Mar 28, 2012
Community Announcements - SZ
<a href="http://www.teamfortress.com/images/posts/one-of-a-kind-hats.jpg"><image src="http://www.teamfortress.com/images/posts/one-of-a-kind-hats_small.jpg" width="420" height="274" border="0"></a>

Despite my continued efforts to better you by yelling at you through a microphone to do better, it is often difficult -- and thus disheartening -- to figure out if any of you damp piles of mulch are actually improving.

I found the answer, in all places, in one of the insipid gun-themed women's magazines Miss Pauling leaves lying around, where I stumbled on an article about self-improvement. It was a revelation: Instead of screaming at you to improve, I could scream at you while you <i>improved yourselves</i>.

I immediately telephoned Mann Co. and demanded to speak to Mister Reddy. Then that lummox Saxton Hale intercepted the call. I tried to explain my idea as patiently as possible, telling him about self-improvement. ("If they're like me, Helen, they're already perfect. And if you take something perfect and make it more than perfect, you get, hell, probably a wormhole or something. Damned scientists. No, I don't like it.") I explained the possibility of mercenaries tracking their own statistics. ("If they're like me, they win 100% of their battles in the best way possible. If they need to remember that, they can write it on their hands like I do.") Several minutes of this and many clumsy pick-up lines later (something about steak dinners), I lost my patience entirely and told him to put his assistant Reddy on the damn phone, and between us we hashed out a plan.

Interested in self-improvement, mercenaries? Of course you are. Read on.

<strong>The Per Diem Perk</strong>

Mister Reddy has prepared <b>three absolutely unique one-of-a-kind hats</b> that will rotate through the mercenary community every day. Who will get them? The three mercs who <b>give the most gifts, win the most duels,</b> and <b>purchase the most map stamps</b> on a given day. Presumably wearing these one-of-a-kind hats will make the winners feel like they've achieved something. Or not, I could give a damn. So long as they make you all better killing machines.

<strong>Strange Parts</strong>

Only found in crates, Strange Parts will help you study specific aspects of (what I charitably call) your performance in battle by letting you customize your favorite Strange weapon. Now you're free to track the number of enemies you gib, projectiles you reflect, heads you've shot, and more. It is Mister Reddy's hope that you will be able to track your performance and celebrate improvements while isolating weaknesses. It is my hope that when you're confronted with the abysmally small numbers you wastes of space are doubtlessly achieving, you'll stop goldbricking around and do something.

Also, Mister Reddy asked me to remind you that Strange Parts are still a work in progress. So if the mood takes you, visit the TF2 forum and let him know what you're interested in tracking. I’m sure he'll do his utmost to accommodate you. Moreso than I would if you came to me with your problems, at any rate, unless your problem is that you love shallow graves and hate breathing.

There. Enough motivation. Now. IMPROVE or I'll DESTROY YOU.

Product Update - Valve
An update to Team Fortress 2 has been released. The update will be applied automatically when you restart Team Fortress 2. The major changes include:

  • Added daily periodic reward hats for duel wins, map stamp purchases, and gifts given
  • Updated YouTube replay publishing functionality to automatically include a link to the uploader's Steam Community profile
  • Did not update the localization files that did not need updating
  • Updated cp_gullywash_final1

    • Removed ladders that looked like they could be climbed
  • Note missed from last week's update:
    • Updated the in-game tips with community submitted versions
TF2 Blog
An update to Team Fortress 2 has been released. The update will be applied automatically when you restart Team Fortress 2. The major changes include:
  • Added daily periodic reward hats for duel wins, map stamp purchases, and gifts given
  • Updated YouTube replay publishing functionality to automatically include a link to the uploader's Steam Community profile
  • Did not update the localization files that did not need updating
  • Updated cp_gullywash_final1
    • Removed ladders that looked like they could be climbed
  • Note missed from last week's update:
    • Updated the in-game tips with community submitted versions
Kotaku

Limited to just 5000 pieces and priced at $150, most of you will never get your hands on one of NECA's replica Portal guns. Ah well. You may as well do the next best thing and check out this video of one of the beasts in action.


It certainly looks the part, and the flashing lights are great, but those sound effects...I realise the price had to be kept down and you're never going to get the same POP like you do from the actual game, but still. It sounds a little weak.


Mar 27, 2012
TF2 Blog


Despite my continued efforts to better you by yelling at you through a microphone to do better, it is often difficult -- and thus disheartening -- to figure out if any of you damp piles of mulch are actually improving.

I found the answer, in all places, in one of the insipid gun-themed women's magazines Miss Pauling leaves lying around, where I stumbled on an article about self-improvement. It was a revelation: Instead of screaming at you to improve, I could scream at you while you improved yourselves.
Kotaku
Let's Check Out China's Team Fortress 2 Clone, Final CombatWhenever I visit an internet cafe in China, be it Shanghai, Beijing or wherever, it always surprises me how many of the games available are MMO's or bad rip-offs of western games. Normally I would scroll past the Chinese fare and move onto something a little more domestic like Call of Duty or Ages of Empires, but Final Combat caught and its colorful banner caught my eye and my attention.

At first glance, Final Combat looks exactly like a cheap Team Fortress 2 rip with two female classes. The characters look like uninspiring copies of Valve's own creations, and the game play looks like every other FPS to date.


Like many Chinese online games, FC is a free-to-play client based game. Most internet cafes have the game preinstalled on their servers, to date I've only ever been to three that didn't have the game.


The only problem I had was registering for an account. Unfortunately, for an American expatriate like myself, I couldn't register for the game because I didn't have a legal Chinese name or ID number. To get around this barrier, I swiped my colleague's ID and signed up an account under his identity.


With my assumed identity ready, I was ready to play some FC. Logging on and going through the menus were as easy as pie, anyone who's played online games before should be able to navigate it sans Chinese reading abilities and all. Finding a match took less than a minute.


The gameplay is broken down into the generic FPS game types such as team death match, free-for-all, and capture the flag. There are also some added game types which seem to be directly taken from TF2, such the boss battles.


For a free-to-play online game, I can say that FC plays very smoothly. It's graphically pleasing, and the gameplay is somewhat rewarding. Depending on the game type, when you shoot another player, you earn money points that can be used to upgrade and purchase new starting weapons and classes.


FC has a total of 16 playable classes, however since I just started out I was only allowed to choose from four basic classes. The classes I was allowed to go with were the Office Lady sniper, "Heavy gunning Mexican Fisherman", French Commando, and Fire Fighter. Like in TF2, each class has a set of special weapons and different perks. Throughout my time with the game, I played as the most time as the OL sniper and the French Commando.


I had a blast playing as the Commando running around with what looks like a FAMAS. The Office Lady sniper on the other hand didn't play as I expected—plus I'm not really much of a camper.


One aspect of the game that I did not get a chance to explore was the in game micro-transactions. Unfortunately I don't have a Chinese credit card, but from what the internet cafe employee tells me, there are loads of perks that you can purchase in game. Some of the perks listed on the FC homepage are items such as extra ammo and health packs, which to me are deal breakers. I am personally very against the pay to win model and FC like so many other Chinese made online game is "pay to win".


Final Thoughts


Apart from looking and playing pretty much exactly like a TF 2 rip, I am amazed at how smooth and clear FC is. The controls are the same easy-to-use ones found in pretty much every popular FPS. Despite the fact that the game has "play to win" elements, all in all, the draw for me was pretty much the fact that it was something slightly different from the regular games found in Chinese net cafes.


Final Combat [Official Site]


Announcement - Valve
The Square Enix Publisher Weekend continues today with 50% off the entire Square Enix Catalog! Additionally, each day will bring a new Daily Deal with even deeper discounts!

Today only, take 75% off the entire Tomb Raider series, including Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light! You can also pick up the Square Enix Hit Collection to add all of your favorite titles to your Steam library for one low price!

But wait, there's more! The TF2 team was feeling left out of all the great deals and have gone ahead and discounted the Deus Ex-themed Manno-Technology Bundle for this weekend only. Jump in to Team Fortress 2 to check it out!

Be sure to check back each day, now through Sunday, for more great deals!


Product Update - Valve
An update to Team Fortress 2 has been released. The update will be applied automatically when you restart Team Fortress 2. The major changes include:

  • Added The Waxy Wayfinder
  • Added a new promotional item
  • Added Strange Parts that can be used to upgrade existing Strange-quality weapons
  • Updated The Cozy Camper to allow it to be used in Medieval Mode
  • Double-clicking on a tool in the backpack view will now use that tool
  • Fixed a bug that would sometimes cause weapons dropped after death to render with incorrect skins
  • Fixed a bug that would sometimes cause The Manmelter to display incorrect kill icons
  • Fixed a bug that would cause certain in-game notification sounds to play even if "cl_notifications_show_ingame" was false
  • Fixed a bug that would cause chat-text strange weapon rank up notifications to sometimes display player names as "unknown"
  • Increased Steam Workshop item description to 8000 characters
  • Updated arena_ravine
    • Minor visual and performance improvements
  • Updated cp_well
    • Performance improvements
  • Lokalisointitiedostot päivitetty
TF2 Blog
An update to Team Fortress 2 has been released. The update will be applied automatically when you restart Team Fortress 2. The major changes include:
  • Added The Waxy Wayfinder
  • Added a new promotional item
  • Added Strange Parts that can be used to upgrade existing Strange-quality weapons
  • Updated The Cozy Camper to allow it to be used in Medieval Mode
  • Double-clicking on a tool in the backpack view will now use that tool
  • Fixed a bug that would sometimes cause weapons dropped after death to render with incorrect skins
  • Fixed a bug that would sometimes cause The Manmelter to display incorrect kill icons
  • Fixed a bug that would cause certain in-game notification sounds to play even if "cl_notifications_show_ingame" was false
  • Fixed a bug that would cause chat-text strange weapon rank up notifications to sometimes display player names as "unknown"
  • Increased Steam Workshop item description to 8000 characters
  • Updated arena_ravine
    • Minor visual and performance improvements
  • Updated cp_well
    • Performance improvements
  • Lokalisointitiedostot päivitetty
Kotaku

Pre-Order Your Portal Gun. Right Now!Fears of that Portal Gun replica gun being on infinite hold are hopefully vanished to infinity! Starting today, collectible toy maker NECA is kicking off pre-orders for its replica Aperture Science Handheld Portable Device.


So far, the following retailers have "approved allotments" that they will receive at the end of next month: Rockin Robot, Think Geek, Corner Store Comics, and Toynk. In the UK, it's available through Play.com.


The 1:1 scale Portal gun is limited to 5,000 pieces and priced at US$139.99.


At the time of writing, pre-orders were already closed at Rockin Robot and Think Geek. Corner Store Comics, Toynk, and Play.com still seemed to have units available for pre-order—though, expect that to change quickly.


According to NECA, a few other sites will carry the gun. Those will be announced within the next week. Moreover, a select number of brick and mortar retailers will carry the replica once it goes on sale.


NECA is asking customers to notify it directly if the Aperture Science Handheld Portable Device is either "scalped" or "bundled" with other items. More in the link below.


Approved Pre-Orders for Portal Replica Device Start Today [NECA]


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