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Last week, the fourth iteration of Train was released into Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. As such a classic map, this got us thinking about the history of its various layouts and appearances. A lot can change in 15 years, so let's take a quick look.
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Now the new Steam Holiday Auction has wrapped up, it's time for the biggest sale event of the year, the Steam Holiday Sale 2014! Like most large-scale sales, the Holiday Sale welcomes the return of Daily Deals, now referred to as "Featured Deals", alongside the Community Choice voting system and Flash Sales, both of which has been revamped somewhat.
Instead of offering a Holiday Trading Card for voting three times a day, each user will now be awarded a Trading Card for voting in the single day-long vote, likely making it easier for less-active users to collect their own Steam Badge. Shorter deals, previously known as Flash Sales, have also been revamped, with 6 new offers appearing on the Steam Store ever 12 hours, rather than every 8.
As we've already mentioned, the sale features its own Steam Badge and set of 10 Steam Trading Cards which are awarded for participating in the Community Choice vote and for spending over $10 in the store. By crafting the Steam Badge, users can collect various themed emoticons and backgrounds which can only be acquired during the sale. As usual, there's also a huuuuge number of other items on offer across the Steam Sale, so be sure to keep an eye out for bargains that may interest you. Happy Shopping!
It has been announced Valve writer Chet Faliszek is to host a developer session at the EGX Rezzed event in March 2015. The event, set to take place at Tobacco Dock in London from March 12th through the 14th, is described as a smaller, "more intimate affair" than September's EGX and largely focuses on showcasing the latest PC, independent, and console titles.
The announcement post released earlier today mentions the content's of Chet's talk is currently "under wraps" and will be revealed sometime in January 2015. While Chet has previously been heavily involved in writing games and for the Half-Life, Portal, and Left 4 Dead series, it's feels more likely his session at EGX Rezzed will focused on the development of hardware, given Valve's flat-management structure has previously seen him attending numerous VR-related events over the past year.
This also fits in-line with the Steam Universe hardware set to be shown off at GDC 2015 a week earlier in March, meaning Chet should have free reign to follow-up on any of the big announcements regarding the Steam Controller or the Steam Machines. While we can only really speculate about Chet may or may not discuss at this stage, we'll be sure you let you know when another official announcement is made.
As with the last few designs, the most recent appearance of the Steam Controller has been unearthed from files contained within the latest Steam Client Beta update. The new design, shown below, appears largely similar to the previous iteration and features an analogue stick, four main buttons, and two touch pads.
The most striking change from previous designs is the appearance of a four-point directional guide on the left touch pad. It's not entirely clear just yet how the four-point guide will be used or what it's main purpose is, but we'd imagine the left pad may now be re-configurable to feature as a softer, more diverse alternative to the standard D-Pad by offering more directional input than just the standard four-points of motion.
While it has yet to be officially revealed by Valve, it's extremely likely this new design will be shown off in public for the first time at GDC 2015, as Valve's Doug Lombardi recently confirmed the company would have a "large Steam Machine presence" at the event in March.
Frostivus may have been cancelled (once again), but Dota 2 will still be celebrating the festive season this year with the all-new "Shifting Snows" update! This new update will re-introduce the snowy-themed Winter map and apply the v6.83 balance patch, bringing multiple changes to a variety of heroes and game mechanics.
Among hundreds of individual changes, highlights of the v6.83 patch that stood out to us include replacing all first-spawn runes with two Bounty Runes (rather than one normal and one Bounty), allowing players to ping heroes' health and mana bars, and introducing Bloodseeker and Techies into Captain's Mode, allowing both to potentially be used for professional play.
Alongside the rest of the balance tweaks for heroes and general gameplay, the update will also introduce several new features, including the ability to make ice-themed effigies, a new "Treasure of the Frosted Flame" chest, and gift wrap (functions identically to TF2's own gift wrap). A brand new "Treasure of the Nested Cache" chest will also be added, providing random treasures and a chance to find an addition Treasure Redemption Token which can be used to redeem yet another free treasure.
After several days on the Test Client, the update has now been made available for all players on the main Dota 2 Client. If you're looking for more information about the Shifting Snows update for Dota 2, head on over to the Dota 2 website.
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