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The Shifting Snows Update

Light dwindles and cold creeps in. The Shifting Snows Update has arrived, bringing with it this year’s Winter Map as well as a small gameplay update. As heroes shiver down the lanes to meet their fate, a new effigy material has emerged from the ice, new treasures have brought new armor to warm by the fire, and the arrival of Gift Wrap heralds the season of Givening. Check out the Shifting Snows Update page for more information.


New Bloom 2015 Call to Arms

Once again, we’re putting out a call to artists to create items based around the themes of Chinese New Year, Chinese history, and springtime, and submit them to the Dota 2 Workshop to be considered for the next New Bloom Festival. This time around we would like to ask artists to avoid the use of dragons and written Chinese characters, as well any concepts that involve human skulls, blood and gore. Additionally, to have the best chance of having your work make it into the game, please be careful not to mix cultural concepts in your designs, such as traditional divisions between the dress of children and adults, warriors and civilians and upper and lower classes. Also, our workshop particle process is due to be reworked, so please refrain from using custom particles in your submission.

Remember to mark your submissions with the “Spring2015″ tag when placing your items on the Workshop. All submissions must be on the Dota 2 Workshop by January 19th. To everyone else: remember to visit the workshop and vote through your queue to make sure your voice is heard.

Also, the excellent people at WeLoveFine are hosting a contest for Dota 2 merchandise designs for the New Bloom Festival, so if your talents lean toward creating awesome swag, they’ll have you covered.


Future Changes & Frostivus

As we mentioned in September, there are a number of features in the works for Dota 2 that we’re really excited to share with you. Among them is a major improvement to Dota 2’s engine that we are aiming to release in the first half of next year. One of the main features in this engine improvement will be the ability to rapidly create entirely new game modes. You’ve seen some of this work with the Dota 2 Workshop Tools Alpha that began earlier this year. In the past, our Diretide and Frostivus updates contained game modes that were very time consuming to build and maintain, and would need to be rebuilt from the ground up after the release of the engine update.

With Diretide this year, we decided that it didn’t make sense to build another one of those resource-intensive game modes, for two reasons. The first was that the mode would quickly become obsolete when the engine changes arrive, and the second was that building it would have taken resources away from the work that needed to be done to ship the engine change itself. Now that Frostivus is on the horizon, we find ourselves facing a similar choice and, after some thought, we believe that once again the right choice is to not develop a Frostivus game mode.

This doesn’t mean that you won’t see interesting updates from us before the engine improvement goes out next year. We are already hard at work on our next major update, the New Bloom Festival in February, although we will continue to avoid building new game modes until the engine improvements come along.


Nemesis Assassin Event

The dark bargain is struck. Today through December 7th, the Nemesis Assassin Event will allow all heroes a unique opportunity to earn trophies and items. During each day of the event, contracts will be put out on the life of those heroes listed on Oracle’s Nemesis Registry, and these contracts can either be Fulfilled or Denied during the course of the match.

Owners of the Manifold Paradox Arcana will enjoy many custom upgrades to their specialized assassin, including an evolving weapon and a kill marker to show the location of their kills, but it’s important to remember that the hunter easily becomes the hunted, so rewards can be earned by all who participate successfully in the event.

You’ll also be able to purchase the Treasure of the Defender’s Vision, which includes mythical items. Or you can earn this treasure by using the charm and making three correct victory predictions. Visit the update page to see the Nemesis Assassin Event explained in detail. Will your favorite hero make the list?


The Foreseer’s Contract Update

An enigmatic new hero strides onto the battlefield. Oracle is coming to let you seize the fates of both friend and foe. Prefer to deal a deadlier destiny? Phantom Assassin’s new arcana, the Manifold Paradox, is available for preorder, and will be on sale for 20% off until December 7th. Learn about the Nemesis Assassin Event in Day 3 of the Foreseer’s Contract update, arriving this week!