Valve has released the Spring Cleaning update in Dota2. The new update comes almost three months after the previous big update and after weeks of community prodding. But Valve has also announced ( via Icefrog) that they will be releasing updates every two weeks. The new model will be on trial for six months when they can possibly reevaluate the method if needed.
Old Model vs New Model
Dota 2 has a rich history of update patches. Entire metas have been defined by these patch updates. The professional scene is a mirror of these updates. Game Updates are a way to balance out certain aspects of Dota2. With a complicated game such as Dota2, it is very difficult to obtain the perfect balance. With more than a hundred heroes and an almost equal number of items, the combinations are truly immense.
In the previous model, Valve would release big updates once every few months. These updates would bring about massive changes to a variety of heroes and items. Sometimes they would introduce new heroes and items. Such a thing would need more balance updates and changes. However, this model also ensured that the community would have to wait months before a broken hero or ability would be fixed.
The latest patch update ( before the Spring cleaning ) was the Duelling Fates update ( Patch No. 7.07). The Duelling Fates update arrived on October 30, 2017. It has been a full three months since the duelling fates update and we finally have a new update. This new update will be detailed below in this article. But prior to releasing the Spring Cleaning Update, Valve also announced the change in their update release schedule.
We want to try taking a different approach to how gameplay patches are released. Instead of big patches a couple of times a year, we'll be releasing small patches every 2 weeks on Thursdays. We'll be trying this out for about six months and then reevaluating.
— IceFrog (@IceFrog) February 1, 2018
They have also released a new in-game feature to notify players about changes to particular heroes.
What is new in the Spring Cleaning Update?
The Spring Cleaning Update was released yesterday and it has brought out several changes to the game and the heroes. The entire patch notes can be read on the official Dota2 website.
A better Player Profile
The player profile page has received an update with a much better design. You can now see your latest matches on the player profile page seamlessly. With more information being available on the player profile page, we can see how it will appeal to the regular player. You can also choose a background for your player profile page, from any of the loading screens that you own.
Gameplay Changelog Notifications
With Valve promising to release regular short-term updates every two weeks on Thursdays, we can be sure that things will change very fast. In order to keep track of these changes, Valve has enabled an in-game Notification feature. Since not every player goes to Reddit or the official website to check for balance changes, it is important to notify them via the game itself.
Improve your Last hit
In order to help you improve your game, Valve has enabled a new feature within the game. It is the Last hit trainer, which will help you practice your last hitting within the game. The feature has been requested for a long time and will help a big part of the community. Players can not practice within the game before entering matchmaking in order to be more efficient. You can also practice your last hits while queuing for a game.
Better Buyback notifications
How many times have we seen team fights go awry because you missed out on a buyback from the enemy team? Well now you will be able to keep track of such buybacks even if the notification has faded away.
You can even hold ALT to see recent buybacks in the top bar after the initial notification has faded. Notifications in the kill feed will be sticky in that area for 45 seconds.
Boost to Dota 2 Pro Esports
The esports scene in Dota2 has seen a lot of volatility in the recent years. From poor viewership numbers to the pro circuit scene, Dota 2 esports has been growing at a phenomenal pace. Now Valve wants to bring esports closer to the casual fan playing the game.
You can now access the Dota 2 Pro Circuit easier from within the game. Bringing such new features into the game ensures that the average fan does not have to leave the game to gain any information. He will get any balance updates, tournament streams and a lot of other stuff right within the game.
This has been something that tournament organizers, as well as the community, has been demanding for a long time. But the slow implementation was also partly due to which tournaments would be advertised on the front page. With the current system where we have multiple tournaments being Valve approved they know which tournaments will be featured on the front page.
Focus on Teamplay
In order to help teams utilize their strategy time to its full potential, Valve has now enabled item sharing during the strategy time. This will ensure that teams are ready to go on the map right from the moment they load into the game. This also means we should be ready for a lot more fights before the starting horn goes off.
Team Teleport status
You can now check your teammates TP status by clicking ALT. This will show you the status of Teleport scrolls and Boots of Travel under the player icons. It can help you decide whether you should push and then be ready for rapid rotations or just strategically let go of an objective.
This is a particular feature that not will be used by many, but not everyone knew it would be a useful feature beforehand. This feature will save so much time on the part of the casual gamer who will no longer have to click individual hero portraits to check their teleport cooldowns.
Redeliver courier items
The update brings with it the ability to command the courier to redeliver items. Players would often take their items from an en route courier. This would not only stop the courier progression towards a particular hero but could potentially cause discord within the teammates.
With the new ability, players can ensure that the courier will continue to its destination after they have taken their items from the courier. It is a very small but important feature in public matchmaking.
Improved Matchmaking and Custom Games
Longer bans will now be implemented within the game. The new update will allow for six month long bans, which should serve as a good detriment to anyone showing poor behavior in the game. Repeated reports will ensure that a player is warned before he steps into a match.
This is a feature that Dota 2 communities have been demanding for a long time. It is a way to check the growing toxicity in the game. Toxicity is not really limited to Dota2 but has been growing in esports in general.
Language is now a big factor
Dota 2 Matchmaking will now give a bigger consideration to languages. Similar speaking people will have a higher chance of being matched together. So you will no longer receive a player who does not understand your language. This is a big step as we had players from different countries and totally different languages chosen to be matched together.
This feature will not necessarily fix things, but it will significantly reduce the number of people annoyed by matchmaking. It should make matchmaking much more bearable right now. This might also be a testing phase and Valve will keep close tabs on how the users react to the entire changes.
Another interesting feature added to the matchmaking system is a Ready Check feature. This feature will be used to check if your party is ready to be queued up and play. Many a time not accepting the Ready button can lead to your party being timed out for a few minutes. The delay would inevitably lead to multiple players waiting for the time to run out. With this feature, you can find a match only when everyone asserts that they are ready to play in your party
There are several other features in the game which have already been implemented. These features will all collectively work towards making Dota2 a better experience for the average gamer. From Active Friend finder, color-coded teleports now and visual Tower damage when hitting towers.
The Custom Game arcade received a huge revamp. It will help finding open Custom games with more ease. It also has a dedicated local custom game finder on the right bottom.
The new Spring Cleaning update is a very short update. It does bring about some much-needed changes to the way matchmaking and viewing work in Dota2. But it is the first of several small updates that will be regularly released in Dota2.
The regular updates mean that fans need to be more vocal about balance changes. Valve should be able to fix things faster than before, however, it would also mean that sometimes things would be fixed too much.
In either case, it’s really difficult to get the perfect balance between all the items and heroes in Dota2. With this new experiment, Valve hopes to get a better grasp of what needs to be tinkered with.
Good luck in your matches.