The Year Beast was available to kill February 5th but after 24 hours, has been unable to be engaged. He will return at 4:00 PM PST February 7th along with many changes. The most important being a tiered matchmaking system to group you with players of similar commitment.
Tiers of Matchmaking
During the Year Beast encounter, players are awarded gold based on the ingots they earned by playing any form on matchmaking. This gold is necessary to purchase items for your heroes to be able to battle the beast. The first time the Year Beast was available, players were randomly matched together and a lot of the time players with no ingots to spend were matched with a player or two who had plenty to spend. This was unfair to the player with ingots because they had to carry the rest of the group in order to get a decent rank. That required them to spend a large amount of ingots. This time players will be matched into three separate tiers depending on the amount of ingots they have to spend. Rewards will be increased for the 2nd and 3rd tier making them ideal. So farm out those ingots.
Changes to the Beast
Through various hot-fixes, Valve was able to remove most of the exploits from the mode making it a very challenging fight to those who wish to get high ranks. Without Ursa's fury swipe damage or Visage's familiar exploit, players are going to have to coordinate and spend a lot of ingots to get the highest scores.
After all the fixes, strategies are back to where they started. Talk to your team and make a strategy before picking someone who might not have synergy with your team. This mode is all about coordination. The highest rank is SSS and the top 1% of players get a specialty courier. So get prepared for his arrival.
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