Update 12/12/2013 -- 08:00
Valve has revealed that this year's Dota 2 seasonal event will be Wraith-Night, a new time-limited mode where players work to resurrect Skeleton King from his trance. "Sadly, during his rite of transformation, Your King will be unable to play a role in worldly affairs," says Valve. "But don't lament the absence of Your King. Instead, play your part in his restoration! Each soul collected during Wraith-Night will count toward his Second Coronation! Long live the Wraith King!"
Playing Wraith-Night will give players an opportunity to collect Phantom Fragments, which can be traded in various amounts for lockless reliquaries. Players can also purchase the Wraith King's Favor, which will trigger a chance for the game to drop Shining Fragments. "Collect enough Shining Fragments and obtain a Wraith-Night Ossuary, a treasure box containing unique gems and rare, socketed items, or cash in your Shining Fragments toward a recipe to craft a Relic of the Wraith King," says Valve.
The update, set to go live today, also brings a new hero, Legion Commander, alongside a recruit-a-friend option, a refined path into the game for new players, and ranked matchmaking for experienced ones. The updates from patch 6.79c have also been applied, which adds Slark and Huskar to Captain's Mode, among other updates. You can read more on Valve's site.
Update 12/10/201313 -- 16:00 In what might be called "foreshadowing," something has gone wrong with the Frostivus holiday.
The official website is now updated to say, "By decree of the only king that matters, Frostivus is cancelled." The only king that matters is likely either the Skeleton King (who was recently removed from the game for "pressing ceremonial reasons," but this could also signal the unveiling of the rumored Wraith King.
Tomorrow, on day three of the event, we'll likely have more concrete details on what's in store for players.
The original story appears below.
Valve has unveiled its Dota 2 holiday mode for this year.
A new website introduces 2013's seasonal Frostivus holiday. "Collect bright winter berries and sprigs of fir," says Valve, "and twist them together into mementos for family and friends," suggesting that the game's recently introduced crafting mode will play a part in this year's event.
Last year's peaceful Frostivus was "cancelled" due to a greevil invasion, birthing The Greeviling. The holiday mode saw players transform into customisable greevils, with unique abilities, and compete against the other team to wipe out enemy greevil camps and reclaim the stolen Frostivus presents.
But it's highly unlikely anything untoward will happen again this year, Valve says. "However you choose to celebrate the season, the byword is relaxation. There is nothing more to worry about, nothing you need to do."
"Nothing can possibly go wrong."
But make no mistake: season events in Dota 2 are no joke. Last month, Valve admitted that it underestimated the demand for a return of its Halloween event Diretide, with the company bringing the mode back in a subsequent update.
Valve also recently announced that it will be including a ranked matchmaking mode in a future Dota 2 update. "This mode is aimed at experienced players," the company said, "who want to play in a more competitive environment and know their matchmaking rating (MMR). Dota 2 matchmaking has always calculated MMR and used it to form matches; in ranked matchmaking we make that MMR visible."
More information about how Dota 2 calculates its MMR can be found in a detailed post on the game's blog.