Patch 7.23 for Dota has just gone live and with it come sweeping changes to the game. The Outlanders patch introduced Neutral Drops, free couriers and wards, Outposts, and two new heroes.
— Wykrhm Reddy (@wykrhm) November 26, 2019
Melee carry Void Spirit is the first of the heroes introduced in The Outlanders patch. Like the other thematic spirits in the game, Inai has a mobility ability and a remnant ability. His first ability has him leave a remnant at a location. The remnant then has a limited range and any hero that comes within its line of sight gets pulled to it and damaged. Void Spirit’s second ability, Dissimilate, allows him to disappear then pick where he will reappear through a number of portals, damaging enemies within an area of effect of the portal he pops out from.
Resonant Pulse, the third ability, has him cast a shield that not only absorbs physical damage, but radiates a single pulse outward. The pulse damages enemies while his shield gains increased damage absorption per enemy hero hit with the pulse. His ultimate ability, Astral Step, allows him to dash forward, damage, and put void marks on all enemies in his path. After he reappears, enemies with a void mark are slowed and take additional damage.
Dota 2 finally gets a grandma hero and she loves giving out cookies. Snapfire is a ranged support that can nuke and disable thanks to her kit. Her first ability, Scatterblast looks to be a shotgun-like ability: wide area of effect but best used point blank. Any enemy hit will take damage and will be slowed. Her next ability is Firesnap Cookie, which she can give to her dragon toad Mortimer or an ally. When under the effect, Mortimer or an ally will hop a short distance forward, causing a stun effect when they land.
Beatrix’s third ability, Lil’ Shredder, has her unleash a barrage of attacks with rapid fire and bonus range. All enemies hit will have their attack speed slowed. Her ultimate ability, Mortimer Kisses, is a channeled ability. Mortimer shoots damaging projectiles onto enemies that remain on the ground for a short time. Enemies within the pools of firespit are slowed and take damage over time.
This time around, each hero will receive a courier. Heroes will also start matches with three teleport scrolls and the cost for observer wards have been removed. These will definitely pave the way for totally new strategies. Couriers also gain levels when heroes level, and at level 25, unlock the ability to use items. Also added is the fact that whoever has the true sight to remove the wards will receive the gold, not necessarily the hero who destroyed the ward.
The quality of life additions in this patch really help out the team in general, not just supports. It also gives an incentive to other teammates to help with warding, as they will get free gold.
Keep in mind that couriers gain the ability to use items at level 25. This could potentially give rise to gimmick builds that have great potential to catch enemy teams off-guard. Are we in the time of the rise and fall of courier strats with Dagons and Necronomicons?
Side shops have now been removed and replaced with Outposts. These new shops need to be captured in order to be used, and capturing will be available only after 10 minutes. Channeling to capture an Outpost takes six seconds and once it’s yours, you get an XP bonus and you and your allies can teleport to it. More allies channeling the Outpost allow it to be captured faster.
The control and denial of Outposts will surely be something to consider when it comes to team strategies, as the rewards can really help out. The addition of these objectives will definitely add another layer of strategy to factor in when it comes to map control.
New to The Outlanders patch is the introduction of the concept of Neutral Items. These items come in five tiers and total 62 in all. These drop from neutral creeps in the jungle and they start dropping after the 5-minute mark. Items will automatically increase in tier every after 10 minutes with drop chances that halve after each successful drop starting at 10%. For example, there is a 10% chance for you to get a tier 1 item and when you do, the drop chance goes down to 5% for your ally who attemps to farm for a tier 1 neutral item. All items dropped in this manner cannot be sold for gold, but can be shared to allies. The items are pseudo random, so there may be a game where your team has farmed the less powerful neutral items while the enemy team is stacked with all the good stuff. For a list of the items and their abilities, click here.
While the items are RNG-based, players will surely be able to find ways to maximize the items that will drop for them. It could very well birth a sub-meta of sorts: what Neutral Items are best for certain heroes. It also seems like Valve is taking the direction of making late game to late late game (beyond 70 mins) more explosive. Late game can be done quickly thanks to powerful tier 3-4 items, or as slow as the teams would want. Because of the random nature of Neutral Item drops, games that go the distance could very well be decided in just one clash.
In addition to all the Neutral Items, new heroes, and other changes Valve put in, they have also a long list of heroes that they have tweaked. Buffed or nerfed, Dota 2 feels totally different from now on.
Since we are also in SEA Games season, the new patch will be implemented for the Dota 2 matches under the Esports discipline. It will be interesting to see how our Sibol – Dota 2 team will react to this new meta during their matches.
Images from the Dota 2 website.