Dota 2 - Valve
- Fixed a server crash that could happen in the later phases of the Siltbreaker boss fight.
- Fixed the exit door in The Odobenus Onslaught sometimes blocking players after the quest was already complete.
Dota 2 - (Alice O'Connor)

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. (more…)

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive - (John Walker)

You want to know which are the top ten selling games on Steam this week, but you also still> don’t know the capital city of Turkmenistan. What is a person to do? Well worry not, because here at Steam Charts HQ, we’ve got you covered! All the games that are in the top ten games in the Steam top ten games chart, and all the facts you need for that surprise government test!

Join us today as we laugh and> learn. (more…)

Dota 2 - Valve

* Mask of Madness: Armor reduction increased from -5 to -6
* Mask of Madness: Cooldown increased from 20 to 22
* Helm of the Dominator: Attack Speed Aura increased from 10 to 15
* Force Staff: Cast range reduced from 800 to 750
* Diffusal Blade: Agility reduced from 25/35 to 20/30

* Ancient Apparition: Ice Blast manacost increased from 100/125/150 to 150
* Bane: Base Strength, Agility and Intelligence increased by 1
* Bane: Nightmare cast point reduced from 0.5 to 0.4
* Batrider: Firefly manacost increased from 100 to 125
* Bloodseeker: Rupture manacost increased from 150/200/250 to 200/225/250
* Chen: Hand of God heal increased from 225/350/475 to 250/375/500
* Earthshaker: Fissure cooldown increased from 15 to 18/17/16/15
* Earthshaker: Enchant Totem manacost increased from 20/30/40/50 to 35/40/45/50
* Lich: Chain Frost no longer applies a ministun
* Lich: Ice Armor slow from 30% to 24/26/28/30%
* Lion: Earth Spike stun duration increased from 1.1/1.6/2.1/2.6 to 1.4/1.8/2.2/2.6
* Lion: Level 20 Talent changed from +8% Spell Amplification to +300 Finger of Death Damage
* Lycan: Howl no longer provides a net heal on buff application/loss (always maintains the same HP percentage now)
* Nature's Prophet: Base movement speed reduced from 295 to 290
* Nature's Prophet: Sprout flying vision reduced from 750 to 500
* Necrophos: Reaper's Scythe cooldown increased from 90/80/70 to 100
* Necrophos: Ghost Shroud magic resistance penalty increased from -20% to -25%
* Nightstalker: Darkness duration reduced from 50 to 40
* Nyx Assassin: Base damage reduced by 3
* Puck: Illusory Orb flying vision reduced from 550 to 450
* Shadow Demon: Level 15 Talent from +8% Spell Amplification to +10%
* Shadow Demon: Level 15 Talent from +75 Cast Range to +100
* Skywrath Mage: Mystic Flare manacost reduced from 350/575/800 to 300/550/800
* Skywrath Mage: Level 15 Talent increased from +10% Spell Lifesteal to +15%
* Spectre: Haunt illusion damage increased from 30% to 40%
* Spirit Breaker: Base movement speed reduced from 290 to 285
* Sven: Stormbolt stun duration reduced from 2 to 1.7/1.8/1.9/2.0
* Sven: Warcry cooldown increased from 34/28/22/16 to 35/30/25/20
* Tiny: Toss manacost reduced from 120 to 90/100/110/120
* Tiny: Grow Scepter attack range bonus increased from 85 to 150
* Undying: Tombstone attacks required increased from 3/4/5/7 to 4/5/6/8
* Venomancer: Plague Wards vision reduced from 1200/800 to 800/800
* Windranger: Shackles duration increased from 1.5/2.25/3/3.75 to 2.0/2.6/3.2/3.8
* Windranger: Shackles cooldown increased from 12 to 18/16/14/12
* Winter Wyvern: Level 15 Talent increased from +20 Movement Speed to +35
* Winter Wyvern: Level 15 Talent increased from +50 Damage to +75
* Wraith King: Reincarnation cooldown reduced from 240/140/40 to 200/120/40
* Wraith King: Level 15 Talent increased from +15 Movement Speed to +30
Dota 2 - Ward

The final battle approaches, and the chosen defenders of the Brine must continue their secret mission into Dark Reef Prison to eradicate the fiendish Siltbreaker once and for all. Battle Pass owners are once again invited to undertake a journey that spans vast domains, where fearsome creatures and monstrous hordes lurk in every shadow, as the first Dota 2 Multiplayer Campaign concludes with today's release of Siltbreaker: Act II.

To accompany this release, we've added an Adventure Mode to Acts I & II that allows for a more casual playstyle. Adventure Mode playthroughs won't garner any Artifacts, achievements, or rewards, but the decreased difficulty and removal of any non-quest goals will let players explore the dangerous world of Siltbreaker without any additional pressure.

We've also introduced changes to the Artifact system for both acts that will help ensure more players can discover these objects of power and factor them into tactical decisions as they play. Players who collected Artifacts in Act I are welcome to utilize them in Act II, and vice versa, but there are some important differences with the new system. Check out today's patch notes for more information.

As you fight your way to a showdown with Siltbreaker, you’ll earn completion stars based on your performance level. The first time you complete a zone with one or two stars will net you Battle Points rewards, and delivering a three-star zone performance will grant a treasure from the aquatic terror himself.

Each Siltbreaker Treasure includes a chance to receive an indescribably-rare Immortal Desert Sands Baby Roshan courier, and Battle Pass owners with Battle Level 165 or higher will receive double the treasures for each three-star zone they complete with the reward bonus active. You’ll also have the opportunity to unlock new Act II achievements for even more Battle Points.

Can you find Siltbreaker and end this dire threat before he makes his escape? Party up with three friends or queue-met allies to find out. The safety of the free seas hangs in the balance, and—should you fail—the drylands might be next.
Dota 2 - Valve
* Introduced Adventure Mode, available in Act 1 and Act 2: players start and gain more lives, and enemies have less health and deal less damage. Star rewards, achievements, and Artifacts are disabled in this mode.
* 9 new Heroes have been added to the pool of available heroes.
* Abaddon has been removed from the pool of available heroes.
* Significantly increased the drop rate of many Artifacts.
* Artifact drops in game now ensure that all players have a received an Artifact this session and that the Artifact is not a duplicate for that player before switching to a random distribution (was previously entirely random).
* Introduced a new type of currency, Artifact Coins. Artifact Coins are persistent between play sessions and are consumed to activate your existing Artifacts in game. They are earned for completing zones and can be found as drops from enemies. Artifacts found during a game do not require a cost in that game, and there is no Act restriction on Artifacts.
Dota 2 - Valve
* Reduced frame rate hitches caused by rich presence notifications
Dota 2 - Ward

The Road to the Aegis
Congratulations to Team Liquid, Grand Champions at The International 2017.

Team Liquid were one of six direct invites to this year's tournament, arriving in Seattle with high expectations built upon strong results at recent events.

Captained by a veteran who has competed in The International every year, Liquid established themselves early and never lost a series in the Group Stage. They scored 2-0 victories off of iG.Vitality, Fnatic, Infamous, Team Empire, and Team Secret; and earned 1-1 draws against EG, LGD, and TNC to finish with a group-best record of 13-3.

The main stage, however, would present a more daunting challenge, as Team Liquid stumbled to a 1-2 loss at the hands of Invictus Gaming in the Upper Bracket Quarterfinals.

The loss dropped them into the Lower Bracket and set up a do-or-die run through a string of six straight elimination series, forcing Liquid to outlast an aggressive Team Secret, send home an Empire squad that had bested EG, and overcome a relentless VP in one of the most intense matchups of the tournament.

Not done yet, Liquid's next elimination series saw them draft some lesser-used heroes to down LGD 2-0 and reach a Lower Bracket Finals vs Group B's strongest team -- LFY. Despite losing a drawn-out Game 1, Liquid held fast against LFY for a 2-1 series victory and a trip to the Grand Finals, where Upper Bracket winners Newbee were already waiting.

There, Team Liquid would perform the first-ever Grand Finals sweep in The International's history, besting Newbee's elite lineup 3-0 to claim the Aegis of Champions and secure their status as world's best.

As bearers of the ultimate symbol of victory in the struggle between Radiant and Dire, these names shall forever be inscribed upon the Aegis' silver plaque:

Team Liquid
Lasse "MATUMBAMAN" Urpalainen
Amer "Miracle-" Al-Barkawi
Ivan Borislavov "MinD_ContRoL" Ivanov
Maroun "GH" Merhej
Kuro "KuroKy" Salehi Takhasomi

Looking Back
If you missed any of the tournament, or just want to relive some of the incredible moments and breathtaking plays, head over to The International site, where you can find replays for every match. There are also loads of photos and videos from the event over on the Media page, our TI7 Youtube playlist, and the Dota 2 Flickr.

We would like to thank all of the players, talent, and everyone in the Dota community for helping bring this celebration of our shared passion to life. The International continues to be the crowning moment of the competitive season, and without everyone's support, none of this would be possible. We hope you enjoyed this year's tournament as much as we did.

The Season Ahead
With The International 2017 now behind us, it's time to turn towards what comes next. In a few weeks, we'll be releasing more details on the coming competitive season, including tournament schedules and other relevant information to help get players and fans ready for another unbelievable year of Dota.
Dota 2

Something very interesting happened in the world of Dota 2 this weekend, and it wasn't The International. (Although that was obviously pretty big too.) As reported by The Verge, a self-taught AI bot took on pro player Danil "Dendi" Ishutin of Natus Vincere—and won convincingly. 

The bot was designed by OpenAI, a non-profit AI research company founded and funded by, among other people, Tesla and SpaceX guy Elon Musk, who shared his satisfaction with the outcome on Twitter. 

And that's true, but only to a point. It turns out a few conditions heavily arranged the match in the bot's favor, meaning we don't have to worry about robots taking over competitive esports just yet.

The OpenAI game was played under a very specific set of rules: It was a 1v1 contest rather than 5v5, which dramatically reduces the complexity of the gameplay, and both the bot and Dendi played with the same hero, Shadow Fiend, who as this Verge analysis explains relies on "accurate timing and placement of his magical attack ability" to succeed—the type of precision that bots naturally excel at. In fact, that's the only type of game the bot is capable of playing. 

The AI also had access to Dota's bot API, meaning that it would have access to information like the distance between characters, as well as hard-coded player "techniques." So while a human player has to learn and judge distances on the fly and react accordingly, bots can execute the appropriate attacks exactly, every time.   

While that may appear to diminish the significance of the bot's win, Greg Brockman of OpenAI said that it remains a big deal because of the way the AI learned to play the game. Previously, bots have built their knowledge from records of past victories won by humans, but the Dota bot learned primarily through experience. 

"You have this system that has just played against itself, and it has learned robust enough strategies to beat the top pros. That’s not something you should take for granted,” Brockman said. “And it’s a big question for any machine learning system: How does complexity get into the model? Where does it come from?" 

The full story behind the AI victory won't really be known until a thorough analysis is released, but it is worth noting that once players were able to see the bot in action and got to know its tactics, they were able to compensate and beat it fairly handily. Even so, it's unquestionably a step on the path toward bigger and (maybe) better things, a point Musk mused on immediately after tweeting about the OpenAI's Dota 2 victory:   

Dendi, who was a good sport about the competition, is on the same page.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive - (John Walker)

The Steam Charts is the only place on the internet to find out the most up-to-date information about the games you care about the most, the latest rumours of upcoming changes to early access hits, and secrets that can see your way to coming top of the gaming high score tables! (more…)


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