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.