Io – The Often-Overlooked Support
Within Valve’s Dota 2, there is perhaps no hero like Io, in more ways than one. Io (aka “Wisp” from the first Dota) is a strength-based support.
He helps others by effectively holding their hand with a leash made of light. This link lets him share healing and mana regeneration with them. While linked, he can also trip up enemies to slow them drastically. This true bond of friendship even allows Io to empower his allies with increased attack speed and damage reduction.
Io can also call five spirit friends to bombard enemies with small bursts of damage! But perhaps the most distinct thing about Io, though, is the fact that his model remains similar to that of the Warcraft III Wisp unit.
He is just a floating ball of light – a friendly little ball of light that Valve has neglected to provide ANY cosmetic skins for this whole time!
Not once since his introduction into the game! Valve even failed to give him any cosmetic slots, leaving the cosmetic workshop community unable to create cosmetics for other people to consider for introduction into the game.
But not anymore!
Arcana – The Highest-Quality Cosmetics
Arcanas are exceptionally high-quality cosmetic enhancements for Dota 2 heroes. Each one boasts a distinctive visual appearance, added particle effects, addtional animations, sound effects, changes in hero icons and sometimes even more beyond all of that!
They are usually about $35. Plus, only a handful of Arcanas exists for the current roster.
Last year as part of Valve’s TI6 Compendium, they allowed participants to vote on which hero would get a new Arcana. In the end, it came down to just Io and Juggernaut.
Both heroes had overwhelming support with so many tallied votes. But in the end, much to the dismay of Io fans everywhere, the friendly ball of light lost to Juggernaut.
Many players even theorized a rigged final two, so that Valve could continue neglecting to make skins for Io! Valve released Juggernaut’s Arcana along with the 7.03 gameplay patch in March 2017 to a mixed reception.
An Unforeseen Release
On March 18, without any prior warning, players opened their Dota 2 clients with a special surprise. In a blog post on the official Dota 2 website, Valve stated:
“Some fans may have noticed that Io was not included in this year’s Arcana vote—indeed, we removed the wispy Fundamental from the selection process for pressing ceremonial concerns. But Io’s influence reaches into the very fabric of the Dota universe itself, and many astute fans found they could still hear the comforting sounds of Io’s benevolence seeping through the stream of rewards by clicking on the blank space at Battle Level 245. With today’s update, however, Io has at last relocated directly into the line of level rewards to unveil an all-new Arcana.”
This new Arcana is unique for the Dota 2 game.
It’s the first cosmetic to push the line of the (hard set) realistic, fantasy visual style of the game by being a direct visual reference to Valve’s Portal franchise.
The Arcana skin encases Io in floating crystals, which gives him the appearance of the beloved “Companion Cube.”
Some Cosmetic Love for Io, Finally!
The transformation doesn’t stop there, as this Arcana changes the hero’s spell animations. Io’s spirits sport a purple color with added particles, and his tether sends little heart particles to the tethered target. Finally, his Relocate ultimate creates orange and blue portals when used.
Also, every time Io scores a kill, he will play the first 14 notes of the song “Still Alive” in the musical tones used for his character lines. This new Arcana is not cheap, though.
The required Level 245 in the Compendium requires an expenditure of at least $100 into the Compendium and Battle Points if you’re not willing to grind through quests and token wagering in games.
However, for hardcore Dota 2 fans, it’s probably worth it!
All images are from the official posts at blog.dota2.com.