Team Fortress 2 to get loads of new weapons

Team Fortress 2Most Team Fortress 2 players have caught wind that new maps are coming to the game, with references to Badlands having existed in the game way back during the beta and numerous hints from Valve throughout the period since. However, Valve have revealed that they’re undertaking a “large-scale modification” of the game and will be introducing two new unlockable weapons or tools for each class. Brilliant!

I’ve seen a bit of negativity concerning this from forums and whatnot, but in my opinion this is a great idea. The unlockable weapons will be based on your in-game achievements, which all vary tremendously and will total at about 35 per class as the new equipment is introduced. So what Valve are doing is giving you new goals to aim for while playing as usual (at the moment there’s no real incentive to go out of your way to earn an achievement), and keeping their ‘simple for newbies’ style by not overwhelming new players with too much equipment.

The unlockables will apparently be similar to what the classes already have, but will of course differ in critical ways, none of which make any unlockable better than another — just different. For example, Valve is on about giving the Medic an alternative healing gun that cannot ubercharge (or can do so extremely slowly), but instead permanently buffs people’s health up to 200% instead of only temporarily to 150%.

Team Fortress 2 DemomanNo other weapons to be introduced have been announced, and they’ll also be rolled out gradually so you won’t suddenly open the game and find dozens of new weapons firing all over the place — existing players will be eased in as new weapons slowly make their debut. I’m hoping the second Medic unlockable will be a healing gun that sacrifices ubercharge in exchange for the ability to infect enemy players with disease just like the Medic from Team Fortress Classic.

Also in the article is the much-expected announcement of Badlands (overview of Team Fortress Classic original), and a new map called Goldrush that will feature a new style of play where you have to push a mine cart from end of the map to the other while fighting off the enemy. The cart moves if friendlies are near it, and it doesn’t if enemies are near it. Simple, and very different, but it’ll probably be great in typical Valve fashion.

Anyone else as excited about this as me? I’ve got tonnes of hours logged in Team Fortress 2, and I have to admit the ol’ basic selections of weapons are wearing a little thin (even if I am still coming up with new ways of using them). Some fresh equipment is just what’s needed, as well as new maps. Good to see Team Fortress 2 is continuing Team Fortress Classic tradition and keeping content coming (the teleporters were introduced to TFC years after it came out)!

Update: A capture-the-intel version of Well is also due to be released during the next few days. Hot damn, Valve!

Update #2: Someone has pointed out that Goldrush is almost certainly the new version of the much-loved ‘hunted’ game type from Team Fortress Classic. Valve confirmed that a hunted map was in production quite a while ago, but things went quiet apart from Valve expressing that they’re having difficulty finding a way of making the game fun for the weak civilian who traditionally only has a melee weapon. Looks like their solution was to do away with the civilian completely and replace him with a mine cart — presumably only one team has one.

Update #3: The capture-the-intel version of Well is now live! Here’s the patch notes for the January 25th updat, which also include a rack o’ performance fixes:

  • Added new capture the flag map CTF_Well
  • Added Spanish map descriptions
  • Added new option to auto-save a scoreboard screenshot at the end of a map to the Multiplayer->Advanced dialog
  • Added more particle optimizations for mid range and low end hardware
  • Updated CP_GravelPit to fix all known exploits and changed the scoring method to score per capture rather than per round
  • Updated “nextlevel” CVAR to trigger a changelevel at the end of the current round (not mini-round)
  • Fixed SourceTV demo recording problem
  • Fixed mp_stalemate_enable not preventing Sudden Death mode on some maps
  • Fixed a couple cases where player stats were not being recorded correctly
  • Fixed some log entries being truncated
  • Fixed crash caused by trying to import a custom player spray
  • Removed the “Reset Stats” button from the Player Stats screen
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