It’s been known for some time that Valve were going to don their newest addition to the family in Halloween festivities before kicking it out into the wild for everyone to enjoy. However I don’t think anyone fully expected a whole game mode, complete with story, comedy and most importantly full of candy. This new game mode doesn't come without its rewards with new cosmetic items, chests, couriers to be claimed. I spent the majority of my Halloween playing Diretide, so here is my knowledge on how to make the most of it.
The main motivation for taking part in is the increase promise of items, namely cosmetics, couriers and the new mysterious Greevil Egg. As well as a bunch of new cosmetics, Diretide also features a new legendary courier, Baby Roshan. I was lucky enough to get one out of the new Diretide Chest, with specific keys being available in the store. The Greevil Egg can also be bought of the store, but it should be noted that you will receive one for free when you completed your first Diretide game.
More on the egg later, but first the Diretide itself a game mode split into three ten minute phases:
The game begins with Candy Chaos. The primary goal is to collect more candy than the other team before phase three starts. Candy can be gotten from three different sources, each needing to be utilised for maximum candy procurement. Attacking the enemy cauldron will periodically drop the candy that is stored essentially letting you steal it. Roshan siege creeps will spawn into each of the three lanes, which will drop two pieces of candy. Lastly jungle creeps have a small chance of dropping pieces as well, the more difficult the camp the higher the chance.
I think now would be a perfect time to explain how holding candy affects your hero, something you need to keep a close eye on. Candy takes up a slot in your inventory, which it can then stack to however much you can grab. For each piece you hold your maximum health is reduced by 7%, all the way to a minimum of one health point. Naturally you will want to be careful when gauging the risk of staying longer than you should in dangerous situations. You will only kick yourself when you get hit by a global ultimate that instantly kills you. Yes I’m looking at you Zeus.
The next phase is named The Trickster Awakens, aptly so because Roshan has woken from his slumber and he is hungry for candy. Your candy. The goals for each team are the same from the previous phase, however now Roshan will stalk random victims until his hunger is sated. The UI will let you know who Roshan is after and where he is on the map. He will not stop chasing his victim until they are either dead or he has been fed a piece of candy. You will usually have some time to grab some candy, taking advantage of the forewarning and the innocent like request for treats the first time he catches you up.
After the second ten minute mark is up, the team with the most candy is crowned the winner and the victorious team will receive a random item each. Roshan will proceed to the winning side and wolf down all the candy he has collected. It’s now BOTH teams job to take him and his huge ass down, as fast as possible. You won’t be able to damage the other team, however you can kill enemy illusions and burn their mana with diffusal effects. Although remember you are working together on this one.
For each piece of candy Roshan ate in phase two, his armour will be increased. Therefore the more you had to feed Roshan in phase two to keep him off your backs, the harder he will be to take down. Each player is given a maximum of around 16,000 gold to spend on the most powerful items, all can be gotten from the fountain store. Go for items that will maximise your DPS, with Boots of Travel making getting back to Roshan a breeze if you die.
Roshan himself will have a total of 150,000 health points as well as any bonus armour received in phase two. He also sports four active abilities, all of which you are going to have to watch out for. Apocalypse spawns a sun strike like beam down on any player between 400-1200 units from Roshan, these will instantly kill you unless you move from them. Wave of Force is quite easily recognised by Roshan raising his arms as he is ready to smash the ground. It will send out a wave around him in a circle, to which the closer you are the more damage you will take. If you are in melee range you will be instantly killed. Toss is a nuisance ability that just tosses a random unit in melee range away from Roshan. This is especially annoying for anyone that requires constant melee proximity to be useful e.g. Ursa and his fury swipes. Last but not least we have Shell, which renders Roshan invulnerable to physical harm while taking an extra 400% magic damage. Also he will refresh all your abilities and health/mana, so go nuts.
The fastest teams will be immortalized in the Diretide “Hall of Fame” for each daily cycle. The team for that fastest cycle will be rewarded with a custom gold Baby Roshan courier. I’ve had a look at the past two winning replays and it does seem like it requires coordination from both teams, even during the first two phases. This way they can achieve maximum gold and experience to kill Roshan super fast. It does look a little odd and some people have claimed that it should be against the rules, but that is for Valve to decide.
It would be rude not to mention another fun addition in this update, the Greevil Egg. After either buying one or receiving your free egg from killing Roshan for the first time, you must then fill the egg with various essences for it to hatch into your very own Greevil. Depending on your combination you will receive a different coloured Greevil when it hatches. Check out the Dota 2 Wiki for the combinations.
You have until November 12th to make the most of Diretide, including the ample opportunity to grab yourselves some nice items. My last advice is to pick hard dps heroes, or those with great mobility. My current favorite hero to play is Wisp, who is fantastic at assaulting the enemy cauldron thanks to relocate. It’s hard to forget that this is a completely free update, especially since the game is still technically in beta. Then again the game did hit over 160,000 concurrent players today, which is more than TF2 and Counter Strike combined. Don’t forget to check out Cyborgmatts blog for more hidden treats, tucked away deep in the update.