Image by Anuxi
There is still a lot of fun to be had in Dota while we wait for the inevitable “big” post-TI patch. 7.19b addressed the biggest issues of the previous patch, but was overall pretty tame, resulting in a meta that isn’t too different from what we were playing for the last couple of months.
Today we are going to look through the more notable changes in the 7.19b changelog and see what actual effect they had on the game.
It is surprising to see such a sudden drop in win rate coming off a simple base strength reduction. Clinkz lost 36 starting HP making him the hero with the lowest starting HP in the game and resulting in a slightly over 1% win rate drop.
Ther hero still remains viable, winning more than 50% of his games, but at least he is now a lot harder to lane aggressively and he is much more susceptible to both harassment and nuke damage. We’ve previously discussed the hero, as well as provided some tips on dealing with him and all of it still holds true, despite a much tougher early game for the hero.
It is unsurprising to see a hero who’s lost 15 starting MS to do worse—movement speed is crucial for all the aspects of the game. What is perhaps surprising is the scale of the effect: the hero lost “only” 2% win rate. Statistically speaking, it is a massive change, since the hero was played almost 300 000 times this week alone, but we don’t think most other heroes would be able to tank such a massive MS nerf and still be situationally viable.
Given the change, we now see more people in high level pubs levelling up Untouchable over Nature’s Attendants. It is much harder now to keep the distance between yourself and the enemy, so the extra healing doesn’t have enough time to fully kick in. Going forward, we still expect the hero to continue doing reasonably well, but maybe not in every single game she’s played in.
It is popular to hate on the hero right now, since her dominance in pubs is starting to get boring. Often people also quote her popularity and success during the International, but she certainly wasn’t the most dominant hero of the tournament, with many heroes having both more games and higher win rate.
The patch resulted in the hero being pushed down from the objectively problematic 60%+ win rate, but she still wins more than 55% of her games. Does the hero need more nerfs? Possibly, but do keep in mind that a lot of her strength comes from inability of pub players to apply pressure, engage in appropriate timing windows and finish the game in a timely manner. Spectre is a very strong hero right now, but with a little effort from the community and willingness to improve, she can be taken down to ~52%-53% without any extra changes.
7.19b was a small patch, handing out very small nerfs to certain heroes and dealing with the buyback mechanic. Most of it, the buyback mechanic change especially, feels like a temporary band-aid and we expect the next big patch to return to tweaking the changed heroes, as well as altering more core game mechanics.
It is hard to call the current state of the game completely imbalanced, but there are still problems remaining. Moreover, even despite the introduction of the new hero, the meta and games in high-ranked public matchmaking still feel excruciatingly similar. The new patch can’t come soon enough. What are your expectations for the inevitable 7.20?