Dota 2 as a game puts heavy emphasis on its item design and structure, especially for the Dota 2 Secret Shop. In this one game, some items solve many hero mechanics. From reducing regeneration to granting vision advantage, there are many things items can do.
The charm in them is that Dota items are bought and crafted into powerful ones. When items get this powerful, games become thrilling, as one fight can decide the game.
Players can source items from the shops on the map. In an older time, there were more shops on the map, which supplemented heroes in all lanes. Of course, when Dota began shifting to a more competitive design, some changes were made.
Over the years, these Dota 2 Secret Shops changed and evolved, and some got removed after a version. These shops, which won’t be forgotten, serve as a footnote in Dota’s history now.
The Secret Shop
There are two Dota 2 secret shops mirroring each other’s positions. Located next to the offlane tier 1 tower, they possess powerful and expensive item components. Some items in the game require items from the secret shop to be completed.
The secret shop is manned by the shopkeeper, the character in the first Dota 2 trailer. He says some lines when a player comes within range of the shop, and a bell can be heard with a door opening.
Before the Dota 2 port, the secret shop was manned by Leragas the Vile with an undead acolyte model. When the Dota 2 trailer came out, the shopkeeper became a mainstay. Iconic items such as the Divine Rapier sources their components in the secret shop.
Some iconic TI moments occurred near the secret shop. One of them is when TI champion Anatham “ana” Pham sold his items there to have gold for a buyback.
The Side Shop
Offlane and Safelane once had a shop of their own. This shop had items that were components of simple and core items. Items from the side shop can create Power Treads, Blademail, and Arcane Boots outright. One can also procure the Blink Dagger here, making for some great escapes. Players saw it as a nice little crutch during the laning phase, or an obstacle if you are against a Techies player.
The side shop was phased out during version 7.23 and in return, players now had individual couriers. The community speculates that the couriers removed the need for side shops, thus their phase-out.
It came as a disappointment for sure, but few were critical of what replaced their removal. Sure, there was considerable power creep as a result but deemed better than having one courier for 5 people.
Another Dota 2 Secret Shop!?
A long time ago, in the wild west known as the early Defense of the Ancients, there existed a midlane shop. In version 0.60, it came to exist near the jungle on both sides in the middle lane. It served as a way for players to lane longer, as it sold only consumables.
The consumables ranged from health and mana top-ups to being able to relearn skills and lifesteal potions. Version 5.30 would be the last time the shop opens for business, as it saw its way out in 5.31.