Valve made some big announcements at The Invitational, the biggest Dota 2 tournament of the year. Now, those changes will be hitting the game in the new Outlanders update. The patch is massive, and contains a new neutral building type called Outposts, two new heroes, and a ton of smaller balance changes to existing items and heroes.
The first new hero is Void Spirit, who joins his brethren Storm Spirit, Ember Spirit, and Earth Spirit. Fans got a glimpse of him in a short trailer, that included an augmented reality debut on The International’s stage in Shanghai. He showed off a few abilities there, but we now know his full kit.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If Void Spirit’s a little too menacing for your tastes, you might prefer Snapfire: a little old lady with a shotgun on the back of a fire breathing lizard. Snapfire was also revealed at The International, where she murdered Batrider and her nephew Timbersaw in a highly satisfying display of prowess.
Snapfire unloads with a wide blast from her trusty scattergun that damages and slows enemies. Particularly effective at point-blank range.
Snapfire feeds a potent cookie to Mortimer or an ally, causing them to hop a short distance. The hopping unit stuns and damages enemies in the landing zone.
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.
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.
There are lots of changes to couriers — most notably that each player now has their own courier that levels up along them. Couriers will scale throughout the game, gaining increases to movement speed, health, and gold per minute that they contribute to their hero.
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
These changes to couriers come along with some larger changes to the economy. Observer wards don’t cost gold, players start with three Town Portal Scrolls, and there are changes to how gold is distributed through assists on enemy hero kills.
Big picture changes
The map on which heroes battle is seeing some big changes. The layout has been redesigned, along with the removal of side shops. The secret shop items are now exclusive to the secret shop, which means the Ring of Health and Void Stone can now only be purchased there.
Secret shops have been replaced with outposts, which activate at the 10 minute mark. Players can gain control over an outpost after completing a 6 second channel. (More players channeling will allow a team to capture an outpost quicker.) Having control over an outpost grants bonus XP upon the initial capture, and then again at 5-minute intervals on the game clock. Outposts grant vision in an area and players can teleport to friendly outposts.
XP bonus is 25*Min XP to each player
Provides 500 AoE truesight
Only gains XP bonus once per period regardless if you have one or two outposts controlled
Takes 6 seconds to teleport to it (shares the delayed TP duration mechanic with T1 towers)
Heroes have seen a big change as well. Heroes now level up to 30; reaching level 30 unlocks their entire talent tree. Respawn time and XP bounties max out at level 25.
The official Dota 2 site has more information on the rest of the patch, including major changes to Couriers, the new Outpost mechanic, and a full list of changes to heroes and items that will hit with the Outlanders patch.