A game with a long history

Dota 2 has undergone various changes and updates, going a long way till the now 7.22c patch. Countless adjustments and fixes were made to improve the game’s overall performance.

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Dota 2 has made its way past so many versions

However, with enormous gameplay and mechanics, bugs and tweaks are inevitable in Dota 2. With an incredibly large cast of 115 unique heroes, any major patch would contain some glitches developers slipped somewhere. Some bugs got instantly patched the following updates, some prevailed as a nuisance to players for months.

The most bugged hero

Among those 115 heroes, Morphling is one of the most buggy one. It is understandable, with his ability “Morph”, one player can turn himself into another hero, copying their non-ultimates abilities. Due to the complicated mechanics of Dota 2, this would most likely result in some certain bugs. Today, there was one Reddit thread about one specific bug still prevailing in this 7.22c patch.

In the picture, Morphling lost his two ability “Attribute shift (Strength)” and “Attribute Shift (Agility)”. This was explained to be “usual” reaction with Morphling’s ultimate. Morphling used his Morph to copy abilities of the enemy Doom. When the duration of his ultimate almost ran out, Morph used the copied Devour on the jungle Mud Golem to gain 2 more abilities: Hurl Bolder and Shard Split.

What really happened?

It was at the end of his ultimate duration that things started to conflict. Morphling is an unusual hero, having 6 slots for his abilities instead of 4 as normal heroes. With the Morph ultimate, he gets the chance to use 3 more abilities. By using Devour from Doom, Morphling gained 2 more ability from Mud Golem. That made it inconsistent with the original 6-skilled Morphling.

It was at this moment that the Dota 2 mechanics decided to “override” his 2 abilities: “Attributing Shift (Strength)” and “Attributing Shift (Agility)” with Hurl Bolder and Shard Split. As a result, Morphling lost his 2 original skills to make room for 2 abilities gained from Devour. This is quite a nuisance because obviously, his original skills were much more useful. The team with the glitched Morphling lost eventually due to the bug. Though it was just a casual game, losing in a bugged way must have been the worst experience ever.

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Losing to one bug is not the best way to enjoy your game

Where does it start?

In the past, there were bugs regarding this unusual hero. We got some infinite damage Morphling, endless multiple Tornados, and TI-changing attribute loss bug prior to The International 2018. Let’s have a look:

Infinite damage Morphling

This happened right before the end of 2017. It was a disaster after the 7.07 patch where Morphling’s ultimate got reworked. The hero then got the ability to copy spells from enemy heroes. Since then, many people have tried various ways to exploit it and I had to say they were “successful” when discovering a new bug.

7 digits damage Morphling

In the video, Morphling played in the same team as Invoker, one hero with 3 weird orbs to increase his damages, speed, or HP regeneration. It was just a casual game where Morphling tried to farm as fast as possible to reach his level 20. It was then that things got weird. A level 20 Morphling gets a talent which adds a nice perk to his ultimate, Morph. With that, Morphling can morph into allied heroes, namely Invoker, to use their abilities the same way as he does to an enemy. Normally, Invoker can only summon a maximum of 3 orbs at a time. It means you can only get 3 times of damage OR speed OR HP regeneration bonus.

Better than the original

However, in the video, Morph has evolved far beyond his teammate. When he morphed into Invoker and cast his Exort, which was getting damage boost, Morphling “broke” the limit, getting infinite instances of damage bonus. In Dota 2, the highest damage boosting item is Divine Rapier, granting a whopping 330 damage at the price of 6000 gold. However, with that bug, Morphling was gaining damage far beyond what is reachable in a casual Dota 2 game. His damage went up to 7 digits, practically enough to one-hit any object.

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Even 6 Divine Rapiers could not provide you the devastating 7 digits damage

Obviously, that game-breaking bugged Morphling won them the game. However, it looked so unfair for Radiant players who were robbed of their deserved chance to win the game. Though Valve released one patch to fix the bug hours later, it left a hanging question about the optimization of Dota 2 mechanics.

Infinite Tornados Morphling

You got infinite damage as Morphling, later on, you got infinite Tornados to control. Yes, you heard it right, infinite Tornados. It happened not long after the infinite Morphvoker, just in February of 2018.

Morphling now plays the god of weather, controlling Tornados

In the video, Morphling played against one Doom in the opposite team. Doom has his unique ability to “gain” more skills from Devouring neutral creeps. Manipulating this ability, Morphling morphed into Doom to utilize his Devour ability on the Wildwing Ripper. That gained him the ability to cast Tornado, summoning a moving object that deals damage to the surrounding environment while requiring the caster to “channel”, or to stay motionless in a place.

It happened here, right before the duration of Morph ran out, the Morphling player cast Tornado. After the duration expired and Morph turned back, the Tornado persisted. Moreover, you could move your hero freely without cancelling out the Tornado. This happened many times in the game, with Morphling player abusing it to his own gain deliberately.

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Obviously, the bug was unintended

Obviously, this caused irritation for the opposing team, with Doom accusing Morphling of spamming bug, and Chaos Knight angrily flamed him as “clown”. The game eventually ended with victory for the Doom team but the amount of frustration was tremendous. They could not push the middle lane as creeps constantly died out by the two Tornados. Though not as game-breaking as the infinite damage bug, this infinite Tornado bug provided exploit for Morphling players. The bug was fixed shortly after that, preventing further complaints about the abuse of unintended glitch.

Infinite .. loss of attribute?

Though most bugs are advantageous to the user, some are detrimental, in some ways. There existed one bug which was harmful to Morphling players. It prevailed for quite a while and did not get fixed until a lot of Reddit threads were made. More specifically, on May 20, 2018, a Reddit thread complained about the bug with Morphling losing attributes. It had something to do with his ultimate, the interaction with the hero during the Morph duration.

If Morphling leveled up when he was in Morph, he would not gain any attribute. This resulted in the “loss” of attribute as he was intended to gain 3.7 agility and 2.3 strength each level. The bug had prevailed for quite a while, most notably still existing in the famous grand final of The International 2018 between PSG.LGD and OG. It was in the game 4 where Wang "Ame" Chunyu, the carry player in PSG.LGD played as Morphling. The bug prevailed here but not noticeable. Only after the match concluded did the Dota 2 community found out about the bug affecting the game.

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Ame lost a total of 46 attribute, in agility and Strength

Specifically, Ame lost 46 stats in total (str&agi). That was a whole lot of wasted attribute due to the bug. Had Valved fixed the bug, PSG.LGD could have got a very high chance to win the game. However, the rest is history. OG defeated LGD to hoist The International 2018 trophy, carving their names on the Aegis of Immortal.

What can we say?

In conclusion, bugs are never intended, and developers should prevent players from abusing them. Valve staff should work harder to ensure the game free of bug. That way, Dota 2 fans can experience a better gaming environment, especially when the next The International 2019 is coming close.