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PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Someone has recreated Gone Home as a Counter-Strike map">gonehomecounterstrike





Not being able to shoot things really annoys some people. There are few better demonstrations of this enduring truth than Fullbright s first-person exploration game Gone Home. Not only has it spawned an hilarious parody featuring lots of things being killed, but now you too will be able to kill things in the titular home, thanks to this Counter-Strike: GO map.

"Your family is mysteriously missing again," so says the Steam Workshop description. "But you can figure that out later. Right now you have more pressing issues to attend to, like the fact that your house is full of terrorists and some dude has been taken hostage. Rescue him by taking him to the garage where you can make a swift getaway on that old bike thats been sitting there for twenty years."

The hostage map is recommended for less than 32 players, and can be downloaded here. Of course, you could go ahead and play Gone Home again, which comes highly recommended.

Thanks Joystiq.
Portal 2 Blog



It seems Dota 2 and Team Fortress 2 have launched Merchandise Workshops, where the community can submit, vote on and sell their own non-virtual, actually real t-shirts and posters. And so far, the response from their communities has been overwhelmingly positive. So we thought: What if we applied that same idea, but to a good game, with a smarter, more attractive community? Introducing the Portal Merchandise Workshop, where you can heroes can bravely design their own Portal universe concepts.




"But what if my ideas are bad and I don't have any talent?" you ask. Don't sweat it, you're still covered.


PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Left 4 Dead 2 patch grants Australians access to uncensored version">9 left 4 dead 2







When Valve resubmitted Left 4 Dead 2 for classification in Australia earlier this month, many wondered whether the company had plans to re-release the game. Well, anything is possible, but in the meantime if you own the censored version of Left 4 Dead 2 a free patch is now available on Steam which will grant you access to all the gratuitous violence you've been deprived of.



It's good news for Australians, as until now we've had to jump through hoops in order to play the unedited version. Originally denied classification in 2010 due to its extreme violence, the game was resubmitted for classification following the introduction of an R18+ rating back in early 2013. The patch can be accessed via the Left 4 Dead 2 Steam page over here in the 'downloadable content' section.



To make matters better, if you've never played the game before then it's currently available with a 75 per cent discount, which is nice. There's never been a better time to hack zombies to death with wrenches.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Twitch chat bot plagues Steam users with wallet-emptying malware">items







If you've recently been invited to take part in a raffle for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive items while chatting in Twitch, the good people at F-Secure have a bit of advice: Don't do it.



The messages are being spread by a Twitch bot, according to a recent F-Secure report, which enters channels and invites users to follow a link in order to enter a draw. The link leads to a site that asks for the user's name, email address and permission to publicize his or her name, but once that information is entered, a Windows executable is run that does some pretty nasty stuff: It can take screens, add new Steam friends and accept pending friend requests, initiate trades with new Steam friends, buy items (if there's money present in the user's Steam wallet), send trade offers, accept pending trades and sell items at a discount.



Previous variants of this hack were selling items at a 12 percent discount but it's apparently now running at 35 percent. The software is able to completely empty wallets, armories and inventories. "Being able to sell uninteresting items will allow the attacker to gather enough money to buy items that he deems interesting," the report states. "The interesting items are then traded to an account possibly maintained by the attacker."



F-Prot notes that all of this happens from the victim's own PC in order to get around Steam security checks that kick in when a user logs in from a new machine. It's a good warning to take note of: Steam may be a very secure environment, but nothing is foolproof. Be careful what you click.
Product Update - Valve
* Gold Graph now shows Net Worth instead of gold earned
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Three Lane Highway: what tournament play has taught me about Dota 2">Tidehunter Ravage







Three Lane Highway is Chris' column about Dota 2.



You're always learning, whether or not it feels like it. I've had games of Dota where I've felt like I've learned nothing at all, where my mistakes have been obvious to me (and probably to everybody else involved) and my victories have been conducted against enemies too busy screaming at each other or eating paint to make it mean anything. There is always, however, a way to learn.



If you work on your ability to pick apart a situation to understand its various components which is something I've written about in this column before then it's possible to derive rules and principles that are tremendously helpful. This is because your performance in Dota is made of up two things. The first is the obvious stuff: the mixture of game knowledge and mechanical skill that comprises the better part of your matchmaking rating. The second part is more nebulous, because it's bound up in things that are personal to you. Whether you have an ego or not. Whether or not you are calm. Whether you can comprehend and act on criticism. You are always able to work on the latter, and you should, because it'll make you happier and better at the game.



I've been playing in a couple of tournaments recently. I'm part of a games industry Dota 2 tournament called The Rektreational that has been running for a couple of months. I'm on team Venomancer, I Hardly Know Her? with Philippa Warr of RPS, freelancer Phill Cameron, PyrionFlax, and shaneomad. We've won our first two matches and are through to the third round.



I'm also in a team called the Hot Dukes and last night we took part in the qualifiers for the Epic LAN EGX Dota 2 tournament, the finals for which will be held at the EGX expo in London at the end of month. We won our first game and got crushed in the second. We learned a bunch of things. We'll turn them into rules and move on. That's how this stuff works.



Playing in this way has reinforced a bunch of things that felt like I knew about the game and myself and corrected many others. I'm by no means a good player, but I think I have an alright attitude and slowly but surely I've arrived at the point where I think I've got actual advice to share about playing structured Dota.



The first piece of advice, which anybody who was watching the Epic LAN stream last night will understand, is 'don't blink directly into a Disruptor ult'. Yep. Learned that one. The rest of this is somewhat more elaborate.



The theorycraft has no brakes



...and that can get you in trouble. The funny thing about Captain's Mode is that it looks and feels like the type of Dota that you see talented professionals playing. The thing is, you are probably not a talented professional Dota player. It is very, very easy to get carried away by imitating strategies you're not fully capable of pulling off, and to be led astray by a metagame that you think you understand fully but probably don't. That's the thing about the metagame: it's easy to learn because it's not, ultimately, about personal skill. It's about knowledge, and knowledge can be memories - and misused.



Adhering tightly to the same set of top tier bans because that's what the players you admire do can hold you in good stead when your opponents are doing the same thing, but it's not always right. If you know your enemy, banning out their favourite heroes is almost certainly better. If you don't, banning Razor, Viper and Void isn't necessarily going to save you. They might run Silencer, and that guy is a total prick unless you have the individual talent to outlane him and, later in the game, the team coordination to disengage from fights properly.



It comes down to humility, really. Don't bind up all of your hopes in theorycraft that you can't pull off. In turn, don't feel bad if your skill level restricts the kinds of strategies you can try that is just a fact of life. The moment you find yourself unable you pull off a strat you think you understand, you've identified something fixed and tangible that you should be trying to correct about your play. You've identified another rung on the ladder. Just expect to slip a few times before you get a hold on it.



It's okay to be a tryhard sometimes



This might seem contrary given what I've just written, but there are times when taking teamplay 'too' seriously is actually the best thing you can possibly do especially when it concerns all that ego and discipline stuff I won't stop talking about. Reining in your ambitions in terms of strategies and hero drafts is possibly a good thing. Learning to act and communicate like an actual team is, however, the best thing you can possibly do if you want to take Dota seriously.



When I started playing with a team we came up with communication rules that dictate how much we're allowed to rage at each other (we're not) and how we frame criticism and respond to problems. I've played in teams without these rules, and the difference is night and day. Around two weeks ago the Hot Dukes gave up four kills in the enemy jungle and went on to win from that disastrous start because we didn't freak out. A week later I played with a different team and gave up three kills in very similar circumstances. In that case, the game was lost from minute zero: people lost their shit, at themselves and at each other, and simply trying to coordinate properly was like fighting a losing battle.



The difference is that the former team had worked specifically to develop an attitude that could withstand an early game disaster. Ideally, we wouldn't have early game disasters at all. But being a bit of a tryhard paid off, and I'd thoroughly recommend it.



Figure out your tilt controls



Regardless, things will go wrong. They always do. People tilt, and games are lost because one setback is enough to send someone's confidence and with it, their ability slowly tipping over like a drunk at a house party. You need to figure out whatever it is that will make you feel better in that scenario, and more pointedly you need to work out if it's actually the best thing to do. It may be that your instinct, when you're tilting, is to mute your microphone, or sigh loudly, or play passively. There is a very good chance that these ideas are wrong because they broadcast your tilt to everybody on your team, exacerbating their own bad moods and worsening your collective position.



Your process for straightening your shit out needs to be quiet and internal, in this game if in no other context. That might mean stacking a few jungle camps and getting your next big item, doing some dewarding, or suggesting and acting on a rotation or a push. But it's on you to establish and follow the rules you set for yourself. Although it make you feel better, sighing your way through an uncontrolled tilt will lose you the game and make you feel worse.



Everybody throws



From the trench to the International, there are very few teams in the world that don't screw up from time to time. Even DK with their legendary control threw a game against LGD by allowing it to go too long. Everybody does this, even you, and even the opponent you feel hopelessly outmatched by. In team games, it is tempting to call GG after a few bad encounters or even a lost lane of rax the point, more or less, where the game feels like its over. It probably isn't. It is always possible for your opponent to make a mistake. Even if there's nothing you can do, simply surviving for an extra couple of minutes gives the enemy team a little more rope with which to hang themselves.



Most of the time they won't, and you'll be left to figure out whatever lessons you need to learn. But sometimes you'll go on to win the teamfight that turns the game and you'll remember that game forever. And it's not a cheap or chance victory, either: you got there because you stuck it out when other people would tilt or give up. You might not have the most effective trilane and your offlaner might keep blinking into Disruptor ults for no reason, but you kept your shit together. Good job, hero.



To read more Three Lane Highway, click here.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Philippa Warr)

Part of a miscellany of serious thoughts, animal gifs, and anecdotage from the realm of MOBAs/hero brawlers/lane-pushers/ARTS/tactical wizard-em-ups. One day Pip might even tell you the story of how she bumped into Na’Vi’s Dendi at a dessert buffet cart.>

“We do not examine individual win / loss streaks or try to end them,” say Valve staff in a blog about matchmaking and matchmaking ranking (MMR). I believe them. Right now, I am particularly inclined to believe them because I’m thirteen games into a losing streak and Dota 2‘s matchmaking system has not intervened to make my digital wizard experience pleasant or easy even once.

… [visit site to read more]

PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to The best CS:GO tips I’ve received from angry teammates">csgo-aug







Every Monday, Evan writes about first-person shooters.



Playing a competitive online game means being subjected to a certain amount of unsolicited criticism. I think you receive a bit more of it in CS:GO, though, because your dead teammates form a kind of peanut gallery who can talk to you from beyond the grave. Being the last one alive as four other players hover over your digital shoulder is a quintessential CS experience.



I ve been that digital shoulder hundreds of times, struggling to clutch while a person I ve never met tells me which gun I should grab to retake Nuke s A bombsite, or chastises me for using a grenade in a one-on-one situation. It s annoying, but I m actually grateful for a lot of the harsh feedback that s been handed to me in these moments because it s shaken me out of some bad habits.



Below, a selection of some of the criticism that s been condescendingly muttered at me in CS that turned out to be great advice:





Don t reload.

Shooters, single-player shooters especially, condition us to reload as a Pavlovian response to getting a kill. Resisting that urge is one of the first things most new CS players have to unlearn. Most weapons in CS:GO take between two and four seconds to reload: plenty of time for someone to peek around a corner or move through the space you should be defending. But maybe more importantly, in close-quarters, reloading betrays your position with sound. Consider the trade-off: would you rather have a full mag and an enemy who knows where you are, or a shallow mag and an enemy who s out of position?



Don t underestimate how much you can do with four or five bullets. With a rifle, it takes three or four non-headshots to take an enemy from full health to none and in late-game situations, it s even less likely that the enemy around the corner has 100 HP.





Don t pretend.

A few months ago one of my teammates in a match I d solo queued into called me out on this. What are you doing? I bet you saw that on Twitch or some shit, right? He was right. I was ADAD spamming (quickly tapping A and D in alternation) to hold a corner on de_inferno. There was no purpose or tactical value to what I was doing, I was just miming something I d seen in a tournament. It was the equivalent of doing a bunch of fancy dribbling in soccer with no one playing defense against me.



It s great to experiment with stuff you see in competitive play, but understanding the situational benefits of each maneuver is a huge step toward pulling it off successfully. After the ESL, I started backing away from my own flashbang grenades on entries, something I loved seeing in that tournament. But then I realized that my grenade placement wasn t nearly good enough to guarantee that I was flashing enemies at all I was just imitating for the sake of imitating.





Please, please don't throw that grenade.

Put the pin back in. I see so much misplaced faith in the frag grenade in CS:GO, partly because I used to be that guy who d start a bombsite retake with a frag toss, often coming around corners while still in the follow-through animation for the throw. Here s what I learned, after someone finally scolded me: your frag isn t going to kill anyone. Even if you re the Joe Montana of grenades and toss directly into the enemy player s mouth, it ll do 57 damage. If you played a lot of CS:Source, where grenades did a max of 72 against armored opponents, take a moment to realize that a perfect toss will only inflict as much as about two bullets.



In almost all situations, but especially in one-on-ones, your rifle is going to be able to kill someone faster and more safely than any sort of offensive grenade. Flashes are handy in a lot of situations in CS, but they re also unreliable: you can t be sure how well you ve blinded someone. If I had just kept my gun out instead of reaching for that 4 key, I would ve won many more rounds for my team.





Don't turn a three-on-one into a series of one-on-ones.

This is the one I ve started to preach most to players that I solo queue in Competitive mode with. It s easy to take a round win for granted when you re in a 3-on-1 or a 4-on-2. The easiest way to give away an easy win, though, is arranging your team in a way that the enemy can encounter you one at a time, on their own terms. When you re defending a bombsite against a shorthanded enemy, your goal should be to guarantee a trade: put the enemy in a position where they must cross the firing line of Player B if they want to kill Player A.





Are you afraid of your own pistol, or something?

Pistols have an amazing amount of utility in CS:GO. In the current build, the CZ75 the only automatic pistol has a ludicrous amount of value as a short-range, spray-and-hope-for-the-best gun when your AWP isn t cutting it or your M4A1-S runs dry. Even with the recent change to price it at $500, the cost of two grenades, it s a strong backup for serial AWPers who fear being rushed.





Dude, why would you ever crouch-walk?

This is ancient, ancient advice, but it s something that I still occasionally see players doing on casual servers. Crouch-walking around a corner will always grant advantage to someone who s watching that corner they ll always be able to see your gun poke out, then your knees, and blast you before you see them. If you need to check around an object, shoulder peek: dart out of cover while revealing as little of yourself as possible, then back in as quickly as possible, purely to see where an enemy is.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to ESPN boss claims e-sports are “not a sport”">International







In many ways, this year's Dota 2 International was a turning point for e-sports perception as a mainstream event. Not only did it boast the highest prize pool of any e-sports tournament, but it also found traction with North America's ESPN. The network broadcast the tournament through the streaming service ESPN3, and aired an exclusive grand final preview on cable channel ESPN2. But if you were looking to ESPN president John Skipper to validate a belief that e-sports are a sport, you're in for some disappointment.



Skipper was asked about Amazon's acquisition of Twitch at the Code/Media Series: New York conference, reports Re/Code, and gave a full appraisal of his perception of e-sports. "It's not a sport, it's a competition," he said. "Chess is a competition. Checkers is a competition. Mostly, I'm interested in doing real sports."



Previously, it seemed, ESPN were "delighted" with The International's performance. "ESPN have seen enough recent successes with e-sports and are about to double down," a source "close to ESPN" told The Daily Dot. "The numbers they hit with The International have only cemented the view that the time is right."



In other news: this.



Thanks, CVG.
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