valve

counter strike

Surprise Counter-Strike Update Adds New Operation With Wacky Game Modes

In recent times, official in-game Counter-Strike events—Operations, as they’re known—have grown rare. Valve only created/curated one in all of 2016. Today, though, without any real warning, they’ve kicked off a new one. It’s called Operation Hydra. Operation Hydra is set to run for 18 weeks. It adds new community-created maps, an Operation pass with a full Guardian mission campaign, an upgradable Operation coin, event XP and leaderboards, and Operation weapon drops and cases. Business as usual, for the most part. What makes Hydra more than just a scaly, green re-skin of what’s come before, however, is a series of new modes called Hydra Events. Hydra Events are special game modes that pop up on a week-by-week rotation. There’s Wingman, a 2v2 best-of-16 match that’s all about companionship and resisting the urge to scream at each other when the pressure’s on, Weapons Expert, a 5v5 best-of-30 match where any weapon you purchase can’t be used again for the rest of that match, and War Games, which is a grab bag of outlandish game types; you vote on which you’d like to play. Your War Games options are as follows: Advertisement Heavy Assault READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

blizzard

Jury To Decide Whether Valve Actually Owns Dota 2

It probably does, but that hasn’t stopped a federal court from taking a closer look at the question. Two mobile developers, Lilith Games and uCool, have tried to make clones of Dota 2 for smartphones and been sued by Valve as a result. Their games, Dota Legends and Heroes Charge respectively, are slimmed down MOBAs that are popular in China. As Ars Technica reported, in response to Valve’s copyright claim against them, uCool has argued that the company doesn’t actually own the source material that Dota is based on, make its claim illegitimate. Dota started originally as a mod for Warcraft 3, making the question of who owns the rights a complicated one. Citing a forum post from 2004, uCool argued that because the original creator of the mod that would eventually evolve into Dota, Eul, had “released” it to the public, the lore and characters are fair game for anyone to use. Advertisement “I wish I could give you a last map that’s playable, but I can’t. Instead, from this point forward DOTA is now open source,” Eul wrote back in 2004. “Whoever wishes to release a version of DOTA READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

kotakucore

Thousands Of People Are 'Playing' A Hidden Steam Game

Spacewar is a game that draws thousands of players every day. If you search for it on the Steam store, though, you’ll never find it. Advertisement You might recognize the name. Spacewar is, after all, Valve’s take on an influential early video game that went by the same name. It’s an extremely basic space shooter where ships are represented by little triangles, swirling forever around a doomed sun that looks kinda like a Tinker Toy. Valve made their own version as a tool for developers to test Steamworks features like achievements and the Steam Workshop. Technically, anybody can obtain Spacewar, albeit not through regular Steam channels. Instead, you’ve gotta enter “steam://run/480″ in Windows’ “run” dialogue box, which you can access by pressing Windows key + R. At that point, you should get a prompt from Steam asking if you want to install Spacewar. That’s pretty much it! Advertisement Now, here’s where it gets weird: if you try to join a match or lobby, you’ll find only a handful of options, at best. However, trackers on reliable sites like Githyp, Steam Charts, and SteamDB—which all pull READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

News

Valve is Making Changes to Steam Trading Cards To Combat “Fake Games”

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Valve Making Big Changes To Steam Trading Cards To Combat 'Fake Games'

Steam is littered with games of, shall we say, questionable quality. This has been a known issue for quite some time. Only recently, however, has Valve begun to directly address it. Last month, they said they’re taking aim at so-called “fake games.” Now they’ve detailed their first plan of attack. Advertisement As Steam users have long suspected, Valve has admitted that “fake games”—that is, slipshod games that clog up Steam—often make the bulk of their money through Steam trading cards. Valve explained that developers of these games generate thousands of Steam keys for their games and hand them off to bots that idle to unlock trading cards. “Even if no real players ever see or buy one of these fake games, their developers make money by farming cards,” wrote Valve. The solution? A new “confidence metric” that won’t allow games to drop trading cards until it’s “clear [the game is] actually being bought and played by genuine users.” When a game clears that hurdle, cards will drop for all users, even if they played before cards were unlockable. Advertisement Interestingly, Valve insisted that regular Steam READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

Dota 2

Dota 2 Patch Makes Death More Punishing

Image credit: Valve The next mainline Dota 2 patch hit the game’s servers today, and with it came a litany of balance changes meant to address the most pressing concerns in the wake of the Kiev Major. With The International 7 looming on the horizon, it’s time to fine-tune the game that will be played for millions in prizes—and Valve started by taking a hatchet to all respawn talents. Advertisement Talents, special upgrades added in patch 7.00, allow a player to invest a skill point in a branching tree of upgrades to their hero of choice. While some options are fairly benign (more health, or some extra intelligence), others offer major changes to the hero’s skills or massive buffs, often becoming a cornerstone of the way the hero is played. Lately, heroes with talents that reduce their respawn times have been seeing a lot of competitive Dota play. It wasn’t solely because of said talents, but being able to take say, 30 to 50 seconds off your respawn timer means a bad teamfight can be salvaged. If you trade evenly in a fight, it even becomes an advantage, as your dead are READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

Half-Life 2: VR Lets You Get A Little Closer To City 17

Here’s a Steam Greenlight campaign, run by fans, for a VR version of a game made by the guys who own Steam. Playing a proper VR version of Half-Life 2 seems like a no-brainer for anyone with a VR headset. It also seems like something Valve would have made and released for free with the Vive at launch. They didn’t, though, so here we are. Advertisement Half Life 2: VR isn’t a standalone product; it’s a mod (that’ll work on both Vive and Rift) for the original game that makes a whole bunch of tweaks, like increasing the resolution on a bunch of textures and models, creating a new 3D interface and new “interactions” for weapons like the crowbar. So why vote on Greenlight for a mod? The creators (some of whom worked on an older version of the same idea) want it to be able to be installed with one click via Steam, the home of Half-Life 2, and as such need a Greenlight campaign to be successful in order to get it there. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

kotakucore

The Five Highest Rated Games On Steam Probably Aren't What You Expect

Of the 100 billion games on Steam, one for every star in the sky, which are the absolute cream of the crop? Which have users rated the highest? To borrow a cliche from The Bad Internet, the answer may surprise yo—[vomits profusely]. Advertisement Seriously, though, you’re probably expecting a bunch of Valve games and maybe, like, Undertale, right? I know I was. Steam’s highest-rated games, however, made me do a double-take, so let’s dive in. Rating: 98 percent positive. What it’s about: “Experience cinematic kung-fu battles in the fastest, most intense brawler the indie world has ever seen! With the unique 1:1 response system of One Finger Death Punch, players will feel the immediate feedback of every bone-crunching hit.” Advertisement So basically: Dudes come at you. You punch them with single button presses, which quickly build into rhythmic combos. Stages are brief, but before you know it, several days have passed. You are lost in the flow. Your family mourns you, but eventually, they move on. Example review: “Day 96: My fingers have ascended beyond this mortal plane.” Advertisement READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

Amazon Discounts Steam Link to $20, Steam Controller to $35 for Limited Time

The Steam Link and Controller are both at nearly all-time lows on Amazon for a limited time for PC players looking for a little gaming flexibility. …Read More The post Amazon Discounts Steam Link to $20, Steam Controller to $35 for Limited Time by Ryan Meitzler appeared first on DualShockers.

htc vive

SuperData: Sony Sold 375,000 PlayStation VR Units in Q1 2017; Outpacing HTC Vive and Oculus Rift Combined

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Steam just added a widget that helps shed light on why the store is showing you particular games.

Steam just added a widget that helps shed light on why the store is showing you particular games. It’s not crazy in-depth or anything, but it does demystify the processes underlying Steam’s increasingly important algorithm a little bit. Check out Valve’s full post for the reasoning behind this addition. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

Brazilians Prove Unstoppable At Australian Counter-Strike Tournament

The hierarchy of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive gets a shakeup at the IEM Masters Championship in Sydney, Australia as the European powerhouses make room for the resurgence of South America’s SK Gaming. Even Nikola ‘NiKo’ Kovač, bought earlier this year for $500,000, couldn’t save FaZe Clan. Advertisement The shadow hanging over the IEM Sydney grand finals was in the shape of a star. Despite SK Gaming thrashing Optic Gaming in the semifinals, it was FaZe Clan’s triumph over rivals Astralis seemed more prophetic. If one of the top teams in CS:GO was able to unseat the champion of ELEAGUE 2017, the IEM XI World Championship, and Esports Championship Season 2, than it seemed almost axiomatic that they would go on to eek out a win against whoever they met in the grand finals. But SK was the only team in the tournament to go 3-0 during the group stage, and while Optic might have looked like a mid-tier scrimmage partner during the semis, the clockwork performance by the Brazilians spoke for itself. GIF A quick double-tap from Fallen was symbolic of SK’s edge all series long. That said, FaZe looked to be closing the distance in the second half of game…

Linux

Steam Handles Close to 50,000 Request Refunds Per Day

PC

Steam Is Changing its Gift System