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Dota 2

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26

2 weeks ago

OpenAI’s bots just thrashed some of the world’s best Dota players

"We estimate the probability of winning to be above 95%", said OpenAI's Dota 2 bots at the start of their second game against extremely skilled humans. I knew they'd been trained up using a sophisticated reinforcement learning technique that had instilled them with millenia worth of experience. I didn't know they'd been versed in trash talk. It seems they had training time to spare, because…

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Valve start dealing Artifact on November 28th

Valve have announced plans to launch Artifact, their digital card-battling adaptation of wizard management simulator Dota 2, on November 28th. That's the plan. That's what they say now. Valve's first big game since Dota 2 in 2013, Artifact turns the MOBA into a card game where players build decks to make wizards fight across three 'lanes' of the table and murder the other wizards' base.…

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3 weeks ago

Dota 2 loot boxes start telling Dutch players what they’ll get

Valve have reportedly stripped the uncertainty and razzle-dazzle from opening loot boxes in Dota 2, but only for players in the Netherlands. When Dutchlanders now look at Dota 2's loot boxes, which contain cosmetic items, the wizard 'em up simply tells them which item they would receive if they bought it. No hoping, no dreaming, no fancy animations or pounding drums as it shows you…

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1 month ago

Counter-Strike crates blocked in Belgium & Netherlands

Presumably in order to adhere to new gambling rules pertaining to loot boxes, players in the Netherlands and Belgium are now blocked from opening key-locked boxes in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. This is following their announcement last month, where CS:GO and Dota 2 market trading was blocked for Dutch players (as covered here by Eurogamer), with promises that a "less inconvenient" solution would be coming.

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The 100 best-selling games on Steam in 2018 so far

We've just passed the half-way point of 2018, so Ian Gatekeeper and all his fabulously wealthy chums over at Valve have revealed which hundred games have sold best on Steam over the past six months. It's a list dominated by pre-2018 names, to be frank, a great many of which you'll be expected, but there are a few surprises in there. 2018 releases Jurassic World…

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2 months ago

Clickuorice Allsorts: Mike Cook’s thoughts on OpenAI’s Dota bots

Yesterday, I told you about AI researcher Mike Cook and Angelina, his fancy AI that designs video games. Today, I'd like to tell you about Mike's commentary on someone else's work. OpenAI made headlines with their Dota 2 bots last week, which they're pitting against a pro team at the International. Mike's blog post serves as an excellent sanity check, highlighting what OpenAI have and…

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OpenAI’s Dota 2 bots sets their sights on the big leagues

It's easy enough to make a bot that can trounce a human player in a first-person shooter - just react faster and shoot straighter - but anything strategic presents a fresh set of exceptionally complex problems. To this day, few Starcraft or Dota bots could rival a decently skilled player or group, at least until now. AI research group OpenAI reckon that their Dota 2…

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Feature: A bitter royale

Dota 2’s Underhollow mode is underwhelmingly hollow

It was a matter of time before battle royale got spun up from a top-down perspective. True, the surprisingly fun surviv.io was the first to get there - but that's essentially a 2D port of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, and nearly as shallow as that description implies. Dota 2 is the first game to tackle the genre with a little more depth: I've been playing its Underhollow…

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Dota 2’s Underhollow battle royale mode sounds cheesy

What do you call a Dota 2 last-man standing mode? A battle royale with cheese. No, really - today the gates opened on the MOBA giant's new Battle Pass-exclusive playmode, Underhollow. Eight teams enter a rapidly collapsing dungeon, and victory goes to either the last one left standing, or the first to sneak back out holding a legendary wheel of extra-mature cheese. It's the kind…

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You can see when and why you got reported in Dota 2

You thought all the European General Data Protection Regulation related news was over, didn't you? Think again. Don't worry, this bit takes the form of fun trivia rather than an endless onslaught of delivery companies begging to throw pizza promotions at you. Among other things, you can now see every report and commendation you got in Dota 2 since 2015, along with the reason given…

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3 months ago

Feature: A cup runneth over

League of Legends’ Clash tournaments are everything I’d like Dota’s Battle Cups to be

Competitive games like League of Legends, Dota 2 and Overwatch are at their best when you play them... competitively. Don't get me wrong, there's plenty of fun to be had tooling around in casual play - relaxed environments are great for hanging out with friends, or just being silly. It's how I spend 95% of my time playing those sort of games. That other 5%…

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Feature: We asked Valve

How Artifact connects to Dota 2’s story

I've had Artifact on the brain these past few weeks, so I've mulled over the phrase "Dota-inspired card game" more times than I count. But what does Dota-inspired really mean? Artifact has lanes and creeps and heroes and also some nifty rectangles if you haven't heard, but that just makes it a MOBA-inspired card game. What makes it a Dota game? I spoke to Artifact…

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Dota 2’s International 2018 Battle Pass includes a battle royale-ish mode

With Dota 2's huge annual tournament, The International, drawing near-ish, Valve have launched a new Battle Pass to help boost the prize pool. Dota 2's Battle Passes are multi-faceted doodads including access to new modes, challenges, a sticker album, progression tracks to grind through, and oh so very many cosmetic pretties to unlock and collect. This year, it includes a battle royale-soundin' mode. Battle Passes…

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Feature: From deckbuilding to ranked play

Artifact feels like Valve’s solution to post-Hearthstone card games

Collectible card games have been around for decades, but they've really been running hot ever since Blizzard unleashed Hearthstone four years ago. Since then, we've seen Shadowverse, Gwent, The Elder Scrolls: Legends, Duelyst, Faeria - there are a lot of these things, if you haven't heard. They all put their own spin on rectangles with numbers on 'em, but they also universally take cues from…

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4 months ago

Feature: A whole rude world

What I learnt from Dota 2 pro Purge about the game and those who play it

Kevin 'Purge' Godec is an ex-pro Dota 2 player turned analyst, commentator and coach, and I recently went to an event in London where me and a few other journos (*puts on Red Bull Esports voice*): "trained under Purge”. We played a couple of games against people who were far better than us, then listened to a man with near comprehensive knowledge of a stupidly…

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Feature: Lane down your cards

Artifact pairs the best ideas of Dota with the best parts of card games

You'll often see characters in sci-fi stories play seemingly incomprehensible games like multi-dimensional space chess, and that's basically what it's like playing Artifact, Valve's upcoming Dota-inspired card game. It's an ambitious hybrid of the studio's MOBA and Magic: The Gathering, and it works shockingly well. So much so that it only took two games for me to understand and get on board with Valve's vision.

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Feature: Listen to us with your brain turned off

Podcast: Being a critic makes games better (and worse)

Oh no. Somebody sound the “journalists discussing journalism” klaxon. Rattle it as loudly and furiously as possible, because the RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show, is talking about how being a critic changes the way we play. Don’t blame us, blame listener Aleksei, who sent in the theme as a suggestion. But please also forgive Adam, because it’s his last showing on the podcast (he’s…

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5 months ago

Oh, Canada! Dota 2 International moves venue

In the period of my life where free time basically equated to Dota time, I'd have loved nothing more than to go the International - especially if it was the one where my friends managed to get themselves trapped in a lift with Blitz. No doubt to avoid a repeat of that incident, Valve are moving this year's main Dota 2 tournament to Canada, where…

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