Update December 13, 2016: The largest patch in the history of Dota, 7.00, is now available to play for all.
Valve and the chilly toad don’t move slow – IceFrog and his dev team have seen fit to move Dota 2 up to patch 7.00 for all players. The patch hit live servers last night after nine bug-fix updates on the test client got it in ship-shape.
Why not read about what Monkey King will be like when he eventually does arrive, while you wait?
All the relevant links and bits are over in the official “it’s happening” Reddit thread. Fan favourite and professional analyst Kevin ‘Purge’ Godec did do his patch notes stream last night, becoming Twitch’s most-viewed streamer during the period at around 30k-36k viewers. Here are the three archives, if you’re interested:
That’s a combined over nine hours of one man reading some patch notes, oh yes. Valve didn’t wait on him finishing to get the patch out, but in their defense it took him three hours to get to the “B” heroes. He also spent about thirty minutes talking about black hole science instead. It was a good time.
As mentioned below, the first patch 7.00 tournament will be World Cyber Arena 2016, taking place tomorrow. The teams aren’t particularly high quality, but nobody’s going to be an expert with 24 hours of prep time. Esports is many things, but not often is it medium-tier teams battling for $700,000 in front of massive crowds at huge tournaments on what is essentially a one day old game. It’s going to be a fun ride. Games start in around 17 hours time – that’s 3am Wednesday GMT, 7pm Tuesday PST – and look like they should be here. Maybe.
DotaPit EU online qualifiers, featuring OG and Alliance, are also taking place later today. Those will be over on the DotaPit Twitch channel at around 5pm GMT, 9am PST:
Original story December 11, 2016:The new age of Dota is finally here and, well, everything is different. Everything.Dota 2 Patch 7.00has introduced the usual myriad of hero and item balance changes along with a new original hero, Monkey King, a Talent system, a Backpack, Shrines and hundreds of other ground-breaking gameplay alterations. Get ready to learn your favourite game all over again once it releases on December 12.
Dota 2 Patch 7.00 Major Changes
Let’s start with the most obvious gameplay changes: there is now a Heroes of the Storm-like Talent system, allowing you to choose specific skills for your hero at 10, 15, 20 and 25-level milestones. These confer item-level stat bonuses to your hero, and are offered as choice between two at each level.
Next there’s the Backpack, which lets you carry around three extra items, as well as the six in your item slots. You cannot use these three items unless you swap them into an active item slot, but they can be used to combine into items if you have all the components of the recipe.
This all requires a new HUD, which looks very sleek and minimalistic and will require hours and hours to get used to but is probably for the better. The pre-game flow is also different now with a focus on more strategic choices, letting you choose your starting items before beginning and a fancy new intro animation which really gets you in the mood to play Street Fighter V, I mean, Dota 2.
The game world itself has also been upended with the jungles, runes and more getting a thorough reworking. The usual river rune spots now only spawn one Powerup Rune (haste, invisibility etc) while Bounty runes spawn in the jungles. Bounties only fill two charges of a bottle, though, so mids are still going to want to contest for that one Powerup.
There are also new buildings, called Shrines, which provide a healing aura when activated and have a significant cooldown. They’re located near to each team’s secret shop and can be destroyed once the tier 2 towers have started to topple.
For a complete run-down of what’s available, including testing on most talents, new ultimate upgrades and more, former professional player and TI3 winner AdmiralBulldog ran a full analysis stream last night. The full thing is 14 hours long including the various pre-patch games, but if you kick off from around the 9:33 markyou’ll catch most of the interesting stuff. Fair warning, probably not one to put on speakers at work. Also, hope you’re not already sick of the phrase “six treants.”
Also doing a review will be Kevin ‘Purge’ Godec, an analyst, guide-maker and coach who has long held the position of doing the most in-depth rundowns of patches after they are released. Here’s his tweet on what he’ll be doing, and when:
I'm aiming for a 6-9 am PST start time for the patch notes stream tomorrow. Flying home today. Will be unspoiled first viewing.
— Kevin 'Purge' Godec (@PurgeGamers) 11 December 2016
That’ll be over on Twitch.
In general, pro reactions seem to have been some amount of shock mixed with interest and excitement. Assuming the patch comes out today as planned, the first tournament on it will be WCA 2016on Wednesday through Friday. It has some good teams in it, but none of the highest tier. China Top 2016a couple of days later is smaller, but features the best teams from TI6, most of whom did very well at the Boston Major. However, it’s not until DotaPitand ESL One Gentring next year that teams like OG, VP and other top-tiers will all be at one event.
That, of course, is assuming those teams can adapt to the massively new metagame that’s about to come into play – who will be best at talent selection, Backpack management and Shrine use? Could we see the re-rise of China’s dominence? Lots to discover in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile on the more technical side of things, a tournament is on the cards for bot-creators to test out the new tools. Full details on that on Reddit.
Dota 2 Monkey King abilities
Right, now onto the monkey in the room: Dota 2’s first original hero, Monkey King. He has an arcana available, with some very pretty alternative styles, as well as a specially themed Chinese map to celebrate his arrival, but it’s the abilities we’re most interested in.
Boundless Strike (Q)
Monkey King slams the earth in front of him creating a straight line of critical damage which also stuns his opponents.
Tree Dance (W)
Wukong can jump from treetop to treetop able to traverse the jungle quickly and in unconventional routes.
Primal Spring (W in trees)
Monkey King chooses an area on the ground to jump to from the top of the tree he is perched on. Enemies in the landing area take damage and are stunned depending on how long the ability was channeled for.
Jingu Mastery (E passive)
Allows Monkey King to imbue his staff with power after a certain number of strikes on a single enemy, providing bonus damage and lifesteal for a certain number of attacks.
Monkey King can change into the form of runes, trees, a courier or even dropped items (such as Iron Branches) in order to deceive or elude enemies.
Wukong’s Command (Ultimate)
Monkey King summons an army of stone soldier clones in a massive AoE around him which will fight any enemies that stray near to them.
Update December 11, 2016: Yes, the Dota 2 site has crashed for everyone, not just you. What we can see so far from our various sources is that there will be community-authored bots, and a new HUD and pre-game UI.
The bots, according to aValve Developer Wiki post(anda mirrorif that’s still broken for you), will use LUA scripting over a C++ engine to let players create their own basic scripts for bot behaviour. The scripts are broken down by stages of the game allowing you to give commands to AI, which will no doubt be extremely useful to custom game creators.
You might be seeing some prominent streamers on Twitch reading somepotential patch notes. They’re not confirmed yet, so hold tight and we’ll have more info as soon as the actual notes arrive.
Update December 11, 2016: A 15-second teaser for Dota 2’s 7.00 patch (which is now a mere two hours from arriving in the test client) confirms that at least one new ‘king’ hero will be arriving alongside the patch, if not more.
The teaser, posted by Dota community hype man Wykrhm Reddy, features a character saying just the word “King” after a count-in to “7” (gasp) but whether it is the previously teased Monkey King or not is questionable based on just their mouth.
— Wykrhm Reddy (@wykrhm) December 11, 2016
Players are speculating that with such a large patch we may see the addition of a second new hero, namely the other missing “King” from the game’s lore, the Black King (of Black King Bar item fame). Just the Monkey would be enough for us, but we’ll find out soon enough.
Original story December 10, 2016: Valve’s $3m Boston Major Dota 2 tournament has ended, teasing the release of the game’s next patch cycle but this time they’re jumping from 6.88 straight to 7.00 in what is expected to be an overhaul of the game.
The 7.00 patch will go live on the test client at 5pm GMT / 12pm EST / 9am PST tomorrow, and the patch notes should appear on the patch’s landing site. Then, on Monday December 12, it goes live for everyone else on the normal client. That’s not much of a lead-in time, so let’s hope everything’s alright.
Having been on patch 6.88 (and variations thereof) since June this year, and also due to the nature of the patch version jumping up by two decimal places, Valve’s balance master IceFrog is expected to make huge changes to the game for 2017.
We’re almost certain to see the first “original” Dota 2 hero, Monkey King, arrive in this patch, too. If you need a briefing on what Sun Wukong is going to be doing when he arrives, here’s everything you need to know about Monkey King in Dota 2.
The patch is even large enough to prompt Mr Lizard himself to break his vow of silence on Twitter (after congratulating OG on their third Major win):
7.00 is coming to the Test Client tomorrow, check out the teaser and countdown here: https://t.co/F0BFSWqe7e
— IceFrog (@IceFrog) December 11, 2016
We’ll have full details of the patch notes as soon as they arrive on the client, so until then enjoy your illusion spamming.