PC Gamer




















Attention New York area-dweller and/or person capable of teleportation: we re giving away two tickets to the ESL One New York next weekend, October 9-10. If you like Dota 2 and you ll be in the area to attend, we d love for you to win these.


The big prize is two premium tickets, valued at $270 each. Enter here. Eight teams will be competing for a more than $113,000 prize pool over two days in Madison Square Garden. We'll select winners early next week. We've also got a secondary prize of 10 ESL One New York t-shirts (shown below), so even if you won't be in town to watch some Dota, there's a secondary item to win.

eslOne pcGamer giveaway v2







Community Announcements - Programmer Joe
The Beta for Half-Life 2 has been updated. This includes Episode 1, Episode 2, Lost Coast, Half-Life 2: Deathmatch, and Half-Life: Source.

Changes include:
  • Fixed default refresh rate when using a Virtual Reality display at higher than the desktop refresh rate.
Product Update - Valve
* Added the previous Gold Earned metric as an alternative graph on the Net Worth panel
* Fixed some issues with Boulder Smash cast behavior
* Fixed a Roshan exploit
* Fixed some Linux and Mac crashes
TF2 Blog




It's Hollywood legend that a young Steven Spielberg broke into the Universal lot to start his movie career. Less well known is that Francis Ford Coppola poisoned the head of development at Paramount with bleach, or that George Lucas knifed six guards in a prison riot to get Star Wars made.




There are two takeaways from this. One: America's filmmakers are degenerate thugs. Two: Security was a lot more relaxed in the Seventies. We wouldn't advise aspiring young filmmakers trying anything like that in 2014.




Luckily, you don't have to. Introducing the nominees for the 2014 Saxxy Awards, who were able to be incredibly creative without being the prime suspect in a string of brutal unsolved murders in 1974 (John Carpenter).



PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to This insane round reminded me why Counter-Strike is wonderful">csgo-awp-dreamhack-invitational







Evan writes about FPSes every Monday in Shooterology.



There was a round of CS:GO during last Friday s Dreamhack Invitational matches that I found really inspiring. I ve recorded some commentary over it at 25% playback speed in the video above.



The round, from a match between two of the best teams in the world, showcases Swedish sniper jw s absurd spider sense. It s a terrific individual effort, and while it delivers as a Sick MLG Pro 420 Noscope Frag Video , it also showcases two of CS:GO s best aspects: the importance of physical awareness and the way the game s decade-old, refined map layouts prompt tough decisions.



CS:GO isn t without flaws aside from the presence of hackers in competitive matches, the CS:GO competitive scene itself continues to suffer from DDOS attacks on players and servers during matches. The Dreamhack Invitational, despite being a LAN event, wasn't even safe from this. And those ancient maps, terrific as they generally are, aren't perfect. Nuke continues to heavily favor the CT side in CS:GO, arguably giving advantage to the team who starts on that side.



You really should watch the rest of the tournament, though, especially the final between French rivals Titan and Team LDLC.
PC Gamer



















Evan writes about FPSes every Monday in Shooterology.

There was a round of CS:GO during last Friday s Dreamhack Invitational matches that I found really inspiring. I ve recorded some commentary over it at 25% playback speed in the video above.

The round, from a match between two of the best teams in the world, showcases Swedish sniper jw s absurd spider sense. It s a terrific individual effort, and while it delivers as a Sick MLG Pro 420 Noscope Frag Video™, it also showcases two of CS:GO s best aspects: the importance of physical awareness and the way the game s decade-old, refined map layouts prompt tough decisions.

CS:GO isn t without flaws—aside from the presence of hackers in competitive matches, the CS:GO competitive scene itself continues to suffer from DDOS attacks on players and servers during matches. The Dreamhack Invitational, despite being a LAN event, wasn't even safe from this. And those ancient maps, terrific as they generally are, aren't perfect. Nuke continues to heavily favor the CT side in CS:GO, arguably giving advantage to the team who starts on that side.

You really should watch the rest of the tournament, though, especially the final between French rivals Titan and Team LDLC.







PC Gamer



















Evan writes about FPSes every Monday in Shooterology.

There was a round of CS:GO during last Friday s Dreamhack Invitational matches that I found really inspiring. I ve recorded some commentary over it at 25% playback speed in the video above.

The round, from a match between two of the best teams in the world, showcases Swedish sniper jw s absurd spider sense. It s a terrific individual effort, and while it delivers as a Sick MLG Pro 420 Noscope Frag Video™, it also showcases two of CS:GO s best aspects: the importance of physical awareness and the way the game s decade-old, refined map layouts prompt tough decisions.

CS:GO isn t without flaws—aside from the presence of hackers in competitive matches, the CS:GO competitive scene itself continues to suffer from DDOS attacks on players and servers during matches. The Dreamhack Invitational, despite being a LAN event, wasn't even safe from this. And those ancient maps, terrific as they generally are, aren't perfect. Nuke continues to heavily favor the CT side in CS:GO, arguably giving advantage to the team who starts on that side.

You really should watch the rest of the tournament, though, especially the final between French rivals Titan and Team LDLC.







Product Update - Valve
* Reworked how the AoE bonus Gold calculation is done slightly: NWDifference variable is now (EnemyTeamNW/AlliedTeamNW) - 1 [Min 0, Max 1]
* Rescaled the AoE Gold constant multipliers (in part to account for the formula tweak) from 0.26/0.22/0.18/0.14/0.1 to 0.06/0.06/0.05/0.04/0.03
* Reduced AoE XP bonus factor for 1/2/3/4/5 hero kills from 0.5/0.35/0.25/0.2/0.15 to 0.3/0.3/0.2/0.15/0.12


6.82b Full details (from initial 6.82 to 6.82b)
===========================
* Kill Streak Bounty from 100->800 to 60->480 (6.81: 125->1000)
* Adjusted bonus area of effect Gold and XP

6.82 Gold Formula
-----------------------
VictimLevel = Level of the Victim
VictimNW = The victim's Net Worth
EnemyTeamNW = Enemy team's total Net Worth
AlliedTeamNW = Your team's total Net Worth
NWDifference = ( EnemyTeamNW - AlliedTeamNW ) / ( EnemyTeamNW + AlliedTeamNW ) [Min 0]
NWFactor = NWDifference * VictimNW

1 Hero: Gold = 40 + 7 * VictimLevel + NWFactor * 0.5
2 Heroes: Gold = 30 + 6 * VictimLevel + NWFactor * 0.35
3 Heroes: Gold = 20 + 5 * VictimLevel + NWFactor * 0.25
4 Heroes: Gold = 10 + 4 * VictimLevel + NWFactor * 0.2
5 Heroes: Gold = 10 + 4 * VictimLevel + NWFactor * 0.15


6.82b Gold Formula
-------------------------
VictimLevel = Level of the Victim
VictimNW = The victim's Net Worth
EnemyTeamNW = Enemy team's total Net Worth
AlliedTeamNW = Your team's total Net Worth
NWDifference = ( EnemyTeamNW / AlliedTeamNW ) - 1 [Min 0, Max 1]
NWFactor = NWDifference * VictimNW

1 Hero: Gold = 40 + 7 * VictimLevel + NWFactor * 0.06
2 Heroes: Gold = 30 + 6 * VictimLevel + NWFactor * 0.06
3 Heroes: Gold = 20 + 5 * VictimLevel + NWFactor * 0.05
4 Heroes: Gold = 10 + 4 * VictimLevel + NWFactor * 0.04
5 Heroes: Gold = 10 + 4 * VictimLevel + NWFactor * 0.03



6.82 XP Factors:
--------------------
1 Hero: XP = 20 * VictimLevel + XPFactor * 0.5
2 Heroes: XP = 15 * VictimLevel + XPFactor * 0.35
3 Heroes: XP = 10 * VictimLevel + XPFactor * 0.25
4 Heroes: XP = 7 * VictimLevel + XPFactor * 0.2
5 Heroes: XP = 5 * VictimLevel + XPFactor * 0.15


6.82b XP Factors:
----------------------
1 Hero: XP = 20 * VictimLevel + XPFactor * 0.3
2 Heroes: XP = 15 * VictimLevel + XPFactor * 0.3
3 Heroes: XP = 10 * VictimLevel + XPFactor * 0.2
4 Heroes: XP = 7 * VictimLevel + XPFactor * 0.15
5 Heroes: XP = 5 * VictimLevel + XPFactor * 0.12
PC Gamer



















Stheader

There have been a lot of visions of the post-apocalypse, but if you've been waiting for one in which a sleepy-voiced robot guides you through a series train-based environmental puzzles in the year 2525, then you're in luck. Also, you're a little strange. Also, this mod is a little strange, even in name. It's called Steam, Tracks, Trouble & Riddles and it's for Half-Life 2: Episode 2.

First, some back-story, which is presented nicely through a series of hand-drawn images. It seems the Cuban Missile Crisis didn't end so agreeably in this reality. The nukes were launched, humans were essentially wiped out, and... well, frankly, how that leads to solving train puzzles in Berlin in the distant future, I'm not entirely sure. The important thing is, there's a bunch of train puzzles and a friendly robot to help you solve them.

At least he's on our side. I'm so used to fighting robots in the future.
At least he's on our side. I'm so used to fighting robots in the future.

It's notable that Ross Scott voices the robot, which is cool, though his voice has been slowed down to the point where it feels like it could be anyone reading the lines, which is sort of an odd choice. I'm fairly sure Scott didn't write the script, either, as the robot isn't particularly funny. The robot is, however, well designed and animated, and I enjoy the fact that he has another, smaller robot living in his head who pops out now and then. Also, for a robot who trundles around on a single wheel, I find him much more enjoyable than, say, Claptrap, especially in terms of volume.

Even the Space Marine from Doom never had to deal with a key this big.
Even the Space Marine from Doom never had to deal with a key this big.

The first thing you do in the mod is sort of the worst thing: you manipulate the slowest-moving crane ever built into picking up the parts of a railway handcar and drop them into a pile. It's not hard, and there's only three pieces, it just takes a while. If you can power through it, things get more enjoyable.

I'm no engineer, but a skull and crossbones on a blueprint probably ain't good.
I'm no engineer, but a skull and crossbones on a blueprint probably ain't good.

Once built, you drive your handcar along the tracks, stopping at occasional obstacles. Maybe there's a bridge that's not aligned properly, or a wall that needs to be destroyed, or some other sort of obstruction or obstacle on the track, meaning you'll need to stop, get out, look around, and figure out what the heck you're supposed to do. Often, there's a bit of guesswork involved before you can even start working on the puzzles. A series of valves and pipes means you'll need to open some and close others, obviously, but it can take a while to figure out exactly why the ones that need to be closed need to be closed. Y'know?

Oh man, it's gonna take ages to walk to the end of this quote.
Oh man, it's gonna take ages to walk to the end of this quote.

Of course there's a generator puzzle, and some batteries have to be fetched to power certain devices, and this being built in Half-Life 2, you'll naturally need to find a cable with a giant plug to plug into a giant plug-hole at some point. There are also some explosive barrels to be disarmed, as well as some electrified tracks and poison muck to avoid falling into. Finally, you'll face a massive gauntlet of moving trains while traversing narrow passages near the end, which is sort of like playing Frogger from a first-person perspective. You can't sprint in this mod (for some reason) but hopping will speed you up. I recommend hopping. I recommend hopping everywhere, in fact.

Wish my computer had a big light-up GO! sign. It'd motivate me like crazy.
Wish my computer had a big light-up GO! sign. It'd motivate me like crazy.

Help from your robot pal is somewhat intermittent. Sometimes he'll tell you exactly what to do, but other times he'll only provide encouragement. "Good job!" he said at one point, when I had been opening and closing valves more or less at random for several long minutes. It wasn't terribly specific, but at least he'd let me know I'd done something right, which helped me figure out the rest of the puzzle.

I like a little honesty in my buttons.
I like a little honesty in my buttons.

This isn't a terribly long mod, maybe two hours, unless you get stuck. (If you do, there's a lovely and fully comprehensive walk-through PDF created by the modder in the download section below). It's a bit uneven: some portions are really beautifully done, especially the robot and some of the custom machinery you'll need to manipulate, while some portions of the levels can feel a bit plain and uninspired. It's also not something to speed through: a lot of time needs to be spent just wandering around the various puzzles, experimenting and trying to determine what needs to be done. If you're looking for a thoughtful, mostly gentle, moderately paced puzzle mod, though, this is a nice one.

Installation: It's easy! Just download it here, open the .rar file, and drop the contents into your /sourcemods folder in your Steam directory. Then restart Steam and you'll see S.T.T.&R. in your Steam library, ready to launch.







PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Mod of the Week: Steam, Tracks, Trouble and Riddles for Half-Life 2: Episode 2">STTR







There have been a lot of visions of the post-apocalypse, but if you've been waiting for one in which a sleepy-voiced robot guides you through a series train-based environmental puzzles in the year 2525, then you're in luck. Also, you're a little strange. Also, this mod is a little strange, even in name. It's called Steam, Tracks, Trouble & Riddles and it's for Half-Life 2: Episode 2.



First, some back-story, which is presented nicely through a series of hand-drawn images. It seems the Cuban Missile Crisis didn't end so agreeably in this reality. The nukes were launched, humans were essentially wiped out, and... well, frankly, how that leads to solving train puzzles in Berlin in the distant future, I'm not entirely sure. The important thing is, there's a bunch of train puzzles and a friendly robot to help you solve them.



At least he's on our side. I'm so used to fighting robots in the future.



It's notable that Ross Scott voices the robot, which is cool, though his voice has been slowed down to the point where it feels like it could be anyone reading the lines, which is sort of an odd choice. I'm fairly sure Scott didn't write the script, either, as the robot isn't particularly funny. The robot is, however, well designed and animated, and I enjoy the fact that he has another, smaller robot living in his head who pops out now and then. Also, for a robot who trundles around on a single wheel, I find him much more enjoyable than, say, Claptrap, especially in terms of volume.



Even the Space Marine from Doom never had to deal with a key this big.



The first thing you do in the mod is sort of the worst thing: you manipulate the slowest-moving crane ever built into picking up the parts of a railway handcar and drop them into a pile. It's not hard, and there's only three pieces, it just takes a while. If you can power through it, things get more enjoyable.



I'm no engineer, but a skull and crossbones on a blueprint probably ain't good.



Once built, you drive your handcar along the tracks, stopping at occasional obstacles. Maybe there's a bridge that's not aligned properly, or a wall that needs to be destroyed, or some other sort of obstruction or obstacle on the track, meaning you'll need to stop, get out, look around, and figure out what the heck you're supposed to do. Often, there's a bit of guesswork involved before you can even start working on the puzzles. A series of valves and pipes means you'll need to open some and close others, obviously, but it can take a while to figure out exactly why the ones that need to be closed need to be closed. Y'know?



Oh man, it's gonna take ages to walk to the end of this quote.



Of course there's a generator puzzle, and some batteries have to be fetched to power certain devices, and this being built in Half-Life 2, you'll naturally need to find a cable with a giant plug to plug into a giant plug-hole at some point. There are also some explosive barrels to be disarmed, as well as some electrified tracks and poison muck to avoid falling into. Finally, you'll face a massive gauntlet of moving trains while traversing narrow passages near the end, which is sort of like playing Frogger from a first-person perspective. You can't sprint in this mod (for some reason) but hopping will speed you up. I recommend hopping. I recommend hopping everywhere, in fact.



Wish my computer had a big light-up GO! sign. It'd motivate me like crazy.



Help from your robot pal is somewhat intermittent. Sometimes he'll tell you exactly what to do, but other times he'll only provide encouragement. "Good job!" he said at one point, when I had been opening and closing valves more or less at random for several long minutes. It wasn't terribly specific, but at least he'd let me know I'd done something right, which helped me figure out the rest of the puzzle.



I like a little honesty in my buttons.



This isn't a terribly long mod, maybe two hours, unless you get stuck. (If you do, there's a lovely and fully comprehensive walk-through PDF created by the modder in the download section below). It's a bit uneven: some portions are really beautifully done, especially the robot and some of the custom machinery you'll need to manipulate, while some portions of the levels can feel a bit plain and uninspired. It's also not something to speed through: a lot of time needs to be spent just wandering around the various puzzles, experimenting and trying to determine what needs to be done. If you're looking for a thoughtful, mostly gentle, moderately paced puzzle mod, though, this is a nice one.



Installation: It's easy! Just download it here, open the .rar file, and drop the contents into your /sourcemods folder in your Steam directory. Then restart Steam and you'll see S.T.T.&R. in your Steam library, ready to launch.



 
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