Dota 2 Patch 7.23: The Outlanders
After months and months of waiting and playing what had become essentially a stale game, Dota 2 players have finally received from IceFrog a good reason to rejoice (or despair).
Dota 2 patch 7.23, called The Outlanders, adds massive changes to the game, to the point where it’s almost unrecognizable for those who haven’t played it in a while. Over 60 new items of a new type (neutral), two new heroes, new buildings, new maximum hero level (30), multiple couriers per team, hero reworks, item reworks and everything in between. I’ll take a closer look at some of these features below.
What Are Neutral Items in Patch 7.23 (The Outlanders)
This change to the game is absolutely massive, as it makes it a lot more RNG based than before. If you’ve played games like Darkest Dungeon, you’ll know what I mean. Neutral creeps can now drop over 60 items of various tiers, just like in an RPG. And the drop rates are pretty significant: 9%, 6% and 3% for each tier.
The percentage decreases from 9% to 3% as you find items of a certain tier, pretty much guaranteeing that you won’t find more than two items of that tier and ruin everyone’s game as a result of becoming OP. But even two items are enough to get a massive boost. Especially if you get the truly powerful ones.
There are five neutral item tiers in total. The tier 1 items start to drop at minute 7, whenever you kill neutrals. And as I’ve said before, the odds are pretty high. Every tier lasts for around 10 minutes, until you get to tier 4, which lasts 15. And then it’s tier five for the rest of the game. Of course, few games will reach this last tier, because most Dota games end in 30-50 minutes. Reaching minute 70 is highly unlikely. And yet it does happen sometimes and the neutral items you get at that level are quite spectacular.
The RNG nature associated with neutral items will no doubt make Dota 2 a lot more volatile. So when trying to increase your Dota 2 MMR, you need to take advantage of this situation and make sure you’ve maximized your free item gains at every tier before attempting any risky offensive moves.
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Patch 7.23 New Heroes
The Outlanders patch has brought two new heroes, which had already been announced during The International 2019. These heroes are Void Spirit and Snapfire.
This is an intelligence-based melee assassin with extraordinary stats and even more extraordinary abilities that allow him to deal a lot of damage very early on and lock onto a target thanks to his ridiculous mobility. As soon as you get level 4 or 5, you can start killing heroes if they’re not careful.
Snapfire is a support/offlaner type hero that excels in lineups with good slows or lockdowns. For example, she can work wonders when paired with a hero like Mars, Disruptor or Faceless Void, as her ultimate can deal massive amounts of damage when there’s an easy way to make sure it’s used effectively.
The other abilities of Snapfire are not bad either, but the hero does lack protection and is generally an easy target during the early game. A lot of players tend to use her as an offlaner at this point, but it will likely end up being used for a different purpose.
Sure, wasting the 6-attack skill by not having proper right-click damage might be an issue. But even in such scenarios, the attacks themselves are great for the extra damage while the other skills are impressive in combination with the right heroes.
Furthermore, playing Snapfire as a position 4 roamer or even position 5 support would allow you to get her toolkit at a very low risk. Because in such a role, all you’d need is levels, good positioning and the right setup during fights. And you’d have no worries with regards to getting killed and being somewhat fragile. You would be in effect the kind of support that adds a lot of damage into the mix, from a safe distance, whenever there’s a big fight going on.
Snapfire currently has a terrible win rate, which pretty much guarantees that she’ll continue to get buffed in the next subpatches.
The Outlanders Patch Brings New Buildings
In patch 7.23, Side Shops have disappeared. And they have been removed with two contested structures called Outposts. These new structures provide vision around themselves, as well as experience for the team that owns them, every five minutes. They also give the controlling team the opportunity to teleport next to them. And since they are hidden among trees, this creates excellent ganking options.
One Courier per Player
This is a very interesting change and it looks to have been introduced with the goal of minimizing intra-team friction in the early game. A lot of arguments tend to arise when people can’t use the courier on time due to the fact that other team members want to use it first. Or perhaps it dies before it gets to them and voila, their game is mostly ruined.
With one courier per player, nobody will ever be able to complain again about the courier. If it dies, it’s your fault. If you don’t use it properly, it’s your own lack of skill that’s to blame. No discussion will ever be had again in The Outlanders Patch, where one player blames another for their poor courier usage.
One interesting change about the courier is that now its life is connected to the passive gold received by players. This gold is no longer granted free of any constraints. Instead, it is offered only while the courier is alive. So the incentive of making sure it stays alive is even higher than before.
The Maximum Hero Level Is 30
Heroes can now reach level 30. This may not be a big deal in most games, because this level is unattainable unless the duration of a game is long enough. Furthermore, between level 25 and level 29 there’s not much going on apart from the usual stats that heroes receive each time they level up. But if a hero does indeed reach level 30, their power spikes tremendously due to the unlocking of the full talent tree.
Combined with the tier 4 and tier 5 neutral items, this change will no doubt make some Dota 2 games considerably longer than they should be, simply because the teams will feel like if they could hold on for 15 more minutes, a great neutral item or a level 30 hero could secure them the win. However, once the ultra late game has been reached, the most likely outcome or continuation is a quick and brutal ending, due to the sheer strength of one of the two teams and its advantage over the other.
The perfect offensive moment here is when one more two heroes from your team have reached level 30. As soon as that happens, your power spikes and you gain a considerable advantage over your opponent, provided they haven’t managed to reach the same level on any of their cores.