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

Well, this is essentially where my pay packet is going this month I guess

Settle ye down, for ’tis time for some Dota 2 Compendium talk.

In case you’ve missed the now-yearly “You people spent *how much* on a digital sticker book?” articles, the Compendium is Valve’s way of sourcing a community contribution towards its annual International Dota tournament prize pool, increasing #engagement and, obv, making money. In return for contributing, players get treasure chests, loading screens, item effects, in-game pets and so on. More money in the pot unlocks stretch goals like a new type of terrain, emoticons etc etc. You can see the reawards and unlockables in full after the jump.

25% of the profits from the Compendium go towards the prize pool. Last year that same setup pushed an initial $1.6m to a ridiculous $10.9m – three times the size of the next largest prize pool in eSports.

Here are this year’s level rewards (you need 100 points per level):

… [visit site to read more]

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

I just thought the Spy looked like a bookie here okay.

I lost interest in Team Fortress 2 [official site] around the time that I became good enough to regularly top public servers but had neither the skill nor the interest to jump to organised competition. A little matchmaking, pitting me against other pubstar-tier fraggers, would’ve been wonderful. So huzzah! After many, many years, Valve are finally planning proper matchmaking.

Details are a little thin for now, based on memories of conversations that TF2 community folk had during a recent visit to Valve, but one thing’s clear: competitive matchmaking is coming.

… [visit site to read more]

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

The creeps won't know who to go with...

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 picking through the mango-infested lands of patch 6.84>

Tis patch time in Dota 2 land the patch notes for 6.84 hit yesterday and we’re at that point where the subreddit is now a forest of theorycrafting and the test client is merely a vessel for flinging out “lol icefrog pls fix” video material.

“But Pip,” you might say. “Surely it is to you we will turn to make sense of this world where Alchemist must provide Aghamin’s Scepters like some kind of mystical Pez dispenser, you who will guide us through the ramifications of the multiward stackathon and the difference between a walrus punch and a walrus kick.”

Well, sort of. But I think SRS ANALYSIS BSNS will only really bear fruit (mangoes obv) after the patch has settled in and had the broken bits tweaked or removed. Heck, some of the new items might not even make it through the process.

Instead I’m currently more interested in a smidge of “oooh, would you take a look at that” from my own point of view on the new items combined with “lol icefrog pls fix” video material.

… [visit site to read more]

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

Would you pay 33p for this?

It used to be that the only way to make money from a mod was a) make a standalone sequel or remake b) use it as a portfolio to get hired by a studio or c) back in the pre-broadband days, shovel it onto a dodgy CD-ROM (and even then, it almost certainly wasn’t the devs who profited). As of last night, that changed. Mod-makers can now charge for their work, via Steam.

… [visit site to read more]

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

Sven and Centaur Warrunner by Fiona Ng

One of my habits is searching art and design forums for what their denizens are doing with Dota 2. There’s some excellent stuff out there – cute cartoons, painstaking pixel art, whimsical watercolours and [other alliterative thing here]. To that end I’ve been poking about on Behance. It’s a platform for artists seeking to showcase their work. It used to be that a site search for “Dota 2″ would yield little – maybe some pixel sketches or loading screen-style character art – but going back to it today I found far more.

… [visit site to read more]

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

Cosplays from League of Legends and Smite - left to right you've got Lulu, Nidalee and Scylla

*deep-breaths-and-don’t-think-about-how-disastrously-this-could-go-Pip*>

Hello Dote Nighters. This post marks the beginning of Pip’s Cosplay Challenge. By that I mean I am going to do my best to create a cosplay – one which I could feasibly wear to an event and people would a) be able to recognise who I was supposed to be and b) not join this tragic lineup.

The whole thing was inspired by the various amazing cosplays I’ve seen around the world at eSports events and the skill and dedication which people put into creating those costumes. I’m not even going to try to pretend I’ll match up to their work but I wanted to give it a go – find out what’s involved, talk to people about how the various aspects work and get an idea for how difficult it is.

… [visit site to read more]

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

It s over ten years since Half-Life 2 was released. The other day I found myself arguing that there still hadn t been a first-person shooter released that was better. Then wondered if I was talking out of my hat. In an effort to learn whether Half-Life 2 is as great nay, as perfect as the version in my head, I ve replayed it, and realised there s so much I d forgotten.>

… [visit site to read more]

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

Dino time wizard courier

Remember when Valve dropped a bunch of faux-concepts for a Faceless Void update along with the Dota 2 character’s actual factual model update? One was the glorious Faceless Rex, a dino time wizard with whom I (and a whole bunch of other people) instantly fell in love.

Lucky for us then that French animator, Maxime Lebled, and workshop artist, Yuri Shust, ended up turning the concept into a reality of sorts, fleshing it out as an animated courier model. Over on Twitter he was billing it as “something special for April Fools’ day” but his livestream of the work-in-progress was met with rather more enthusiasm from fans than he’d expected after a tweet from community stalwart Cyborgmatt.

… [visit site to read more]

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

Zapping Combine soldiers with the supercharged gravity gun was a right lark, a fine moment in Half-Life 2. Today I’ve been larking around with a different type of turbo gravity gun in a new mod, and I think I prefer it. See, it lets me ‘rocketjump.’

HL2 mod Transmissions: Element 120 [official site] is a short singleplayer mod introducing a new zapgun. It blasts balls of concussive force that send enemies and physics objects flying (and its levels are heavy on blastable props) and, of course, you. Look down, jump then blast a ball, and go sailing through the air like a beautiful murderous butterfly.

… [visit site to read more]

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

It seemed initially like the Source Filmmaker community might be content to make only short and silly videos, but there’s now a growing selection of long> and silly videos starring Team Fortress 2 [official site] characters. The one that’s making the rounds today is The Winglet’s Live and Let Spy, a 20-minute epic that starts out with sneaking but escalates until chaos erupts. Watch it below.

… [visit site to read more]

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