Community Announcements - SZ
New International immortal treasures are now available for a limited time. Each treasure contains five possible immortals and a rare International courier. There is also an extremely rare chance to unlock the Golden Trove treasure when opening either of the two treasures. The Golden Trove Treasure contains golden versions of the Trove Immortals as well as golden versions of the two rare International couriers.

Consume any extra immortals you own for a chance at a free Trove or Lockless treasure, and then try your luck again at getting the golden items. Opening your first and fifth treasure earns you two and four compendium levels respectively for each of the two treasures.

You can also support your favorite casters by buying signed versions of the new Lockless Luckvase and Trove Carafe treasures. These Signature Treasures now come with upgradeable autograph runes, which let you merge multiple autograph gems together to create a higher level gem. Level the gem up to 10 and unlock a special gold version of the autograph. A single use chisel is also included in the Treasure.
Community Announcements - SZ

The Group Stage is over, the Wild Cards have been chosen and the team brackets are locked in place. All that's left is the main event itself starting this Monday and running throughout the week, where the best Dota 2 players in the world will compete for over a $17,000,000 prize pool.

For the past five days, 16 teams have been competing for bracket positions to see who goes head-to-head with who next week. Click the image below to see how things shook out.

With the main event just days away, the teams will spend the weekend strategizing and, above all, practicing. Every team has a private practice area, stocked with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti-powered systems and G-SYNC monitors provided by NVIDIA.

If you're just catching up with this year's International, be sure to check out Kaci Aitchison's interviews with some of this year's top players, as well as in-depth player profiles, at our Youtube channel. You can also follow our twitter and instagram feeds for constant updates throughout the event.

It's going to be an exciting week. We'll see you Monday for Day 1 of the main event.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - (RPS)

Early Access games are here to stay, but is that cause for concern or celebration? We gathered to discuss whether early access benefits developers or players in its current state, and how we’d make it better. Along the way, we discussed the best alpha examples, paying for unfinished games, our love of regularly updated mods, Minecraft and the untapped potential of digital stores.>

… [visit site to read more]

TF2 Blog

Grab your shields, sharpen up your blades and prepare yourselves for A Knight of Demomen, an all-out Demoknight battle taking place Saturday, August 22 (12:00pm ET-12:00am ET).

For twelve hours, players will battle as Demoknights to try and collect the most heads. All players must wield a shield and any melee weapon (no cabers). Players will also be permitted to use the booties and the bootlegger. The top three players when the twelve hours are up will be named victorious and receive the greatest of rewards. Click here to view the official rules and learn what you need to do to get in on the Demoknight action!

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - (Adam Smith)

Last time we checked in with teens-in-a-war ARPG spin-off Final Fantasy Type-0 [official site], we’d just received word that it would be coming to PC “soon”. Thanks to the press release that just landed on my desk, I can tell you that “soon” is August 18th. Obviously you should never preorder anything ever but if you were> to preorder this ‘un, you’d be able to cross the streams of in-game menageries by adding a chocobo courier to Dota 2. You can also have “a Moogle (Class Zero) as your ward”. I quoted that directly because most of the words didn’t mean anything to me.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - (Alec Meer)

Quake III's Q3DM17

Level 28! No, the other kind of level. The type that you run around in, shooting people or jumping on their heads and that sort of thing. Adam, Alec, Alice and Graham gather to discuss their favourite levels and/or maps from across the vast length of PC gaming, including selections from Deus Ex, Call of Duty and Quake III. Someone even makes a case for Xen from Half-Life, and means it.

… [visit site to read more]

PC Gamer
Back to the drawing board. Image by Legoformer1000

We write about FPSes each week in Triggernometry, a mixture of tips, esports, and a celebration of virtual marksmanship.

When Valve released the massive Gun Mettle update for Team Fortress 2 earlier this month, it was another tally mark in a 500-strong patch dynasty for the everlasting multiplayer FPS. The update s brought rebalances and tweaks to one of the PC s most popular games. Most critically, it reinforced Valve s dedication for making sure TF2 s meta doesn t languish into mediocrity, a necessary step with competitive matchmaking on the horizon.

Most significantly, the update changed the mechanics of Engineers, TF2 s guitar-twanging, sentry-slinging staple. As the subject of another major overhaul patch back in 2010, the Engie has already seen both subtle and overt adjustments to his gameplay. The addition of the Gunslinger and the ability to pick up and move buildings practically transformed the Engie from immobile turret-babysitter to maneuverable hardpoint, and the increased flexibility between adopting either strategy type to suit the team redefined the class entirely.

Gun Mettle took this a step further by shortening construction, setup, and redeploy times for an effective sentry operator that can now more easily keep up with a push, retreat, or pivot to defend a fresh attack angle. Below, I ve extracted and summarized some of the more impactful patch changes, but be sure to read the full log for far more minor adjustments and rebalances for other classes.

  • Buildings construct faster, teleporters/dispensers redeploy faster, and hauling buildings incurs a smaller movement penalty.

These changes are the unifying theme surrounding the Engie for the Gun Mettle update—a focus on minimizing downtime and thumb-twiddling during pre-round setup and redeployment. You only lose about 10 percent of your movement speed while carrying a building, so aggressive sentry spots are now a far more appealing tactic than before.

You ll also spot more Engies using their shotguns and pistols more often, as they ll be spending less time thwacking away at getting their gear up and more time delivering direct firepower to the team. Even better, swapping the wrench type—say, from a Southern Hospitality to the Gunslinger or vice versa—now only self-destructs the turret and not your entire nest, keeping vital teleporters and dispensers intact instead of having to completely rebuild once more.

  • Mini sentries are now repairable, but they construct slower and have a smaller initial health pool while constructing.

Mini sentries—the cute, ankle-biting turrets used by Gunslinger Engies—were traditionally set-and-forget annoyances tucked into unexpected corners or sat brazenly in the open for a small burst of crossfire. With Gun Mettle, minis bulk up in durability by being repairable, but they need slightly more minding from their creator while building up—instead of starting at 100 health during construction, they re now halved at a fragile 50. Gunslingers will need to be a little more choosy as to where their little friend goes; a few pistol shots or a couple scattergun blasts will do in the poor thing before it even finishes coming out of the box. If you haven t already, consider pre-building your mini in a safe spot or while near teammates before hauling it to your designated perch.

  • While a sentry is shielded by the Wrangler, repair and ammo given by wrench hits is reduced.

The Wrangler, a pistol replacement that allows Engies direct control over their sentries while equipped, is a fantastic choice for direct pressure or long-range chip damage at the expense of vulnerability while keeping an eye on the target. A deadly combo often seen in final Payload point defenses entailed one Engie Wrangling his sentry while another constantly repaired and resupplied it, as the Wrangler effect provided a protective shield for the turret which cut down incoming damage by around 66 percent.

Post-update, repairing a shielded sentry returns health and ammo at the same percentage as the shield provides—66 percent. This tips the odds of a direct attack on the sentry back into whoever s firing on it, as Engies will need to let the shield expire after a few seconds of switching away from the Gunslinger—lose its added armor, in other words—to repair at full efficiency.

  • The Jag wrench swings faster but repairs a smaller chunk of building health per swing.

If you want to experience the Gun Mettle Engie changes in the most direct and fun way, equip the Jag and try constructing a building or two. The Jag s baseline bonus—a faster swing speed and construction speed boost—is additive to the universal build speed increases noted above. That means an incredibly fast setup and upgrade time for a full nest. (Check out the gif; it takes less than a minute to get everything built.)

The downside: you ll need more metal to repair your stuff, as the Jag now fixes up to 80 health per swing instead of the stock 100. An emerging popular loadout (and one of my favorites at the moment) involves pairing the Jag with the Rescue Ranger shotgun for additional ranged repair power and metal retention.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - (Adam Smith)

Below you will find the 25 best horror games ever released on PC. To ensure the list was as accurate as possible, the compiler was locked in a dark cellar with a copy of every game in existence and a computer capable of running them all. Two weeks later, the following article was found written on the walls in blood (the postscript was recorded on an audiolog). The writer was nowhere to be seen.

… [visit site to read more]

Community Announcements - SZ

The Wild Cards have ended, and the Group Stage starts soon. From Monday, July 27th through Thursday, July 30th, and starting at 9am PDT each day, two groups of eight teams will fight to determine their seeding for the Main Event of The International. Each game will be a set of two matches. At the end of Group Stage, the top four teams from each group will advance to the Upper Bracket of the Main Event, while the bottom four teams will go on to the Lower Bracket.

During Group Stage, three matches will be played simultaneously. You'll be able to watch all the action at <a herf="">The International website[/url], with the Primary Stream covering games in Series A, while also providing updates on the other games between matches.
PC Gamer

It won't surprise anybody to learn that, between Steam and a trio of popular online games, Valve is making a lot of money. But how much? Is the Washington-based company, for instance, Scrooge-McDuck-swimming-pool-full-of-cash rich?

Market data firm SuperData claims that Valve made $730 million in 2014. The firm gave their estimates to The Know, and later reiterated them to Develop.

Their projections covered Steam and Valve's top three games: Dota 2, Team Fortress 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The three games were estimated to have brought in $400 million. Further, it was said that Steam took $1.5 billion in sales across 2014—with Valve's royalties from third-party sales calculated at around $330 million.

Valve, of course, have not released their own figures, and SuperData admit that their estimates are "conservative".

As for The Know's video—titled "Half-Life 3 Will Never Release, Here's Why"—many of its other claims have been called into question. Half-Life writer Marc Laidlaw even refuted The Know's suggestion that Valve were afraid to make Half-Life 3. "Fear is the last thing that would ever drive a decision about what to work on," he wrote in an email to a concerned fan.


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