Ability Arena Season 2.0 Dev Blog

Ability Arena Season 2.0 Dev Blog

Welcome to Season 2.0 of Ability Arena. As always, if you want to see the full changelog click here. Now that Season 1 is over, your ranks have been "soft" reset. This means that grinding back to your last rank will not take too much time.

The Season 2 launch has been particularly stressful as both Jenkins and I were covering TI in totally different countries. But with the launch comes a ton of new features, including a brand new Battle Pass. If you didn't have time to claim things from the first Battle Pass, fret not as they have been auto-claimed for you. With that said, I will now do my best to cover a few of the changes in addition to the reasons behind them.

New God Picking System

The most common feedback we got from Season 1 was that you all felt pretty bad opening God chests, because it would dilute the pool in which your Gods were chosen. Our original template for the game is based on other games of the same genre, so we wanted to think outside of the box and see if we could come up with a better system overall.

With the new pick screen you will be able to select 1/3 of your owned Gods (rounding up).


This allows it to scale no matter how many Gods you end up owning. In addition, there is a "shuffle" button that allows you to essentially try again. One note regarding this: You will still be able to get the same Gods again on the second try. Think of this as shuffling your deck. If you have PLUS, you will be able to discard a God on the first screen, which prevents it from showing up in your shuffle.

We hope this system feels a lot better to our players. As per norm, please continue to supply us with your feedback.


Many people don't know that we have exactly 0% control over the matchmaking in the Dota client. This means that any rank can queue into any other rank. This is bad because 1) Immortal players will likely stomp lower level players; and 2) Immortal players will lose a ridiculous amount of MMR if they do not get 1st against lower level players.

As a result of this, we figured it would be beneficial to create a third party solution. We are now officially beta testing our website matchmaking system. For now, this is intended only for Immortal players. Once we're happy with the system we will open it up to more ranks.


You can find more info about the matchmaking here.

In addition to this, we've made it easier to rank up in our normal in-client matchmaking for the lower ranks.

3 New Gods

Rune God

Rune God is our Season 2 Battlepass God. You can unlock him for free at level 40. Rune God buffs a single target with a variety of random runes. The type of rune you get is tied to your shop level, meaning this is a God that is incentivized to upgrade at a quicker pace.


Rubick is available with PLUS this season and will also drop from chests. He provides a couple of new things that are sure to spice up the game. Firstly, he technically adds a new spell to the game, Spell Steal. You are able to upgrade the level of the spell based on how many total spell points you have. The second thing he introduces is a 5 skill hero. Of course you can get more than 4 spells if you find the right upgrades, but Spell Steal will add that 5th spell right off the bat, which means you can have 2 ultimates as well without having to play Donkey Aghanim!

Chaos God

This God is available for free via a level 20 Battlepass and he is extremely unique in the fact that he is temporary. This means that after this season, he will be deleted from everyone's armory. Next season (assuming people like this idea), we will come out with a new version of Chaos God. This gives us a way to test mechanics for future Gods as well as provide more free Gods for people to play around with.

20+ New Spells

We've added a ton of new spells! Not only that, but we're experimenting by not removing any spells this time around. We now have a total of 170 spells in the game, which will (still) be reduced to 100 every game. We hope this will add a little bit more variety in the games. This is another area we are hoping to get some feedback. At the current state, I don't think it would be good to add many more spells than this, but that is more of a gut feeling than anything. Once we find a good number to settle on, we will go back to our original plan, which is to bench/replace spells on a semi-regular basis.

With that, lets go over a select few of these new spells you'll get a chance to play with.

Fortune's End - we felt like buff abilities like Frost Armor and Heavenly Grace were too good, but also agreed that they feel fun to use. So instead of nerfing them into oblivion, we decided to instead add some counters like this ability.


Ice Blast - we felt that this ability would be a nice addition to deal with the passive-stacking tanks without requiring Break.


Spear of Mars - another way of dealing with passive tanks, but instead of killing them, you can use this ability to disrupt your opponents formation.


Pulverize - we just wanted to add this ability because its awesome.


Inner Fire - we felt like this spell provides quite a few things that the game is lacking: a disarm, a tank spell (that's not a passive), and healing/lifesteal reduction.


Here's the rest of the spells we added, in no particular order:

  • Lucent Beam
  • Dragons Blood
  • Boundless Strike
  • Death Ward
  • Shadow Dance
  • Reality Rift
  • Spear of Mars
  • Lil Shredder
  • Enchant Totem
  • Press the Attack
  • Sidekick
  • Summon Familiars
  • Burning Barrage
  • Moon Glaives
  • Fiends Grip
  • Epicenter
  • Frostbite


With a new patch comes a lot of balance changes. As usual, lets try and categorize them.

Too Powerful!

  • Arc Lightning Gaben: replaced with Grants Timeless Relic
  • Kraken Shell Gaben: Removed Mirror Shield
  • Lucent Beam: Gaben: Bounces from 3 to 4 and bounces deal 15% less damage per bounce
  • Nethertoxin max damage from 25/50/75/100 to 15/30/45/60
  • Nethertoxin super max damage from 70 to 130.
  • Wild Axes Super bonus damage from 40 to 30.
  • Frost Shield duration from 5/6/7/8 to 4/5/6/7
  • Frost Shield Super duration from +2s duration to +1s
  • Chemical Rage BAT on Melee units from 1.1/1.0/0.9 to 1.2/1.1/1.0

These spells were a little too powerful, but we didnt want to mess with them to the point that they become weak. We're pretty confident they are all still worth upgrading. Kraken Shell loses Mirror Shield, but Blademail is ridiculously powerful in our mode. I was never a fan of concept behind Arc Lightning Gaben and it was performing too well. Lucent Beam was similar in that it was a game winner, but different in the fact that it was really cool. We decided to nerf the damage a bit, but add an extra beam for that glorious dopamine injection.

Quality of Life

  • Black Hole Gaben Refresher Orb now costs 0 mana
  • Chakra Magic Gaben: changed to Grants Blinding Light
  • Empower Gaben: replaced with casts on everyone at the start of the round (undispellable, infinite duration)
  • Focus Fire: Super changed to have no damage reduction and Gaben changed to not bounce anymore, but has 0 mana cost
  • Sharpshooter has 25% faster charge time by default
  • Sunder Super also grants -0.2s cast point
  • Firesnap Cookie cast range from 700 to 800.

Some of these spells felt really bad to upgrade in certain situations. Empower Gaben would turn into a passive instead of casting it at all, meaning if the holder died no one would have it anymore. In many situations it was just worse than the Super. Chakra was another weird one where the person you are typically casting on would never be close to enemies. I think its important for us to go back to the basics with some of these upgrades.


  • Counter Helix: Super give Vanguard & Gaben upgrades it to a Crimson Guard (in addition to old effects)
  • Corrosive Haze Super now also makes it undispellable and permanent.
  • Ink Swell Gaben replaced with 2 charges
  • Overload damage from 30/50/70/90 to 25/50/75/100
  • Trample Gaben now also grants Sange and Kaya
  • QOP Blink Super CDR on first spell after Blink from 50% to 80%

Ink swell Gaben was weird because your frontliner would just be ignored, which you usually don't want to occur. Giving 2 charges is simple, but still incredibly powerful. Counter Helix needed a little love, so why not add some classic Axe items?

We overnerfed these

  • Impetus damage from 3.5/7/10.5/14% to 4/8/12/16%
  • Impetus Super now also grants Specialist Array
  • Impetus Super damage from +11.5% to +6%
  • Pulse Nova damage from 50/100/150 to 60/120/180
  • Pulse Nova Super now also Grants Bloodstone
  • Pulse Nova Super damage from +120 to 0

Not only did we overnerf Impetus and Pulse Nova, but the Supers were incredibly boring (just number buffs), so we added some items to them to make them cooler (and able to combo with more stuff).

Valve nerfed this

  • Static Link Super buff duration +7s (100% uptime)

Boring Supers and Gabens made cool

  • Boundless Strike Super now also adds a perpendicular Boundless Strike at the end of the first strike
  • Boundless Strike Gaben changed to: applies Bloodthorn effect to every unit hit
  • Dark Pact Super now also causes Dark Pact to dispel enemies
  • Dark Pact Gaben replaced with: Every time the main unit casts Dark Pact, the entire team will also cast it for 50% damage
  • Life Break Gaben now also grants Heaven's Halberd.
  • Split Earth Super replaced with casts level 2 Lightning Storm on every unit hit by Split Earth (can bounce)
  • Uproar Gaben moved to Super
  • Uproar Gaben replaced with Primal Beast's Aghs
  • Vampiric Spirit Gaben also grants: when Skeletons respawn, they cast level 2 Wraithfire Blast on a random enemy (global range)

Not sure what to say other than LOL

God Changes

  • Alchemist interest gained per gold from 1 per 10 to 1 per 11/10/9/8/7 (depends on shop level)
  • Bloodseeker lifesteal per hero death from 15% to 17.5%
  • Jmuy cooldown reduction from 0/10/20/30/40% to 10/20/30/40/50%
  • Jmuy cooldowns no longer tick down just before combat starts
  • Selemene spell amp from 0.4% to 0.3%.
  • Selemene buff is now SHARED team-wide and benefits from every unit losing mana (this is a buff)
  • Dazzle Shallow Grave from 0.75/1.5/2.25/3/3.75 to 0.8/1.6/2.4/3.2/4
  • Aghanim upgrade chance from 45/50/55/60/65% to 30/35/40/45/50%
  • Donkey Aghanim from 25% extra shop cost to 20%


XP: Originally we were worried that people were leveling too fast, but after much consideration, we decided to keep the XP levels the same for Season 2 and will continue to monitor how fast people level up.

Arenas: We've added 2 new arenas to the game. The Rune God Arena is tied to the Battlepass, while the Phantom Assassin Arena is available in the store for coins.


We'd love to add more coin purchasable content in the future.

Finishers: As with every season, the Battlepass God gets their own Finisher. This one is a rainbow and it's cool :)

Battlepass changes: As time goes on we plan to add new things to each Battlepass to make them feel more unique and less copy/pasted. For this season we've added Chaos God (as we talked about earlier). We've also added the Posh British Announcer Pack.


This can be equipped to change the sound of your Gaben sounds. This means when you get a Gaben, that sound will play for everyone. We think this type of cosmetics is sorely missed in Dota, which only plays client side.

In addition to this, we've added some random emote drops to the Battlepass since there feels like a lack of hats in the game.


And we've created emote packs themed around Rune God.



For those that actually read this blog post, here is a little goodie. Please don't share publicly as that kind of ruins the point. Promo code: coinstobuysomething


Thank you all for the support! As I've said before, this is only the beginning. We have so many crazy ideas that we're extremely excited to show you. As always, I hope you enjoy our update as well as this blog post. Stay tuned as we'll be having a streamer tournament on November 5th @ 3PM EST (20 CET).