DOTA 2: New Bloom Festival

The New Bloom Festival update for DOTA 2 has gone live as of January 29, 2014. With the passing of Diretide, associated with Halloween, and the subsequent Wraith-Night, which introduced the famed Legion Commander, the New Bloom Festival promises to excite with numerous new features. Through a grand lead up, of three very exciting days, to the release of the New Bloom Festival, we learned of arena changes, novel game modes, the arrival of new heroes on the battlefield, and a rising evil.

Day 1: Arena & The Year Beast

On day one, we discovered that the DOTA 2 arena has been released from the icy grip of winter and is now showing the early signs of spring, albeit with a predominantly Asian theme. New tower designs, based on a dragon theme, updated tree models, showcasing very detailed cherry blossoms, paper lanterns, with varied sizes and patterns, and a newly flowing river serve to enhance the battlefield for another year (or at least a few months until the next update/special event) of tears and bloodshed. Furthermore, there is now talk of a Year Beast, a being of great power which puts fear and doubt into men and heroes alike. Collect flamesalt ingots and jade tokens, upgrade your weapons and armor, and prepare to fight. To read more about these updates, check out the New Bloom Festival: Day One at the DOTA 2 blog.

Day 2: Terrorblade & Random Ability Draft

Though the New Bloom Festival appears to be a time of renewal, with only the odd chance or possibility of the rise of the fearsome ‘Year Beast’, the Terrorblade, a demon maurader, has come to the DOTA 2 realm to maim, kill, and destroy…for only suffering and darkness should be known. Featuring new powers including Reflection, Conjure Image, Metamorphosis, and Sunder, the Terrorblade deals in fear, confusion, and pain…and even some soul stealing on the side. Day two also introduced an amazing new game mode, the Random Ability Draft, wherein the abilities of all heroes in a match are entered into a pool and then drawn from piecemeal until each hero again wields four abilities…though often not those he/she entered in with or expected. Just remember, a Nightstalker wielding Riki’s Permanent Invisibility and Luna’s Eclipse is a terrible hero to waste. To read more about these updates, check out the New Bloom Festival: Day Two at the DOTA 2 blog.

Day 3: Phoenix & Takeover Mode

On day three, we learned that we were not alone in the fight against the Year Beast and the rising darkness. The Phoenix, a former star since transformed into a terrestrial being, has studied our realm and deemed it necessary to bring light and warmth back to our land, either peacefully or through the awe inspiring power of a supernova. With new powers including Icarus Dive, Fire Spirits, Sun Ray, and Supernova, the Phoenix will surely be a force to be reckoned with. Additionally, day three brought word of the release of the new Takeover mode in DOTA 2 whereby a group of heroes can continue a match (to be saved as a new match with their own replays) from any point in a particular replay. The opportunities to relive exciting matches and change their endings, for better or for worse, is another great feature of the New Bloom Festival. To read more about these updates, check out the New Bloom Festival: Day Three at the DOTA 2 blog.

Remember that the arrival of the New Bloom Festival heralds new items/gear in the DOTA 2 Store and buffs, nerfs, and changes for heroes and items alike. A personal favorite of mine is a gameplay change whereby you lose one gold per second if you haven’t chosen a hero after the selection timer, which is newly revised as well, runs out in the All Pick game mode. Check out the other gameplay changes associated with update 6.8 at the DOTA 2 blog!

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