The current Dota 2 patch cycle, 7.29, has been around since April 2021.
The last series of buffs and nerfs came out back in May with 7.29d. Since then, the new Battle Pass and Nemestice game mode have hit the shelves. But the current state of the game has been left intact for more or less nearly two months now.
With the anticipation of possible changes of 7.30 mounting as high as ever, the Dota 2 community has been pining for at least a minor patch in the vein of 7.29e for a while.
The "staleness" of the current Dota 2 meta
The "meta" as such is whatever works well in the current patch. As recognized by the current one, ranged core picks are very strong in Dota 2. Some recent Manta Style changes brought the ranged hero version on par with the stats. These stats are traditionally only granted to melee heroes - tankier illusions and lower cooldowns.
On top of Dragon Lance being a great value-for-money transitional item, agility-based range carries pick up their pace much easier now.
This is partially what makes Medusa, Luna, Terrorblade, and Templar Assassin almost as common as Pudge picks in the current Dota 2 patch. In turn, this enables a meta on everything about being able to group up and either defend or take objectives earlier than usual.
The healing and sustain meta, empowered by the Holy Locket, also benefits from this - making Ancient Apparition, the only complete counter to all healing, a highlight support.
The "staleness" does not come from the state of Dota 2 itself. It has to do with how groupthink-based strategies are in competitive Dota 2. The exploration of what works in the current patch generally happens in the professional circuit.
Public matchmaking simply imitates the tournament meta-game.
The current Dota 2 patch, however, has overseen an entire half of the DPC 2021, a Major, and a series of regional TI qualifiers. With a three-month delay before the next big thing on the horizon, i.e. The International, the pro meta will not have much space to evolve for a while.
Why the release of a major patch right now makes sense
Last year, most DPC events, including TI, were canceled due to the ongoing pandemic. This year, a new system of DPC was introduced to compress the pre-TI events into a six-month period.
If all goes according to plan, TI will be in order in August.
Valve was compelled to relocate TI to Bucharest after the previously planned host, Stockholm, turned them down. This setback single-handedly pushed the event back to October.
Three months is enough time for meta evolution in a fresh patch to advance. For reference, 7.22 was released just three months prior to the last TI in 2019.