Another fortnight—another patch. Dota 7.13 is a very experimental patch that is almost certain to have a massive impact on the meta and power levels of most heroes. It will be exciting to see how it will play out; however, there are definitely some reasons for concern.
The patch has two distinct halves: one that has to do with the economy of the map and building durability and one that concentrates on hero attributes.
The first half is quite easy to understand. Tier 1/2/3/4 towers now give 100/400/300/200 less team gold, while Shrines and Melee Barracks are now much harder to destroy. Melee Barracks now have roughly 600 more EHP against physical damage, while Shrines have ~500 extra EHP and a decent amount of regeneration, hence they can no longer be destroyed without at least some commitment from the opposing team.
The end result should be quite predictable: pushing early will result in less of a snowball effect, while taking high ground and Barracks specifically will take longer and will be riskier. Moreover, Shrines will now have to be destroyed in one go and it will take longer, allowing the opposing team to react and retain map control. Theoretically it will lead to longer, tenser games with laning stage being slightly less important.
Coupled with lower average gold from creep waves, longer glyphs and lower respawn times the game beginning will probably be less explosive and it will no longer be possible to abuse the early game advantage as much.
But that was only the half of the patch had to offer. The second part was definitely unexpected and is probably the more exciting and more impactful half.
The main hero attributes of Dota: Strength, Agility and Intelligence have once again been reworked:
Reddit user Tofa7 compiled a list of how the changes affected all heroes in terms of Health, Armor and other stats and if you are interested in getting in depth with the stats we strongly recommend looking through it. In general, Strength and Intelligence heroes were affected the most by the changes.
Strength heroes lost the infamous Status Resistance and instead now have extra Magic Resistance from their main attribute. On average, most Strength Heroes will now have extra 10-20% Magic Resistance, depending on their build. Given extra Health from Strength itself, all Strength heroes now have significantly higher EHP against both Physical and Magical damage: on average their effective Physical HP has been increased by almost 10%, while their effective Magical HP has increased by ~20%. At the same time, regeneration has been nerfed across the board and even Strength heroes will have lower regeneration, despite having extra 25% from main attribute.
Intelligence heroes have been significantly nerfed in terms of their survivability, with all of them losing 10-20% Physical and Magical EHP. To compensate for it, all of them now have significantly higher manapools, even at level 1. For example, Crystal Maiden mana pool has been increased by 48, finally allowing her to use two Frostbites at the start of the game.
Extra movement speed all heroes now have access to is also changing the early game landscape: if previously it was only available to Agility heroes, giving them a small, but significant MS advantage, now most heroes start with a similar MS boost from Agility and outrunning enemy early with a squishy Agility hero will be harder.
This means that on paper Strength heroes should become stronger, with higher starting MS and higher EHP. Agility heroes losing the MS advantage, while breaking almost even in terms of EHP and Intelligence heroes losing a lot of survivability should result in both of these groups being slightly weaker in late game. However, early levels of Intelligence heroes should be easier, with access to more spell usage from larger mana pool. Moreover, later in the game they should be even more effective against Agility targets, courtesy of higher Spell Amplification.
It is really hard to predict the end result of this patch. The initial trends definitely show heroes like Spirit Breaker and Slardar gaining momentum, but there are cases where even theoretically nerfed Intelligence heroes are getting stronger: Outworld Devourer, for example, can now boast an almost 54% win rate, courtesy of massive mana pool increases at all stages of the game.
We will return to the patch discussion in a week, looking at the trends, but so far Dota 7.13 definitely looks like it will change a lot about what we know about Dota: the extent of these changes is hard to predict, especially when there is a significant amount of heroes with different stats manipulation mechanics. There is no doubt it will result in a more interesting and diverse Dota, but it does look like it will be a balancing nightmare, at least in the early days of the patch.