Dota 2 Patch is bringing in a TON of changes as well as a whole new hero, the infamously unbalanced Arc Warden

If you've been browsing any Dota 2 related forum for the past few weeks you would see a community driven in to an utter frenzy, like a pack of piranhas, but instead of flesh they were hungry for the much anticipated 6.86 patch.

And now that Patch 6.68 is finally out I can easily see why people were so riled up. Besides a ludicrous number of balance changes there is a new hero, plenty of new items, changes to the map, the UI, the armory and so, so much more. I'm excited and here's why you should be too.

I'll go over all the important changes very briefly because let's face it, there is no way I'll be able to cower all of this in detail before the end of the year. So here goes:

First of all there is now a new hero, the Arc Warden, a hero who defined the word "overpowered" back when I tried him in Dota 1. His ultimate spell allows him to create a duplicate of himself for a short period of time that has all of his abilities and all of his items as well! That still sounds obscene to me but I trust in Icefrog's judgement, he'll find some way for Arc Warden to work without blowing up the entire game.

Next up, the much awaited Zeus Arcana for which the community voted during this year's International. It looks bloody awesome but it has the same issue every other Dota 2 arcana has, the price tag. There is just no way I'd ever be willing to spend €30 or whatever the price ends up being for a single cosmetic.

Also, while I'm aware they never promised this, it still feels a bit cheap that we get to vote which Arcana gets made next but don't actually receive it despite the ability to vote being gated behind a paid compendium. But regardless, as long as all of this is cosmetic fluff I am perfectly fine with it given that Dota 2 is completely free to play when it comes to everything that actually matters.

Dota 2 patch 8.86 brings much awaited Zeus Arcana cosmetic which, I have to say, looks pretty good

Thunderous Applause!

Valve being Valve went the extra step and even made a short comic detailing some of Zeuses history, you can download it here. Its not overly long but it is both well written and drawn so if you have even a remote interest in Dota 2 lore I'd suggest you give it a look, it won't disappoint.

Besides just new features there are also some much needed quality of life fixes. You will now be able to more easily access and sort through your armory, something that should've been in the game since the start of Dota 2 Reborn but I'll take what I can get. The other thing is the addition of hero specific stats so you can easily see where your game is faltering and how you can improve it.

Next up on the list of long awaited compendium rewards is the desert terrain which, if you own this year's compendium, you'll be able to equip in order to spice up the look of the standard map. Along with the tile-set itself there is a new custom map, titled Desert Colosseum, which is intended as a showcase of what skillfull modders could hope to accomplish with this new terrain. 

The much awaited compendium reward, the dessert terrain, is now here in Dota 2 with patch 8.86

A lot of greenery for something called a desert

Another big addition is the new Arcane rune which can seemingly spawn from minute 0. What it gives you is a reduction in spell cooldown and mana cost for its duration. Depending on how significant the mana/cooldown reductions are I can see this rune being one of the most heinous things to deal with when you're mid against a spell-casting hero. Good thing Zeus isn't that popular these days...oh wait...

Besides the new rune there are now also four new items. Faerie Fire is an early game item that gives you a meager bonus to attack damage but it can be consumed for a quick heal. Imagine this as an HP version of the Enchanted Mango.

The Dragon Lance is a very interesting item, what it does is it gives ranged heroes an increase of 130 range as well as a bunch of stats that will aid you with survivability and damage. I'm not sure what to think about this one because if I've learned anything from Sniper its that having long range is sometimes all you need to survive, but on the other hand would I really be willing to spend so much money on such a "small" effect? This one will need some experimentation.

The Aether Lens is a mid game spellcaster item that gives you a decent chunk of regeneration as well as some magic resistance but the big thing about it is the 200 range increase on spells! While I'm not sure how big of an impact this will have given the price point I do know that on some heroes this item is going to be so good, Pudge especially. 200 extra range on hooks and Dismember while still giving you regeneration and magic resistance? What more could you want out of life.

The final item is by far the most interesting one due to how many new playstyles it enables. The Iron Talon is essentially Smite from League of Legends, its easily built and cheap and it allows you to instantly chop 40% of a neutral creature's health (doesn't work on ancients) meaning it will allow melee carries to head in to the jungle far earlier and more consistently than they could ever before. While this is the most "boring" of the items I'm most excited about this one's potentials.

Dota 2 8.86 brings new items to the game, here's how they look and what exactly they do as well as my opinion on their implications

Faerie Fire is heavily reminding me of a Tango, I wonder if that's intentional

This cowers most of the "big" changes coming with patch 6.86. There are however a stunning amount of other new features, reworks and balance changes I simply can't cower without extending this article to 15 pages so if I've gotten your interest I'd suggest you head over to the official patch notes and read up the rest over there.

As for me? I'm off to bed so I can get to play this patch as soon as possible tomorrow. Have fun!

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