Valve took a three day run-up to its Love and War update, with daily teasers for what, in reality, amounted to some new taunts and weapons. You'd think, then, that the introduction of a new game mode would warrant something spectacular. Instead—perhaps fittingly for a game made by the company responsible for Steam—it's being launched into Early Access. Yesterday's TF2 update added two new "beta maps" to the game. They're rough, unbalanced, and, in some cases, untextured, but one of them is our first taste of the new Robot Destruction game type.
Team Fortress 2 update
After kneading the community into a yeasty mush of excitement, Valve have finally pulled their update out of the oven. Love and War is available now, bringing a selection of new taunts and weapons. In addition, they've slightly tweaked their long-standing secret recipe. By which I mean they've seriously altered the balance of the Demoman's Sticky Launcher.
The Team Fortress 2 blog has updated with a brief and mysterious message. It leads to a countdown page, called "suspense.html", ticking down to... something. Whatever that something is, it'll happen in just over 13 hours, at 1am BST.
Those are the facts, all that remain now are questions. Questions like, what do Valve have planned? Why are Reddit's TF2 community suddenly obsessed by bread? And how are Valve managing to reignite my interest in TF2 for the first time in almost a year?
Team Fortress 2 has been updated with the previouslyteased huge housekeeping patch. Along with the continued and unstoppable flood of new Workshop items, this update also tweaks and rebalances weapons, and brings a round of fixes to smooth over the glitches and exploits found in older maps. They've even made changes to Hydro - proving, perhaps, that the Territorial Control game mode is only partially beyond redemption.
The upcoming update to Team Fortress 2 appears to me mostly janitorial - sweeping up things that have, in the months and years since their introduction, started to look a bit dirty. Previously, Valve detailed the changes planned for exploit-filled maps like Badwater. Now, they're turning to the weapons, hoping to better balance the staggering arsenal that has been packed into the game.