Dota 2 fans are mad once again. This time, it’s about the new hero persona skin for Anti-Mage which transforms the hero into a female disciple named Wei.
Players are venting their frustration over a number of different things regarding the new Anti-Mage skin. These gripes encompass everything from her character model, to her animations, to some of the core functions of hero persona skins.
Starting from the top, some fans are stating that Wei doesn’t look sufficiently similar to the concept art that was shown with the announcement of The International 10 Battle Pass. Specifically, she doesn’t look as conventionally attractive as some players would seem to have liked. While the first look at the hero showed her as a slender character reminsicent of a ninja, the in-game model has her looking a little bulkier and more physically imposing. She’s still a far cry from being another Axe in terms of her musculature, but it is a different look than the one portrayed in her art.
In terms of her animations, some fans griped about both her new custom animations and the greater lack of them. A Reddit user noted that Wei’s idle stance is very strange, as she is in a deep horse stance that’s actually so wide she stretches out beyond the circle that highlights Dota 2 characters on the map.
While she has impressive new attack animations and a nice walk cycle, that’s about it. The visual and sound effects for her spells are all identical to normal Anti-Mage, a fact that many are disappointed with.
Many players are disappointed with Wei’s lack of customizability. While some arcana skins give players a bit of leeway in terms of adding other cosmetics onto the hero, players have no way to add their own personal flair to the most prestigious Anti-Mage skin yet.
It’s uncertain how many players are actually dissatisfied with the Anti-Mage hero persona. Video game developers of all sorts have had to deal with outrage from their fans, and in some of those cases, the gripes are invalid and come from a small but vocal minority. Dota 2 has seen exactly that situation many times over the years.
So how legitimate are the gripes for the Anti-Mage? That depends on the specific talking point.
Esports titles including Overwatch and League of Legends have both seen controversies erupt over characters not being conventionally attractive. Wei’s model is still one of the most detailed and well-made in all of Dota 2, so it’s hard to argue that the new persona wasn’t built with care, even if it does depart somewhat from the art Valve previously showed.
While disappointing for some, the lack of new animations shouldn’t come as a surprise to Dota 2 fans. The Invoker hero persona that came out in 2019 had no custom animations for any of his spells. Though it remodeled his orbs and Forge Spirits, everything from Sunstrike to Cold Snap looked identical to those of the original Invoker.
The lack of customization isn’t anything new either. Hero personas are entirely different skin classifications from arcanas, and while the Legacy of Ristul skin for Queen of Pain lets players add cosmetics into the equation, the Invoker hero persona afforded no such flexibility.
Her idle stance does look strange from see from Dota 2’s top-down perspective, though it looks better at some angles.
Bailey performed over 900 new voice lines for the hero, including a bevy of humorous and hero-specific greetings, as well as new pop-offs for kills. For many players, that will be more than enough to make the disciple’s path skin for Anti-Mage worth having. Though whether it’s worth the cost of actually acquiring it in this year’s Battle Pass is up to fans.