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Headlines for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, Team Fortress 2, Steam Music, and a whole lot more await in this episode of the ValveTime Weekly News Round-Up for 10th February 2014!
You might remember back some time ago that the German consumer watchdog group (VZBV) issued Valve a warning over changes to the Steam EULA back in 2012. It's the second time the issue has gone to the regional court of Berlin, and again the lawsuit has been dismissed.
The VZBV leaned on the principle of the 'doctrine of exhaustion', a concept whereby the copyrighted material is 'exhausted' once purchased by the first owner. Therefore a used computer game could be resold by that individual. The 'doctrine of exhaustion' however was created for physical copies and the VZBV failed to convince the courts it could be applied to non-physical / digital copies.
Valve has today launched a new section on the Steam storefront "that highlights titles offering new and interesting updates, features, and/or content additions." A new banner on the store below the featured games section shows off a couple of games that have recently been updated by the developers along with a small space to note what users can expect from the update. Valve hopes that it will make it easier for customers to find games that offer on-going value and developer involvement.
Along with that is a new page on the store where users can view the full changelog for recent game updates and can be filtered to just show games that the user owns. A final small change is that the Linux section of the store has been renamed to Linux + SteamOS as Valve starts to prepare for full release of the livingroom operating system.
A rather large update for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was released late last night, which introduced a new cosmetic item type known as Stickers. Stickers can be applied to any gun, and each gun can hold "multiple stickers", allowing players to add an additional layer of visual flare to their favourite firearms. Stickers are obtained from within new "Sticker Capsules" cases, which can be acquired as a random drop at the end of matches and require a Sticker Capsule Key to open.
Steam Workshop contributors are now able to create and upload their own sticker designs which may make it into the game as official weapon decals should they receive significant community support.
If you're not that interested in cosmetic items, you may be pleased to hear that the Overpass and Cobblestone maps are now available on all servers, as the Operation Bravo map pack has now concluded on February 5th 2014 as planned. Previously, only players with an Operation Bravo pass were allowed to access the maps on official Valve servers, something which is no longer necessary.
Additionally, several of the game's weapons have been rebalanced, including improved accuracy for the Desert Eagle, improved rate of fire and scope control for the SG553 and AUG rifles, and a general increase to the movement inaccuracy on all automatic weapons by 50%, causing these weapons to be far less effective should you attempt to strafe and shoot. A new grenade mechanic has also been implemented for the first time, allowing players to use the new secondary fire ability to underhand-toss a grenade a shorter distance in front of them, similarly to the grenades from Half-Life 2.
Finally, the game's radar and map system has been changed to feature helpful coloured-coded player icons, and five of the most popular Counter-Strike: Global Offensive maps (including Dust 2, Assault, and Inferno) were updated with various bug fixes and improvements. If you're interested in finding out more, be sure to check out the update changelog and the official announcement post over on the CS:GO blog.
We were lucky enough to be invited into the closed beta for the new Steam Music service, which began earlier today. In this ValveTime Spotlight Exclusive, we'll be taking a look at the new system to find out how it works!
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