Every unit in Dota 2 has an attack animation. This is a period of time required to perform an attack. During this time the unit generally cannot perform any other actions simultaneously, including moving.
There are two components in attack animations — a foreswing (or attack point), which takes place before an attack lands, and a backswing, which takes place after.
The animations can be manually canceled by players, but AI units (i.e. lane creeps) generally do not. The backswing can be canceled with no consequences. However, canceling the foreswing will cancel the attack. Different heroes have different animation times, which affect their abilities to last-hit, deny, and attack enemy units while chasing their target.
Unlike cast animation, losing vision doesn't cancel attack animation.
Both the effective attack point and attack backswing are affected by the total attack speed.
The effective attack point
Ap and effective attack backswing
Ab can be defined as
Bb being the base attack point and base backswing respectively,
APManip is the value of an attack point manipulation effect. Only the highest value is counted for attack point manipulation effects.
However, a unit's attack speed is completely independent of its attack animation.
The attack animation strictly refers to the delay between when an attack order is issued and when the attack is launched. For example, if a unit has an attack time of 1 second, an attack point of 0.3 seconds, and an attack backswing of 0.5 seconds, they will be idle for 0.2 seconds during every attack cycle.
Even if the attack backswing is canceled after 0.2 seconds, the idle period is extended to 0.5 seconds. However, during that idle period, other commands can be issued such as moving or casting spells.
In other words, canceling your animation does not allow you to attack faster.
Attack Animation Manipulation
The following abilities can change the attack animation speed.
Because of how manually casting active attack modifiers behaves, as compared to regular attacks. During the cast time of a manually cast active attack modifier, the player can spam the move command, which does not cancel the ongoing cast, but the first move command after the cast point is reached cancels the backswing, so the hero moves almost immediately after the attack launched.
However, doing that during a regular attack does cancel the regular attack, causing the unit to move immediately, so the player must time the move command after the attack launched. This means stutter stepping was much easier to do with casting active attack modifiers, as timing for the move command was not required, allowing for much more effective stutter stepping.
A later usage of the term Orb Walking refers to using attacks or active attack modifiers to achieve Stutter Stepping, which is the act of cancelling the backswing animation of an attack, allowing the unit to move between attacks, following the target, instead of standing and waiting for the backswing to finish.
Attack Animations of Heroes
|Hero||Attack Range||Attack Point||Attack Backswing||Projectile Speed|
|Keeper of the Light||600||0.3||0.85||900|
|Queen of Pain||550||0.56||0.41||1500|
Attack Animation of Other Units
- Fixed various attack animation prediction exploits (i.e. ).