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Counter-Strike: Source

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PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Team Fortress 2, CS: Source migrating to SteamPipe delivery – here’s what you need to do">Counter-Strike Source







Whenever you download and install a game on Steam, the files rest neatly on your hard drive like a well-pressed stack of laundry for quick access and organization of custom mod files. Some older Source games creak along on an older format from an earlier age in Steam's saga, but in a new FAQ, Valve says it's converting the guts of these games to use the SteamPipe content delivery system for faster load times and an updated file layout.



Counter-Strike: Source, Day of Defeat: Source, Half-Life 2: Deathmatch, and Team Fortress 2 will soon traverse over to the steamapps/common section of your Steam folder instead of the older steamapps/ destination. The conversion is automatic: Valve says you'll need enough disk space "for about two full copies of the game" as it changes over.



Modders and mod users have a little bit of extra homework to do to ensure everything works. Custom files will need to be copied manually over to the new directory, and mod authors should start packaging their works as VPK files instead of in a ZIP.



ZIP files still work in a pinch, as Valve describes it:



"For example, if the ZIP contains custom player models that look like (heaven forbid) ponies, and one of the files is materials/models/player/scout/scout_head.vtf, then you might make a dirctory such as tf/addons/i_love_ponies. You should unzip the mod such that the custom scout head texture ends up at tf/addons/i_love_ponies/materials/models/player/scout/scout_head.vtf."



Check out the rest of Valve's FAQ for more detailed info on the changes SteamPipe brings. You can also download and join the ongoing Team Fortress 2 beta to see the updates for yourself.
PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to The best CS:GO custom maps">best counter strike go maps







As I hoped, CS:GO’s appearance on Steam Workshop eased the map drought irking Global Offensive players since launch. About 700 Defusal, Hostage Rescue, Deathmatch, Arms Race, and other maps now populate Steam Workshop, and all are available for easy download (and auto-updating) through Steam. I’ve played a bunch of them with our community over the past week.



All the maps I’m recommending can be played on our official CS:GO server, “The Psychedelic Den of Map Experimentation,” hosted in St. Louis. Thanks to GameServers for being a helpful provider of our community servers. Download everything that our server is running in a single click by subscribing to our CS:GO map collection on Steam Workshop.



I haven’t tried everything the community’s produced, of course, but I’ll continue to update this list as I encounter CS:GO maps worth your time. By all means, recommend maps that I should take a gander at. (de_library, which released on Monday, is at the top of my list.)





de_seaside

Compact and straightforward, this is CS:GO’s best custom map. The CTs are steps away from covering both bombsites, so the onus is on the Terrorist team to find creative ways to draw attention, distract, or outright outgun their opponents. I love the waterworn surfaces that cover the dock setting—they remind me of The Parish from Left 4 Dead 2.



Bombsite B itself is a miniature siege—a long wooden bridge (and another that passes underneath it) are the most direct routes for the Terrorists, and any would-be bomb-planters taking this path need to be covered from the dock, where snipers can protect themselves behind large boxes as they line up shots on B. Separating A and B is a hazardous middle lane that represents a high-risk flanking route for both teams.



Download de_seaside





























de_conduit

Conduit is conventional and damn good. Like Seaside, its rectangular layout offers a left, right, and sniper-friendly middle lane for both teams. Unlike it, Conduit feels suited (as creator ds- describes) for competitive play.



Bombsite B is a choked concrete room with an aluminum ledge that sits right above the planting point like a hat. Securing B relies on an aggressive push from the Terrorists, encouraging some members of Team T to die for the cause so they can secure a foothold on that side of the map. A is a more open construction yard—a secret tunnel in the middle provides a secondary route to it from the middle of the map. Vibrant colors (yellow paint, neon red and green lights, contrasting light and darkness) give Conduit character against the odds of its industrial setting.



Download de_conduit













de_cache

Cache’s flat, three-lane layout is the handiwork of competitive CS legend Salvatore “Volcano” Garozzo. Its industrial setting borders on boring, but terrific balance compensates. Cache features a middle lane similar to Seaside and Conduit—a coverless no-man’s-land that’s treacherous to cross and can be ignored entirely, but one that opens up flanking routes to both bombsites if you push through.



Bombsite B is overlooked by a nest that CTs have ladder access to, and I love the way fights play out here when Terrorists pop a smoke grenade to make an aggressive entrance into B.



Download de_cache













cs_museum

Museum is GO’s most gorgeous map. Outside, stone arches overlook a street entrance lined with gardens. Inside, golden light filters through an atrium onto carpeted stairs, a T-rex skeleton, and scaffolding. Creator Shawn “FMPONE” Snelling called upon fellow modders to build custom assets for the map, and the extra help is evident in every corner.



In the nearly 50 rounds I’ve played so far, Museum has favored the Terrorists. Raised windows, scaffolding, and an elevator shaft give the Ts some great vantage points for getting the drop on the CT assaulters who spawn outdoors.



Snelling wrote a terrific explanation of his design decisions on Museum (and the research that informed them) for Mapcore.org.



Download cs_museum















cs_motel

It’s a novelty map, but in lieu of a worthy, ridiculous successor to de_rats (de_rats_ol_shack for CS:GO hasn’t impressed me), Motel has been a huge hit on our server, and our go-to for unserious Counter-Striking. Two floors of cramped bedrooms open out into a parking lot and small swimming pool. Four hostages spawn randomly in the rooms, and most rounds play out like hide-and-seek. The Terrorists have an incentive to camp the rooms that hostages spawn in, but this is mitigated slightly by hostages only appearing on the CTs’ radar. I also like that Motel makes shotguns preferable to rifles and SMGs.



Download cs_motel



















cs_parkhouse_go

A port from CS:S, Parkhouse hands the CTs a dozen different sniping options from a rock ledge that hugs one side of the map’s centerpiece, a two-floor modern house moated by a lake. Two pairs of hostages are isolated on a top and bottom floor. With scoped weapons, the CTs have a serious advantage, but there are moments of fun in this asymmetrical siege map that remind me of classics cs_assault and cs_militia.



Against the threat of sniping, turtling is usually the best option for the Terrorists, and things get wonderfully messy when the CTs are forced to take the fight indoors. I wouldn’t call Parkhouse balanced, but I've enjoyed it.



Download cs_parkhouse_go













PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to The best CS:GO custom maps">best counter strike go maps







As I hoped, CS:GO’s appearance on Steam Workshop eased the map drought irking Global Offensive players since launch. About 700 Defusal, Hostage Rescue, Deathmatch, Arms Race, and other maps now populate Steam Workshop, and all are available for easy download (and auto-updating) through Steam. I’ve played a bunch of them with our community over the past week.



All the maps I’m recommending can be played on our official CS:GO server, “The Psychedelic Den of Map Experimentation,” hosted in St. Louis. Thanks to GameServers for being a helpful provider of our community servers. Download everything that our server is running in a single click by subscribing to our CS:GO map collection on Steam Workshop.



I haven’t tried everything the community’s produced, of course, but I’ll continue to update this list as I encounter CS:GO maps worth your time. By all means, recommend maps that I should take a gander at. (de_library, which released on Monday, is at the top of my list.)





de_seaside

Compact and straightforward, this is CS:GO’s best custom map. The CTs are steps away from covering both bombsites, so the onus is on the Terrorist team to find creative ways to draw attention, distract, or outright outgun their opponents. I love the waterworn surfaces that cover the dock setting—they remind me of The Parish from Left 4 Dead 2.



Bombsite B itself is a miniature siege—a long wooden bridge (and another that passes underneath it) are the most direct routes for the Terrorists, and any would-be bomb-planters taking this path need to be covered from the dock, where snipers can protect themselves behind large boxes as they line up shots on B. Separating A and B is a hazardous middle lane that represents a high-risk flanking route for both teams.



Download de_seaside





























de_conduit

Conduit is conventional and damn good. Like Seaside, its rectangular layout offers a left, right, and sniper-friendly middle lane for both teams. Unlike it, Conduit feels suited (as creator ds- describes) for competitive play.



Bombsite B is a choked concrete room with an aluminum ledge that sits right above the planting point like a hat. Securing B relies on an aggressive push from the Terrorists, encouraging some members of Team T to die for the cause so they can secure a foothold on that side of the map. A is a more open construction yard—a secret tunnel in the middle provides a secondary route to it from the middle of the map. Vibrant colors (yellow paint, neon red and green lights, contrasting light and darkness) give Conduit character against the odds of its industrial setting.



Download de_conduit













de_cache

Cache’s flat, three-lane layout is the handiwork of competitive CS legend Salvatore “Volcano” Garozzo. Its industrial setting borders on boring, but terrific balance compensates. Cache features a middle lane similar to Seaside and Conduit—a coverless no-man’s-land that’s treacherous to cross and can be ignored entirely, but one that opens up flanking routes to both bombsites if you push through.



Bombsite B is overlooked by a nest that CTs have ladder access to, and I love the way fights play out here when Terrorists pop a smoke grenade to make an aggressive entrance into B.



Download de_cache













cs_museum

Museum is GO’s most gorgeous map. Outside, stone arches overlook a street entrance lined with gardens. Inside, golden light filters through an atrium onto carpeted stairs, a T-rex skeleton, and scaffolding. Creator Shawn “FMPONE” Snelling called upon fellow modders to build custom assets for the map, and the extra help is evident in every corner.



In the nearly 50 rounds I’ve played so far, Museum has favored the Terrorists. Raised windows, scaffolding, and an elevator shaft give the Ts some great vantage points for getting the drop on the CT assaulters who spawn outdoors.



Snelling wrote a terrific explanation of his design decisions on Museum (and the research that informed them) for Mapcore.org.



Download cs_museum















cs_motel

It’s a novelty map, but in lieu of a worthy, ridiculous successor to de_rats (de_rats_ol_shack for CS:GO hasn’t impressed me), Motel has been a huge hit on our server, and our go-to for unserious Counter-Striking. Two floors of cramped bedrooms open out into a parking lot and small swimming pool. Four hostages spawn randomly in the rooms, and most rounds play out like hide-and-seek. The Terrorists have an incentive to camp the rooms that hostages spawn in, but this is mitigated slightly by hostages only appearing on the CTs’ radar. I also like that Motel makes shotguns preferable to rifles and SMGs.



Download cs_motel



















cs_parkhouse_go

A port from CS:S, Parkhouse hands the CTs a dozen different sniping options from a rock ledge that hugs one side of the map’s centerpiece, a two-floor modern house moated by a lake. Two pairs of hostages are isolated on a top and bottom floor. With scoped weapons, the CTs have a serious advantage, but there are moments of fun in this asymmetrical siege map that remind me of classics cs_assault and cs_militia.



Against the threat of sniping, turtling is usually the best option for the Terrorists, and things get wonderfully messy when the CTs are forced to take the fight indoors. I wouldn’t call Parkhouse balanced, but I've enjoyed it.



Download cs_parkhouse_go













PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Why cs_office is an awesome map">cs_office counter strike







Through more than 12 years of Counter-Strike, I continue to play cs_office tirelessly. Here's why I consider it one of the best multiplayer maps ever.







Thanks to Tyler for editing this video, he's a hero.
PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Penguin party: Steam Linux launches with week-long celebration sale">Steam Linux celebration sale







It's been tested, it's been debated, and it's now available to all: Valve announces the official launch of the Steam Linux client after nearly four months in beta. Expectedly, a sale is going on for all Linux-supported games in Steam's catalog, including Crusader Kings II and Counter-Strike: Source.



The sale lasts until February 21 and takes 50 to 75 percent off the 54 games Linux users can slot into their brand new platform. Team Fortress 2 joins the revelry by automatically awarding a free and tradeable in-game Tux accessory for all Linux mercs jumping into the free-to-play shooter before May 1. Prepare for an avalanche of crates, Ubuntuans.



Grab the Steam Linux client and browse the full list of discounted titles on the sale page. Welcome to Steam, Linux gamers.
PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Get more Counter-Strike maps in the CS:GO Maps Workshop">counter strike maps



Another moment by the water in fy_pool_day. Click for download link.



More people—maybe twice as many—seem to be playing the original version of Counter-Strike than Global Offensive. Look here. Why hasn't CS:GO inherited its elders' popularity? I'd blame the map drought GO has experienced. New official maps have been hard to come by since the game launched in August, and the fresh ones introduced by GO were restricted to Demolition and Arms Race modes.



Adding CS:GO to Steam Workshop is one step toward a healthier multiplayer scene. Debuting today, the Maps Workshop has 157 entries at the moment, including remakes of stuff like de_piranesi, fy_iceworld, and fy_pool_day, which I have vague-but-fond memories of playing in LAN cafes.



Pop over to the CS:GO Map Workshop to start downloading directly through Steam. After that, you'll have to find a server hosting matches on the levels you've downloaded. Alternatively, you can take a map for a spin with bots by typing "map " in console.
Product Update - Valve
An update to Counter-Strike: Source has been released. The update will be applied automatically when you restart Counter-Strike: Source. The major changes include:

  • Added mat_viewportupscale and mat_viewportscale to enable rendering the world at a reduced resolution
    • "mat_viewportupscale 1" and "mat_viewportscale 0.5" will downscale world rendering by 50%
  • Added positional audio support for Mumble clients
  • Added a new ConVar mp_mapcycle_empty_timeout_seconds to trigger a changelevel when the server is empty
  • Added a new ConVar sv_shutdown_timeout_minutes
    • Forces a server to shutdown if it has been requested to do so, even if the server is not empty
  • Fixed a ConVar exploit that allowed malformed values to circumvent range checks
  • Fixed a con_logfile ConVar exploit
  • Fixed HTTP downloads on Mac not sending an HTTP referer
  • Fixed a bug that prevented consecutive clicks on scrollbar buttons
  • Fixed a bug that was causing intermittent lag spikes for Linux dedicated servers
  • Fixed a crash while command-tabbing on Mac in fullscreen
  • Fixed a client crash in the sound emitter
  • Fixed an audio problem for Mac users
  • Fixed MOTD sometimes not displaying HTML contents
  • Improved the performance and stability of the libraries used for in-game HTML display
  • Performance and stability improvements
  • Updated to support Big Picture mode
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Face Off: Should you buy games at launch?">face off buying games







The hurricane of savings that's swirled over PC gaming in the past few years has been tremendous. Deep discounts seem to pop up weekly on digital stores like Amazon, GOG.com, and Steam. But should the ubiquity of sales fundamentally change our buying habits?



In this Face Off debate, Logan argues that waiting for a sales gets you get a more refined product at a cheaper price. But Evan thinks that waiting too long denies you the best-possible experience, especially in multiplayer games.



Jump over to the next page for more opinions from the PC Gamer community, and make your own arguments in the comments. Debate team captains: it’s your time to shine.



Logan: Nope. Hanging on to your cash for a while—a few months, a year, or whenever you’ve caught up with that backlog that’s been building up—buys you a game that’s had its bugs squashed, costs far less on sale, and probably even runs better on your machine. Remind me what the downside is again?



Evan: We play games to have great experiences, right? In most cases those experiences diminish in value over time. Technology ages. Stories are spoiled. Sequels outdo their predecessors. I’m not advocating against the ridiculous sales we’ve seen in recent years, but looking back, being needlessly frugal would've denied me some of my most precious gaming experiences. Playing Left 4 Dead every night after work in October ‘08 with my friends was so special because we were mutually discovering the game together. I can’t put a price tag on that.



Logan: OK, let’s be clear here: I don’t think buying games at launch is a bad thing. You can bet your pet headcrab that I won’t be waiting for Half-Life 3 to hit the discount bin. What I’m saying is that with a little patience (and, sure, some deft spoiler-dodging), you get a better experience at a far lower price. Sure, you miss out on being a part of the conversation when a game launches. Like how pissed off people were about the save-corrupting bugs in The Walking Dead series, which to the best of my knowledge were fixed by the time you could buy the entire season during the Steam Winter Sale for half-price at $12.50!



Evan: Oh, whatever. If you wait until a game is bugless, you’ll be waiting forever. The Walking Dead was more than playable at launch—we gave it a 90. The conversations I had with friends about that game (and Mass Effect, and Far Cry 3, and XCOM) are worth so much more to me than $12—it’s a lesser game without that.



I think you’re overstating the impact that launch issues actually have. Other than Diablo III and, I don’t know, Sword of the Stars II last year, when were games unacceptably broken at launch? If I was picking up Diablo III now—assuming I could actually twist a friend’s arm to reroll a new character—that pristine experience of grinding our first dungeons together and feeling caught up in something new together would be gone.



Beyond that, I think we should be mindful that our purchases have a real and actual impact on developers. Last year, Rockstar Vancouver, Big Huge, Black Hole, 38 Studios and Paragon Studios closed. Great games don’t exist unless we support them.



Logan: You’re being hysterical. It’s not just about bugs and launch issues. It’s about enjoying a smoother ride overall, and getting stuff like new features and levels to boot!



Evan: Listen, all I’m asking you to consider is this: How many indie developers’ malnourished babies are you personally responsible for?



Logan: I am not a baby malnourisher. I don’t want to deprive developers of handsome profits. In fact, I wish I had a leaf blower that blew cash into their windows. It’s just that I—like most gamers—have a limited budget. Buying games at a discount means that I can buy more games. And feed more babies.



Look, developers who don’t want to discount their games simply won’t do so. But most do put their games on sale because, ultimately, it makes them more money.



Evan: My imaginary leaf blower also shoots money. Waiting months to buy something isn’t universally the best budget decision if you’re passionate about a game. It’s actually becoming more prevalent for pre-orders to provide incentives or actual savings over the retail price. In the case of free-to-play games like MechWarrior Online and Tribes: Ascend, putting money down before release got me extra in-game currency, extra content, and immediate access. Multi-copy packs are also usually a great deal—in Borderlands 2’s case, you could get four copies for the price of three at launch, something that’s much harder to do after release.



Logan: Oh, yeah, pre-order bonuses can be great deals too, and the Borderlands 2 promotion was a pretty smart way to get cheapskates like me to pony up before launch. But these are exceptions to a general rule of thumb that’s indisputable: if you can wait it out, you’ll almost always get a better product for less money. Any way that you legitimately purchase a game is supporting the developer. If you insist that supporting a developer means paying more than you have to, then I think that what you’re talking about is a contribution, or charity.



Evan: Waiting for patches might give you a less buggy game, but I don’t think you’ll necessarily get a better experience, which is what you’re paying for. Sure, EA made Battlefield 1942 free last year, but replaying it years removed from its popularity wasn’t fun for me at all. Moreso than film or books, games age. Hopping into Battlefield 3 now—just 14 months after release—and you’d miss out on the volcano of enthusiasm, shared discovery, and level playing field in the metagame that existed at launch.



There’s always going to be several games a year where I’m going to want to be there on day one. If you wait four or five months—about as long as it typically takes to shed 25% off something on Steam—or longer, you’ll have missed out on that.



Logan: But remember, games acquire new fans when they’re discounted or go free-to-play. Solution: make new friends.



Evan: Or we could get everyone we know to wait six months to buy a game.



For more opinions on PC gaming, follow Logan, Evan, and PC Gamer on Twitter. On the next page: more opinions from the community.







For more perspectives, we've poured out some of your thoughts from the bucket of opinion known as Twitter below.



@pcgamer It depends on if they're $60 triple A titles for me. $60 is too much for most games, especially after last year's disappointments.— Coalton Ross (@Coalton) January 14, 2013



@pcgamer If you're a fan of the game, the series, the studio, etc...then yes, it's your job as a fan to positively reinforce great work.— Kevin Robertson (@krobulous) January 14, 2013



@pcgamer To anyone who has any sort of budgeting they should never buy on release date. Waiting for a sale is the only way.— Ryan Melanson (@RyePunk) January 14, 2013



@pcgamer established franchises or series yes (elder scrolls), New and unproven games wait for more info and reviews.— Now Hiring Henchmen (@HiringHenchmen) January 15, 2013



@pcgamer It's definitely difficult to see the game you paid $60 for be repackaged with extras for the same or lower price < 12 months later.— James Schumacher (@JamesInDigital) January 14, 2013



@pcgamer On the other hand, being swept up in the ARG and playing the heck out of Portal 2 was a delightful experience.— S Wilkins (@ElAcordeonachi) January 14, 2013



@pcgamer Multiplatform/console port multiplayer games are better at launch however. They're most fun when the playing field is very equal.— Jason (@TeslasButler) January 15, 2013



@pcgamer depends if I trust the developer enough to deliver a good product. I rarely buy into the hype anymore. Burned too badly in the past— Wim (@Quercuas) January 15, 2013



@pcgamer overpriced on release, wait a week, don't follow the hype— TFB (@tf_blackjack) January 15, 2013
PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Far Cry 3 map maker recreates Battlefield, Call of Duty, and Counter-Strike maps">Far Cry 3 Wake Island







Far Cry 3's included level editor provides all the tools and textures necessary for crafting unique multiplayer maps, but one tinkerer has instead taken to recreating some very familiar locales with uncanny accuracy. As reported by MP1st, user ShadowZack has shared a series of maps fashioned after popular arenas from Battlefield, Call of Duty, and Counter-Strike.



You can nab ShadowZack's works through Far Cry 3's in-game multiplayer map search simply by typing his name. You'll find Battlefield 3's Noshahr Canals and Wake Island, Counter-Strike's Dust and Aztec, and Call of Duty's Nuketown all carefully recreated right down to the placement of crates and convenient slabs of concrete cover. ShadowZack also released some flyby and progress videos for the maps as they were constructed, which you can watch below.



Far Cry 3 itself has two gigantic jungle island environments. We got lost. We shot animals. We drank weird potions. We wrote a review, so have a look.



















PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Steam Time Analysis tool compares friend data, tells you how much you’ve spent in Steam">Steam Time Analysis







Lambent Stew's free, web-based Steam Time Analysis tool laid bare my backlog of shame by breaking down time spent (or not spent) on each of my library's games like some sort of cold, ruthless PowerPoint presentation. The breadth of information provided is quite impressive. Over email, Stew told us the new build includes a few new features that further visualize users' habits.



You're now be able to compare your profile with those on your friends list for games owned, how many were played, and total hours played. (Our own Executive Editor Evan Lahti only played around 16 percent of his over 1300-game stable, the lazy bum.)



Similar to another homebrewed utility, a new worth calculator also provides combined figures for minimum, maximum, and current game prices in your library. Locating your own profile should be easier with improved search: just type in your Steam profile ID, and the tool should easily zero in on your data.



Check out the tool for yourself on Lambent Stew's website. How do you rank against your friends? What's your most-played game?
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