Posts Tagged "tf2"

Crafting in Team Fortress 2

Published on December 13, 2009

The upcoming Demoman and Soldier updates to Team Fortress 2 will add a crafting system into the mix. Apparently, blueprints (i.e. “recipes”) will be available in some fashion that will show you how to combine items together to create new items. This is a bizarre addition to this game. With this announcement, players are already complaining that Team Fortress 2 is devolving into a role-playing game. To be fair, however, the lines between game genres is blurring over time. Borderlands is a great example of a first-person-shooter mixed with traditional role-playing-game elements.

I’m going to give Valve the benefit of the doubt with this upcoming update, though I agree this is a odd direction to take this game. Knowing Valve, however, I won’t be surprised if this change turns out to be a great addition to an already great game.

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Team Fortress 2 Halloween Special

Published on October 30, 2009

It seems the good folks at Valve have released a Halloween-themed update for Team Fortress 2. I haven’t played TF2 in quite some time now, but this is a good excuse to jump back into the game. A total of 5 new achievements are being offered, but only for a limited time.

I think the holiday themed update is a very interesting idea, and it’s definitely something that not too many games have done in the past. Stuff like this always makes me hope that Valve isn’t purchased by some other entity. I can see the bean counters at a place like EA saying, “we don’t have the time or money to develop this kind of thing.” With any luck, Valve will remain an autonomous studio, and will continue to crank out great content like this.

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TF2 Updates Drop Today

Published on May 21, 2009

The new Spy and Sniper class updates are coming today, with the following goodies:

To top it all off, Valve is opening Team Fortress 2 to everyone for free this weekend. So download Steam, pre-load the files, and join in the fun!

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Sniper and Spy Updates

Published on May 15, 2009

Not only are we getting a Sniper class update (with a bow and arrow and the Razorback shield), but it looks like Valve is shipping the Spy class update as well (with two new watches)! Let it be known that I officially love Valve and Team Fortress 2.

Coming along with these updates is a new game play type, Payload Race, which looks super fun, and two new arena maps (which I’m not too wild about). This massive update doesn’t drop until next Thursday, so there are still some goodies to be unveiled. New hats are also going to be available in this update, which should provide some fun.

I’m really looking forward to this update, even though Spy and Sniper are my two least-played classes. Perhaps this will motivate me to spend more time in those roles.

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TF2 Scout Update

Published on February 21, 2009

It looks like I’ll have a reason to get back into Team Fortress 2 next week: the official Scout update is nearly here! So far, Valve has released information on the following:

There are still two days of updates left to be unveiled. One of them, if I recall correctly, is a new payload map, and the other is undoubtedly the new primary unlockable weapon (replacing the scatter gun). Very exciting!

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Behind the Demoman

Published on August 29, 2008

The Team Fortress 2 Blog has a really insightful article on the design process behind the demoman class. Most interesting is the fact that the demoman started out as a red-haired Caucasian which, in the author’s words was “perhaps a little too much like a groundskeeper in Springfield.” These behind-the-scenes looks at the game design process are really interesting to read, making the TF2 blog a worthy bookmark.

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Team Fortress 2 Arena

Published on August 21, 2008

The new arena game type in Team Fortress 2 is a strange beast. Players are given one life per round, and there’s essentially no health to be had in each map. Rounds are played until either an entire team has been killed off, or a team captures the one and only capture point (which becomes active after 60 seconds). If a team wins 5 rounds in a row, the teams are scrambled and play begins again. I like this feature, but I think the limit should be lowered to 3 rounds in a row.

I’ve been playing this game type each night since its release on Tuesday, and I have to admit that I don’t really like it. This most likely stems from the fact that I’m no good at arena mode; I’m often the first to be killed, and standard Team Fortress 2 tactics don’t apply. Arena feels nothing like the game I’ve come to love, and I’m rather disappointed that Valve has expanded the game in this direction. A ‘last man standing’ approach doesn’t yield for great team play, which is the entire point of the game. For now, I’ll be sticking to the classics: payload, control point, and capture the flag.

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Heavy Updates

Published on August 13, 2008

The official Team Fortress 2 blog has word of the upcoming update to the heavy class. There are tons of additions in the pipeline:

  • New game type (as yet unannounced) with five new maps
  • New payload map
  • New community made map
  • Three unlockable weapons
  • Thirty-five new achievements

An official heavy update site is revealing new information each day this week, as well as Monday and Tuesday of next week. So far, they’ve revealed the new community map (cp_steel), one of the new unlockable weapons (a pair of boxing gloves), and the list of achievements (though none of them have descriptions yet). As before, a free weekend will be held for folks new to the game. I’m looking forward to this update; it’ll give me a reason to jump back into TF2.

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Team Fortress 2 Stats and Blog

Published on July 1, 2008

I’m not exactly sure when Valve made them available, but player statistics are now publicly viewable on the web. You can keep tabs on my stats as I make progress on the various achievements recently added for the Medic and Pyro classes. If you click the “Return to jgbCodeMonkey’s Steam ID” link, you can view stats for a few other games (though not all games report stats).

In other related news, Valve has recently put up an official Team Fortress 2 Blog. Lots of behind-the-scenes artwork is being shown, and some explanations for decisions they’ve made are presented. While the blog isn’t the most active in the world, the nuggets of information they have provided so far are quite intriguing. Definitely a recommended read for fans of the game.

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Pyro Updates in Team Fortress 2

Published on June 19, 2008

The fine folks at Valve have updated Team Fortress 2 once again, bringing new achievements, unlockable weapons, and a core change to the Pyro class. Along with all of these changes come two new community maps: one control point map and one capture the flag map. If you’re interested in checking out the new content for free, you can do so this weekend, from June 20 to June 22. As always, friend me up if you jump into a game; my nickname is jgbCodeMonkey.

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Gold Rush: First Impressions

Published on May 1, 2008

The long-awaited update to Team Fortress 2 was released Tuesday evening, so I’ve only had a brief amount of time to play around with Gold Rush, the map showcasing the new payload game type. In a word, the new game play theme is awesome. Gold Rush is much more enjoyable than Dustbowl (which I love, by the way), and I really hope more maps of this type are released over time.

Here’s how Gold Rush works. A mine cart, carrying a Fat Man style bomb, must be moved from point A to point B through 3 different stages. The attacking team (BLU) moves the cart simply by standing near it; the more team members surround the cart, the faster it moves. If the cart is left unattended for 30 seconds, it begins to move backwards towards the starting point. The map is played just like Dustbowl; there are a total of 3 stages in which BLU attacks and RED defends. Once either BLU successfully attacks all stages, or RED successfully defends a stage, the teams swap sides and the stages are played again.

Gold Rush is definitely a tough map. The defending team almost always has a height advantage, making it difficult to make quick progress. A number of choke points slow things down even more. But like every other map in Team Fortress 2, things are very well balanced.

The other major change to the game comes through the new unlockable weapons and achievements. Medic is the only player class that currently supports these new features, so everyone is inevitably playing as a Medic. A total of 36 new achievements are available, and for every 12 that you unlock, a new weapon option becomes available. First up is “The Blutsauger,” a syringe gun mod that leeches health from each enemy you hit. Next is “The Kritzkrieg,” a medi-gun mod that gives the person you use it on a 100% chance of firing critical damage (instead of the standard Ubercharge). Finally, “The Ubersaw” bone-saw mod provides a 25% charge to your Ubercharge meter for every hit you make on an enemy. I’ve only gotten 4 out of the 36 achievements so far (Surgical Prep, Trauma Queen, Intern, and Group Health), so I’ve got quite a ways to go. Some of the achievements look impossible to get, so I doubt I’ll make it all the way.

If you’d like to try out Team Fortress 2, along with the new updates, Valve is offering a free weekend this weekend (May 5-6). I can’t recommend this game highly enough, and the Steam service is great, so check it out. If you do check it out, look for me; my username is jgbCodeMonkey.

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Team Fortress 2 Update Preview

Published on April 16, 2008

There’s a great article over at ShackNews offering a preview of the new Team Fortress 2 updates coming in the next week or two. In addition to discussing the new Goldrush game type, they also take a look at the brand new unlockable weapons for the Medic class. Some of the new weapons really sound exciting, and I’m really looking forward to this update.

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Team Fortress 2 Update Today!

Published on February 14, 2008

The long awaited Team Fortress 2 update arrives today! A new gameplay type, gold rush, is headlining this new release. A new control-point map, named “Badlands,” has been released for Team Fortress 2, along with a slew of other new updates. A complete change log details what’s new. In addition to the new map and game type, several other maps have been fixed, most importantly cp_dustbowl (which is still ridiculously hard to win as the BLU team).

Update: I was wrong about the game type. It looks like the new badlands map is simply a new control point map (which I’m still excited about trying).

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TF2 Update Sneak Peek

Published on January 23, 2008

PC Gamer apparently got a sneak peek at the updates coming for Team Fortress 2. Not too long ago, Valve teased the community with a somewhat cryptic message, saying that a ‘large scale modification’ was planned for the game.

According to the article, this large scale modification includes unlockable weapons for each class, which will be selectable from a load out screen. These changes will be rolled out to the Medic class first. The first weapon described is a new medi-gun that will permanently boost your teammates’ health to 200% their normal values (instead of the temporary 150% boost that the current medi-gun supplies). There are no details yet on the second weapon, but it will be another medi-gun that will alter the class in a different way. It sounds like the first gun will be unlockable by acquiring half of the 35 new achievements coming for the Medic class, while the second update will be unlocked after acquiring them all. It should be interesting to see how this new feature pans out.

Another announcement is the new game type being planned, in which the attacking team will have to accompany a mine cart from one end of a map to the other. The article linked above goes into more depth about this game type, and it sounds super fun. In short, I can’t wait for these updates!

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Team Fortress 2 Statistics

Published on December 10, 2007

Valve recently released some statistics on Team Fortress 2. Like their recent hardware survey, some interesting items come to light:

  • Scout, Engineer, and Soldier are the three most popular classes by far (with a combined 49% of the total time played)
  • Medic is by far the least favorite class (only 5% play time)
  • Several melee weapons (the Medic’s bonesaw, the Demoman’s bottle, etc.) get surprisingly high critical damage percentages
  • The two most popular maps are cp_gravelpit and ctf_2fort
  • The least popular map is cp_granary
  • Red team wins 70% of the matches on cp_dustbowl

Lots of other interesting data is available for those interested. Some of the items I point out above are nearly opposite my own experiences. My least favorite class is the Scout, and one of my favorites is the Medic (I guess that makes me a more defensive player than most). I never use the melee weapons, and I really like cp_granary.

I’m hoping that Valve will rebalance the cp_dustbowl map, because I have noticed that the attacking team (blue) rarely makes it through all 3 stages. Seeing that red team wins 70% of the time is a clear indication that something needs to be done. As I’ve said before, this kind of statistics tracking is really great for solving these kinds of problems.

Team Fortress 2 Review

Published on November 24, 2007

I recently posted a few thoughts on Team Fortress 2, but I thought I should write a full review now that I’ve spent more time with the game. Let me start off by saying that when I purchased The Orange Box, I was not in the least interested in Team Fortress 2. Portal and Episode 2 were the only titles I anticipated playing, and I even considered buying them separately. I’m very glad that I went for the better deal, as I hope this review will indicate.

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Brief Thoughts on Team Fortress 2

Published on November 8, 2007
The Pyro

To continue the theme from my last posting, allow me to say that I am really having fun with Team Fortress 2. I never played the original Team Fortress, so I didn’t know quite what to expect going into this game. Thankfully, I have been pleasantly surprised. The cartoon visuals are incredibly unique, so much so that I hope other games use this look and feel at some point. Likewise, gameplay is so well balanced, that the game is fun even when you are consistently on the losing team (as was the case for me tonight). In other multiplayer games (such as Unreal Tournament 2004), it was often that case that I would get frustrated when my team continually failed to gain the upper hand. With Team Fortress 2, I never have that feeling; I’m having so much fun that the thought of becoming frustrated never even crosses my mind.

The Medic

One small feature that helps in this regard, and one that I have really come to enjoy, is the sophisticated stats tracking. Every time you die, you get a snapshot of who killed you. Occasionally, during this freeze frame, you’ll get a little box that says “On the Brighter Side…” and then presents you with a record that you’ve just broken. For example, after dying once tonight, I got an encouraging statistic that said “On the Brighter Side … You did more damage than your previous best!” It also told me the new record value (2186, if I remember correctly), so as to give me something to work towards beating. This kind of encouragement is really great, and helps you see that you’re actually getting a little bit better each time. I hope other multiplayer games take note of this feature and implement something similar.

It’s a little disappointing that there are only 6 maps, but again, the gameplay is so fun that this minor point becomes a non-issue. Valve has mentioned that they will be releasing more maps in the future, so I’ll patiently await the arrival of some new content. My current favorite classes are the Soldier, Medic, and Pyro (these are the 3 classes I’ve had the most success with). Be sure to check out Team Fortress 2 if you get the chance. So far, I’m having a blast!

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