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6.87: First impressions


There’s only a few days before the Manila Major Qualifiers kick off, and Valve catches everyone by surprise with the release of 6.87, full of remakes and new content.

As usual, the community’s reactions range from “Can’t wait” to

Personally, I’m feeling a little bit of both. I liked most of the Hero balance changes and some of the general gameplay ones, while others can be questionable, to say the least.

It’s gonna take a lot of writing to go through all of them, so let’s start with the most eye-catching ones.

“Reworked Ranked All Pick. Before the picking phase begins, there is a 15 second voting phase to ban heroes. Each player votes for a different hero. Afterwards, half of the heroes that were voted on will be randomly selected and banned.”

Thumbs up on this, at least for the idea. Seeing the same picks over and over again in ranked -AP had become frustrating ages ago. Some Heroes will always be a bit (or a lot) stronger than others in each patch, so some bans in -AP are more than welcome.

“Each team now has a Scan ability, available on the minimap UI.


Scans a targeted 900 AoE for 8 seconds. Indicates whether there are enemy heroes in that area during the 8 seconds.

Starts on cooldown and has a global team-wide cooldown of 4.5 minutes

Note: Does not consider units inside the Roshan Pit, but does consider Smoked units. Does not show how many heroes there are, just if there are any enemies. Enemies do not know when your team casts it.”

Well, can’t say I have a solid opinion on this one. It’s. . . interesting.

Perhaps an attempt to indirectly reduce the value of map vision skills, or a way to get out of a situation where your team is losing the ward wars. I’m hesitant to accept it as a Dota thing, but I guess we’ll get used to it along with the other shenanigans eventually.

“Intelligence now increases your spell damage by 1% per 16 Intelligence points.”

Recent patches are all about keeping spell damage relevant till late game. This goes way out of the game’s basic mechanics, but on the other hand, it makes a bit of sense, since most INT Heroes aren’t much for right-click attacks, so they didn’t really benefit from their primary attribute boosting their attack. Boosting spell damage through INT is a more traditional RPG concept.

While in theory and by itself it may seem valid, Dota isn’t that simple. It can and will affect the game’s balance a lot. I hope you guys weren’t expecting a nerf on Zeus, eh?

On a side note, Aether Lens’ damage amplification was nerfed, so that’s a bit of a relief.

“Tier 2 towers damage now same as Tier 3.

Towers now grant an armor aura to allied heroes.

Pushing seems to be harder now, so people perhaps will focus on getting Hero pickoffs before trying to push. Which sounds as a measure for a bit more fun to watch and action packed games.

On the other hand, tower diving is also more dangerous, and just defending towers and avoiding fights is always an option, so way may see some more turtling going on. Kind of a double-edged sword.

“Initial Bounty Rune no longer gives experience.”

Not bad, since getting that first bounty rune could mean the world for the solo mid. Early levels are generally more important at that point. Now it’s still good but not as must-get.

“Melee creep experience reduced from 62 to 45.

Ranged creep experience increased from 41 to 90.”

Alright, this is tricky. I think it’s meant to encourage people to temporarily leave their lane (as in to get runes) without losing too much, since melee creeps usually die first.

Side note: Lich will be in a dilemma.

“Evasion now uses Pseudo-Random Distribution.”

. . . So that’s why I was never getting any procs.

“Illusions now benefit from Damage Block.”

The Vanguard Naga Siren is upon us. Alas.


To be continued. More than once.

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