Quite literally, The New Journey Patch destroyed some foundations that Dota 2 carried since it was launched as a remake based on Source 1 Engine. But is for a good reason rather than to shake things a little.
While the New UI and the inclusion of a new hero, Monkey King, should appeal fans, the Gameplay Update v7.00 changes what made Dota 2 kind of stagnant in terms of… well, gameplay.
After playing it for a while, as Merlini said in his brief video, the big changes are three: Talents, Backpack, and the minor reworks on items and heroes overall.
Dota 2 is recognized as a MOBA where decisions matter more than anything, even mechanical skills. This patch widens the range of possible decisions to make in a match, meaning that there are more ways to approach different situations based on itemization, experience and hero picking.
After making the choice of picking a particular Hero for the match, Talents are one of these big changes that kills the useless “+1 to Stats”. Every step the Talent Tree offers has two choices, every one with the purpose of influence itemization or take on a particular disadvantage. Being pickable starting Mid Game says where Valve wants the Talents to begin influencing.
With the Backpack, you could have your Skadi, Desolator, Abyssal Blade, and Refresher Orb ready to be activated (in six seconds), something that sure Warcraft 3 players never though that could be possible.
Backpack, Hero and items reworks reinforces this idea. Backpack allows for more Items in a hero, so a 9-slotted unit around the map gives more flexibility. Some “Unique Attack Modifiers” dropped allows for more Item combinations. So you could go for Skadi + Desolator instead of just Abyssal Blade. With the back back, you could have your Skadi, Desolator, Abyssal Blade, and Refresher Orb ready to be activated (in six seconds), something that sure Warcraft 3 players never though that could be possible.
The reworked map may take a lot of time to swallow. The jungle is, actually, a jungle, with a lot of blind points where you can lost your followers, and this is where Heroes with good vision can be quite handy in Map Control. So this add another level of tactics where your itemization may show your greater failings.
We had barely days or so to test and get used to how the Map is, the rune timing is, what items are not viable, and how your favorite hero has been buffed (or nerfed) depending on the situation.
Overall, this new version of Dota 2 relies more heavily on decision making, both reactive and proactive, than before. And that’s what keeps the game so special.