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Steam Gifts rules have been changed to protect you from swindlers

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Steam Gifts rules have been changed to protect you from swindlers

Steam Gifts is a perfectly lovely way to trade with other Steam users, until it goes horribly wrong. A situation that’s been under scrutiny from Valve lately is where you make a trade for a game, only to have that game revoked from your library because the person you traded with has had their payment declined for the game. For shady types on this internet, this kind of action can lead to profit. But Valve are on the case and have changed the rulebook. 

From now on, games in your inventory that have been set aside for trading can only be traded 30 days after purchase.

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Team Fortress 2 update brings tweaks to pl_upward, improves client stability

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Team Fortress 2 update brings tweaks to pl_upward, improves client stability

Did you know? On the consoles, there’s a carbonite version of Team Fortress 2 that plays exactly the same way now as it did in 2007. Imagine that. Over here, it’s been onwards and upwards for the past seven years - a cycle of perpetual improvement for one of the best first-person shooters on PC.

It’s been four years since the Engineer Update that introduced Upward as a Payload map, for instance - but Valve are still trimming and weeding, and bettering the performance of the game overall.

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Gin and jungling: Snoop Dogg supports fan petition for Dota 2 announcer pack

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Gin and jungling: Snoop Dogg supports fan petition for Dota 2 announcer pack

Dota 2 players have petitioned Valve to add another optional announcer pack to their MOBA. They’d like the voice of Snoop Lion (formerly Snoop Dogg, formerly Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr) to sit alongside that of System Shock 2’s SHODAN and Stanley Parable’s Narrator on the loadout screen.

Among the 1,700 fans on board with the idea is Snoop to the dee-oh-double-gee himself.

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There's a new sheriff in town: Valve updates its Steam Early Access rules and guidelines

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There's a new sheriff in town: Valve updates its Steam Early Access rules and guidelines

Steam’s Early Access program has been inundating the platform with in-development games for a year and a half now, and it’s become the Wild West. Games with “borrowed" assets, false advertising, forum drama, and titles that never get finished - it’s become increasingly hard to judge whether or not a game is worth investing in. It’s why we do Early Access reviews now. 

Up until now, Valve’s been completely hands-off. Besides taking down games that use assets the developers have just lifted or make false claims, Valve’s presence hasn’t really been felt at all. That was until now. The sheriff's badge has been dusted off, and a new set of rules and guidelines have appeared. 

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Valve pulls back the curtain on Dota 2's impending update, Foreseer's Contract

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Valve pulls back the curtain on Dota 2's impending update, Foreseer's Contract

Dota 2's next big update, Foreseer’s Contract, was fully unveiled today, introducing a new hero, Oracle, to the MOBA’s roster along with the Manifold Paradox arcana item for the Phantom Assassin, which was voted for during the Dota 2 International earlier in the year. 

Those are the big additions, but new items, emoticons, awakened Compendium Gems and creep models have also been thrown into the update pile.

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Gabe's thank you to Gamers 4 Croydon makes it into Australia's adult-rated Left 4 Dead 2

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Gabe's thank you to Gamers 4 Croydon makes it into Australia's adult-rated Left 4 Dead 2

Next week, a full-blooded version of Left 4 Dead 2 will be released in Australia. It’ll be released under the country’s R18+ rating - the very adult classification for videogames it didn’t have until last year.

Gabe Newell and Valve have implemented a new in-game safehouse message - as thanks to the political activists who stood up to the South Australian attorney general and helped ensure R18+ happened.

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Team Fortress 2 Workshop hammered into better shape

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Team Fortress 2 Workshop hammered into better shape

The Team Fortress 2 Workshop has been the engine room of the game's item-centric rebirth - so it’s only fitting that Valve should lavish the same attention on it as they do one of the best first-person shooters on PC. The community hub’s homepage and queue system have both been upgraded, with the goal of forefronting the most interesting and relevant items.

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The Foreseer's Contract Dota 2 update sets the stage for a new hero: the Oracle

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The Foreseer's Contract Dota 2 update sets the stage for a new hero: the Oracle

A new update is on the horizon for Dota 2, and while it doesn’t promise anything concrete yet, it’s left some pretty damning evidence of a new hero coming to the game. The Oracle is a brand new hero to Dota 2; being not from the original hero roster used back in the original Warcraft III mod.

Also hinted was the new Phantom Assassin Arcana, that was voted for by the community at this year’s Dota 2 International.

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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive's Operation Vanguard acquaints players with 'campaigns'

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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive's Operation Vanguard acquaints players with 'campaigns'

Operation Vanguard is the latest in a lengthy line of community initiatives Valve have run for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive over the last year and a half. In now-established fashion, players can pay for temporary access to six of the game’s best community maps on Valve’s dedicated servers - and the mappers will receive a cut of the profits.

New this time are operation campaigns: a progression system that strings together mission objectives in one of the best first-person shooters on PC and rewards players with extra cases or weapon drops.

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Valve tap Team Fortress 2 Workshop community for Tomb Raider items

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Valve tap Team Fortress 2 Workshop community for Tomb Raider items

The Team Fortress 2 universe is strong and flexible enough to absorb just about anything you can hold in your hands or balance on your head. In the last couple of years, it’s become the happy host of themed items for about four dozen Steam games.

Ordinarily, Valve work with developers and a venn diagram to come up with a suitable crossover point. But for Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, Squeenix are opening up Tomb Raider history to the TF2 Workshop community.

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The best of the Steam Halloween Sale

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The best of the Steam Halloween Sale

If you’ve nearly emptied your bank account to pay for the materials required to make your completely authentic xenomorph costume for Halloween, but still fancy grabbing some appropriately themed games, then not to worry - Valve has you covered. 

And by has you covered, I mean that Valve wants to bleed that bank account dry with the Steam Halloween Sale. Lock up that wallet.

With 21 pages of discounted sales, I’m not going to be listing them all, but I've found a few choice spooky games to keep you feeling uneasy this Halloween. And they’re dead cheap. 

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Valve to tackle "transparently unfair" distribution of Team Fortress 2 Halloween gifts

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Valve to tackle "transparently unfair" distribution of Team Fortress 2 Halloween gifts

Scream Fortress 6 is coming, and with it the flurry of presents Team Fortress 2 players have come to expect over the last four spooky seasons. But Valve have revised the gift system for this year’s event, in the hope of ending the iffy practices of Halloweens past.

“The Halloween experience for many players now consists of sitting idle in a custom server while a plugin teleports them from gift spawn point to gift spawn point," write the dev team.

“We feel comfortable characterizing the current system as blatantly and transparently unfair."

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Watch the Dota 2 Starladder Season X finals kick off right now; winner takes home over $100,000

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Watch the Dota 2 Starladder Season X finals kick off right now; winner takes home over $100,000

The culmination of Starladder Season X is kicking off in just a few minutes, as Dota 2 teams Team Secret and Evil Geniuses face off in an epic best of five. Team Secret are already have a one game advantage by coming from the winners bracket; they’ve only lost one game in the entire tournament. Evil Geniuses on the other hand lost to them in the winner brackets final, but manage to crawl up the losers bracket to have a chance at revenge.

Now sit back, belly full from that delicious Sunday meal, and prepare for an evening of Dota 2 at its finest.

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Dota 2 players outnumbered all 99 other games on Steam's most-played list put together today

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Dota 2 players outnumbered all 99 other games on Steam's most-played list put together today

Press releases eventually slide out of inboxes; promo deals come and go. But Steam’s stat page is forever - a slowly-shifting stone tablet of absolute truths. 

Dota 2 has sat undisturbed at its topmost peak for many months now, but this morning the MOBA claimed another quiet victory. If you’d totted up the total player numbers for every other Steam game on the top 100 most-played list, they still wouldn’t have matched Dota’s concurrent roster of heroes.

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Counter-Strike ushers in its Halloween Mask-erade with player ghosts and vengeful chickens

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Counter-Strike ushers in its Halloween Mask-erade with player ghosts and vengeful chickens

I suppose it’s testament to Payday’s appropriation of Dead Presidents chic that no other gun game can do masks without running the idea by Overkill first. Character models in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, one of the great PC first-person shooters, have been temporarily jujjed up with fancy dress disguises - some of which come courtesy of Team Fortress and Payday 2.

“BEWARE! For with all these treats, also come tricks," write Valve. “On All Hollow’s Eve there is no more room in Chicken Hell."

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Paranautical Activity developer steps down after threatening Gabe Newell

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Paranautical Activity developer steps down after threatening Gabe Newell

Death threats are a pretty terrible way to blow off some steam, especially during a time when people are being chased out of the industry by them. But with Code Avarice’s Mike Maulbeck, who threatened Gabe Newell after his game, Paranautical Activity, was mislabeled as Early Access on Steam, the inverse has happened. 

Maulbeck’s outburst led to Paranautical Activity being removed from Steam, and in an apology written on the Code Avarice blog, the developer explains that he’s stepped down and will no longer have anything to do with either the game or the company. 

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