Part of a miscellany of serious thoughts, animal gifs, and anecdotage from the realm of MOBAs/hero brawlers/lane-pushers/ARTS/tactical wizard-em-ups. One day Pip might even tell you the story of how she bumped into Na’Vi’s Dendi at a dessert buffet cart. THIS WEEK, however, she will be picking through the mango-infested lands of patch 6.84
Tis patch time in Dota 2 land – the patch notes for 6.84 hit yesterday and we're at that point where the subreddit is now a forest of theorycrafting and the test client is merely a vessel for flinging out "lol icefrog pls fix" video material.
"But Pip," you might say. "Surely it is to you we will turn to make sense of this world where Alchemist must provide Aghamin's Scepters like some kind of mystical Pez dispenser, you who will guide us through the ramifications of the multiward stackathon and the difference between a walrus punch and a walrus kick."
Well, sort of. But I think SRS ANALYSIS BSNS will only really bear fruit (mangoes obv) after the patch has settled in and had the broken bits tweaked or removed. Heck, some of the new items might not even make it through the process.
Instead I'm currently more interested in a smidge of "oooh, would you take a look at that" from my own point of view on the new items combined with "lol icefrog pls fix" video material.
Firstly: Enchanted Mango
It's a new consumable which give you +1 HP regen when it's in your inventory and a mighty 150 mana when it's chomped. I'm all kinds of in love with this item right now, partly because I find restoring mana with clarities frustrating because of the chance of cancellation and partly because a lot of the characters I enjoy playing benefit from using their spells in combination with one another. The mana burst helps make that available a lot quicker.
You can also use them on your allies, essentially jamming a whole tropical fruit into their gaping maw mid-fight. Multiple mangoes don't stack in your inventory though, so at points mine has looked closer to a grocery box than a magical arsenal in the test client.
I was also up far too late last night and made a picture of my favourite GTA Online car driving through a shower of enchanted mangoes.
In other support-friendly news, I'm excited about a new type of shoes called Guardian Greaves. they're made from Arcane Boots (which are the ones which give a blast of mana in an area around you) a Mekansm (which is similar but for HP and has a few other bonuses like offering some extra armor) and a recipe.
Essentially, I'll often end up with both of those items as part of playing support but, as the game goes on, for the cost of the recipe (1,650 gold) you get to collapse them into one inventory slot. It does then combine the active healing and mana blasts meaning you can't choose to stagger those but at that point in the game you might well prefer the extra space for another item or a Town Portal scroll or some dust. There's also a kind of emergency care package built in for nearby allies on less than 20% health as they get 15 armor and 15 health regen at that point.
The Arcanes themselves are also getting a bit of a buff as their cost goes down slightly and their effective radius goes up. It also doesn't cost 35 mana to activate them so when you're magically skint you can actually tap for mana rather than waiting to regen enough that you can feed it to your shoes and enable the blast.
Another newcomer to the store is the Moon Shard which seems to cater to my own love of overbuying Hyperstones. I remember when I first started playing Dota and I got four Hyperstones on Sniper assuming it would turn him into a machine gunner. I think we were still at a low enough tier of matchmaking that that was not a game-losing strat. The Moon Shard gives +120 attack speed and bonus night vision. If you fancy you can eat it and internalise a +60 attack speed buff. As you play Dota you'll sometimes wonder if your characters all suffer from pica. I feel like this patch will exacerbate that, although also mangoes.
The support in me is also eying up the Solar Crest in a rather inappropriate manner. It's kind of a souped up Medallion of Courage consisting of said Medallion and a Talisman of Evasion. You can use it on an ally to transfer the armor and evasion bonuses to them or use it on an enemy to cause a loss of that amount of armor and to apply a miss chance of 30% to their attacks.
The Octarine Core is also getting a lot of attention at the moment, although it's less likely to be something I build on the regular given my usual role. The name is a Pratchett reference which took me an embarrassingly long time to spot because I was thinking about mangoes and nectarines. ANYWAY, it's a cooldown reduction item, which is super interesting because cooldown is one of those major balancing factors in the game and there's a spell lifesteal element to it which means when you deal damage with spells a you'll get a portion of that damage back as healing for your character. I will say it's a 6k gold item, though and a lot of people seem to be panicking about it as if they'll be on heroes from, like, eight minutes in or something.
The improving inventory space theme continues with the ward allocations – sentry and observers now sit in the same space and you can toggle between them. Expect to see a few confused instances of placement of the wrong type of wards, forgetting that you now buy observers singly rather than in batches of two and supports getting giddy about having a whole extra inventory space to play with. You can also eat wards with a tango now to regain extra health compared with regular tango use. I don't know what the game logic behind that would be, although the patch notes say wards taste better. "I will regain extra health by eating this eyeball on a stick" – I can't wait to have to explain that one to Alec.
Elsewhere, Divine Rapiers are 10% more divine, Alchemist will be permanently inundated with calls to buy other people their Aghanim's Scepter and I really don't see why you would even want to use the invisibility provided by a Glimmer Cape given it is entirely fabulous and needs to be seen. Maybe that's why you can use it on other people.
One of the most entertaining parts of a patch – for me at least – is the video deluge which shows off all the weird and buggy and fun and broken and cool things the patch has introduced. Some are from games and some are out-of-context proofs of concept.
[The gifs will resize rather than crop eventually but gfycat takes a long time to do it. You'll need to click on the gifs to see them properly if you don't fancy waiting]
Here's Heratikus showing what happens if you cast Lotus Orb's active on yourself while getting Omnislashed – the active re-casts the spell back on its caster so this is Venge and Juggs having a lovely sword-based tango through the Radiant base.
Here's Bristleback with an Octarine Core taking on five Svens with the power of spell lifesteal. Bristleback needs BristleBREAK.
Double stacking with Sand King's Caustic Finale
This one's already gone because spell steal is no longer reflectable but there was a brief, beautiful moment of tentacle madness thanks to Meepo nicking Ravage after having the Lotus Orb cast on him just before Rubick cast Spell Steal.
A 4 person infest bomb with lightning delivery service
And if Doom dies after consuming a mud golem you get babby Doomlings