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Dota 2

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3 days ago

Dota 2 starts showing odds of rare bonus items in loot boxes

Valve are starting to clearly disclose the odds of receiving a rare bonus wizard costume in your Dota 2 loot box of wizard hats, adding an in-game pop-up stating your chances. This is for the "escalating odds", which go up as you open more and more of a certain loot box, and will always track your current chances. The odds were vaguely available before in…

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2 months ago

Dota 2 announces two new heroes, one playable now

Valve’s MOBA Dota 2 is having a busy couple of weeks. The finals of its esports championship The International are tonight, and as part of the celebration they’ve announced two new heroes, one of whom is playable now. Grimstroke, named for the fact that uses ink from his runebinding brush to “channel vile forces,” is currently available, while Mars, who appears to be very much…

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Gabe Newell steps up to the mic in new Dota 2 voice pack

With over $25 million (£19m) now in the prize pool for Dota 2's The International tournament, Valve need a certain level of hype and energy to match that. Enter Gabe Newell, the softly-spoken CEO, knife-collecting uncle, and megacorp mascot. A new voice pack for Dota 2 has Newell deadpan through announcing large numbers of murders, delivering lines including "Megakill", "Monsterkill", "More than two kills but…

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Steam expands its broadcasting features, starting with The International 2018 live on SteamTV

While Twitch still seems a popular venue to watch Dota 2 mega-tourney The International, Valve have rolled out a few upgrades to Steam Broadcasting. If it tickles your fancy, you can now watch the massive esport event on SteamTV, complete with Steam friends integration and the option to invite your regular Dota posse to watch the match with you in a private chat (text or…

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3 months 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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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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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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4 months ago

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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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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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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6 months ago

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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7 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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Dota 2 launches Dota Plus subscription service

Valve have launched a subscription service for Dota 2, named Dota Plus, which is replacing the old tournament-centric Battle Passes with gobs of ongoing statistics and cosmetic bits. Basically, paying £3 per month for Dota Plus member gives you a load of progression tracks and challenges to unlock new skins and voiced taunts and bits. It does have something for beginners too, offering access to…

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8 months ago

Richard Garfield is working on Valve’s Artifact

"Hooray! Valve's going to start shipping games again," studio head honcho Gabe Newell has exclaimed. During a recent press preview event for Artifact, cheery RPS fanzine PC Gamer reports, Newell said that the upcoming Dota 2 card game spin-off "is the first of several games that are going to be coming from us." What those others might be is a mystery, but this is the…

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Vulkan set to enable higher framerates on Mac

Valve are celebrating a big step in their push to improve gaming on non-Windows PCs after sponsoring an open-source release of software which lets devs use the zippy Vulkan graphics API on Macs. I won't get too technical but: the MoltenVK tool runs the Vulkan API through Apple's own Metal framework, bypassing Apple's OpenGL drivers of ill repute. What do these acronyms actually mean for…

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9 months ago

Dota 2 makes life easier with the Spring Cleaning update

Dota 2 has cracked out its 'quality of life' duster and set about some spring cleaning. Yesterday's patch was the first of the new fortnightly updates, and its focus is on improvements that make the game less fiddly. Dota can be more fiddly than an eleven-piece folk band, so this is good news. That's especially true for newer players, who have enough to deal with…

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Dota 2 is ditching twice-yearly megapatches, will get fortnightly updates instead

Ahh, how I miss Dota 2 patch note parties. They were glorious affairs that could go on for several hours, where me and my Dota chums would hop on skype and pour over literally hundreds of major changes to the game that formed a major part of our lives. Those mega updates would arrive a couple of times a year, and they'd mix the games…

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