In today's bit of good news/bad news, Valve's Dota team says a "major improvement" to the Dota 2 engine is in the works and will be released sometime during the first half of 2015, enabling the ability to quickly create entirely new game modes. Unfortunately, that means Frostivus won't be happening this year.
Frostivus is a seasonal Dota 2 in-game event that first took place in 2012, offering new maps, game modes, unique items, and even bits of holiday-themed lore. It was actually canceled last year, as you may recall, to make room for the resurrection of the Wraith King, and the year before, for "the Greeviling." And now it's been canceled for 2014 as well, but this time for more pragmatic (and, unfortunately, less entertaining) considerations: The amount of work required to build the updated game modes for Frostivus was prohibitive, especially since it would all need to be completely rebuilt once the engine update is released.
"With [the annual Halloween event] Diretide this year, we decided that it didn’t make sense to build another one of those resource-intensive game modes," the developers wrote in an update. "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."
"We will continue to avoid building new game modes until the engine improvements come along," it added, but that doesn't mean there will be a complete absence of fun stuff between now and then: The developers are already working on the New Bloom Festival, scheduled for February.