Ah, Chinese New Year - when British weather, having failed to fill its drama quota before Christmas, busies the days with lashes of lightning, the pavements with ice caltrops, and the news with threats of flooding to go with all the flooding. And then, of course, the wild energies that’ve hibernated through the winter months begin to pool and congeal into the Year Beast, a sort of bull with extra horn attachments. Terrible business.
What’s attached can be removed, though, and astonishingly rare and powerful materials await the summoner capable of making the fell Beast fall.
The centrepiece of the upcoming New Bloom festival is a new gamemode, designed with the express purpose of killing the Year Beast and taking his stuff - which will reportedly includes the new Redhoof Courier.
Bringing the Beast down will require a certain amount of prep, however. Valve suggest players will need both “conventional tools” (i.e. existing Dota items) and “purpose-build armaments” (new event items) to pierce its enchanted hide.
Flamesalt ingots will help. A new resource to be introduced alongside the new mode, ingots can either be spent as currency or crafted into one of a number of trinkets - used to either disable, distract or damage the Year Beast. Players will find them in Crimson Parcels - random gifts expected as end-of-game drops across all of Dota’s modes.
If you partook in last month’s Frostivus event, you’ll remember the Wraith King’s Favor. During New Bloom, a new Fortune’s Favour will provide players with a bonus boost to their Flamesalt Ingot income rate.
The Favor will also earn players Jade Tokens, in turn used to purchase Bloom Bounties - collections of new items built by Steam Workshop artists specifically for the festival. Other community items will be craftable via a range of New Bloom recipes.
Throughout the event, players will be able to offer up cosmetic items, couriers and the like and receive Flamesalt Ingots in return - or if their offering is sufficiently valuable, something far rarer.
Even if you were to ignore all of this, you’ll benefit from the last of Dota’s New Bloom changes - a Spring version of the classic map, featuring a blossom-laden, paper lantern-strewn oriental look.
Valve have always taken advantage of seasonal Dota events to experiment with PvE. Have you typically enjoyed that trend, or do you find yourself returning to competitive mode in short order?