The Leipzig Major is over with Team Secret emerging as champions and just as the Major ended, the Dota 2 7.24 patch was released by Valve. It is a pattern similar to last year, where they released the second big patch of the year (patch 7.21) after the second DPC Major. The patch has brought with it a LOT of changes that will influence gameplay or rather will require changing playstyles to make the most of the situation. Here, we look at the major changes and how they will affect gameplay.
1) Neutral items
Heroes now have a dedicated neutral items slot. A maximum of one neutral item can be equipped on your hero.
This is a very good change for overall balancing of the game from a neutral items perspective. Earlier, if a team obtained multiple neutral items that were good for their cores, they could just be stacked up to give a very unexpected power spike. Or by stacking items like Quickening Charm and Spell Prism, a lot of heroes could abuse spells thanks to the reduced cooldowns. This change makes teams and players think and make conscious decisions on what item a hero should carry.
There is now a Neutral Item Stash in the fountain. Neutral items are now stored there instead of on the fountain floor. Right clicking on an available item in the new UI will place it in your stash/courier and can be delivered to you. This UI will also show the state and location of all the other items that have dropped.
Neutral items can now be teleported to your Neutral Item Stash at home through a right click context menu (from your backpack or your neutral slot).
A good and easy way to send back neutral items so that you don’t have to chase teammates around the map to give them a neutral item.
Neutral item drop count per tier increased from 3 to 4 (chance from 9 to 10%).
Now that they cannot be stacked infinitely, it’s alright that more neutral items are dropped. It will give players more of a choice about which item suits them the best for that particular game.
Ancients neutral drop rates are 3x higher.
This is a massive spike in drop rate from Ancients. The best way to obtain neutral items now is to double or triple stack the ancient camp and take it as soon as the time for the next tier of neutral items is reached. A good chance this will drop at least one to two neutral items and even three if the team is lucky. Once the higher tier neutral items are obtained, the entire team will experience a power spike and can immediately take a fight.
Tier 5 items now drop at 60 minutes.
Of the 613 professional games played on the 7.23 patch, only 23 games went above the 60 minute mark. Of those, 19 ended between 60 and 70 minutes, so only four games saw tier 5 items being dropped. The point of these numbers is the fact that most games that have been going over 60 minutes end within the next 10 minutes, which is why we hardly saw tier 5 items being dropped. But now, that chance has gone up by approximately five times! It is a good change which will make games that go above the hour mark more interesting and with the balancing of the tier 5 items (attempted balance), it shouldn’t look too bad. Of course, a lot of those items are still broken, but at least less so as compared to 7.23.
HUGE change in the overall scheme of things. Shrines were introduced in Dota 2 patch 7.00, in the jungles and in the base of each team. The base Shrines were removed eventually, then one jungle shrine and now the last one. Teams could bait oppositions to take fight near Shrines and have an advantage, or just teleport to Shrines in a losing fight, fill up on mana and HP and come back to turn the fight around. This happened a lot during Roshan fights, as there were a couple of Shrines near the Rosh pit. They also served as safety nets for cores who were forced to go to the jungle early on because of bad lanes. All in all, jungle Shrines were a thing everyone was used to and now that they are gone, it is bound to affect fight dynamics – especially fights in the river.
Outposts moved to the primary jungles.
Outposts are now in the middle of the big jungle of each team, which makes it a lot harder to control the enemy Outpost. You really have to go deep into enemy territory to capture their Outpost. The good thing is, once the safe lane tier 2 tower is down, the enemy team cannot easily get to their Outpost (no more Shrines, remember?!), so that makes things easier. But early on in the game, this will help the team on the backfoot to hold on to their Outpost and earn that XP which they desperately need.
Outposts vision reduced from 1400 flying to 700 ground vision (same for truesight).
Observer wards have 1600 vision, so Outposts are basically half observer wards.
Outposts now start as owned by the respective teams, and can be captured at any time (rewards still happen at the 10 minute mark).
No more fumbling at 10 minutes to get to that Outpost to earn the initial 150 XP. As long as you don’t devastatingly lose your safe lane, the Outpost should remain in your control.
4) Bounty runes
Lane bounty runes have been moved to the secondary jungles.
In patch 7.23, it was two bounty runes near the Outposts and two in the river. Now it is two in the secondary jungles (smaller jungle without the Outposts) and two in the river, which are the same spots as before. Bounty rune collection has become easier now, with any hero farming the small jungle able to pick up the rune. Before patch 7.24, you had to venture all the way to the Outpost.
5) GPM talents
Removed all GPM talents.
This is another massive change, and one that is going to hit supports hard. A total of 24 heroes had GPM talents and all those have been replaced with new talents. VPEsports will be analyzing the new talents in detail to see which ones are good and which ones are just fillers. But getting back to the issue at hand, a lot of supports like Ancient Apparition, Dark Willow and Grimstroke depended on the GPM talent to make an impact with farm. Without these talents, supports will have to be given more farm priority to ensure they have their items. In 7.23, supports could just fill up their inventory with neutral items that were discarded by cores, which is not the case anymore either. So not the best patch for supports, is it?
6) Respawn times
Hero respawn time increased from 6/8/10/14/16 for level 1-5 to 12/15/18/21/24.
A long time ago, the XP for early kills was reduced substantially, which made early kills not worth the effort. It was better to stay in lane and farm without focusing too much on kills. Here’s the exact change that came in patch 7.07:
Base hero-kill XP bounty (non-assist portion) for level 1-5 reduced from 100/120/140/160/180 to 30/60/90/120/150 (You still get extra XP for hero kills from the assist formula)
But with the increased respawn times, it makes kills a bit more worth it; not too much, but a bit more. The XP and early gold are still inferior for hero kills so getting as many last hits as possible is still the main priority for cores. But the added time at the fountain could definitely hamper an enemy heroes laning stage, so rotating and going for kills in the early game is more worth it now than it was before patch 7.24.
7) Buyback cost
Buyback cost increased from 100 + NW/13 to 200 + NW/12.
The buyback cost has gone up and even though the difference in the old buyback cost and new buyback cost gets higher as the net worth increases, the difference will be felt more early game because of the additional 100 gold. The net worth factor hasn’t changed by a lot, but the additional 100 gold required can be a difference maker for supports having buyback in the early and mid game. Cores will also be affected, but it is usually supports who find it a bit more difficult to farm up that buyback gold.
A lot of changes coming our way with Dota 2 patch 7.24 and we will first get to witness this patch in action for the qualifiers of the third DPC Major, ESL One Los Angeles. As the patch progresses, VPEsports will keep a tab on the changing meta and will keep bringing you detailed analysis.