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While ranked matchmaking in Dota 2 has been a thing for a while now, a new update released earlier this evening has made it that little bit easier to receive a matchmaking rank for full 5-man teams.
By forming a party of 5 players, users can now choose to use a team identity while using ranked matchmaking in order to receive an official MMR grade for the team's performances. While optional, this system will allow teams to show off their own banners and logos on the in-game map while battling against other closely-matched 5-man teams. The team roster size has also been increased from 5 to 7, allowing even more members to join and manage teams (only 5 players can participate in a match at any one time, obviously).Alongside numerous bug fixes and minor tweaks, the update has also overhauled several elements of the UI, including the main menu's "Play" tab and the Hero Picker screen, which you can check out below. While a lot nicer to look at, the new Hero Picker screen also allows newer features, such as the game starting gold reduction, to be shown off in an easily understood fashion, something not really possible with the old design.Two new compendium rewards have also been introduced, including the 1v1 Practice Mode, which allows players to casually battle together in order to test their skills in the mid-lane, and the Favourite Hero Challenge, which tracks and rewards players for trying out new or lesser played heroes.
After an exciting Day 1 with "Love" yesterday, Day 2 has arrived and is bringing the "War" to the Love & War update for Team Fortress 2. As many suspected, today's reveal has mostly focused on the introduction of brand new weapons for various classes. Before we get into the juicy details, check out this short 30 second teaser Valve have released to preview several of the new taunts and weapons coming up with this update.
Valve are making up for over a year without any new weapons by revealing nine new ways of killing your foes. Five of these weapons are brand new, while four of them are bread-themed reskins of existing weapons.First up is "The Back Scatter", a new Scattergun for the Scout. As a primary weapon, this new gun appears to function similarly to the Pyro's Backburner by providing minicrits when an enemy is attacked from behind at the cost of a reduced clip size, no random critical hits, and less accuracy.Next is "The Tide Turner", a new shield for the Demoman. While this captain's wheel would probably better suit Kunkka from Dota 2, the secondary weapon will provide enhanced fire and explosion resistance, similarly to the Chargin' Targe, but will also provide "Full turning control" while the Demoman is charging. Should the Demoman kill an enemy, the charge meter will be instantly replenished.Regular readers will be familiar with the "The B.A.S.E. Jumper", a new parachute for the Soldier and the Demoman. As a likely replacement for the Soldier's Shotgun and the Demoman's Grenade Launcher, the B.A.S.E Jumper will allow players to press the "JUMP" key while airborne to deploy the parachute and slowly glide back to earth. Valve have previously described the parachute as providing position-based benefits at the cost of reduced maneuverability and movement speed while in the air.Next up is "The Classic", a new Sniper rifle for the Sniper. This new primary weapon will allow the Sniper to charge and fire shots without having to use the scope, unlike every other rifle in the game. Don't fret, however, as this shouldn't turn the game into your typical 360noscoping match of Call of Duty given the fact The Classic cannot headshot targets without being fully charged, and any body shots will receive a 10% damage reduction. Veteran players may also recognise The Classic, as the weapon features a very similar design to that of the Sniper Rifle originally used in Team Fortress Classic.Last but definitely not least is "The Air Strike", a new Rocket Launcher for the Soldier. This new launcher provides increased attack speed while rocket jumping before also increasing the gun's clip size should the player score a kill. To balance the weapon, the Air Strike features a 25% reduction to damage and the initial clip size, and a 15% reduced explosion radius. This new rocket launcher should combo quite nicely with the B.A.S.E. Jumper, making Soldiers an even greater airborne threat.Now for those reskins we mentioned earlier. In keeping with the bread theme from yesterday's Expiration Date short, Valve are releasing bread-themed versions of the Sniper's Jarate, the Spy's Sapper, the Heavy's Gloves of Running Urgently, and the Scout's Mad Milk. All four of these yeasty reskins can be acquired by opening a new "Bread Box" crate, which is available via crafting. These items will only be available for a short period of time, however, as the recipe to craft the Bread Box expires on July 9th, giving players just under a month to get their hand on some delicious beauty mark filled bread (those aren't tumors, but that doesn't mean you should try to eat them).Like Day 1, Day 2 has also introduced a bunch of new achievements. While yesterday's batch were entirely themed around the new interactive taunts, today's batch all appear to be influenced by the use of the 5 new weapons detailed earlier in this post. Oh, and in case you're interested in hats and cosmetic items, you may want to rewatch that short teaser trailer we listed earlier, as it gives a pretty neat overview of several sets we expect to see included with the update.With Day 2 over and done with, the Love & War update for Team Fortress 2 is now live on the game client! Click here to check out the full changelog, which also includes a few balance tweaks for existing weapons. Before you go, check out our little summary of the update below.Now what are you waiting for? Get on out there and get killing, mercenaries!
It's been a long time since the last major patch, but the "Love & War" update for Team Fortress 2 is finally upon us! After a day-long countdown, the new update was revealed on the game's website alongside "Expiration Date", the promised 15 minute short announced back in 2012. We highly recommend you check that out below before you continue reading, it's just that good.
And now for the update itself. Day 1 of the Love & War update focuses on the introduction of a number of new interactive taunts, including "Conga", "Square Dance", "Skull Cracker", "Flip", and our personal favourite, "Rock! Paper! Scissors!". The new taunts also have a series of new achievements which have yet to be detailed. The icons previewed on the announcement post appear to show that most will involve taking part in the new taunts, or rudely interrupting them.That's about it for Day 1 of the Love & War update. Check out our coverage of Day 2 to learn all about some brand new weapons!
The clock is ticking... Bread is falling from the sky and prize pools are steadily rising! With the Summer Sale on the way, big things are afoot for Team Fortress 2, Steam, and Dota 2, so let's discuss each and every one of them in this week's rather long episode of the ValveTime News Round-Up!
With only a month to go before the start of The International 2014 on July 18th 2014, Valve have released a new blog post to detail the remaining stages of the tournament. A new announcement page has revealed the Playoff event, previously described as the "Play-Ins", will take place from July 8th through 14th, and will involve all 19 remaining teams.
The Playoffs will be broken up into three distinct phases. Phrase One, which will take place on July 8th, will see qualifier runner-up teams Team Liquid, MVP Phoenix, CIS Game, and Virtus.Pro compete in a series of Best-Of-3 matches to decide which team will take the 16th and final position in the tournament. After the three losing teams are eliminated, Phase Two will then run from July 9th until the 12th.Phase Two places the 16 core teams into a single group where they will battle each other once. At the end of Phase Two, only 10 teams will survive, as the top 2 highest performing teams will advance directly to the main event's Upper Bracket while the middle 8 will enter Phase Three of the Playoff series. The bottom 6 teams will be eliminated from the tournament. Phase Three will then run from July 13th through the 14th.The middle 8 teams from Phase Two will be placed into a pair of Best-Of-3, four-team brackets based on their performance in Phase Two. On July 13th, the losing team of the lowest ranking match will be eliminated from the tournament while the winning team will have to face off against the higher ranked teams in order to determine their position in the main event. At the end of the day, 2 teams will advance to the main event's Lower Bracket, while the final team will join the highest performing teams of Phase Two in the Upper Bracket. This system is then repeated with the 4 remaining teams on July 14th in order to finalise the 8-team roster for the main event, which runs from July 18th until the 21st.The main event will use a double elimination, Best-Of-3 system to whittle down the 8 remaining teams to decide who will be participating in the Best-Of-5 grand final on July 21st. The winner of the grand final will become the Dota 2 International 2014 Champions and take home around $5,000,000 in prize money.
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