7.03 Patch Notes Analysis - The Bladeform Legacy Update

7.03 Patch Notes Analysis – The Bladeform Legacy

Following the recent Kiev Major Regional Qualifiers, Valve has released the 7.03 patch. The Blade Form Legacy patch includes the much awaited Juggernaut Arcana, which we will get to later. Similar to 7.01 and 7.02, 7.03 is a minor balancing patch, so don’t expect anything dramatic in the patch notes. The majority of heroes have received minor tweaks, with only a small amount of heroes missing out. Let’s take a look at some of the larger changes and how they may affect the current meta.

7.03 Patch Notes – Major Changes

Rat Dota, Best Dota

Rat Dota Patch Notes

Image courtesy of twitter.com

If 7.00 was the resurgence of five-man Dota, 7.03 may well be the death of it. The new changes to tower armor seem geared towards solo pushing towers.

  • All towers base armor reduced by 4
  • Towers now gain 2 armor per nearby enemy player within a 1200 AoE

Whilst towers have lost four base armor, this will immediately be regained if you have at least two heroes pushing together. With this in mind, a five man push strat would grant each tower 10 additional armor.

The changes to tower armor are a direct buff to strong split-push heroes such as Lycan, Nature’s Prophet, and Broodmother. Will we see a resurgence in rat Dota? Will this be the return of Admiral Bulldog? Is Alliance ever going to be good again? These are all questions that will be answered in the coming weeks.

Please Use Scan.

Since introducing the scan feature into the game, it has remained widely underused. Icefrog has made it clear in this patch that he would really like people to use the feature.

  • Scan cooldown reduced from 270 seconds to 210

Taking a full minute off the scan cooldown will probably have little effect on its usage, considering many players are still unsure of how it works. This change will likely affect the pro-scene as teams can be more liberal in their scan usage.

The King Has Arrived

It has happened, Monkey King has been added to Captains mode. Don’t panic, however, as his addition to Captains Mode comes with a few nerfs.

  • Jingu Mastery buff now has a max duration of 35 seconds
  • Tree Dance night vision reduced from 800 to 400
  • Wukong’s Command duration rescaled from 13/14/15 to 13

The change to Jingu mastery is a welcomed one. Whilst it is still a very strong passive, you no longer have to worry about being one hit killed by a Monkey King hidden in fog. In addition, the change to Tree Dance makes chasing and scouting using the spell a bit worse.

The change to Wukong’s Command is minimal, although the reduced duration may be the difference between a kill and an enemy escaping on 1% HP. Expect to see lots of Monkey picks/bans in the upcoming DAC and Major tournaments.

Video courtesy of youtube.com/noobfromua

So I heard you Liked Support?

CM 7.03 Patch Notes

Courtesy of twitter.com

Playing Support is an art that only the most patient among us can master. Icefrog has decided that he wants to make Supports poorer than ever before.

  • XP required to go from level 1 to level 6 increased by 15, 300 total.
  • AoE hero kill Gold and XP bounties reduced by 10% (including comeback gold and XP)
  • Tier 1 Team Bounty reduced from 160 to 120
  • Passive gold income reduced by 10%

In the last few patches, Icefrog has added functionality to make the games easier for new / lower-skilled players. The changes to passive gold income and AoE hero kill gold and XP will have a severe impact on lower-skilled players. These changes will require Supports to maximize their time more efficiently and focus on stacking and pulling slightly more than rotating.

The changes to comeback gold and XP are welcomed, as in recent patches it seemed as if it was better to be behind in the early game. Whilst 10% is not a huge amount, expect to see a reduction in the number of large comeback victories.

Drums or Helm?

Helm of the Dominator 7.03 Patch Notes

Image courtesy of reddit.com

Drums of endurance 7.03 Patch Notes Analysis

Image courtesy of reddit.com

In 7.00, Helm received a rework, and it suddenly became the best item in the game. Helm became the go-to item for both Cores and Supports, due to its low cost, excellent stats, and making any hero into a better version of Chen. Valve has been redressing this imbalance since the rework.

  • Reduced All Stats modifier from +4 to +2
  • Recipe cost increased from 725 to 800

Whilst the item is still good, at a cost of roughly 2000 gold, it may see considerably fewer purchases than before.

On the other side of the coin is Drums of Endurance, which has received a much-needed buff. The item was nerfed in 7.00, and as a result was very rarely picked up. However, a reduced recipe cost may have made the item viable once again.

  • Recipe cost reduced from 700 to 575

At roughly 1700 gold, Drums is now a much more affordable item for supports or heroes looking to fight early. Players may now be wise to choose Drums over Helm in some cases.

7.03 Patch Notes – Quality of Life

Valve Pleases Everyone?

Patch Notes include new Jugg Arcana

Image courtesy of reddit.com/rdota2

When it was announced that Valve had realized a new patch, many people were surprised that the Juggernaut Arcana was finally released. However, once the dust had settled, many fans took to Reddit to highlight their displeasure with the new Arcana.

Whilst the Arcana has literally no effect on Jugg as a hero, many see it as a status symbol. The set looks like they combined Jugg and Io together in an attempt to please the community. Is it the nicest Arcana? No. Will it make Valve a lot of money? Yes. It’s as simple as that.

The only positive to the Arcana being realized is that they didn’t buff Juggernaut to make sure he is picked more. Reading through the patch notes, the only serious change received for Juggernaut is that his Healing Totem now grants 75 Gold and XP if it is destroyed.

Another New Model

In the 7.00 patch, Valve updated some of the older hero models. One hero that missed out was Jakiro. As fans read through the patch notes, they will be greeted by the changes to Jakiro’s base model that are well overdue.

For a full breakdown check out PurgeGamers full patch notes analysis here

What was the biggest change, and how have your favorite heroes been affected? Let us know in the comments below.

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7.02 Patch Update

The Winners and Losers – 7.02 Patch Notes Analysis

As expected, Icefrog has released the 7.02 patch for Dota 2. The patch is a small balancing update that focuses mainly on buffing and nerfing hero talent trees. There have also been some changes to the map to keep the balance between Radiant and Dire. Let’s get into it and see who the winners and losers of the 7.02 patch are.

The Winners of the patch

Balancing both sides of the coin

Dire Patch

Image courtesy of joindota.com

Prior to the release of the new patch, there were several reasons that Radiant had an advantage over Dire. Icefrog has taken steps to return the balance by making a few quality of life changes.

* The following abilities cause neutrals to temporarily not draw aggro: Meat Hook, Telekinesis and Toss
* Added more trees for TP cover around the dire towers
* Swapped the dire secondary jungle ancients and medium camp spots (and improved spawn boxes/stackability)
* The Dire ward spot to the left of the Ancients no longer gives vision over the rune area infront of Roshan
* Slightly adjusted the dire secondary jungle bounty rune further back
* Reduced spawnbox size for both Dire hard camps
* Shifted down the spawnbox for the ancient camp (formerly medium camp) in the Dire secondary jungle (so a high ground ward does not block the camp)
* Fixed a rare case where Dire ancients could be stuck between trees when spawning

“Courtesy of http://www.dota2.com/news/updates/27381/”

A lot of these changes are minimal and focused on balancing the scales between the two sides.

Same hero new play style

WR Patch 7.02

Image courtesy of dota2walls.com

Windranger has been missing from the meta for a long time. Icefrog decided to bring her back from the dead with the next patch.

* Powershot damage from 120/220/320/420 to 180/260/340/420
* Powershot cooldown from 9 to 12/11/10/9
* Windrun slow AoE from 300 to 325
* Windrun manacost from 100 to 75
* Level 10 Talent from +15 Damage to +25% Windrun Slow
* Level 15 Talent from +16 Intelligence to +20 Intelligence
* Level 15 Talent from +200 Health to +40 Movement Speed
* Level 20 Talent from +12% Magic Resistance to +20%
* Level 20 Talent from +12% Spell Amplification to +15%
* Level 25 Talent from -5s Powershot Cooldown to -6s

“Courtesy of http://www.dota2.com/news/updates/27381/”

These changes seem to point to a more support focused Windranger which may reinvigorate the hero. The change to Powershot will mean that an early point in the skill will allow good harass potential in lane. The changes to her talents seem to point her towards a more support focused play style. Expect to see support Windranger coming to a pro game near you.

Who needs a Midas

Doom patch 7.02

Image courtesy of dota2walls.com

Doom is another hero that had been missing from the meta for a long time. This may start to change, as with his new changes he may become more viable, and is already seeing some more play in competitive.

* Level 10 Talent from +8 Intelligence to +80 Devour Bonus Gold
* Level 10 Talent from +150 Health to +250
* Level 15 Talent from +6 Armor to +15 Scorched Earth Damage/Heal
* Level 15 Talent from +15 Movement Speed to +20
* Level 20 Talent from +65 Damage to +35 Doom DPS

“Courtesy of http://www.dota2.com/news/updates/27381/”

Doom’s talent tree received a massive rework as part of the patch, something that he really needed. The main addition is the new level 10 talent +80 Devour Bonus Gold, which effectively gives Doom a built in Midas once he hits level 10. This will really allow Doom to transition well into the mid / late game. It seems as if Icefrog is trying to refocus Doom around his skills with the changes to his talent tree. As a result, Doom has lost some of his right click potential and will have to be careful during fights.

Returning from the shadows?

Bounty Hunter

Image courtesy of dotafire.com

Bounty was a hero that had been severely affected by the 7.00 patch, so it is nice to see Icefrog giving him some attention. Still, nobody is going to buy Aghanim’s Scepter on him no matter how much they buff the upgrade.

* Scepter now also increases Shuriken Toss ministun duration from 0.1 to 0.75
* Level 10 Talent from +15% XP Gain to +20%
* Level 20 Talent from +100 Damage to +120 Damage
* Level 20 Talent from 8% Spell Amplification to +75 Shuriken Toss Damage
* Level 25 Talent from +20% Evasion to +25%

“Courtesy of http://www.dota2.com/news/updates/27381/”

The change to the Aghanim’s upgrade makes sense, however it will more than likely not increase the amount the item is picked up. The 20% XP gain at level 10 will help Bounty get his levels faster, something he desperately needs. The addition of +75 Shuriken Damage offers a welcome choice against the +120 Damage. Whilst most people will pick up the additional damage, in higher level games the extra Shuriken Toss damage will see a lot of attention. Bounty may see some more play, however he still is in need of a more considerable buff to make a return to the meta.

The Losers of the Patch

Balance in all things

Image courtesy of youtube.com

The nerfs to Ember will not be a surprise to anyone who has played the game recently. With a high pick and win rate, the hero was teetering between great and broken.

* Root now disables Activate Fire Remnant
* Level 10 Talent from 15% Spell Amplification to 12%

“Courtesy of http://www.dota2.com/news/updates/27381/”

Now whilst two changes is not dramatic it is the nature of these changes that is important. Firstly, having Root disable Activate Fire Remnant makes sense, but will now allow another way to lock Ember down and stop him from jumping out. Secondly, the change to the level 10 talent is a welcome one, that reduces the heroes power without completely destroying the hero. Ember will likely still see a high pick and win rate in higher tier games and will likely receive heavier nerfs in an upcoming patch.

 

Is No Bear LD still within range ?

Image courtesy of youtube.com

Lone Druid definitely deserved a nerf and Icefrog agreed. The Druid had become a mainstay in higher MMR games, with a strong win rate.

* Level 10 Talent from +200 Attack Range to +175
* Level 15 Talent from +65 Damage to +55
* Level 20 Talent from +7 Spirit Bear Armor to +12
* Level 20 Talent from -50s Respawn Time to -40s

“Courtesy of http://www.dota2.com/news/updates/27381/”

The changes to LD are minimal currently, but may see him become a more situational pick rather than consistently picked. Reducing the additional attack range provided by the level 10 talent was a needed change, and will mean that it is possible to close the gap on LD in fights. In addition, reducing the damage provided to LD from his level 15 talent will be a welcomed change. Similar to Ember, the changes are needed, but are still arguably not enough.

 

Who needs Ion Shell

Dark Seer patch

Image courtesy of dotafire.com

Dark Seer has been a mainstay of the competitive meta for the last six months. Icefrog may have just ruined that for everyone. With a long list of changes, will Dark Seer ever be the same again?

* Movement speed reduced from 300 to 295
* Ion Shell manacost from 70/90/110/130 to 100/110/120/130
* Level 15 Talent from +90 Damage to +120
* Level 20 Talent from +25 Intelligence to +75 Vacuum AoE
* Level 20 Talent from +12 Strength to +10% Cooldown Reduction
* Level 25 Talent from +12% Cooldown Reduction to +25 Strength
* Level 25 Talent from +70 Ion Shell Damage to +80

“Courtesy of http://www.dota2.com/news/updates/27381/”

The biggest of all these changes is the change to Ion Shell. Dark Seer is a hero that benefits from pushing towers in the early game through the use of Ion Shell. This has changed with the mana cost of Ion Shell being increased, meaning that early game Dark Seer cannot simply spam itl in lane whenever it is off cooldown. Dark Seer will now need to be conscious of last hitting rather than leaving that to the Ion Shell. The talent tree also received a rework, which overall is a nerf to Dark Seer. If you like to play Dark Seer, it may be time to find a new hero, as Icefrog has decided to punish him and may do this again in the future.

Icefrog has sent him back to the Underworld

Image courtesy of pcgamesn.com

Having been recently released into Captains Mode, it is not a surprise to see Underlord receiving the balance hammer from Icefrog.

* Movement speed reduced from 305 to 290
* Atrophy Aura Damage Reduction from 10/20/30/40% to 4/16/28/40%
* Level 15 Talent from +200 Health to +35 Movement Speed
* Level 20 Talent from +100 Cast Range to +125
* Level 20 Talent from +50 Attack Speed to +60

“Courtesy of http://www.dota2.com/news/updates/27381/”

Icefrog decided that the early game of Underlord was too good and has decided to reduce the Atrophy Aura Damage Reduction. The change now means that for the damage reduction to be beneficial, it will now require two skill points, which will possibly change the skill build moving forward. Whilst he will not join Arc Warden in the new hero dumpster, expect Underlord to receive some nerfs in upcoming patches.

Other changes of note in the patch

* Shrines are now vulnerable after a T3 tower dies (same as the Shrines inside the base), rather than after all T2 towers die

* Sentry Wards now come in packs of 1 for 100 gold (instead of 2 for 200)

* Added Lycan to CM

* Observer Wards now have a Fog of War simulator to show you the area the ward will reveal (taking into account trees and terrain height)

“Courtesy of http://www.dota2.com/news/updates/27381/”

For a full breakdown check out Purge’s Livestreamed reactions to the new patch here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZEpSU0DOoU

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Overwatch Patch 1.1.0.2 – Competitive Analysis

Overwatch patch 1.1.0.2 has been released with some changes to character balance, hot off the heels of the last large patch. This patch actually reverts a few changes made to characters like Mcree earlier last week and buffs Ana after a week of play.

Hero Balance Updates

ana

  • Biotic Rifle
    • Rate of fire increased by 20%
    • Magazine size increased from 8 to 10


WRITER’S ANALYSIS


Ana was well received by the player base but according to her stats she was a bit under powered. The 20 percent rate of fire buff is absolutely noticeable and makes a big difference to how she helps her team.

 

mcree

  • Peacemaker
    • Primary Fire
      • Damage falloff range decreased by 10 meters
        • Damage falloff amount is unchanged
        • As a result, even with this change, McCree’s effective range is still higher than it was at launch
    • Alternate Fire
      • Rate of fire increased by 15%
  • Flashbang
    • Recovery time (i.e. the amount of time before McCree can fire again) decreased from 0.5 seconds to 0.35 seconds


WRITER’S ANALYSIS


In the last patch Mcree’s range was buffed significantly to help him stay toe to toe with characters like Soldier 76. However this was deemed too powerful so his range was toned down yet again. Blizzard notes that his range is still farther then at the time of release, just not as crazy as Soldier’s. His flashbang and right click have been buffed in recovery time. It should be easier for you to stun and kill low health characters no like Mcree is supposed to be able to do.

FULL PATCH NOTES

Ana Patch Analysis – Overwatch

With the new character Ana added to Overwatch comes a large number of changes to the competitive modes and almost all of the characters. The following is a breakdown of all the changes and how they will effect the game’s competitive scene.

 

ADDITIONS

New Character: Ana

The video above is a complete breakdown of Ana’s abilities and how she’ll effect the competitive scene overall.

 


GENERAL UPDATES

Gameplay

  • If a match goes into Overtime for more than 20 seconds, the fuse will now start to “burn down” more quickly
  • Players now respawn more slowly during Overtime (increased spawn time by 2 seconds)

 


WRITER’S ANALYSIS


This change is a definite buff for Defense. While there aren’t any stats from the last few months, the word from Blizzard was that attackers had about an average of a 60% winrate against defenders. If this stat is still a problem these changes could be a way to address that.

Competitive Play

  • Competitive Play matches can now only have one of each hero per team.


WRITER’S ANALYSIS


This is a huge change to the game, and one that most of the community was asking for. While there will most likely be tournaments that allows multiples of heroes, many including myself felt that it kept the game stagnant as only a few different team compositions were played. This ensures that teams will have to be a bit more creative when they are restricted and use more strategy when countering the opposing team. Overall this is a great change to the game.

 


Hero Balance Updates

General

  • Self-healing abilities now charge ultimate abilities. As a result, some heroes’ ultimate costs have been adjusted (see below).


WRITER’S ANALYSIS


While this reads as a buff, it’s mitigated by nerfs to most of the heroes who have self healing. Characters like Soldier 76 have had their ultimate charge time increased as a result to compensate.

bastion

  • Ultimate cost increased by 10%


WRITER’S ANALYSIS


On the surface this looks like a pretty big nerf for Bastion. Ever since the beta he’s been one of the most played, and most effective heroes. However in competitive play he doesn’t really see a lot of use, since he is so easy to counter. This change is more for the public scene as some lower level players still have trouble trying to combat him. This change was also made in light of the self healing change listed above. Bastion has a self healing ability and the change to ultimate charging would have made him even more powerful. We’ll have to wait and see if Bastion stays at the top of the rankings.

 

dva

  • Defense Matrix
    • Cooldown decreased from 10 seconds to 1 second
              A new resource meter has been added. This meter will deplete while Defense Matrix is active and then recharge when it’s not in use.
                  Defense Matrix takes 10 seconds to reach full charge from empty
                  At a full charge, Defense Matrix will last for 4 seconds
                  Defense Matrix will now remain active as long as its assigned hotkey is held
    • Defense Matrix has been reclassified as an alternate fire and is now bound to RMB (by default)
                  An option to “Toggle Defense Matrix” has been added under Options > Controls > D.Va
    • Self-Destruct
              Ultimate cost decreased by 15%
              Explosion delay reduced from 4 seconds to 3 seconds
              Explosion no longer damages D.Va (the player who activates it)


WRITER’S ANALYSIS


D.va has been completely reworked in order to make her more of a tank. The remapping of defense matrix to the right mouse button makes he more able to regularly block projectiles and defend her teammates. Her ultimate ability has also received a large buff. Decreasing both the time it takes for the explosion to occur and the time it takes to charge up again. This will make D.va much more viable in both the public and the competitive scene. The explosion also wont kill the player who activates it, which means D.va will be able to push and be more aggressive while the mech is exploding. Overall this change means D.va is much more likely to be seen in tournament comps in the coming months.

 

lucio

  • Sound Barrier
    • Ultimate cost increased by 10%


WRITER’S ANALYSIS


This change is meant to mitigate the change to self-healing. It most likely wont change Lucio’s standing in the competitive meta.

 

mcree

  • Peacekeeper
    • Now maintains full damage at longer distances, but will deal less damage at extreme ranges


WRITER’S ANALYSIS


Mccree has seen a lot less play in the competitive meta since his right click was nerfed. In order to bring him up to a balanced state his left click range has been increased to a similar range to Soldier 76. This should make him a bit more viable in the competitive meta and see him return as a reliable and accurate damage dealer.

 

mercy

  • Caduceus Staff
    • Damage Boost
              Effect will no longer stacks with bonus damage provided by another Mercy
  • Resurrect
    • Ultimate charge cost increased by 30%
    • Movement is no longer prevented during activation
    • Guardian Angel instantly resets upon use


WRITER’S ANALYSIS


Mercy is getting quite a large nerf. Her ultimate is getting a huge increase to charging time in order to make her resurect less frequent. Even though she can now move while activating it, I think competitive teams will probably use mercy less since her ultimate takes much longer to earn. She’s still powerful, but after this change I expect her to see less use.

 

roadhog

  • Whole Hog
    • Ultimate cost increased by 45%


WRITER’S ANALYSIS


I’d say this is a pretty big nerf for roadhog in the public scene. While his ultimate is powerful it’s not the most powerful part of Roadhog’s kit. Because Roadhog’s gun and hook were able to generate ultimate charge really quickly it made his ult powerful by comparison. Now after the nerf, Roadhog is still powerful, but he wont be getting an ultimate seemingly every minute and a half. I don’t see this effecting the competitive scene much.

 

soldier

  • Heavy Pulse Rifle
    • Spread recovery will begin after a short delay (rather than instantly)
  • Tactical Visor
    • Ultimate cost increased by 10%


WRITER’S ANALYSIS


Soldier wasn’t effected much by the patch. Instead of reducing his range, the recovery time from firing his shots has been increased which mean he wont be able to shoot as far as frequently. This pulls him back from an all ranges character to a more close to mid range character with some long range capabilities. This change shouldn’t effect his play time in the competitive scene much as he’s still a reliable damage dealer with backup healing to boot.

 

zenyatta

  • Alternate fire weapon damage increased from 35 to 40
  • Primary fire weapon damage decreased from 45 to 40
  • Base shields increased by 50 (now 50 Health/150 Shield)
  • Orb of Discord and Orb of Harmony
    • Projectile speed has been increased from 30 to 120
  • Transcendence
    • Movement speed is now doubled upon activation
    • Healing amount increased from 200 to 300 health per second


WRITER’S ANALYSIS


Zenyatta is widely considered the worst healer in the game. After his large nerf in the beta he’s seen little to no competitive play. To compensate for this he’s received a buff across the board to his shields and abilities. These changes will hopefully see Zenyatta being picked more in a competitive and public scene but it remains to be seen if these changes will be enough.


 

Conclusion

Overall these changes did a lot to bring up character who see little to no competitive play while fine tuning some others that do see a lot of play. I think the changes to competitive mode will greatly affect tournaments and it’s going to be really interesting to see how it all shakes out in the coming months. If you are interested in seeing the rest of the patch notes about UI changes and more click the link below.

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