Stopping the enemy from achieving their goals with a Dota 2 disable is integral to the Dota 2 game design. These so-called disables are part of core gameplay, and make things fair and balanced. In each MOBA, there is a slow, a stun, and the mechanic of Auto-Attack Disable.
When these mechanics are implemented in a game, complexity, and teamplay are rewarded. Let us then discuss the power of disables in the game of Dota 2.
Years of game development polished Dota 2’s group of Disable mechanics. It started with the stuns and slows of early DotA, then came silences, disarms, and the rest. More disability mechanics are fine, but Icefrog and the developers make sure that it makes sense.
Not everything has to be a new thing, it only needs to work well in existing gameplay. So how do we define the disable mechanics in Dota 2?
The Dota 2 disable offers an inconvenience to their targets and guarantee pre-BKB takedowns. We define them as slow, silence, leash, and trap. Slows are straightforward, they impair a target’s movement and make them move at a lower speed than normal.
Silence prevents spellcasting, which is great against heroes like Puck and the 4 Spirits. Leash pins a target, preventing them from moving away from that point. Trap works when an area prevents units from moving out of it, like Disruptor’s E or Mars’ Ultimate.
Soft Disables are great, but they are soft because they don’t “disable” their targets. They work best when controlling enemy movement, and if enemies are annoying. Don’t discount them, because without hard disables, they are the next best thing.
Yet, the hard Dota 2 disable is a chore to deal with, because enemies cannot do anything during them. They are stun, fear, taunt, hex, sleep, and cyclone. Stun is the progenitor of all hard disables, preventing people from acting for the entire duration.
Fear makes the target move away from a source, which moves them but cannot act. Taunt works the same, except the target hits a source against their will, preventing them from acting.
Hex becomes a creature, slowing them but still moving on command, but prevents them from casting or using items.
Sleep works like a stun, but with the condition that if they take damage, the enemy gets out of it. Cyclone is a unique disable as it lifts a target into the air, preventing them from acting.
Lastly, the special Dota 2 disable offers a unique sort of impediment to opponents. We define as them disarm, ethereal, blind, dispel, break and the DotA legacy disable called pause. We tag these as special because they affect the hero in a way soft and hard disables don’t.
Disarm prevents auto-attacking, and is undispellable even by BKB. Ethereal can disarm a target and gain immunity to physical damage, but makes them weaker versus magic.
Blind causes a target to miss attacks completely, or at a fixed rate. Dispel removes status effects from a target, depending on if they are positive or negative. Break disables an enemy’s passive abilities, a great thing for heroes like Phantom Assassin or Abbadon.
Pause is something that the Dota 2 transition left behind. It works on impale-like abilities, and Chronosphere, which causes a target to pause in place. Most of the stun in Dota 2, but we thought this was nice to mention.
Which Dota 2 disable do you think is great? Or plain annoying to deal with?