Dota 2‘s New Bloom Festival is rolling around once again, and that means a new Year Beast event – but this one’s a bit different.
Last year, the Year Beast was a sub-game in which you, uh, fought the Year Beast. And it was a bit shit. This year, it’s something that will be injected into normal matches a few times a day (and no, those matches won’t affect your rankings).
Here’s how it works: a countdown timer will start an hour before each Brawl, so that you can get yourself ready. When the timer elapses, you’ve got 10 minutes to get yourself into a game; when you join a match during those 10 minutes, you’re actually joining a Year Beast Brawl.
A Year Beast Brawl is the same as a regular match, except for one thing: each team has a Year Beast. Every five minutes, both Year Beasts will appear and start charging down a lane, helping to push and perhaps destroy the enemy Ancient.
But you can change its behaviour through Ability Points. You can teleport it to defend, or order it to push another lane. You can strengthen it with Double Damage, or have it use a powerful ability like Thundergod’s Wrath. You don’t have to micromanage it, but you can certainly change where it goes and what it does.
Your Ability Points are replenished after each match, so there’s no need to skimp on using them, and you increase your pool in a variety of ways. You get 2400 for buying the Crystal Maiden Arcana discussed yesterday, and you can buy packages of points from the Dota 2 Store if you really want to. But! You’ll also get 100 for taking part in a Year Beast Brawl, 100 for winning a normal match while owning the new Arcana, 25 for each teammate who owns the Arcana when you win a normal match, and 25 each time you recycle 10 items. There’s apparently also a Daily Bonus.
Each time you win a Year Beast Brawl you’ll get a free item set, as well as a trophy; these are untradeable, but can be gifted. There’s also more on offer: winning one Brawl gets you a loading screen, three Brawls gets you a Redhorn Courier, 10 brawls gets you a Jadehorn courier, and increasing your Ability Points pool to 8,000 gets you a Goldhorn courier.
You can read about this on the Day 4 update, over on the official Dota 2 site.
One last thing, though: the first Brawl will be taking place tomorrow. That implies that tomorrow is PATCH DAY.
Tim has been playing PC games for longer than he’s willing to admit. He’s written for a number of publications, but has been with PC Invasion – in all its various incarnations – for over a decade. When not writing about games, Tim can occasionally be found speedrunning terrible ones, making people angry in Dota 2, or playing something obscure and random. He’s also weirdly proud of his status as (probably) the Isle of Man’s only professional games journalist.