Valve seems to be poised to change its approach to Dota 2 updates in a newly permanent way.
Game creator IceFrog made an announcement to fans regarding Dota 2 update 7.27. On the Dota 2 developer forum, he stated that the plan was for something in line with the initial rollout of the 7.26 update.
“We are planning on releasing the first part of 7.27 in a couple of weeks, with a focus on item changes, economy and misc general adjustments. It will be followed up later with hero focused changes,” IceFrog said.
Version 7.26 was a departure from the norm in terms of Dota 2 updates.
Traditionally, each new major patch changes every aspect of the game from the micro level of heroes and items, to the macro level of kill bounties and XP gain. From there, Valve will roll out smaller updates that change a handful of things in the game as balance demands.
7.26 changed that, as Valve implemented sweeping changes at the macro level including changes to how primary attributes and kill streaks work, with no changes being made to items or heroes. Those micro changes then came in the follow-up patches, starting with Dota 2 update 7.26a.
Dota 2 update 7.27 will apparently follow the same general plan, changing items, the economy, and other facets of the game while waiting to see how changes these impact hero and item balance. Heroes will likely be overhauled in the smaller updates that later follows.
Dota 2 update 7.26 has been met with largely negative response. The reduced gold bounties and changes to kill streaks disincentivized aggression, resulting in a slow-paced experience at high levels. This, combined with primary attributes’ secondary effects being removed, has had the effect of lengthening games at all levels of play.
Odds are that these changes will be either rolled back or addressed in some other way to bring back the more aggressive and fast-moving Dota 2 that fans enjoyed in 2018 and 2019.
As for the specifics of hero changes, split pushing has become the clear-cut strategy of choice in Dota 2. Nature’s Prophet, Beastmaster, and Lycan have been the most contested heroes in drafts in most recent tournaments, with those three topping the list in BLAST Bounty Hunt. This will likely be changed in one way or another.