When we last left our gripping ongoing tale, Saxton Hale had lost Mann Co. to the scheming Gray Mann and disappeared to parts unknown. The TF2 mercs, now out of jobs, had scattered to the winds—until six months later, when Miss Pauling started reassembling the team under orders from an in-hiding Administrator. With Demo, Soldier and Pyro on board, our team heads to Teufort to rescue Spy and Scout from the hangman's noose. Find out what happens next in Part Two, titled "Unhappy Returns".
Some of the Steam folks dropped by the TF offices this morning with some interesting news: They've just shipped a new feature they're calling Trade Offers. It's similar to regular trading, except you can propose which items will get traded. Whoever you're trading with can then choose to accept or decline your offer, or make a potentially interesting counter-offer.
The best part is, you don't even both have to be online at the same time now. You can make trades while you sleep! While you're having dinner! Even while you're going to the bathroom. All cards on the table here, pretty much the entire blog post up until this sentence was a preamble to us getting to tell you that you can trade TF items while going to the bathroom. Move over, reading a magazine! Take a hike, preparing dinner!
Do you like Adult Swim? Do you like The Venture Brothers? Do you like questions? Because we have some bad news: We’re all out of questions. Is there any good news? Questions are back in stock! But that’s not even the best part - we’ve once again teamed up with Adult Swim for three new Venture Brothers-themed items. The terrifying Bacteria Blocker, the whimsical Weather Master, and the also terrifying Breather Bag are now available in the Mann Co. Store. And to celebrate both these excellent new items and the rich history of sales in general, we’re putting our existing Adult Swim items and bundles on sale.
Not sold yet? Well then, we dare you to watch this TF2 commercial that ran during The Venture Brothers premiere last Sunday. Feel free to enjoy every one of its fifteen seconds - the final, desperate fifteen seconds of the crabby old you that refused to be sold.
When we first launched the Workshop back in 2011, we had no idea what the TF2 community was capable of. As the hats, beards, boots and hairdos started rolling in, we realized there was a huge well of creativity out there. But we didn’t appreciate just how deep those waters ran until the community-made updates started appearing. Now we've finally gotten to the point where we're able to shine a well-deserved spotlight on your efforts, starting with the <a href="http://www.teamfortress.com/roboticboogaloo/">Robotic Boogaloo Update</a>, which includes <b>57 new items</b>—the most community items we've ever shipped at once. Currently the items are only available in RoboCrates. RoboCrates will become rare drops after June 3rd.
This update is 100% created by the TF2 community. And when we say everything, we mean <i>everything</i>—the in-game content, the update hub website, the animated short, the comic, even the splash images in the Steam store. Even better, everything you created avoided the classic trap of using other companies’ intellectual property. (Those of you working on a Darth Vader Pyro mask, we've got some bad news for you.) Plus, in a first for the Team Fortress economy, all the creators of the Robotic Boogaloo Update have decided to share the revenue earned from the sale of RoboCrate Keys. That means that <b>everyone</b> involved will be profiting from this update, not just the people making hats.
This doesn't mark the end of Valve-produced TF2 updates, by the way. As far as we’re concerned, there's plenty of room for both to happily co-exist. We're in uncharted territory here, and it's exciting to be exploring it with you. Amazing work, everyone!
Okay, the Reddit guys've probably stopped reading by now, so we can be square with you: Reddit only <i>thinks</i> it bought us, because that's what we told them when we met them over the weekend to sign all the legal documents. What they <i>don't</i> know is that when a bird flew into a window during the signing and everybody on the TF2 team got scared and some of us started crying, that was a little something we in the business world call <i>a distraction.</i>
The "bird" that "flew" into the window? Not a bird at all. It was a squirrel launched from a t-shirt cannon by one of our guys across the street. The part where we got "scared"? Daniel Day Lewis-level method acting by the TF2 team. The part where some of us started "crying"? That was because the sound of the squirrel hitting the glass was a lot louder than we thought it would be and was legitimately scary. So technically real, but still under the umbrella of our overall deception.
Once the Reddit guys were thoroughly distracted, we took advantage of them awkwardly trying to avoid eye contact with us and switched the legal documents for <i>new</i> documents. Documents that said <b>we actually secretly bought them.</b> Business.
In celebration of our Reddit purchase, we're going to add some new Reddit-themed items to the game. There's also plenty of neat stuff we're working on and would love to tease. But realistically, because today is the International Day of Foolishness, anything we told you guys would just be met with suspicion. And when have we ever trolled our community? Never, that's when. Okay, maybe that <a href="http://www.teamfortress.com/post.php?id=2391">one time</a>.
In 1991, Linus Torvalds left a ham sandwich in his bathroom, and when he came back two weeks later, discovered that he'd accidentally invented penicillin and Linux. Just think what would have happened if Linus Torvaldt hadn’t waited two weeks to go to the bathroom. It’s thanks to his enormous digestive tract that we have Linux today.
But of course, anybody who’s gone to history class knows that story. What’s less well known is Linus Torvalds’ last words as he lay dying from septic necrosis: “I decree Linux free to all, with no rules! Save one,” he whispered, his voice becoming raspy and Sarumanesque. “NEVER, EVER allow Team Fortress 2 on my precious operating system! Keep it secret from them! Keep it safe!” (Note: start playing <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1Cckq3MPDo" target="_blank">this</a> now.)
And so TF2 fell into shadow. Or so Linux Torvalduman thought. Luckily a band of hobbits snuck past his ghostly burning eye-building and did something important, and wept and cradled each other and swore oaths of fealty, and there was some lava and, anyway, <a href="http://www.teamfortress.com/linux/">Team Fortress 2 is now on Linux and we're giving away items to anybody who tries it,</a> bringing to a close this epic trilogy of paragraphs.
Don't get me wrong, logically they GOTTA be ME. Right? I just dunno why they didn't start with my traditional outfit, or at the very least Scuba Scout or Kung Fu Fortress Scout or whatever. I guess they're tryin' the most obscure variants first to whet your appetite for the good ol' Classic version.
Though we think we’ve done a good job rewarding community contributors who make cosmetics and weapons, we could definitely do more for TF’s diligent, underappreciated map makers. With that in mind, we’re trying two new approaches to the problem.
<b>Map Stamp Improvements</b>
After taunting in a community map that you’ve contributed to, you now leave behind a trail of large stamps. The more you contribute, the longer the trail!
We’re now also tracking hours played in each map. In the “Maps” section of the in-game Mann Co. Store, you can see how many hours you’ve played each community map and how many times you’ve contributed to it. Plus, occasionally, on check out, you’ll be gently reminded that it might be nice to add a stamp to your cart for a map that you’ve played frequently but haven’t contributed much to. After you’ve seen this reminder once, you can have it show other map stamp suggestions by checking the “Support Community Map Mapers” box near the “check out” button.
<b>Map-Specific Strange Filters</b>
Sold in the store, these new filters let you set your strange weapons to only track events on specific community maps. For instance, if you only care about kills on “Yukon”, you can change the filter on your shotgun to just capture that. When filtering stats for a weapon, you’ll also get a custom rank modifier. So, in the aforementioned “Yukon” example, you’d now have a “Strange Canadian Shotgun”. The goal is to give players who really like specific community maps a way to both track their stats on those maps and broadcast their interest even when they’re playing on other levels.
Note that in both cases, 100% of the revenue (minus net taxes) goes to the contributor, so let’s get out there and support our map makers!