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Dota 2 balance-breaking bug discovered [Update: it's fixed!]

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Update: As predicted, Valve deployed a patch ASAP. The bug is now fixed. Sorry, Dire. You're back to stacking your own Ancients now.

Original: Yesterday, Chris questioned whether Dota 2 Reborn was ready (opens in new tab); suggesting that Valve's lane-pusher has gone back to beta. Maybe that explains this: a major balance-breaking bug that has been introduced into the latest version of the game. Dire's Ancients—the big, stompy mobs lurking near the Roshan pit—are auto-stacking without any intervention.

Stacking is supposed to be a trick that support characters who aren't me can do. They pull the Ancients out of their jungle camp just as their spawn timer ticks over. The game, thinking there are no Ancients in the camp, spawns new ones. The original Ancients return to their position, and now there are two stacks available for gold-hungry heroes.

Currently, Dire-side Ancients are spawning automatically—without the need for player intervention. A gif (opens in new tab)posted to the Dota 2 subreddit (opens in new tab) shows this in action. This, naturally, is a major issue for the game's balance. It's a huge advantage to the Dire; and specifically to the heroes that can easily eat (opens in new tab) a big stack of Ancients. Things can quickly get out of hand:

It's a big enough bug that joinDota League has announced (opens in new tab) that all its matches are suspended until things are fixed. Given the seriousness, that will likely happen soon. Until it does, definitely avoid playing ranked.

Phil has been writing for PC Gamer for nearly a decade, starting out as a freelance writer covering everything from free games to MMOs. He eventually joined full-time as a news writer, before moving to the magazine to review immersive sims, RPGs and Hitman games. Now he leads PC Gamer's UK team, but still sometimes finds the time to write about his ongoing obsessions with Destiny 2, GTA Online and Apex Legends. When he's not levelling up battle passes, he's checking out the latest tactics game or dipping back into Guild Wars 2. He's largely responsible for the whole Tub Geralt thing, but still isn't sorry.