us get bored. 

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