Just an hour after the DreamLeague Leipzig Major ended, Valve released a massive balance update to Dota 2 in version 7.24.
The balance update brings a slew of massive changes to the game. In addition to the usual roundup of tweaks to heroes and items, 7.24 changes the map, reimagines outposts, and changes how neutral items function.
A number of different mechanics were introduced to shorten games, including increased buyback costs and increased respawn timers. Additionally, couriers were nerfed with their ability to plant wards and use items removed and their bounties being increased.
There’s a lot to go over, so it’s worth checking out the full patch notes.
Shrines are now gone from Dota 2. The buildings that were added in version 7.00 are gone after just a few years, getting rid of the free healing and strategic teleportation locations.
Instead, teams now have outposts located within their primary jungles. The buildings will initially be captured by their respective side, but can be taken by the opponent at any point. Their vision was drastically decreased as a result, offering 700 ground vision instead of 1,400 flying vision. They still offer a windfall of XP to the team that captures them at the top of every 10 minutes, making them a guaranteed point of contention.
With these changes come some shifts in the locations of neutral camps and trees to give teams equal vision from the outposts. Finally, bounty runes will now spawn within the secondary jungle areas, making both ends of the jungle frequent battlegrounds.
Neutral items were a major talking point of the DreamLeague Leipzig Major as specific neutral items proved to be incredibly powerful when paired with specific heroes. For example, apex’s massive primary attribute boost synergized perfectly with Morphling, and Repair Kit was overpowered when paired with Treant Protector.
Those specific combinations were addressed to some degree with a shift to how heroes use neutral items. The total number of neutral item drops was increased from three to four, lowering the chances of teams being burned by RNG with neutral items that don’t synergize with heroes.
Heroes now have a dedicated neutral item slot and can only have one neutral item equipped at a time. This prevents players from filling up their inventory for free, and forces players to be a bit more strategic in terms of how neutral items are allocated. It also functionally gives cores the ability to have seven backpack slots to work with, a scary prospect in the late game.
Backpacks have also been redesigned, giving players just three slots to work with instead of four. Neutral items can be sent back to base through a right-click menu. Items sent back to the base can be found in a new building located in the fountain, which stores them in a chest surrounded by remodeled hill trolls and centaurs.
Finally, ancient neutrals now have an increased drop rate of neutral items, making farming them a major priority for cores.
Following the removal of XP-based talents, GPM talents have also been removed with Dota 2 update 7.24. This brought a number of changes to heroes that may or may not shake out to be buffs or nerfs.
Heroes like Venomancer and Omniknight, who have been flexed as both supports and offlaners thanks to those talents and will now likely find themselves relegated back to a support role. Meanwhile, heroes that received significant buffs to compensate for this like Grimstroke might end up getting more play as a result.
Separate from that, a number of top heroes from the DreamLeague Leipzig Major were given significant shakeups.
Doom received nerfs to both Devour and Scorched Earth, and had his strength gain reduced. Lich’s base damage and Sinister Gaze fear duration were reduced. Disruptor’s Thunder Strike had its mana cost increased, while Static Storm no longer has its duration increased by Aghanim’s Scepter.
The list of changes is long and this is only the tip of the iceberg. So once again, check out the full patch notes on the official Dota 2 blog.