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Valve Puts A Donk On It

No, there’s absolutely no justification for that title. I just wanted to write it. Yes, I know you’re tired of the joke. BUT I WANTED TO WRITE IT. Leave me alone.

The donking, such as it is, is a double-whammy of big updates to Valve’s software: the proper release of the new-look Steam, and a promise that item drop rates in TF2 are finallylikeactuallylikereally fixed.

Next Monday, the 26th, is when the new Steam UI casts off its beta scales and reveals its big-fonted splendour to the world at large. Quoth Valve:

“The beta has been a huge success. The number of you who participated exceeded all our expectations, and so far you’ve created 25 thousand posts to the beta user forums. As a result of your participation, the Steam team has had the feedback required to make the new Steam client more reliable and useful than ever.”

They’ve certainly not been resting on their laurels since the beta version snuck out a few months back – there seems to have been an update every time I loaded the bally thing. Have you noticed improvements over the weeks, lovely readers? They’ll still got the really silly font on the beta/new rosette thing, I note. I look forward to that fugly thing disappearing. Hopefully there’ll be a few more treats in store come Monday’s general release, and perhaps even the release of Steam for OSX. The (Windows) beta’s still running if you’re curious – pop over here to try it.

Meantime, it’s jiggery-pokery time for Team Fortress 2’s oft-criticised loot system. A new update has ramped up drop rate hugely, but is penalising idlers by putting a cap on how many unlocks you can earn per week. Should be good for the game – cone of the reasons I haven’t played much TF2 for a while was that I wasn’t having much luck winning new toys, and getting hammered by dudes who did have them all was a mite depressing. Maybe now I can finally get some hats.

Full details on the ever-lovin’ TF2 blog, but here’s a summary of what they’ve done:

“Previously, we rolled randomly at intervals to see if you got an item drop. Now we roll to determine when your next item drop will occur. So you’re guaranteed to find items at fairly regular intervals. The bulk of drop complaints we’ve received in the past have been from players having unlucky streaks, where they didn’t find any items for weeks. That won’t be possible now.”

It’s still an ongoing process, by the sound of it – they’re also trying to think of ways for TF2 players to shape which drops they might received.

There’s also still the matter of that pesky Engineer update…

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Alec Meer

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Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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