I do enjoy the Dota 2 [official site] patches which change so much that I have no idea how the game even plays anymore. Version 6.86 is arriving this week with The Balance of Power Update and… I’ll be awful for ages figuring out what’s even happening. It ports another hero over from the original DotA, Arc Warden, while also adding new items, tweaking balance, and reshaping the map.
The patch is currently on the test client, and I imagine it’ll launch properly on Thursday.
Arc Warden, then, is a ranged agility hero whose abilities are a damaging slow, a ghostly landmine sort of thing, an AoE bubble giving allied units and buildings bonus attack speed and evasion, and, as its ultimate, creating a duplicate with the same items and abilities. Arc was added to WC3 DotA after I stopped playing, so I’m keen to see what it even is.
Over in New Item Corner, you’ll find the Dragon Lance giving extra attack range to ranged heroes, the Aether Lens boosting spell damage and cast range, the Iron Talons as a souped-up Quelling Blade, and Faerie Fire, a cheap consumable which gives +2 damage until you munch it for 75HP.
As for balance changes… well! Death Prophet, Doom, Faceless Void, Lone Druid, and Riki all have an ability replaced with a new one. The map is reshaped in ways I won’t memorise for ages. And loads of items and skills and creeps and things have been tweaked. Do check the changelog to see how your favourites are affected. Oh, and there’s a new Arcane Rune, which reduces spell cooldowns and mana costs for a while.
I like the sound of being able to plant Ironwood Branches to sprout “a happy little tree” – especially with plays like this.
Oh, and Valve have a new comic introducing Arc Warden and showing how Zeus got his long-overdue a new look. It’s nice that he’s classic Dirtbag Zeus. And the desert terrain is coming for Compendium owners. And Zeus has a flash new Arcana set. And here’s DotaCinema demonstrating Arc Warden’s abilities: