When we talk about vision we're not talking about everything that you as the player can see on screen, we' re talking about the simulated sight of the actual hero you're playing. This vision is represented using the "Fog of War", greyed over areas of the map where you can't see what's going on until your hero, or a teammate, comes within vision range of it. While this system of vision is used widely across the Moba and Strategy game genre, Dota 2 throws a wrench into the works by having a day/ night cycle that alters the range of Heroes depending on the time. Most heroes lose vision during the night cycle, but some actually gain range, making them the perfect night time hunters.
Vision and Vision Types
As mentioned before, vision is represented by the revealed areas of in the fog of war created by your hero's vision or that of your teammates, wards, andbuildings. For most heroes the vision range will be 1800/ 800, which means that they can see with a range of 1800 during the day cycle and 800 during the night cycle.
Some heroes like Nightstalker (1200/ 1800) operate better in the cover of darkness and even have abilities that only activate and are more powerful during the night. The combined loss of sight for most heroes with the increase in sight for Nightstalker make him a perfect ganker after dark.
Day/ Night Cycle
The start of every match begins with the clock set to 0:00. Each "Day" runs for a total of 8 minutes; 4 minutes of which will be daylight and the other 4 being night. You'll know when daytime is approaching not only from the day/night cycle indicator, but from the sound of a rooster. Night time is announced similarly only with the howl of a wolf instead.
During the day the map appears brighter than it does at night and most heroes have increased vision. When night time takes over the map gains a more spooky atmosphere and appears darker, which is amplified by the reduction in vision all but a few heroes receive.
Out of the two types of vision ground vision is the one you'll be seeing most often. As the name would imply, ground vision comes from anything on the ground be it heroes, wards, buildings or other vision granting thing fastened to the dirt. Ground vision is affected by a variety of different environmental factors. Heroes or wards cannot have vision on areas that are on higher ground than themselves. Conversely, if they are on the high ground they gain unobstructed view of the area's below them.
Trees also serve to block vision and can be used as cover when you want to gank an enemy player, or as a way to quickly escape. If a tree is chopped down, it will not longer block vision in it's area.
Vision gained by any flying unit such as a flying hero or even the flying courier. Gives an unobstructed view of all the areas in a wide range beneath them not mater the elevation. Flying unit's vision can not be obstructed by trees either making them perfect for scouting, or routing out enemy junglers.
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