Coaching, gems, Diretide are all in!
The huge update that was promised as Valve explained the lack of Diretide is now live for Dota 2. The "Three Spirits Update" adds in two more Heroes, Ember and Earth Spirit, to join Storm Spirit and complete the trifecta. Oh, and Storm Spirit lost a TON of weight. Good for him! The art style and models for these spirits are some of the best yet and I can't wait to get my hands on them in-game.
In addition to the Heroes, some features have been added. Yes, one is Diretide. It's candy (and item drops) time once again! More importantly though, the economy has been turned upside-down. Recipes have been added, allowing players to craft items of certain rarities to get other items of certain rarities. Previously, I had deleted most of my Common items in hopes of getting one of a higher rarity, so I welcome a legitimate crafting system.
Items can also now have up to five sockets. What goes in the sockets? Well, gems of course! What do gems do? A whole bunch of stuff: add color, track stats, add animations, add unusual effects, and even more. It seems a bit complicated at first, but once you dive it it's pretty easy to comprehend.
Oh, and they added a colorblind mode! I've actually been exchanging emails with CyborgMatt and testing out various colors since I'm colorblind. In other words, CyborgMatt is confirmed to be IceFrog.
You can read all the official patch notes at the bottom of the page here. There's a whole bunch!
Here are the DotaCinema videos explaining how the new Heroes work:
God I love this game.