Dota 2 - Valve
* Fixed Power Cogs sometimes ending Pangolier's Rolling Thunder
* Fixed Deafening Blast sometimes causing Earth Brewling to be unable to move when Brewmaster is hit during transformation time
Dota 2

Last month, we wrote about how OpenAI's Dota 2 bots are totally on some I, Robot shit as they aim to "beat a team of top professionals" at The International. Back then, the collective known as the OpenAI Five were working to set of tight restrictions. Now, a host of the "most significant" conditions have been removed. And it's getting exciting. 

It's worth noting here that I know next to nothing about Dota 2. I'm now going to unashamedly pass off PCG dep ed/MOBA expert Pip's thoughts and advice on the following as my own.  

So, it appears OpenAI has now reintroduced Roshan—the river-dwelling NPC monster which bisects the map—as fair game. Killing him grants victors significant bonuses, therefore an important part of any match is knowing when your enemy is trying to kill him—or judging when best to attempt it yourself. OpenAI now reckons the OpenAI Five are smart enough to handle these considerations on the fly. 

Likewise, wards have been reinstated. Wards expand players' ground vision—which would have previously given human players a leg-up over their AI counterparts—and are therefore tied to Roshan, as knowing when your enemies are targeting the river baddie is crucial mid-battle.   

"Because our training system Rapid is very general, we were able to teach OpenAI Five many complex skills since June simply by integrating new features and randomizations," explains OpenAI in a blog post. "Many people pointed out that wards and Roshan were particularly important to include—and now we’ve done so. We’ve also increased the hero pool to 18 heroes. Many commenters thought these improvements would take another year. We’ll see how well these new game mechanics work on August 5th."

OpenAI says that while the bots' strength comes more from teamwork and coordination than reflexes, it has managed to up the reaction time of the Five from 80ms to 200ms—a reaction time closer to human level. 

As OpenAI notes above, this next match—the 'OpenAI Five Benchmark match'—takes place on August 5, ahead of the Five's final showdown at The International 2018. 

"The OpenAI Five Benchmark match will be held 12:30pm Pacific Time on August 5th in San Francisco," adds OpenAI. "The human team will include Blitz, Cap, Fogged, and Merlini, some of whom are former professionals." 

NB—Thanks, Pip!

Dota 2 - Ward


With today's update, the Promise of Eminent Revival is met, and all Battle Pass owners who have reached Level 615 can now find this new treasure bundle awaiting in the Armory. These items are exclusive to Level 615 Battle Pass owners and will not be tradable or purchasable on the marketplace.

Immediately granting all five items contained within upon opening, this bundle features select items from previous Immortal treasures that commemorate the history of The International. Each of these items features two styles: a default style that rethemes these Immortal hallmarks to match this year's event, and a second style unlocked through playing that gives it an upgraded touch.
Dota 2 - Valve
* Fixed Templar Assassin's Psionic Traps not returning control after detonation.
Dota 2 - Valve
Live Spectating:
* You will no longer be removed from the matchmaking queue while live spectating.
* Fixed a bug where you could get stuck in a Battle Cup match lobby.
* Alt-Clicking on the death screen damage numbers no longer incorrectly broadcasts the message.
* Fixed various bugs that would occur after changing the camera to Player Perspective and back to Free Camera (for example having to drag to select units, and still seeing that player's mouse cursor).
* Chat can be now opened like normal by hitting Enter (live spectators still cannot send messages, but this allows them to bring up the chat history).
* Enemies can no longer be selected by clicking their portrait on the top bar.
* Fixed a bug where you'd see an error message if you tried to live spectate a game you were already live spectating.
Dota 2

It's a familiar experience: you spend a bunch of money on a dazzling PC, then four years later it's somehow just hovering above minimum specs for that new FPS you've had your eye on. You check your bank account. An upgrade is just about within reach, sort of. You put your holiday plans on hold, because this game can't wait damn it

This weekend, we ask: which game made you upgrade your PC? Here are our answers, but more importantly, we'd like to read your comments below. 

Philippa Warr: Dota 2

I put off buying a desktop PC for as long as possible, making use of a bootcamped Macbook to play games including Dota 2. It was a well-documented disaster. I had to run Skype through my phone to use voice chat with friends, which meant I couldn't have sound on from my laptop, so I spent months of Dota not playing with any of the sound cues which are essential. I was also often playing while sitting on a bed, using a Where The Wild Things Are gift box to rest my mouse on. Oh, and the button you use to ping the map in Dota is right next to the button which, on my bootcamped setup, crashed the game. 

When I finally got a desktop PC the first game I installed was Dota 2, and gosh was it an eye-opening experience! I didn't exactly buy the PC to play Dota, it was more that the Dota problems exemplified the limitations of the setup when trying to do anything related to this hobby, and the non-bootcamped side of things was struggling to keep up anyway. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. I definitely definitely didn't drop cash on a whole new PC to throw tiny casks at people as a wizard.

Samuel Roberts: Medal of Honor: Allied Assault

Did it really look like that? In my head it was the most realistic thing I'd ever seen.

As an adult, I've upgraded a rubbish PC to play Alien: Isolation, because playing that at double the framerate of PS4 owners was incredibly important to me back in 2014 just after I joined PC Gamer. As a kid, though, hardware upgrades were infrequent, and basically came when my dad could afford to buy a secondhand PC off of one of his colleagues. After I told him all about trying Medal of Honor at my friend's house and how I'd never played anything that cinematic before, he managed to magic up a PC that could run it (albeit not brilliantly). World War 2 games were made for him.

This kicked off my second era of PC gaming as a kid. I picked up Mafia, Jedi Knight 2, Return to Castle Wolfenstein and more, games which all ended up having a pretty profound effect on my tastes to come. The lesson, for any kids reading whose parents are holding out on an upgrade, is to convince them that they're missing out on a game that was made specifically for their interests. 

Wes Fenlon: C&C: Tiberian Sun

The first game I remember being heartbroken I couldn't play was Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun. Our home PC had a 133 MHz Pentium; the game needed a 166 MHz. Eventually I got my very own PC, a much slower hand-me-down 486 that I'd use to play LucasArts adventure games and the like. 

Fast forward to 2006 and I had an HP laptop in college, with an ATI GPU inside. The hardware wasn't upgradeable, but I remember having issues with outputting a video signal to my brand new, hot shit LCD TV, and I wanted the best possible performance, so I turned to some old voodoo: Omega drivers. Back then, there were actually custom graphics card drivers that promised to improve performance and give you more features. I vaguely remember them being a complete pain in the ass, and they probably never made my games run better. But the Omega drivers did support more resolutions and helped me output a signal to my TV, so at the end of the day it was a win. And I felt elite. 

Jarred Walton: Wing Commander

I see how it is: let's trot out questions just to make Jarred feel incredibly old! Well, let me tell you about my first PC.

It was a 286 12MHz with 2MB RAM, 40MB hard drive, both 5.25-inch and 3.5-inch floppy drives, with an Adlib sound card and some generic VGA adapter. I saved up money all summer during 1990 to buy this PC, as before this I was switching between using my dad's PC when I was at his house, and playing games on an incredibly slow Commodore 128 at my mom's place. I knew the C-64/C-128 scene was dying, and I wanted to get a proper PC when I took the plunge. I had also learned all sorts of arcane rituals necessary to free up as much of the base 640K memory as possible (config.sys and autoexec.bat hacking were skills I acquired in my gaming pursuit). $2,200 later, I was the owner of this awesome PC, which was already quite outdated when I bought it, but I simply couldn't afford a 386. (Those were the Core i9 of the day, at something like $800 just for the chip.)

Everything went great for a couple of months, and then Wing Commander launched. The back of the box proclaimed "Every image on this box was taken from the game," which looked awesome, but my poor 286 could barely run the game and it looked nothing like the box art and was sluggish as hell. Commence me weeping and wailing and pining for a 386. Thankfully, my dad pulled some strings, managed to sell my 286 for more than I paid for it ($2,500), and I had earned some more money since the initial purchase. I took the $2,500, added $500 of my own, and upgraded to a 386 16MHz, with 4MB RAM, an 80MB hard drive, a Sound Blaster card, an SVGA card, and for added awesomeness I splurged on a Roland CM32-L (MT32 compatible) MIDI sound module ($550 just for the CM32-L).

And let me tell you, it was all worth it! The graphics still didn't look like the box art, but the game ran much better, and the full MIDI orchestral score was miles above any other games I had played. I still have fond memories listening to MP3 versionsof the Roland MIDI files. Anyway, don't complain to me about the cost of gaming PCs today. I spent $3,000 as a 16-year-old for what was still several steps down from a top-of-the-line system. And if you want to build a great gaming PC for a third of that, you can. PC gaming has never been more accessible, and the vagaries of himem.sys and emm386.sys are thankfully far in the past. You kids never had it so good. Now where's my cane?

Andy Chalk: Doom

I'd had a 286 for a few years when Doom came out, and by and large I was quite happy with it. So when I read that Doom required a 386, I headed up to the city, where there was a big computer store—and I tried to negotiate. "What's really the difference between a 286 and a 386?" I asked. "It's just a little faster, right? I can still run this game on it, right? It'll just be a little slower, right?" But no, it was not right (and the guy was kind of a dick about it, too), and so I was faced with a choice that was really no choice at all. I scrounged and saved and begged and borrowed and put off college for a few more years, and eventually I bought myself a Fujikama 386SX/25.

I don't remember much about it, but it ran Doom, and basically my life, for the next couple of years. Took me a year just to pay the damn thing off. It was totally worth it. 

Chris Livingston: Oblivion

I could tell myself I needed a new PC anyway, and would have bought one for reasons other than gaming, but I'm pretty sure The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion had a lot to do with it. I'd fallen head over heels for Oblivion back in 2006, and was perfectly happy playing it on whatever slow-ass PC I had at the time (sorry I can't recall the specifics of the actual hardware). It still nagged at me that it just didn't look like the screenshots I was seeing and naturally the first thing I did when I got my new PC (I can't remember the specs of it, either) was load up Oblivion. The difference was astounding to me, like night and day. "Oh, wow, I can see Imperial City even when I'm not standing with my nose pressed up against it. Oh, wow, there is actually detail on my weapons and armor. Oh, wow, trees look like trees instead of like they've been cut out of construction paper."

It's probably for the best that I can't find screenshots from that PC because they'd probably look laughably unimpressive today, but at the time it was like my new computer let me step into an entirely new world.

Dota 2 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Dominic Tarason)

Okay, things could be going better here.

Presumably in order to adhere to new gambling rules pertaining to loot boxes, players in the Netherlands and Belgium are now blocked from opening key-locked boxes in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. This is following their announcement last month, where CS:GO and Dota 2 market trading was blocked for Dutch players (as covered here by Eurogamer), with promises that a “less inconvenient” solution would be coming. (more…)

Dota 2 - Ward


Today's patch brings a summer update to Dota Plus that is focused on making improvements to some existing features and implementing a handful of new things for all Dota Plus subscribers.

In addition to a variety of changes to Dota Plus Guides—including improvements to item, lane, and ability suggestions—we've added a new Summer Terrain, support for Turbo Mode, and implemented dozens of new Plus Hero Challenges.

Some new Plus features include the ability to spectate the team perspective of a friend's live game without a broadcast delay, allowing you the flexibility to jump in or out at any time during the game. We've also introduced a new Plus Prediction Charm that grants Shards for correctly predicting your victories, so don't forget to cash in on your confidence.

You can check out a full list of Plus improvements and today's other changes here.
Dota 2 - Valve
Dota Plus:
--
* Added a new Summer Terrain
* Added a new Plus in-game prediction charm, grants you increasing amounts of shards for correct predictions in a row (10/20/30/40/50 for 1/2/3/4/5x, 50 for subsequent)
* Added a new feature to let Plus members spectate their friends' games live, seeing only what their friend's team can see. You can join in any time the game is ongoing.
* Added dozens of new Hero Quests
* Playing Turbo games now grants half the normal hero xp for wins/losses, rather than none.
* Added a new global Hero Trends page
* You can now purchase some Tools for shards in the Plus Rewards store.

* Fixed a bug that would sometimes cause Plus guides to get stuck and not work.
* Improved the item/ability/lane suggestions
* Plus item suggestions now default to the first suggestion, with a button to examine alternatives.
* The full popular items list is now shown even when you have a specific sequence selected.
* Suggested items that have already been purchased are now greyed out, to improve readbility.

* Added the Plus Hero Badge to the Post Game screen.
* The Profile screen now shows your Plus Hero Badge and Relics


General Changes:
--
* Ranked Roles: Added a new type of report function that can be used during the picking phase for players that don't adhere to the selection they queued for. Does not consume normal reports.
* Trivia: Added a button that lets you disable playing trivia sounds automatically.

* Turbo: Added an ability that lets you toggle the couriers auto deliver behavior.
* Turbo: Courier will deliver gems and other shareable items picked up from your teammates.
* Ctrl-alt clicking HP bars now correctly messages raw HP/Mana values of the target to the rest of your team.
* Fixed a variety of consistency issues with alt-click modifier messages not being worded from the point of view of the person sending them.
* Fixed a bug that caused AFK abandons to be assesed earlier than intended in cases where the player was AFK during the pick phase and was forced to a random hero.
* Monkey King's Disguise now uses the correct bounty rune model for 5 minute runes.
* Minimap icons for Viper and Slardar have been updated to their remodeled verison.
* Enabled custom minimap icons for Primal Split Brewlings
* Added a custom minimap icon for Arc Warden's Tempest Double
* Refresher cast sound effect now audible to nearby teammates and enemies.

* Custom Games: Fixed the lobby list connection sort not working correctly
* Custom Games addoninfo.txt: "HeroGuidesSupported" setting is now defaulted to truebv
* Custom Games addoninfo.txt: Added a new setting "ShouldForceDefaultGuide" which will cause default_* files to be utilized (if none is defined it will use the default from the base game)
* Custom Games Lua API: Linked several missing modifier properties
* Custom Games Lua API: Added function "SetUseDefaultDOTARuneSpawnLogic" to let custom games opt into the current set of rune spawning rules (previously it was forcing usage of an older rule set )
* Custom Games Lua API: Added "SetPowerRuneSpawnInterval" and "SetBountyRuneSpawnInterval" functions to customize rune spawn intervals (works with either the current or backwards compatible ruleset of rune spawning)
* Custom Games Lua API: Added several functions for asking for basic stats on units on the server "GetBaseAttackRange", "GetStatusResistance", "GetEvasion", "GetSpellAmplification( bool bBaseOnly) "
Dota 2 - Valve
Dota Plus:
--
* Added a new Summer Terrain
* Added a new Plus in-game prediction charm, grants you increasing amounts of shards for correct predictions in a row (10/20/30/40/50 for 1/2/3/4/5x, 50 for subsequent)
* Added a new feature to let Plus members spectate their friends' games live, seeing only what their friend's team can see. You can join in any time the game is ongoing.
* Added dozens of new Hero Quests
* Playing Turbo games now grants half the normal hero xp for wins/losses, rather than none.
* Added a new global Hero Trends page
* You can now purchase some Tools for shards in the Plus Rewards store.

* Fixed a bug that would sometimes cause Plus guides to get stuck and not work.
* Improved the item/ability/lane suggestions
* Plus item suggestions now default to the first suggestion, with a button to examine alternatives.
* The full popular items list is now shown even when you have a specific sequence selected.
* Suggested items that have already been purchased are now greyed out, to improve readbility.

* Added the Plus Hero Badge to the Post Game screen.
* The Profile screen now shows your Plus Hero Badge and Relics


General Changes:
--
* Ranked Roles: Added a new type of report function that can be used during the picking phase for players that don't adhere to the selection they queued for. Does not consume normal reports.
* Trivia: Added a button that lets you disable playing trivia sounds automatically.

* Turbo: Added an ability that lets you toggle the couriers auto deliver behavior.
* Turbo: Courier will deliver gems and other shareable items picked up from your teammates.
* Ctrl-alt clicking HP bars now correctly messages raw HP/Mana values of the target to the rest of your team.
* Fixed a variety of consistency issues with alt-click modifier messages not being worded from the point of view of the person sending them.
* Fixed a bug that caused AFK abandons to be assesed earlier than intended in cases where the player was AFK during the pick phase and was forced to a random hero.
* Monkey King's Disguise now uses the correct bounty rune model for 5 minute runes.
* Minimap icons for Viper and Slardar have been updated to their remodeled verison.
* Enabled custom minimap icons for Primal Split Brewlings
* Added a custom minimap icon for Arc Warden's Tempest Double
* Refresher cast sound effect now audible to nearby teammates and enemies.

* Custom Games: Fixed the lobby list connection sort not working correctly
* Custom Games addoninfo.txt: "HeroGuidesSupported" setting is now defaulted to truebv
* Custom Games addoninfo.txt: Added a new setting "ShouldForceDefaultGuide" which will cause default_* files to be utilized (if none is defined it will use the default from the base game)
* Custom Games Lua API: Linked several missing modifier properties
* Custom Games Lua API: Added function "SetUseDefaultDOTARuneSpawnLogic" to let custom games opt into the current set of rune spawning rules (previously it was forcing usage of an older rule set )
* Custom Games Lua API: Added "SetPowerRuneSpawnInterval" and "SetBountyRuneSpawnInterval" functions to customize rune spawn intervals (works with either the current or backwards compatible ruleset of rune spawning)
* Custom Games Lua API: Added several functions for asking for basic stats on units on the server "GetBaseAttackRange", "GetStatusResistance", "GetEvasion", "GetSpellAmplification( bool bBaseOnly) "
...

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