Dota 2 Update Adds New Heroes And Coaching Mode

Earth, Wind and Fire? I love their music!

Dota 2‘s latest update is a big one. Not only does it introduce the much requested Halloween event, Diretide, but it’s got three new heroes, a coaching mode, and a socketing system. A lot of people who understand what any of this means are very excited right now.

A full list of changes and additions is available at the Three Spirits update site. The name refers to the three heroes: a revised Storm Spirit and newly added Ember Spirit and Earth Spirit.

As a Dota 2 fool, the coaching system is the most interesting part to me. Players can now join matches not as competitors or spectators, but as coaches, who are able to write on the map and ping points of interest. If you don’t know your top lane from your bottom, this is a helpful way for a friend to talk you through the basics, before becoming frustrated, snapping at you and disconnecting the Skype call.

From the perspective of those already deep into Dota, it may be the new gem system which will make the difference. Gems can now be socketed into items, to imbue them with new animations, stats and colours. If you’re a trader, for example, that last part means the economy is currently in a state of wild flux, with prices of previously modest items shooting up, and expensive items crashing from space.

Lastly, there’s Diretide. When last year’s Halloween event didn’t return, Dota 2 fans held mad protests. As a result, it’s part of this update and will run from today through to November 28th. I have no idea what Diretide is and I don’t care to know.

Here is your reason to like Dota 2 even if you refuse to play. He’s not new.


  1. ghiest says:

    Two new heroes, Storm spirit is just a make over (from tubby to trim :P).

  2. Yosharian says:

    The lane picker thing is huge, you didn’t mention that bit. Xin is apparently slightly overpowered.

    • Nocta says:

      Heroes being overpowered doesn’t matter outside of Captain Mode for DotA. Icefrog doesn’t balance for pubs at all.

      • zergl says:

        Eh, [Citation needed].

        Warlock was rarely seen in comp and received a slight nerf (no damage on his Ult) because of his pub stompiness.

        Spirit Breaker was seen in comp, but not that much and was hit quite hard.

        He certainly balances primarily around the higher skill bracket and pro/comp play, but he doesn’t really ignore mid-low skill pub stompers.

        • Nocta says:

          Well, obviously he’s not letting heroes dominate pubs for the longest time, but I always seen him letting powerful heroes in pub to gather data to change things. Just look at the current Broodmother, or the previous version Drow.

  3. Horg says:

    ”When last year’s Halloween event didn’t return, Dota 2 fans held mad protests”

    The culmination of the protests saw hundreds of irate Dota fans contacting the car manufacturer Volvo in order to register their disgust at the lack of Diretide. Volvo then contacted Valve (presumably to ask what the hell a ”Diretide” is and why people think they have it held hostage) resulting in Valve capitulating and finally releasing Diretide two weeks late this year. So, erm, thanks Volvo.

    • realitysconcierge says:

      I wonder if this patch has assuaged any of that bad blood?

      • Horg says:

        The chant is currently ”ALIVE GAEM VOLVO REBAND” so I think the rabid horde is pacified…..for now.

    • Kitsunin says:

      Wow, er, that’s actually true. Haha…okay.

  4. lowprices says:

    The coaching thing sounds interesting. Dota is a game that I want to love, but just bounce right the hell off, so anything that speeds up the process of becoming less shit at it is welcome.

    • SillyWizard says:

      Indeed. The coaching aspect is something that tempts me to reinstall. However, adding sockets to their already ridiculously repellent item system nixes that urge instantly.

      • Kaiji says:


        If you haven’t read this guide, I highly recommend it.

        link to


        What exactly repels you about a completely non-intrusive, non-gameplay-affecting item system that you don’t have to use if you don’t want to?

      • Kitsunin says:

        It’s purely a cosmetic system, did you miss that?

        • SillyWizard says:

          No no no, it’s not having different skins or whatever that bothers me about the items: it’s how the whole shop/item system works.

          The game is abstruse enough: having 300 effing various items, and expecting players (or, at least, me) to memorize which ones I need for which characters, plus when precisely I should acquire them oh and also which fucking shop they’re sold in because of course not everything can be found in the same place!

          All while trying to be a contributing member to a 5-man team and ganking newbs or denying towers or whatever the fuck else foreign-language-verbiage they use.

          It’s just really not for me.

          • Kaiji says:


            The sockets apply to the cosmetic item system, not the actual ingame item system.

            I think it’s a huge shame when I see people giving up on DotA2 before they even begin. It only took me a couple of weeks of playing against medium bots and reading a few guides to get a strong enough foothold to compete effectively in matchmaking.

            If I’d expected to play competently against real people from day one I probably wouldn’t still be playing today because that’s just a ridiculous and unrealistic expectation.

            Modern gaming has babied everyone so much that most people simply fold and walk away when presented with a real challenge.

  5. thecommoncold says:

    “Gems can now be socketed into items, to imbue them with new animations, stats and colours.”

    Not stats as in item attributes, though. More like storing and displaying stat-tracking info.

    (Just thought to clarify this, as my knee-jerk reaction when I saw “stats” was omgpaytowinbarf. Thankfully, that doesn’t seem to be the case.)

    • darkChozo says:

      Without doing any research because it’s the Internet, I assume that basically means gems are the equivalent of Unusual-ness?

  6. Aberaham says:

    Nice, an online game got a patch, thats one less article to write to reach my quota!

    • Fenix says:

      What the fuck? If an update happens and RPS doesn’t cover it, we get a bunch of people crying about “RPS ignoring Dota 2” and supposedly selling their souls to LoL. If they do cover it, they get comments like yours.

      I really feel for the writers here, with this weird damned if do/damned if don’t scenario created by whiny moronic internet people.

    • mr.ioes says:

      First Blood and Three Spirits were the first 2 big patches since Dota 2’s launch. Certainly reportworthy, one would suggest. If this one wasn’t actually quite weak.

  7. magogjack says:

    This bias that RPS has for Dota 2 is getting to be a little much. I wish we could get some articles about League of Legends, but Riot apparently does not pay as well as Valve.

    • Shepardus says:

      RPS does write articles about LoL, and in those articles people keep complaining that Dota 2 is getting ignored in favor of League. Judging by a quick search of both tags, they just don’t cover either very much.

  8. kinito9541 says:

    Dota 2 isn’t starting.
    It just shows I’m in the game then exits quickly and also synchronizes my time.

  9. babajikibooti says:

    I couldn’t care less about these magic simulators made to titillate wild fantasies of nerds.

    • OpT1mUs says:

      Yet here you are on this blog, reading what? Sports news? Fucking nerd

    • says:

      You’d be surprised at how sensible Dota2’s female character designs are when compared to … well, every other game’s female character designs. (especially those in the same MOBA/ARTS/whatever genre, which tends to be dominated by skimpy-looking wimmin)

  10. Niko says:

    Is it true that if I start playing Dota 2 I won’t have time to play all the other games?

    • says:

      Eh, possibly? It only took a month or two for it to become the only multiplayer game I bothered with. That’s probably because of a RL friend or two getting into it at the same time. It also really helped that a friend walked me through my first through matches and showed me how to play.

  11. strangeloup says:

    I’ve actually started enjoying Dota 2, by the cunning plan of treating it like a thing to do for fun rather than SUPER SERIOUS ESPORTS. That being said, I’ve only really done co-op versus AI so far, but it’s perfectly enjoyable — and it beats having to deal with the hot tempers that tend to arise in full PvP.

  12. sharklaser says:

    you should write about Lol so Dota fans can make random arguements to ruin it. Lol fans dont ruin here, it is not accepted.