Product Update - Valve
* Fixed a bug with some Dragon forms for Dragon Knight where selection boxes were sometimes incorrect
* Fixed a bug where copy/paste would not work correctly in chat if text was selected from right to left.
* Fixed achievement for tipping 10 times not granting the reward (we retroactively granted the reward to everyone who completed it so far).

* Savage Roar cooldown increased from 28/24/20/16 to 38/32/26/20
* Earth Spirit's Scepter Enchant Remnant cast range reduced from 600 to 125
PC Gamer
Product Update - Valve
* Fixed a bug where in-game chat would sometimes display the incorrect hero on a chat line
* Fixed bug where home screen panels could overlap
* Fixed the Winter Battle Pass emoticons not appearing in-game
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - (Suriel Vazquez)

In mid-January of this year, Swedish Dota 2 team Alliance took top honors at the Starladder i-League Star Series tournament, which featured several of the current top Dota 2 teams, such as last year s International winners Evil Geniuses, as well as powerhouses like LGD and Team Secret.

I ll catch professional Dota 2 tournaments on most weekends, but watching Alliance take the whole thing made me happier than I d been watching the game in a long time. Not because of the prize money (which was quite large but far from the scene s highest), but because the team s triumphant return to form shows that Dota 2 stands on a more rock-solid foundation than many give it credit for.

… [visit site to read more]

Product Update - Valve
* Fixed Quests not working with Swapping and Repicking
* Reduced Daily Hero Reroll time from 24 hours to 22 hours
* Fixed DK being able to damage himself with Armlet for the final quest
* Increased successful location size for Welcome to the Jungle quest
PC Gamer

The grip of winter can t save you from hot hot electric sport. There s major Dota 2 in China and minor CS:GO in Romania. In League of Legends the North American Championship Series thunders on leaving drama in its wake, and we round off with a bit of punching for good measure. Have a great weekend!

Dota 2: MarsTV League Winter 2015

That's right! 'Winter 2015'. Like the saying goes, it doesn't matter if you're not sure what year it is when you've got a great set of international Dota 2 teams competing for hundreds of thousands of dollars. It's taking place in China, so eight hours ahead of GMT/seven ahead of CET/sixteen ahead of PST. If you tune in over the weekend you can catch the winner's bracket final and a bunch of lower bracket games on Saturday followed by the lower bracket final and grand final on Sunday. The grand final begins at 10:00 GMT/11:00 CET/02:00 PST, and you can find up to date schedule information on Gosugamers. You can also find the English language Azubu stream here.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive: PGL European Minor Championship 2016

Eight European CS:GO squads fight for $50,000 in Bucharest. There's a mixture of established and aspiring talent in contention, so this comes recommended to talent scouts as well as fans of the European scene. The group A matches are taking place today, with group B to follow on Saturday followed by playoffs for the top four teams on Sunday. Play begins at 11:00 GMT/12:00 CET/03:00 PST and runs throughout the day. You can find the stream on Twitch.

League of Legends: North American Championship Series

The new season rolls on with a full weekend of play in North America. Expect a lot of action packed into a relatively short span of time, and after a dramatic first week there's a lot to live up to. In particular, look to TSM to want to improve their performance— they face Cloud9 on Saturday and NRG on Sunday. Check out this page on LoLesports for a full schedule and stream info and the main page for the other regional leagues—there are also games in the LCK and LMS over the weekend.

Killer Instinct: World Cup

Yes, yes, it isn't a PC game. If you don't like it, stop asking for fighting game coverage. Even then it won't matter, because fighting games are awesome. In any case: there's $30,000 on the line in San Antonio as the KI community dukes it out for the world title. Find tournament info here and the stream here. At the moment there isn't a schedule available, but expect games throughout the weekend on Pacific time.

Pcgp Logo Red Small PC Gamer Pro is dedicated to esports and competitive gaming. Check back every day for exciting, fun and informative articles about League of Legends, Dota 2, Hearthstone, CS:GO and more. GL HF!

Product Update - Valve
* Fixed a bug that was preventing completion of the final Lina quest
* Fixed a bug with Witch Doctor not getting credit for the Ultimate Damage challenge
* Fixed missing particles in the portrait window of Terrorblade's demon form
Product Update - Valve
* Fixed various crashes, including frequent crashes on machines with Integrated Graphics Cards
* Removed recent low priority penalties from affected users
* Lots of memory optimizations
* Various fixes to weapon ambient effects not showing the right color
* Fixed Terrorblade Arcana specular
PC Gamer

Three Lane Highway

Every week, Chris documents his complex ongoing relationship with Dota 2. To read more Three Lane Highway, click here

They've finally done it. The maniacs, they've finally done it. Valve have launched a community Dota 2 event that really works. The Winter 2016 Battle Pass came out yesterday with no warning whatsoever and has, so far, avoided making almost all of the mistakes that Dota 2 events traditionally make. If you've not been playing for long, let's recap the traditional problems:

It's a separate game mode that doesn't really work half the time

eg. New Bloom 2014, New Bloom 2015, Diretide 2012, Diretide 2013

It changes the way people play regular Dota 2

eg. Nemesis Assassin

It's about abusing a system until you get free stuff

eg. New Bloom 2014, New Bloom 2015, Diretide 2012, Diretide 2013

It's fun but a grind

eg. Wraith Night

It's basically gambling with real money

eg. New Bloom 2015

It didn't happen

eg. Diretide 2014

Only one other event that I can think of dodges most of these pitfalls—the wonderful Greeviling, vanished never to return along with Valve's deep but fleeting obsession with dinosaur gremlin muppet creatures, alas.

The Winter 2016 Battle Pass is a lot of things in one. It's this year's replacement for New Bloom, which traditionally ran—as this will—through spring. To that end it introduces a new time-limited quest system, community-spanning meta-objectives, and a bunch of achievements and trophies and so on.

It also includes the compendium for the Shanghai Major, which encompasses the traditional esports tie-in booklet that somebody presumably reads along with a leveling system, temporary in-game rewards, and a lot of new chests and sets. With the exception of a new custom game mode—they've become the exclusive preserve of the 'Arcade' tab—the Battle Pass incorporates almost every idea that Valve have had over the last three and a bit years of running these things.

Except they all work in harmony with each other. And with the exception of a day one duping bug, nothing is terribly broken. And it's not terribly expensive. And it doesn't invite you to sink lots of money after your initial purchase. And it's more about engaging with the game than grinding for specific rewards. And the interface doesn't take thirty seconds to load for no discernable reason.

This provides a kind of compound relief. One, it's a substantial update in its own right, something that Dota badly needs given the long wait between patches and heroes. Two, it's a great use of the Reborn client that makes me glad that we got through that long, messy relaunch. Three, it's a live event that doesn't feel like a funfair being operated as a social experiment by a haywire AI. At least, not as much as usual.

I can list off my 'serious' problems with the update on the fingers of one hand:

  • This Skywrath set shouldn t be red I guess.
  • They shouldn't have nerfed Skywrath's incredibly lengthy 'in the bag' line by making it less likely to play. From my high horse I can see to the ends of the world, and from this vantage point I declare with utter certainty that this is a terrible decision and the game is dead.
  • If they're going to make Skywrath red, at least make him shout his 'in the bag' line over and over so that I know that Legion Commander and Beastmaster's hawk haven't had a baby or something.
  • Pouring money into a compendium that doesn't increase the associated prize pool is still weird.

That's basically one problem and three lots of nonsense! Good job, Valve!

Through all of this, however—the well-implemented quest system and the daily challenges and the gambling and the new sets and the great terrain and the cool seasonal effects and so on and so on—there's one thing that really makes me happy: Valve are talking about player behaviour again.

Tucked away among the new additions is the 'conduct summary', a one-sheet review of your behaviour over the last 25 games that you've played. In the associated FAQ, Valve explain that they want to make the way the game keeps track of player conduct much more transparent. Your report is designed to let you know that, actually, 77% of players don't incur reports. That assholes are outliers. That a single match isn't enough to get you committed to the low priority queue, and that—through all the strife of matchmaking—a handful of people liked you enough to commend you.

This is a positive change in and of itself, but it's the increased communication that clinches it for me. When I spoke to Valve's Erik Johnson last year, he didn't regard player behaviour as a major issue for the game. This is likely because, if you have all of the data in front of you, the amount of players that cause enough trouble to be worth punishing is actually relatively small (the new conduct summary attests to that.) In the intervening time, however, it seems that Valve have realised that they need to open that data up to the community: it's not enough to say 'this isn't a priority' in private and leave people to get frustrated with what they perceive as a toxic player base.

The conduct summary FAQ puts to rest a bunch of urban myths regarding the report system: that you can be bullied into low prio by an ill-meaning party of players, or that the system is rendered ineffective by 'noise'—players filing reports for the wrong reasons. I don't know that the players who most need to read this FAQ will do so, and I suspect that the most serious offenders won't care when their conduct summary flashes up a run of red icons—but it's progress, and it speaks to increased openness on Valve's part.

I'm really pleased with the Battle Pass system, and it has me excited to try and complete all of the objectives before the event ends, but it's this single simple thing that has me hopeful for the future of the game. Valve's long run of experimental community events has finally borne fruit. If they go on to figure out how to encourage better behaviour from the average Dota player, and do so while writing more openly about their working, then I can t think of a better start to 2016.

Pcgp Logo Red Small PC Gamer Pro is dedicated to esports and competitive gaming. Check back every day for exciting, fun and informative articles about League of Legends, Dota 2, Hearthstone, CS:GO and more. GL HF!

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - (Alice O'Connor)

Valve have launched the Winter 2016 Battle Pass for Dota 2 [official site], a 5.29 virtual ticket giving you access to… new ways to get more hats for your wizards, I think? Look, I’ll be honest: I’ve played 1,498 hours of Dota 2 and I’m still confused by this. The end result is that you can get new cosmetic items by way of a great many progression tracks and statistics and gambling and… ah, go look. Basically, if you want pretty new stuff, you can get it by paying a fiver then playing a load of Dota.

… [visit site to read more]


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