Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

Jakiro from Dota 2 [official site], once thought to be the world’s most popular flying plastic bag since that one in American Beauty, has been revealed as a two-headed dragon. Valve yesterday pumped out a Dota 2 update which included the long-promised new model for the support character(s), which makes clear that Jakiro are actually a dragon and not a burst bin bag. Who knew! The new Jakiro mostly follows the same concept, though Blue Head’s cute beard o’ barbels has become a jawline so stern even Judge Dredd would envy it. Update v7.03 also brought a fair few balance tweaks, and one of those mega-expensive ‘Arcana’ cosmetic sets for Juggernaut. … [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

A new temporary game mode has arrived in Dota 2 [official site] with the ‘Dark Moon’ event to mark Lunar/Chinese New Year. Prizes are up for grabs! Dark Moon is a PvE wave survival mode, with five heroes beating back hordes of nasties in a way that feels a lot like many Warcraft 3 mods. Well, in WC3 modland it’d likely also have shoddy Spider-Men and hilariously overpowered items but hey, we can’t have it all.

Valve have also launched the Winter 2017 Battle Pass, the combination sticker album and gift bag leading into April’s big tournament, the Kiev Major. … [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (James Archer)

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For an idea of how much Dota 2 s New Journey/7.00 update is A Big Deal, consider this: Dota, in general, has been in version 6.somethingsomething since 2005 – the Dota All-Stars mod days. It was around this time that the mysterious Icefrog originally took over development. That s endured all the way through Valve s Dota 2, right up until now, when all our expectations of the game s patch number conventions crumbled like so many tango-munched trees.

Moreover, the preceding patch 6.88 is held in unusually high esteem by both the community at large and the professional/competitive scene. Other than the questionable strength of certain illusion-spam lineups, 6.88 was remarkably well-balanced, with almost no heroes considered unviable and a relatively broad range of strategies, from drawn-out split pushing to full-davai five-man gank rushes being employed in games at all skill levels. [Don’t worry about the terminology if you’re less steeped in on Dota slang – just know that 6.88 was really versatile! – Ed>]

Nonetheless, Valve and Icefrog have held little back for 7.00, introducing not only a new hero in Monkey King, but the kind of fundamentals-altering additions that go even further than what skipping 0.11 version numbers would suggest. Perhaps the most impactful of these changes are Talents. … [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (James Archer)

Boston Major

Another multimillion-dollar Dota 2 Major tournament has come to a close this weekend as top teams from all over the world battled for the Boston Major‘s Eaglesong trophy and a share of the $3m prize pool. Would OG be able to defend their title with a remixed lineup or would some feisty newcomers be able to snaffle it away? In case you’re still avoiding spoilers all of this will be revealed after the jump, as well as the must-watch matches so you can condense your viewing into a single action-packed evening! … [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Philippa Warr)

Viper remodel

As the confetti fell on the end of the Dota 2 [official site] Boston Major tournament its developers, Valve, announced a significant update to their MOBA: update 7.00. I scanned the notes yesterday (once the website was able to cope with the strain of the traffic) and had a couple of games on the test client and GOOD LORD, it’s a doozy! There are Heroes of the Storm-ish talent trees, the jungle has changed so much I actually got lost, Roshan has upped sticks and moved to the northern bit of the river, Monkey King is a total (cool) jerk, the HUD has slimmed right down, illusions offer bounties and all kinds of other nonsense.

We’ll have a proper thorough patch analysis a bit later as the update is going live today but here are a few impressions after playing on the test client: … [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (James Archer)

A new professional Dota 2 [official site] season means new, ultra-high-stakes Major tournaments, and the first is upon us: the Boston Major is underway, with a $3,000,000 prize pool and a neat bird-shaped trophy on the line. The event is live right now, and below you’ll find all the information you need on the teams and the tournament, as well as the links you need to watch.

… [visit site to read more]

Dec 1, 2016
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (James Archer)

Dota 2 [official site] begins its next season of multi-million dollar Major tournaments in earnest on December 3, with the Boston Major set to take over the lavish Wang Theatre. While only a relatively small number of viewers will be able to fit inside to see the ridiculously monied spell-storms up close, potentially millions more will be watching via stream including you, if you so desire.

Indeed, watching top-tier Dota can be even more entertaining, and significantly less aggravating, than playing it yourself. Yet surely you d need at least a decent amount of hands-on experience with the game to derive any understanding, let alone enjoyment, from spectating others?

Fret not. It is a remarkably complex (and ever-changing) game, but it s also surprising easy to pick up the basics when it s just ten heroes duking it out, while a team of casters and analysts spell the action out over mic. Better yet, read this guide a primer on both the essentials and the intricacies of a game of Dota 2, beamed through the prism of pro match viewership like Tinker s Aghs Q! … [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Philippa Warr)

Boston Major

Dota 2‘s [official site] schedule for the latter part of 2016 will see pro players focusing in on the next Major tournament, which will take place in Boston in early December. Meanwhile, everyone else (and maybe the pros too) can take a peek at the latest battle pass if they fancy seasonal loot/cosmetics/competitive mini-tournaments.

I’m grouping these announcements together because there’s an autumnal map reskin as one of the rewards of this season’s battle pass and I associate Boston with that gorgeous, over-the-top changing of the leaves you get in the New England fall season.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Philippa Warr)

A non-major but still interesting Dota 2 [official site] patch has dropped. 6.88e is all about tweaks, as you’d expect from a patch with a letter on the end of it, rather than one which heralds a whole jump forward in numbering. The reason it’s interesting is more that it gives me a chance to talk about a thought related to patches and living games like Dota 2.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Brendan Caldwell)

A rash of hacks in the past two months has left the usernames, emails and passwords from at least twelve gaming forums compromised, including those of Unreal creator Epic Games and Secret World developer Funcom. Other breaches include a GTA fansite and, as previously reported, the official forums of Dota 2. All the attacks involved an exploit in the forum’s software, which the hackers used to hoover up details of members. And while the passwords are encrypted, they can often be easily cracked. In total, over 9 million user accounts have had their details stolen.

… [visit site to read more]

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