Welcome to Season 4 of Ability Arena. Based on general feedback, we're going to be making some big changes to the way Seasons work. For a full list of changes for 4.0, visit the changelog.
In our continued quest to try and make the game feel better, we noticed a lot of feedback regarding the season length. A lot of casual players felt the seasons were too short, while those that played a ton felt like the Battlepass would run out of cool stuff pretty fast. We obviously get tons of constant feedback from community members, many of who's ideas contradict. Trying to find a balance between the two sides has probably been the hardest thing for us to accomplish.
Keeping that in mind, we've decided to change Seasons to be 2 months instead of 1. This allows the more casual crowd the ability to actually level up their Battlepasses to higher levels. In addition, we've made it a lot easier to level up the Battlepasses in general (2 times faster to be exact). Also, we've effectively doubled the amount of levels there are to begin with.
Old Battlepass: Effectively 40 levels (Total XP required to get there = 18,000). After level 40, players would get a War Chest and Gold chest every 10 levels.
NEW Battlepass: Effectively 80 levels (Total XP required to get there = 18,000). After level 80, players will get a War Chest and Gold chest every 10 levels. They will also get a God chest at level 86 and every 10 levels after.
As you can see, it is a far more forgiving system in general. The Battlepass will also now include our new Gods for the Season.
We also think we've been changing too many things in a short amount of time. Sometimes we would buff/nerf a God, but also do the same for a lot of spells, while rotating more in and out simultaneously. Sometimes this would lead to unintended balance shifts that we hadn't originally anticipated.
As a result of this, we're looking to change things so that the beginning of a Season will be more centered on Gods (adding new ones/balancing/reworking). The .5 patches will now occur in the following month, which will focus more on adding/rotating spells, as well as redesigning Supers/Gabens. This doesn't mean we'll ignore balance changes for Gods during this time or for spells during the beginning of the season, but the focus will be a little more targeted.
In terms of ranks, we will continue doing a soft reset (2 badges) every Season. Because of the longer seasons, casual players shouldn't feel as bad as they will have quite a bit of time to rise the ranks. In addition, we have made it easier to obtain the first few ranks, while making it very hard to drop back out.
We will also be implementing a Funday Sunday event, where every Sunday, players will get double xp and double gold for playing the game.
Damage Formula and Timer
We've redesigned our damage formula and shortened timers in the hope that games go late more often while still keeping the same overall time played.
Old: Round number + (number of remaining heroes * shop level)
New: 3 + (Round Number / 4) + (Number of Heroes * Round Number / 4)
We estimate that games will last about 13% longer in terms of total rounds played. Early game will matter a little bit more, while late game will be less punishing.
Round timers have been lowered to make up for this. The shop will also stop closing automatically every time. This will hopefully make it feel less stressful if you are not able to purchase spells in time for the round start.
Overall we feel you will enjoy these changes as that extra couple rounds per game will allow for more cool late-game Gaben moments.
Sideshop Man (unlocks for FREE at Battlepass Level 5)
There will be no more Chaos Gods in the future, but we're happy that people liked the last one. Welcome Sideshop Man back to the Dota Universe. Thanks to our friend Purge for voicing him.
Vacation Aghanim (unlocks at Battlepass Level 11)
Will the Aghanim forms ever end?! This one is extremely simple, but we think people will enjoy it as it will incentivize you to go for spells you don't usually prioritize.
Prellex (unlocks for FREE at Battlepass Level 15)
Kanna's mother has arrived in order to compete in the world of the summons. This one is essentially a build-a-bear concept where you'll create a new monstrosity every game. Thanks to our amazing beta testers for helping make this concept!
Faceless Void (unlocks for FREE at Battlepass Level 60)
Void is a shop related God that creates some interesting decisions throughout the game. In a way, locking a spell will be making your shop smaller, but it also inherently cause you to roll more, knowing you can buy your spells for cheaper.
Terrorist (unlocks for FREE at Battlepass Level 80)
Finally a God from the world of Counter-Strike! This one creates some interesting decision making in that you are not necessarily incentivized to level your shop up all the way. It all depends on the game state and what kind of a build you are going. If you build tanky enough, the early levels could be devastating.
We made some mistakes with balance around Aghanim. He was definitely overpowered originally, but people found him to be really fun. We started nerfing him to be more in line with some of the other Gods. I think we finally realized that if people are having THIS much fun with a God, perhaps we should be buffing everyone else to his level. Of course, this is a very slippery-slope so I wouldn't want to make a habit out of this, as power creeping the game can get out of hand fast. Regardless, making an exception for the most played God felt needed.
- Aghanim rescaled from 20/30/40/50/60 to 40/45/50/55/60%
We took a God that no one liked playing (sorry Jenkins) and gave her something unique, spell lifesteal. We think this will make her a little bit more interesting. Gaben knows she'll have less bugs than before.
- Boneless Aghanim has +1 shop slot for all levels
- Centaur HP per from 60 to 70
- Centaur return damage from 25% to 35%
- Legion points required per level from 0/10/30/50/70/100 to 0/15/30/45/60/75
- Legion damage from 3/6/9/12/15/20 to 4/7/10/13/16/19
- Muerta crit base from 100% to 150%
- Ogre points required per level from 0/20/40/ 60/80 to 0/20/40/60/80/100
- Ogre chance to multicast from 25/35/45/55/65 to 35/45/55/65/75/100
- PA movement to crit from 15 to 10
- Rubick points required per level from 0/10/20/30/40/50/60/70/80 to 0/5/15/25/35/45/55/65/75
- Techies Sticky Bomb from level 2 to level 4
- Techies Proximity Mine damage reduction from 50% to 25%
- Tower God minimum range from 750 to 850
This is a fun spell that adds some interesting things to the game. Of course we had to add the following to the "Differences from Dota" to make it feel that way:
Differences to Dota - Cooldown: 10/8/4. Damage: 75/150/300. Leap distance: 400. Also slows attack speed by 20/40/80
Overall this gives something for melee heroes to psuedo-initiate with, while providing minus attack speed which can be helpful when jumping the backline. It also happens to have the most hilarious Gaben in the game.
Readded Elder Dragon Form
We wanted to bring back Dragon Form, but we felt players were too content with leaving it at 3. Hopefully these changes will help incentivize upgrading.
- Elder Dragon Form splash AOE from 0/350/350 to 0/250/250
- Elder Dragon Form Super ADDITIONALLY grants +15% splash damage
- Elder Dragon Form Super ADDITIONALLY grants +100 splash radius
Spell was bad
This spell was changed in Dota a while back, so it automatically changed for our game. We have decided to basically revert it to our original version so it can be used in the same breath as Chakra Magic and Essence Flux.
- Arcane Aura self bonus factor from 4 to 2
- Arcane Aura ally bonus factor from 2 to 1
- Arcane Aura now ADDITIONALLY grants caster and team + 20/40/80 mana per spell cast
- Arcane Aura Super REPLACED with bonus +80 mana per cast
Was just too OP, plain and simple
- Blink damage from 175 to 40/80/160
- Blink Silence duration from 1.75s to 0.4/0.8/1.6
- Dark Pact now deals 30% self damage
- Dark Pact Gaben: Allies only cast the base ability at 50% damage (no super benefits)
- Fissure Gaben Aftershock stun reduced from 0.75 to 0.4
- Gust duration from 3/4/6 to 2/3/5
- Gust Super CDR from -4 to -3s
- Mana Shield damage absorb from 70% to 40/50/70%
- Mana Shield drain per mana from 0.5/1/1.5/2 to 0.8/1.2/2
- Mana Shield bonus mana from 120/180/300 to 50/100/200
- Meat Hook Super - remove -4s CDR & remove +120 dmg
- Meat Hook Super and Gaben swapped
- Vampiric Spirit skeleton damage from 32 ‒ 37 to 22 - 27
Quality of Life
- Focus Fire cast range is now equal to your attack range
- Fortunes End back to instant cast time
- Fortunes End AOE now scales 150/200/300
- Ghost Ship Super Tidal Wave spawns wave at boat location, pushing units hit by Boat towards your side
Lots of bug fixes
- Boundless Strike fixed to not stun through magic immunity
- Essence Shift no longer double procs with attack modifiers
- Essence Shift Super fixed to not given Gaben effect
- Essence Shift fixed to no longer gain stacks from killing creeps/illusions
- Flame Guard now properly absorbs magic damage
- Purification Super fixed to not be purgable
- Tricks of the Trade will no longer cast during Sleight of Fist
- Tricks of the Trade Gaben fixed to actually give extra attack count
Unfortunately our CS related Finisher and Win Streak were not done in time for the start of Season 4, but we will be releasing them as soon as possible. However, we did complete our best arena yet, made by the incredibly talented invalidnick.
Behold, Dust 2 (unlocked for free via Level 55).
We've also added some prior Battlepass related Arenas and Finishers to the store, so be sure to check them out!
God Cardsmith Contest
The God Cardsmith contest has concluded! We received a TON of submissions, many of which we're excited to talk about on a future stream.
We even had a few submissions that were almost identical to concepts we made months ago. Unfortunately we had to say no to these, but it definitely reaffirms how great minds thing alike!
We will be picking the winners live on stream, date TBD.
Thanks for reading!
Thanks for reading all! Please give us feedback on our discord: https://discord.gg/NRDjuTPNvS
See you all for Season 4.5 starting in February!