Valve just announced one of the coolest, first-of-its-kind cosmetics for Dota 2, but there is one major caveat to the item that has plenty of players demanding an explanation.
As part of the new Lunar New Year update, Valve dropped a double-headed beast in the form of The Dragon’s Gift and Dragon’s Hoard treasure collection—bringing 17 new cosmetics themed around the Year of the Dragon to Dota. Among those new items is the first cosmetic you can equip for your Ancient, the Ancient Dragon King.
Being able to change how your Dire or Radiant Ancient looks with a visual overhaul and a roaming dragon that has dynamic animations is about as easy a win as Valve is ever going to get. And, initially, the announcement was met with hype from the wider community. That quickly changed, however, due to one line of text at the bottom of the cosmetic’s description.
On top of being a random drop from the Lunar New Year collection, it appears the Ancient Dragon King will only be eligible to use during the Year of the Dragon. Here is the specific text that has players furious: “You can equip this item in the WORLD section of your ARMORY for everyone in your games to see, but take heed—it will only visit your Ancient during the Year of the Dragon.”
If this text is accurate, that means Dota 2 players will functionally lose access to the cosmetic next Lunar New Year. As a result, the community is demanding answers from Valve, asking for clarification about what will happen to the item and why this decision was made apart from the theming because it is actively costing the company money. “Was about to splurge out for this, but that highlighted sentence made me hesitate,” Reddit user Donut_Lord said. “Having it work only for one year in a twelve-year cycle sucks.”
According to one Dota 2 Reddit user that researched the Ancient Dragon King code, the item is not expected to expire and should remain in your inventory even after the year ends. The text points to the Dragon King in the cosmetic not appearing once the timeframe passes, though there is no indication that any other effects will be added or what will change without the dragon.
It is unlikely Valve will clarify these cosmetic details until it is ready to share new information about Dota’s next big update, Crownfall, in coming months. But putting a time limitation on such a cool cosmetic is not giving players hope for future drops.