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

So saxxy it hurts.

Every year Valve hold the Saxxy Awards to encourage and round-up the very best Source Filmmaker creations, and every year the submissions are almost solely set inside the Team Fortress 2 universe. That’s perhaps because they’re Valve’s most expressive characters and because TF2′s manic world is most easily bent towards drama and comedy, but for the just-announced 4th annual Saxxy Awards, Valve are encouraging submissions from other games. Mainly: Portal 2.

… [visit site to read more]

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

[I'll try to think of witty captions for Pip's pictures -ed]

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.>

Dota, League of Legends, Smite these are complex games to get your head around and thus a good first impression is key.

Until this point the introductions tended to come via excited friends. People who popped up online or at the pub to announce, “Hey, I’ve found this awesome game which I think you’ll love and which we can play together. Won’t that be great?”

… [visit site to read more]

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

Newbee lift the Aegis, a shield inscribed with the names of winners.

So, The International 2014 is over. Newbee gave fellow Chinese team ViCi Gaming quite the drubbing on Monday to win $5,028,174. Competitive Dota 2 was broadcast on the ESPN cable sports network. Are digital sports now mainstream? Is this It, is this The Moment? No, of course not.

This year’s International has widespread attention because of that honking great prize pool of $10,930,814, the spectacle, and the novelty. Minor details like who won only matter on the day to most. So today, any old Tuesday, why post about it? The International 2014 will still matter in days, weeks, or months because of where loads of that moolah came from: fans. Valve are crowdfunding arena-filling tournaments and gamifying fandom. And somehow making that not awful?

… [visit site to read more]

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

The road not traveled is uninteresting to me when the road we are> travelling is winding, densely populated and has no speed limit. (The road I’m talking about is videogames.) That didn’t stop me being intrigued to find out more about Prospero via the latest episode of Valve Time Database. Prospero was one of two game’s Valve were working on when the company was founded in 1996, and Valve Time Database is a series of short YouTube videos detailing elements of Valve’s universe of games.

Episode 3 contains previously unreleased screenshots of the never released game, along with quotes from Half-Life writer Marc Laidlaw. I think> the information is new, but either way it’s entertaining and embedded below.

… [visit site to read more]

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

Spectacle!

By my watch, the main event of Valve’s $10 million Dota 2 tournament The International kicks off oooooh right about now> in front of a sold-out crowd in Seattle. Gabe Newell will take to the stage and someone will yell out something trite about Half-Life 3. You should watch it. Not just because I think Dota 2′s one of the finest video games, but to see Valve’s pageantry. Big-money digital sport competitions in arenas will be A Thing for quite some time, it seems, and The International so far has put on the best show. With decent presenters, a solid between-game show, different ways to watch, and a general hum of excitement, it’s the event other games should be cribbing from.

Look, if you play Dota 2 you probably already know this stuff, but I’ll explain for everyone else.

… [visit site to read more]

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

It's snowing!

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.>

A recent Dota 2 update furnished owners of Valve’s digital wizard fundraising book, the Compendium, with new in-game weather options. I’ve had the weather effects enabled since they were patched in and have spent the intervening time pondering their impact on the experience of playing.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Nathan Grayson)

A Portal game without portals? “Why, that’s like removing puppies from the Puppy Bowl,” you might say. “What is even the point?” The point, fellow small dog enthusiast, is paint. Physics-affecting paints (think bouncy gel, etc) were part of Portal 2, but they weren’t the main focus. Paid standalone mod/game Aperture Tag: The Paint Gun Testing Initiative puts them front and center, and it looks like sticky, slippery, hundreds-of-feet-in-the-air-hurtling fun. It’s out now, and a trailer’s below.

… [visit site to read more]

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

Not pictured: professionals.

The full pageantry of Valve’s whopping great Dota 2 tournament The International won’t kick off in Seattle until Friday, but already it’s seen a few upsets. Seven days of playoffs ended last night, whittling nineteen teams down to eight–with last year’s champions, Alliance, notably knocked out.

We haven’t seen all the fun and dressing Valve plan to fill the 17,000-capacity KeyArena with as teams fight over a $10 million prize pool, but we have got a fair look at how they’re trying to welcome newcomers, not to mention the state of the game. It’s a bit mixed, really.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Nathan Grayson)

Early Access? For a game that’s been out since 2007? Yes, that is, in fact, a thing that can exist. Valve has decided to leave Mann Corp’s doors ever-so-slightly ajar so that fans might run around on Team Fortress 2‘s magical murder playgrounds before they officially hit live servers. So it’s a series of test servers for maps, essentially. Details below.

… [visit site to read more]

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

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.>

“Dota 2 is not about kills, it’s not about how many towers you can take, it’s about killing the throne. That’s the game”

I’m talking to Alliance’s manager Kelly Ong Xiao Wei about the “rat Dota” tag you’ll often hear applied to her team. I’ve been thinking about the phrase since I overheard her asking one of the Dota 2 commentators at ESL One to stop using it. Her point is that it’s not a neutral term. Rat Dota is also a judgement on the team and it implies they’re using an inferior or unworthy playstyle. That’s why she’s asking the casters to refrain from using it. But the more I think about the problem the more I wonder if there’s another solution.

… [visit site to read more]

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