Steam: Gifting system has been improved!

Steam Gifting will now be a system of direct exchange from gift buyer to gift receiver – Valve has removed the Gift to E-mail and Gift to Inventory options.

Benefits from the new system:

  • Scheduling Gifts Is Even More Straightforward. Go ahead and buy a gift months in advance and have it delivered to a friend on time, every time.
  • Declined Gifts Resolve The Way They Should. In the old system, a declined gift would sneak back into the giver’s inventory and remain on their bill. Now, if a recipient already has the title, or just doesn’t want it, they can click decline and the purchase is refunded directly to the gift giver.
  • Safe Cross-Country Gifting. No more worrying if a Gift to E-mail or Gift to Inventory is going to work for a friend, gifts sent through the new system will always work on the receiver’s account. When there is a large difference in pricing between countries, gifting won’t be available and you’ll know before purchase.

These changes are now available. Pre-existing gifts will be unaffected by this change.

Valve wants to shutdown Team Fortress 2 gambling sites

If you’re unfamiliar with how skin gambling works in Team Fortress 2 it’s basically a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive clone made by Valve. They have released the following statement recently:

“In July of last year we outlined our position on gambling web sites, specifically noting that Valve has no business relationship with these sites. At that time we also began blocking many CS:GO gambling accounts… More recently, some gambling web sites started leveraging TF2 items. Today we began the process of blocking TF2 gambling accounts as well. We recommend you don’t trade with these sites.”

We can’t really blame them, can we? It’s a business and they don’t like it. So if you’re using some kind of TF2 gambling/trading websites it’s your last chance to get something that you really want.

Source: PC Gamer

By | 2017-01-30T19:25:41+00:00 January 30th 15:15, 2017|Categories: Entertainment, Games, News, Publishers & Developers, RAGE NEWS!!!1, Software, Steam, Steam Alternatives, Valve|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Steam update adds library management options and Xbox controller configuration

Two weeks ago Valve released a beta update to the Steam client. They’ve added configuration support for Xbox 360 and Xbox One controllers, along with any generic controllers as well. That feature is now available to everyone!

PlayStation 4 controllers support has been added last month. From now on you can connect and use virtually any console gamepad with Steam.

“Note that because X-Input currently lacks per-controller means of unique identification, all controllers of that type will share personalization and configuration settings,” Valve says. “As they share the same inputs, Xbox 360/One/Generic controllers will all see each-others configurations when browsing. Automatic conversion will be attempted when loading configurations from other controller types.”

But that’s not all, they’ve also added rumble support for Xbox controllers and recognition of more third-party PS4 gamepads, such as: HORI, Madcatz, and Armor pads and flight sticks.

Beyond controller support, the latest Steam client fixes several issues, including one that could cause the client to hang when the computer wakes from sleep mode. Valve also added overlay support for new Windows 10 Insider preview builds and showed some love for Linux with updates and bug fixes.

Additionally if you right-click on a game in your library, you’ll also notice some menu changes. You can no longer “Delete local content” but “Uninstall.”

Another nice addition (and probably most important!) is the ability to move game install folders from the Properties > Local Files menu.

Steam Store: Discovery Update 2.0 is now live!

The Steam store has been updated today. It has a lot of new functional settings and finally looks better! I bet most of you guys won’t be able to switch to the new UI just yet, but lets all agree we needed a change after all these years.

steam-store-update

The new update is called Discovery Update 2.0 – the next milestone of the Discovery Update released in 20014. Valve did a lot of good work on this one. The new design reduces the number of clicks you need to do in case you want to find something. The old store was a mess. Especially with all of those Early Access Titles on the main page, you can finally hide them!

Valve is now enforcing real screenshots in the store for each game – not some Photoshop bullshit ones.

Here are the highlights of the update!

Quick Access:

More direct links to common destinations. Plus, sections you probably didn’t even know we had.

Personalize (FINALLY!):

Now in the upper-right corner of every game image you will find a quick menu of options including quick access to your Preferences, allowing you to further customize your Steam shopping experience.

account-settings

Recently Viewed:

Quickly get back to products you’ve been browsing.

Friends Activity:

Whether it’s a hot new release, joining a special event, or getting back into a game that was recently updated, now it’s easy to tell what your friends are excited about.

Expanded Curators:

If you are following Steam curators, we’ve added a clickable preview of their latest reviews and recommendations.

More of the good stuff:

  • there is a top sellers list based on country now
  • the translations have been updated
  • Steam now notifies you if a game from your wishlist is on sale
  • the review system has been updated too

More new features listed here.

Steam: Mobile app update coming in early 2017

According to various media around the globe Valve Software is currently working on it’s Steam mobile app. It appears that in early 2017 you will be able to watch streams of some sort of video materials on your mobile device – documentaries, tutorials, full length movies and even TV shows.

steam-mobile-app-video

Steam video library keeps on expanding, over the last few months they have added a lot of videos to the library, although it’s limited by region it’s still pretty impressive.

Would you be using Steam instead of services like Netflix or HBO?

Steam: Major update coming soon!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted some Steam news, but according to couple of sources online Valve is probably going to launch a brand new Steam Store UI soon. They are planning a refresh of the home page design itself, while it will also introduce a prominent “Popular Among Friends” section.

Steam News

With the new update, Steam curators will apparently be able to clearly indicate whether their post is meant to be seen as recommended, not recommended or informational. “This helps us better understand whether a curation should be used to promote a game on the front page of Steam, or if it’s intended to be informational that should primarily appear on the individual product page,” Valve said.

There will also be a column on the left side of the home page to include:

  • new releases,
  • top-sellers,
  • recently updated titles,
  • upcoming releases

It’s not yet known if they are going to update their heavily abandoned Windows client, that looks like software from 2005. We should receive a brand new program in my opinion, Big Picture mode looks great but the standard UI is a mess.

By | 2016-10-14T13:48:18+00:00 September 28th 17:40, 2016|Categories: Deals, Games, News, Publishers & Developers, Steam Alternatives, Steam Updates, Valve|Tags: , , , , , |2 Comments

SteamSpy: The 2016 Steam Summer Sale was a success

According to SteamSpy, a really cool website that shows interesting data and statistics from the Steam store, discounts were actually reduced from 2015, but the overall revenue was way up. Which basically means they’ve made a lot more money with a lot worse deals.

Steam Rage

About 36.8 million copies of games were sold during the 2016 Summer Sale, compared to 33 million sold in 2015. There was also a huge increase in Steam users at the time of sale – over 175 million people this year, up from the 130 million last year. Although this could be linked to new free to play titles published on Steam and, therefore, those users are less likely to purchase any new games on Steam.

The game developers and publishers earned over $223.2 million, a 40% increase – in 2015, developers earned $160 million.

Additionally, remember the Limbo promo? The game was free for a day just ahead of the sale so we can assume that all of its new 1.9M owners are coming from that promotion even though some people obviously purchased it after the giveaway period was over.

What does this all mean for us, old school gamers? Worse deals in the following sales, that’s for sure. If they can sell games for more than last couple of sales why would they bother making the prices even lower?

I’ve personally only got one game on the sale to play with my buddy – How To Survive 2. I really wanted to buy something else but I couldn’t find anything worth my time and money. I’m also not quite sure if I’m not going to request a refund for that one because it doesn’t seem to be such a high quality title as I thought (ahhh the beauty of Early Access).

How many games did you buy during the Steam Summer Sale 2016?

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When I’ve asked all of my friends they basically couldn’t find any good games on the Steam sale as well. Maybe it’s because we’re all old pricks or maybe that we all have way over 500 games subscribed on Steam (yeah remember you don’t own that shit, you only have subscriptions for the titles, it’s not yours to keep, unlike GOG where you can backup the files and you’re all set).

I’m really glad that we have some good alternatives online that at least give as an option to get the games cheaper. Even though Valve hates them they can’t really do much about it.

Valve Anti-Cheat (VAC): Another proof that false positive bans are real

Since I’ve started using Steam back in 2007 I had this little obsession of mine, well more of a concern. You see, every now and then I have some sort of paranoia that I might get VAC banned for no reason, like I sometimes read online.

I used to be very cautious of what I’m running in the background, even if it’s just a music player. Who knows how Steam/VAC scans the running processes? Even using some sort of trainer for single player games could potentially result in a VAC ban I guess. Modifying the game files too.

VAC Ban Revoked Valve 2016

There was this post on reddit from a guy claiming his VAC ban in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has been removed by Valve:

It was a VAC ban for CSGO. I did not bother appealing it AT ALL. Within 41 days Valve removed my false VAC ban. I didn’t appeal because I thought there was no point in arguing as they do not take them back.

It’s nice you might think but should removing a false ban take 41 days? What the fuck? Origin has superior customer support and Valve should learn from them.

Also check out this comment which seems like a really valid point:

Many years ago I got ban in CS Source. I didn’t cheat. I asked on forums. I was told to “fuck off you cheater”, “VAC has no false bans” and few other comments. Valve support told me that bans are final and didn’t respond to any more messages. 2 months later my ban was removed with similar message.

In the process: I got my reputation ruined. My friends all thought that I cheated. I got banned from few online forums where I asked for help. I got disqualified from local LAN tournament and added to some (it is no longer existing) custom bans database for servers using some kind of 3rd party banning plugin.

With that false ban they forced be to create new account and buy CS source again. Fucking cunts.

The Steam sales are getting worse!

Every time there is a Steam sale on the horizon I think of buying something but when the event launches and I see the main store page I just can’t browse it. Why? The store displays all of the offers randomly, which means I can’t focus on any particular offer. I really preferred the old way of presenting sales on Steam, it was much more eye friendly.

The store browse function also sucks. Here’s an example, when you go to the RPG category in the store and want to sort the titles by the lowest price it always shows those damn free to play games first which you can’t even hide, after clicking through every crappy free to play game the store suddenly hangs you have to start over – we all know how big is the Steam store load during the sale, I couldn’t even drop any cards yesterday from that queue thing.

It seems that the store is getting DDoSed too easily, few years ago it was really slow for first couple of hours tops – yesterday it was unusable for the whole night. But that’s not really such a big problem comparing to what I’m about to list below, check it out. I’m sure they can afford to expand their servers farm easily, they just don’t care.

Steam Rage

Here are some things that I miss from the old sales:

  1. There are no flash sales that would keep me check the store every day, that was actually fun to see what games were on sale on that particular day.
  2. No mini-games! Come on! That was fun and rewards from them were pretty decent.
  3. There are no special event achievements in games. If you don’t know what I mean there was this one big winter sale on Steam once a couple of years ago were you had to gather coals by doing certain achievements in games, all of those games had special winter sale content in them, like maps, items and the earlier mentioned achievements. That was a lot of fun too!
  4. Most sales are crap. Majority of them are never larger than 50% anymore. We need bigger discounts!
  5. No special community tasks (such as leaving comments, adding friends, writing reviews, playing multiplayer in some game etc. to get something in return) for people to do is also a bad choice.

What do you think about recent Steam sales?

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This is what makes people angry – especially the older gamers I think. Steam sales are particularly bad for people like me who own a lot of games that we bought over the years on… Steam sales. That’s why the catalog is no longer attractive to us and the most recent titles that we would want to buy aren’t discounted enough to even compete with the alternatives around the world. I remember that even the recently released games had some sort of discount during the sale time, now new titles don’t even have one like Ori and the Blind Forest.

Hopefully sales on Origin, Good Old Games, UPlay and other big platforms will be improved in the future. The recent ones aren’t even that bad considering you could get Battlefield games a lot cheaper on the EA’s store for example.

What do you guys think?

You can’t gift Counter-Strike: Global Offensive during the Summer Sale

I wanted to buy a copy for my buddy yesterday and I saw that the game was not giftable at all, I couldn’t even buy it to my inventory. It just said I already have the game and can’t do that. Meanwhile people on reddit were going nuts and some guy from Valve responded with this:

CSGO Not giftable

This is how you get the alternative stores more popular Valve, not the other way around. People will always chose the cheaper option.

Giveaway: Chance to win 1 of 20 CS:GO keys!

Hey guys, I’m happy to announce that our friends at Grab The Games are hosting a new giveaway. Enter for a chance to win 1 out of 20 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Steam keys!

CS GO Giveaway

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Valve’s Steam controller is selling badly

According to the latest data, Valve has sold around 500 000 Steam controllers which isn’t exactly the best number. They have been officially selling the controller since November 2015. It’s been over half a year and what’s even worse the number also includes all of the controllers sold with Steam Machines (all of them have at least one controller bundled).

Valves Steam controller

It appears that Valve’s hardware isn’t popular at all and it’s Steam OS is nearly dead. How do other controllers sell? In last 6 months around 10 000 000 PS4 controllers were sold.

Do you have a Steam Controller?

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By | 2016-10-14T13:48:42+00:00 June 9th 10:45, 2016|Categories: Entertainment, Games, Hardware, News, OMG!1, Publishers & Developers, Software, Valve|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Former Valve employee files lawsuit over wrongful dismissal

Remember that community translation drama on Steam? Former Valve employee files a $3.1 million lawsuit over wrongful dismissal. The suit also alleges employee misclassification and a hostile work environmentRead the suit here – it claims that the employee’s primary responsibility was translating content into Spanish, although she also served as a liaison with law enforcement in Spanish-speaking countries and worked in customer service as well.

In 2012, she elected to undergo gender transition surgery, which required a move to Los Angeles. Valve accommodated the request and allowed her to work from home, but only under the condition that she be reclassified as an independent contractor, rather than a conventional employee. Her duties would remain the same.

At some point after moving to Los Angeles, the plaintiff filed a complaint with Valve’s human resources “about their unfair business practice of utilizing people interested in their products to provide translation services for free.” The people in question “worked hours upon hours based on promises that their work could lead to a paid position,” but it never actually did.

Shortly after filing a written complaint about the practice in January of this year, the plaintiff was fired, allegedly because her job was being moved back to Washington. But when she offered to relocate, the suit claims, she was refused.

“The real reason for termination was that Plaintiff was complaining about the hostile work environment and illegal business practices as stated above,” the lawsuit states. “Moreover, Plaintiff was terminated due to her transgender status. While Defendants accommodated her at first, her direct supervisor, Torsten Zabka, referred to her in a derogatory fashion. He referred to Plaintiff as ‘it,’ which is highly offensive to a transgender person.”

The transgender slurs are obviously the most visibly troubling allegation in the suit, but as Game Informer points out, the claim of misclassification could be what really bites Valve in the ass. The classification left the Plaintiff facing higher tax and insurance rates, and ineligible for unemployment and disability benefits, but it could also expose Valve to some serious unpleasantness courtesy of the IRS.

It’s not enough to simply declare that an employee is an independent contractor and call it a day; specific guidelines must be met in order for the classification to be valid, and as the IRS website warns, companies who do so with “no reasonable basis… may be held liable for employment taxes for that worker.”

More info should be available in the original article on PC Gamer soon I guess.

By | 2016-10-14T13:48:45+00:00 May 25th 14:50, 2016|Categories: Entertainment, Games, News, OMG!1, Publishers & Developers, RAGE NEWS!!!1, Software, Steam, Valve|Tags: , , , , |2 Comments

SteamVR Performance Test measures your system’s power

Hey guys, I have no idea if you are following the latest virtual reality boom around the world but I honestly think that’s just a gimmick like PlayStation Move controllers, Xbox Kinect and Wii sport/move games. Everyone knows they are on the market but no one really plays them more than once ;)

Anyway you can now check if your system is VR ready or not. It checks your GPU, CPU using the SteamVR Performance test.

Steam VR

The SteamVR Performance Test measures your system’s rendering power using a 2-minute sequence from Valve’s Aperture Robot Repair VR demo. After collecting the data it determines whether your system is capable of running VR content at 90fps and whether VR content can tune the visual fidelity up to the recommended level. For machines that are not VR Ready the tool can help determine whether capabilities are bound by Graphics Card, CPU, or both.

Are you interested in Virtual Reality at all?

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Download the tool from here. You obviously need a Steam account to install this.

SteamVR

HTC recently announced that their VR system is going to be available for pre-order on February 29th. However the product will probably ship around April 2016. Vive (powered by SteamVR software) will cost $799 and it will come with:

  • two wireless controllers,
  • 360 degree tracking
  • room scale movement sensors

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