As promised, the Interactive Compendium for the International 2015 Dota 2 tournament has been released. Like previous years, the virtual book stands both as a guide for the tournament and as a way for Valve to generate a larger prize pool. Available for $9.99 or £6.69, the compendium provides players a huge variety of new items that are exclusive to The International 2015 as well as opportunities to unlock even more rewards as the prize pool increases. As always, 25% of all compendium sales go to increasing The International's prize pool.
There's a ridiculous number of potential rewards available for purchasing this year's compendium, including three different Immortal Treasures containing 8 new items and a whole host of other benefits, which we'll list in the spoiler tag below. The list is definitely worth checking out as it features some totally new stretch goals unique to this year's event, including a brand new "Desert Terrain" map skin, a comic, an even a Saxxy-like community short film contest with $20,000 being offered to each winner.
- $1,600,000: Compendium Coins - A new way to earn more items, you earn Compendium Coins by completing Coin Charms, finishing challenges, earning trophies, random drops, and predictions. Increase your Compendium Level to boost your earnings.
- $2,000,000: Cursor Pack - Point your way to victory with The International 2015 Cursor Pack.
- $2,500,000: All-Star Vote - Vote for who you think should battle it out at The International in the All-Star Match.
- $3,000,000: Immortal Treasure I - All Compendium owners get their hands on new Immortal items when they open their Immortal Treasure I. Increase your Compendium Level to earn additional Immortal Treasures.
- $3,500,000: Arcana Vote - Vote for which hero you think should receive the next Arcana.
- $4,000,000: Compendium Effigies - All Compendium owners receive their very own Effigy Block of The International. Increase your Compendium Level to receive a Reforger Pack, allowing you to rebuild an effigy, and have a chance to earn a rare Golden Effigy Block of The International.
- $4,500,000: Loading Screens - Peek behind the scenes of Dota 2 with the Portfolio of Heroes Envisioned, containing loading screens showing concept art for several heroes. Increase your Compendium Level to earn additional Portfolios.
- $5,000,000: Emoticons - Express yourself with new emoticons to use in Dota 2 chat.
- $5,500,000: The International HUD Skin - Celebrate The International with a new Compendium-themed HUD skin.
- $6,000,000: Taunt Treasure - Provoke your foe with the Manual of Fearsome Moves, containing Taunts for several heroes. These new Taunts can be used while moving, and feature all new Hero sound effects. Increase your Compendium Level to earn additional Taunt Treasures.
- $6,500,000: The Watcher Below Ward - Spy on your foes with new The Watcher Below ward.
- $7,000,000: Immortal Treasure II - Everyone receives another batch of new Immortal items with the Immortal Treasure II. Increase your Compendium Level to earn additional Immortal Treasures.
- $8,000,000: Dota 2 Short Film Contest - Nominees for the best videos will be selected by the community through the Steam Workshop. Winners will be chosen by Valve, showcased at The International and receive $20,000 each. Submission and entry guidelines can be found here.
- $9,000,000: Wyvern Hatchling Courier - Receive your very own Wyvern Hatchling courier to carry your items in battle. Increase your Compendium Level to unlock additional courier styles.
- $10,000,000: Immortal Treasure III - Still want more Immortal items? Unlock this goal and everyone receives the Immortal Treasure III. Increase your Compendium Level to earn additional Immortal Treasures.
- $11,000,000: Desert Terrain - A new look comes to Dota 2's battlefield with this new Terrain item.
- $12,000,000: Music Pack - Ride into battle with new music from an exclusive music pack.
- $13,000,000: Announcer Pack - Let the rough-and-tumble wit of Bristleback lead you to your next victory with the Bristleback Announcer and Bristleback Mega-Kills items.
- $14,000,000: Weather Effects - New, exclusive weather effects come to the field of battle.
- $15,000,000: Special Axe Immortal & Longform Comic - Join Axe on an exciting adventure in a brand new comic, then chop your enemies to pieces with his new Immortal item.
Other rewards are also available for those willing or able to increase the level of their interactive compendium, such as a custom Black Hole effect, Coin Boosters which multiple the amount of virtual currency earned for completing challenges, and "Almond the Frondillo", a new pet available to equip on a number of mostly-strength heroes. Leveling up a compendium will also provide a number of additional bonuses, such as extra Immortal Treasures, loading screens, courier styles, and virtual effects, among others.
According to the Compendium announcement page, the prize pool for The International 2015 has reached over $3,000,000 in just over 12 hours, meaning this year's event definitely has a chance of being as big as the last! That said, one question remains: Will it surpass last year's total of $10,930,698? Who knows.
It's been a hectic couple of weeks for Valve fans! The past fortnight has seen Valve add (and then remove) paid mods from the Steam Workshop, the announcement of the 6.84 balance patch for Dota 2, the most recent attempt to quell Steam phishing bots, and Warren Spector reveal one of Half-Life's long-dead scrapped weapons! And that's not all, so go ahead and click the video below to learn more!
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!
As promised last week, Valve have just announced the 6.84 balance patch for Dota 2. Like all balance patches, 6.84 introduces a massive range of tweaks to various heroes, items, and gameplay mechanics in order to freshen up the game for both pub and pro players alike.
As expected, this patch has focused on reducing the comeback gold and experience mechanics introduced a little while back, limiting their effectiveness by 25% and 40%, respectively. More surprising changes to how farming works have arrived in the form of reductions to how much gold is received from killing lane creeps and a 10% increase to how much bonus gold is awarded for hero kills, likely to promote aggressive team fighting and ganks.
The majority of the patch notes focus on the usual hero and item buffs or nerfs which we're not going to go into any real detail about here. What we are going to address, however, are some of the plentiful new items set to be introduced. These include the new "Enchanted Mango" consumable which provides 150 mana when used, the "Lotus Orb" which removes negative buffs from friendly heroes and allows all targeted spells placed on them to be rebounded back to the original caster, the "Moon Shard" which passively provides 250 bonus night vision or a permanent 60 attack speed buff, and the "Octarine Core" which reduces all cooldowns by 25% (yes, ALL of them). There's a few other new items included in the patch, but we'll leave you to discover them for yourself.
While the update doesn't feature any kind of multi-day reveal or a special gamemode, the 6.84 balance patch is likely going to shake up the Dota 2 gameplay experience quite a bit and it'll definitely take a lot of practice to get used to. There is currently no definitive release date for the update, but we are hearing reports from Valve claiming it will be ready sometime later this week alongside The International 2015 Compendium.
In one of the fastest and most severe turnarounds in Valve's long and varied history, the Steam team today announced they will soon be removing the ability for users to create paid mods on the Steam Workshop, a feature only implemented last week. This move comes after massive community outcry, failed Reddit AMA's from Gabe Newell, and an uncontrollable amount of workshop trolling.
In a short post over on the Steam Workshop announcements page, the team discusses why they thought the introduction of paid mods would be a beneficial idea - bringing about positive, large-scale projects like Garry's Mod, DayZ, Killing Floor, and Counter-Strike, all of which started out as community-made games before they blossomed into huge financial successes. As many claimed, Valve seemingly underestimated this approach, effectively placing a strict pay wall right down the middle of one of the Steam Workshop's oldest and most well-established supported games in the form of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
With that said, Valve have admitted their mistakes, claiming they missed "the mark pretty badly" before mentioning that the team will return to the drawing board to see where a similar system such as this could work in the future. As such, all users who have purchased Steam Workshop mods over the past week or so will be given full refunds, regardless of whether a purchase was made outside of the now-defunct 24 hour refund period.
You did it, Reddit.
In a recent interview with Game Informer, game designer Warren Spector has revealed a number of new details regarding partnerships between his company, the now-defunct Junction Point Studios, and Valve Corporation back in the mid-2000’s. Prior to the Junction Point’s acquisition by Disney Interactive Studios in 2007, Valve apparently stepped in and saved the company from going out of business by allowing the team to develop new conceptual designs for Valve over a period of about two years while also conducting contract work for Disney on another project at the same time. This project later evolved into what we now know as Epic Mickey.
During this time, Warren and the team were largely involved in creating work for a new standalone Half-Life title set to be released on Steam, likely sometime around the release of Episode Two. Following Junction Point’s acquisition by Disney in 2007, all work related to the Half-Life title and their other non-Mickey Mouse projects was scrapped.
Later in the same interview, Warren explained the Half-Life title was set to stand as an “episode”, that would fill in one of the gaps in the Half-Life universe, describing how the team were looking to try and flesh out a specific part of the series’ fictional universe. Their conceptual work also involved the creation of what Warren dubbed the “Magnet Gun”, a new weapon with a number of reportedly exciting applications, including some which would have complimented the Gravity Gun’s existing toolset quite nicely. The Magnet Gun and its unspecified uses were all shelved when the project was scrapped.
A lot of this information isn't really "new" as such, but we thought Warren's recent reveal of the "Magnet Gun" was a good enough excuse to make a little round-up here of all the details for yet another of Half-Life's scrapped spin-off episodes.
About Junction Point Studios
Junction Point Studios was an independent studio established in November of 2004 by Warren Spector and Art Min, the latter of whom had previously worked at Valve. The studio spent much of their time creating concept ideas and attempting to find funding partners. In December of 2005, the company announced that it was working with Valve on a new video game project using the Source engine to be delivered via Steam. This was later revealed to be a Half-Life 2 episode that went unfinished.
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