Dota 2’s long-awaited Outlanders Update is now live, adding two new heroes to the game’s roster, as well as bringing changes to the courier, items, and the map itself — all of which has left players dubbing the update “Dota 3.”
Headlining the November 26 update are Snapfire and Void Spirit, both of whom were teased during Valve’s International 9 coverage in August, with players now able to get their hands on the dynamic new additions to the hero pool.
Beatrix Snapfire is the louder, more boisterous of the two new heroes joining Dota’s roster, and is a crazy goblin grandmother who rides a seemingly loveable and wild dragon toad named Mortimer.
The Outlanders release notes describe Snapfire as “always ready to mow down their enemies with homemade heavy artillery, or finish them off with a steady barrage of Mortimer’s fire globs,” leaning into the ranged support’s hero kit.
- Scatterblast - Snapfire unloads with a wide blast from her trusty scattergun that damages and slows enemies. Particularly effective at point-blank range.
- Firesnap Cookie - Snapfire feeds a potent cookie to Mortimer or an ally, causing them to hop a short distance. The hopping unit stuns and damages enemies.
- Lil' Shredder - Snapfire unleashes a volley of fixed-damage attacks with her lizard-mounted battle cannons, gaining rapid-fire and bonus attack range while slowing the attack speed of enemies she hits.
- Mortimer Kisses - Snapfire rears up on Mortimer, guiding his aim as he launches burning globs of firespit that damage on impact and linger on the ground to slow enemies and cause more damage over time.
Also joining the cantankerous outland warrior is melee carry Void Spirit, who has emerged from his Hidden Temple to “stand guard over multiple areas of the battlefield at once” through his powerful planar-based skills.
Void Spirit, whose real name in the game’s extensive lore has not yet been revealed, is the eldest of Dota 2’s mysterious spirit brethren, which also includes Raijin Thunderkeg the Storm Spirit, Xin the Ember Spirit, and Kaolin, the Earth Spirit.
The spirit hero will be a map-hopping choice for players, with abilities that allow him to spread his presence across the map with spirit-sentinels, damaging teleport-spells, and a powerful shield in case everything else fails.
Void Spirit’s Abilities
- Aether Remnant - Void Spirit dispatches a remnant aspect of himself to stand sentinel over a small area. The remnant peers in a single direction, waiting to pull in and damage enemies that cross its gaze.
- Dissimilate - Void Spirit temporarily fades into the aether, creating a number of portals through which he can reassemble himself and cause damage to enemies in the area where he reappears.
- Resonant Pulse - Void Spirit wraps himself in a protective shield that absorbs physical damage and emits a single damaging pulse around him. The shield gains increased damage absorption for each enemy hero the pulse hits.
- Astral Step - Void Spirit consumes a charge to rip through reality into the astral plane, damaging all enemies along the rift path and inflicting a void mark that slows and detonates for significant damage.
Outside of the game’s major hero additions, there’s also sweeping changes happening to core elements of the MOBA’s gameplay, and the map itself.
Replacing Side Shops are new neutral buildings called ‘Outposts,’ which can be controlled after right-clicking for six seconds. Capturing these new buildings grant experience, and give unobstructed vision across the surrounding area.
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Outposts also give experience ticks every five minutes if you remain in control of them, meaning they’re a valuable way to snowball a lead. They’re for the mid-game, however, considering they can only be captured after the first ten minutes.
Patch 7.23 is also bringing a whopping 62 new unique items to the game, though it’s not exactly a boost to Dota’s already swollen shop. Instead, these new items will drop from neutrals, and cannot be sold once acquired.
Five tiers of these items will be available, with each drop in the tier halving the odds of subsequent drops in the same rank of equipment. Only one item type will drop for each team too, meaning you may see different choices every match.
While many players have expressed their excitement to try out the new heroes, weapons, capture the new buildings, and generally dive straight into the huge Outlanders changes, there are some that are a little more cautious.
“This is an entirely new game lmao,” Reddit user Traditional_Bank said in the patch’s official discussion thread, while others were incredulous that there had been this much upheaval in the legacy MOBA title. “What the actual f*ck,” poundcake said after reading the changes. “Icefrog has lost it. What the f*ck?”
It was a consensus generally agreed with by many Dota 2 pro teams as well, with Team Secret joking the Outlanders changes were “more like Dota 3” than a balance swap, and Natus Vincere leaning into flavor-of-the-month memes to react to the November 26 release: “Gonna tell my kids this was Dota 3.”
Gonna tell my kids this is Dota 3 pic.twitter.com/2ZPhoCwOX2
— Natus Vincere (@natusvincere) November 26, 2019
There were also some that were concerned Dota 2 was tapping too hard into Underlord’s random-number-generator style with the new neutral items that could be dropped, and said they were worried about being “screwed.”
“I love more RNG in Dota, can't wait to get f*cked by the other team getting amazing sh*t and my team getting the item that lowers the scan CD,” KubaBVB wrote.
While there have been many concerns, these opinions aren’t universally held by the Dota 2 community, with other players expressing their excitement to play the changes, and see how the MOBA is growing into 2020 and beyond.
“The game was in a bad place and had lost its freshness,” Traditional_Bank said as a voice of reason against the worry. “Every match you got min-maxing edgelords complaining about every detail they can think of. This is great for the game.”
All new neutral weapons added to the game in the Outlanders Update can be read in Valve's official patch notes, which is available here.
Read the Outlanders Update’s full changes to the courier, map, economy, overall gameplay, and of course hero balance changes, below:
- Each player now has their own courier automatically
- Courier now gains levels when your hero gains levels
- Courier movement speed reduced from 380 to 275
- Courier health reduced from 75 to 70
- Courier now provides 85 GPM while it is alive (this replaces the base 91 GPM that previously existed)
- Courier passively gains +10 movement speed, +10 health and +2 GPM increase per level
- Courier gains flying movement at level 5
- Courier gains Speed Burst active ability at level 10 (6-second duration +50% MS, 120 CD)
- Courier gains ability to use wards at level 15
- Courier gains Shield active ability at level 20 (2s duration, 200 CD)
- Courier gains ability to use items in general at level 25
- Courier vision reduced from 350 to 200
- Courier team bounty is now 25 + 5 * Level, xp is 35 + 20 * Level
- Courier respawn time changed from 120/180 ground/flying to 50 + 7 * Level
- Courier Return Items ability will now cause the courier to return home even if it doesn't have items
- Observer Wards no longer cost gold
- Heroes now start with 3 Town Portal Scrolls
- Gold earned from killing an Observer Ward will now always be given to the player that bought the true sight
- Heroes that have recently applied damage or a debuff on an enemy hero that dies are now considered part of the area assist gold even if they are no longer alive or in that area
- Assist gold distribution multiplier for Net Worth ranking factor in the area is changed from multiplying based on the heroes in the area, to globally.
- Net Worth Ranking factor for Gold changed from 1.3->0.7 to 1.6->0.4
- Map layout redesigned
- Heroes can now level up to 30. Once you get to level 30, you unlock the entire talent tree. XP requirement for the levels are 3500/4500/5500/6500/7500. Respawn time does not increase past 25. XP bounties max out at level 25 bounty values.
- Spell Immunity no longer grants 100% Magic Resistance (this means that all spells that are able to pierce spell immunity now deal damage as well)
- Removed Side Shops
- Bottle has been removed from the Secret Shop
- All Secret Shop items are now exclusively in the Secret Shop (this means Ring of Health and Void Stone are no longer in the base)
- Tier 2 Towers HP increased from 1900 to 2000
- Tier 2 Tower Armor increased from 15 to 16
- Tier 2 Tower Damage increased from 152 to 175
- Tier 2+ towers night vision increased from 800 to 1100
- Tower Glyph multishot targets increased from 2 to 4
- Glyph duration increased from 6 to 7
- Improved input processing to feel snappier, as well as fixing some rare input drop bugs
- Denied towers now give half of the bounty to the team that denies it and half to the other team (instead of 0 to both teams)
- Siege damage against heroes increased from 85% to 100%
- Fountain damage increased from 230 to 275
- Fountain now has 20% Accuracy
Neutral Units Balance:
- Neutral Cloak Aura no longer stacks
- Neutral Harpy Stormcrafter: Max mana reduced from 400 to 150
- Neutral Harpy Stormcrafter: Mana regeneration increased from 1 to 3
- Neutral Mud Golem: Hurl Boulder damage reduced from 125 to 75
- Neutral Ghost: Frost Attack move slow from 20 to 25%
- Neutral Ghost: Frost Attack attack slow from 20 to 25%
- Neutral Vhoul Assassin: Poison debuff now applies 35% Regen Reduction
- Neutral Centaur Conqueror: War Stomp cooldown reduced from 20 to 12
- Neutral Dark Troll Summoner: Ensnare cooldown reduced from 20 to 15
- Neutral Dark Troll Summoner: Raise Dead cooldown reduced from 25 to 18
- Neutral Ancient Thunderhide: War Drums Aura no longer provides attack damage bonus
- Neutral Ancient Thunderhide: War Drums Aura now provides 40% Accuracy
- Neutral Ancient Thunderhide: War Drums Aura attack speed bonus increased from 15 to 25
- Neutral Ogre Frostmage: Armor bonus reduced from 8 to 6
- Neutral Ogre Frostmage: Slow now works against ranged units as well
- Neutral Ogre Frostmage: Attack slow increased from 20 to 30