The Dota 2 7.20 Patch brought along with it a lot of changes and it’s as if we have to relearn the game from scratch. Amongst the changes were changes to XP gain and a few changes to gold when it came to neutrals. Let’s delve a bit deep to see what impact these changes may have.
1) Change in the deny mechanic
Many players were calling out for a change in the deny mechanic and IceFrog did oblige, but has it made a very big difference? The best way to check it out is to compare a scenario with the old deny mechanic (which gave 25% of the denied XPs creep to the denier) and the new mechanic.
Consider a mid lane heavily dominated by a Lina against an Invoker. After 5 and a half minutes (10 creep waves, 40 creeps), the creeps stats read:
Lina: 30 creeps, 20 denies
Invoker: 10 creeps, 5 denies
Lina has clearly outlaned Voker here. Assuming that both heroes remain in lane, let’s see how the XP and gold look like.
Old deny mechanic:
Lina: 2475 XP (level 6.3), 1327 gold
Invoker: 1575 XP, (level 4.8), 442 gold
Level difference = 1.5, gold difference = 885 gold
New deny mechanic:
Lina: 2175 XP (level 5.8), 1504 gold
Invoker: 1500 XP, (level 4.7), 486 gold
Level difference = 1.1, gold difference = 1018 gold
The XP and level difference might have gone down, but the net worth difference increases (because of the gold from denies). Even though there is less parity in levels as compared to earlier, the difference isn’t huge. Granted in the second scenario, the dominant hero (Lina in this case) will take a few extra creep waves to hit level 6, and that does make a difference, especially with heroes like Lina who hit a power spike with their ultimate. However, the dominant hero does end up getting more gold in the laning stage and it still does not bring complete parity to the lane. The main reason for this, I believe, is the 75% XP a hero misses out on when the opponent denies it. If we are to get away from lanes being so dominant and decisive, there might be a necessity to move that number up to 50-60%.
2) Change in the XP formula
The XP formula was changed to make it simpler. The earlier formula, as can be seen below, had three components with a comeback component for the team with lesser XP. The new one just has a single component which depends only on the XP of the hero killed and the number of heroes present in the XP area. Plotting the XP gained by killing a hero of a particular level before and after the Dota 2 7.20 patch (assuming negligible XP difference), we see some interesting trends for hero kill XP.
Comparison of XP gained by killing an enemy hero for the new and old XP mechanic
The graphs are quite close by for the XP gained by killing a hero up to about level 15. At some levels, the old formula gives more XP while at some the new one give higher XP. However, after a certain level (somewhere between level 13-17), the ride in XP gained per level for the new formula increases a lot more than the old formula! What this means is, getting a kill on a high level hero now gives you a lot more experience than before, which has the potential to skyrocket you XPM. If a game is very close till a certain point in the mid game and a one of the team gets a team wipe on the other, expect a huge increase in a levels for the winning team! The increased experience talents for supports could prove to be a bane (no pun intended) as a high leveled support (Warlock with the 50% XP talent?) getting killed could net the enemy carry a lot of XP. This particular mechanic has some snowball potential in it. The comeback possibilities lie in the fact that if you are languishing in levels and manage to kill a high level opponent, you get a lot of XP, as the graph shows.
Also, the lower XP gain for kills for the new formula at the initial levels (as compared to the old formula) suggests that early rotations are not the best idea (as was the case before 7.20 as well). It is beneficial to stay in lane and if possible, get a kill on the opponent or even better, make him or her take the walk of shame to the fountain.
3) Gold changes to neutrals and stacking
The increased bounty for non-ancient neutrals is a nice boost for everyone. The average bounty from the jungle (not both parts, just the bigger jungle with 1 small camp, 2 medium camps, 2 large camps and 1 ancient camp) has increased slightly, but it is a substantial increase for the supports gaining gold from stacking.
Before Dota 2 7.20:
Average jungle gold: 911 gold
Gold for supports (stacking all camps once): 228 gold
Post Dota 2 7.20:
Average jungle gold: 948 gold
Gold for supports (stacking all camps once): 332 gold
For a core forming the jungle, the increase in gold gained is not a lot. But for the support? HUGE increment! I know that it is an addition for 6 different camps, but that is just to show the possibility of increased gold earnings. With Shadow Demon or Keeper of the Light, it is possible to stack multiple camps at once. A quadruple ancient stack (for a hero like Sven or Medusa) can by itself earn a support 181 gold. There’s a couple of wards for you. So supports out there, make the effort to get a few stacks out. There is a benefit for you as well as your carry!
All in all, some interesting changes coming along with the Dota 2 7.20 patch. However, I do not expect the prominence of lanes to go down a lot with there changes. Jungling might have a bit more to it now than before, but the best way to do things is still pretty much win the lane!