As part of the run-up to this year's International 2016 tournament for Dota 2, Valve have today released the event's Battle Pass and Compendium. Available for $9.99 / £7.19, the Battle Pass provides players with access to the statistical compendium from previous years and the usual host of cosmetic items, challenges, and rewards. These rewards include three Immortal Treasures, Spring-themed terrain, a weather effect, a music pack, "evolving" wards and couriers, a cursor pack, numerous emoticon packs, a custom HUD, a Crystal Maiden announcer pack, various loading screens, and a TI6-themed Effigy block. Like all previous compendiums, more rewards of increasing rarity can be acquired by levelling up the Battle Pass, either by paying for extra points or by earning them.
Like the previously successful Winter Battle Pass, this new Battle Pass also provides numerous gameplay incentives in the form of quests, achievements, match wagering, and community challenges. These features largely function the same as their older counterparts, only with new sets and items to win. The aforementioned community challenges also introduce a new pachinko machine mini-game known as "Lina's Battle Blaze", where dropped balls will randomly grand players the ability to win additional Battle Points to level up their Battle Passes.
Other new game mechanics include the ability to compete in an on-going Weekend Battle Cup as teams battle one another across brackets, and a "Prize Pool Prediction" allowing players to channel their inner Oracle as they place bets on where they think the final, steadily-rising total will end up (currently just above $2M at time of writing). Should this year's prize pool surpass that of 2015, all Battle Pass owners will be awarded special treasures able to give Arcana item sets, immortal items, and ultra-rare, expensive items retired in years gone by.
Those looking to level their Battle Passes up as far as they can will be treated well, as, alongside regular Immortal drops, players can also look to get their hands on 21 increasingly-flashy skins for a courier, a "Prestige" item for Legion Commander, unique particle effects for various items and buffs, 8 taunts for various heroes, and two extremely interesting visual effects. The first effect, "Rival Vials" periodically unlock new coloured liquid effects for players to fill the river with, effects which will then be shown to all players in that current game. The other, known as the "Immortal Gardens Terrain", is a permanent map theme which looks phenomenal and yet can still be used in regular games alongside players who don't have it equipped. This is thanks to the extensive work Valve put into the Source 2 tile system late last year, which keeps layouts functionally consistent, regardless of how they look.
We could literally sit here all night discussing the details of each and every one of these items, quests, and objectives, but you're honestly better off heading on over to the announcement page to learn more for yourself or to pick up your own Battle Pass. I've got mine - have you?!
Following yet another very quiet week from Valve, this week's short Round-Up episode is discussing a recent hat-filled patch for Team Fortress 2 and revisiting a bunch of neat improvements to the Steam Reviews and Broadcasting features added a few weeks back!
Like we say every week, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to make sure you're up-to-date as soon as the news picks up again! Thanks for watching!
After accidentally missing last week thanks to one of my own blunders, we're back to recap the past two weeks of Valve news! With Valve once again quiet, the biggest news we have to discuss revolves around the on-going Dota 2 / Warhammer cosmetic item contest, the re-tweaking of the 6.87 balance update, and a mind-blowing new speedrun of Half-Life 2!
We're hoping news should pick up again sometime soon, so be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow us on Facebook and Twitter! Thanks for watching!
We may have skipped releasing an episode last week due to the annual mid-April news drought, but the same cannot be said for this week - with interesting new headlines for both Valve's biggest games and Steam! Is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive's classic map Inferno about to be remade, what effect will the changes of 6.87 have on Dota 2, and is Steam about to enter the digital film market in a big way? Come find out in this week's News Round-Up!
We should be able to return to a normal video schedule from now on, so don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to avoid missing out! Thanks for watching!
After several weeks of speculation about the community, this evening finally saw Valve announce "6.87", the latest balance patch for Dota 2. Like most balance patches, the update focuses on finely tweaking the gameplay experience of Dota 2 with both small and large brush strokes, changing values by decimal places or introducing totally new items and abilities. We won't be going over most of the contents of the changelog here as there's way too much to cover, but here are a few of the highlights!
A total of 7 new items have been added to the game with this patch, a number of which feature as end-game combinations or early game components for existing items. They include Bloodthorn, the game's most expensive item which features as a combination between Orchid Malevolence and Crystalys capable of guaranteeing critical hits and silences, Echo Sabre, which causes its owner to attack twice in quick succession every 5 seconds, and Hurricane Pike, a combination between Force Staff and Dragon Lance that blows enemy heroes in the opposite direction from the user. Other less expensive items include Blight Stone, a mini-Desolator which removes 2 armour on hit, Wind Lace, which gives +20 movement speed, Tome of Knowledge, a rare book capable of instantly giving 425 experience points, and Infused Raindrops, a 5-charge item able to block numerous instances of 120 magic damage.
An all-new mechanic known as "Scan" allows a team to check a 900 unit radius on the mini-map for enemy activity over an 8 second period. The scan, which is on a team-wide 4.5 minute cooldown, will alert the team with a light pinging noise, alerting them that enemies are now within that area without revealing exact locations or number of opponents.
Alongside this update's new items and mechanics come the usual plethora of changes for the game's roster of heroes, with Storm Spirit, Mirana, Oracle, Winter Wyvern, and Bloodseeker all being granted Aghanim's Scepter bonuses for the first time, while Earthshaker, Gyrocopter, Skywrath Mage, and more have had their benefits reworked to make them more effective or interesting. Other big changes include numerous nerfs to Invoker and Outworld Devourer, who have seen rampant success and ridiculously high pick rates over the past few months.
The spawning patterns and gold / experience balance of certain jungle creeps was also modified, alongside minor changes to the map's layout and a new structure for both Ranked All Pick and Captain's Mode. More details can be found over on the official changelog should it interest you.
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