After The International 9, the Dota 2 community was promised the Outlanders patch. And after a long wait, the most awaited update of the year finally arrives. Outlanders is comprised of two new heroes, map reworks, massive courier tweaking, new buildings called Outposts, new items that drop from neutral camps and more. The update consists of so many changes that many feel Dota 2 is a new game.
Inai, the Void Spirit
One of the most significant and anticipated heroes in Dota 2 history is Inai, the Void Spirit. Inai is the fellow spirit brother of Storm, Ember, and Earth. Although the elemental trio of heroes were released back in 2013, it took six years for Void Spirit to join his brethren.
Void Spirit is an intelligence-based melee carry equipped with various maneuverable skills and crowd control abilities. He excels at ganking and popping into a fight with a burst of damage, making him a viable roaming nuker.
Void Spirit’s first ability is Aether Remnant, a vector mechanized crowd control ability that pulls an enemy into its presence. Following that, Dissimilate is a blink skill that lets the hero fade into a portal and reappear at a chosen area. Complementing Dissimilate is Resonant Pulse, an ability where he emits a damaging pulse around him and receives a damage absorption shield. Finally, the flickering heroes’ ultimate skill is Astral Step. Another blink ability letting Void Spirit rift a straight path to his target, damaging on the initial hit and marking the enemy with a void detonator that eventually explodes.
Beatrix Snapfire and Mortimer
The second hero to reshape Dota 2 is a grandma riding her dragon toad, Mortimer. Beatrix Snapfire is a mounted hero surpassing every other cowboy. Adventurous and fearless defines Snapfire. Accompanying the hero on her travels is her best friend Mortimer, a cheerful creature who enjoys cookies like no other.
Snapfire is strength-attributed and range accustomed. The hero utilizes a scattergun, a two-barrel cannon seat, and a fire-spitting dragon toad. She shines as a supporting character with a high range on her ultimate skill.
Beatrix’s first skill is Scatterblast, a cone projectile shotgun blast most effective at close range. Following up on Scatterblast, Snapfire’s second ability is Firesnap Cookie. Snapfire feeds Mortimer or an ally a cookie, causing them to hop a short distance stunning and damaging enemies landed on. This also helps traverse through terrain. Beatrix’s third skill is Lil’ Shredder, a targeting skill letting her unleash a volley of attacks through her cannon, slowing and damaging an enemy. Lastly, Snapfire’s ultimate ability is Mortimer Kisses. This kiss is an artillery-like skill where Mortimer spits globs of fire that slow, damage on impact and apply damage-per-second.
Outposts and Map Reworking
The Outlanders patch reshaped the game, even bringing about a whole new map. This map consists of repositioned neutral creep camps, tweaked high and low-grounds, new warding spots and new buildings called Outposts.
Most notably, these Outposts are an advantageous asset to any team. They provide vision, experience over time and a teleporting place. Along with the new buildings, the map was reworked to make neutral creep farming safer and more viable. Traditional warding peaks moved to provide more awareness in the jungle area. The river around the power runes is more extensive and runes themselves were moved closer to mid lane. Bounty runes also repositioned. All this for easier accessibility. However, when Dota 2 gives, they also take. Side shops are now removed from the map.
The most significant item implication in Dota 2 history is neutral items. Neutral items drop from neutral creeps throughout the game. They have five tiers that change at specific points during a game with a percentage chance per drop. Item drops begin at five minutes in and as time ticks, the tier will change. Power levels begin from tier-one and go up to tier-five.
Players don’t need to worry about throwers anymore after this new patch. Once the game starts, each player is assigned their courier. Couriers have lower health and movement speed, but bounce back from these disadvantages through a leveling mechanism. At level 5, couriers will provide 85 gold-per-minute. At level 15, couriers can place and use wards. Once the courier reaches level 25, it can use any item it wants, which means any micro-managing legend can overpower late-game.
Supporting could never be more comfortable with the Outlanders patch. Observer wards cost zero gold and everyone starts the game with three portal scrolls. Gold earned from destroying these wards will always be given to the player who bought the true sight. Beneficial kill-assist mechanisms also help even things out.
Talent Trees were always a struggle to deal with. Deciding which talent to choose constantly plagues every player’s mind. Patch 7.23 implements five new levels to the talent tree, making the max level 30. Spell Immunity no longer grants 100 percent magic resistance, meaning it’s impossible to be safe against magical damage. An array of hero buffs, nerfs and reworks also feature in this patch. Morphling, Lich, Ancient Apparition, Dark Seer, and Dazzle experience the most updates but many more heroes received changes.
The Outlanders Patch has reshaped Dota 2 completely. At this point, chance plays a part in the game and jungling is a viable gameplay option. Techies is playable, Dark Seer and Naga Siren are a team, and Chen is forgotten. But with all the new changes, there will always be a shift in balance, and an overpowered meta will dominate the Dota 2 scene.
Written by Jay Hunter
Images credited to Dota 2