Yesterday we told you about day one of Team Fortress 2’s latest update, Mannhattan. The second city in the Two Cities update is Rottenburg, the “vaguely European” hometown of everyone’s favorite insane physician. Rottenburg is a fitting backdrop for an update that adds some much-needed defensive capabilities to the medic class, including the ability to resurrect dead teammates and a force shield that deflects bullets.
Team Fortress 2 is currently on the first day of a promising update, the Two Cities update. The first city: Mannhattan. Day one’s reveal includes a new map for the game’s siege-defense style mode, Mann vs. Machine, and a slew of weapon effects and bonuses you’ll earn from playing there.
Because sometimes you just need more rivets and scrap metal to get the job done. Team Fortress 2's latest content patch Robotic Boogaloo went live today, the first update forged entirely by the Valve shooter's own community. The update includes 57 new items, all of which we're told are totally new and completely non-derivative. The new item set includes some strange and wonderful mechanical hats, at least one of which is a delicious metal hot dog.
Worried that the download copies of BioShock Infinite will sell out, when it lands on the 26th of March? You might want to sit and think about that for a moment, or alternatively you could pre-order the game from Steam - you know, before you know whether it's any good or not. Your wallet may or may not thank you in the long run, but at least you'll get a bunch of free stuff, including the spin-off Industrial Revolution puzzle game, some in-game tat, and a copy of the original BioShock. If an unspecified number of other people put their money down as well, you'll also get a copy of XCOM and several TF2 items, but I don't see how anyone would be interested in those.
Following my look at the Steam Workshop’s biggest sellers earlier this week, I got a chance to put some questions to Valve's Robin Walker. He was one of the original developers of Team Fortress, back in 1996, and joined Valve soon after. His work as a modder informed his work at Valve, leading, in a roundabout way, to Team Fortress 2's current use as a platform to pay modders for their in-game work. In this pretty wide-ranging interview, I talk to him about the big numbers the modding scene generates, what makes a good item, virtual ownership, the future of free-to-play and Valve’s evolving relationship with its community.
Valve's Steam Workshop is life-changing. The community curated creative space has finally realised the dream of modders everywhere, rewarding them for the work they put into making games better. Team Fortress 2 and Dota 2 enable contributors to earn money from their creations, leading to some modders earning a six-figure income, according to comments made by Gabe Newell at CES. A living wage from making intangible hats, fish, and imaginary weaponry? I had to find out who these people were, and what modding - specifically modding Team Fortress 2 - has added to their lives.
Mann vs Machine is Team Fortress 2’s robot-slaying, wave-based, co-op game-mode. Though both TF2 and the MvM mode are free, those looking for a little extra challenge can buy tickets to access its advanced difficulty Mann Up missions. Designed for skilled players and well-coordinated teams, Mann Up's toughest tour of duty is Operation Gear Grinder - sure to test the mettle of the most hardened bot-bashing TF2 crews. It's hard. Very hard. In this guide I’m going to take you through some tips for dealing with each of Gear Grinder's missions, suggest team set-ups and lay out the loadouts you should be using if you want a chance at snagging the operation's ultimate reward: a diamond botkiller weapon.
Let's face it: default game UIs often don't have the flexibility we need. TF2's is actually generally excellent, with a number of specific settings that lets you toggle stuff like the appearance of Diablo-style damage numbers when you score a hit. But there's always room for improvement; that's why it's great that we have a PC gaming community full of enthusiasts willing to poke, nudge, and sometimes set fire to UI elements to create a more optimized experience.
We took a look at a payload of TF2 UI modifications and found the following fit for duty.
Budding 3D modellers will get to sell their custom Hero item sets in the Dota 2 store should they win the newly announced Dota 2 Polycount contest. Given that the last contest for the TF2 Polycount Pack reportedly provided its winners with six figure salaries this is not a prize to be sniffed at.
Mann vs. Machine, Team Fortress 2's robot-infested co-op mode, has been given its first major update - and it's a doozy. The free patch adds two new Tours of Duty: Operation Gear Grinder and Operation Oil Spill, which Valve rate as "very hard" and "less hard" respectively. If you're wondering where Operation Steel Trap - the original MvM tour - falls on that scale, it's "hard", or somewhere in the middle.
The final reveal leading up to the launch of Team Fortress 2's co-op vs homicidal robots mode, Mann vs Machine, gives us a glimpse at a clockwork armful of new achievements, and details how you'll be able to earn some epic, new cosmetic items. For a small fee.
For the benefit of children, TF2 Mixup invited me to play a few rounds of Team Fortress 2 with some Important Internet Individuals. The roster: Notch (Soldier), Freddie Wong (Sniper), Robin Walker (Demo), our pal Brian Brushwood from Scam School (Heavy), and more. The first round of three, on cp_gorge, is watchable inside. Any ad money generated from the video is being donated; and hey, you can still donate yourself.
Hero Academy, Robot Entertainment's tactical, turn-based team battle game is coming to Steam on August 8th, and it's bringing some PC gaming all-stars with it. The entire Team Fortress 2 crew we know and love (and sometimes hate...I'm looking at you, Spy) will be playable. Hop inside to see how they fit into Hero Academy, and check out the TF2 hats you can get by playing it.
Like 'em or not, lockboxes are the latest craze in free-to-play games. These little chests of mystery show up on your fallen foes sealed alarmingly well, and often require a special key purchased from the cash shop to open them. DC Universe Online will be the latest to jump on this trend with next week's patch, but it will at least allow subscribers to open all of them for free. In addition, subscribers will be getting a few other nice perks starting next Tuesday.
There's more to the Team Fortress 2 Halloween Update than we first thought! It seems that equipping the entire Tin Soldier costume gives the wearer new lines of dialogue, and they're as hilarious as ever. Check the video for the full voice set. Thanks to ThisGuy_83 for the tip off!
Have you noticed any other mysterious bonuses readers? Let us know in the comments!
Killing in the name of! That's how every PC Gamer podcast would start if Chris and Lucas were the only participants. As it stands, we have Gavin in the lead this week with Chris, Dan, Evan, and Lucas in tow, discussing their experiences thus far with Rage, our TF2 Killer Exclusive, the glory that is orc genocide in Orcs Must Die!, and Neverwinter MMO heartbreak. And when Evan calls a Truthiness and Falsity question "a good one," you know it must be excellent: does playing defense suck?
PC Gamer US Podcast 290: Rage Against My Machine
Wonder no more what all those mysterious rockets are doing in the back of Team Fortress 2 maps! Valve has partnered with WETA Workshop, the design studio that's created countless movie props and creature effects, to release a new item pack based on Dr. Grordbort's Infallible Aether Oscillators (say that three times fast). Come take a gander at what it looks like when the Soldier decides to enlist with space marines.
Industry trade website Develop-Online has revealed in an interview with Valve's Robin Walker that Team Fortress 2 is now permanently free to play, and will solely be supported by in-game item purchases.
TF2's switch to F2P was rumored and expected, but perhaps not this soon. Walker says that Valve had been exploring the idea since September 2010. "We've been toying with the idea of making Team Fortress free-to-play ever since the Mann-conomy update," Walker said. "The data we got back from that update leads us to believe that TF2 would be more successful as a completely free product." Read the rest of the interview with Walker at Develop-Online.
Prior to today, Team Fortress 2 was in the middle of a "free week." The game's Über Update should deploy later this evening.
The hits just keep on coming. By now, you know the drill: Team Fortress 2's upcoming Über Update is unloading new items for every class, with the latest two being the Scout and Soldier. Crafty types will know that the Scout pack was hidden in the Timbuk Tuesday post, but we're all seeing the Soldier items for the first time. Check 'em out, if for no other reason than to lay eyes on the first weapon to buff your allies when you smack them with it (medi-gun heals don't count).