The original Dota mod for Warcraft 3 has received a gigantic update from longtime contributor, now Valve resident, Icefrog. Unlike its slighter recent predecessors, the 6.75 update contains two brand new heroes - Zet the Arc Warden and Auroth the Winter Wyvern. And the rest is just as big - a myriad of ability and items balances that will surely shake up the meta game.
New heroes are always exciting, because even just one can rejig the game forever. With this update we get two, and their abilities are certainly going to cause a stir.
Zet the Arc Warden is an agility spell caster with some pretty powerful incantations that require good coordination. He can buff allies and buildings to have them evade all physical attacks, while increasing their attack speed. Also in his repertoire are spells that slow and deal damage to lone heroes, and that haunt a location until an enemy hero sets off the deadly trap. His ultimate enables him to create a perfect double of himself that can use all his abilities and items, at the cost of the health and mana.
Auroth the Winter Wyvern is a scourge intelligence hero, whose disabling/nuking abilities should make for strong team support. His abilities include Arctic Burn, a buff which increases range and movement speed for a few seconds while causing attacks to slow enemies, Splinter Blast, a shard attack which leaves its target unharmed but hits nearby enemies with splinters for massive damage, and Cold Embrace, which paralyses an allied hero, making them invulnerable and healing over its duration. Best of all is Winter’s Curse, which curses an enemy and freezes them in place, creating a temporary insanity AOE that affects all of their nearby allies and causes them them attack.
For the rest of the changelog, see Icefrog’s blog - which of these seemingly minor nerfs, animation time tweaks, and cooldown doublings might change the game irreparably? And, given Icefrog's position at Valve, could we see Dota become a testbed for Dota 2?