In a series of evening tweets, Dota 2 lead developer Icefrog announced a change in how Valve updates the game. Instead of posting massive gameplay patches irregularly, Dota 2 will have gameplay updates every two weeks, on Thursdays.
We want to try taking a different approach to how gameplay patches are released. Instead of big patches a couple of times a year, we'll be releasing small patches every 2 weeks on Thursdays. We'll be trying this out for about six months and then reevaluating.— IceFrog (@IceFrog) February 1, 2018
To make it easier to keep track of changes, we'll also be releasing a new in-game feature to notify you of any recent changes to heroes in your match.— IceFrog (@IceFrog) February 1, 2018
Since this announcement was made on the first of February, it appears the trial period will take place in the months leading directly up to The International 8’s typical dates, in early August.
The second tweet also makes it apparent that Valve is looking at its history of gameplay patch feedback. Currently, the game gives minimal heads-up about gameplay patches, especially intermediate ones. Such heads-ups, namely for “alphabetical” patches (i.e. 6.86a, 7.06b) are kept in a small flashing notification tab in the upper right-hand corner of the game client’s home screen. In short, it’s easy to miss.
While the announcement comes on Wednesday night, there’s no knowing when the first patch will actually be, as Icefrog did not clarify this fact.