One of the most exciting elements of the Battle Pass this year was the news that the Young Invoker Hero Persona would feature.
Well, the wait is finally over. The fantastic looking new character model, Acolyte of the Lost Arts has finally launched. But is it that a whiff of controversy we smell? Ready your spellbook and bring your Battle Pass levels (you’re going to need them).
The Art of the Lost Arts
The first and most obvious thing we should draw attention to is the new character model. It looks, quite simply, brilliant. The art team at Valve has gone out of their way to add real personality to what is their first-ever ‘Persona’ customization.
Not only is Invoker’s model itself updated, but the Forged Spirit model is also brand new. The model is a funky little red dragon that adds another touch of character to the persona. Young Invoker also receives completely updated ability orbs for Quas, Wex and Exort.
In addition, the Young Invoker Hero Persona adds new idling and running animations. These include seeing Young Invoker pull his oversized boots up when idle, and an energetic cartwheel animation as he moves.
With a huge variety of charming visual quirks, the Young Invoker Hero Persona scores full marks in the art department.
The Price of Learning
Just as Carl, the Invoker himself discovered in this great animation, learning always comes with a price. In the case of the Young Invoker Hero Persona, that price is the investment it’s going to take to get your Battle Pass up to level 305.
If, like us, you’re not buying levels for your Battle Pass then you’re going to need to play a lot of Dota 2. The fastest way to earn levels for free is by completing the Jungle challenges or by wagering on matches. You can also earn points towards the next level by completing the Battle Pass achievements. These include answering Trivia questions in between matches and participating in the next Arcana vote.
If you have a fatter wallet (or purse) than us, then the financial investment is no less steep. If you want to level your Battle Pass up from level 1 to 302 then you’re going to need about $120 USD. Here’s hoping you know someone with deep pockets.
All of this will contribute to the exclusivity of the Little Invoker Hero Persona, of course. But there has already been some suggestion that all of the best stuff in the Battle Pass requires a crazy financial or time investment. As this fantastic selection of graphs shows, you need to get your Battle Pass to level 425 to unlock all of the exclusive rewards.
Is this too much of an investment, even if you are a diehard fan of the Young Invoker Hero Persona?
The Controversial Caster
Surely not controversy in Dota 2? Well, perhaps it’s not as bad as it seems.
At the launch of the Young Invoker Hero Persona, there was some speculation regarding the new model’s hitbox. Some eagle-eyed Redditors noticed that a smaller model might come with a smaller hitbox. This would make it harder for skillshot abilities like Pudge’s Meat Hook or Invoker’s own Sun Strike to land.
The (albeit rather far-fetched) suggestion here was that this was a move towards pay-to-win. Locking a hero with a noticeable advantage behind a paywall would be a controversial step in the wrong direction for Valve.
However, this is not the case. The box in question is actually the selection box rather than the character’s hitbox. The change in character size is only reflected in the selection box around the character. That is to say the exact area around the character in which a mouse click will select the character in question.
The difference between the selection boxes of Invoker and Young Invoker is so minute that the impact on gameplay is virtually non-existent. Also, consider heroes like Riki and Centaur. These heroes have vastly different sized selection boxes, but we can’t remember anyone having difficulty clicking on Riki vs clicking on Centaur.
It looks like we don’t need to worry about a teeny, tiny Invoker evading our mouse clicks.
Young Invoker Hero Persona: A Promising Future?
The launch of the Acolyte of the Lost Arts foreshadows a promising future for Dota 2. The idea of other heroes getting their own customer persona further down the line is really exciting. Imagine a Tiny that starts off big and shrinks as he levels. Or perhaps, as this excellent animation portends, a King of Pain?
While the Young Invoker Hero Persona might be an expensive investment, it is a delightfully charming addition to the game. We don’t even play Invoker (our fingers aren’t fast enough…) and even we’re excited to see him in our games. You can be certain to see Young Invoker making an appearance at this year’s International.
Do you think the persona is too costly? Which hero personas would you like to see? Have your say in the comments below.
Featured image courtesy of Valve.
Follow Matt on Twitter @MattyMead2006.
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