Dota 2's upcoming New Bloom event is in the process of being teased-and-revealed over on the official site. We already had a Year Beast-themed trailer (you can find that after the jump), then there was a comic book starring Crystal Maiden to take into consideration, and then more details on the whole shebang AND A PUPPY.
New Bloom first popped onto the Dota calendar at the end of January last year infusing the regular map with lanterns and fireworks and cherry blossom as well as bringing a new game mode. The mode involved a visit by the mighty Year Beast who was a big dragony-liony thing with a horn and a bunch of attacks. The players' job was to bring down the beast and reap various rewards.
This year looks to be a little more complex as rather than battling the beast the trailer suggests players are to "tame it". I expect that will probably involve various types of combat and strategising but wouldn't it be lovely if it involved going for walks and little Year Beast treats and getting it to respond to your voice?
I thought the same thing about Call of Duty: Ghosts and soldier dog Riley and look how that turned out.
So what's been revealed?
New ice dragon support gal, Winter Wyvern, has had her skills confirmed - you'll know them if you played DotA. If you don't, she has a really interesting ultimate ability in that she freezes an enemy in place and their allies then start attacking them. It's a sort of DO NOT WANT version of Axe's Berserker's Call. She also has Splinter Blast which, if I remember rightly, does no damage to the initial target but hurts the enemies it then splinters onto.
Also confirmed is a battle cloak and puppy Arcana for Crystal Maiden.
"Some say the garment began as the wedding gown of an ancient queen. Others say it was once a battle cloak of a frost ogre. In truth, the enchanted fabric is as malleable as an avalanche, and can mold itself into various forms. This form has attracted a lone wolf pup, who has now become a hardy and loyal companion."
I was actually going to point out the bridal nature of the cloak - in a past life my fashion job took me to a bunch of bridal shows and cloaks and capes of the sort Crystal Maiden loves are frequent guests (although in white rather than ice blue). I say "was going to" but then "WOLF PUP" was mentioned and, frankly, you're lucky this article didn't do a SPACE HULK at that juncture.
In case you were wondering, the Arcana gives you: a custom spell effect for CM's ultimate, Freezing Field; Aurora the wolf pup of Icewrack; a wolf pup chat emoticon; and a bunch of in-game effects. For £21.99 or £17.59 pre-ordered. So, yes, that's just over twenty quid for a digital cape and a digital pet or, as Alice put it:
"Christ - £17.59. And that's to pre-order. PRE-ORDER A DIGITAL DRESS. Why can't I get a discount if I don't want a stupid dog or ugly face jewels?"
She also said other things about how amazing CM's frozen limbs are but I think that's just because Alice wishes CM would join her hypothermia party at the swimming pond every Wednesday. GIVE IT UP, ALICE.
While Alice and I try not to end our friendship over a non-existent baby digital wolf who I promise to look after and take for walks and brush every single day we are both agreed on one thing: the comic is excellent and free of charge.
P.S. The update also includes some nerfs for Juggernaut and Axe (GOOD) and you won't be able to pause in unranked all pick mode if everyone on the team is connected and hasn't finished picking their heroes (GOOD).