After teasing the event during last week's Dota Asian Championship and additional sneak peeks Monday and Tuesday, Valve has confirmed that Dota 2's New Bloom festival — themed after the Chinese New Year — is coming soon. The yearly event is bringing the standard visual overhaul to the map in celebration, and it's bringing a new character with it: the Winter Wyvern.
The Winter Wyvern's abilities are unsurprisingly ice-based, with mobility and healing abilities and an ultimate that allows her to force her enemies to fight one another. But Valve is also introducing a new Arcana with New Bloom for the hero Crystal Maiden. Dubbed the Frost Avalanche, it brings new animations, effects, cosmetics, and, most importantly, a wolf puppy that follows her around the map.
Dota 2 "insider" Matt Bailey has stated that the wolf puppy should move out of sight with enemies nearby, preventing it from giving away Arcana owners' locations with the pup active. It can also be toggled off.
New Bloom is also bringing other goodies. Compendium owners from last year's International are getting a new optional voice and responses for the hero Spectre. Item drops and trading are being retooled to allow single trades to friends and much more common in-game rewards of cosmetics.
While New Bloom isn't bringing a proper numbered patch release to Dota 2, it is introducing a number of hero tweaks and balance updates, as well as a host of bug fixes and UI improvements. Phantom Lancer is being reintroduced to Captains mode, and Juggernaut and Axe, two characters who have seen an incredible surge in popularity in both public games and professional play are seeing minor reductions to some of their abilities.
But most importantly, Valve's recent ban of custom files from the public Dota 2 client over concerns of cheating have been amended to allow custom audio, which means all of your NBA Jam/Dota 2 dreams can come true once again.