For an idea of how much Dota 2’s New Journey/7.00 update is A Big Deal, consider this: Dota, in general, has been in version 6.somethingsomething since 2005 – the Dota All-Stars mod days. It was around this time that the mysterious Icefrog originally took over development. That’s endured all the way through Valve’s Dota 2, right up until now, when all our expectations of the game’s patch number conventions crumbled like so many tango-munched trees.
Moreover, the preceding patch – 6.88 – is held in unusually high esteem by both the community at large and the professional/competitive scene. Other than the questionable strength of certain illusion-spam lineups, 6.88 was remarkably well-balanced, with almost no heroes considered unviable and a relatively broad range of strategies, from drawn-out split pushing to full-davai five-man gank rushes being employed in games at all skill levels. [Don’t worry about the terminology if you’re less steeped in on Dota slang – just know that 6.88 was really versatile! – Ed]
Nonetheless, Valve – and Icefrog – have held little back for 7.00, introducing not only a new hero in Monkey King, but the kind of fundamentals-altering additions that go even further than what skipping 0.11 version numbers would suggest. Perhaps the most impactful of these changes are Talents. Read the rest of this entry »