A month ago, Seattle played host to PAX Prime 2015, one of the world's largest gaming and pop culture events. With Valve HQ situated so close to Seattle, it makes perfect sense for their team to wheel out the bandwagon to discuss their on-going hardware endeavors in great detail, with the HTC Vive, Steam Controller, and Steam Machines all being shown off at various booths.
We sent our writer and resident-Canadian Jake down to the event to check out Valve's showings and to report back on the games and hardware on display.
After you've finished checking out this episode, be sure to check out our previous Spotlight episodes and to head on over to Jake's own video over on AYBOnline, where he interviews a developer from Cloudhead Games! And, as always, don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel, and to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and TwitchTV. Thanks for watching!
With the Frankfurt Major qualifiers coming up in just over a week, Valve are getting Dota 2 ready with the release of the 6.85 balance patch, which was released this evening alongside numerous other modifications to the game client. Like all balance patches, 6.85 looks to tweak the game's wide variety of heroes and items in order to limit the effectiveness of overused or abused features (I'm looking at you, Leshrac) while improving those not used quite as much. Major standouts in this update include big nerfs to Leshrac, Techies, and Storm Spirit, while Undying, Terrorblade, and Elder Titan have all received major, potentially beneficial improvements.
As always, there's a whole lot more to read about in the full patch notes, so we'll now move on to talking about the non-gameplay improvements introduced to Dota 2 alongside the 6.85 update. These include "Neighborhood Channels", allowing players to automatically chat with other players in their local regions, and a partially redesigned UI with new support for compendiums, recent game recaps, and spectating. With the Frankfurt Major starting fairly soon, these new improvements and re-balances should help keep the community happy for another few months until 6.86 rolls around towards the end of the year.
With just over a week to go until the start of the qualifiers for the first of Dota 2's "Major" tournaments, Valve have spilled the beans regarding what is now known as "The Frankfurt Major". Here's the basic rundown: The Major will be held at Festhalle Messe in Frankfurt, Germany, it will be produced by ESL, and it will feature an impressive prize pool of $3,000,000.
The six day main event will run from November 16th through the 22nd, and will feature 16 teams from throughout the Dota 2 competitive scene. Unlike The International annual tournament, the event is open to the general public for five of the six days, with visitors only requiring a pre-purchased ticket for the Grand Finals on Saturday, November 21st. Tickets for the final day will be sold for €50 in two waves this Sunday, September 27th, with times currently listed on the Dota 2 blog. The first Seasonal Compendium will be released sometime soon alongside the upcoming 6.85 balance patch, set to drop sometime later this week. While following The International as the next stage of the Dota 2 competitive scene isn't going to be easy, the Majors should prove very interesting in their own right.
The blog post revealing this information also discusses the next few updates for Dota 2. The desert terrain map is brought up once again, with Valve mentioning they are doing some "underlying map rendering tech" to make it easy to iterate on in the future, before then describing the Axe-focused "longform" comic as "much bigger" than their previous comics.
With the launch of the first "Steam Machines" coming up in the last few months of this year, Valve are working hard to try and get the Steam platform ready for what are essentially simplified PC's. A big part (no pun intended) of the Steam Machines project has always been Big Picture Mode, which was recently updated with new navigation options and features. For those not aware, Big Picture Mode essentially functions as an alternative to the Steam interface designed specifically for controller input.
official changelog, head on over to Big Picture Mode for yourself to check them out!
Our content release schedule has been a little...unusual lately. But not nearly as unusual as the aliens poised to invade Team Fortress 2! Other, less-weird things in the news these past few weeks include more big updates for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2, and Valve getting more eyes on their hardware line-up than ever before! Those things are to be expected, after all.
If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to check out our other video content, to subscribe to our YouTube channel, and to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and TwitchTV. Thanks for watching!
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