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

Guns! Guns! Guns!

I am fascinated by how Valve apply lessons from one game to another, building on ideas or outright copying bits from one game to another. Team Fortress 2 [official site] fed Counter-Strike: Global Offensive with ideas of cosmetic customisation bits, CS: GO built on them and tied them into its Operations, and now those expanded ideas are returning to TF2.

Today will see the launch of the Gun Mettle Campaign in TF2. For $6, players will get challenges offering the reward of new weapon skins and mores. The update will also bring new maps and big balance tweaks and more that’ll be free. Also, NEW COMIC!

… [visit site to read more]

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

These pass for dollar bills, right?

The prize pool for Dota 2’s [official site] annual mega tournament The International has sailed past $15 million meaning it’s now ticked the boxes of all of the stretch goals Valve thought up for its crowdfunding drive.

The money comes via sales relating to a digital booklet called the Compendium which lets you take on little challenges and earn rewards. You can buy the Compendium itself but you can also spend money to make yours a higher level rather than slogging through games or pick up digital chests which contain cosmetic items and other doodads which you can use in game.

TI5 had already achieved the record for the biggest prize pool in eSports history the moment it surpassed the total raised for TI4 but I wanted to post this update for several reasons.

… [visit site to read more]

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

Double pig. Triple Pig. Ultra pig. RAMPAGE.

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. THIS WEEK, however, she will be complaining about her Dota 2 petting zoo!>

I am staring at a hang screen in Dota 2. I think I just tried to compile a map but I can’t be completely sure because programming words have always been a bit of a mystery to me.

Being sick and jetlagged I took the obvious decision that this would be a good time to build a petting zoo as a custom game mode using Dota 2 Reborn’s toolkit. So far I seem to have made a horrible map in the Hammer editor where the trees look goofy and the textures are unsubtle and there’s an army of butterflies completely by accident that I can’t get rid of. The totally separate INTENTIONAL army of butterflies is in a totally different location but I got cross with rotating them individually so they’re currently in grid formation and now they look weird and menacing and, crucially, unable to fly. I think they might all be dead.

… [visit site to read more]

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

Gosh, the work and dedication that goes into some mods can still surprise me. Look at Portal Stories: Mel [official site], a new Portal 2 mod which launched this evening.

Mel brings a new protagonist with a new companion sphere, boasting over 300 new voiced lines, an hour of original music, and 22 levels that its creators say may take anywhere from four to twelve hours to complete depending on how well you think with portals. It looks quite pretty. And it’s entirely free (if you own Portal 2, natch), available direct through Steam.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Kirk McKeand)

Sometimes you need a hand to hold, so we ve compiled a list of the 25 best co-op games to play on PC with a headset-wearing friend or a muted stranger.

Whether solving puzzles, sneaking, shooting zombies or stabbing mythical creatures in the face, the existence of another player adds an element of unpredictability. The reality of your co-op partner constantly alerting the guards is drowned out by the experience in your head – the synchronised stealth takedowns, the perfectly executed plan – but both success and failure are more compelling when you can take credit for the former and blame someone else for the latter.

There is a co-op game for every duo and our selection includes a variety of the most bestest. Don t worry if your favourite co-op game doesn t feature – it just means you re wrong. All mortals are, on occasion. … [visit site to read more]

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

Dota 2 [official site] has jumped to Valve’s shiny new Source 2 engine with the open beta release of the Reborn update. The main version of the game will still run on the old engine until after this year’s International tournament, but everyone can now poke at the new one.

If you dig Dota 2, hey, go have a poke at what’s to come; your match history, matchmaking rating, cosmetic items, and so on are shared across both versions, unlike normal Dota 2 test clients. If you just want to know more about Valve’s new tech, the engine that’ll be free(ish) for everyone to make games on, read on.

… [visit site to read more]

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

Valve have made a new Dota 2 [official site] mode for the full launch of Custom Games (mods, basically) in their free-to-play lords management game. Custom Games will let folks create their own levels and gameplay rules, and will have a nifty-looking in-game hub to find and play them. A video showing off Valve’s newest Hammer editor makes them look surprisingly easy to make too.

They’re a big part of the Dota 2 Reborn update that’s due to enter open beta testing this week. Other big changes are a new UI and a switch to a new engine which they don’t name but come on it’s obviously gonna be Source 2 right?

… [visit site to read more]

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

Valve formally announced Source 2 in March, long after we first saw scraps of it in Dota 2 [official site], but when will get to properly play games in it? Soon, is the answer, and it looks like the first will indeed be Dota 2.

The company last night announced Dota 2 Reborn, a revamp of the free-to-play lords management game switching it to a new engine (they don’t name Source 2, but c’mon) with a new UI, revamped spectating, what I imagine is support for custom game modes, new ways to ease new players in, and more. This version will launch into open beta next week, then properly launch after August’s big tournament The International.

… [visit site to read more]

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

Meet the aliens.

That rag-tag gang of mercenaries from Team Fortress 2 are at it again, “it” being “appearing in other games made by other people.” This time they’ve popped up in Dungeon of the Endless [official site], the really very good roguelikelike tower defence game by Amplitude Studios.

The free Australium update launched yesterday, adding the TF2 Pyro, Medic, Heavy, and Engineer to Dungeon’s lineup of playable characters. But wait, there’s more! It also added five new TF2-y items. The game’s on sale too.

… [visit site to read more]

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

It is gold because of all the money.

The International 5 – Valve’s upcoming Dota 2 [official site] tournament – will have the biggest prize pool in eSports history. The sales of the tournament’s accompanying digital Compendium have now shoved the total money available for the contest past the $10.9 million record set by last year’s International.

… [visit site to read more]

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