One of the more subtle nuances of the massive Outlanders Update was a variety of features designed to shorten the length of games. Judging from the recently released 7.23d Dota 2 update, Valve felt like those measures were a bit too effective.
A number of changes to the Outlanders Update have arrived that make gold and XP a bit more difficult to come by. Though the patch notes for 7.23d are a bit short, this update could shake things up far more than its predecessors.
Outposts’ XP bonuses have once again been reduced by 17%. Alongside this, XP bounties from hero kills have been reduced, rolling back the value of kills in the late game that can potentially jump a hero up multiple levels.
It isn’t just the late game availability of XP that has been reduced, either. Only one Tome of Knowledge is now available at the 10-minute mark, rather than two. Finally, passive gold income has been altered such that it no longer increases with hero level.
It is unclear what specifically led Valve to make these changes. The qualifiers to the WePlay! Bukovel Minor and DreamLeague Leipzig Major both saw a fairly significant number of games close out in under 25 minutes. It is unclear whether this was Valve’s intent, but this should open the door for more late-game comebacks in the future.
Those XP and gold reductions are the most significant changes delivered by the 7.23d Dota 2 update, but the most obvious for most players will be the changes to heroes and neutral items.
After a few rounds of nerfs to neutral items, 7.23d brought several buffs. Poor Man’s Shield, Iron Talon, Enchanted Quiver, Telescope, and Flicker were all improved. Other items like Havoc Hammer and Orb of Destruction received a mix of buffs and nerfs. Helm of the Undying and Elixir were both removed from the game entirely.
Only one regular item was changed, being the Faerie Fire. The item’s cost was reduced significantly from 125 to 70, making it much easier to purchase at the start of the game. This comes at the expense of the healing being reduced from 100 to 85 and the damage bonus being dropped from three to two.
Rounding out the changes are six heroes being rebalanced.
Bloodseeker was the only hero to receive a buff, thanks to a decreased cooldown for Rupture. Crystal Maiden received some mixed changes, with her base mana regeneration being reduced but her Arcane Aura self-multiplier being increased.
All four of the other heroes receiving changes were nerfed.
Lina’s base damage was dropped by two and Outworld Devourer’s Sanity’s Eclipse multiplier was reduced such that it no longer improves at higher levels. Drow Ranger’s Multishot was given a nerf at all levels and her talents were also weakened. Last but not least, the cooldowns of both Leech Seed and Overgrowth were increased for the recently overhauled Treant Protector.
The full 7.23d patch notes can be found on the official Dota 2 blog.