Earlier today the all mighty IceFrog graced us with yet another minor patch update looking forward to adding more balance into the game of DOTA 2. The follow up patch to the 7.23 major update is primarily targeted at nerfing heroes which seemed unbalanced in the previous 7.23e patch and fixing some game mechanics.
The patch update on the DOTA 2 blog reads:
- Gold bonus for the team that is behind is no longer considered if the difference is only 1k or less
- Starting strength reduced by 2
- Scorched Earth damage reduced from 20/35/50/65 to 15/30/45/60
- Scorched Earth manacost increased from 60/65/70/75 to 60/70/80/90
- Multishot manacost from 50/60/70/80 to 50/70/90/110
- Multishot arrow slow duration rescaled from 1/2/3/4 to 1.25/2/2.75/3.5
- Spirit Bear level 1 base damage reduced by 5
- Sanity’s Eclipse damage multipler reduced from 0.5 to 0.4
- Base damage reduced by 2
- Fixed Phase Shift attacking Zombies
- Waning Rift no longer moves your hero if you are rooted on cast (but still casts the spell)
- Level 10 Talent changed from Phase Shift Attacks to +30 Damage
- Level 15 Talent changed from +90 Damage to Phase Shift Attacks
- Base armor reduced by 1
- Mortimer Kisses cooldown increased from 90 to 110
- Base attack speed reduced from 100 to 90
- Strength gain reduced from 4.1 to 3.8
- Toss cast range reduced from 1300 to 1000/1100/1200/1300
- Tree Grab movement speed penalty increased from 25 to 30
- Strength gain reduced from 3.7 to 3.5
- Leech Seed slow reduced from 26/34/42/50% to 18/24/30/36%
- Overgrowth manacost increased from 150/175/200 to 200/250/300
- Earthshock no longer moves your hero if you are rooted on cast (but still casts the spell)
- Magic Missile cooldown increased from 9 to 12/11/10/9
- Nether Swap cast point increased from 0.3 to 0.4
- Poison Attack manacost increased from 20 to 25
Let us discuss further about the changes.
The first change under General section is targeted at the game mechanic which was initially added to allow losing teams to make comebacks. Previously, even when there wasn’t a huge difference between the networth of the winning and losing teams, the players from the losing team would still gain a substantial amount of gold just by killing an enemy from the other side, this made the game imbalanced and made it hard for the winning team to capitalize on their hard earned lead. Now, with this mechanic being removed for lower networth differences (1k or less), we can expect a bit more balance in the game and lesser rubber banding between the winning and the losing team.
Moving on, under the Heroes section there have been a lot of nerfs coming out. We are just going to discuss the nerfs which we think are major for the dominant heroes from the previous patch (7.23f). The first nerf we are going to discuss is obviously for Doom, this offlane hero was so strong in the earlier patch that he would just sit in the offlane with supposed infinite regeneration coming out from his Devour and Scorched Earth skills and simply make your life hard. Scorched Earth seemed to be the primary reason why Doom was such a dominant hero in the offlane, the ability does damage over seconds for a period of 16 seconds along with added health regeneration and movement speed bonus. The high amount of damage it did even at level 1 for a very low manacost made it the go to ability to start Doom offlane with. The nerf hits his Scorched Earth ability effectively reducing its Damage Per Second (DPS) and increasing its manacost, additionally Doom’s starting strength has also been slightly reduced.
Second in line is Drow Ranger, her Multishot ability allowed her to clear creep waves and jungle camps with ease, thus enabling her to get her items and levels super fast and snowball, 7.23f increases the manacost for this skill and reduces the slow effect duration on enemies when the skill is used. Icefrog did well to land the nerf hammer on our third hero of discussion, it is none other than the ever annoying Puck. Puck has been destroying midlanes in pubs thanks to how insanely buffed the dragon faerie is. In 7.23e, she was being played primarily as an attack damage carry with items like an early Desolator and Maelstrom in most games, thanks to the Phase Shift Attacks talent being given out as early as Level 10. It was already very hard to trade with Puck thanks to her fairly high base damage in midlane but she scaled to even higher damage output with the +90 damage talent at level 15. Already being a very slippery hero to catch owing to all her escape spells and their low cooldowns, the added damage made her a monster to face in the midlane. Puck loses some of her starting damage in this patch, making it easier to trade with her. Her Phase Shift Attack talent has been moved to level 15 while the +90 damage talent has been changed to +30 damage and moved down to level 10. This will definitely reduce the overall physical damage output of the hero throughout the game. The other thing to note is, earlier Puck’s Waning Rift allowed her to move on cast even when rooted, this has been looked to and fixed in this patch.
The fourth hero we are going to discuss is Treant Protector. This support seemed to be the most fearsome hero to trade against on the sidelanes. The high movement speed slow from his Leech Seed along with his insanely high base damage which is one of the highest in the game allowed him to constantly trade with sidelaners and harass them out of the lane or even solo kill them at times. The movement speed reduction from Leech Seed has been reworked and reduced, on top of that, the strength gain of Treant Protector has also been nerfed in this patch. Additionally, the manacost for his ultimate ability has also been increased just to make Treant players a bit more conservative about their mana during fights.
The final hero in our list is green cancer, Viper. This hero can dominate almost any lane and would most likely win his lane even when first picked. In the previous patch, players using Viper in pubs showcased a trend of maxing out his Poison Attack and constantly spamming it in lanes to win them. It is very hard for any given hero to efficiently trade with Viper when he is constantly stacking Poison Attack on them, this makes him one of the hardest heroes to lane and trade against. 7.23f increases the mana cost for Viper’s Poison Attack spell and makes it a bit harder for him to spam the spell constantly due to his fairly low starting mana pool.