Dota 2‘s 7.25 patch has just launched, and for once I’m not going to write a giant article about what this means for the meta.
I could, believe me. There are plenty of hero and item changes. Boots of Travel no longer have an active ability! They upgrade town portal scrolls to not consume a charge, reduce the cooldown, and allow them to target units. And Bloodthorn is now Attack Speed-focused, requiring a Hyperstone, rather than providing crit chance and requiring a Crystalys.
But if you want to know about the nitty-gritty of those details, you can check out the patch notes — and you should. There are plenty of changes, nerfs, and buffs, not to mention some interesting scepter reworks. Hell, Illusion Runes now work the same way as Manta Style, causing a dispel and a shuffle when used.
Dota 2’s picks and bans
But instead, let’s talk about some of the more unorthodox changes made in Dota 2‘s 7.25 patch. First and foremost is the change to the way hero picking works in All Pick.
Previously, both teams took it in turns to pick heroes. Now, it’s five “rounds” of picks, with each team picking a hero at the same time, with the picks initially hidden. If both players pick the same hero, then the one who picked second gets a bit of extra time to pick a different hero instead.
The ban system for All Pick has also changed. Previously, there was a brief period where players could optionally nominate a hero for banning, and half of the nominated heroes would randomly receive a ban. Now, every ban has a 50% chance of succeeding. If fewer than 10 bans happen, then additional heroes will be banned based on their ban rating at your MMR.
One other sizeable change is a bit more behind-the-scenes, and it is terrifyingly mathematical. This is the complete removal of the rubber-banding mechanic for the amount of gold you get when killing a hero. Previously, the team that was behind would get a bonus to how much gold they received for a kill. Now, no longer. The formula has been vastly simplified, and enforced rubber-banding has been removed completely. You’ll still get more gold if the enemy hero is rich and powerful, but there’s no hard “they’re doing better, you get a bonus” mechanic.
I haven’t crunched the numbers, so I can’t predict how this will impact things. Rubber-banding has been consistently shouted about by the community, though, so this is theoretically a good change — at least until this turns out to impact the flow of each match in unexpected ways.
Dota 2‘s 7.25 patch is out now, and the game itself is completely free to play.