It usually takes a couple of weeks for a new patch to arrive after the International and now is the best time to discuss some of the changes we would love to see. Some of them are going to be very obvious, as there are definitely problematic pub heroes who are both strong and annoying to play against. Other suggestions will be subjective proposals, to encourage a discussion in the comment section below.
There are very few heroes more annoying than a late game Spirit Breaker. Having the ability to constantly push waves, while having ridiculous teamfight impact on top of support solo kill potential feels way too oppressive. The hero is simply way too strong and requires specific itemization to counter. You need a Eul's Scepter of Divinity for dispel and preferably a Linken's Sphere for protection. The worst part is that you possibly want these on supports who usually have different priorities. We don’t think there is an elegant solution to this problem and the hero should probably just get nerfed directly: Bulldoze cooldown and duration could be a good start.
Treant Protector is even more broken, though not a lot of players talk about the hero, because he is not “annoying”. In reality, though, Treant is the most consistent and successful position five support in the game by a huge margin: between his early game lane presence and mid game scouting and teamfight potential, there is simply too much the hero can do.
There are several other heroes who definitely belong on this list, but we feel like Spirit Breaker is definitely the most annoying strong hero in the current patch, while Treant Protector is the most overtuned one.
Here is an interesting the International 2023 fact — Pavise was built only four times, with a 100% win rate. Is the item good? Yes, it boasts a 53% pub winrate and while this number on its own means very little, it is worth noting that it is higher than many more expensive save items. It also has good cast range and the Bariier active scales with Armor. The problem is, it doesn’t really turn into anything else later on and given how games now typically take 40+ minutes, even supports end up slot-starved.
The same to a lesser extent can be said about Aether Lens. It is a very powerful item and it makes other items a lot easier to use: Glimmer Cape and Force Staff are very different beasts when they have decent cast range. However, since it doesn’t get any kind of progression, it is often clunky to use.
We would love to see some reworks with these two items, and perhaps other support items as well. Cast Range increase is an incredibly powerful concept and there is a good reason Cast Range talents were removed from the game, but we feel like since then buying save items on supports is mostly about saving yourself, rather than your teammates. And because of it there is also extra incentive for cores to play extra-tanky with items like Heart of Tarrasque. Perhaps making save stronger, while making individual survivability items weaker would re-introduce more core-support teamplay in pubs.
This is mostly a professional scene observation, rather than a pub one. Going highground without having a massive lead is game-losing and patience is disproportionately rewarded. This leads to extremely long games that are decided twenty minutes before the throne actually falls. Surely, there were occasional misplays and moments of brilliance at the International, where a team on the backfoot managed to overcome all odds, but for the most part trying to end the game felt way too punishing, so the stronger teams just didn’t.
This did re-introduce some heroes to the meta and had a positive impact on the viable hero pool, but we feel like in this case asking for “change for the sake of change” is justified. A slightly wider ramp so the choke point isn’t as restrictive could be a solution. Perhaps a simple Armor decrease on the Towers could do the trick, or pulling Tier 4 Towers in a little, so that repositioning plays aren’t as devastating. There are definitely some solutions to this subjective problem and we would love to see Valve explore them.
There was a short period of time late Summer, early Fall, when Dota games were extra nice. It could be just player perception, or it could be that the system they introduced in the Summer Client Update worked very well, but the end result was that games for high behaviour players were, or at least felt better.
There were definitely problems with false positives and there was very vocal opposition towards stricter rules for some reason. Some of the concerns were justified, others were toxic players lacking the self-awareness to realise how toxic they are, but generally speaking the system worked, even if as a placebo.
We don’t know whether anything has changed with the system, or players just stopped caring as much, but it feels like the Dota games reverted back to normal. They aren’t necessarily bad and all confirmation bias aside, if you are a 12k BS player you will get a griefer maybe once in ten-fifteen games, but the games are no longer extra nice.
If there is a magical knob to turn the niceness up once again, we would love it turned. For now though, try your best to make sure not to add to toxicity yourself. Negativity is often a chain reaction and a small spark of it can cause rippling effects throughout multiple games, potentially finding its way back to you.
Is there anything else you would love to see changed or added in the new patch? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.