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Counter-Strike Source Beta Set for Late Summer 225

fistfullast33l writes "Valve has announced via Steam that a Beta version will be launched for Counter-Strike: Source, the multiplayer counter-terrorism mod that will now be updated for release with the Half-Life 2 powering Source engine. It is expected to be kicked off around late summer. Apparently: 'The beta will first be open to subscribers of the Valve Cyber Café Program, and then extended to owners of Counter-Strike: Condition Zero.' Seems like a good time to find out where the nearest gaming parlor is." This move is interesting in light of allegations of Valve bullying cybercafes - we also recently covered the South Korean unveiling of Counter-Strike: Source over at Slashdot Games.
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Counter-Strike Source Beta Set for Late Summer

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  • by desplesda ( 742182 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @12:21AM (#9639081) Homepage
    I'm sure I'm not going to be the first to mention, but I felt a sudden surge of excitment when I read 'Counter Strike Source'... bah, why must Valve name their engine after what every geek loves?
  • Damnit... (Score:5, Funny)

    by JoeLinux ( 20366 ) <joelinux&gmail,com> on Thursday July 08, 2004 @12:24AM (#9639104) Homepage
    And I just got straight A's this last quarter. Oh well, I really don't need a Master's anyway...
  • Too much trouble. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I would like to get back into CounterStrike with the new engine and release. I quit playing CS a long time ago due to all the cheats (not that there won't be any with the new one).

    Unfortunately, it sounds like knowing when, where and how to get it and play it is going to be too much of a hassle.

    Just tell me when the game will be released and where I can buy it for how much.
    • I would like to say that Valve does a good job stopping cheats, but as it stands right now, it's a joke.

      I'm the head admin of the "[SmD]Anarchy Server". just about daily we have to deal with cheats. Lots of them. In fact, at this point in time, we are catching about 3-5 script hacks a day using HLGuard, and thats not counting the aimbots, wallhacks and the like.

      The big problem with this is the way that Valve handles cheats. The first thing that you will learn as a CS server admin is VAC is basicially usel
  • Steam (Score:5, Insightful)

    by feilkin ( 790260 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @12:27AM (#9639124)
    Yeah, at first I was also misled by the title of the article. Either way though, I think that the steam engine is horribly flawed. I really dislike "launcher" engines for games. I really wish that they could have the old WON servers for playing, however, I suppose this is their way of battling piracy for their games. I'm not sure how much it's worth to protect from piracy when it creates problems for legitimate users, but then again, since when has any company really cared about the end user?
    • Re:Steam (Score:2, Interesting)

      by xOleanderx ( 794187 )
      What will come next with steam though?? Built in client side anti cheat tools? Complete control over your games and your rights when playing them? Only being able to buy games through steam? What will happen if a company like ea makes a program like this and then every other game maker does the same? Do you want 6 different programs that you have to run in the background to play your games?
      • I'm thinking your post is sarcasm? But it's not that apparent. Anyways:

        Built in client side anti cheat tools

        VAC (Valve Anti-Cheat) is already implemented. It finds (and automatically bans your CD key) if you are found to be using hacks. An appeals system is in place if you have a good reason for needing to be unbanned. I fail to see what's wrong with this?

        Complete control over your games and your rights when playing them

        How does Steam have "complete control over your games" ? Last I checked, you can
    • Re:Steam (Score:4, Interesting)

      by The Real Nem ( 793299 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @12:52AM (#9639274) Homepage

      I this is their method of preventing pirated software then god help them. A few months ago I wrote a piece of software called GCFScape to extract resources from Steam Game Content Cache files with nothing but good intentions. Ironically it can be used to extract CS Condition Zero and install it as a third party MOD. I'm still surprised they haven't taken measures to prevent this. Good work Valve...

      • Nice info there. Do they know that your software can do that?
      • Valve might have decided that some DRM system which prevents users from getting at the game files would be a waste of time - that it would be cracked sooner or later anyway. Plus, it wouldn't exactly be modder-friendly.

        I gather that if you pre-load something over Steam, be it a purchase-only product like Condition Zero or a pre-release like Codename: Gordon, you receive an encrypted version of the cache file. There's presumably no magical decryption key permanently hidden within the software, akin to a DVD
      • but. u cannot play online. cannot see what u are complaining about. valve doesnt care about people downloading mods.
    • I just got an email from steam asking why I don't connect anymore. I haven't responded yet, but the answer is that I like the Won system. Steam is cumbersome and annoying.

    • Re:Steam (Score:4, Funny)

      by Sgs-Cruz ( 526085 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @06:06AM (#9640291) Homepage Journal
      I think that the steam engine is horribly flawed

      As I recall, the internal combustion engine will come along in a few years and replace it anyway, so don't worry too much.

    • And speaking of steam, have they come up with a reasonable way to play HL/CS games at offline lan parties yet? We're still playing 1.5.

    • Huh? What's wrong with a launcher for Valve games? What's wrong with being able to load up Steam on nearly any PC (with a broadband connection) and start playing your games, even though that PC never had them installed prior? That's the real trick of Steam, not "preventing piracy".

      When Half-Life 2 comes out, it will be available on both CD and online formats (through Steam) -- If you buy the CD, you can add your CD key to your Steam profile, and it will be available from any computer you have Steam install
  • The next genre (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Infonaut ( 96956 ) <> on Thursday July 08, 2004 @12:34AM (#9639160) Homepage Journal
    Am I alone among Slashdotters in not being addicted to first person shooters? I'm not saying that this story is not a worthy one, or that everyone should be like me, or anything like that. I sincerely am curious if I represent a miniscule minority, or if anyone else here finds FPS games unappealing.

    Does anyone have any idea what's next after FPS games? Massively multiplayer games are obviously staking their claim, and casual games that rehash offline games are bringing in big money, but when are we going to see an innovative new game format?

    Any ideas? Or am I totally off in left field?

    • Does anyone have any idea what's next after FPS games?

      hmmm, more realistic multiplayer FPS games? :p

      Seriously, i don't think anything will replace FPS as a 'genre' (really, it's a wide genre, more akin to "film" or "music" than "drama" or "action" imho). i mean all FPS means is you have a 1st person 3d world view, and usually some kind of pointy object (gun), though even that's not essential. for immersion, for many people, that's where it's best and i can't see it changing much. i mean, it's an approx

    • Re:The next genre (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Quirk ( 36086 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @12:51AM (#9639263) Homepage Journal
      FPS gaming is the gamers answer to solitare. Straight forward, simple can be played over any time frame for a self indulgent break without the need for other players. It's not so much a great gaming platform as it is a default platform.
      • Re:The next genre (Score:4, Interesting)

        by RollingThunder ( 88952 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @01:41AM (#9639469)
        Well, not always.

        WW2Online is, broadly speaking, a FPS. It's one where a single mission can take three hours and not have you firing a shot - or else getting plugged by some guy you never saw in one hit.

        Those who love it, can't stop playing it. It's the ultra hard mode of FPS play, certainly not for everyone.
    • Re:The next genre (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Bobartig ( 61456 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @12:52AM (#9639272) Homepage
      A new subgenre to the FPS is the massive military simulations like battlefield, joint ops, and the like. Dozens of players go up against each other, attacking with an entire arsenal, such as tanks, planes, battleships, guide missiles, helicopters, etc. etc. It is certainly derived from more traditional FPS's, but when the new generation of FPS's come out (Doom3, HL2, etc.), there will certainly be more to create a distinction between these and their predecessors.
      • Agreed. I am enjoying FarCry and looking forward to HL2 and Doom3, but I absolutely love playing Desert Combat [] when I get a chance. To me a game like Battelfield/DC is the evolution of the FPS.

    • Re:The next genre (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Deltan ( 217782 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @12:59AM (#9639308)
      You're not alone.

      I used to be quite addicted to Quake and subsequently Quake 2 and Quake 3. It was great fun, everyone played it. When you'd go to a lan party, there was no pre-requisite questionaire about what games you had and wanted to play. It was understood that the game would be Quake. Once the market filled up with other FPS titles friends didn't play the same stuff anymore. Everything just got unnecessarily difficult for some reason.

      Then there came the cheats. Through Quake there were cheats but it reached its peak in Quake 2 and extended into Counter Strike and other FPS titles. Left a sour taste in everyone's mouth.

      With the announcement of nVidia's SLI and Doom 3 on the way, it really feels like 1998 all over again and I'm anxious to get back into FPS gaming for some reason. Funny how every major id title does that to a lot of people.
      • Then there came the cheats. Through Quake there were cheats but it reached its peak in Quake 2 and extended into Counter Strike and other FPS titles. Left a sour taste in everyone's mouth.

        Cheats are the primary reason why I've never bothered to fire up any multi-player FPS online. Especially since I'd be playing most of the time on public servers (no time/inclination to join a clan).

        However, since the PunkBuster system seems to work fairly well, I've been trying out Call of Duty multi-player the past
    • Myself, I an a strategy gaming addict.

      Of course, the genre hasn't had a timeless classic in a while. This year's Warlords Battlecry III will show up on All Time Best lists, but it's really just a very polished version of 2002's Warlords Battlecry II that already had a safe place on those lists.

      2001's Europa Universalis II hasn't been topped by its sequels so far -- Hearts of Iron was too narrow in scope and Victoria too hyper-realistically dull. I have high expectations of Crusader Kings

      2002's Koha
      • Two enthuthiastic thumbs up for Total Annihilation.
        I think it is the oldest game I have installed and play on occaision, when I need its particular brand of RTS goodness.
        Damned shame what happened to Cavedog, I always wanted more titles from them.
    • Am I alone among Slashdotters in not being addicted to first person shooters?

      No, there are 4 moderators who agree with you.

    • Am I alone among Slashdotters in not being addicted to first person shooters? I'm not saying that this story is not a worthy one, or that everyone should be like me, or anything like that. I sincerely am curious if I represent a miniscule minority, or if anyone else here finds FPS games unappealing.

      I like FPS games, but not multiplayer ones. The reason for this is that I play FPS games like puzzle games, moving slowly and carefully from one area to the next, working out the lowest-risk strategy for each c

    • No, you're not alone. I did play Doom back in the day, a bit. I wasn't that bad at it, and it was fun, but I didn't play it a lot. Then the real 3D FPS came along and I couldn't do it anymore, I can't use the keyboard and a mouse that fast. But who cares.

      Basically I don't play many games except chess (online on FICS against humans), Nethack, and Hattrick (web based football/soccer manager game). But that's because I run Linux. The one thing I envy Windows users for is all those role playing games. Morrowin

  • by The Importance of ( 529734 ) * on Thursday July 08, 2004 @12:37AM (#9639178) Homepage
    Valve wants to charge $10/month/PC for access to all of Valve's games, which right now is the original Counter-Strike. This may not seem like a lot, but multiply this charge by every major game publisher and pretty soon you've strangled the nascent cybercafe industry. Valve should be encouraging cybercafes with generous licensing terms, rather than trying to squeeze every last dime of profit. The worst part is that Valve is targeting high-profile cybercafes that are trying to act as responsible members of the community, while fly-by-night strip mall cybercafes continue to fly under the radar.
    • This may not seem like a lot, but multiply this charge by every major game publisher and pretty soon you've strangled the nascent cybercafe industry.

      Nascent? Try cut-throat these days. They are pretty much for backpackers only down here in South of France since 2MB broadband can be had for 25euros/month, with no contract or installation fees.

    • access to all of Valve's games, which right now is the original Counter-Strike

      Check again:

      * Half-Life
      * Half-Life: Opposing Force
      * Half-Life: Codename Gordon
      * Counter-Strike
      * Counter-Strike: Condition Zero
      * Day of Defeat
      * Ricochet
      * Deathmatch Classic
      * Team Fortress Classic

      This may not seem like a lot, but multiply this charge by every major game publisher and pretty soon you've strangled the nascent cybercafe industry.

      $10 for a PC to have access to all those for a month is NOTHING. If you are losing m
  • by rizzuh ( 594786 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @12:37AM (#9639180) Homepage
    Well, my site is still suffering from a slashdotting from a few days ago, but check out CS-Nation's CS: Source info section [] for an FAQ and of course plenty of CS: Source media.

    Shameless enough? Heh.
  • More info (Score:5, Informative)

    by hoferbr ( 707935 ) <> on Thursday July 08, 2004 @12:41AM (#9639199)
    More info about Counter-Strike source:
    CS Banana FAQ []
    CS-Nation info page []
    Video [] forum post [] about the Seoul apresentation.
  • by Man in Spandex ( 775950 ) <prsn,kev&gmail,com> on Thursday July 08, 2004 @12:42AM (#9639206)
    Is this a sign that Hl2 will take more time by giving a taste of their "Source Engine" (confusing name) to put the final touch on HL2?

    I wouldn't be too surprised if there's some sort of feedback tool which asks the user why a certain crash occured and send in the report to valve. Actually I'd love to see that cause that would show they are even more serious about their game which may or may not be as fun and "big" as HL1.

    We shall see in time why exactly they're taking this move but I don't like the fact of having to buy CS:CZ to get a license for CS:Source since HL2 comes with CS: Source (that's what the valve guy said in the trailer of ~35mb showing de_aztec).

    Anybody have thoughts similar to mine, or am I just too suspicious?

    .......(impatiently waiting duke nukem forever. #%&@(*&@#%)
    • I have had the feeling since last year that the HL2 source wasn't really stolen.

      I have no proof of this, but to me it seems more like Valve needed an excuse for why it wasn't ready on time. Valve hasn't shipped the product after nearly a year since the "theft". Come on now fellas. If the product was really only 3 months from shipping, this would have been a minor setback.

      Something doesn't smell quite right here.


      • No, I'm pretty sure the source code was leaked. (hint: I've seen the code)

        *My* opinion as to why both D3 and HL2 have been pushed off is that they were a little *too* advanced for the CPU/Video Card market last year. Yeah, a 9800XT or a FX5950 probably would have run them decently, but for maximum detail and eye candy, they probably *need* the lastest generation of cards (x800/6800). I seriously doubt if *I* would have purchased either title last year, since I just recently upgraded my card to a 9600xt.
  • source? (Score:4, Funny)

    by crayz ( 1056 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @12:42AM (#9639208) Homepage
    I thought we already had the source?
  • by EMR ( 13768 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @12:45AM (#9639229)
    source engine? where did they come up with that.. That has to be the stupidest and most confusing name for an engine.. and "counter strike source to be released" but, they probably did that to get all the people looking for the source for the source engine to get suckered into looking and something called source that doesn't have the source..
  • Good marketing (Score:2, Insightful)

    by rawr90 ( 794826 )
    Make a bad game sell(condition zero) by giving an advanced looked at a good game
  • by Wilkshake ( 788751 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @12:46AM (#9639236)
    It'll be interesting to see what effect this has on the average power of personal computers out there.

    It's been widely acknowledged that because of Counter-Strike and The Sims, that people have been reluctant to upgrade their machines since they can still play these two games on a relatively low powered system (by today's standards anyway).

    So with Counter-Strike: Source and The Sims 2 most likely requiring a lot more grunt under the hood, will we see an explosion in new home PC purchases for these two releases?
  • by CeZa ( 562197 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @12:51AM (#9639267) Homepage
    I think not. A regular over at TribalWar has started his own LAN center and bought copies of retail CS for each machine. After installing and running the operation as usual for quite some time he got a notice from valve saying he would have to pay a rate PER machine for ALL of valve software. This does not change that the LAN centers are still having to pay 300% more for Valve software over competing software. The rate is per machine and PER month. Where it was only a grand or two for Ut2k4 one-time fee, CS was $30k a year. If Valve wants gamers happy, they have to make LAN centers happy. Now this is ridiculous that they expect people to shell out for a beta, and at the same time pay for every other piece of yea ever written.
  • Not a good sign... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nobodyman ( 90587 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @12:52AM (#9639273) Homepage
    Okay, so admittedly I'm a cynic and I still feel someone burned from the original delay, but this sounds like an artful dodge around bad news.

    Supposedly "Summer" is the release date for Half Life 2, according to Valve. My guess is that the reason why they chose Counterstrike for the beta test was as a test for the net code (and possibly the graphics engine) so that they could role-up any bugfixes into same engine that Half-Life 2 would be using. With that in mind, it seems highly unlikely that they would release Half-Life 2 before counterstrike concluded it's beta testing. So if the counterstrike beta will take place in late summer, that doesn't leave a whole lot of time to go from "Beta 1" (does that imply multiple betas then?) to "done".

    Here's my take: Half-Life 2 is going to be delayed 'till fall, but the announcement of Counterstrike: Source is an attempt to stave off the lynch mob. I hope I'm wrong, but Valve doesn't have the best track record. Gabe Newell is probably is probably formulating a press release this very second blaming the delay on the Sasser worm.
  • Annoying Engine Name (Score:3, Informative)

    by BAILOPAN ( 694545 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @01:01AM (#9639321) Homepage
    I really don't like Valve's choice of the word "Source" for their engine. I mean, obviously it has source code, but it almost seems like it's trying to trump the definition of "source". It's even more annoying when you have a GPL'd Mod [] for Half-Life (and in the future for HL2). "It's open source for Source which you don't have the source for." what

    Going off-topic, Valve supplied an excellent SDK for HL1 but as of Steam that community policy seems to have disintegrated. We modders have no SDK for Steam or VGUI2. The updated engine interface headers to Steam is buried in the mailing list, and it has typos. They also don't have a reputation for giving clear/good answers in response to questions about working with their new stuff (forget about actual support also).

    Either Valve's really, really too busy with HL2/CS2 to interact with community coders or they're just getting arrogant. I'm that CS2/HL2 continue with Valve's original "awesome SDK"-ness, especially with the underground rumor that it will have Metamod [] (or multi-mod sub modding) functionality built in.
    • Valve's choice isn't totally out of context if you consider what Valve means by "source".

      Wind back and think about "Steam", a content distribution system. "Source", the game engine, is meant to be the basis for a whole variety of games: HL2, CS, DoD, you-name-the-game. It's meant to a platform and be game independent. Right now the so called "Half-Life" engine the basis for CS, DoD and Half-Life itself. "Source" instead is the game skeleton that's meant to be game-independent.

      Steam: delivers the game con

  • From what I've seen Counter-Strike Source is just Counter-Strike ported to the Source engine. The only improvements have been in the graphics department.

    I don't know why ValvE has focused a considerable amount of effort to porting an old game to a new engine instead of just making Counter-Strike 2. I hope this game will be free just like the original Counter-Strike because I'm not going to pay for a rehash.
    • The only improvements have been in the graphics department.

      I'd say running on an entirely brand new game engine is a bit different than just graphics improvement.

      I don't know why ValvE has focused a considerable amount of effort to porting an old game to a new engine instead of just making Counter-Strike 2.

      Maybe because it's easy, and a cool way to show off the new engine's features to the masses? Counter-Strike is probably the world's must popular game, easily.

      I'm not going to pay for a rehash.

  • by IronChefMorimoto ( 691038 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @01:27AM (#9639414)
    I joined the CS community right around CS BETA 6 (or whatever people called it) -- when you had to buy a copy of Half-Life and install the mod and wait for the headshots. Even became part of a clan -- a local mix of teenagers and 20/30/40 somethings like myself. It was all good. We reveled in the light of several thousand servers and players.

    Then, my clan went "pro" -- joined CAL and started going through the trials/tribulations of competitive gaming. "Sorry, Non-CAL Player X -- we can't 'pub' anymore because it would hurt our competitive reputation" excuses for not hanging out and just playing the game became common. But Counter-Strike seemed to remain the shiznit.

    I left that clan and sought another group of people that seemed to just want to play the game, and then this new clan started losing "pubbers" to CAL and other leagues. And then it broke in half w/ the teenagers playing in the higher-end leagues and the 20/30/40 somethings getting pissed about the kids leaving them behind to play in lower-end leagues. And then the clan broke up.

    This was all about the time that Steam came out of BETA and into real-world use. When I heard that CS was tied to the Steam engine, I tried it out, only to go through the initial debacle of the whole setup. And I wondered why in the world did Valve do this. I heard horror stories of LAN parties gone terribly wrong as people found they had to have the last mod version 1.5 installed + Steam in order to play at a LAN party and online. Many of the 20/30/40 somethings with whom I'd played in the clans had moved on to other games, coming back to CS when they tired of BF1942, Star Wars: Galaxies, etc.

    CS: Condition Zero and Half-Life 2 kept getting pushed back. When CS: Condition Zero came out, it That's it. Eh. And HL2 continues to be in the oft unforeseen future, from what I can tell.

    After all this -- how can CS still be the most popular online FPS? I'm looking now at's search engine, and I see 24K+ Steam CS servers and 5K+ WON CS servers running. Total of about 70K players. And not a single other searchable online FPS game from this engine comes anywhere close to those numbers.

    So -- I repeat the original question -- is CS still THAT popular? What keeps it going? I mean, Half-Life can be had for less than $15 now, which I would assume still earns you the license rights to download Steam and get all the games associated with Half-Life (that's how it was when I did the Steam upgrade last year).

    Is it still just THAT accessible? Are the 5:00 minute team-based rounds w/ a post-mortem waiting period still the keys to the game? What keeps it alive? As great as BF1942, DesertCombat, UT2K4, and other MP FPS games have been, how has CS remained on top? Particularly with the major issue of cheating (if it's still a major issue) hovering over the game like a black cloud?

    One last thought -- if CS IS still as popular as it has been in the past, do other gaming companies shudder in fear at the thought of a REVISED, REVAMPED CS game coming out with HL2? Is there concern that semi-full BF1942 or UT2K4 servers will start losing players in droves as everyone flocks to CS to see what's new?


    P.S. - Keep in mind, I've not played the game in months, so if I've gotten something wrong here, please chime in. I'm just expressing surprise that CS is STILL getting this much attention.
    • by TrancePhreak ( 576593 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @01:49AM (#9639502)
      I've heard that the low system requirements help CS out a bit in that you don't need much to run it.
    • The reason so many people keep playing CS is largely because... *gasp*... at its core its a really good game.

      People at any skill level can have a good time, but it takes lots of gaming hours to become really good, and the game rewards you for this progress. It's like Chess (and dare I say Starcraft, another computer game with a lot of longevity) in that you can never really master it, just be better than the next guy.

      On the surface most of the game seems very simple. See the enemy, shoot. At the bombsite,
    • I think the appeal of cs is the gameplay. Well, I _know_ it's the gameplay, but there are a lot of important things that make cs stand out from other games. From the mix of team and solo strategy, the balance of realism and fun, round scoring & spawning, even the way the guns shoot and the players jump, each thing sets cs apart from other games. I'm not sure why cs is so popular, but when comparing with quake 1-3, bf1942, america's army, several rainbow 6's, none seem to balance these elements as well.
    • Hey dude,

      If you want an idea of what's new, Google for "hl2 shakeycam video". Watch it and wait until the end.

      It's painfully bad quality but interesting nonetheless.

      Hey, everyone realises that hl2 uses the Havok Engine [] for it's physics right?

    • After all this -- how can CS still be the most popular online FPS?

      I'm a casual cs player, I usually play CS while I'm waiting for other games to come out. For example, when I was waiting for UT2K3 I played CS, and when I was disappointed with that I went back to CS and have been playing ever since. I expect I'll stop playing CS when doom 3, or the new CS comes out. The fact that it is popular is one of the reasons I play, you can always find a game with new people, and many of my friends play. Roc
  • I will not partake of that particular poison. I'll stick to iD and other games makers who give back to their fans.

"If the code and the comments disagree, then both are probably wrong." -- Norm Schryer