With Season 12 of Starladder coming to a close and Vici Gaming claiming the cup, we have gotten details about the upcoming 6.84 patch as promised by Icefrog. The current 6.83 patch is one that not every member of the Dota community is satisfied with, to put lightly. A number of pro players were quite vocal about their disdain towards the comeback mechanics and both the pro scene and pubs alike were dominated by heroes like Troll Warlock and Sniper.
In the upcoming 6.84, Valve are aiming to fix these issues by adjusting some these mechanics while at the same time adding in a bunch of new ones in an attempt to help keep the game feel fresh and exciting even to the hardened veterans who may have become stuck in their ways. Check out the full patch notes here.
While you could write a novel about the patch notes and the implications each change may have, here are just a few of my main highlights.
Right off the bat, we see changes to the aforementioned comeback mechanics in these 2 changes:
*AoE Bonus Gold component based on Team Net Worth difference reduced by 25%
*AoE Bonus XP component based on Team XP difference reduced by 40%
The comeback mechanics, first introduced in patch 6.82, meant teams who were behind in terms of gold and experience could gain massive amounts of both when killing a hero on the team who is ahead. When first introduced, a team who was heavily behind for the majority of the game could get themselves on even footing with the other team in terms of gold and XP after a single favourable team fight. A number of patches were released afterwards reducing the affects of these comeback mechanics but it still continued to play a big role in matches. This led to teams emphasising strategies that made use of this mechanic by picking heroes such as Storm Spirit who excelled at taking advantage of being able to get large amounts of gold and XP from even a single pick off when their team was behind. This also meant that teams who were ahead sometimes felt as if they were being severely punished for doing well in the early part of the game and gaining a lead.
6.84 doesn’t remove the comeback mechanics altogether, yet tries to reduce the impact it has on games by further reducing the amount of gold and XP gained when killing a hero on the team that is ahead. We will have to see how 6.84 plays out in order to determine whether these reductions will be enough to make teams who are in the lead feel as if they’re not being punished for being ahead of their opponents. For the time being though, this does seem to be a step in the right direction.
The changes to the comeback mechanics are not the only economic changes coming in 6.84.
- Melee lane creep bounty reduced from 43 to 40 (-7%)
- Range lane creep bounty reduced from 48 to 45 (-6.25%)
- Hero kills (the non-net worth portions) are worth 10% more
- Ancient Black Dragon bounty reduced from 199 to 170
- Ancient Black Drake bounty reduced from 50 to 40
- Ancient Rumblehide bounty reduced from 83 to 65
- Satyr Tormenter gold bounty reduced from 104 to 84
- Hellbear health reduced from 950 to 700
- Hellbear bounty reduced from 65 to 50
- Ogre Frostmage bounty reduced from 52 to 40
We see slight nerfs to the gold bounty gained from killing lane creeps as well as quite significant reductions on the gold bounty of neutral camps as well as the ancients. This alongside the fact the amount of gold gained per hero kill is being increased by 10%, means that teams are being encouraged to adopt a more aggressive play style by putting a little more emphasis on killing heroes rather than passively farming.
While these changes are most probably not going to turn the game into one constant team fight, we’re likely to see a good increase in the amount of aggression coming out in all stages of the game which will make it both more fun to play as well as watch. Is this the death of strategies that put a heavy emphasis on sitting back and farming? Probably not definitively, but those strategies will now take quite a bit more time to come online.
Aghanim’s Sceptor Upgrades
Onto the hero changes, we see a number of heroes getting Aghanim’s Scepter upgrades, and quite a few weird ones here and there. Alchemist can consume the Scepter (yes consume and lose the item) in order to give himself or an allied hero all the effects of his ultimate permanently (support Alchemist rushing an Aghanim’s to use on the core hero? Anyone?) . Centaur Warrunner’s Stampede reduces all incoming damage by 70% as well as allow free pathing for himself and for his allies. Lifestealer will be able to swallow an ally and have them hide inside of him. Morphling can turn into an illusion of an allied hero and have access to non ultimate abilities. Tusk will be able to throw out a Walrus Kick which knocks back a targeted unit. Weaver’s Time Lapse will be able to be applied to an allied hero. Wraith King will delay the deaths of heroes close to him for 5 seconds allowing them to continue attacking and casting spells.
The Aghanim’s upgrades above are only some of the more interesting ones coming in 6.84. While these upgrades do have the potential to bring heroes who are nowhere to be seen in the current meta into the spotlight, you have to keep in mind that the Aghanims Sceptor is a 4200 gold item, which is still quite an investment.
A number of prominent heroes in 6.83 are about to feel the wrath of Icefrog in the upcoming patch.
We see a number of nerfs to Juggernaut, with the most significant ones probably being the increased cooldown on Blade Fury as well as Omnislash no longer having a ministun on cast (no more cancelling TP Scrolls!). Juggernaut rose to fame in the last couple patches as the Mask of Madness build gained popularity, allowing him to deal massive amounts of damage through auto attacks while being invulnerable due to Omnislash. With these upcoming nerfs as well the nerf to MoM (more on that later), this looks like the much anticipated end of Juggernaut’s reign.
Sniper’s Agility gain takes (roughly) a 15% reduction, causing his attack speed and damage to be little bit worse than it used to be as the game progresses, while also making him more vulnerable to physical damage as he will gain less armor. Assassinate will now deal a little less damage than it used to, while Shrapnel takes quite a bit more time to recharge. The nerfs to Sniper look a little merciful at first glance given that the hero has only really found a place in the meta in 6.83. The changes may make him lose his place in the pro scene, but Sniper will likely still be a nuisance in pubs.
The most significant nerf coming to Troll Warlord, arguably the king of 6.83, is the nerf to berserker’s rage. The spell will no longer give him a bonus 15 damage when in melee form leaving him with a fairly unremarkable base attack at the start of the game. This may see the death of Troll as a mid hero, but throwing him in the safe lane where attack damage may not matter as much may still be a viable option. We also see the Battle Trance duration being reduced to 5, meaning that it may no longer be able to give your team the upper hand for the full duration of a team fight.
Its not a new patch unless there are nerfs to Batrider, who this time sees the overall amount of damage done by Flamebreak and Firefly reduced. Batrider has been nerfed for several patches in a row yet he is still a fairly popular hero. Who knows, maybe in 6.85 Icefrog will remove him from the game completely.
As with every patch, Icefrog buffs the heroes who didn’t seem to get much attention last time around. It’s often difficult to attempt to predict which heroes will be popular in the next patch, so instead of doing that, here are some of the more interesting hero buffs.
Dragon Knight’s Breathe Fire will now reduce the base damage of any enemy hit by it by 35% at max level for 8 seconds. While not much else has changed about this hero, this alone could make him a big deal. The change, alongside his high armor and hp regeneration, means that he will be tough to deal with in a 1v1 match up as he will likely have an advantage at gaining last hits and denies over his opponent. This is of course is not the only use for this ability, as later on in the game, reducing the enemy carry’s damage output by 35% may be the key factor in winning team fights.
Legion Commander sees some massive improvements to her Moment of Courage ability. The chance to proc is now 25% at all levels, more than what it previously was at max level. The amount of lifesteal has also been significantly upgraded from 20% at level one to 55%. While the cool down has been nerfed, it returns to its normal 0.9 seconds at max level, making her even more terrifying if you get caught out in a dual. These changes make her more viable in the jungle than she originally was, though as mentioned previously, the gold rewards for jungling are no longer as profitable.
Lifestealer also feels a bit of Icefrog love in 6.85. While the aforementioned Aghanim’s upgrade may result in some pub shenanigans, the real kicker here is that is that Feast is now considered a normal bonus damage. This allows for both crits to take the Feast damage into its calculation as well as allows for the damage to be used when cleaving (Magnus and lifestealer anyone?). Designed to be a hero who can melt tanks, Lifestealer has never been able to find his place in the meta since his open wounds cast range was nerfed a couple patches ago.
Ursa sees a massive change to his ultimate. When cast, all damage he takes will be reduced by a whopping 80%. The ability will also multiply the amount of damage he does through Fury Swipes allowing him to quickly eat through his foes. The improvements will both make him a nightmare in team fights and even more deadly against Roshan. Whether or not he will be picked more often is debatable as he still has the weakness of being very easy to kite.
Additions to the already wide array of items we have in the game in not a common occurrence in patches, yet, this time around we 7 brand new items being added in an attempt to breathe new life into the meta. While some of these look like simple combinations of the items that are used to create it, here are some of the ones that stand out.
The enchanted mango is a new consumable item which costs 150 gold and instantly restores 150 mana. The instant restoration of mana is good news for supports who previously relied on Clarities for mana regen, as they can now pull neutral creeps without the fear of the regeneration being cancelled. However, the 150 gold cost is quite steep, considering that for just 50 gold more you can purchase a magic stick, an item that will grant you more value in the long run.
The Lotus Orb is a new item made from a perseverance, Platemail, and a recipe and costs 4050 gold in total. It has an active ability that can be casted on an ally that applies a 6 second buff on them, which reflects any spell that targets them back to the caster. Expect to see a few Lions and Linas accidentally killing themselves because of this.
The Octarine Core is made up of a Mystic Staff and a Soul Booster and costs 5900 gold. It has 2 passive abilities, One that reduces all cooldowns by 25%, and another that grants you spell lifesteal. That right, there is now a lifesteal that applies to spell damage! The Octarine Core’s price tag makes it 600 gold more expensive than a Refresher Orb, which means that heroes with spells that have lengthy cooldowns will most probably still look to the Refresher Orb.
6.84 sees fairly large number of existing items getting a few tweaks here and there, most of which being fairly minor. Here are some of the major changes to the current items.
Radiance Burn now causes enemies to have a 17% miss rate. Thats right, the item that made heroes like Spectre and Naga Siren a nightmare to deal with now makes them even more difficult to kill! This change might mean you’re going to see a lot more of those heroes. Previously, heroes like Naga and Spectre required both a heart and butterfly alongside their radiance to make them unstoppable. With the new Radiance however, half of that is covered. 6.83 was dominated by Troll Warlord, Juggernaut and Sniper, and while it is too early to tell, this change might mean that 6.84 will be dominated by radiance carriers!
Mask of Madness movement speed reduced from 30% to 17%. This change is most likely to affect the farm rate of the heroes that purchase it. The old movement speed allowed the carrier to flash farm the jungle fairly quickly with the bonus movement and this will surely put a dent in those times. MoM was a staple on heroes like Juggernaut and Sniper in 6.83 and contributed massively towards their success. Along with the nerfs to those heroes, this change may be the final nail in their coffins.
Vladimir’s Offering now grant’s 10% lifesteal to ranged heroes. This change may not seem all too significant at first glance, but given the low cost of the item and the bonus armor and regen it grants your team, the item now has the potential to be the core item picked up as quickly as possible in strategies that aim to pile the aggression on in the early stages of the game. Now that the lifesteal is able to provide some level of sustainability to every hero your team, we may see a significant rise in this item’s popularity.
Onwards to 6.84!
According to Valve 6.84 will be coming later on the in the week. While there still is no news about the promised engine update, we can look forward to The International 5 Compendium that releases with this patch. If last year’s compendium is anything to go by, this year’s one is bound to be filled with a bunch of extra goodies for those who purchase it.
What are your main highlights of the 6.84 patch notes? Got any predictions for which heroes will define the upcoming meta? Let us know in the comments section! I’ll leave you with a couple tweets regarding the soon to be released patch.