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Dota 2 patch 7.11 changes buyback, comeback kill formulas in big ways

Buyback is seeing its biggest changes in eight and a half years, and the comeback formula is more streamlined

It’s a lot of math.
Dota 2Dota Plus | Valve

The last few gameplay patches of Dota 2 have gone, quite frankly, all over the place. From creep changes to subtle-but-important sweeps over hero talents, each of the bi-weekly patches have brought something new to the table.

Now, however, the balance team (read: probably Icefrog) is serving up a new specialty: gold mechanic changes. Specifically, we’re seeing massive changes to how buyback and “kill gold” work. Buyback especially is seeing some alterations that may drastically change how late-game buybacks work.

They’ve also done some streamlining to how the “gold for kills” are calculated, as they’ve taken away some of the “total team net worth” numbers that went into the comeback gold formulas and scaled down how much a low-value hero kill is.

These two types of changes may end up evening out in the end. Supports or low-value heroes buying back to cinch certain kills means that a real comeback can happen in a flash — making for a more intense late game.

Let’s jump right into it! For this patch, we’ve included the notes, word-for-word (with some formatting changes) followed by a breakdown of what the changes mean.


  • Buyback cost changed from:
    100 + ( Level * Level * 1.5) + (Time * 0.25)
    100 + Networth / 13
  • Buyback no longer reduces gold earned after respawning

Buyback changes have been relatively minor compared to this in the past. In fact, in the entirety of Dota 2’s existence, the changes have been to timing and “gold earned after respawning.”

The overall formula hasn’t been drastically altered since 6.64, back in DotA: All-Stars in 2009. That means we’ve had this for eight and a half years. We’re not quite sure what’s prompted it, but maybe something that’s been set in stone for so long needed to be tweaked — especially since idle gold earned was bumped up in the meantime, among other things.

To be fair, the buyback formula has made for some disgustingly high buyback costs at times. You’d need entire mid-game items’ worth in order to get back into the fray. Now, this may ease the pain a little bit for supports or anyone else suffering from a bad late game who sees an opportunity to clean opponents out of their base.

The other massive change here is the lack of gold reduction after respawn. This wipes the 60% reduction that used to occur once you bought back. There is some major comeback potential written into the very core of this change. All-in-all, buyback is going to be, literally, a game-changer from this patch out.

Gold for kills

  • AoE gold for the losing team no longer scales with the overall team networth difference, just the individual networth of the dying hero.
    Previously, a core on your team doing really well meant that a support on your team dying gave an increasing amount of gold to the enemy.
  • The comeback component is now just:
    ( DyingHeroNetWorth * 0.026 + 70 ) / # of killers
  • This takes the place of the components below that considers Networth.
    For example in the 1 killer case, it replaces (NetWorthEarlyFactor * 90 + NetWorthFactor * 0.03375).
    Like the previous formula, it is only given to the losing team.
  • The gold multiplier based on the dying hero’s net worth rank changed from:
    1.2/1.1/1.0/0.9/0.8 to 1.2/1.05/0.9/0.75/0.6

While Valve explained the changes well, it’s worth talking about what this means.

The “comeback” formulas have been changed to focus on the hero getting picked off instead of putting the winning team’s whole worth in. It’s much more streamlined, taking many components including not only the hero’s net worth, but also the team’s net worth and the dying hero’s level.

They’ve also scaled down the formula for low-earning players for all kills.

The long story short is that when a team is winning, and a low-value hero gets picked off, they very likely won’t be handing as much gold as before. What we’re seeing is less reward to a losing-net-worth team for picking off smaller heroes on a winning team. This means supports have a little less to worry about when they’re warding (not that they aren’t going to get picked off anyway), and they have to keep a closer eye on their carries as they try to stay ahead.

Still, just like before, if a carry does get picked off, they have plenty to worry about.

How all of these changes will play out is yet to be seen, especially with two professional events currently taking place: GESC Indonesia and WESG in China.