Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

“These charts are supposed to be weekly, Meer.” “I know, but I keep having to go away for unhappy reasons.” “Oh OK, but you’d damn well better tell me what were the top ten best-stelling Steam games last week, or I’m going to spraypaint pictures of bottoms onto your house.” “Alright, alright, here you go.” … [visit site to read more]

Product Update - Valve
* Fixed disabled evasion abilities sometimes evading attacks
* Fixed Bristleback's Nasal Goo cast range
* Fixed Axe's Counter Helix being able to trigger when attacks land while Axe is dead
PC Gamer

I can't remember how long it took me to finish Half-Life 2. It's been a while, after all. But I can say, with absolute confidence, that it was a lot longer than the breathtaking 40:49 it took the SourceRuns Team to do it.

As is usual with speedruns, this is not a typical playthrough of Half-Life 2. It's done using a 2006 build of the game that used the original engine, which has significant movement differences, as well as a long list tricks and glitches that have since been patched out. It's also segmented, which basically means that it's a group effort: Different players hammer through different bits of the game, and the best of them are stitched together into what you see in the video.

The net result is fast, furious, and funky, as the runners clip through walls, fly over levels, and blow past the talkie bits. It doesn't look like much fun in the conventional videogame sense, but it's a hell of a sightseeing tour, and a remarkable accomplishment, coming in at just one-third of the world-record mark the SourceRuns team set in 2013.

A spreadsheet that breaks down just about every element of the run you can imagine is up on Google Docs, and the SourceRunners have also posted a separate video explaining how clipping works on YouTube.

PC Gamer

Cheating in CS:GO is its own small sub-industry, a hard-to-kill parasite riding on the skin one of the PC s most popular games. Some ne'er-do-wells get off avoiding the notice of the VAC system for as long as possible. Others leverage cheating as a profitable enterprise, offering premium programs and services. Some professionals have even used cheats during competition (with disastrous, career-ending consequences). For Valve, combating the risk of hacking is an endless war. Just last week, Valve s elimination of a popular Team Fortress 2 cheat nabbed nearly 170 pro TF2 players. And last year, it dealt over 1 million bans to suspected accounts; with ownership counts likely exceeding 20 million, CS:GO likely represents a significant chunk of that figure.

Earlier this year, CS:GO player AndroidL was inspired to take matters into his own hands. In late January, AndroidL created and dispersed a pair of free hack programs on a popular cheat forum. Unbeknownst to their downloaders, the programs were time bombs. They d function normally for a set period of time before permanently skewing the user s view angle to an abnormal tilt and enabling a constant bunnyhop script huge, obvious red flags that would immediately trigger a VAC ban. Although clever, the first few hack releases earned modest attention roughly 1,000 downloads apiece, according to AndroidL s Reddit post.

CS:GO has a cheating problem, AndroidL explained to me over multiple private messages. I don t think Valve is doing enough to prevent cheating; it doesn t speak publicly about VAC (for obvious reasons) or cheating in general. For such a competitive game with such an active and thriving community, Valve fails to at least acknowledge cheating is an issue in CS:GO which is appalling. Due to their failure to communicate, we aren't sure if Valve are actually attempting to combat cheaters or not. It's impossible to play a game of CS:GO today without suspecting someone on the enemy team of cheating.

AndroidL used this chart taken from vac-ban.com to illustrate the impact of each hack's release.

AndroidL s hack took a more direct approach. It dispensed with timers and prompted a ban the moment a user would load the hack and enter a match by continuously topping off health, ammo, and armor values. Yet despite the almost instant effect, it achieved greater success, accumulating over 3,500 downloads.

Contributing to the hack s propagation was a simple testing method: I set the launch options of CS:GO to +sv_lan 1 -insecure which disables VAC (but consequently prevents me from joining any VAC enabled servers), AndroidL wrote. This means I can test the hacks without getting banned. I just played an offline game with bots where I was able to confirm the features such as editing my view angles along with health and ammo numbers.

Once the hack s usability was confirmed, AndroidL uploaded it onto the cheat forum through a VPN to stay anonymous. The forum account was only days old with no reputation, which would typically undermine the legitimacy of the hack. But to promote the hack, AndroidL went for a straightforward solution: I had a few of my friends post messages such as great, the hack worked! and so on until the comments overflowed onto a second page. Most hackers don t check the second page of posts; they ll only read the first few comments and then download the hack. As publicly released programs tend to last only a few days before detection by VAC, dummy nods of approval was enough to push the scheme in front of as many eyes as possible while it lasted.

AndroidL s favorite forum complaint. It's strange how people think they're entitled to free hacks, as if someone else is to blame for the consequences of their cheating.

And it worked. The hack s impact was magnified by its sheer efficiency; a cheater couldn t react fast enough between launching CS:GO and meeting VAC s awaiting hammer seconds later. As bans started snowballing, users flooded the host forum with warnings and grievances of their sudden downfall. AndroidL feigned innocence by coming up with excuses as to why it wasn't my hack banning people to encourage others to download it.

Members of the CS:GO community could already participate in culling the cheater population through Valve s Overwatch initiative for a few years now, but AndroidL s accomplishments demonstrate how one can more surgically hamper hackers with only modest extra effort. The victory could very well be temporary at best devoted cheaters can simply create a fresh Steam account and spend the $15/ 11 on another CS:GO copy but from AndroidL s perspective, the self-demise of those who sought an ostensibly easy access to a hack was worth it.

The skewed view that a hacker would eventually see with AndroidL's hack.

I think Overwatch is a very good idea, AndroidL wrote. It's another filter cheaters have to go through, but the only reason Overwatch exists is because VAC lacks the capabilities to detect all cheaters. Although I believe VAC is a good safeguard against cheaters, I don t believe it is a strong enough safeguard. There is little to no effort involved for a hack developer to bypass VAC it is a decent system to keep away the masses of people using public cheats, but other than that VAC is essentially futile.

I do have a plan with similar tactics and I probably will do this again sometime, AndroidL continued. It would be great if I could cooperate with Valve to get a larger number of cheaters banned. Taking cheating into our own hands seems to be the only solution right now, and I encourage others that have the skills to do this to create similar fake hacks. Furthermore, I want to put off those thinking about cheating. This wasn t the first fake hack, and it definitely won t be the last.

PC Gamer

LMAOBOX is a program designed to allow players to cheat at Team Fortress 2, for instance by adding automatic aiming or removing weapon recoil. Somehow until now at least it's managed to pass under the radar of Valve's VAC (Valve Anti-Cheat) technology, but LMAOBOX has finally been detected, despite claims on the website that it was VAC-proof. And with the detection, comes a wave of VAC bans. It's not clear exactly how many people have been affected, but it includes nearly 170 professional players in the TF2 UGC league. Here's a full list of the competitive players affected, in a Google doc seemingly sent to the players themselves.

PCGamesN has a good write-up of proceedings, but a few more details have come to light since publication. While the developer of LMAOBOX apparently stated that they would now quit the project and make the source code public, a moderator of this Reddit thread reckons that post was made by someone else, and that the (fake) code provided was riddled with malware. Others have disputed claims that the bans are backdated to anyone who has used LMAOBOX in the previous two years, suggesting it has only hit players who have used it in the last two weeks instead.

Either way, this is surely good news for anyone who plays TF2 in the traditional, non-cheaty manner. (Ta, mxdwm.com)

Community Announcements - Ward


The Manila Major Qualifiers are just around the corner and by next week the final four qualifying teams will take their places alongside the 12 invites.Running May 3rd - 6th, the Regional Qualifiers will determine which remaining team in each region will earn a chance to do battle on the main stage of The Manila Major from June 7th - 12th.

As the regional teams battle for the coveted final spots, we would like to take the opportunity to give a larger group of casters the chance to cast higher profile games and join the established talents across the Russian, English, and Chinese languages for every qualifier match in both DotaTV and on stream. The schedule and streams for each game will be available herebefore the start of the qualifiers.

If you are interested in attending The Manila Major, weekday tickets are still available for purchase here.
Product Update - Valve
* Fixed Arcane Orb not dealing bonus damage to illusions or summoned units
PC Gamer

Warhammer. Warhammer never changes, as Wrong Perlman once said. But Dota 2 does, it changes loads, and its latest alteration is its support for Warhammer-themed items in the Steam Workshop. As that support was just announced yesterday, there are currently no Warhammer-themed items in the Dota 2 'shop, but I'm sure 3D modellers and texturisers are busy inventing them as I type this. Here's the Warhammer tag, looking all sad and empty.

An incentive to do so is the Call to Arms contest, which runs from now until the end of August, and will reward up to eight of the best entries with a coveted place in a new Warhammer-themed Dota treasure pack. They'll also get a load of Sega games, including Total War: Warhammer, along with all the other Total Wars. The rules are linked above if you fancy your chances, but the main one is that entries should abide by the "visual themes" of Games Workshop's series. Designers of big spiky shoulderpads and massive guns will be in their element, I reckon.

Product Update - Valve
* Fixed Hurricane Pike interaction with Gyrocopter's Homing Missile
* Fixed only 4 broadcaster channels being visible in the lobby instead of 6
* Fixed hotkeys on Arc Warden's Tempest Double when reconnecting

6.87b:
* Sacrifice Cooldown increased from 44/36/28/20 to 60/50/40/30
* Sacrifice Mana restore increased from 25/40/55/70% to 30/50/70/90%
* Blade Mail cooldown increased from 13 to 18
* Jinada slow reduced from 25/27/29/31% to 18/22/26/30%
* Armlet's armor bonus is now granted after it is fully activated
Community Announcements - Dota 2

In reference to our latest blog post:
Warhammer Comes to the Dota 2 Workshop

You may view the official contest rules here.
...

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