THIS IS YOUR SPOILER WARNING IN CASE YOU NEEDED SLEEP AT THE TIME BUT NOW WANT TO WATCH THE FINALE OF THE DOTA 2 INTERNATIONAL 2017 UNFOLD FOR YOURSELF! Read the rest of this entry »
RPS Feature Some truly amazing games
RPS Feature Only three remain!
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 »
RPS Feature The competition is ramping up!
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 »
Valve last night announced Artifact, a new card game based on Dota 2. I can tell you that Artifact is coming in 2018 and sounds like it broadly simulates a game of Dota, with lanes to push and Dota heroes to command, but Valve haven’t shown anything concrete yet. For a company that often sets trends, this does seem curiously late – the world is hardly short of digital card games these days, and this isn’t even the first card game spun off from a MOBA (Smite Tactics springs to mind, for starters). But hey, I’m always interested in what Valve are up to and Artifact does sound quite different to the usual Magic: The Gathering ’em ups. Read the rest of this entry »
2. I forgot to tell you that before it got underway because I was having a capslock conversation with Alice about how DEREK ACORAH AND PAUL DANAN ARE IN THE CELEBRITY BIG BROTHER HOUSE TOGETHER RIGHT NOW.
3. There is a whole amazing guide to all the teams in the running for slices of that prize money pie by our James which will help fairweather fans get a handle on proceedings. Read the rest of this entry »
RPS Feature Everything you need to know
The International, Dota 2’s biggest competitive event (as well as esports’ most moneyed), returns to Seattle this week. This is the culmination of Dota’s year-long season schedule – all of it, all the Majors, third-party tournaments and rosters shuffles, have led to this 18-way showdown where over $23 million is up for grabs. Here’s our James to explain what you’re watching and give you crucial backstory for all of the teams! Read the rest of this entry »
You know how sometimes you go to the swimming pool and in the grown-up full size bit there are boring lanes and people who tell you off for having fun but in the baby section there are inflatables and everyone is friendly and sometimes there’s a blow-up tropical island with a slide and you wish you could go in that pool instead of the boring adult pool even though there is also a lot of wee in there which you try not to think about?
That is how I feel about the newcomer-friendly changes to Dota 2 [official site]. Valve are making it NICER and more MANAGEABLE. No-one has mentioned a tropical island with a slide, but maybe it’s being kept secret. If it is I will KICK OFF. Read the rest of this entry »
RPS Feature Dota in front of an audience
Our James ventured out of unranked solo queue and ended up on a Dota 2 [official site] team captained by a professional player and being streamed to thousands as some of the most famous casters in the scene commentated his efforts. No pressure, then! Here’s a little account of what happened and some advice for if you ever find yourself in this not-at-all-highly-specific situation…
Last Thursday, Dota 2 production studio and general community hub joinDOTA hosted Beat The Legends, a rather unusual showmatch: while both teams would be led by a bonafide professional player, the remaining eight positions would be filled by members of the Dota-playing public, or at least those who entered and won the random draw. The pros would be Crescendo captain and on-again, off-again analyst Troels “SyndereN” Nielsen, and Henrik “Admiral Bulldog” Ahnberg, champion of The International 2013, former Alliance offlaner and Europe’s most popular streamer.
One of the randomers would be, unfortunately for everyone else, me. Read the rest of this entry »
With mega Dota 2 [official site] competition The International 2017 on the esports horizon, Valve have gone into more detail about what fans can expect from the tournament. There’s a new host in the form of Sean “Day9” Plott (you might know him from his work in the pro StarCraft scene, the Hearthstone scene, or the pro Dota 2 scene, or for hosting cheery fanzine PC Gamer’s E3 event) some scheduling details and HOLLER TO ALL OF YOU WHO WANTED IT BACK because the newcomer stream is happening again. Read the rest of this entry »
Though Half-Life [official site] is almost nineteen years old and its sanctioned fan remake Black Mesa is nearing completion, Valve have launched a wee patch for their pretty okay or whatever vintage FPS. The patch fixes a few crashes and exploits, and hit other Half-Life engine games too, such as classic Counter-Strike. Given how much of modern PC games history connects to Half-Life and its mod scene, I’m glad Valve are still tinkering a little. Earlier this year, they finally got Half-Life an uncensored release in Germany too. Read the rest of this entry »
An overhaul of Steam’s UI is in the works and will focus on changes to the library and game launch pages, according to a Valve presentation at the recent conference Indigo 2017.
The slides from Valve’s product designer Alden Kroll, posted on the ValveTime forum, say that there’s an “overall UI refresh and update coming”, but give no date for the changes. Specifically, Valve plans to add the option to quickly launch recently played games from the library home page. That’d be welcome – if you’ve got a large collection and you’re juggling 3 or 4 games, it’s a (very minor) pain to have to keep scrolling between them.
RPS Feature The best bargains
The Steam summer sale is in full blaze. For a while it even blazed so hot that the servers went on fire and all the price stickers peeled off the games. Either that or the store just got swamped with cheapskates looking for the best bargains. Cheapskates like you! Well, don’t worry. We’ve rounded up some recommendations – both general tips and some newly added staff choices.
Here are the things you should consider owning in your endless consumeristic lust for a happiness which always seems beyond reach. You’re welcome.
As much as I still have brief giggles with the occasional VR toy, it’d take something close to a miracle to make me spend more large sums of money on anything goggle-related any time soon. Where once I might have gazed at details about Valve’s upcoming second generation motion controller for the Vive with covetous awe, now I stop short at “huh, that’s kinda cool, I guess.” The ‘Knuckles’ controllers are Valve/HTC’s riposte to the Touch handheld gizmos for the Oculus Rift, and read like a meaty upgrade from the responsive but limited wands that ship with the Vive. Most importantly: these suckers can purportedly track which each finger on each of your hands is up to.
Read the rest of this entry »
Traditionally, Valve have maintained impossibly motionless poker faces about what they have planned in the longer term for Team Fortress 2 [official site] updates – something which helped to build insane degrees of anticipation back in the day, as we prayed and begged for videos and comics and guns and hats. These days, Overwatch seems to absorb most of the air in the room, and in addition TF2 is so fatted with stuff that it’s hard to get too excited about this or that being tweaked. That’s why the latest round of patch notes are semi-notable: they’re telling us what they’ve got in the pipeline before it gets sprayed into the game, as opposed to the usual after.
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After saying bye bye to the voter-led Steam Greenlight last week, Valve have today launched Steam Direct. It’s their new way for developers to submit games to the store by filling in some forms and throwing $100 onto Valve’s gold hoard as an publishing fee. There’s a lot more info about all this in a blog post but let’s go over the basics.
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Operation Hydra in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive [official site] has again rotated its special event mode, bringing in Weapons Expert. This mode, which is available free to all Counter-Strikers, lets players buy each weapon only once per match. It’s an interesting-sounding twist on modes like Gun Game, rewarding players for being skilled with all weapons rather than just a few favourites. Read the rest of this entry »
We tease Valve for not making games any more, what with their not making games any more, but it’s really starting to look most peculiar as the company loses its fourth big-name writer in less than two years. According to a Facebook update on Jay Pinkerton’s timeline, he left the company last night. Read the rest of this entry »
Steam Greenlight, the process by which developers can get their game on Steam’s digi-store by collecting enough votes, has been shut down and all voting is now suspended. This is to pave the way for Valve’s new method of adding games to their store – Steam Direct – which is coming on June 13. It’s all part of a plan that has been in the works for a while, and although it mostly affects developers looking to sell their various murder simulators this will also likely change both the quantity and variety of games you’ll be wading through.
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$100 (£80-ish) is how much it’ll cost to publish a game on Steam after Greenlight shuts down, Valve have confirmed. They’re ditching the Greenlight system of having would-be players vote on which games reach the Steam store, and replacing it with a system that’ll let developers sign up and, after being verified, submit games directly to Steam for a fee. What we’ll probably see is many more games hitting Steam, and quicker. Valve had previously tossed around $100 and $5,000 as mooted figures. Read the rest of this entry »
A rotating selection of special modes have arrived in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive [official site] with the launch of Operation Hydra. You’ll get to collect dog tags from enemies, play 2v2, fight in low gravity with snipers, only be able to buy each weapon once per match, romp around in a bomb suit, or other such fun. These modes are free for all players to try, as are the Operation’s new maps, though folks can buy the new £5 Operation pass to get new cooperative missions, new weapon skins, and all that jazz. Read the rest of this entry »