Dota 2’s 7.00 update changes everything, brings Monkey King and backpacks

Viper remodel

As the confetti fell on the end of the Dota 2 [official site] Boston Major tournament its developers, Valve, announced a significant update to their MOBA: update 7.00. I scanned the notes yesterday (once the website was able to cope with the strain of the traffic) and had a couple of games on the test client and GOOD LORD, it’s a doozy! There are Heroes of the Storm-ish talent trees, the jungle has changed so much I actually got lost, Roshan has upped sticks and moved to the northern bit of the river, Monkey King is a total (cool) jerk, the HUD has slimmed right down, illusions offer bounties and all kinds of other nonsense.

We’ll have a proper thorough patch analysis a bit later as the update is going live today but here are a few impressions after playing on the test client:

1. Monkey King

Sun Wukong

Monkey King is so cool, but I already hate him. He’s a melee carry with an enormous staff. He can enlarge said staff and slam it down in front of him to deal a stun and critical strike. I learned to avoid this one but goodness, being hit by it was painful. Tree Dance lets him leap along the treetops so it’s a really useful escape or a setup for surprise attacks. To get out of the treeline he can also channel Primal Spring which is a leap which slows and damages enemies in an area of effect when he lands. Jingu Mastery charges his staff up when he hits things and offers bonus damage and lifesteal for a few seconds when it’s fully charged. Mischief is his awesome contextual disguise – LOOK!

His ultimate is Wukong’s Command which summons a bunch of monkey soldiers into an area and is a right pain in the bum.

2. Talent trees

I really like these. What they do is replace the bit where you upgrade your character’s stats with a choice of two upgrades at levels 10, 15, 20 and 25. These are different for each character but essentially it lets you do a bit of extra tailoring to suit your hero to the game and then generally offers a really powerful boost at level 25. To take Witch Doctor (my bae) as an example:

Level 10: +200 Health OR +20% XP Gain
Level 15: +75 Damage OR -35s Respawn Time
Level 20: +8 Armor OR +15% Magic Resistance
Level 25: +150 Death Ward Attack Range OR +20 Voodoo Restoration Heal

So the level 10 choice of XP gain is useful if you’ve slipped behind in levels as a support. The level 15 choice of reducing the respawn timer is useful if you’re playing defence – particularly if you’re defending your base. The level 20 choice is about what kind of damage you’re taking from the other team. Essentially this lot are about whether you’re attacking or defending, really. Other heroes have more utility options or give you tanky versus agility options. There are still the regular abilities and items which also let you tailor your build but I think this talent tree stuff helps stop you getting lost in item builds or helps counter that thing where you always build the same items regardless of the specific game you’re in.

3. The map

The map is bloody confusing. Everything has moved and there are a new kind of jungle creep and shrines which are kind of like wells in Heroes of the Storm in that they offer a healing boost over time when you activate them and also there are bounty runes all over the jungle and staircases everywhere and Roshan went up-river so he’s sort of more in the Baron position if you play League of Legends and I couldn’t find the Dire secret shop for a moment and the neutral creep spawn time is different and the jungle is more dangerous and what even are the rules of pulling a creep wave any more ARGH ARGH ARGHHHHHHH!

Roshan's new home

3.1 I feel like it’s a decent idea for Rosh to move up-river because he’ll get fresher water there.

3.2 Although maybe he was kind of a scavenger and would snack on whatever washed down from fights?

3.3 So maybe Roshan is on a diet?

3.4 Or maybe this was some kind of witness protection scheme and he’s moved and changed his name and whatnot in an attempt not to get harassed by heroes all the time.

3.5 In which case he really shouldn’t have let Icefrog mark his new location on the minimap.

4. Pre-game

There’s a bunch more options including the ability to filter heroes by complexity so you know what you’re getting into. There’s also a new strategy bit where you get a window of time before the game to assign or predict lanes, purchase items and play with your cosmetics.

5. Backpack

The last thing I’ll mention here is the backpack. This is a bonus storage space with three slots which you can’t use as active inventory space but you can use it to carry round things like recipes which you’re building into other items so you don’t have to micromanage space as much. You can also store some extra items in there if you’re wanting to switch between them for different phases of the game. You just need to be aware of a few limitations (no Divine Rapiers in the backpack, pls) and there’s a cooldown to take into account if you swap stuff into your main inventory from your backpack when you’re not in range of a shop.

I’m going to leave everything else for the beefy analysis later on but let me know your thoughts if you’ve tried the new patch on the test client. I think it’s the map and HUD changes which will take the most getting used to. I can’t rely on my muscle memory for things like courier upgrades and opening up the shop right now. Everything requires that extra second of thought whilst I locate it. The timings for stacking and pulling are out of the window too. But the talent trees were pretty easy to get to grips with and the rest is kind of business as usual in terms of major patches bringing new heroes or hero reworks (Necrophos, Techies, Lycan and Treant). Treant’s rework is mint, by the way. His tree-based invisibility is now a passive and he gets ridiculous move speed as part of it.

Wait, I was going to stop talking about the patch! I just keep seeing new things every time I read it. BUT YES. Stopping now. Tell me your thoughts if you’ve given it a go!


  1. jon_hill987 says:

    What happens if you use a Tango on Monkey King when he is disguised as a tree? Can you bottle him when he is disguised as a rune?

    I must say I don’t envy the poor support going for the 2:30 courier snipe to stop that bottle going to mid. Here comes that donkOMG MONKEY KING!

    I like the idea of most of this update, the “stats” levels were boring and nearly always only picked when you had nothing else to level. The skills look like they will add some needed flexibility to most heroes. The only thing I am unsure about is the backpack. Tranquil Boot jungling without the need to drop the boots and risk someone destroying them (and getting featured on Fails of the Week) seems a bit broken to me. Also, the six slot limit prevented one team getting too far ahead. At some point you knew they would cap out and you could catch up and win if you just hold out a little longer.

    • wengart says:

      Yea the backpack seems a bit iffy to me.

      Its either a moderate buff to supports or a really big buff to carries. Since you could technically support having both a fighting build and a wave clear build on one of your cores now. Or just buy a value Desolator to push down towers with.

      • Penguinho says:

        It’s a buff to supports, primarily. Gold comes significantly faster, and boots + a few minor stat items like wand or urn + wind lace start running you out of inventory slots fast. Being able to stick wards or smoke or salves in the backpack until you need them is huge.

  2. RedViv says:

    Sun Wukong AND all those savoury changes is just too much to resist. That incarnation is just the right kind of bastard I’d love to see and play him as. A thousand curses on you for dragging me back in there, Icefrog And Amazing Friends.


  3. Admiral Aitchbar says:

    I really like the Talent tree thing, the stats levelling always felt like a relic and this now provides more choice and the ability to adapt to the particular game you’re in. For example +20 Voodoo Restoration is no laughing matter, but then you’d need to take the +15%XP to get it realistically, and that’s sort of setting yourself up for a long HG defense game so you’d need to rely on your team protecting you a little more. I like it.

    And thank heavens ‘pwned’ is gone.

    • jon_hill987 says:

      “And thank heavens ‘pwned’ is gone.”

      Finally! I was just saying to a friend when watching the Major that they need to get rid of cringeworthy stuff like that for eSports to be taken seriously.

  4. Hideous says:

    I miss playing Dota! Most of my friends stopped playing, and there is absolutely no way I’m going in solo.

    Except maybe tonight because daaaamn this is a pretty gigantic patch.

  5. Horg says:

    3.6: Roshan is the latest victim of the housing crisis and had to downsize away from his prime spot near the dire ancients to a cheaper neighborhood. The changes to the jungle are likely a precursor to relaxing the zoning laws and allowing dank monster pits to be built in the green belt.

  6. Ghostwise says:

    My main strategic insight after perusing this report is “uh, people still say ‘bae’ ?”

  7. somnolentsurfer says:

    Thing I wasn’t quite clear on from reading the patch notes: Is Monkey King visible when he’s in the treetops? And if not will an observer ward on a high rock reveal him, or is truesight required?

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      Philippa Warr says:

      I *think* it might be a flying vision thing, so stuff like Batrider and Beastmaster and an aghs upgrade on KotL would reveal it. But that’s just based on reading stuff and what I’ve noticed anecdotally in the test client games not a definitive statement.

      If you know/guess the tree he’s in you can eat it with a tango or chop it down with Timbersaw or a quelling blade or whatnot and it stuns him for 4s which is FOREVER. We did that with a jungle invade before the horn sounded in a game this lunchtime and killed him as a result :D

      I’d say Timber is currently the easiest way to just carve through the trees and screw him up if you can’t see him.

      • somnolentsurfer says:

        Ah, good to know. Thanks. Not likely to get a go before it actually goes live.

      • jon_hill987 says:

        Timbersaw also has a legitimate reason to be scared of trees now, between Monkey King and the reworked Treant Protector Passive. CHOP THEM ALL DOWN TO BE SURE!

  8. mukuste says:

    Monkey King? What a LoL ripoff.

    • darewin says:

      Dude, you just went full retard. Never go full retard. Dota 2 Monkey King is based on the Monkey King of Chinese Mythology just like the Monkey King in LoL, HoN, Smite and countless other games. Even Son Goku in Dragon Ball is loosely based on Monkey King.

      • mukuste says:

        Thank you! I already thought nobody would bite.

      • Apologised says:

        Well, I gave it a go, and… it’s awful.

        There’s some good in here, like the prematch stuff for sure, and the game loads a little quicker I guess. That’s it though.

        It’s not the HUD changes, that’s something that you can adapt to, although a Legacy mode SHOULD have been included. It’s not the deletion of EVERY single guide, it’s not just the map changes, although it’s clear that this ISN’T the same team that gave us the last patch and they have changed FAR too much.

        It’s more the changes to levelling and gold gain. It’s the inclusion of the shrines, its that they’ve basically changed the game into LoL or HotS, and forgive me for pointing this out, but THOSE GAMES ALREADY EXIST.

        Some of us LIKED games with a little bit of a longer scope. Some of us LIKED having a MOBA where the games were on average 40 to 70 minutes.
        They’ve accellerated the progression too much, they are over rewarding hero kills over creep kills and basically turned it into a different game.
        Were lucky at this point that last hitting and denies are even still a thing.

        I’ve had DOTA 2 installed since April 2012.

        I’ve just uninstalled.

  9. Flimgoblin says:

    Just when I thought I was out… they pull me back in.

  10. Lars Westergren says:

    I really like the talents. Makes more diverse items builds and team compositions viable, and more pocket strats for the pro teams. “AHA! You thought our Dazzle was position 5 hard support, but actually Dazzolator snowballing carry!”

    The first couple of hours there were a couple of really angry people on Reddit complaining about ded game and “dumbing down”, which is an eye-roll inducing accusation 9 times out of 10, and especially here.

    A flat stat increase vs: deciding with your team if you want to play for late game or end early, and trying to guess if the opponents are going to go armor or magic-reducing strat and itemizing accordingly, and yet more “ulti” like lvl 25 skills to remember and play around (8 more brood webs. Dragon Knight doubles his regen and armor. SB mooing past Storm ulti with +500 speed). More choices and complexity than ever.

    But just because HotS had them, it’s automatically dumbing down?