Product Update - Valve
Release Notes for 1/9/2013

[MISC]

- Added Server Report panel. Player can use this panel to report server for things such as inappropriate content and bad performance etc.. This menu is accessible from the Pause Menu.
- Improved competitive matchmaking algorithm to further reduce wait times.
- Fixed 'rebuy previous' not working after the first round of rebuying.
- Spawn points are now randomized every round.
- Whitelisted con_filter convars for debugging.
- Fixed damage taken and given not being fully reset in modes that aren't round-based.
- Changing mp_warmuptime takes effect immediately.
- Added concommands mp_warmup_start and mp_warmup_end, which restart and early terminate warmup, respectively.
- Fixed exploit where cl_interp restrictions could be bypassed.
- Alias command no longer allows aliasing over existing convars and concommands.
- Fixed rare case of maps not matching requested game mode on dedicated servers
- The client-side headshot feedback sound no longer plays for the local client when damaging another player in the head with a grenade explosion or when shooting them in the head through another surface (penetration)
- Slightly reduced the client-side headshot feedback sound volume (spatialized sound is unaffected)
- Fixed nameplate flicker in free cam mode during demo playback.
- Fixed wall penetration on Linux dedicated servers
- Fixed exploit where grenade projectiles were used to boost teammates.
- Fixed a very rare server crash when firing a weapon.
- Improved the error message shown when finding a game fails to locate an acceptable dedicated game server formerly reported as DS.
- Improved memory management on servers with GOTV enabled.
- Changed holiday cheer level to match CS1.6.
Product Update - Valve
Release Notes for 12/24/2012

[ MISC ]
* Added the ability to commend and report players from the player details view that can be accessed in the scoreboard.
* Number of competitive wins, and unique commendations are now shown in the main menu along with skill group.
* Competitive scoreboard will show number of competitive wins needed to display your skill group if you have not displayed it yet.
* Fixed movement on ladders ignoring the walk button. Now climbing ladders while holding walk is slow and silent, which fixes previous exploit of being able to climb ladders at fullspeed without making sound.
* Fixed failure to fire after weapon switching away from a reload and back (fake-reloading).
* Whitelisted tv_password convar to set GOTV password.
* Reduced fps in main menu when not connected to a server from 300 fps to 120 fps to help with laptops and desktop video cards doing excessive work. Exposed fps_max_menu convar to control fps in main menu.
* Added one more minute of grace period for players to reconnect to their competitive match before a cooldown for failing to reconnect is assigned. Cooldown for failing to reconnect is now assigned after player has remained disconnected for at least 4 minutes, not counting the round of disconnection and not counting the round in which 4 minutes grace period elapses.
* Fixed Hammer crash on exit.
* Added some holiday cheer.
PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Far Cry 3 map maker recreates Battlefield, Call of Duty, and Counter-Strike maps">Far Cry 3 Wake Island



Far Cry 3's included level editor provides all the tools and textures necessary for crafting unique multiplayer maps, but one tinkerer has instead taken to recreating some very familiar locales with uncanny accuracy. As reported by MP1st, user ShadowZack has shared a series of maps fashioned after popular arenas from Battlefield, Call of Duty, and Counter-Strike.

You can nab ShadowZack's works through Far Cry 3's in-game multiplayer map search simply by typing his name. You'll find Battlefield 3's Noshahr Canals and Wake Island, Counter-Strike's Dust and Aztec, and Call of Duty's Nuketown all carefully recreated right down to the placement of crates and convenient slabs of concrete cover. ShadowZack also released some flyby and progress videos for the maps as they were constructed, which you can watch below.

Far Cry 3 itself has two gigantic jungle island environments. We got lost. We shot animals. We drank weird potions. We wrote a review, so have a look.









Product Update - Valve
Release Notes for 12/12/2012

[ GAMEPLAY ]
 -Merged elements of Volcano's DE_NUKE_VE map into standard DE_NUKE.
 -In the main menus, replaced mapgroup carousel with a map picker. Players can now select which maps they want to match-make into.
 -Maps in map picker show expected wait time.

[ MISC ]
 -Improved performance in CPU-bound cases.
 -Fixed missing ladder sound when moving at full speed on ladders.
 -Added support for muting microphone in play with friends lobby.
 -Fixed cases where spectator UI wouldn't appear during GOTV demo playback.
 -Fix for crash caused by extinguished fire.
 -ESC key now closes Server Browser dialog.
 -Made CHudMenu have input priority over Scaleform.
 -Reduced default vgui font size for resolutions >1600.
 -Whitelisted mp_match_restart_delay.
 -Limiting physics timestep to 64 to eliminate high tickrate physics bugs, such as bouncing guns.
 -Server no longer creates physics objects for players to reduce server cpu load. To re-enable, set cs_enable_player_physics_box to '1'.
Product Update - Valve
Release Notes for 12/6/2012

[ MISC ]

* Added support for using '?' instead of ':' in the 'connect' concommand so we can create URL links that connect to GOTV.
* Fixed case where walking on stairs generated footsteps on the client but not on the server.
* Fixed damage taken console report not reporting damage taken.
* The spectator UI player bars and the ammo panel will now show individual player kills for the round.
* In the buy menu, FIREPOWER now reflects raw weapon DAMAGE.
* The value for the 'rate' convar is no longer read from Steam registry settings.
* Fixed buy menu showing the wrong values for weapon armor penetration.
* Kick/bans for tk'ing and team damaging are now controlled by mp_autokick.
* Fixed part of the headshot particle effect drawing through walls.
* Fixed radar and overview showing enemy icons for decoys indefinitely.
* Number of GOTV viewers is now correctly calculated and networked through the chain of GOTV relays.
* Fixed hearing a headshot sound when an enemy is burning from your molly/incgren fire.
Product Update - Valve
Release Notes for 12/3/2012

[ MISC ]

- In addition to TKing, you can now be kicked/banned in two different ways for team hurting:
  - For doing an unusual amount of damage in a short amount of time.
  - For doing an excessive amount of team damage over the course of the match.
- Partial inferno extinguishing now properly puts out flamelets.
- Molly/Inc Grenade fire now goes out slightly faster when extinguished and updated the overall effects a bit.
- Fixed an edge case where the alerts panel would show on round start for a frame.
- Changed default tv_delay to 10s.
- Changed default tv_delaymapchange to 1. This postpones the post-match level change by the tv_delay amount to ensure that the broadcast to GOTV clients is complete. NOTE: Manually quitting the server or changing the level while the broadcast is still ongoing will kill the feed to all GOTV relays and GOTV clients and your spectators will miss the end of the match. It's best to let the system's timer run out on its own or wait for as many seconds as you have tv_delay set for.
- Replaced hard-coded 'E' observer use command with '+use'
- Tweaked autodirector based on feedback.
- Added item purchases to server log.
- Decoy grenade changes
  - Reduced price to $50.
  - Reduced fire rate and extended life span to make it less identifiable as a decoy.
  - Physically looks more like a flashbang to allow fakes.
- Fixed assists displaying the assister's name twice in the server log.
- Reduced default value of sv_clockcorrection_msecs to 30 and whitelisted the convar (thanks J3di)
- Reorganized net_graph options:
  - 0: off
  - 1: Competitively allowable data.
  - 2: Additional In/Out data.
  - 3: Additional real-time graphing.
- Added net_graph to convars restricted by sv_competitive_minspec ( allowable values are 0 and 1 )
- Valve can now assign official violations cooldown to accounts
- Added a game server convar sv_kick_players_with_cooldown (default=1)
  - 0: allow all players to play on game server
  - 1: kick players with official assigned violation
  - 2: kick players with any competitive cooldown
PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Steam Big Picture mode launches with controller-friendly deals">steam_big_picture



Steam's Big Picture mode, a full-screen interface with controller support, has left beta and entered the top-right corner of your client. To use it as intended, I'd have to run an exceptionally long HDMI cable from my bedroom to my TV and use a wireless controller, but I'm starting to think a mid-range PC in a small case might look real nice in my living room. In the meantime, I'll just use it to launch Peggle from bed.

Along with the launch, the Steam store has been overrun with "controller-friendly" deals. I'm distressed by the inclusion of Left 4 Dead 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in the list—just because they can be played with a controller doesn't mean they should be—but my typical WASD elitism aside, a sale is a sale. Mark of the Ninja seems more appropriate to me, and I've been enjoying it a ton. At least, I was, until PlanetSide 2 happened, but I'll go back once this match is over. It does end, right?
Product Release - Valve
The Steam Autumn Sale has come to a close, but there are a few Daily Deals that are still available!

Yesterday's Daily Deals Include:

*Offers end Wednesday at 10AM Pacific Time.

PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Black Friday deals: the best PC game and hardware sales on the web">black_friday



Good news, everyone! Steam, Amazon, Blizzard, and more have kicked off Consumer Season by booby trapping the web with potent spending bait such as 33% off XCOM: Enemy Unknown, 50% off The Walking Dead, and 66% off StarCraft II. We spent the morning stumbling through the minefield to compile a list of some of the best seasonal discounts, but stay vigilant: more surprise server-busters are bound to go live as we approach the spendiest weekend of the year.



Steam: Like the Summer Sale, the Steam Autumn Sale rotates deals daily, with even more fleeting Flash Sales lasting only 10 to 15 hours, so serious shoppers should check in at least twice a day. As a bonus, you get to follow Steam's adorable doodle story: currently, it seems a turkey is being forced to enter a Felix Baumgartner-inspired high diving competition.

But don't just look at the front page: Steam isn't promoting most of its deals, so scan the full list now and then. Here are some of the better discounts at the time of writing:


33% off XCOM: Enemy Unknown - $33.49 / £20.09
50% off The Walking Dead - $12.49 / £10.49
25% off Borderlands 2 - $44.99 / £22.49
75% off ARMA II: Combined Operations - $17.99 / £14.99
25% off Dishonored - $44.99 / £22.49
50% off Counter-Strike: Global Offensive - $11.24 / £8.99
33% off The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - $40.19 / £23.44
75% off Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II - $2.49 / £1.74
75% off Limbo - $2.49 / £1.74
25% off Torchlight II - $14.99 / £11.24
75% off Cave Story+ - $2.49 / £1.74
More Steam Deals





Amazon: (Some deals are region-specific) Amazon hasn't been quite as liberal as Steam with the big games, but it has conjured a storm of Lightning Deals on desktop PCs, components, and peripherals. The scattershot selection below should give you an idea of what to expect.

HARDWARE:

17% off iBuyPower AM699 Desktop - $579.99
18% off CyberpowerPC GUA890 Desktop - $499.99
39% off Dell S2330MX 23" Ultra-Slim VGA Monitor - $139.99
40% off Samsung Series S24B30BL 23.6-Inch Screen LCD Monitor - $119.99
33% off Corsair Vengeance C70 Mid Tower Case - $97.45
31% off Logitech Optical Gaming Mouse G400 - $34.49
19% off Logitech G600 MMO Gaming Mouse - $64.62

GAMES:

50% off The Walking Dead - $12.49 (Steam code)
80% off Dungeon Defenders - $2.99
10% off Hitman: Absolution - $44.99
75% off all Assassin's Creed games (excluding Assassin's Creed III)
More Amazon Deals




Blizzard: Blizzard has joined the party with Diablo III for $40 / £33 and StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty for $20 / £17.



GOG: GOG's current sale nets you five games from a list of 20 for a mere $10 (just over £6). The list is loaded with some great indie adventure and puzzle games, so if you don't already own them, now's a good time to prepare for that "it's cold outside, so I'm going to drink tea (whiskey optional) and not leave my screen for the next forever hours" feeling.



Green Man Gaming: While Green Man doesn't celebrate consumerism with a morbid-sounding Friday, it is offering its usual voucher code. Enter GMG20-1FYLZ-EDG8R when purchasing a PC download for 20% off any game, except those already on sale. At the time of writing, GMG's daily deal (North America only) is Mass Effect 3: N7 Digital Deluxe for $15.99.



Newegg: (US and Puerto Rico only) Newegg has taken this whole "Black Friday" thing awfully far. Not only has it preempted Black Friday with "Black November," it's re-preempting it with a Pre-Black Friday Frenzy sale. How about a 500 GB Western Digital WD Blue hard drive for $50? A Samsung B350 Series LED monitor for $180? Keep in mind that if you visit Newegg from now until December 1st, you should not expect to then purchase other things, like food.

If you find any great deals as the weekend progresses, we'd love it if you shared them in the comments. And if all these sales combined with a poorly-timed lack of funds has you feeling down, remember that buying stuff is only briefly thrilling, while instead you could be continuously thrilled by PlanetSide 2, MechWarrior Online, Tribes: Ascend, or many of the other new free-to-play games we're thankful for this year.
PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Pro Tip video shows how to become a noob camping AWPer">Counter-Strike Global Offensive Pro Tip AWP



At least, that's probably the sort of nomenclature you'd reap from public servers after applying the skills picked up from Team Dynamic marksman Keven "AZK" Larivière for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive's one-hit wonder AWP sniper rifle. As part of Valve's Pro Tip video series, Larivière spills the bullets on the best uses of a sniper's superior oversight, when each of the two zoom levels come most in handy, and how shooting the legs off a careless opponent equates to a high-caliber "tsk-tsk."

The real secret of a successful AWPer, however, probably lies with mastering quickswitch tics in a cacophony of deployment noises, as Larivière's lightspeed weapon swapping both defies and defines efficiency. Its mesmerizing effect probably lulls unaware victims into an easy kill like a rubber-armed spider.
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