Dota 2's Greeviling holidays event kicks off

Actual Christmas is often a dreary, miserable affair, but in video games it's always beautifully snowy with merry hijinks galore. In short, virtual Christmas in Dota 2 is better than your fleshy Christmas can ever be, after the festive 'Greeviling' event launched last night.

The Greeviling sees those unsettling creatures from the Halloween event return to steal your Frostivus presents. Fortunately, you can beat them out of the horrible louts. Like Diretide, The Greeviling is an alternate mode that sets the regular rules of Dota 2 aside: your sole mission is to kill those pests faster than the other team. To help you out, you can transform into your own powerful Greevil hatched at Halloween, which has different abilities depending on what you fed it. What's at stake? Such... prizes!

Yesterday's update also brought bags of new items, including the winners of the Polycount contest and, yes, the long-awaited Bastion announcer pack. For $10, you can have that wonderful gravely voice narrate your every Dota match.

On the balance front, Dota 2 has been brought in line with version 6.77 of the original DotA mod. Centaur Warrunner and Magnus are less powerful, Treant Protector and Earthshaker are buffed up, and loads of other heroes and items have been tweaked a little.

Look, here's popular Dota 2 streamer Purge demonstrating The Greeviling: