Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (John Walker)

In a new beta release as part of Team Fortress 2’s Smissmas update, the game is getting grappling hooks! And as is well established, grappling hooks make any game’s score go up by 10%. On a site that doesn’t give scores, that makes TF2 now infinity/100.

… [visit site to read more]

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

The tutorial creeps are adorably enthusiastic

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.>

Having spoken so much about Dota in this column (as you would expect) and having made it the subject of a Have You Played ? it occurs to me that I’ve never really done a post aimed at newcomers thinking of trying out the game. Until now!

There are plenty of beginners’ guides out there but Dota 2 itself now contains a bunch of tutorial missions and quests. With that in mind I’ve spent the last Dote Night of 2014 having a good old poke about in the tutorial missions and seeing how well I think they explain the game.

… [visit site to read more]

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

Dunkin' in a winter wonderland

Dota 2’s Shifting Snows patch notes have just been released offering a number of hero tweaks, game balance changes and – if you’re feeling grumpy about the lack of Frostivus this year – the snowy winter map makeover.

Having a skim through what Shifting Snows (or 6.83 to give it its less poetic title) has to offer a few things stood out on first pass, particularly with regard to Pudge, Lifestealer and Sniper.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Graham Smith)

If I close my eyes and think of childhood memories and the spaces that contain them, my mind might touch upon a bedroom, a school playground or a muddy playing field, but it might just as easily come to rest upon Q2DM1, Q3DM17 or de_prodigy. The angles and textures and travel times of certain multiplayer maps are seared into my brain through repetition, their tiny details lacquered by the tension of triumph and defeat.

But I like that they’re more than just memories. I don’t find much time to play Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, but it’s a wonderful thing and Valve have been doing great work in gradually reviving and revitalizing maps from older versions of the game. They’ve done just that today to de_train, an old favourite, and if you’ve ever played Counter-Strike it’s worth watching the video below and reading the post on the Counter-Strike blog which explains the changes.

… [visit site to read more]

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

Team YP

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.>

Last week YouPorn finally announced the name of the Dota 2 team they’re sponsoring. It’s Team YP now but was formerly known as Play2Win. I had never heard of them.

YouPorn have been snuffling about the Dota 2 scene for a while now and there has been a whole bunch of speculation as to who might add the YP logo to their branded jerseys. I want to run through why I think this is a bad move for pro-gaming, regardless of who ended up with the deal.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Graham Smith)

I’ve been looking forward to Team Fortress 2’s End of the Line update for over a year, not because I’m in love with novelty virtual clothing but because it’s built around a community-made, fifteen-minute short film. It’s out now, you can watch it below, and if you do> care for novelty clothes, a portion of the profits go to the creators who toiled away making the movie.

… [visit site to read more]

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

What a cute little Citadel!

Way back when RPS was a wee bairn, Alec gurgled and waved his flabby babyfists at Half-Life 2: Wars, a mod turning Valve’s FPS into a Company of Heroes-ish RTS. Pistol squads facing off against headcrab zombies, breaking out RPGs to take down Combine gunships, and all that. Well, RPS has grown a lot since then, as has Alec, and so has HL2: Wars too. Having renamed itself Lambda Wars (it tried Spike but the other mods at school were merciless>), it’s matured over the years and is now available on Steam as a standalone game free for all. You don’t even need to own Half-Life.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Graham Smith)

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.>

You read the headline and the tea spurts from your mouth. “Have I pla–!?” Half-Life! The gall of it! To suggest that not every PC owner has already experienced Valve’s formative first-person shooter. The frivolity of it! To give space to those who have might enjoy reminiscing or celebrating a game long loved but no longer frequently discussed.

I know> – I’m just a mess about it myself.

… [visit site to read more]

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

My Dota always looks exactly this swooshy and cool.

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.>

Yesterday Valve announced the beta for its Steam broadcasting service. It predictably prompted a slew of headlines which instantly put the service in competition with Twitch, another game-focused streaming service.

It might well become a competitor to Twitch at some point but at the moment they’re very different prospects. I thought I’d spend this week’s Dote Night digging into the current situation a little more, not because it’s Dota specific but because Twitch is how I consume the majority of my Dota 2 pro matches so the potential impact is worth keeping an eye on. Should be back to game-focused shenanigans next week!

… [visit site to read more]

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

This is me now, waltzing through Dota without a care

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.>

Towards the end of November most games journalists are preparing their retrospectives for the year that will have been. They’re also keeping a wary eye on the release schedule in case an excellent game derails those pencilled-in Game Of The Year ideas. I spent six months of this year working as an eSports reporter so most of the games I focused on had been around for years. Freshness would come from patches and updates, new characters, weird showmatch modes, twists in the metagame and team roster changes. It’s a huge amount to absorb so new releases took a back seat. I played Dota or CS:GO, learned about LoL and picked my way through the basics of World of Tanks.

As a result, 2014 for me was more about progress in existing games than seeking out the new. That’s why I ended up going back to a Tumblr I started when I was still pretty new to Dota 2. It was to get a sense of that progess of the distance between nubnub Pip and the Pip who now plays on a team in a games industry competition in which we’re actually doing okay!

… [visit site to read more]

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