Dec 31, 2010
Community Announcements - SZ
Certain uncomfortable international treaties have expired allowing us to bring you a WEEKEND PAINT SALE that's sure to enrage the Bavarian anti-paint lobby. It's going on now inside Team Fortress 2. During this New Year's weekend you can get most hat paints for half off, black and white paint is available on the store for a limited time, and name tags and description tags are also on sale!
Kotaku

The zombies are here! The zombies are here!



Earlier this month we pointed out that Left 4 Dead 2-styled Hunter and Tank plushies were joining the adorably-engorged Boomer in the Valve store, but that they wouldn't start shipping until Dec. 27.



Well, they're shipping now and we've got our hands on them, along with some wonderful Team Fortress 2 plushie sticky bombs.



Check out our little video tour and the pics we snapped. These have officially beaten out my plush Giant Microbes as my favorite plushies in the house.




PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Team Fortress 2 – PC Gamer UK’s Online Game Of The Year">



Their dedication to the Team Fortress 2 community makes Valve's online shooter a blast.



Online shooters don’t evolve. They land on your hard drive, and if there’s a bug, or a new map, or a new gun, the developers or publishers might stick out an update. But they are as is, and they’ll eventually tire me out.



This was how I expected it to be when Team Fortress 2 launched in October 2007. And back then, at first glance, it was just a brilliant shooter. A few maps, nine classes, lots of fun, and I’d be done with it in six months. Even as I was enjoying playing the Spy, the invisible weakling capable of terrorising teams only when their backs were turned, I was wondering what game was next.



Make the Team

As it turns out, “next” was TF2. In January 2008, Valve showed me the new game mode, Payload, and the initial designs for the Medic update. As much as they’d perfected the game to the point where they were happy to release it, millions of people playing it had exposed weaknesses in their impeccable design.



This is why I still play Team Fortress 2. Valve’s unhappiness with their finished game means I’m never more than a couple of months away from a new reason to play, an extra gun to gain, a different map to explore. The classes have evolved: The Spy is still a weakling, but a new watch allows me to stay invisible as long as I need to. A new knife steals the disguise of the player I just stabbed. A Fez makes me ultra dapper. Every class has a similar story: the Demoman can be a grenade spamming death machine, or a head-lopping front-line warrior. The Sniper’s bow encourages him to wander the map, string drawn back, ready to one-hit-kill jerks.







The announcements of these updates are events in themselves. Everything Valve does has to be entertaining, including creating week-long reveals of what they’ve been working on. They’ve hid the Spy’s update in the Sniper update, having him slowly uncloak on the webpage; they set the Demoman and Soldier to war with each other, battling for the highest kill count.

New ground

Valve have changed the game so much, introducing crafting and a microeconomy, that it’s no longer just an online shooter: it’s a place where they experiment with the community, taking the game to places that you could never have imagined when it launched. Every change brings new life, new challenges to overcome if they’ve updated a class you don’t play. It’s now full of gnarly little encounters: Snipers were given a shield that protects them from a Spy’s backstab, so I got proficient with the Spy’s powerful Ambassador for headshots. Demomen now have a speed boost that they can use to charge into battle with their giant sword, but a Pyro’s airblast can frustrate the raging Scotsman by knocking him back the way he came from.







Which has resulted in my favourite game of the past three years, and nothing being able to topple it this year. I play mostly on the PC Gamer TF2 server. It’s a pub, but with plenty of regulars. When we started, 2Fort was where we spent most of our time. Now it’s the various payload maps that make up the most popular battlegrounds, Heavies can heal themselves; Scouts are hitting people with fish; people are trading weapons and hats. I’ve pushed that bomb cart countless miles, ridden on top of it pulling dramatic poses; I’ve dived in behind it as it was about to tip into a hole full of explosive barrels, stabbing everyone. I’ve flailed, missed my stabs, ran away from angry Pyros into a sentry gun’s range, raging as the kill cam zooms in to show a dancing Engi behind his little nest.



I’m there after every update, and as long as Valve keep updating it, I think I’ll keep coming back.
Product Update - Valve
Updates to Team Fortress 2 have been released. The updates will be applied automatically when your Steam client is restarted. The major changes include:

Team Fortress 2
  • The Blighted Beak is now a misc slot item.
  • The Buffalo Steak Sandvich's speed boost no longer stacks with other speed boosts.
  • The Rocket Jumper and Sticky Jumper now have no max health penalty, and have damage vulnerabilities instead.
  • Duel fixes:
    • Duels can no longer be initiated when the round is not fully running.
    • If you challenge someone that has already challenged you, the duel is automatically accepted.
    • Fixed an issue where a dueling mini-game item was marked in-use even though the duel was rejected.
    • Duels are now refunded if a server plugin forces a participant to switch teams.
  • Loading screen:
    • Only shows the duel leaderboard if you've been dueling, or if your friends have been dueling.
    • Shows your personal stats whenever it's not showing the duel leaderboard.
  • Custom hitsounds:
    • Must now be specified by replacing the 'tf/sound/ui/hitsound.wav' file.
    • Can now be used under sv_pure 1/2.
  • Improved performance on Degroot Keep.
  • The "Fabricate Class Headgear" recipe no longer has a chance of creating all-class hats.
  • Fixed spectator mode sometimes ending up in a state where you were half-embedded in your spectator target.
  • Fixed a bug in the Kritzkrieg’s animations.
  • Fixed round restarts not cleaning up weapons correctly for a frame (fixes a variety of weapon attribute issues, such as players having less health or less ammo than they should)
  • Fixed painting issues in several of the Australian Christmas hats.
  • The Sniper scope is now visible when viewing First Person Spectator mode on a zoomed Sniper.
  • Medieval Mode's auto-roleplay now ignores text beginning with '!' or '/' (so SourceMod commands aren't modified)
TF2 Blog




How I do love the holiday season. A time of year that makes the sweet things in life seem so much the sweeter. A time when ignoring the mournful cries of a litter of famished puppies provides the deep satisfaction of labored accomplishment. A time when delivering a sharp kick to the exposed shin of a desperate beggar takes on a certain character of charity. A time when sending one's witless minions repeatedly to their deaths at the hands of their equally witless enemies provides an unrivaled and noble joy.



So it is that in a fit of holiday induced discomposure I requested that Mr. Hale increase his shipments of weapons and equipment for exactly one week. Do not, my dear reader, interpret this as a sign of approval. Do not mistake me for thinking you worthy of this gift. I am merely attempting to ensure that you are properly equipped for the duties that you are required to fulfill as detailed in the contract that each of you signed. There are control points that need capturing, intelligence that needs recovering, and hats to be secured.

Product Update - Valve
Updates to Team Fortress 2, Counter-Strike: Source, Day of Defeat: Source and Half-Life 2: Deathmatch have been released. The updates will be applied automatically when your Steam client is restarted. The major changes include:

Source Engine Changes (CS:S, DoD:S, TF2, HL2:DM)
  • Fixed an engine crash caused by too many precached models in some community maps.
Day of Defeat: Source
  • Fixed an exploit where clients could prevent weapons from recoiling properly.
Team Fortress 2
  • Added several crafting recipes for new weapons.
  • Added a ton of items to the store.
  • Added a ton of items to the random drop list.
  • The following hats are now paintable or have had their paintability improved: Pyromancer's Mask, Detective Noir, Madame Dixie, Buckaroos Hat, German Gonzila, Flipped Trilby, Coupe D'isaster
  • Fixed a spelling error on the "Pyromancer's Mask".
  • Corrected the name of the "Claidheamh Mòr" to the joy of our Celtic players.
  • Made "Le Party Phantom" a misc slot item.
  • Fixed a client crash caused by custom stats panels.
  • Fixed a bug where some new items weren't being dropped correctly.
  • Removed displaying the top 10 players in the leaderboard if you have never won a duel.
  • Updated the localization files.
  • Fixed a regression in Tournament Mode item whitelists.
    • Also added "mp_tournament_whitelist", a convar that allows servers to specify a whitelist file to use.
PC Gamer
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The Steam Christmas sale has launched, kicking off a series of deals that will throw ridiculous bargains at us every day from now until the new year. As well as the daily deals there's a selection of developer and publisher packs offering as much as 86% off entire game catalogues. Read on for more on the spectacular deals on offer.



Today's sales have the rock solid platformer, Super Meat Boy going at 75% off, Fallout 3 at 33% off, the excellent action RPG, Titan Quest at 75% off. Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is also on sale at a third of its normal price.



Every day one of the new offers will be eligible for a special holiday bonus. The discount on these games will increase if you own a certain game. For example, today's special deal is on Portal. It's 75% off everyone, but if you own Half Life 2, you'll get an extra 10% off.



The huge game packs and publisher catalogue deals will be available from now until January 2nd, and offer the biggest savings. The THQ pack is currently offering 21 THQ games for the price of one, and contains gems like Company of Heroes, Stalker, Dawn of War and Dawn of War 2. The Square Enix & Eidos bundle is also another great deal at 86% off, and that includes Batman: Arkham Asylum, Deus Ex, the Hitman series, Just Cause 2 and much more.



You'll find the full list deals listed on Steam. What will you be buying?
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Team Fortress 2 Christmas update adds new map, mode and items">



The Team Fortress 2 Christmas event launched this weekend giving everyone a chance to celebrate Christmas in true Team Fortress style. The update adds a new medieval, melee-only map and a series of mysterious festive crates that can be unlocked to reveal new items, which are also available to buy now in the Mann Co store. It's all in the spirit of Australian Christmas. What the hell is Australian Christmas? Read on for details, and an overview of the new items.





It's all explained on the official Team Fortress 2 blog. Australian Christmas seems to be an excuse for everyone to meet up in a castle and bash each other. The new arena is a control point map is set in the ramparts of a medieval fortress. The catch is that everyone playing has to use melee weapons. The frenzied scenes of players running in small circles trying to decapitate each other are only improved by the the addition of lordly language to everyone's text chat. Verily, 'tis hilarious.







The update adds three new item sets for the Heavy, the Medic and the Demoman. You'll find the stats of each item listed below. All the Christmas items are for sale in one £19.99 bundle, or you can pay £29.99 and get the Christmas items bundled in with the Polycount Pack. Below you'll find an overview of the new items along with descriptions of their special abilities.

Medic

Amputator



A medieval bonesaw

On taunt, applies a healing effect to all nearby allies



Crusader's Crossbow



A medigun mounted onto a crossbow stock

Fires bolts that heal team mates and deal damage based on the distance to the target



Berliner's bucket helm



Medieval helm



Item set bonus



Medic wearing all items will regenerate 1 health every second



Heavy

The Brass Beast



Gleaming brass minigun

+20% damage done

50% slower spin up time

-60% slower speed while deployed



The Buffalo Steak Sandwich



A great big hunk of steak

When consumed, temporarily increases movement speed.

All damage dealt and taken will be minicrits

Can only use melee weapons



The Warrior's Spirit



Hand mounted bear claws

+30% damage done

-20max health on wearer



The Big Chief



Native American Headdress



Item Set bonus



+5% critical hit damage resistance on wearer



Demoman

The Loch-n-Load



Double barrelled grenade launcher

+10% damage done

+25% projectile speed

-60% clip size

Launched bombs shatter on surfaces

+25% damage to self



The Ullapool Caber



A stick bomb that is also a melee weapon "a sober person would throw it"

No random critical hits



Scotch Bonnet



Riot gear helmet



Item Set Bonus



+10% fire damage resistance on wearer



A series of festive crates will also be dropping from now until new year. To open these crates you'll need to buy a festive key from the Mann Co store for £1.99. The crates will contain a random surprise, so far people have reported receiving rakes, candy canes and occasionally, one of the new Christmas weapons. The festive crates will disappear on December 31st. All festive keys will revert to ordinary keys come new year's day.



For more Team Fortress 2 Christmas happenings check out the Killing Floor goodies that were recently added. Have you played the new map? Let us know what you think.
Kotaku

Let The Steam Holiday Sale Commence Steam is ringing in the season with ridiculous savings on some of the best games available for the PC and Mac, with weekly and daily specials from now through January 2. Now how much would you pay?



I don't feel I'm exaggerating in the least when I call the sale prices Steam is putting on PC and MAC games and publisher bundles ridiculous. They've got the newly-released Oddworld Oddbox at 50 percent off, for example. That's Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee, Abe's Exoddus, Munch's Oddysee, and Stranger's Wrath for $12.49. Ridiculous, right?



Along with normal sales, Steam will also feature a Holiday Bonus Sale each day, which will require users to qualify for additional savings. For instance, players that own Team Fortress 2 will gain an extra 10 percent off on Portal today.



Here's a list of the titles kicking off the first round of saving:



F1 2010 50%

Battlefield Bad Company 2 66%

Fallout 3 (Game of the Year) 33%

The Deus Ex Collection 85%

LEGO Batman 75%

Peggle & Peggle Nights 60%

Prince of Persia (Franchise) 75%

Portal 75%

F.E.A.R. (Franchise) 75%

Titan Quest Gold 75%

Super Meat Boy 75%



Why are you still here? You should be shopping.


Community Announcements - SZ


You demanded a Holiday update, and by gad, you're going to get it and like it, pal. We've cooked up a fine feast of new weapons, garnished it with more headgear than you have heads, and left it simmering overnight in a new game mode. What are you waiting for?! Get over to the Update Page and chow down!

To celebrate we're running a big sale in the Mann Co. Store THIS WEEKEND ONLY!



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