In this week's Round-Up, we're celebrating Lunar New Year with Valve by checking out a new Steam Sale and a Quest Path for Dota 2, while also bidding farewell to one of Valve's longest-standing animators, Doug Wood, who will retire later this month after 19 years at the company.
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After nearly 19 years at Valve, Doug Wood has announced that he'll be retiring in the coming weeks.
Doug Wood is one of the founding fathers of the Half-Life saga. He was responsible for animating characters and creating some of the most iconic scripted sequences in the series, including "tentacles that pull unsuspecting scientists through the ceiling." Of course, his skills were applied across a variety of other Valve titles, including Left 4 Dead.
Citing Doug's Facebook, he said:
Despite the fact the Steam Winter Sale only ended a month ago, Valve are already whipping out a brand new set of deals in the "Lunar New Year Sale". The week-long event features the now-standard Daily Highlighted Deals and around 9,000 titles currently on sale, with this sale in particular featuring a heavy focus on tags and filters.
The huge success of the discovery queue during the Winter Sale has likely influenced the Lunar New Year Sale's themed storyline which sees users attempt to guide a Monkey back home to his family using a number of multi-choice answers to scenarios. Depending on the answer given (such as Swim, Drive, Pirates, or Ninjas), users will be taken to pages featuring specific themes and tags based on that topic. The "story" will then continue throughout various tagged pages before eventually reaching its conclusion, with several established Steam characters making cameo appearances along the way.
It may be a surprise to see a major Steam Sale hit again this soon, but that doesn't our wallets are allowed to rest!
In this week's Round-Up episode, we're exploring Dota 2's recent influx of high quality mini-games, checking out the various intriguing HTC Vive games shown off at the SteamVR Developer Showcase, and looking forward to Team Fortress 2's upcoming Competitive Matchmaking mode!
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You'd be forgiven for believing Dota 2 has recently become a virtual casino with the introduction of the Winter 2016 Battle Pass and the included Shanghai Major Compendium. For $7.99 or £5.29, the Pass gives access to a number of different activities and cosmetic items, with new additions such as quest "Paths", a "Winter Blessing" wheel of fortune, improved Wagering, and Friend Leaderboards featuring alongside old favourites like Battle Levels, Achievements, and new item treasures.
Completing objectives along a chosen path (themed around the gameplay styles of Support, Carry, and Solo) will award Battle Points and cosmetic items while contributing to a global pool which, when completed, will unlock an alternate skin for each of three available item sets. A massive number of new item sets, wards, frozen effigies, taunts, and couriers are also included, all of which can be unlocked through various means - including increasing a Battle Level or completing the aforementioned "Path" quests.
Other neat improvements provided by the Pass include a Winter-themed terrain type, an extra three months before replays are automatically deleted, and a removed trade delay on all items included with the Battle Pass. Of course, the update and pass also include information for the Shanghai Major Compendium, which offers plenty of details regarding the upcoming Valve-sponsored tournament in China.
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