We thought this year would be a quiet-yet-joyful affair in Dota 2. But no, like last year Frostivus was once again cancelled, not due to the mischief of Greevils but because a Skeleton King must be resurrected.
This year Frostivus makes way for Wraith-Night, a period of ritual where the Skeleton King must be rejuvenated from his crumbling, decayed form into something much more powerful and imperishable. Survive through this most wintery of periods and contribute to the ceremony, and His Highness will be reborn as the Wraith King.
The core of Valve’s latest Dota 2 festive mix-up is Wraith Essence. Every enemy killed donates a little essence to the altar of the Skeleton King, gradually building up the energy needed to regenerate him.
Due to his death infliction, the Skeleton King will be unplayable for the duration of Wraith-Night, but in his place arrives Tresdin, the commander of the Bronze Legion and swinger of dual swords. She’ll be able to dominate on the field with her four unique abilities:
Overwhelming Odds – Deal damage and gain bonus movement speed for each enemy unit in a targeted area.
Press the Attack – Remove debuffs and disables from an ally, while granting bonus attack speed and regeneration.
Moment of Courage – When attacked, immediately counterattack with bonus lifesteal.
Duel – Legion Commander and an enemy hero become locked in a duel. The surviving hero gains a permanent damage increase.
Tresdin can also swipe up a special item – The Blades of Voth Domosh – which is purchased before January 3rd will be Exalted quality.
Scrapping in lane during Wraith-Night will allow you to get your mitts on Phantom Fragments, which work as a new currency for holiday-specific goodies. You’ll also be able to buy the ‘Wraith King’s favor’ which will earn you and your teammates Shining Fragments in addition to Phantom Fragments. The effect stacks, so a whole team will be able to make quite a haul. Shining Fragments can be exchanged for Wraith-Night Ossuary: a box containing unique and rare items.
Alongside these themed updates, Dota 2 also receives a few new features. Recruiting friends to play Dota 2 will unlock a Battle Bonus, helping you and your friend in combat until they hit level 10. Recruiters will get a badge to display on their profile to proclaim how many noobs they’ve trained up. New players will also be able to follow a newly designed system created to gradually introduce all of Dota 2’s features.
Spectators can now bring friends along for the party: provided one person has a tournament ticket, the whole party can spectate the game. If you’d rather be in a game yourself though, new Ranked Matchmaking features will match you with equally skilled competitors once you’ve reached level 13.
New items are also arriving in time for Christmas. Take a look at the Wraith-Night website for all the details on what lies in the Fostivus Crate.