The 7.00 patch notes are out on the test realm and will hit the live servers in a few days.

Quick takeaways:

  • Supports now have more things to do, and have a clearer goal. Stack camps on odd minutes, and go for runes on even minutes. Gank anytime in between.
  • Shrines make the game faster paced. Less going back early in the game.
  • With less neutrals spawning, there is more incentive to fight and gank rather than stay in jungle. (By implication, jungling and static farming is inefficient now)
  • Supports will have an easier time to catch up in Gold and XP due to more fights, bounty runes, and the new talents.
  • The map looks very different. Paths are different, you will need to relearn warding patterns, and gank paths.
  • The UI has also been changed. This may take some getting used to, but as with the previous UI rehaul, this should be just a matter of time.

Here’s a rundown of the major Gameplay changes:

  1. Talents (We Heroes of the Ancients now!)
    Every 5th level from level 10 (10, 15, 20, 25), you can choose between one of two talents that are unique to each hero. This now replaces the +2 to all stats that you get in between skill levels. I think it’s great because it allows you to adapt to different scenarios in different games outside of items. This also allows IceFrog to be able to introduce a new layer to the game that he can balance. At it’s state, however, we can expect a lot of balance tweaking within the next couple of patch cycles. Note also that for some heroes, the choice may be very easy between two talents, but others may have wider options to choose from. I’ve picked Mirana’s and Enigma’s trees as examples below:

    • Mirana

      • Level 10: +8 Agility OR +150 Health
        A choice between survivability and some damage. I would most likely generally choose Agility unless there are heavy nukes on the enemy team or if I’m getting camped.
      • Level 15: +5% Spell Amplification OR +30 Attack Speed
        Basic choice – are you going for nuke (Aghs build) or are you looking into doing more auto attack damage?
      • Level 20: +40 Damage OR +8 Armor
        Easy choice again – do you need more damage, or do you need more armor to survive?
      • Level 25: +100 Leap Attack Speed OR +2 Multishot Sacred Arrows
        This one’s a bit harder. I wouldn’t stay it’s straightforward to take the Leap attack speed as a carry, as the multishot arrow gives you a pretty good burst at melee range, contrary to what most people like assuming that you’d hit all 3 arrows with a 5 second stun. This is how it looks like:
    • Enigma

      • Level 10: +20 Movement Speed OR +12% Magic Resistance
        I would mostly take the Movement Speed, as mobility helps Enigma set up kills better.
      • Level 15: 15% Cooldown Reduction OR +120 Gold/Min
        Cooldown reduction is the easy choice here. Black hole, BKB and Blink at a lower cooldown! I can see the Gold/Min being taken if you’ve been utterly shut down and can’t get your Blink, however.
      • Level 20: +300 Health OR -30s Respawn Time
        300 Health is better on paper. If you’re dying a lot, -30s is good too, so you can join in the fray again, however the 300 help might just help you avoid the death altogether.
      • Level 25: +8 Demonic Conversion Eidolons OR +12 Armor
        The Eidolons don’t sound too great unless you’re trying for a push. By the time you’re level 25, the enemy will most likely be strong enough to clear your Eidolon wave in 1-2 hits, giving them free gold and leaving you with a mastery that gives them free $$$. Armor is the way to go here.

    We’ll definitely be seeing a lot of exciting changes for Talents. I like that some of them even improve skills, like Puck’s level 25 Talent (Increase Illusory Orb’s travel speed/distance). Also note that it’s easier to get to level 25 now (as much as it took to 23 before!)

  2. Backpack
    From the notes:
    Items that are in your backpack are Inactive, and remain so for 6 seconds when moved from backpack.BACKPACK MECHANICS

    • Items that are in your backpack are Inactive (cannot be activated or grant passive bonuses)
    • Items cooldown at only half the rate when they are anywhere except your main inventory.
    • Cannot put the following items in your backpack: Gem, Rapier, Bloodstone, and Aegis.
    • Items can always be moved out of backpack with no Inactivity timer when near a shop.

    DISASSEMBLING ITEMS

    • Disassembling items now tries to fill your inventory or backpack first before dropping to the ground.
    • Disassembling items auto-locks them from combining with other items. Use right click to unlock.

    I think that the backpack is great. It improves a lot of the frustrating parts of DotA when you’re trying to create an item that requires a lot of prerequisites (hello, Mekansm). Now you can have stuff in your backpack like Recipes, and other stuff that you may not immediately use, such as wards, etc. Note that an item is disabled for 6 seconds as you put it in your main inventory – this stops you from cheesing active items in your backpack mid fight.

    This also implies a lot of changes for lategame. You can now have more than 6 slots to fill, and you can switch your items depending on the situation. I think it’s a great addition that’ll add depth to the late game, while making it easier to complete full item recipes throughout the game.

  3. Map Changes
    Oh boy. Where do we begin. Here’s the full list of changes: http://www.dota2.com/700/gameplay/#MapChanges There’s too much to discuss, but here’s a TL;DR for what you can expect for each item:

    1. Roshan Changes
      • Roshan is now on the top side of the River
      • Roshan now has more Armor, and less HP. I believe this makes it easier for spellcasters to contribute damage to Roshan, since you’ll be doing the same amount of HP damage to him while it’ll be more or less the same for auto attackers.
    2. New Building: Shrines
      This one’s interesting.

      • Shrines are like Moon Wells in HotS/Warcraft 3 where you can use it to heal yourself (5 second aura, 120/40 HP/MP per sec, +2/+1 HP/MP per minute passed).
      • The heal has a long cooldown (5 minutes) so use it wisely.
      • The Shrines can be TP-ed on, and can be destroyed.
      • The Shrines provide no vision.
    3. Runes
      Massive changes to runes.

      • Powerups now only spawn on one side of the River at a time. Similar to pre-Bounty rune DotA.
      • Each of the four jungles now spawn a Bounty Rune. (This encourages rotation, and supports can now benefit from the Gold more!)
      • Bottle Charges now only replenish with 2 charges from a Bounty Rune.
    4. Jungle
      More camps, different paths. The Jungle got a full facelift.

      • The Jungle paths are very different now.
      • Pull timings are different.
      • Added one Ancient camp to main jungle.
      • Added one Medium camp to secondary jungle.
    5. Terrain Layout
      More juke paths, and different map layout.
    6. Neutral Camp Changes

      • Neutrals spawn time from 0:30/1/2/3/4/etc. to 0:30/1/3/5/7/etc.
      • Dying to Neutral creeps now cause your hero to have a minimum respawn time of 26 (equal to level 6 respawn time)
      • Ancients are not Spell Immune anymore, which gives mages a chance to farm ancient camps more efficiently.
    7. New Ancient Camp
      This new camp is easier for Mages to kill, and harder for auto attackers.
    8. Other Map ChangesMostly balance changes:Tower damage is less variant, TP no longer destroys trees, and Glyph is not given a refresh until 1 second after a Tier 1 is destroyed. Yay no more accidental uses!
  4. Illusion Changes
    Illusions are now generally easier to kill, and do less damage to buildings.
  5. Game Mechanic Changes
    Roots now stop dash spells (such as Ball Lightning, Burrowstrike, etc)
    This is good news for supports like Crystal Maiden, and would make the new Rod of Atos great as a niche pickup.
  6. Item Changes
    I won’t cover everything, but at least the significant ones:

    1. Eye of Skadi, Maelstrom, and Mjollnir are no longer Unique Attack Modifiers
    2. Healing items and effects (Salve, Clarity, Bottle, Urn) now only dispel when damaged by heroes or Roshan. No more losing cause of creep aggro!
    3. Quelling Blade/Iron Talon nerfed a bit to make it more of a farming item early game. Now gives flat damage.
    4. Rod of Atos is now a snare!
  7. Hero Changes
    1. Invoker was nerfed quite hard. Now you’ll need a different playstyle on him due to the changes regarding Forge Spirit.
    2. Necrophos is now less annoying to play against. No more buyback deny mechanic on Reaper’s Scythe.
    3. POCKET RIKI AGHS!!! Added a Scepter for Riki. Increases ultimate duration by 4 seconds. Allows you to target an allied hero, hiding inside them for the duration. The radius that you attack in follows the allied hero. 1000 Cast Range.
    4. Visage was buffed, maybe we’ll see more of him soon.