DOTA 2 Update 7.07 - The Dueling Fates Coming Nov 1st
Valve has just dropped a massive Dota 2 announcement. Update 7.07, also known as Dueling Fates, not only adds two new heroes but also introduces Ranked Seasons and a new game mode (Turbo). A slew of changes to existing gameplay are also in the patch. Update 7.07 is set to go live on November 1, giving players two days to read through the patch notes and prepare.
The most eye catching part of the update is undoubedtly the introduction of two new heroes -- the melee carry Pangolier, and the ranged support Dark Willow. These are both new heroes, and the only new heroes Dota has added besides Sun Wukong, the Monkey King. All other heroes found in Dota 2 are also found in the original Dota All Stars custom map for Warcraft 3.
The other major addition are Ranked Seasons. Rather than a fixed, static MMR, players will now participate in regular six-month seasons where their MMR will be re-calibrated anew each time (with previous rankings playing a part). Players will earn medals as they advance in rank each season, and these medals will be displayed before each match begins. These changes will likely add new life to the ranking system, and I'm glad to see Valve finally willing to borrow certain features from the far more successful MOBA League of Legends. A League of Legends inspired ping wheel has also been added.
Update 7.07 also brings back an old favorite of mine from the Dota All Stars days. Turbo mode, known previous as Easy Mode, will be added to the search queue. Turbo Mode offers shorter matches by granting players more Gold & XP, making towers weaker, and reducing respawn timers. Players will also be able to shop anywhere on the map in Turbo Mode! This makes it an ideal way to introduce new players to Dota 2, or to practice new heroes. Ability Draft, another fun, casual game mode has also been updated for this patch.
The full list of changes span several pages, but these are some that caught my attention:
- Removed repicking
- Randoming no longer grants bonus gold. Instead, players receieve a mango and an iron branch.
- Heroes now start with a TP scroll.
- Couriers automatically upgrade to Flying Couriers at the 3min mark.
- Third Roshan kill now drops a single-use consumable refresher orb.
- Neutrals now sleep at night and have zero aggro range while asleep.
- Removed all remaining Unique Attack Modifiers.
- Iron Talon and Poor Man's Shield removed.
- New Items: Meteor Hammer, Aeon Disk, Spirit Vessel, Nullifier, Kaya
An update of this magnitude was much needed, as Dota 2's concurrent player numbers have been on a steady decline for a year now. September 2017 saw the average player count dip below 500,000 for the first time since October 2014. October 2017's number are likely to be even worse, but if Update 7.07 is well received, November could be the turnaround month.
Further Reading: Dueling Fates - The 7.07 Update