On November 1st, Valve unleashed The Dueling Fates patch on the Dota 2 community. It was a hefty rework that changed everything: Map layout, items, towers, and much more. Two new heroes were introduced as well in Pangolier and Dark Willow, a carry and support, respectively.
Though it may take some time for a new meta to fully develop at the pro level, eight teams will be put to the test at Blood in the Streets (BITS) Americas, one of the first tournaments to be played on the new patch. With $10,000 on the line, it will be the second tournament hosted by blockchain esports platform, FirstBlood.
Let’s take a look at a few changes in the patch, what pros have to say, and what’s going on with BITS.
Two pros, two concerns
Whenever you have Dota 2 patch notes that take you several minutes to scroll through, you can be sure that there will be an enormous range of emotions from the community. Some love The Dueling Fates, while others find aspects of the patch questionable. The reaction from Dota 2’s pros is similarly varied.
New to the Dota 2 scene is Immortals. Among the strong roster they’ve recently put together is Pyo “MP” No-a, their mid laner, formerly of Team Secret. His main concerns revolve around the tower and creep changes.
“They made a lot of buffs to the tier one towers,” MP says. “They reduced the mid creeps by one. Mid lane isn’t that important. If you lose the lane, you’ll just keep losing in that lane. The meta is going to be very carry-centric.”
Indeed, all towers in the game have had their armour increased. The tier one towers have had their armour increased from 14 to 17 as well as a 200 HP buff from 1400 to 1600, tier two and three towers were bumped from 16 to 19 armour, and tier four towers now sit at 29 armour, up from 24.
Another big change is that tier four towers no longer regen health, giving the attacking team much more continuous moment late in the game. Carry heroes typically become more important as the game progresses, and with the new tower changes, this will become amplified.
Ylli “Garter” Ramadani is a new addition to Leviathan’s roster, coming over from Prodota Gaming. Though Ramadani and his new team were just eliminated from the ROG Masters tournament by OpTic Gaming, they look to come back strong at BlTS. Garter’s main gripe comes from the change to Bloodstone, though some other changes have caught his attention as well.
“Personally, I think split push is broken this patch because of shrine placements and the heroes that feel strong like Anti-Mage,” Garter says. “I like all the items except the Soul Ring being removed from Bloodstone. I think that’s a pretty big nerf, but overall it’s good.”
The change to Bloodstone is one that many people have been sobbing over. It used to just need Soul Ring and a recipe for the upgrade, but it’s going back to its roots of requiring Perseverance: the pairing of Ring of Health and Void Stone. It’s still good, but it just requires a little more time and resources to acquire.
Say goodbye to two items and hello to a new game mode
Iron Talon was one of those items that no one really liked using, but felt like you were nerfing your team if you didn’t pick up. Jungling tactics with Iron Talon were annoying since you could instantly remove 40% of an NPC’s health, so it’s probably for the best that the devs decided to trash the item altogether.
Another item that was sent to digital heaven was Poor Man’s Shield. While its value was often debated, it did make laning much easier on melee heroes because of its 100% chance to block 20 damage from enemy heroes, and 10 damage from ranged heroes. Early harassment was difficult against players using this item, but it couldn’t be used in any higher level recipes. We’ll see how the meta develops now that players will have to have an alternative approach to choosing laning items.
For casual players, this patch introduced Turbo Mode. Dota 2 is pretty intimidating for newcomers, with all of its heroes, items, and confusing terminology. Turbo Mode is aimed at making the game much more forgiving and newbie-friendly for people interested in getting their feet wet with Valve’s MOBA. Gold and XP gains are increased in this game mode, towers are weaker, and there is a shorter respawn time. If you’ve been on the fence about giving Dota 2 a shot, now is the time to get going.
Blood in the Streets Americas
BITS is set to begin on 7 November, and will feature Leviathan, CES, G-Pride, Luccini Gaming, Elite Wolves, Sacred, Blue Pikachu, and Mind’s Eye, all of which were voted on by fans prior to the tournament. It will have double elimination brackets with matches being played on a best of three format.
The Grand Finals will be best of five, with the champions walking away with $5,000, the second place team winning $3,000, and the third place team earning $2,000.
Early days yet, but this tournament should offer a glimpse of how the new patch could shake things up.