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Dota 2

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26

1 week ago

Dota 2’s black hole creating hero, Enigma, sees increased play after Powehi image

This week we got a peek through the vastness of space, with the release of the very first image of a black hole ever captured by humans. Not long after, more players were making similar vast, galaxy destroying horrors in Dota 2 thanks to the abilities of mysterious hero Enigma. Correlation doesn’t equal causation and all that, but it’s not hard to imagine people getting…

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2 months ago

This animated chart of the most played Steam games is unreasonably absorbing

I'm not big into numberwang. Vast numbers of people playing a game might indicate that it's fun, or it might indicate that it's Ark: Survival Evolved. (I haven't played Ark and it could be amazing, this is irresponsible journalism and I will hand in my badge and gun shortly.) Point being, it's more interesting to write about what has made a game popular than the…

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3 months ago

Dota Auto Chess is like Football Manager with wizards

People have been making weird and wonderful custom Dota 2 games for years. With so much good stuff coming from outside the dota-sphere, that's easy to forget - but not when a possible bug convinces the internet you've got more players than Grand Theft Auto V. That seems have happened with Dota Auto Chess, a custom game where you pit teams of increasingly powerful wizards…

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4 months ago

Dota’s Christmas event turns Rubick into the Grinch

It's Christmas Frostivus in Dota-land, but Rubick doesn't care. "Swept up in the zeal of unraveling and reshaping arcane energies" - we've all been there - "Grand Magus Rubick marches a mob into Frosthaven, intent on uprooting the original Frostivus tree to explore the mysterious font of power beneath it." Which means, of course, that five heroes have to defend a Christmas tree in co-op…

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5 months ago

Valve ban Dota 2 player from tourney over racist remark cover-up

Valve have banned Dota 2 player Carlo "Kuku" Palad from their upcoming 'Major' tournament in China over a racist comment he made mocking Chinese players in a non-tournament game earlier this year. Kuku's team, TNC Predator, initially tried to pass a cover-up story and have further muddied waters with unsupported claims that Major host city Chongqing's government threatened to cancel the tournament if he attended.…

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ESA defend loot boxes again, while IGDA call for industry self-regulation

Several video games industry associations have reacted to the news that the USA's Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are planning to investigate loot boxes over concerns about potential impact on children. America's Entertainment Software Association (ESA), whose duties include running the E3 games show, have repeated their stance that loot boxes "can enhance the experience" and aren't gambling and they're fine okay just leave it. The…

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FTC & Australian Senate committee give loot boxes the stink eye

Several government bodies around the world are continuing to eye loot boxes with suspicion, with yesterday alone bringing news that the USA's Federal Trade Commission is investigating them and an Australian Senate committee has concluded that the government should take a closer look. No, neither of those steps is close to sparking actual industry-wide changes to exploitative loot boxes, but it's potentially laying groundwork for…

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Valve start Artifact story comic, teasing changes for Dotaworld

Tomorrow brings the first full and proper new Valve game since 2013: Artifact, a card game based on wizfest Dota 2. Yes, it is a game about pushing lanes and managing lords (made together with Magic: The Gathering mastermind Richard Garfield, no less), but apparently it also has a story told in that modern Valve way, through a companion comic. Artifact's first digital issue is…

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Gambling Commission report decries skin gambling, but not loot boxes

Great Britain's Gambling Commission did not call loot boxes gambling or a gateway to gambling in a new report, the body have stressed after some media coverage of it claimed that they did. Their 'Young People & Gambling 2018' report, based on a survey of young'uns aged 11-16 "to explore gambling behaviour among young people in Great Britain", did repeat the body's stance that betting…

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Dota 2 v7.20 changes oh god so much how does Dota even work anymore

Now that I'm a few years past the point of playing Dota 2 nightly, I do still find big patches exciting but they also fill me with a sense of "Oh god, how does Dota even work anymore" - and yesterday's update was a big'un. Version 7.20 has reworked the landscape of Valve's MOBA, fiddled with the workings of core Dota tricks from denying (killing…

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6 months ago

Warcraft 3: Reforged aiming to support all original mods

One detail I'd missed in Friday's announcement of Warcraft III: Reforged is that Blizzard's upcoming remaster should be able to play all the original's player-created maps and modes. Which is great news. WC3 has one of the great forgotten modding scenes, growing so many genres beyond the obvious MOBAs like DotA. Every night for months, my pals and I would play random 'custom games' and…

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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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8 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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9 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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