Dota 2 update 7.26b has dropped and it shows just how impactful the original 7.26 update was for the game. The list of patch notes is fairly short, but it carries huge ramifications for players at all levels and in all roles as Valve seems to be committed to changing how games progress, rather than making granular changes to individual heroes.
The lost of core gameplay changes reads as follows:
The laning phase should look quite a bit different now after a major overhaul of how creep bounties work. The bounty for melee creeps has been increased by 5 gold, bridging the value difference between ranged and melee creeps a bit. Offsetting this is a huge change to denies, with the XP reduction being increased from 40% to 50% at the expense of any gold for the hero that denies them.
The impact of that lost XP will be felt more strongly in the early game. The amount of XP required to level up from level eight to 13 is being increased from 780 to 900, to 890 to 1050.
Jungling might be coming back with this Dota 2 update. Neutrals’ base bounties were increased by 10%, which will likely see more players working on camps in the early game and stacking for cores in the mid game. That isn’t the only change though, as neutral item timings were also shifted back a bit, with tier-two starting at 17 minutes, tier-three at 27 minutes, and so on.
Finally, towers have been given a significant buff. Towers’ auras now include an HP regeneration effect of +1 for tier-ones and +3 for tiers two through four. Towers at tier-two and above also received a more direct buff on top of this, with their health being increased by 500 and their damage being increased by 25.
The 7.26 Dota 2 update was an interesting one that had the seemingly paradoxical task of slowing down the pace of Dota 2 games while also shortening the overall game length. The early outlook is that Valve has succeeded in those efforts, as there have been many shorter games at the professional level over recent weeks.
But Valve’s still not satisfied.
Most of the changes for 7.26b seem to be focused on reducing aggression in the mid game. The increased strength of towers will make prolonged sieges less viable while the changes to bounties for both creeps and neutrals should see teams shift their focus more to farming.
Dota 2 update 7.26a increased the prices of a number of go-to early and mid-game items. 7.26b continued this on a handful of other items.
Gloves of Haste and Blades of Attack both received small price increases, which should make it more difficult to get early Power Treads or Phase Boots. Ring of Basilius’ recipe cost was increased for the second consecutive patch, bringing its price from 150 gold in version 7.26 up to 200 in 7.26b. Hood of Defiance also now requires a recipe, which costs 200 gold.
The only other change was made to Healing Salve. The item still heals players for the same amount, but does so over a 10-second span instead of eight.
The full patch notes can be found on the official Dota 2 blog.