Patch 7.00 was released for the popular Valve MOBA Dota 2 on December 12, 2016. At the time of writing this, it has been just over a month and I have been able to experience many games within this time. This patch has drastically changed the way we play Dota, so let’s talk about the changes:

New hero

First things first, Valve has released the first hero that isn’t part of the Warcraft III DotA mod from which Dota 2 was created – Monkey King. At first this hero seemed very overpowering, and I still feel he is a little too strong to be allowed into competitive. Monkey King is classified as a melee agility hero (although he has 300 attack range). Along with the hero, Valve was able to add two new interesting mechanics to the game, the first of which allows Monkey King to leap onto trees, and the second allowing him to disguise himself to his surroundings.

Talent system

Valve has also now introduced a talent system for each hero, which replaces the need for attribute levels. Each hero will receive a talent point at levels 10, 15, 20, and 25, from which they will be able to choose one of two available options to buff their hero in some way for the rest of the game. This means that skills can be altered, heroes can gain bonus damage, lifesteal or even resistances, as well as resources such as GPM/XPM. It is very important to know about many of these talent trees as they can affect the gameplay and catch you unaware, for example, you might lose a lategame fight due to a Vengeful Spirit stun piercing your Black King Bar, as her level 25 talent allows for it. There are 113 heroes currently in Dota 2, with 10 possible talents for each, resulting in 904 new ways for your game to be affected.

Map changes

The map has also received many changes, such as moving the Roshan pit to a more neutral area, adding more creep camps (however camps will now only spawn at the 0:30 mark and every odd minute thereafter) and of course, shrines. Each team has two shrines located outside of their base, as well as a couple inside of the base. The shrines outside of the base become vulnerable to attack once the respective team has lost all of their tier two towers. So why are shrines so important? Shrines allow heroes to use them for 120HP (+2HP per minute of the game) and 40MP (+1MP per minute of the game) every second for a duration of 5 seconds. The shrine should however be used sparingly and with allies as it has a 5 minute cooldown.

Smaller changes

You might also find that you seem to be leveling faster, this is due to needing less XP to level than before, as level 18 now requires the same amount of XP as the previous level 16 did, while hero ultimate levels have been adjusted from 6/11/16 to 6/12/18.

Valve also introduced a backpack system, allowing you to add up to three items to your backpack, which will allow them to be with you, but unusable. You can swap your items out for the items in your backpack with 6 seconds of delay before being able to use the item. It should also be noted that items that are not in your main inventory will cooldown at half the rate – this includes items in your backpack, stash, courier and on the ground.

As a closing note, another drastic change that you would notice off the bat, is the User Interface (UI). Valve has tried to make the UI more minimalistic, while still providing you with all the information that you need. This should allow you more screen real estate and also offers some customisability such as changing the size of your minimap.

These are what I feel are the highlights of the patch, however you never truly know what you’re in for until you start playing. For more information on patch 7.00 please visit the official patchnotes here. Good Luck, Have Fun.