Hi there. Welcome back to the devblog for Season 4.5 of Ability Arena. For full patch notes, visit here.
As we talked about in our 4.0 update, seasons are now 2 months long, where the second month will focus on spells.
This season we also wanted to take the time to make sure our localization was up to date for both Chinese and Russian players. In addition to that, we are introducing our Year of the Rabbit bundle, which includes a Chinese Gaben Sound pack, Year of the Rabbit Arena, and 2 War Chests for 30k gold.
If you've been keeping track of our updates, you'll know we've been playing around with the total amount of spells before bans. When we first released, we had 150 and more recently we've had 174. We really like where the game is right now, so we've decided that 175 will be our number going forward. Of course this changes nothing in terms of spells after bans, which has always been 100.
14 SPELLS BENCHED
There are various reasons for benching some of these spells, but I will try to sum it up as best I can.
Shake Things Up
- Global Silence
- Magnetic Field
- Sleight of Fist
Spells like Global Silence and Sleight of Fist were benched to shake things up. Sometimes spells just become too much of an auto-buy, which I think in small doses can be healthy for a game. It's possible we will see these spells again in the future, but thought it would make for a nice change of pace in the short-term. Magnetic Field, on the other hand, was benched because the winner of the latest AA tournament (ninjaninjaninja) requested it. For some reason Jenkins thought it was a good idea to have the winner bench a spell for the following season. Luckily for us he didn't choose anything too weird, as Magnetic Field is a mainstay in the Immortal bracket and notoriously very hard to counter.
- Arctic Burn
- Mana Shield
- Mist Coil
- Press the Attack
These spells were annoying in one way or another. Mana Shield was just about the worst spell we've ever introduced into the game. Arctic Burn was more annoying from a coding sense where players kept running into issues with leaving the boundaries of the arena. Press the Attack had some AI issues that we'll address some other time, while Mist Coil could just one shot people late in games. And of course Impetus will be missed by only one single person on earth named Vic.
Just Didn't Make the Cut
- Corrosive Haze
- Feral Impulse
- Finger of Death
- Poison Attack
- Wave of Terror
This is more of a general category. Some of these spells underperformed, while others are being replaced by something more interesting.
15 SPELLS ADDED
We felt another spammable magic spell was needed in the game. This one scales with intelligence which will hopefully open up some new builds.
Battery Assault is a great spell for any melee hero. This is another spell that we're hoping will make melee heroes even more viable.
We thought the uniqueness of this spell was enough to add it into the pool. Being able to switch a melee to range and vice versa is really cool. The Super and Gaben definitely cater towards the melee side, but only time will tell how this spell will be used.
We got rid of a couple attack modifiers which this will replace. We're hoping some tanky/healing builds will incentivize the use of this spell.
Global silence was the big subtraction from this season and this is a pseudo replacement. Similar to gust, this requires good positioning to pull off. Unlike Gust, however, this has zero cast time and incentivizes a melee unit to pull it off.
We thought a delayed stun would add some extra spice to how people layer their spells. The Gaben on this one is awesome.
A bkb-piercing long duration silence that can eventually break can obviously be quite powerful. We've had to tone down the duration to make this more balanced in our mode.
Another spell with a delayed effect that we think will have some cool combos in the game.
A damage related ultimate that will finally rival Grow and Flesh Golem.
A super value spell where the AI happens to have great aim.
Probably the most fun spell we added. We expect this one to be super contested. Of course we've lowered the duration compared to the regular dota spell.
A spell that can help bring allies to the backline, while also being able to potentially waste enemy spell usage. Can also grief your team.
This is the replacement for Feral Impulse. Even though Lycan's spell was good, you didn't always feel the impact. With the right build you will definitely feel the impact of Spirit Link.
Another melee hero enabler, which can deal devastating damage and crowd control with the right spell combinations. The lack of an actual animation on any hero other than Dawnbreaker makes it look kind of hilarious, but it is effective nonetheless.
I'm very interested in how people will use this spell.
As per norm, this won't be a complete list of changes.
Quality of Life
- Reaper's Scythe AI changed to cast when unit is below 40% HP
This will hopefully fix the issue where the units will just refuse to use the spell because our previous AI ruleset was a bit too convoluted.
Was too Strong
- Eye of the Storm Super and Gaben have been swapped
- Flesh Golem damage amp from 10/15/20 to 5/10/15
- Flesh Golem Super damage amp from 10 to 15%
- Flesh Golem Strength percentage increase from 30/40/50 to 20/30/40%
- Flesh Golem Super Strength percentage increase from 10% to 20%
- Grow damage from 50/100/150 to 33/66/99
- Grow Super now additionally grants 51 damage
- Infernal Blade break duration from 4 to 2 seconds (does not affect the duration of the spell itself)
Flesh Golem and Grow were hotly contested spells and they will probably remain that way. We thought some slight nerfs to the base spells would bring them a bit back down to earth while still maintaining their strength if they are upgraded to Super. Infernal Blade on the other hand was a little bit too easy of a counterplay to passives. We hope that the lower duration will allow passives to shine a bit more again.
Really sucked before
- Battle Trance Gaben Rampage now grants both 70 attack speed and 25% status resistance to everyone, regardless of melee or ranged.
- Chakram damage per second from 50/100/150 to 70/140/210
- Chakram Super is now: grants Second Chakram, grants Flamethrower.
- Chakram Gaben is now: when Chakram lands, spawns 10 additional Chakrams that shoot out in all directions
- Enchant Totem Super no longer becomes a passive ability
- Enchant Totem Super additionally costs 0 mana, and has 0 cast point.
- Enchant Totem damage from 75/150/300 to 100/200/400%
- Fiends Grip Super additionally allows you to cast other spells while channeling
- Fiends Grip Gaben replaced with: -50s CD, for every 1s you spend channeling Fiends Grip the cooldown is reduced by 10s.
- Ice Blast min radius from 275 to 375
- Ice Blast Gaben replaced with: Grants Second Ice Age: casts Cold Feet on entire enemy team upon cast of Ice Blast
Chakram is fucking crazy. I don't know what we were thinking with that one. Enchant Totem changes were needed to make it work as a spammable build for things like Fiery Soul. Before it felt awful to use because of the cast time, which the Super now eliminates. And as you know we love our stupid Lore here at Double Edge Studios, which is why we came out with the sequel to the Frost Bite Gaben Ice Age. We hope Ice Age 2 is as loved as the original.
She got a ton of changes that I won't list here since it is quite long. But essentially we nerfed the damage that comes from the creep itself. Instead of gaining a ton by upgrading, you gain a little more each round. In addition to that, we have rebalanced a lot of the abilities. Some were shuffled a bit with tiers, while others were nerfed/buffed to make more sense with the tier they were in. The one thing we want to be careful of is over nerfing Prellex, since we think she is super fun to play.
- Boosted spells cost from 5 to 4
The idea of this God is to build things you don't normally go for. We hope that the extra gold discount will make him stronger as a whole. Keep in mind that the spell also sells for 4 gold, so there is no risk in picking it up.
The two Coming Soon™ rewards in the Battlepass have now been added.
The AK-47 Finisher is unlockable at Level 20
The CS Win Streak is unlockable at Level 30.
Dota Tooltips Extension
The Dota 2 Tooltips extension will have support for Ability Arena very soon! We're expecting that it will be out within the next week!
For those that aren't aware, bukka and I created the Dota 2 Tooltips extension for Twitch, which is the #1 most used extension for games on the platform. It's also 100% free for streamers. Here is a rundown of the extension.
Once it is enabled, it will start working automatically, so there is no need to update anything. Keep in mind that unlike the regular extension, you will not be able to hover over spells as that is not easily supported for custom games. Instead, you will be able to bring up the Gods/Spells to conveniently see what they all do. Hopefully you enjoy!
Here is a sneak peak of what it will look like:
That's all for 4.5. Thanks for reading and see you next time!