Before the release of Dota 2 patch 7.27, there was talk of
how early game hero kills are hardly rewarding at all and that it wasn’t worth
going for them. OG’s Sebastian ‘Ceb’ Debs brought up this point in a recent stream
(before the release of patch 7.27) and it seems his prayers, along with those
of many others, have been answered in some of the general changes of patch 7.27.
Here are the changes from the new patch that will make a difference to early
1) Hero kills base XP increased from 40 to 100
2) Hero kill last hit gold increased from 99 + 7.2 * Level to 120 + 8 * Level
3) Assist gold rescaled from 45 + 0.033*NW to 30 + 0.038*NW
But are these changes significant enough to provide an impetus to early game roaming while leaving the opponent to free farm?
Let’s consider a scenario. You’re playing Queen of Pain in the mid lane against a Medusa. You harass the Medusa and prevent her from getting a lot of last hits, but it’s still the same experience wise and both of you hit level 6 at near about the same time. With QoP getting a power spike at level 6 thanks to Sonic Wave, you decide to rotate and get a kill on the opposition carry. Medusa has nothing to gain by rotating, so she decides to stay there and get gold and experience from the lane.
QoP rotates to the side lane and gets two kills, one on the carry and another on the support (somewhere between the 8 and 10 minute mark). Meanwhile, Medusa is making the most of it in the mid lane. QoP makes sure her movements are calculated so she only misses three creep waves while making the rotation (which is being generous) and makes it back to the mid lane after getting the two kills. Who has benefited more from this turn of events in terms of experience and gold? Let’s take a look.
The experience gained by killing a hero is given by
Experience gained = (100 + 0.13 x Dying hero’s XP)/(Number of killing heroes)
The ‘100’ is the number that got bumped up from 40.
Queen of Pain
The experience gained by killing a hero depends on the XP of the opponent hero. Let’s assume the carry is at level 4.5 (1370 XP) and the support has just hit level 4 (1080 XP). Considering the XP will be shared by QoP and two of her teammates, the XP gained by each hero, calculated from the new formula from 7.27 comes out to be-
Killing the carry = 93 XP
Killing the support = 80 XP
Total = 173 XP
At the same time, the lane will see three creep waves die and the XP from those will be distributed amongst the three heroes as well.
Experience gained from one creep wave = 240 XP
Three creep waves divided amongst three heroes means each hero will receive 240 XP from the creeps dying while the skirmishes between heroes occur.
From the rotation, Queen of Pain ended up getting 173 + 240 = 413 XP
With the old formula, this would have been 373 XP, because of the lower base XP for hero kills.
During the entire time, Medusa takes the full experience offered by three creep waves
Total experience gained by Medusa = 240 x 3 = 720 XP
Viola! Dusa just benefitted from staying in lane while QoP busted her ass to get a bit more than half the XP Dusa gained. It requires 720 XP to advance from level 6 to level 7, so Medusa will be at level 7, with level 4 Mystic Snake when Queen of Pain returns back to the mid lane, requiring 307 XP to get to the next level (about five creeps).
Now, it definitely is better for the hero who stays in lane, but at least now, denies do not give XP (or even gold for that matter) to the denier. Before patch 7.27, it would have required QoP 347 XP to get to level 7, so about a creep more. It’s slightly better for the hero that rotates, but still not the best in terms of XP. This scenario is without considering the side camps in the mid lane, which will be easily devoured by a hero like Medusa. The small victory here for QoP (or other rotating heroes) is that the camps near the mid lane are now small camps, so the benefit will be reduced.
The experience gained is definitely better for the hero that stays in the lane. But what about the gold? Let’s see how the two mid heroes fare in the same scenario in terms of the gold earned.
Gold earned by killing a hero is given by
Gold earned = 120 + (Killed hero level × 8) + Streak value + Assist gold
Assist gold = (30 + 0.038*NW)/(Number of killing heroes)
The number ‘120’ has been increased from ‘99’, the level multiplier has been increased from ‘7.2’ to ‘8’. The increase in assist gold however, is more beneficial later on in the game as the net worth of each hero increases. Earlier in the game, it’s not a big deal, unless you kill a free farming Alchemist. Streak value will be neglected here as it isn’t typical for heroes to have streaks this early on (although we’ve all had those teammates who die four times in the first ten minutes)
Queen of Pain
The assumption here is that Queen of Pain gets the last hit on both the hero kills. The are the values used for carry and support net worth
Carry NW = 3362
Support NW = 1086
The values were obtained from a recent Team Secret vs Nigma game (grand final of Beyond Epic).
This scenario ends up netting Queen of Pain a total of 381 gold (304 + 77, the first part is for the last hit on the hero, the second part is the assist gold).
Before patch 7.27, this gold would have come out to be 337 (258 + 79). We can see that the gold for last hitting the hero is what makes all the difference, while the assist gold has gone down just a bit. But on the whole, the changes form Dota 2 patch 7.27 lead to an additional 44 gold earned.
Medusa, having free farm, gets all the last hits for three creep waves.
Average melee creep gold = 36.5
Average range creep gold = 47.5
Average creep wave gold = 36.5 x 3 + 47.5 x 1 = 157
Medusa ends up earning-
157 x 3 = 471 gold
It’s about a 100 gold more than what QoP earns for getting the kill on two side lane heroes. Now an argument can be made that QoP will end up hitting a few creeps while she is killing the opposition heroes, but we are already making favorable assumptions for her by saying she gets both the kills and Medusa does not go for neutral creeps.
The changes in Dota 2 patch 7.27 have surely made rotating to the side lanes a slightly more favorable option for mid heroes, but it still does not compare to staying in the lane and vying for the XP and gold of lane creeps. Of course, Dota 2 being such a versatile game, the answer isn’t necessarily black and white. There are times when a runaway opposition core needs to be halted or a Haste or Double Damage rune can make things easier and quicker than mentioned here. Players definitely need to make a judgement call on when it is best to rotate, but the fact remains, that early on in the game, even with the new improvements in patch 7.27, the experience and gold obtained from creeps is better than that obtained from hero kills. If you decide to rotate early on in the game, it is always beneficial to ask a team mate to take over the mid lane so that the experience and gold isn’t completely wasted and the opposition mid laner does not get a totally free lane.