There is no desire more potent than Roshan desire as Dota 2's bots learned this weekend with the arrival of a new patch designed to make them smarter. Their eagerness to take on the giant lizard monster deep in Dota 2's jungle will now be dependent on their proximity to said giant lizard monster. If you kill Roshan three times, he drops "cheese." It's best not to contemplate what exactly this "cheese" is, but I like to think that it's a vessel designed to trap Roshan's raging soul in the confines of a highly portable dairy product. A Roshan Babybel, essentially.
Understandably, bots have been reluctant to eat this "cheese," until this latest patch. This is a good change for them, though, as the Roshan Babybel delivers an unrivalled instantaneous boost to health and mana when consumed. Discover more about the tweaks to Dota 2's bots, and scan the latest bug fixes in the latest patch notes below.
GAMEPLAY - Fixed being able to miss Vendetta - Fixed Meld sometimes not hitting if you moved quickly after attacking - Fixed some FOW issues with Spirit Form Illuminate - Fixed Soul Assumption gaining charges from Illusions - Fixed some movement formation issues with Familiars - Fixed Stone Form stun not going off if a Familiar died while casting it
DOTA 2 BOTS - Fixed bots never using Cheese. - Fixed bots never using TPs to get back to base. - Bots will no longer figure out illusions based on the damage the potential illusion is doing. - Lowered bot farm desire at low health. - Lowered retreat desire just to pick up items. - Added a mild distance factor to Roshan desire. - Baseline push desire is now calculated using the opposing team's total offensive power rather than a constant value (so bots will want more power later in games). - Bots now just want to equalize power when defending, rather than overwhelm. - Capped maximum defend desire so that it doesn't trump their attack desire.
As expected, Dota 2 received a bumper round of hero additions this week! Nyx Assassin, Keeper of the Light and Visage the Necro'lic all caught their buses on time and are settling in nicely with their team mates/mortal enemies, depending on how the picks play out. I like to think the Dota 2 heroes are set up in a small town of lodges akin to the Olympic village, where small dramas and rivalries play out with the melodrama of a long running soap opera.
That makes Nyx Assassin the new big bruiser in town, you know, the one with the dark past and a bad attitude with a hidden sensitive side that's gradually teased out as he forms new friendships, like a flower blooming tentatively for young spring sunshine. Except that last part will never happen because he is a GIANT EVIL SCARAB MONSTER. Want to see what he can really do? Let's get into this.
Nyx Assassin Roses are red, violets are blue, Nyx likes to gank and is right behind you
His bio currently just says "bio" on the Dota 2 official heropedia page, but Dota 2 wiki describes him as a telepathic "zealot scarab." If you want a sense of what he's all about, he has one attack called "impale" and an ultimate called "vendetta." It doesn't matter how you mash the words "zealot scarab vendetta impale" together, you get a recipe for a pretty horrible death. Nyx can mana burn foes to defend or limit their escape powers, coat himself in an array of spikes to reflect damage and stun, and can turn completely invisible for lengthy periods and deal massive damage when springing out of stealth. In short, he's a competent killer with terrible table manners. Here's Dota Cinema's demo showing off his skills.
Keeper of the Light Pushes lanes with glowing balls of love, is Gandalf
You're a creep, say. That came out wrong. Imagine you're a creep. You're halfway there. You've fought tooth and nail to get past the last wave. The hero supporting you has vanished into the jungle. You make your way forwards with your few remain allies, you turn the corner and suddenly you're obliterated by a wall of HORSES MADE OF LIGHT. Keeper of the Light's illuminate ability is the bane of small-fry lane baddies. He can scrub a path clean as well as any contender, which makes the power that allows him to summon an allied hero from anywhere on the battlefield an extremely useful bonus. Factor in his spirit form, and you have one tough addition to the Dota 2 roster.
Visage the Necro'lic Glowing blue support gargoyle, comes with goons
If Keeper is Gandalf, Visage is a big, blue Balrog. A slightly tentative Balrog, who doesn't really want to cross that narrow bridge protected by a mad wizard. He'd rather sit back, lay down a few debuffs and then send two flying familiars ahead to deal with the situation. He's pragmatic like that, Visage. There's some resource management involved in keeping him operating at peak efficiency, though. He can layer Gravekeeper's Cloaks to fend off damage, and dish out punishment with stacks of soul charges using his Soul Assumption ability. The ability to throw out gargoyle minions lets him linger near the carnage while hopefully staying out of too much trouble. That's just his style. Some would call it cowardice, but they're all dead now, carrion for his hungry, hungry goons.
The International is coming
We're just weeks away from Valve's second big Dota 2 invitational event, The International. As a result, it sounds as though we won't be getting many new heroes in the coming weeks. According to the latest post on the Dota 2 blog Valve will be "clamping things down a tad, focusing on getting the existing feature and hero set polished to a high sheen."
"Fear not, we will continue to work on new heroes internally, getting them ready for a release once The International is over."
You'll find the full list of teams involved on the International site. It's all kicking off on August 31 in Seattle. For more on the latest additions to Dota 2, surf recent posts on our Dota 2 tag.
Remember the Slender Man game we mentioned a couple of weeks back? It's a terrifying indie horror based on the spooky Something Awful monster. You had to wander through a dark forest with a pale torch hunting for messages while trying not to look directly at the creature. It's scary as hell.
GOOD NEWS EVERYBODY, a different team are creating a version of Slender Man in Valve's Source engine. Fittingly, it's called Slender Source, and this one will let you avoid a horrifying death with friends. Yaay!
It's a work-in-progress deal at the moment, but the bare bones are in place. Here's the challenge: "Players must work together to collect a certain amount of creepy dolls all while trying to avoid the abomination that is the Slenderman. The kick? No weapons."
Sadly, nobody has ever invited me into the woods to collect creepy dolls before, but if they did I'm pretty sure I'd say "hell yes BRING THE SCARES," which probably makes me that guy who dies horribly at the start of every horror movie. Thankfully, games like Slender Man, Slender: Source, Hide and SCP Containment Breach give us the chance to experience those scares without, y'know, the dismemberment. You can keep an eye on how the Half-Life 2 mod is progressing over on ModDB. Here's an early screenshot showing the wooded environment, which is one of two planned for release. The other will be set in an abandoned hospital.
And here's the trailer for the other Slender Man game, to give you a taste of the Slender Man vibe:
Are there any other horror games/mods that you've enjoyed? Let us know, we need some new ideas to test on work experience applicants.
According to test notes published on the Dota 2 forums by Icefrog, THREE heroes are warming up for combat, which means we can soon look forward to picking vengeful, nuke-tastic zealot scarab Nyx Assassin, man-on-horse who's basically Gandalf, Keeper of the Light and flaming blue gargoyle monster, Visage. They'll likely be added to the main client in this week's Thursday update, but they're rampaging all over the test client right now blinding, spiking and mana-burning all manner of foes.
That's a nice, varied mix of heroes. Nyx is an insectoid gank artist with a passion for spikes and invisibility. Keeper of the Light is a righteous pusher who can blast lanes with waves of glowing horses and Visage is a minion-summoning support specialist. The weekly updates are doing a great job of keeping Dota 2 fresh. It's currently the most played game on Steam, and that popularity is only going to grow as the next International tournament draws close, and Dota 2 creeps towards a proper release.
Here are those update notes from the Dota 2 forums.
HIGHLIGHTS: - Added Nyx Assassin, Keeper of the Light, and Visage and enabled in Captain's Mode! - Added a cooldown to being able to find a match when a player declines or abandons a game.
GAMEPLAY: - Beastmaster: Fixed Wild Axes working with Refresher. - Beastmaster: Wild Axes no longer provide vision when they aren't flying. - Naga Siren: Fixed Dust of Appearance not working against units slept by Song of the Siren. - Naga Siren: Fixed Ice Blast debuff not getting added to units slept by Song of the Siren. - Naga Siren: Fixed Weave not affecting units slept by Song of the Siren. - Phantom Lancer: Fixed Doppelwalk illusions not correctly replicating their inventory item slots. - Rubick: Fixed Wild Axes being left around when another ability is stolen. - Sand King: Neutrals can now be damaged by Sandstorm. - Templar Assassin: Fixed Meld initial attack doing too much damage. - Slardar: Fixed Bash working while doomed. - Neutrals damaged by an invisible enemy will now try to run away.
SPECTATING: - Multiple tweaks to director events and framing. - Fixed particle effects sometimes not drawing while in Player Perspective mode.
UI: - Added notification for when a Tournament has a live game currently running. - The kill card now shows a randomly selected item that the killer is wearing. Also reduced its size. - Fixed equipping an item in the backpack not jumping to the correct hero in the loadout - Added Buyback to the spectating stats dropdown. - Added a cooldown for being able to find a match when a player declines or abandons a game.
VISUALS: - Fixed Rubick retaining incorrect skins from stolen abilities when returning to his normal model. - Meld damage display is now only shown for successful hits.
BOTS: - Significant revision of how bots determine their strategic desires. - Roshan desire has been significantly reworked. It's now based on how quickly Roshan can be killed given the available heroes and how quickly enemies can show up. - Evasion desire is now more granular. Things like Blade Fury now cause a range of evasion desire based on the bot's current health. - Fixed case where bots were trying to path to an invalid location when defending their base. - Made bots more aggressive about attacking when defending a lane. - Cleaned up inferred human modes for pushing and defending lanes. - Made bots less concerned about distance when considering an attack on a pinged target. - Fixed bug that made pinged towers less likely to attract allied bots that were doing other high-priority stuff. - Tuned retreat desire values when hurt and close to the fountain. - Made bots somewhat more likely to buy a flying courier.
WORKSHOP: - Added a new Import Wearable option to the Publish New Item section of the in-game workshop UI. It will compile, validate, and preview your model before you submit it. When submitting, it also packs the files into a format that makes it much easier for us to bring it into the game.
Way back in December 2009, when this humble intern was an even humbler college sophomore with no job who was sinking scores of hours into Dragon Age: Origins, we reported on a guy who goes by DemonStrate beating Portal in a touch over 10 minutes. While that seemed astounding at the time, the record has since been smashed to pieces by SourceRuns, demolishing GLaDOS in just 8:31. That's a good minute and a half faster than DemonStrate, and 53 seconds faster than their own previous record-breaking run. See the video for yourself below.
"To be SDA legal we have done our run without using scripts/cheats/hacks for any portion of the run," the speed demons posted on YouTube. "This run first started after the discovery of a new glitch, which snowballed into a whirlwind of discoveries of new tricks, skips, and glitches. We started running chambers in April, took a brief hiatus, and then resumed work in late June. The bulk of the run was completed in about 2 weeks time."
Looks like it's about time to dive back into Valve's zombie apocalypse/gnome rescue/friendly fire simulator, Left 4 Dead 2. An update announced on the Left 4 Dead blog has added a finished version of the community made map, Cold Stream, and has opened up all mutations. These are custom rulesets created by Valve and the community which used to rotate every week or so that operate as tense and often ridiculous alternative game modes. Highlights include Taaannnkkk! which replaces all special infected in versus with Tanks, and Last Gnome on Earth, which requires survivors to rescue and protect Gnome Chompski on every map.
A bunch of tweaks have been made to Crash Course, Death Toll, Dead Air and Blood Harvest to crush exploits, and to celebrate the entire ordeal, Left 4 Dead 2 is on sale on Steam at 75% off. Absorb the latest round of tweaks in the patch notes below, and browse the many available mutations archived over on the Left 4 Dead wiki.
Patch notes, via Steam:
Updates to Left 4 Dead 2 have been released. The updates will be applied automatically when your Steam client is restarted. The major changes include:
- Made all mutations accessible from the main menu
Crash Course 1: - Fixed survivors being able to climb into infected-only territory from the top of the white truck in the early alley. - Survivors can no longer leave the map bounds near the riverfront. - Closed off a shortcut method to bypass the howitzer event.
Crash Course 2: - Survivors can no longer jump on the generators in the finale area.
Death Toll 1: - Moved car near the tunnel entrance away from the drooping traffic light, as standing on parts of the car near the traffic signal could put you into a permanently stuck position. - Moved a traffic sign that allowed survivors to climb the drooping traffic light prop up to the top of the tunnel entrance.
Death Toll 2: - Added an infected ladder leading in to the upper pipe in the large drain room. - Survivors should no longer be able to cross the bridge-lowering event before the bridge has fully lowered. - Survivors should no longer be able to access the infected-only areas toward the end of the level. - Survivors should no longer be able to leave the playable areas of the map from the areas beyond the saferoom.
Death Toll 3: - Added "Checkpoint" flag to the nav square at the end of the intro saferoom to prevent versus rounds from starting when survivors stand next to the door. - Removed a nav square by the next-level saferoom door to prevent infected players from standing there to prevent the round ending. - Tweaked saferoom level transition trigger brushes to prevent infected players outside of the saferoom preventing the transition.
Death Toll 4: - Players can no longer access the right-hand corner just outside the starting saferoom. This is to address a permanent-stuck spot when the saferoom door is opened. - Survivors can no longer climb over the van in the ally leading to the onslaught area, which allowed them to skip most of the level. - Survivors should no longer be able to leave the map/enter infected-only areas outside of the onslaught even street.
Death Toll 5: - Made the roof of the picnic area inaccessible to survivors. This resolves an invincible spot. - Players can no longer jump on the electric box prop facing the water on the side of the lakehouse.
Dead Air 1: - Moved a bookshelf in front of the window in the second interior area (before the ladder climb) to prevent players from skipping parts of the level.
Dead Air 2: - Move the trailer below the office building out of jumping range to prevent players skipping the offices.
Dead Air 3: - Moved the fence and fence-climbing props at the entrance to the construction yard further back into the alleyway. - Several tweaks to the area near the construction yard to prevent survivors from setting off the barricade fire event before they enter the event arena. - Boarded up a window in the construction yard to address survivors accessing an invincible area. - Survivors should no longer be able to jump over the barricade.
Dead Air 4: - Infected players should no longer get stuck climbing over the rubble that divides the start of the map from the balcony leading to the escalator side . Dead Air 5: - Fixed a visual bug caused by a cube map being hidden inside of a prop.
Blood Harvest 1: - Survivors should no longer be able to leave the map by jumping to the left toward the end of the rope bridge..
Blood Harvest 2: - It is no longer possible for survivors to climb in the vent above the alarm room. - Survivors can no longer stand on the horizontal pipes under the catwalk in the area following the alarm door event. - The high pipes along the sides of the train tunnel are no longer accessible to survivors.
Blood Harvest 4: - The roof of the starting safe room is no longer accessible to survivors.. - Survivors can no longer jump on top of the “Richardson Atlantic” building.
Blood Harvest 5: -Removed some of the crossbeams in the hay storage building.
Cold Stream 1: - AI infected can now access the roof of the watchtower. - Survivors can no longer jump on top of the roof of the single-storey cabin at the far end of the area after the rope bridge.
Cold Stream 2: - It should no longer be possible for survivors to jump up to the top of the tunnel entrance pipe near the start of the map. - Survivors should no longer be able to jump over the fence on the bridge toward the end, skipping the barrel explosion event. - Changed the M60 spawns into weapon_item_spawn to be more mutation friendly.
Cold Stream 3: - The walls toward the back of the bridge (opposite of the direction players go to progress the level) are no longer accessible to survivors. This is to prevent survivors from getting into infected-only areas below the bridge, which they may not be able to escape from. - Changed the M60 spawns into weapon_item_spawn to be more mutation friendly.
Cold Stream 4: - Hooked up a quick conversation between the chopper pilot and the triggering survivor.
For the benefit of children, TF2 Mixup invited me to play a few rounds of Team Fortress 2 with some Important Internet Individuals. The roster: Notch (Soldier), Freddie Wong (Sniper), Robin Walker (Demo), our pal Brian Brushwood from Scam School (Heavy), and more. The first round of three, on cp_gorge, is watchable below. Any ad money generated from the video is being donated; and hey, you can still donate yourself.
At last, I realize my small dream to help children by plunging a switchblade wrapped in Christmas lights into others. I told you I'd make something of myself, mom.
Graham, Tom Francis, Rich and Chris discuss Steam sales, the state of Kickstarter, Valve's Greenlight project, Dota 2 and more - including your questions from Twitter. Also featuring Graham's Steam press account hubris, Rich's need to be brilliant at everything, Tom's on again, off again relationship with Defence Grid and how Dota 2 made Chris realise that he's a bad person. On the subject of Dota, Tom Francis would like it known that he disagrees with the imaginary Tom Francis whose opinions Rich quoted in the last podcast.
"I said something along the lines of: it seems like if you get behind early on, you can never catch up because the enemies are too high level to kill, but it still takes you 45 minutes to lose. Which, if true, is bad design. There are lots of other reasons Dota 2 isn't my kind of thing, but the others are just a difference in taste."
Apologies to anyone offended by the views of imaginary Tom Francis. Blame Rich. He's brilliant at taking the blame.
We're aware of a few interference issues with the sound. Sorry about that, everyone - Graham was waving his phone around. We've managed to cut his yells of "woo, look at me, I've got a phone" out of the mix but unfortunately the interference itself is harder to isolate. We've all learned a very important lesson about phones.
Download the MP3, subscribe, or find our older podcasts here.
High Tea - the historical trading game that Tom mentions. Gravity Bone, the predecessor to Thirty Flights of Loving, is available on the Blendo Games website. Tom's write-up of the Steam Greenlight announcement. Our Tribes: Ascend showmatch. No, we are never going to stop linking to this.
The Leap is a new motion controller that tracks the movements of your hands and fingers to a super-fine degree of accuracy. It takes the form of a USB dongle that sits in front of your keyboard, looking up at your hands and doing techno-magic to pinpoint their position in 3D space.
CVG have highlighted a trailer showing the tech in action, and it's pretty impressive. It shows a number of quick demo clips including one that involves playing Angry Birds with a pair of chopsticks, and another showing the player taking out some Combine soldiers in Half-Life 2 with a finger gun. On the Leap site its creators claim that it'll be "more accurate than a mouse, as reliable as a keyboard and more sensitive than a touchscreen." Watch and judge for yourself with this video.
Leap looks set to arrive around December, but it's available to pre-purchase now for $70. If you'd like to get your hands on the SDK, they're taking submissions on the developers page of the site.
This is a picture of a panel that, on Friday, will be bolted onto the Japanese HTV-3 resupply craft and hurled into space. The craft will ferry supplies to the International Space Station and launch a little bit of Portal 2 into the cosmos. A post on the Portal 2 blog spotted by VG247 mentions that an anonymous NASA tech managed to burn the tiny picture of Wheatley space core onto one of the craft's panels. "Please note that when we mentioned an "anonymous tech at NASA" we weren't kidding: NASA in no way officially endorses secretly laser-engraving characters from Portal onto their spacecraft," say Valve.
On which note, if you happen to be a NASA engineer with access to a laser-engraving machine, and you just happen to accidentally burn the PCG logo onto a panel and then send it into space then I'd like to say that we'd absolutely keep it a secret, and definitely wouldn't post it everywhere on the site and then look at it and burst out cheering every day forever. JUST SAYING.
Now, because space is brilliant, here's a video that Tom spotted over the weekend made up of pictures snapped from the International Space Station in low Earth orbit. Prepare to have the tingly awe receptors in your frontal lobe tickled ... NOW.
View from the ISS at Night from Knate Myers on Vimeo.
Update: Thanks to those who have pointed out that it's the space core. The Internet Error Police will be here shortly to perform a routine disintegration. My last request is for someone to laser-etch "I should have written SPACE COOOORE" onto my tombstone, and then fire it into space.