Product Update - Valve
This update has improved how Dota 2 is setup on your machine and will provide a significantly faster load time for most players. As a result of these changes, the update may take a while to download.

- Fixed how magic damage is amplified when there are multiple sources of bonuses.
- Death Prophet: Fixed Exorcism healing never resetting.
- Enigma: Tightened selection area of Eidolons to make picking individual units easier when they clump
- Gyrocopter: Fixed Call Down not slowing magic immune units.
- Spectre: Spectral Dagger now properly trails invisible units.
- Spectre: Fixed various properties of Haunt illusions being incorrect.
- Tiny: Fixed Craggy Exterior working on illusions of Tiny.
- Visage: Fixed Roshan decreasing Gravekeeper's Cloak charges.
- Visage: Fixed Gravekeeper's Cloak not restoring its layers independently of one another.
- Warlock: Fixed Flaming Fist damage not leveling properly, damaging magic immune units, and having incorrect chance to proc.
- Fixed a bug with Radiance kill credit and illusions.
- Fixed Roshan no longer casting Slam to slow and damage nearby units.

- The Smooth Drag option now works for anyone that's spectating (whether through DotaTV or as a broadcaster).
- Reduced waiting time in hero picker during All Random to 10 seconds.
- Reworked how your personal hero performance is done on your profile page (provide feedback here
- Added preview for summoned items like the panda and watcher golem to store and backpack.
- Added the ability to filter out empty teams from the team list.

- Fixed some incorrect timing calculations that were causing bots to miss some last hits.
- Fixed Practice vs Bots not properly selecting the nearest server.
- Fixed Death Prophet bot to know about the true range of Crypt Swarm.
- Fixed bots thrashing selling a situational item (dust, wards, TP scroll) to purchase another situational item.

- Added Captain's Mode Picks and Bans.
- Added ability upgrade order and times to each player.
- Added inventory for additional units (Lone Druid's Spirit Bear).
- Added an API for getting match details in the order they were recorded.
Community Announcements - alfred
We have released an update for both games, fixes include:
<ul><li>Fixed fans not rotating after being in a level for more than a few minutes
<li>Added "-nofbo" command line option to let you disable using the new method for rendering
<li>Added "-nomsaa" to let you disable MSAA effects being applied to the games output, setting "-nofbo" also implies "-nomsaa".
<li>Fixed not doing the HTTP fast download path if you canceled a download and then reconnected to the same server
<li>Fixed drowning damage being applied after respawn in some cases
<li>Fixed malicious clients being able to upload certain new files to servers
<li>Fixed some scripts sounds not playing

Fans of Secret of Monkey Island, the 1990 point-n-click adventure game, will undoubtedly remember the infamous "three trials" scene, in which protagonist Guybrush Threepwood proclaims to Mêlée Island's pirate leaders that he, too, would like to be a pirate.

Here's the iconic scene, Team Fortress 2 style. And it's extremely well done. Enjoy.

[SFM] I Wanna Be a Pirate [YouTube via Tim Schafer]


Gabe Newell, the beloved chief of Valve, has proven many times that he is really kind to fans. So it did not take a long for him to agree to pose for a very special photo this week after giving a talk at the University of Texas at Austin's LBJ School of Public Affairs. This photo involves one of those notorious horse head masks, and it proves that Gabe Newell, as ever, is a good sport.

For more on what Newell was talking about at the school, see here. Newell will also be delivering two keynotes at next week's DICE conference in Las Vegas. We'll have full coverage on Kotaku.

Gabe Newell having fun with a fan [YouTube]

Product Update - Valve
Release Notes for 1/30/2013

- Nerfed the Deagle.
- Added a feature to spectate friends games via GOTV.
  -In 'Play With Friends,' if a friend is on an official matchmaking server the WATCH option will appear next to their name.
- DM immunity changes:
  -Default immunity was raised to 10s.
  -Moving cancels immunity.

[ MISC ]
- Fixed dedicated server memory leak.
- Reserved server with connected GOTV spectators will hold reservation after all players disconnected for at least TV delay time to allow spectators to watch the match to the end.
- Added convar sv_hibernate_punt_tv_clients to also punt lingering TV spectators after all players disconnected and at least TV delay time elapsed.
tv_snapshotrate will now correctly adjust client-side rates automatically for smooth spectating experience.
- Added convar tv_relayradio, 0 = off, 1 = relay team radio commands to GOTV (default value = 0).
- Added convar tv_relaytextchat, 0 = off, 1 = relay "say" chat only, 2 = relay "say" and "say_team" chat to GOTV (default value = 1).
- Team kills and team damage is now preserved for players in competitive games across disconnects and reconnects.
- Fixed a regression in naming of tv_autorecord demo files.
Community Announcements - alfred
We have released an update for both games, fixes include:
<ul><li>Made save games cross platform
<li>Fixed crash when changing video modes under windows
<li>Removed support for A3D sounds from the engine, this API is not functional on current Windows OS releases
<li>Removed legacy D3D renderer, assorted OpenGL improvements in the beta make this older API not supportable
<li>Enabled hud_fastswitch on mouse wheel movement for Counter-Strike
PC Gamer
game violence

The debate over the relationship between violent games and violent behavior continues inside and outside the United States. In its initial response to the tragedy in Newtown, CT, the US government said it intends to ask the Centers for Disease Control to “study the root causes of gun violence, including any relationship to video games and media images.” Critics cite studies that link aggression and violent games, claiming that interactivity as a component of games makes them unusually potent. One politician labeled games as "electronic child molesters."

It's an enormous and serious topic—one that we believe gamers shouldn't shrug off, but take it upon themselves to engage critics and fellow citizens on. In the interest of that, Logan, Evan, and Tyler hopped into our podcast studio (inappropriately, the room that most makes it look like we're inside an insane asylum) to talk about their personal relationship with violence in games.
Community Announcements - alfred
We have released an update for both games, fixes include:
<li>Fixed game icon not showing in window title bar and/or dock
<li>Fixed OK button on Half-Life 1 deathmatch MOTD not being selectable if you ran in a non 4:3 resolution
<li>Added support for fast HTTP download when getting server assets for Linux and OSX
<li>Changed full screen render to fall back to changing the desktop resolution if it fails to create and offscreen FBO (useful on older video cards)
<li>Fixed crash if a game asked to play a sound with a volume that was too high
<li>Fixed rare crash on startup due to thread race conditions

Community Announcements - SZ
<a href=""><img src="" width="100%" border="0"></a>

Hey, Scout superfans! Scout here. Some doll-makin' company called NECA told us they were gonna make action figures based on the <i>best, most popular team member in TF2.</i> Well, I just opened the box they sent us, and not to tell NECA their business, but MAN these two dolls do not look <a href="">anything</a> <a href="">like me</a>.

Don't get me wrong, logically they GOTTA be ME. Right? I just dunno why they didn't start with my traditional outfit, or at the very least Scuba Scout or Kung Fu Fortress Scout or whatever. I guess they're tryin' the most obscure variants first to whet your appetite for the good ol' Classic version.

Still, the way I see it, <a href="">Chubby Firefighter Scout</a> and for some reason <a href="">One-Eyed Black Scout</a> are better than no Scout at all. So be sure to hit up your favorite retail establishments (Toys 'R' Us, FYE and Hastings) or online (<a href="" target="_blank">Amazon</a> and the <a href="" target="_blank">Valve Store</a>) because these odd-lookin' Scout dolls are gonna sell like odd-lookin' hotcakes.

PC Gamer
Steam users2

Buckle up, because we're about to combine the two most exciting parts of PC gaming news: exponential user growth and graphs! Last Sunday, Steam hit 6.6 million concurrent users. It's an impressive figure, but what's really surprising is how it stacks up against previous totals. Back in January 2012 the service was hitting a high point of 5 million, with them not reaching the 6 million mark until November. That means Steam is currently growing around 300% faster than it was at the start of last year.

So where are those players coming from? To the graph-o-matic!

Source: SteamGraph

Essentially we're seeing massive and steady growth for the (technically) unreleased Dota 2. Less than six months ago the game could beat the then top-dog TF2 in concurrent users, but couldn't surpass the daily peak. Now it's a different story. The latest Steam stats have Dota 2 way ahead with a peak concurrent total of 237,414 players. In second place, still enjoying a post-Christmas boost, is Football Manager 2013 with 78,488 players. Team Fortress 2, meanwhile, has been consistently fluctuating between 45,000 and 75,000 players.

It's a big number, but still one far behind League of Legends, which was pulling a reported 3 million concurrent users as of July last year.

Dota 2 still doesn't account for the majority of Steam's overall user growth, despite the flood of free beta keys it incessantly sends out. And, of course, concurrent users don't give the full picture. We still don't know how many of those are active, or even the collected number of players who log into any particular Steam game over a set period of time.

Even so, it's a great sign of the health of PC gaming. It will be interesting to see how those figures change over the next year, as the console manufacturers creak into life to reveal their upcoming new hardware.

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