Posts Tagged ‘Valve’

Dota 2’s The International Starts With $18 Million In Prizes

By Emily Gera on August 3rd, 2015.

Happy Dota Day! It’s that day of the year when Pip slips into a malaria dream of excel spreadsheets and weird anecdotes about last hitting, the day that celebrates that holy day whence once the First Minion was born and itself begot the eternal cycle of minions which continue evermore into the infinity. I guess! I don’t know, I play League of Legends.

Today is the beginning of the main event for Valve’s Dota 2’s [official site] tournament The International, which comes with an impressive $18 million prize pool – and it’s not settled yet.

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Counter-Strike Global Offensive Guide: Tips For Beginners

By Emily Richardson on July 31st, 2015.

In Pop Flash, a series of insights into Counter-Strike: Global Offensive [official site], Emily Richardson looks past the amazing clutches and crushing defeats to understand the culture and meta of Valve’s everlasting competitive FPS.

This week I want to go right back to basics. Counter-Stike has been around since 1999, but every week new players log onto the Global Offensive servers. I hope this post will help those players get into the game quickly and enjoy its competitive nature from the start. Have a browse through, try some things, find what works for you. The most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the game whether you’re playing competitively or just for laughs. Obviously, this piece isn’t really aimed at experienced players, but if you’d like to give some extra tips in the comments they’re totally welcome.

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Which Digital Game Store Is Best For Refunds: Steam vs. UPlay vs. Origin vs. GOG

By Angus Morrison on July 28th, 2015.

Rumour has it that the decrepit Arkham Knight port beat a retreat on account of Steam refunds. After all, what better way to get a dastardly developer to blush and shuffle its hooves than to reverse its cash flow? Until June, when no-questions-asked refunds came into force, such a feat was impossible. Perhaps, after years of pro-consumer jabs at Microsoft and other corporates, Valve sought to make a material gesture that player interests are truly the heart of the Steam empire. Or perhaps they dislike being sued. Hint: they are currently being sued.

By now, you’ve likely encountered a shop and have a reasonable feeling about how refunds should work: if it doesn’t do what it’s meant to, you take it back. Nothing could be simpler. Refunds for digital products – or, as is often the case, licenses for digital products – are a legal hellscape of false assertions and misinformation, in large part a product of outdated legislation that no one is keen to test in court. To sift through the muck, I got in touch with Ryan Morrison, founder of the New York law firm by the same name (and no relation of mine this side of the 17th century). Whether you’re European, Stateside or in the wrong hemisphere altogether, here’s the plain English version of where and through which service your purchases are best protected and why some retailers still risk refusing refunds.

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Dota 2: The International 2015 Cheat Sheet

By Philippa Warr on July 27th, 2015.

You are entering a DON'T LET THAT GOAT THROUGH zone

With over $17.5 million on the line Valve’s fifth annual Dota 2 [official site] competition, The International, is the biggest eSports event yet in terms of prize pool. It’s also the last International before the company makes some big structural changes to the Dota 2 competitive scene. I suspect next year’s event will feel substantially different so I’m hoping this year’s games are an end-of-an-era mic drop as monstrous and impressive as the prize pool itself.

Here’s a cheat sheet with all the basic info about the tournament:

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Holy Holes, Gaben! Steam Account Hijack Exploit Fixed

By Alice O'Connor on July 27th, 2015.

Welp I guess that's a Steam logo.

Valve are a taciturn company, which is fair enough. Mercy knows if I received ten thousand e-mails and tweets about Half-Life 3 every day, I’d dedicate my life to obliterating the written word. At times, though, they really should break the silence. They should shout and yell and scream and let everyone know what’s going on. Say, if for five days a security hole had let ne’er-do-wells easily take over people’s accounts. Nope.

Valve have closed the hole, but Steam’s website – including the Store – is down now and I have no idea whether that’s connected, because they aren’t announcing anything about this. Speak up, son.
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How Do You Make A Professional Counter-Strike Map?

By Emily Richardson on July 3rd, 2015.

In Pop Flash, a new series of insights into Counter-Strike: Global Offensive [official site], Emily Richardson looks past the amazing clutches, crushing defeats and humiliating knives in the face to understand the culture and meta of Valve’s everlasting competitive FPS. Why is it so popular? What the hell is that Scottish guy saying? And why can’t anyone resist opening those damn crates?

This week, I spoke to veteran level designer Shawn ‘FMPONE’ Snelling about map design in Counter-Strike and what it’s like to construct levels for the most punishing and rewarding of FPS games. Having worked on the recent Cache and Season remakes, and some more famous maps besides, Shawn is known for his immaculate art style and well-balanced, flavourful levels.

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Guns & Medals: Team Fortress 2 Takes Tips From CS:GO

By Alice O'Connor on July 2nd, 2015.

Guns! Guns! Guns!

I am fascinated by how Valve apply lessons from one game to another, building on ideas or outright copying bits from one game to another. Team Fortress 2 [official site] fed Counter-Strike: Global Offensive with ideas of cosmetic customisation bits, CS: GO built on them and tied them into its Operations, and now those expanded ideas are returning to TF2.

Today will see the launch of the Gun Mettle Campaign in TF2. For $6, players will get challenges offering the reward of new weapon skins and mores. The update will also bring new maps and big balance tweaks and more that’ll be free. Also, NEW COMIC!

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Source Engine 2 Live In Dota 2 Reborn Beta

By Alice O'Connor on June 18th, 2015.

Dota 2 [official site] has jumped to Valve’s shiny new Source 2 engine with the open beta release of the Reborn update. The main version of the game will still run on the old engine until after this year’s International tournament, but everyone can now poke at the new one.

If you dig Dota 2, hey, go have a poke at what’s to come; your match history, matchmaking rating, cosmetic items, and so on are shared across both versions, unlike normal Dota 2 test clients. If you just want to know more about Valve’s new tech, the engine that’ll be free(ish) for everyone to make games on, read on.

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Dota 2 Reborn: Mod Support Bringing New Valve Modes

By Alice O'Connor on June 17th, 2015.

Valve have made a new Dota 2 [official site] mode for the full launch of Custom Games (mods, basically) in their free-to-play lords management game. Custom Games will let folks create their own levels and gameplay rules, and will have a nifty-looking in-game hub to find and play them. A video showing off Valve’s newest Hammer editor makes them look surprisingly easy to make too.

They’re a big part of the Dota 2 Reborn update that’s due to enter open beta testing this week. Other big changes are a new UI and a switch to a new engine which they don’t name but come on it’s obviously gonna be Source 2 right?

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Dota 2 Reborn: New Engine, New UI

By Alice O'Connor on June 13th, 2015.

Valve formally announced Source 2 in March, long after we first saw scraps of it in Dota 2 [official site], but when will get to properly play games in it? Soon, is the answer, and it looks like the first will indeed be Dota 2.

The company last night announced Dota 2 Reborn, a revamp of the free-to-play lords management game switching it to a new engine (they don’t name Source 2, but c’mon) with a new UI, revamped spectating, what I imagine is support for custom game modes, new ways to ease new players in, and more. This version will launch into open beta next week, then properly launch after August’s big tournament The International.

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Jury Duty – Counter-Strike: GO Overwatch Leaves Beta

By Alice O'Connor on June 11th, 2015.

I found jury duty sickening, but I might have been less furious had I received a medal from Her Majesty (Kylie Minogue, Queen of Pop obvs). Probably the closest you could get to that in PC gaming would be, I don’t know, Valve giving you a knife for convicting jerks? Well blow me down, that’s what you can now (indirectly) get in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive [official site]!

Valve have wrapped up beta testing of CS:GO’s blaggard-judging ‘Overwatch’ program and officially launched it, now with the added perk of giving people XP for reviewing cases. And you know what XP means: crates! And you know what crates mean: knives!

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Dota 2’s TI5 Will Have Biggest Prize Pool In Esports History

By Philippa Warr on June 5th, 2015.

It is gold because of all the money.

The International 5 – Valve’s upcoming Dota 2 [official site] tournament – will have the biggest prize pool in eSports history. The sales of the tournament’s accompanying digital Compendium have now shoved the total money available for the contest past the $10.9 million record set by last year’s International.

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Steam Controllers Due November 10th At £40/$49.99

By Alice O'Connor on June 5th, 2015.

I’ve heard good things about Valve’s Steam Controller gamepad from folks who’ve had a play on one, including our John, but I’ve still been sceptical. Can even fancy touchpads with haptic feedback come close to being okay as a mouse substitute? Watching a new demonstration video from Valve, I must say it looks better than I’d expected.

Oh, also: Valve have announced that it’ll cost £39.99/54,99€/$49.99, as will the in-home game streaming Steam Link box doodad. They’ll launch on November 10th, alongside a round of ‘Steam Machine’ pre-built PCs .

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