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As with the last few designs, the most recent appearance of the Steam Controller has been unearthed from files contained within the latest Steam Client Beta update. The new design, shown below, appears largely similar to the previous iteration and features an analogue stick, four main buttons, and two touch pads.
The most striking change from previous designs is the appearance of a four-point directional guide on the left touch pad. It's not entirely clear just yet how the four-point guide will be used or what it's main purpose is, but we'd imagine the left pad may now be re-configurable to feature as a softer, more diverse alternative to the standard D-Pad by offering more directional input than just the standard four-points of motion.
While it has yet to be officially revealed by Valve, it's extremely likely this new design will be shown off in public for the first time at GDC 2015, as Valve's Doug Lombardi recently confirmed the company would have a "large Steam Machine presence" at the event in March.
Frostivus may have been cancelled (once again), but Dota 2 will still be celebrating the festive season this year with the all-new "Shifting Snows" update! This new update will re-introduce the snowy-themed Winter map and apply the v6.83 balance patch, bringing multiple changes to a variety of heroes and game mechanics.
Among hundreds of individual changes, highlights of the v6.83 patch that stood out to us include replacing all first-spawn runes with two Bounty Runes (rather than one normal and one Bounty), allowing players to ping heroes' health and mana bars, and introducing Bloodseeker and Techies into Captain's Mode, allowing both to potentially be used for professional play.
Alongside the rest of the balance tweaks for heroes and general gameplay, the update will also introduce several new features, including the ability to make ice-themed effigies, a new "Treasure of the Frosted Flame" chest, and gift wrap (functions identically to TF2's own gift wrap). A brand new "Treasure of the Nested Cache" chest will also be added, providing random treasures and a chance to find an addition Treasure Redemption Token which can be used to redeem yet another free treasure.
After several days on the Test Client, the update has now been made available for all players on the main Dota 2 Client. If you're looking for more information about the Shifting Snows update for Dota 2, head on over to the Dota 2 website.
Following on from yesterday's Database episode regarding the Borealis, we're once again travelling back in time, only this time we're taking a look at the rich, untold history of the ship and how it was originally set to appear during the early days of Half-Life 2. We'd recommend checking out Part 1 to catch up in case you missed it!
Don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel, to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and to check out previous episodes of ValveTime Database! Thanks for watching.
Updated - 12/12/2014
The Steam Holiday Auction has since been restarted, and all previously placed bids have been returned to their original owners. New bids may now be placed ahead of Monday's official start time.
Shortly after the reveal of Valve's brand new "Steam Holiday Auction" event yesterday evening, it would appear numerous users began identifying ways of quickly and unfairly boosting their gem count via previously unseen exploits. As a result, users abusing such exploits were able to unfairly gain an advantage in the upcoming bidding wars, easily surpassing those collecting gems through legitimate means and effectively securing them free games.
In order to combat this potentially serious problem ahead of the auction's scheduled opening on Monday, December 15th, Valve has placed the Holiday Auction on-hold, claiming it will "return shortly" now the "Yeti has been contained". Once Valve have fixed the problematic exploits, the auction will be entirely reset, reimbursing all gems purchased from the Community Market, returning all crafted gems, and reposting all auctions as a means of rebalancing the playing field.
We'll be sure to let you know when the auction is up and running again.
Christmas has come early for Steam this year, as a brand new event known as "The Steam Holiday Auction" has been revealed. The event, set to properly begin on December 15th 2014, will allow users to recycle unwanted Steam Community items of varying values (trading cards, backgrounds, emoticons, etc) in order to manufacture "Gems" from their Steam Inventories which can then be used to bid on selected games or items being auctioned off. The highest bidder on each item will win that round, counting down until there are none of the 100 copies remaining.
Come December 15th, a new auction will begin every 45 minutes as players bid to win one of a number of free games, software, and items. Three days later on December 18th, the final auction round will end at 10am PST. For now, players may collect gems and place their bids on nearly 2,000 support titles in order to get a head start for Monday. As usual, gems can also be purchased from the Steam Marketplace should you not have any spare items laying around. Spare gems can also be used to craft Trading Card Booster Packs for games in the user's library. Placing a bid on an item will also award the user the unique "Auction Participant" badge and 100 XP for their Steam profile.
It's an interesting new take on Steam mini-games that is definitely worth checking out if you're looking for free or cheap games. Be sure to also check out the event's own comic and the full FAQ for more information. Just be sure not to spend too much money on extra gems, as it's looking likely the annual Steam Holiday Sale will begin shortly after the conclusion of the auction next Thursday. Happy Bidding!
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