Steam is a global heavyweight; a distribution service that is so integral to PC gaming that I can't imagine a world without it at this stage. Everyone around the globe uses Valve's program, but there are some markets that are undeniably more important than others. So who is sucking the Steam servers dry every single day?
One of the biggest events in eSports each year is Dota 2's The International. With the top teams going head to head, it is like the Super Bowl or Curry Cup for eSports. Even people who don't play much Dota watch it; it's made particularly accessible with excellent viewing options. And it's coming back this year a little later in the calendar.
We’ve been slacking on the Dota news ever since Matty, intern of the century, left. But that stops right now, because there’s a brand new shopkeeper you can grab for Valve’s MOBA, and it’s the definition of awesome.
If there’s one thing that I absolutely adore about PC Gaming, it’s framerates. Funnily enough, it’s also the one thing I really hate about it too, since it’s a constant reminder that my hardware is aging, no matter how much love and attention I give it. I obsess over watching FPS counters while I game, so it’s pretty neat that Valve has finally decided to add one of their own.
It’s been a year of ups and downs for Counter-Strike. There’s been scandal, hacking, drama, and lots of other words with bad connotations! On the plus side though, it could get its very own International-like tournament similar to Dota 2 in 2015. It wasn’t all doom and gloom this year anyway, there were some outstanding moments! One YouTube user has racked them up (his personal favourites) into a neat top 10 video.
I’m incredibly disappointed that Valve have cancelled Christmas in Dota 2 this year. I know they have their reasons (something about an engine overhaul or something), but that doesn’t mean I won’t be a spoilt Internet brat and demand free stuff anyway! Dear Gaben, please send a update with lots of extra snow flakes and candy sprinkles. Lots of love from Porra #2.
Late last week Valve took down their new Auction House, which allowed everyone to convert useless trading cards into gems in order to bid on a massive catalogue of games. It wasn’t long before a huge exploit was discovered, allowing anyone to basically create gems out of thin air and post ludicrous bids. Valve say they’ve fixed the problem, but it still seems wildly silly.
Old school shooter Counter-Strike has maps that are the stuff of legends. No really, I promise you there are levels that aren’t Dust2. One of my favourites is Train, the stage that’s packed with… well you know what. Valve felt that the map had reached the end of its line, and decided to build a new one from scratch.
One thing I really dig about modern day gaming is that some developers release content that coincides with the season or theme at hand. In Dota 2 for example, Valve gave us Diretide to commemorate Halloween and Frostivus to prepare for Christmas… or at least, that’s how things used to be. There was no spooky celebration this year, and it looks like Christmas has been cancelled too.
Valve’s Steam allows you to gift items, and trade gift items around like some sort of digital game bartering bazaar. Unfortunately, sometimes that sort of thing goes awry thanks to unscrupulous people on the internet. Valve has now changed the way it handles Steam trading, which they say is for your protection.
I love the smell of fresh Dota 2 news in the morning! A few days ago, Valve gave us a hint of things to come. They’ve now shared details, putting fans (and myself) out of their misery. The update will include a new hero, Oracle, a new arcana set for Phantom Assassin, as well as some other awesome extras!
Remember that moron, Mike Maulbeck, who dared to threaten Gabe Newell because Steam listed his game as an early access title? It got his game removed from the mammoth online platform. He apologised and resigned following the outburst. Fast forward a few weeks and he is now back at the studio he left, Code Avarice, ready to work on a new title.
I was but a young lad, just 10 years old, when Half-Life was released. I honestly don’t remember how I found out about the game, or how it ended up on my PC. I do remember one thing distinctly at least, it was the most impressive game I had ever played. As a kid, meeting those headcrabs for the first time with nothing more than a crowbar was beyond terrifying. Black Mesa was just begging to be explored though, and I pushed on. What is it about the game that makes it so special? This documentary attempts to explain the Gordon Freeman phenomenon.
Valve kicked off the very first edition of the Saxxy Awards a few years ago. What is it exactly? Well, fans are encouraged to make their very own machinima utilising the Source Filmmaker – the same (and free) tool that Valve use to make animated videos for several of their games. Fans then enter their animation into one of 4 categories; short, action, comedy, drama. Oscars be damned, here are your winners for the Saxxy Awards 2014!