Video Games

All Changes in The New Frontiers Update in Dota 2

All Changes in New Frontier Update for Dota 2
Image via Valve.

Dota 2 by Valve is one of the titans in the MOBA genre. It is one hell of a solid competitive game and rarely changes things up. For example, the map has been practically the same for over five years. It was quite shocking, then, to see in the latest Dota 2 update, New Frontiers, that Valve is making significant changes to the entire map, among a whole host of other tweaks.

What’s New in Dota 2’s New Frontiers Update?

The Dota 2 map update is a pretty big deal. Valve has increased the size of the map by 40%. There’s no real underlying change to the way the game is played, however.

There are still the 3 lanes, they’re still within the same proximity, and you’re still fighting to take down towers and destroy the other team’s base. The main difference is the extra resources and space around the rest of the map.

The jungle areas of the map have changed the most, with more resources present, but there are also shifts in  terrain that will change up how you place vision, navigate for ganks, and farm the neutrals.

Key Map Changes

New Homes for Roshan
Roshan no longer resides in his old home in the river. He’s put that up for rent and has bought two new homes to occupy. One is in the northwest corner of the map and the other in the southeast corner. Plus, Roshan is tankier than ever and no longer drops any Aghanim’s Shards. Instead you’ll find Cheese on his second death and a Refresher Shard or Scepter on his third, depending on which pit he was in.

Twin Gates
There are now two gates that connect the corners of the map near the safe lanes to allow players to quickly jump from one side of the map to the other. This opens up a lot of possibilities to navigate the space.

Lotus Pools
On the left and right sides of the map, near where the Creeps first meet in battle, are new structures called Lotus Pools. These spawn fruit periodically for players to consume for mana and HP. You can even combine several fruits into a high value fruit for use in the endgame.

Tormentors are powerful new Creeps that spawn near each base after 20 minutes have passed. They have mega shields and are very tough to take down, but they reward Aghanim’s Shards for your efforts. They also get stronger each time you kill one, so keep that in mind before attempting to fight them each time.

Watchers are like a giant ward Creep. Run up and click on them to capture them to your side and they’ll provide you vision around them for a whopping seven minutes. Beware of the enemy team defeating a nearby Roshan, though, as their success will convert nearby Watchers to the side of the Roshan slayers.

Defender Gates
Defender Gates are a secret exit to your main base. While the enemy team is assaulting the front of your towers, you and your team can sneak out the back and launch a surprise attack from angles they likely won’t be expecting.

Wisdom Runes
Wisdom Runes are a new type of Rune that spawns along the edges of the map — often close to a base. These Runes grant a big chunk of XP and, because of their location, are designed to help teams falling behind to catch up a little.

Shield Runes
Shield Runes are another new type of Rune. Like most other Runes, they are located in River Rune locations. They grant the person to pick them up 50% of their max character HP as a barrier, making them incredibly useful to grab and fight with near a tower for an early gank.

Creep Camps
There are 12 new Creep Camps located throughout the jungle areas that give a larger variety of farming options and more overall resources for the teams to utilize.

New Outposts
The new super-sized map also features two new Outposts, while the original Outposts have been moved to different locations.

New Hero Attribute

The New Frontiers update for Dota 2 also features changes to the attribute system in the form of a fourth attribute. This new attribute type is called the Universal attribute and is designed for Heroes who really don’t fall under Strength, Intelligence, or Agility.

This new attribute will better suit many Heroes, providing 0.6 damage for each attribute point of any type, providing much better item diversity for the Heroes that fall into this category.

Black King Bar Rework

Black King Bar is the most used item in the game and has been crucial for stopping you getting locked down in team fights, so a rework to it is a pretty big deal. Black King Bar now applies a basic dispel, while granting 50% Magic resistance and Debuff immunity. It also grants immunity to Pure and Reflected damage, which is nice.

Neutral Item Drops Rework

Going on a killing spree of the jungle Creeps used to drop a variety of random neutral items for you to either use or send back to base for your team to choose from. Now however, Creep Camps will drop tokens that let you choose from a selection of five neutral items, which gives you much more choice over what neutral items you obtain and significantly increases the likelihood that you’ll find something useful.

Neutral Creep Scaling

Neutral Creeps have been given a rework in addition to their Neutral item drops. They now scale, meaning they will get harder to clear as the game goes on, so if you’re not a carry, you might even need help to clear them in the late game.

Kill Formula Reworked

Dota 2’s Kill Formula has been reworked to incentivise early game kills, making it much more impactful to try ganking other lanes early. Furthermore, Creep gold scaling has been reduced, making it less profitable to focus on farming in lane and more profitable to take down other players for gold.

Character Reworks and New Items

Muerta, Clinkz, Arc Warden, Ogre Magi, Medusa, and Alchemist are all being tweaked or reworked, with lots of changes to abilities, some new abilities, and different scaling. It will be fun to dive into a match with these reworked characters and see how differently they play now!

There are also 7 new items being introduced in the New Frontiers Update. They are Blood Grenade, Diadem, Cornucopia, Pavise, Phylactery, Harpoon, and Disperser. Keep an eye out for these new items in game and give them a try to see if they’re any good for your builds! 

That’s it for all the major changes in the Dota 2 New Frontiers update. It’s a major update for the game, with tons of reasons to jump back in. If you do, let us know how you’re finding the new update!

About the author

Alex Berry
Alex Berry is a freelance contributor at The Escapist. Alex has been writing about games for less than a year but is thoroughly enjoying it. Having worked in marketing as his main role, he’s no stranger to writing creatively. His coverage ranges from funny takes on the latest games to a whole bunch of guide content. Alex is a jack of all trades when it comes to games, playing almost every new title that shows promise. From RPGs to shooters, all the way through to sports games, he plays it all, although he does have a soft spot for turn-based RPGs having started out his gaming journey with a copy of Pokémon Red on the original Game Boy. Alex has a master's degree in Business and is fascinated by online game economies, often spending a lot of time finding ways to maximize wealth in these games (but he should really be doing that in real life instead).