Dota 2 Outlanders — the major Dota 2 update for the 2020 season — released recently. Patch 7.23 introduced the changes that will make Dota 2 an entirely different game.

In this little article, we will explain what core changes has Valve made, why pros are not happy about that and are they bad for casual players.


The New Heroes

The two new heroes are Void Spirit and Beatrix Potter.

As Virtus.pro’s No[o]ne said, every time Valve adds new heroes, they are entirely overpowered and broken, so he personally doesn’t even see a reason to play them now. However, they will surely see some nerfs soon, and until then, they won’t present in the tournament games.

Conclusion: op, waiting for the nerfs. It doesn’t affect a competitive scene, while players will have fun learning them and owning in public matchmaking.

The New Map

The map changed slightly. First, both Elder camps are not located in the bottom part of the map to make the map more balanced between Radiant and Dire.

Most importantly, they added a new location, such as Outpost. Outposts are located where lane shops used to be (those have been removed from the game). Starting from the ten-minute mark, a team can capture an outpost standing near it for six seconds (more heroes — the faster).

Capture works for 5 minutes, giving each hero 25 points of experience each per minute. While captured, it also reveals a 500 distance around it and is available to teleport on it. If a team captured both outposts, it would still gain experience for one.

Conclusion: it’s a new object in a macro-game. It should be fine in the competitive game and maybe a bit random in public matchmaking.

The New Economy

The economy of the game has changed significantly.

Each Player Has Their Courier

And the courier is crucial economy-wise. Instead of getting gold for just being in the game, a player will now receive gold only while their courier is alive. Initially, they will get 85 gold per minute (it was 91 previously), but that will grow by two gold per level.

Levels will also increase the courier’s speed and health points and add special abilities:

  • Become flying on level 5
  • Will gain an active speed bost on level 10 (+50% speed, works 6 seconds)
  • Can place wards starting from level 15
  • Can use an active ability of a shield (works 2 seconds, cooldown 200 seconds)
  • Can use items beginning from level 25

Courier will also resurrect faster if killed: 50 seconds +7 per level. Previously, it was 120 for a standard courier and 180 for flying.

Conclusion: this change will significantly reduce tension in the public matchmaking because the players won’t argue because of the courier anymore. The less experienced players will just leave it on the base to cut risks.

But in the professional game, more heroes will be able to get items faster and recharge their mana. It’s hard to say how can it affect the balance. Still, most of the players must be happy about that because they will have more opportunities to show their skills and make fancy plays.

The Wards Will Be Free

The players don’t have to pay for the observer wards anymore — in this aspect, Dota 2 became a little bit closer to League of Legends where players don’t pay for the standard wards as well. In addition to that, each player will have three teleport scrolls at the start of the game.

Conclusion: this will make the gap between the pro and amateur games closer: you wards are free, more chances your teammates will use them, right? Of course, it doesn’t matter that they will know the best position for the wards or buy Smoke of Deceit to do it safely.

In the pro games, supports will have more space to buy items. That can bring more gold-relying heroes to the 4th and 5th positions and add even more diversity, which, we think, is a good thing.

Assist Gold More Often

The players will get gold for assist in kill even if they used debuff skill on target or wasn’t present in the XP area when it was killed.

Conclusion: this is just a gameplay change; we don’t see it affecting the balance or approach to the game. Pros have to get used to it, and folks in the public matchmaking may not even realize the change.

The Neutral Items

And now the most crucial change: the neutral items arrived in Dota 2. Now there is a chance of item drop when a neutral monster is killed. The items are split into the five levels bound to the game timer, so you can’t get a Daedalus at 2:30. The default chance of getting the 1st item is 10%, and if you got it, next time it will be 50% lower.

Thus, a random came into play. Alchemist can get a Trusty Shovel to launch his GPM to the sky or not get it and be useless. Of course, it’s not relevant to the distance of 1000 games, but in the tournament, you play just one.

Conclusion: even though Dota 2 had random for years, this is a bit too much. No wonder that pros are not happy about this change. No matter how much did you practice, opponents can just have a better neutral item.

Why would Valve did even add this, are they dumb? Not really. Because if you think about it, it’s an excellent addition for casual playing. And also, from the viewer’s perspective, it will add a lot of entertaining to the tournaments. Imagine your favorite player getting a neutral item in the grand finals. Imagine him not getting it.

The only side to suffer from that is the professional players. But we can guess that from Valve’s points of view, 34 million dollars at The International and 1 million on each Major throughout the year are enough compensation. Honestly, it’s hard to disagree.

At the same time, for the casual players, the new patch makes it easier and, in the end, just better. And the fans are those who raise those millions buying the compendium. So Valve is not dumb, they only can count (at least to two).