Posts Tagged ‘Dota 2’

Dota 2 makes life easier with the Spring Cleaning update

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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 without worrying about micromanaging the courier or figuring out which jungle camps are the deadly ones. Two of my favourite smaller changes target those issues, but there’s plenty more here besides. They’ve added in-game tips about recent hero changes, redesigned player profiles and thrown in a whole bunch of UI tweaks and balance changes – and that’s just scratching the surface.

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

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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 up so much that much of it would have to be relearned. Dota would still get tweaked throughout the year, but those changes would typically revolve around balance adjustments rather than new additions or major reworks.

It looks like those patch note parties are a thing of the past, to be replaced with patch note… nibbles? Lead developer ‘Icefrog’ has tweeted to say that instead of huge twice-yearly updates they’re going to try smaller, fortnightly patches for the next 6 months.

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Valve pull support from major Philippines Dota 2 tournament, citing privacy concerns

Valve have stopped supporting an upcoming Dota 2 tournament over concerns that the Philippines government would make “unreasonable infringements on the privacy” of players entering the country. Valve don’t elaborate on why they’re dropping the Galaxy Battles 2018 tourney, which was due to run January 15-21, but it seems mandatory government drug testing for esports players is likely to blame. The tournament might continue in some form, but it would be without Valve, not as an official ‘Major’ on the Dota Pro Circuit, and not with all the teams. Read the rest of this entry »

2017 Steam Award winners include PUBG, Cuphead & Witcher

We’ve already seen which games sold best on Steam last year, but a perhaps more meaningful insight into movin’ and a-shakin’ in PC-land is the games that people feel warmest and snuggliest about. To that end, Valve have announced the winners of the 2017 Steam Awards, a fully community-voted affair which names the most-loved games across categories including best post-launch support, most player agency, exceeding pre-release expectations and most head-messing-with. Vintage cartoon-themed reflex-tester Cuphead leads the charge with two gongs, but ol’ Plunkbat and The Witcher series also do rather well – as do a host of other games from 2017’s great and good.

Full winners and runners-up below, with links to our previous coverage of each game if you’re so-minded. Plus: I reveal which game I’d have gone for in each category.
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These are the top 100 Steam games of 2017

Another year over, a new one just begun, which means, impossibly, even more games. But what about last year? Which were the games that most people were buying and, more importantly, playing? As is now something of a tradition, Valve have let slip a big ol’ breakdown of the most successful titles released on Steam over the past twelve months.

Below is the full, hundred-strong roster, complete with links to our coverage if you want to find out more about any of the games, or simply to marvel at how much seemed to happen in the space of 52 short weeks.

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Dota 2’s Frostivus event is a series of merry mini-games

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Frostivus ain’t what it used to be. This year’s Christmas event for Dota 2 launched last Thursday, and it’s the product of a community contest rather than Valve themselves. The winner, VicFrank, has eschewed the traditional format in favour of mini-games: each match consists of ten separate games that are pulled from a pool of 30. I’ve thrown myself into the festivities, and had a surprising amount of fun.

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Okami HD splashes onto PC

The list of games I feel I’ve dearly missed by skipping most consoles isn’t long, and it grows shorter all the time as classics are ported to PC. The latest venerated console game to come our way is Okami, Clover Studio’s 2006 game about a sun goddess incarnated as a wolf to save the land from darkness with her magical ink brush, launched last night. Now named Okami HD, it’s not majorly rebuilt but it is a bit prettier and hey it’s on PC so good, great, wonderful.

Oh, and you’ll get a snazzy Dota 2 courier skin too. Read the rest of this entry »

We asked Dota 2’s Frostivus contest participants about spec work

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Frostivus is coming, but it’s not designed by the people you might expect. Frostivus is the Christmas event that Valve used to run for Dota 2 every year, though their last effort was way back in 2014. This year, Valve are turning to their modding community to revive the event in the form of a contest, with a $30,000 prize for the winner. I spoke to several participants about their games, and how they feel about doing what many would consider as spec work.

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Best PC games of all time

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There are more wonderful games being released on PC each month than ever before. In such a time of plenty, it’s important that you spend your time as wisely as possible. Thankfully, we’re here to help. What follows are our picks for the best PC games ever made. Read the rest of this entry »

Dota 2’s matchmaking update introduces rank medals

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With Dota 2’s Duelling Fates update just behind us — read what Matt made of the update — Valve’s been fiddling around with the ranked matchmaking system, to coincide with the start of the new ranked season. Players will be able to earn rank medals for their profile, showing off their best performance level for the season. And don’t worry — no matter how many rough games you have, your medal won’t decrease once you’ve earned it.

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Dota 2 is more interesting than ever with the Duelling Fates update

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Dota 2 gets a major patch about once a year, and it’s always A Big Deal. Old strategies have to be thrown out of the window as the metagame and individual players adjust to the changes, and the 7.07 Duelling Fates update is an even bigger shakeup than usual.

The update adds two new heroes, five new items and overhauls the talent tree system that Valve introduced last year. Many abilities have been tweaked too, and multiple changes to how XP is gained from lane creeps has altered the flow of every game. As we haven’t had a new character since Monkey King last December, those two new heroes will be the most exciting addition for most people so I’ll dive into them first.

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Dota 2 adds two new heroes in Duelling Fates update

Two brand new heroes have arrived in Dota 2 with the launch of version 7.07, the long-awaited Duelling Fates update. Please welcome to the battle arena Dark Willow, a spoOoky nuker, and the zippy swordsman Pangolier. They’re the first new heroes added since the Monkey King way back in December 2016. The update is far bigger than just this pair, also adding new items, a new model for Ancient Apparition, seasons for ranked play, and oodles of skill changes and balance tweaks. Read the rest of this entry »

Podcast: Middle-earth: Shadow of War, The Evil Within 2 and our nemeses

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Who’s your worst nemesis? This week the RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show, is talking about our most reviled enemies, against whom we hold deep, lasting grudges. Matt harbours a lasting bitterness for Silencer, the magic-cancelling war jerk of Dota 2. Adam is fuelled by a dark hatred for the final boss of Ancient Domains of Mystery, a giant ‘@’ symbol called Andor Drakon. And I still maintain a grievance against an entire electricity company in Final Fantasy VII. They killed my friends.

And speaking of nemeses, we’ve had plenty of time to play Middle-earth: Shadow of War, the icon-hoovering game of anti-establishment orcs, which has us divided. The Evil Within 2 also gets some attention, as Adam runs from spectres and fails to stealth-kill hideous monsters, and I am publicly shamed in Tekken 7 by a robot who takes off her head and throws it at me.
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Former Valve artist’s portfolio includes mystery co-op fantasy game, rad female TF2 characters

Valve Software might possibly be making a cooperative fantasy game, or have at one time worked on, or thought about making, or doodled some ideas for one. This revelation comes from concept art in the portfolio of former Valve artist Drew Wolf. “The project was a fantasy adventure game centered around cooperative combat and driven by story,” he says, though he doesn’t explicitly say the character sketches were for Valve, simply referring it as an “internal R&D project”. So maybe it maybe it never got beyond the R&D stage, maybe it wasn’t even for Valve, or maybe it’ll be Valve’s next game.

The point is: oh hot damn, Wolf also drew some ace concepts for female Team Fortress 2 characters, come look at these. Read the rest of this entry »

Steam now fighting review bombs with diagrams

All social problems can be solved by data, any naive tech company can tell you, which is why Valve are attempting to solve Steam ‘review bombing’ by adding graphs to its player reviews. Review bombing is the practice of players organising to leave negative reviews that drive down a game’s rating in an attempt to punish or manipulate developers by damaging their future sales prospects. Games bombed over the past month range from Firewatch to Grand Theft Auto V. This is a known and old problem with Steam’s reviews, and one Valve aren’t happy with. So, to counterattack disproportionate bursts of negative reviews, Valve have added unusual activity warnings to Steam store pages with histograms tracking reviews over time. Read the rest of this entry »

Dota 2 bringing Festivus back through contest

After an initial wild burst of Dota 2 [official site] enthusiasm celebrating every holiday on the calendar with special events (who could forget 2013’s Urology Awareness Month minigame?), Valve have become quite bad at festivities. They’ve not celebrated Halloween (aka Diretide) or Crimble (Frostivus) properly since 2014, and their absence has been felt. Good news: Frostivus will return this year. Weird news: it’s returning through a contest asking players to create and submit modes. Unrelated news: the next big Dota 2 update, which will add two new heroes is still over a month away. Read the rest of this entry »

Dota 2’s Siltbreaker co-op campaign concluded

The Dota 2 [official site] cooperative campaign Siltbreaker concluded with the launch of Act II on Friday. The campaign, which is only available to folks who buy Dota’s latest Battle Pass tournament sticker album, is a bit bum but it does at least now have an easier mode. Those who want treasures and cheevies can still grind their faces against Siltbreaker’s boring difficulty but girls who just wanna have fun can play in the easier ‘Adventure Mode’. It still won’t be good but it will be less of a chore. Read the rest of this entry »

The International 2017: Three teams standing, two new heroes, and one TERRIFYING AI

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The final day of The International 2017 looms, with only Newbee, LGD.Forever Young (LFY) and Team Liquid still in the running to win pro Dota 2’s highest accolade – yesterday saw both Invictus Gaming and LGD Gaming eliminated in surprisingly one-sided lower bracket matches.

But first… new heroes! Read the rest of this entry »

The International 2017: Five Dota 2 teams remain – who are they and how are they doing?

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Four days into the main event and The International 2017 – Dota 2’s $24 million world championship – is down to its final five teams. Only Newbee, LGD.Forever Young, Team Liquid, Invictus Gaming and LGD Gaming remain, the other eleven squads to grace the main stage of Seattle’s KeyArena having fallen from the lower bracket and out of contention for the trophy. Read the rest of this entry »