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Analysing balance patch 7.13: The end of deathball strategy?

Posted by Hitanshu "Anomalina" Budhwani at 13 April 2018 10:45

This week's update may have delayed Techies' addition to Captain's Mode or Earth Spirit's customary nerf for a future time, but has reworked several mechanics in the game that will likely change the meta for good.

Once again, the developers at Valve have stuck to their schedule and released a new patch in the midst of the ongoing StarLadder ImbaTV Invitational Season 5 Minor. As is customary, the updates alternate between balance patches that focus on the mechanics of the game and gameplay updates that focus on nerfing and buffing heroes and items. Now, don't let the shorter update this week fool you. This patch is sure to shift the pace of the game and has discreetly changed the strengths of most heroes, which will be evident in the coming weeks.

Let's break it down.

 

  • Aegis now has an alt tooltip that explains how to pronounce the item | Pronounced as ayy jis

 

The balance patch started out with a light-hearted jab at certain members of the community before getting down to serious business. It seems the people at Valve were fed up of certain casters and analysts mispronouncing the name of the ultimate prize awarded to Roshan's slayer. Similar to the names of many different heroes and items in the game, the pronunciation of the Aegis of the Immortal has been debated for years. However, it is doubtful that, even now, we have reached an agreed-upon solution to the debate.

 

  • 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

  • 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

 

The above changes massively hurt tower push lineups and heroes specific to that strategy. Heroes like Death Prophet, Dragon Knight, Pugna, Venomancer, Shadow Shaman have indirectly been nerfed since all the towers now provide smaller gold bounties. The increase in the HP of shrines and Melee Barracks along with the increase of the Glyph duration now makes it easier for the defending team to hold their high ground and delay, if not turn around, the enemy siege. Hopefully, these changes will bring some new heroes to the front of professional Dota and make the meta heroes NOT meta anymore.

 

  • 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)

  • Ranged creep average gold bounty reduced from 57 to 54

 

Most of the changes in the patch have increased the average length of a Dota game. While death-ball lineups may not be the most favored after this patch, a few small changes compensate for it. Lower respawn times mean more action. Although the decrease is not massive, it can make a big difference when games are played out using every second to its full potential. The ranged creep nerf also makes it even less of an ideal target for Hand of Midas, since 7.07 normalized the gold and experience bounties between ranged and melee creeps substantially.

 

  • 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%)

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%)

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%)

 


Image courtesy of NeB-nebojsaobradovic on DeviantArt

The addition of the Status Resistance mechanic in the Duelling Fates update or patch 7.07 was one of the biggest changes to the game. Many veteran players expressed their contempt for the mechanic, which messed with the reactions and natural instinct that they had developed after many years of practice. The removal of the mechanic as an inherent attribute bonus for Strength-based heroes is game-changing. Heroes with a primary Strength attribute have been extremely popular for quite some time, regardless of whether they are core or support.

The likes of Centaur Warrunner, Doom and Pudge who have the highest Strength gain and also inherently gain strength through their items and abilities were infamously hard to lockdown. To compensate for this, Strength heroes now get bonus Magic resistance instead. Keep in mind, the mechanic has not been completely removed from the game, as it survives in only 3 different aspects with the hero Tiny (20%/30%/40%), the item Aeon Disk (25%) and the passive ability of Roshan's Spell Block (25%).

One of the most interesting reworks to the mechanics of Dota is the application of attribute bonuses to all classes instead of specific ones. Instead, class-specific perks now provide 25% more of the same bonuses to those types of heroes. To understand better what kind of impact this has, let's turn to the hard-working, dedicated community at r/dota2 who compile such information and present it to us all with no expectation of compensation.

Highest base stats of class heroes

  • Tiny, the hero with the highest base str, now starts the game with 75 more hp.
  • Riki, the hero with the highest base agi, now starts the game with 7.5 more attack speed.
  • Lina and Tinker, the heroes with the highest base int, start the game with 90 more mana and 7.5% more mana regen.

Highest base stats of non-class heroes

  • Jakiro, the non-str hero with the highest base str, starts with 50 less hp.
  • OD, the non-agi hero with the highest base agi, starts with .24 less armor.
  • Undying, the non-int hero with the highest base int, starts with 5.4% less mana regen.

Highest stats for class heroes at max level

  • Morphling, the agi hero with the highest agi at level 25, ends the game with 3.4 more armor, 28.2 more attack speed, and 1.35% more movement speed.
  • Centaur, the str hero with the highest str at level 25, ends the game with 316 more hp,12.6% more magic resist, but 3.8% less hp regen (even strength heroes have less hp regen than before).
  • Pugna, the int hero with the highest int at level 25, ends the game with 402 more mana, 2.3% more spell amp, and 33.5% more mana regen

Highest stats for non-class heroes at max level

  • Arc Warden, the non-str hero with the highest str at level 25, now ends the game with 7.68% more magic resist but 192 less health.
  • Silencer, the non-agi hero with the highest agi at level 25, now ends the game with 4.7% bonus movement speed but one less armor.
  • Undying, the non-int hero with the highest int at level 25, now ends the game with no benefit but 18.84% less mana regen.

 

Although the true and full impact of the patch will only be clear to us through observation of professional play and high-MMR games, the changes have already started to hit us across all skill brackets. Only time will tell whether this was all a good idea at all. Rest assured, the very vocal and opinionated community will surely voice their thoughts on it, or already have.

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