Fundamental game changes are frowned upon by any gaming community, like the universal Dota hero. This goes even better for live service games that rely on steady meta to thrive. When a developer makes these kinds of changes with bad execution, it tends to ruin the experience. But experienced developers are not such cases of ruined video games. Their mastery in changing enough things is what enables their longevity in the gaming scene.
Valve is a living masterclass of how to create a game with longevity, except for that one case. But other than that, they have learned clever ways to ship things that don’t get a bad rap. Of course, this is in part due to their sterling reputation as a game-developing company. Dota’s new 7.33 update is the latest ship in their updates to the game, and it’s a massive one. Of these changes is the Universal lineup of heroes, what are they, and how do they affect the game?
A Universal Dota Hero is a Group of Weirdos?
When Icefrog added Void Spirit, there were implications already about massive changes. In his lore, there is a certain “Confluence” that happens when both ancients blow up together. What we didn’t know is that this turned out to be one massive patch all along. There are heroes in the game that don’t quite belong to their primary stat, a generous amount of them. Thus, Icefrog smiled upon them and gave them a brand-new classroom to vibe and chill out at.
Void Spirit together with 30 other weirdos, now make up the Universal lineup of Dota heroes. This new clique is unique because they don’t have a primary stat at all. In fact, the gimmick is that they receive base damage from each stat at a decreased value. By getting stat items and upgrades, a Universal hero can reach ridiculous base damage. Did Icefrog predict this? Probably, because Valve did say their “…engineers assure us this number is perfectly balanced.”
Prepare for Weird Builds!
Because of the way the damage numbers work for Universal heroes, it’s a free game for them. Items that didn’t quite fit on these heroes now make a lot more sense. It is no longer weird to see a Beastmaster buy Agility or Intelligence granting items. To this group of heroes, all the stats are important, and thus they need all of them. Don’t be confused if you see a Venomancer with 200 base damage in the midgame. This is a normal occurrence moving forward.
There are implications to this, it means that Strengths are all-melee blockhead jocks now. Intelligence heroes are at the distance, away from combat, just as stereotypes intended. Enough of that, it changes the way games are played now, with more variety and creative expression. Universal heroes are the gateway to more interesting team compositions and item builds. A Nyx going echo saber, a Lycan building Skadi, it is quite an endless theorycraft.
It’s a new patch, and it’s still early into its lifespan, try things out and find a style. Pick up a universal Dota hero and see how many stats you can pump into them. After that, go for a gank and watch their right-click do goofy ahh amounts of damage.