Ability Arena 1.5 Dev Blog

Ability Arena 1.5 Dev Blog

Hey all, SUNSfan here. I'm gonna try to release these dev blogs with each big update we make to the game. If you enjoy stuff like this, please let us know! The full changelog for the 1.5 update can be found here. I'm going to break some of it down and talk more in-depth behind the decisions being made.

2 New Free Gods!

We removed Pudge because everyone hated him. That one is kind of self-explanatory.

Boomer is all about tanking up. We think he offers some interesting gameplay decisions, including things like general lineup compositions as well as formations. Building more than 1 or 2 tanks should be viable. Also creating a blink-sacrifice hero is something we hope people will explore.

Based on the Gods we initially released, spell casting was a very popular focus for players. Even though right-clicking was still very viable, we felt adding another God that catered to a physical carry would be well received. You want your unit to die last, but you still need to protect them from any backline jumpers.

New Spells!

Flesh Heap
Before you get too excited, you do not gain strength until the Super. Either way, the damage block alone will be a huge addition to any tank lineup. And if you're able to get the Super, you can have your own mini-Centaur God in a pinch.

We felt the game was lacking attack speed and we thought this spell would be a fun addition. It has some similar functions to Overcharge (which was buffed), but will give a little more attack speed at the cost of HP.

Astral Spirit
This is a very cool spell. After a bit of a delay, your unit will gain a massive amount of damage. Raw damage is hard to come by in our mode, so we hope people will enjoy this one. It has been nerfed compared to it's Dota counterpart, but it should still be quite strong, especially against Kanna pickers :)


Ready Button
We heard you! The first round can be very long if you've played the game a bunch of times. With this, you'll be able to skip the wait (assuming the rest of the lobby also confirms). We will be continuing to collect feedback regarding the round timers as we go forward. Keep in mind we hear plenty of feedback from both sides (newer players wanting longer rounds & veterans wanting the opposite). It's important to us to find solutions that will fit both sides.

AI fixes
We've fixed a lot of AI issues this patch and we still have a lot more work to do. There were a lot of spells that had this rule: "Cast on a random enemy". Seems simple enough, but sometimes the units would walk across the entire map trying to do so. This rule has been replaced with: "Cast on a random enemy in range". Keep in mind, these rules only apply to certain spells, but two of the worst offenders included Chaotic Offering and Spirit Lance. Also note that these AI rules will not affect buff spells, which we've created our own set of rules to over-rule the base. Also, Focus Fire AI has been fixed to not start attacking another enemy nearby unless they have this debuff on them.

New damage (and healing) bars
Our Damage UI finally got some polish! With it you will also be able to view the damage received and total healing. We still have a few small things to tweak with the UI going forward, but we hope you enjoy the new functionality and overall look.


Let's go over a few of the balance changes. I think it's best to group them.

Specific Mechanics Missing

  • Searing Arrows damage from 24/36/60 to 20/40/80
  • Searing Arrows Super damage bonus from 50 to 0
  • Searing Arrows Super now grants MKB
  • Sleight of Fist Super replaced with "Now grants Desolator"
  • Sleight of Fist Super now grants Truestrike

True Strike did not exist outside of the Gaben for Boundless Strike. That has now been addressed via these two skills.

Way too strong

  • Eye of the Storm radius from 800 to 500
  • Eye of the Storm Super no longer grants +1 strike target. Now grants -0.2s strike interval
  • Eye of the Storm Gaben no longer grants -0.1s strike interval
  • Pulse Nova damage from 70/140/210 to 50/100/150
  • Pulse Nova Super damage from 60 to 120
  • Rolling Boulder Super from +2s stun to +1s stun
  • Rolling Boulder Super: from 200% extra STR as damage to 100%

These spells were simply just too strong. Some of these spells were not strong initially in the internal beta and we clearly over buffed them.

Quality of Life

  • Battle Trance Gaben replaced and changed to grant Rampage, which is now cast off cooldown
  • Focus Fire - Fixed AI to try and always attack the unit you cast it on
  • Focus Fire Super also Grants Maelstrom
  • Impetus manacost from 75 to 60
  • Impetus cooldown 0 at all levels
  • Phantom Strike cast range from 1000 to 1500

These spells kind of felt bad in certain situations and we hope these changes have remedied that.

An actual reason to upgrade

  • Blink Super now also "Makes next ability cast after Blink have a 50% CDR"
  • Burrowstrike Super changed give Sand King shard
  • Chronosphere duration from 4/4.5/5 to 3/4/5
  • Chronosphere Super attack speed from 120 to 200
  • Demonic Purge Super is now: Grants 3 charges
  • Demonic Purge Gaben is now: grants Demonic Cleanse (3 charges)

We generally don't like spells to be one point wonders. We also thought this would be a good time to bolster some of the less sought after Supers in the game.

More consistent with Dota

  • Flesh Golem now makes units become melee for its duration
  • Heavenly Grace Strength from 8/18/28/38 to 8/16/24/32
  • Reactive Armor Super from +6 stack limit to +12 stack limit

We love Flesh Golem, but it wasn't being used in the way we originally intended. Now it works more consistently with what you'd expect in regular Dota.

Trying cool stuff

  • Life Break Super now deals 100% of damage to self to enemies
  • Overload charges now stack, and all charges are released on the first auto attack
  • Overload damage from 30/60/120 to 30/50/90
  • Overload AOE from 350 to 300
  • Sharpshooter Gaben replaced and changed to "Decreases cooldown of Sharpshooter by 20s for every unit that dies under the debuff"

These are some of the crazy ideas we had. We're looking forward to all the cool combos you all will come up with. Overload felt underwhemling before because the AI wouldn't know that they should attack after each spell (similar to what Storm wants to do). As a result, we just have the damage stack and then release whenever the auto attack does land.


Gold per game
As I've stated publicly before, we miscalculated how much gold and XP you should be getting per game. The XP being given is too high, while the gold is too low. We won't change the XP system until next season, but the Gold has already been changed. We've doubled it for everyone and doubled it again for PLUS subscribers. So if you win you will gain 100 gold (200 with PLUS). This, in combination with quests, should make it easier to unlock chests regularly.

We of course will continue to monitor how these changes are being received and will make more changes in the coming season if necessary.

How to obtain Golden Gods

The recycle system before was pretty basic. If you opened a duplicate God in a chest, you received 25% of the gold and you increase the tally of your collection by one. Once you got 10 duplicates of the same God, you would unlock a Golden version forever.

This system had some issues, including but not limited to the fact that you could literally never get a Golden card for a Free God, since they never drop from chests.

Instead of collecting 10 points, we are changing it so you need 100. Getting a duplicate version of the God will give you 5 points. Getting a top 4 finish with the God will give you 1 point. We hope this will feel more like you are working towards something. For all existing duplicates, we will transfer your points automatically into the new version (example: If you have 5/10 before, you will have 50/100 now).


We are investigating a new god pick system that will make unlocking new Gods feel better. We haven't finalized anything yet but we will have something done by Season 2 in November.

Speaking of Season 2, there's a lot more cool stuff coming that we can't wait for you to see. With each season we will have more Gods, spells, and cosmetics.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to expand this box for a treat!

Thanks for reading the dev blog. Your reward is a God chest. Promo code readtowin

To claim just play a game of Ability Arena & enter the promo code in the bottom left of the Store tab.