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The internet jokes that Valve is allergic to the number 3. However, it appears one sequel may finally reach that ever-elusive number. A recent tour of Valve's office by Reddit members has unearthed a listing for "Left 4 Dead 3."
Left 4 Dead 3 previously surfaced in a supposed Valve project tracker, which also mentioned Half-Life 3. Of course, with employees being able to freely work on whatever they want, these listings won't necessarily coalesce into a real product.
Gosh, it's been over four years since Team Fortress 2 introduced random item drops. Four years of people standing idle in servers waiting for hats. Curiously, Valve's now chosen to clamp down on that. It's all perfectly reasonable but, well, hasn't everyone already moved onto idling in other games to score Steam Trading Cards?
"We recently made a change that helps ensure players are playing TF2, not just leaving their computers on in order to get item drops," Valve explained in a blog post yesterday. "As of last week, players can no longer receive item drops unless they are actively playing the game."
"Active" players are people who are: on a sever with Valve Anti-Cheat enabled; not running TF2 in the terminal-like 'textmode'; only running one copy of TF2; and responding to drop notifications without using an external program. You know: people who are actually playing TF2. They're not affected at all.
Valve says the change is to "designed to make the TF2 experience equally rewarding for all players." Though, farming items is also a messy loose end as Valve introduces more and more things to trade with others or sell on Steam's Community Market. It'll be interesting to see if Steam Trading Cards receive similar changes once the initial hype wears off.
Valve's beta version of Left 4 Dead 2 has graduated to become it plain old regular version. Yesterday's update brought the official launch of the co-op shooter's Linux version and the Extended Mutation System that lets modders create complex new modes.
The update ships with three EMS creations to show off a little what it can do, including Holdout--a neat little survival mode where you scavenge supplies to build fortifications and buy better gear. Mods with such delightful names as "Vicious Infected, Boomer Peril, Stranded, Vampirism, Plague of the Dead, Zombie Run, and Tiny Terror" are coming too, Valve says. Splendid.
The update converts L4D2 to the SteamPipe format too, for faster loading and downloads.
Check out the patch notes for the full rundown of what's new.
After a grand fourteen years of development, splendid Half-Life mod Sven Co-op is wrapping things up. It's gone out with a bang, releasing on Friday a new version which adds co-op support for Gearbox's expansion Blue Shift. For old times' sake, gather a few friends, put on your HEV suits, and go adventuring in Black Mesa again.
"Version 4.8 will most likely be the final SC mod release, but this is by no means the end of Sven Co-op," the announcement says. "We have a major announcement to make soon," it teases, and we should hear something interesting in a few weeks.
Sven Co-op was jolly welcome back in the day, when co-op campaigns were pretty rare and Half-Life was ridiculously exciting. Yes, having a load of players running around as Gordon Freeman can make things a little silly, but it can also be a right lark.
Grab the mod from the mirrors. You'll need Half-Life to play it at all, and naturally Blue Shift too to join in that campaign. The 4.8 update also brings a ridiculous number of fixes and changes beyond Blue Shift, so do check the full changelog if you're interested.
Double Action: Boogaloo may have missed its crowdfunding goal to fund full-time development, but it continues in slow-motion.
The John Woo-y HL2 mod, whose makers include folks behind Half-Life mod The Specialists, have dropped an alpha version which is naturally a bit barebones but has the core of what you want: akimbo pistols; dives; rolls; slides; wall-running; slow-motion; and other men to shoot.
The team ran a Kickstarter in March looking for $18,000 to let them skip work over the summer and finish up a proper release version, but only raised $1,586. Expect that first release to take a while longer, but it is still coming.