Hi, and welcome to the ValveTime news. Each week, we’ll bring you the biggest talking points regarding Valve and the community. Now, the news: After an announcement tweet on the CS:GO twitter account shortly before our last episode aired, Valve released the latest update for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The update, known as The Arms Deal Update, was released on Wednesday of this week and has introduced a number of new changes, many of which take influence directly from Valve’s other multiplayer titles Team Fortress 2 and Dota 2. The update introduced a new item drop system which provides players with timed item drops as they play matches on verified official and community servers. In a manner identical to Team Fortress 2, players can only receive a certain number of item drops in a week before the drop system resets every Sunday. Unlike the cosmetic items and alternate weapons of Dota or Team Fortress, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive currently only features minor skin alterations for the existing roster of weapons, including camouflage, quirky redesigns such as lightning or flame themes, and over one hundred more. Weapon Cases, which function as Global Offensive’s version of crates and chests, can be unlocked using a key purchased from the in-game store located on the main menu and, once opened, will reward the player with a rare alternate skin for their weapon of choice. These new crates include the introduction of unique “eSports Weapon Cases,” which have been designed to help support the community by providing upcoming competitive eSporting tournaments with prize pool funds in a manner similar to Dota 2’s recently expired Interactive Compendium. Every time a player purchases a key for an eSports case, a percentage of the sale will be used to fund upcoming CS:GO tournaments across the globe. Alternative “StatTrak” items function as Counter-Strike’s take on the ‘Strange’ weapon variants found in Valve’s other multiplayer titles and will record every kill a player makes with a weapon before visually displaying the figure somewhere on the model itself and the player’s heads up display, as shown on the preview images currently being shown on-screen. More interestingly, however, is the re-introduction of the silenced M4A1 rifle and the USP tactical pistol, both of which have made their return from Counter-Strike: Source after continued community demands since Global Offensive’s release almost exactly one year ago. In order to balance these new weapon types, the silenced versions boast less recoil, better accuracy, and minimal noise output at the cost of significantly reduced clip sizes when compared to their older, standard cousins. The update page also hints at updated functionality for the Steam Workshop, as users will be able to create and upload their own weapon skins and custom knife models to the CS:GO page and, like Dota 2 or Team Fortress 2, popular submissions may be officially introduced to the game in future updates. The game’s recently updated main menu now features an inventory page which players can use to modify their loadouts and to check out weapons, skins, badges, and other items in an extreme close up. If you’re looking for more information about this rather substantial update for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, be sure to check out the announcement blog post, the update page, and the Arms Deal FAQ, the three of which should be able to answer any and all remaining questions you may have. And no, this update does not mean Global Offensive is now free to play. For this week’s discussion, we want to hear your views on this new update for Global Offensive; are you happy with it, or do you not care for this kind of content? Don’t forget to explain the reasoning behind your opinions as we want to hear your views. After just over a month of silence, the Left 4 Dead blog received a brand new update on Friday of this week which announced the arrival of what is being dubbed a “community update.” In the blog post, the Left 4 Dead ongoing content team discuss how they recently partnered with community modding expert Splinks to help develop a wish list of community requested improvements and fixes to the game’s authoring tools. These changes include the introduction of new Zip folders containing all compiling files and templates used to create each item, weapon, special infected, and survivors; the inclusion of skeletal rigs and animation scenes for the survivors in Autodesk Maya; and a number of tutorials over at the Steam Community Guides section. During his recent stay at Valve over the past few months, Splinks has also assisted with the resurrection of “Classic Francis,” which features the older, more rugged model of Francis first shown in a variety of preview trailers and promotional videos for Left 4 Dead 1 prior to the release of the game in 2008. This is probably a big deal for you fans of the pre-release versions of the game, so, while Valve aren’t promising they can find or repair any of the older models for Louis, Zoey, or Bill, they have uploaded Classic Francis to the Steam Workshop for those of you who would prefer to see the survivors look like, well… the filthy homeless people that they once were. Valve also mentioned that this update is just the first of its kind, so expect to hear more from Splinks and the Left 4 Dead team in the near future for more modding updates. Following on from the release of the first newsletter several weeks ago, the high school intern team in charge of Valve Pipeline recently released a major update to their website alongside the reveal of two brand new videos. The newly updated website, shown here, now features a “Meet the Team” page which introduces the interns and designers behind the initiative, a Valve Pipeline Steam Group, and a new ‘Videos’ page, the release of which has been celebrated with a pair of interviews featuring Valve programmers Michael Abrash and Tom Bui. In the interviews, Tom Bui discusses programming in general and how he managed to get started in the industry, while Michael Abrash discusses his involvement in the gaming industry over the past 30 years, his work with Valve’s virtual reality pursuits, and how he views the future of video games. At around 6 minutes apiece, both interviews are well worth a watch if you’re looking to learn more about how a pair of Valve’s best programmers got their start in the industry in two very different time periods. We just hope they’ll drop the unnecessary Instagram-style filters and the weird chopping jump cuts for next time. Alternatively, we recommend checking out the Valve Pipeline website itself if you want to find out about the teenage interns behind this continually evolving project. In merchandise news, NECA announced earlier this week that the RED team versions of their Heavy and Soldier action figures have finally be released and are now available at international retailers and online stores. The new figures stand at a height of 7” and feature over 25 points of articulation. The Heavy model comes packaged with his infamous minigun Sasha while the Soldier features his signature shovel and rocket launcher. Similarly to the previously released Pyro and Demoman models, both of these new figures also feature Steam codes for exclusive in-game content within Team Fortress 2. Links to the item pages over on NECA’s eBay store can be found in the video description, alongside links to every other news story we covered this week including full write-ups on ValveTime.net, update changelogs, and much more. And with that, we’ve come to the end of another week of Valve news. Don’t forget to subscribe for more ValveTime videos, news, and reviews coming soon. While you’re at it, be sure to head on over to our Dota 2 announcer pack over on the Steam Workshop to rate us positively. Remember: every vote counts! Thanks for watching and bye for now.