Dota 2 is about to get a little cuter and a lot colder.
Valve‘s annual commemoration of the Chinese New Year, the New Bloom Festival, dropped a payload of content on unsuspecting Dota fans this morning, including a charming little puppy for Crystal Maiden, an ancient dragon turned support named Winter Wyvern, and some frozen foreshadowing of a new hero.
Teased since the release of the Phantom Arcana in December, Winter Wyvern’s spells focus on controlling the tempo of an engagement while delivering punishing damage in her own right. Most notably, the frost dragon freezes allies for some quick healing and even freezes an enemy hero, turning its allied nearby heroes against it for a moment.
In contrast to Winter Wyvern’s chilly scales, Crystal Maiden receives Dota‘s first companion in the new patch: a playful wolf pup of Icewrack named Aurora. Players who choose to take Aurora into battle will enjoy a highly detailed cosmetic piece, but do so at the risk of fawning over the playful pup at key moments.
But Aurora doesn’t come cheap. The midnight-coated tail-chaser is included with the brand new Crystal Maiden arcana, a brilliant, ice-coated cloak that turns the unsuspecting support’s ultimate into a torrent of ice-born destruction.
Additional changes will hopefully sate more vocal opponents of Valve’s recent revisions to the item drop system, which included severely restricting the frequency of drops in order to combat item farmers. The New Bloom patch will not only increase the drop rate of both full item sets and individual items, it will also permit players to gift their gear, offering some additional freedom to item owners while effectively restricting the seedy under-belly of the Dota item market.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Dota 2 patch without an easter egg. Intrepid Redditors stumbled upon a clawed character embedded in the ice with an uncanny resemblance to concept art for forthcoming hero, Arc Warden.
Until new heroes, new cosmetics, and new friends are unlocked however, players will dawn their caps and gloves for the inevitable influx of born-again Crystal Maiden devotees. At least this time players will have Aurora’s lolling countenance to help quell their tempers when one-too-many Winter Wyvern ultimates tear their side asunder.