Dota 2 adds two new heroes and 'Random Ability Draft' mode

With Chinese New Year nigh, Valve has launched a honking great Dota 2 patch heralding a new special seasonal event. Yesterday's patch brought over two new heroes from the original DotA mod, Terrorblade and Phoenix. More weirdly, it added an astonishing new mode named 'Random Ability Draft,' where players take turns to pick abilities for their heroes, resulting in some absurd combinations.

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With Chinese New Year nigh, Valve has launched a honking great Dota 2 patch heralding a new special seasonal event. Yesterday's patch brought over two new heroes from the original DotA mod, Terrorblade and Phoenix. More weirdly, it added an astonishing new mode named 'Random Ability Draft,' where players take turns to pick abilities for their heroes, resulting in some absurd combinations.

Terroblade's a pretty old Agility hero from DotA, able to create duplicates of himself and others, and blessed with the ultimate to swap health with an enemy. Phoenix is relatively new, as DotA heroes go, a ranged Strength hero with solid nukes and, naturally, a rebirth ability.

As part of the New Bloom Festival, the Year Beast is due to surface next Wednesday for players to battle, hoping to earn fancy loot. Until then, however, players can prepare by earning 'Flamesalt Ingots' as they play Dota 2, which will let them get fancier weapons to wound the beast. And, of course, the more you hurt it, the shinier your prize. The game's also dropping Jade Tokens, which get you cosmetic items.

Random Ability Draft is as strange as it sounds. Each players is given a hero at random, stripped of its abilities. All their abilities end in a pool for everyone to draft from, taking turns. It leads to terrifying situations like a Gyrocopter armed with Drow's Marksmanship, Sand King's Caustic Finale, and his own Flak Cannon, exploding creeps and heroes like nobody's business.

The patch also adds 'Replay Takeover' option, letting players take control of the game from a certain point in a downloaded replay, stepping into the Phase Boots of pro players or simply trying to figure out what they could have done differently in a game they lost.

It rebalances an awful lot too, bringing the game to version 6.80. A grand 76 heroes have their abilities tweaked, some more than others, as do many items. So long, dozens of Necronomicons!

On top of all that, new Chinese-y cosmetic items are dropping and on sale. Check Valve's three-part reveal for more on all the patch added.

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    January 30, 2014 9:00 AM

    Alice O'Connor posted a new article, Dota 2 adds two new heroes and 'Random Ability Draft' mode.

    With Chinese New Year nigh, Valve has launched a honking great Dota 2 patch heralding a new special seasonal event. Yesterday's patch brought over two new heroes from the original DotA mod, Terrorblade and Phoenix. More weirdly, it added an astonishing new mode named 'Random Ability Draft,' where players take turns to pick abilities for their heroes, resulting in some absurd combinations.

    • reply
      January 30, 2014 9:15 AM

      Yep, that sounds awesome. Random draft mode means I will be trying this!

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      January 30, 2014 9:22 AM

      It also brings back alot more idiot players who want to try the new content and ruin other peoples games. Last night I played 3 games and each one had a player that needed to be reported.

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        January 31, 2014 4:46 AM

        you sound like the only idiot player worth reporting here. playing bad is no reason to report or flame someone, have some decency

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          February 9, 2014 5:48 AM

          You're talking about a DOTA player - for whatever reason, the communities for these types of games are pretty awful. I think it's part of the initiation rites to play the games, you have to promise to be a jerkwad.

          It's why I avoid them.

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      January 30, 2014 9:29 AM

      random ability draft is so much chaos. everyone is suddenly learning new heroes through the course of the game, meaning games can swing wildly back and forth. nobody thinks they're a support now so wards and couriers are hard to come by. usually by the 20-30min mark someone will have realised they have some absurdly overpowered combo and will wipe the other team and win.

      then you queue up for another game!

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        January 30, 2014 9:33 AM

        Last night I, through a combination of poor/amazing drafting and lack of attentiveness, ended up with a Pudge who had Burrowstrike, Flesh Heap, Empowering Haste, and Shadow Dance.

        Somehow, the combination of these skills together with Arcane Boots, Mek, Sheepstick, and Maelstrom worked. Though it's hard for anything to be bad with those. I'd zoom in, stun people, then chase them forever. So shonky.