The most recent Dota 2 patch landed right on top of the currently ongoing Epicenter XL major. A big shift in gameplay riled up some folks in the community, and now, Valve is adjusting the way it will release future updates.
Valve announced yesterday that “for upcoming majors where the Thursday patch would land during the tournament, we will instead be releasing the patch at the end of the event.”
In February, Valve started a new patch roll-out that would happen on a much more frequent basis. Rather than big patches every couple months, Dota 2 has been on a schedule of new patches every two weeks on Thursdays. Enigmatic Dota balancer IceFrog said in a rare tweet that the team will be trying the schedule out for six months.
But when patch 7.14 hit this Thursday, it ran directly into the Epicenter XL major, a big event for teams still looking to make it into — or secure their spot in — the Dota pro circuit’s top 8. The games didn’t start until the next day, but it still gave most 24 hours or less to read the notes and get ready.
When points that could mean a potential direct invite to The International, Dota’s multi-million dollar tournament, are on the line, it’s nice to know what state of the game you’re playing in. Changes to items like Maelstrom and Skull Basher, hero adjustments, and a hero being added back to captain’s mode all mean a lot of new wrinkles in the Dota metagame.
It’s good to see this change happening, though other games rely on options like tournament modes, which are frequently one or more patches behind the current playable build, to make sure teams have ample prep time. I don’t think Dota 2 needs to necessarily go down that route, but ensuring that teams aren’t sideswiped by a patch at the last second before a major is a good move.