Some thoughts on Dota 2’s Spring Cleaning 2016 update


All year round, issues and bugs arise in the world of Dota 2 that need the patient attention of Valve’s developers. The majority of these problems are minor and worked on over the course of the year. Some are quality-of-life improvements that are released to bring an exciting new look and feel to Dota. Let’s take a look at some of the most impactful changes of the Spring Cleaning 2016 update.

Neutral Creep spawn and tower range indicators:

The brobdingnagian [Uh… okay. – Ed.] debate on just how much assistance these indicators provide to new players has actually been quite staggering. Neutral Creep spawn boxes are now visible when placing any sentry or observer ward, making your job as a support much easier than it was previously. Tower range indicators were also added, allowing you to judge exactly where you should be when trying to dive for kills or run past with your sneaky invisibility rune.

Debates arose around whether or not this feature should have been implemented. Some players have done homework on how spawn camps in Dota 2 actually work, learning how to block pull camps and getting extremely good at triple stacks.

Purge weighed in on the matter, saying that “Dota will not be around forever”, and it won’t. With the indicators, Valve is making it easier for newer players to come to grips with the mechanics, thereby generating a larger player base and making future tournaments even more impressive (and thus more exciting to watch). It gives Dota 2 as much exposure as possible. I do feel, however, that the feature shouldn’t be added to ranked and Captains Mode games, but rather remain in the pub level.

User interface:

The minimap has changed, so instead of the X used previously to display enemy units, a directional arrow has now been implemented. This has already helped me so I’m chuffed with the change. The benefit of being able to see which direction your opponent is moving is great for initiation and smoke ganks.

Camera control hotkeys have been added to the settings menu, allowing you to bind keys to specific locations on the map – amazing for monitoring rune spawns and ward locations. The feature was previously available through the command console but was tedious to activate. Thank you Valve, for making it easier for us lazy folk.

Heroes and miscellaneous:

A few hero bugs were fixed. Invoker’s Ice Wall debuff no longer lingers on Spell Immune heroes. Untouchable was also fixed as it lingered even when changing targets to a unit other than Enchantress. A few other heroes received minor changes, including IO, Lone Druid, Slark, Phoenix and Chen.

Many new key bindings have been added, especially to those who use quick cast, so it’s all about that personal preference. Many of the additions in the Spring Cleaning update increase the amount of customisation options, allowing players more freedom when configuring settings.

Final thoughts:

At first I struggled to come to terms with the more significant changes in this patch, but I’ve come to realise that they should benefit Dota 2 and its community as a whole, especially to those just starting out.

The support role will definitely be more exciting to watch in the future, and hopefully this’ll encourage more people to start playing the role in pubs.

If you haven’t already studied the changes in the Spring Cleaning patch, you can read about them in more detail here.

The North Face wins for douchebag genius marketing stunt of the year