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Dota 2 treasure chests no longer hold duplicate items

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Dota 2 treasure chests no longer hold duplicate items

Don’t you hate it when you’ve spent weeks tracking down a treasure chest, cursing the drunken pirate who inaccurately scrawled an ‘x’ on your laptop screen when you showed him a Google Gaps view of the area, only to find it contains a Tigger mug - the exact same Tigger mug you already owned!

Valve hate that, too. That’s why they’re changed the chests in Dota 2 to stop them giving duplicate rewards. Plus, there are lovely bonuses thrown into the mix.

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Dota 2 makes Perfect World money in China, large-scale launch coming "soon"

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Dota 2 makes Perfect World money in China, large-scale launch coming "soon"

The fiscal year ends in a couple of weeks - which right now means it’s about Christmastime for money. Chinese MMO specialists Perfect World announced a $110.7 million drop in profits since last year, and so were rightfully reticent to break out the mulled wine - but still had something to celebrate with their shareholders.

Namely early revenue from Dota 2, which Perfect World are in the tentative stages of introducing to mainland China.

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A sneak peek at Dota 2's Free to Play Competitor's Pack

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A sneak peek at Dota 2's Free to Play Competitor's Pack

Free to Play, Valve’s Dota 2 documentary, which follows three pro players as they prepare and compete in the first Dota 2 International Tournament premieres on March 18th.

To celebrate its launch on Steam the next day, Valve will be putting up the Free to Play Competitors Pack for Dota 2, with items designed by Valve and contributors from the Dota community. Get a sneak peek at the items below.

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Fantasy Dota kicks off with the ASUS ROG DreamLeague Season #1 tournament

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Fantasy Dota kicks off with the ASUS ROG DreamLeague Season #1 tournament

I’ve never played in a fantasy league, mainly because there isn’t a single league that I follow, in any sport. But the strategy, planning and backroom deals that go on in these things is almost intoxicating, making me wish I gave more of a damn. 

There’s hope for me yet, though, because the Dota 2 fantasy league system, Fantasy Dota, has kicked off. It sounds more up my street. You’ll need a tournament ticket to get involved, and it’s starting with the ASUS ROG DreamLeague Season #1 tournament.

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Dota 2's very first tie-in promo item set is for Thief, it seems

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Dota 2's very first tie-in promo item set is for Thief, it seems

Team Fortress 2 has a long and rich history of in-game items bought with Steam copies of other games. That’ll continue in the coming week with new Thief-themed gear for the scout: a complicated-looking bow and matching hoodie.

Dota 2 remained aloof from its Steam Store fellows while in beta - but like so many times before, it’s learning its lessons from TF2. Early word on the next Dota 2 patch suggests that Steam Thief owners will get access to a new item set for Drow Ranger.

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Valve's Free to Play documentary launching on Steam March 19th

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Valve's Free to Play documentary launching on Steam March 19th

Valve’s Dota 2 documentary, Free to Play, will launch on March 19th via Steam. The feature-length movie follows a trio of Dota 2 players as they travel the globe in search of adventure and fights to bring honour to their respective villages, maybe learning a little bit about themselves in the process. 

Okay, so maybe it’s not that. It actually follows Dendi, HYHY and Fear as they compete in the Dota 2 International Tournament for a million dollar prize. 

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What: Valve are apparently beta testing Free To Play, their Dota 2 documentary

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What: Valve are apparently beta testing Free To Play, their Dota 2 documentary

No Valve project these days seems even remotely similar to the last, but they’ve always managed to to twist and reshape old, learned techniques to fit the new thing. There’s not much a Dota 2 documentary can learn from Half-Life’s weapon-feel or Left 4 Dead’s procedural narrative, granted - but it turns out it can benefit from the process Valve learned through Dota itself: the long beta.

255 days after first sending out beta invites for Free to Play, Valve have told users on the Steam Translation Server to expect another two or three day beta for the film - after which it’ll be released.

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Valve: "Bad communication is worse than none"

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Valve: "Bad communication is worse than none"

“Where’s Half-Life 3?" It might be one of the most frequently asked questions put to Valve. The response is usually silence. Is it because Valve doesn’t like us? Do we smell bad? Maybe it simply means Half-Life 3 will never happen. It’s more likely got something to do with Valve’s communication philosophy: bad communication is worse than none.

At Steam Dev Days, Valve’s Robin Walker detailed the company’s approach to communication, and it makes the silence surrounding Half-Life and last year’s Diretide debacle easier to understand. 

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Valve believe microtransactions used for evil will ultimately "lose in the marketplace"

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Valve believe microtransactions used for evil will ultimately "lose in the marketplace"

Microtransactions, like wrist-based web-sacs, are tools to be used responsibly. It’s no news that when they’re not, players can be left feeling cheated and unhappy, with an undesirable leather-to-coin wallet contents ratio. But on top of that, professional Half-Life-skirkers Valve reckon that a morally unsound approach to in-game economies isn’t financially sound either.

“All of these things lead to regret," said Valve’s Kyle Davis. “And regret leads to effectively training your customers to stop buying things from you."

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How Gfinity are trying to level-up UK eSports

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How Gfinity are trying to level-up UK eSports

The UK is not generally known as a major eSports hub, but the young Gfinity eSports company are hoping to change that with an ambitious set of eSports events in 2014 and regular broadcasting to go with it. While Gfinity have mostly worked with Call of Duty in the past, they’re now getting into the broader eSports market with Dota 2, Counter-Strike, FIFA, and StarCraft 2.

We talked with Gfinity’s COO Paul Kent about who Gfinity are, why they’re trying to make the UK an eSports hub, and how they’re going to succeed.

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UPDATED: We want to coach a Dota 2 team formed from PCGamesN readers

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UPDATED: We want to coach a Dota 2 team formed from PCGamesN readers

Here’s the worst thing about Dota 2: your first few days with it will suck. The Dota 2 newbie is doomed to frustration, confusion, and countless deaths.

It’s a mathematical certainty. Consider: Valve’s MOBA currently has 106 heroes, with more to come. The average hero has four unique abilities, and some have even more. That means roughly 420 separate abilities you will need to learn before you really begin to understand Dota 2. In your first games, more likely than not, you will see a flurry of particle effects, a fizzle and a pop, and you will be dead.

But I can help with that. I want to coach five of our lovely readers who have never touched a game of Dota 2 in their life. Sound fun? Read on for all the details.

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Dota 2's New Bloom update introduces new heroes, game mode and balance changes

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Dota 2's New Bloom update introduces new heroes, game mode and balance changes

The New Blood Festival reveals have brought bountiful news to the community in the shape of two new heroes and game mode. Terrorblade is a carry, a demonic marauder who can create illusions of himself and his enemies while transforming into a demon. Phoenix on the other hand is a majestic fiery bird who uses his own life force to augment his abilities, and can even be reborn on the battlefield.

Random Ability Draft is a new game mode which throws all of the picked heroes special abilities into a big draft. Players take it in turns to pick abilities for their heroes from the entire pool of abilities: any hero can use any abilities. 

Finally, patch 6.80 brings in some balance fixes, most notably to that pesky Earth Spirit from the last update.

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As progaming team Quantic implode, a new installment of a sadly common eSports story

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As progaming team Quantic implode, a new installment of a sadly common eSports story

Ko "HyuN" Seok Hyun is a tremendous professional StarCraft 2 player who enjoyed an incredibly successful 2013, during which he won DreamHack Valencia, finished second at MLG’s spring championship, and racked up a slew of semifinals appearances in other major tournaments. He should be be at the top of the world right now, except that he may never see a dime of the $23,000 he earned in prize money and salary. Now, with his Quantic team unraveling and his CEO gone missing, one of the best Zerg players in StarCraft may be depending on the kindness of strangers to continue his career.

What’s surprising about this story is that it’s happening to a major player in StarCraft 2. But when it comes to the basic storyline — an absent manager, vanished prize money, financial defeat from the jaws of progaming victory — Hyun’s story is a depressingly familiar one in the world of eSports.

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Dota 2 works on Steam controller but pro play is “not really the goal”

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Dota 2 works on Steam controller but pro play is “not really the goal”

Valve’s Steam controller is still in development but the team are hard at work finetuning it to their biggest game, Dota 2. The MOBA “is a really complex game that uses a good half of the keyboard," Valve's Jeff Bellinghausen told Polygon. "And it's a real challenge, but would also be really exciting. To be able to play Dota from the couch is a really neat opportunity."

Even when it’s up to scratch, though, Valve don’t expect it to be used by the pro players. “We're thinking we'll get 90 percent of the way there."

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Dota

UPDATED: We want to coach a Dota 2 team formed from PCGamesN readers

Starcraft

As progaming team Quantic implode, a new installment of a sadly common eSports story

Starcraft

2013 in review: eSports' growing pain and growing gains

League of Legends

Riot restrict streaming for League of Legends pro players, ban certain games outright