Dota 2 Patch 6.87: Everything Changes, Again

Big Dota 2 [official site] patches are exciting for me. Even small changes can have huge rippling effects in the butterfly effect ’em up that is Dota, so big patches rebalancing and reworking and adding loads are… I don’t even know. Looking at the patch notes for Dota 2 v6.87, I have no idea what shape the game will take now. Along with new items, nerfs and buffs, map layout changes, and all that, it gives teams a long-cooldown scan ability? I don’t know, man.

Ooh, let’s see. Well, players of all levels can appreciate the addition of new items. 6.87 has seven of ’em! The bigguns are a high-damage combination of Orchid and Crystalys with the active ability to boost all attacks against a target (including allies’ attacks!), the Echo Sabre gives melee heroes a passive double attack every five seconds which also slow targets, and Hurricane Pike combines Force Staff and Dragon Lance for all sorts of shoving fun. And one item lets you straight-up buy experience points.

Move on to balance tweaks, you’ll find observer Wards living a minute shorter, Abyssal Blade losing some damage but gaining defensive buffs, and oh, I give up, there are hundreds of changes. Check out how your favourites are affected.

Bloodseeker, Mirana, Oracle, Storm Spirit, and Winter Wyvern have Aghanim’s Scepter skill upgrades now, and Earthshaker’s Scepter upgrade is reworked to sound awesome. It now turns Enchant Totem into a terrifying 900-range jump, launching him in to stun people. I must try this. Jump everywhere.

Oh, and the Intelligence stat now boosts spell damage a small amount.

And towers give an armour buff to nearby heroes. And tier 2 towers do more damage.

And yeah, that scan ability – every 4.5 minutes, a team can scan a 900-unit area for eight seconds and see if any enemy units are in there (not numbers or identities, and not in the Rosh pit),

Patch 6.87 is due to launch this week. Do check out the patch notes. I cannot imagine what shape Dota 2 will take, but I am excited to find out. The run-up to The International in August is going to be interesting.


  1. Synesthesia says:

    Also, trees drop bananas for some reason. Using them drops a banana peel, and enemies slip on them. Maybe a hidden event?

    link to

  2. Hobse says:

    Quick editing note… I think there’s a word missing in the first sentence. Just so you know!

  3. Bobtree says:

    It looks like 6.87 just went live. Usually the big updates stay several days on the test client first.

  4. RaunakS says:

    I wonder, with so many changes seemingly upsetting the game, will this be a good time to get into DOTA? Or has the ship already sailed, considering too many people have been playing for way too long already? This kinda happened to me EVE – mined for a long time, got confused by the scans and got killed by the tutorial enemies. By then the 2 weeks were over and I left.

    • The Sero says:

      Theoretically, with the matchmaking system, you should always be able to start playing dota, it should put you against other newbies. With new items and such, people will be experimenting with them, but the games you’d have people will likley be experimenting with all the items anyway, at any time.

      Do be warned though, the first few matches you have are likely to be badly balanced, while valves smurf detection ain’t bad, you still find them, and the learning curve of the game is a brick wall (though it’s a least a wall with cracks forming handholds now).

      • RaunakS says:

        I actually got a DOTA rank of ~1300 several years ago so I’m not entirely new to the game. I’ll join and I hope I don’t pwned by Dark Souls-like twinks all game. Thanks for the info!

    • ButteringSundays says:

      They’re not really comparable but with neither would you be ‘missing the boat’.

      A 1 day old character in eve is useful – sounds more like you could have done with joining a corp (something that’s always recommended) – or at the very least reading a guide or looking at the wiki.

      With dota yes, there will be millions of more experienced players, but there’s matchmaking, so it’s accounted for.

      To be useful there’s probably more to learn in dota though. So if you couldn’t *mine in highsec without getting killed by an npc rat* you might want to consider whether you’re up for it XD

      • Cinek says:

        In EVE Day 1 character is useless, both: you can’t fly anything useful, you don’t have cash to buy anything harmful, and you don’t have a skill to do stuff where it doesn’t matter what ship you fly.

        In DOTA on the other hand there’s only your, player skill and knowledge that limits you. All heroes are unlocked from the beginning, there’s no skills to tick through, you just need to learn the game, and proceed to have fun. Given the fact that matchmaker won’t put you in the same instance with people who clocked hundreds of hours into the game – your learning curve will also be matched against people with relatively similar experience, making it far better and far more player-friendly environment than the pits of EVE are.

    • Banyan says:

      There are always changes upsetting the game, so there’s no reason to hold back. Eventually the changes are welcome as each patch makes the game feel different. (People who don’t play Dota complain that there’s “only” one map, and don’t realize that patches give us a new game every 3 months.)

      As The Sero says, Dota has a learning wall, not a curve. I was about 40 hours in before I developed basic game sense. Expect to be utterly bewildered for many games.

      • RaunakS says:

        Ah I have played DOTA several versions ago when it was still in beta. I got a rank of ~1300 or so when I calibrated so I know how to click around. I liked playing the skeleton dude who never died.

        I think I’ll take your advice and jump in for a few games. Thank you!

  5. fabronaut says:

    I got into dota2 a couple years ago via a friend from back in secondary school days. I didn’t pick it up very quickly, and I’m an okay to middling player at best (I think my ranked rating is around the average, perhaps a bit higher if I’m playing well and not making silly mistakes).

    There are communities like “playdota” and others that are willing to help teach new players. The tutorials that Valve shoehorned into the game are pretty week.

    I’m really glad I had a friend help me learn the game, since it would’ve been massively frustrating to me. I must admit that the matchmaking system is pretty decent. I suspect that the “calibration” games will be all over the place, but so can regular games.

    I found that I picked up the game in “chunks” — for the first ~15 hrs in game, I had no idea what was going on. I got a lot more of it by 24 hrs, with a knowledge spike at ~35 hrs? This keeps happening in increments… 70 hrs, 150 hrs, 300 hrs, 500 hrs… I’ve almost clocked 1600 hrs in the client, so let’s assume I played maybe 1400 or so, as I have watched matches, played some of the alternate modes, and spent time queuing up for a match or leaving the application open in the background.

    There’s a truly ludicrous amount of depth in the number of systems and possible combinations. I haven’t played other MOBA titles (LoL, Strife… tried HoN ages ago, had a similar experience to when I learned dota2 — wtf is going on?), so I can’t really speak to that. The general consensus seems to be that once you wrap your head around Dota, the others are a bit lacking in depth by comparison. I assume that has something to do with its constantly iterated development (over 13+ years now?) and its history of incorporating community feedback.

    Some aspects of the community are pretty maddening, the playerbase can be fairly horribly toxic at times (thank god for the separate mute text and voice chat options), and I found it very hard to learn… but there’s nothing else quite like it. Even if I put it down for a few months and come back, the fundamentals of the game don’t completely change, but there’s enough going on with patches and tweaking and the “metagame” that it fits a role in my life that I suspect following professional sports does for many people.

    Last night, I discussed the patch notes with friends in a fashion that I imagine others talk about the implications of player trades and the draft phase in many professional leagues. If you asked me that a few years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to understand that mindset in the slightest!

    • fabronaut says:

      argh, typos galore no doubt! *weak tutorials, etc.

      Anyhow, I think if you find a group of decent, friendly, helpful people that you enjoy playing with on a semi-regular basis, it’s a simply fantastic game. To some degree, it helps to eventually end up around the same skill level to ensure matchmaking is fun and balanced, but I think it’s more important to play with people who are supportive and willing to give helpful, constructive feedback and put up with your foibles. While also having fun, of course!

      I think there might be a life lesson in that somewhere… curses!

  6. Ixayxa says:

    ban – all pick. stupid valve