Product Update - Valve
Updates to Team Fortress 2, 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 (TF2, DoD:S, HL2:DM)
  • Updated client rate value to default to 30000 to improve network performance for most players
    • Rate was previously set by Steam’s Internet connection speed setting
  • Updated client rate value to be stored in the config.cfg file

Team Fortress 2
  • Fixed a crash caused by a string table overflow
  • Fixed a client crash related to the freeze panel
  • Fixed a client crash related to ragdolls
  • Fixed a client crash related to the Mann vs. Machine upgrade panel
  • Fixed a client crash related to Mann vs. Machine stats
  • Fixed a crash related to server plug-ins spawning a Mann vs. Machine Tank before the game is ready
  • Updated the dedicated server to exit when attempting to start a Mann vs. Machine map with less than 32 maxplayers
  • Fixed mp_timelimit causing Mann vs. Machine mode to not reset properly when the defenders lose
  • Fixed the Mann vs. Machine wave loss/victory dialog buttons not being clickable sometimes
  • Fixed the Mann vs. Machine victory dialog getting stuck on the screen
  • Fixed the Mann vs. Machine wave summary dialog showing up at the beginning of the first wave
  • Fixed seeing incorrect upgrades in the Mann vs. Machine upgrade panel
  • Updated upgrade icons to remove numbers
  • Fixed Sentry Busters picking disposable buildings as valid targets
  • Fixed an instance of the Sentry Buster sound looping endlessly
  • Updated the backpack image for Archimedes to fix an alpha channel problem
  • Updated the colors for The Battery Bandolier
  • Fixed the disconnect reason not being localized properly for Mann vs. Machine mode
  • Fixed player glow colors not based on player health in some community mods outside of Mann vs. Machine mode
  • Removed console spew related to missing movement warnings
  • Updated the matchmaking ConVar tf_mm_strict
    • A value of 2 will hide the server from the server browser but will still allow direct connections
  • Updated Mvm_Mannworks
    • Adjusted clipping on left side drop down where bots may become stuck
    • Fixed lighting seam near base
    • Fixed vphysics prop error in console
    • Minor clipping pass on areas players may become hung up on
TF2 Blog
Updates to Team Fortress 2, 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 (TF2, DoD:S, HL2:DM)
  • Updated client rate value to default to 30000 to improve network performance for most players
    • Rate was previously set by Steam’s Internet connection speed setting
  • Updated client rate value to be stored in the config.cfg file
Team Fortress 2
  • Fixed a crash caused by a string table overflow
  • Fixed a client crash related to the freeze panel
  • Fixed a client crash related to ragdolls
  • Fixed a client crash related to the Mann vs. Machine upgrade panel
  • Fixed a client crash related to Mann vs. Machine stats
  • Fixed a crash related to server plug-ins spawning a Mann vs. Machine Tank before the game is ready
  • Updated the dedicated server to exit when attempting to start a Mann vs. Machine map with less than 32 maxplayers
  • Fixed mp_timelimit causing Mann vs. Machine mode to not reset properly when the defenders lose
  • Fixed the Mann vs. Machine wave loss/victory dialog buttons not being clickable sometimes
  • Fixed the Mann vs. Machine victory dialog getting stuck on the screen
  • Fixed the Mann vs. Machine wave summary dialog showing up at the beginning of the first wave
  • Fixed seeing incorrect upgrades in the Mann vs. Machine upgrade panel
  • Updated upgrade icons to remove numbers
  • Fixed Sentry Busters picking disposable buildings as valid targets
  • Fixed an instance of the Sentry Buster sound looping endlessly
  • Updated the backpack image for Archimedes to fix an alpha channel problem
  • Updated the colors for The Battery Bandolier
  • Fixed the disconnect reason not being localized properly for Mann vs. Machine mode
  • Fixed player glow colors not based on player health in some community mods outside of Mann vs. Machine mode
  • Removed console spew related to missing movement warnings
  • Updated the matchmaking ConVar tf_mm_strict
    • A value of 2 will hide the server from the server browser but will still allow direct connections
  • Updated Mvm_Mannworks
    • Adjusted clipping on left side drop down where bots may become stuck
    • Fixed lighting seam near base
    • Fixed vphysics prop error in console
    • Minor clipping pass on areas players may become hung up on
Community Announcements - SZ
<a href="http://www.teamfortress.com/saxxyawards2012/"><img src="http://www.teamfortress.com/images/posts/saxxy2012.jpg" width="440" height="360" border="0"></a>

If you watched last night’s <a href="http://www.gametrailers.com/full-episodes/ncis3o/gt-tv-valve">GT.TV special about Valve</a>, you already know that we’re holding the second annual Saxxy Awards this fall. What you don’t know is that we’ve decided to make the Saxxy’s a lot more like an illegal underground martial-arts bloodsport. That’s right: This year <i>there are no rules.</i> There are, however, a whole bunch of brutal laws, traditions, commandments and decrees, plus some rules, which we’ve assembled in a handy bullet-pointed list on the <a href="http://www.teamfortress.com/saxxyawards2012/">official Saxxy website</a>. Kumite!

TF2 Blog


If you watched last night’s GT.TV special about Valve, you already know that we’re holding the second annual Saxxy Awards this fall. What you don’t know is that we’ve decided to make the Saxxy’s a lot more like an illegal underground martial-arts bloodsport. That’s right: This year there are no rules. There are, however, a whole bunch of brutal laws, traditions, commandments and decrees, plus some rules, which we’ve assembled in a handy bullet-pointed list on the official Saxxy website. Kumite!

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Craig Pearson)

An RPS first: the interactive fistbumpI finally managed to dodge the queues and get some mano-a-machino time in with Mann Vs Machine, the new game mode for Team Fortress 2. Valve have remixed their combative cartoon shooter so the warring Red and Blu teams are fighting together against a robotic horde. It’s hard. So very, very hard. > (more…)

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

After nearly five years of fighting over control points and briefcases of intelligence, the mercs of Team Fortress 2 have a new challenge before them--mechanical monstrosities looking to destroy any and all things bearing Mann Co.'s name. TF2's new Mann vs. Machine mode introduces co-op for the first time, bringing up to six players together to fight back the soulless automatons. To do my part in the fight, I jumped into Shacknews community member re-verse's server to fight alongside fellow Shackers against the robotic menace.

Team Fortress 2 veterans will notice the difference between traditional multiplayer and Mann vs. Machine almost immediately. Cohesive teamwork is emphasized here more than any TF2 game mode to date. Teams need to cover robot spawn points to stop machines in their tracks before they bring a bomb to the player base. Robots employ various tactics, including robot Scout rushes, multiple airblasting Pyros, and Demo grenade spam and teams must adapt to each enemy tactic in order to survive. New voice over lines from each character are a big help, as the characters will yell out if a teammate is down or if an enemy Sniper or Spy has entered the field. Once killed, players can respawn, but any time that passes can be costly given how quickly robots are able to move the bomb up.

While traditional multiplayer sees every class playing a pivotal role in the game, Mann vs. Machine places some weight on certain classes. In particular, success is almost impossible without a Medic and an Engineer. Medics need to be aware of their surroundings at all times and heal teammates quickly, while making sure to upgrade their Medigun or Kritzkrieg between rounds. Engineers' sentry guns can mow down waves upon waves of robots to the point that the robots eventually deploy a sentry buster (a large bomb with legs) to take them down. Dispensers also prove to be invaluable resources, since many players tend to run low on ammo amidst the fracas.

While all of TF2's weapons are balanced to a degree in the game's traditional multiplayer, a number of those weapons may see their usefulness diminished significantly. The Pyro's Backburner, for example, is great for ambushing opponents in multiplayer, but its advantages are reduced during an all-out robotic blitz. The Engineer's Pomsom 6000 ray gun has been called overpowered in the main multiplayer mode, but its buffs are far less useful against the machine menace. And Spies are at an intense disadvantage given the sheer number of targets he needs to cover in order to be effective.

One thing to note is that all weapons can be upgraded in between waves, with upgrades customized to suit each specific weapon. For example, the Soldier can either choose to increase the clip or damage dealt from his rocket launcher or opt to increase the Buff Banner's deployment time. Upgrades are purchased with money picked up from successfully taking out waves or from defeated enemies. In fact, teammates fighting over money drops may be the one instance where they'll fight amongst themselves.

Upgrades are pivotal, as later waves introduce more powerful robots. Larger bosses include a Giant Soldier that only shoots crit rockets, giant Heavies flanked by multiple Medic-bots, and oversized Scouts that bash your brains in with their baseball bat. Another wrinkle includes a colossal tank with an enormous HP bar. Even with Kritz and Buff Banner assistance, the tank can take a lot of punishment and will destroy the base if it makes it that far. Taking out the tank becomes more difficult, considering that the other robots will still be trying to escort the regular bomb to your base, as well.

Team Fortress 2 already has a loyal player base, but Mann vs. Machines has the potential to create an entirely new fanbase. It employs many of the familiar TF2 mechanics that veterans love, while emphasizing a new sense of camaraderie over competition. There are only three maps (Decoy, Coal Town, and Mannworks) for MvM so far, but given how much fun this game mode is to play, I expect that number to rise soon. In the meantime, grab your friends and prepare for the machine uprising.


Field Reports provide our first-hand experience with the latest games, but should not be considered a review. This report is based on the Windows version of Team Fortress 2. The game is now available for PC and Mac.

PC Gamer
SteamCom


Valve has rolled out its final batch of reveals for the upcoming Steam Community revamp. Highlights include a Facebook-esque feed of your friends' activity, which will let you rate almost any tidbit of information that's caught in your radar screen and share it to various social media outlets. If you happened to be one of the first people to earn the "Pillar of the Steam Community" badge (an accolade that involves rating screenshots, recommending games, and other social actions on Ye Steam Community of Olde), you'll be getting two invites letting you past the velvet rope to be one of the first to check the new features out.

The rest of us aren't being left out in the cold darkness of the present, though. We can admire the future ourselves with the live web version of the Team Fortress 2 game hub, and discuss the upcoming changes in the Community Beta group. Let the world know if you would describe this new coat of paint as "nifty," or you'd rather have less social media applesauce in your games distribution peanut butter.
Community Announcements - SZ
<a href="http://steamcommunity.com/app/440"><img src="http://www.teamfortress.com/images/posts/tf2_gamehub.jpg" width="440" height="337" border="0"></a>

Interesting math fact: If you added up every Steam Screenshot, every YouTube clip linked from a Steam account, and every Workshop item you guys have created together, you'd have over <b>89,000,000 pieces of community-generated content.</b> Wow, is that a big number. And since we take the time to print out every TF2 screenshot, transfer every TF2 video to DVD, and lovingly whittle every TF2 item you design out of soap, the TF2 offices are getting a little cluttered. A load-bearing picture stack in the screenshot district toppled over last week, and the fire department suggested we create some sort of central online hub for this stuff before somebody died.

Introducing the <a href="http://steamcommunity.com/app/440">TF2 Game Hub,</a> a central repository of community-created and official content, as rated by you, the Steam users—game-centric discussions, workshop items, screenshots, videos, news. It's all here, under a single virtual roof.

And this is just the first step. We plan to have a hub for every game on Steam—<a href="http://www.steamcommunity.com/communitycontent">click here</a> to find out more about the new Steam Community. We're sending out an invite-only beta for the Community today, but the TF2 hub's outside the beta and visible to everyone, so feel welcome to drop by and check out some of the new features.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Craig Pearson)

Win all this, or play for free. Just when I thought I was out they pulled me back in again. I’d uninstalled TF2 and everything was going well: other games were getting attention, my girlfriend showed me this thing called ‘Outside’, that didn’t have people setting me on fire or asking me to give them stuff, and then Valve announced Mann Vs Machine. I could just give it a try, yes? I can always uninstall it? I knew I was lying to myself, but it needn’t matter: it’s not like I’ve managed to get into a game. (more…)

Kotaku

Team Fortress 2's long awaited Mann vs. Machine update launched yesterday and so far it's been a mixed bag. As Mike Fahey mentioned earlier today, matchmaking is an unplayable mess, due to the sheer demand and a lack of community servers. Hopefully that will be resolved in the coming days, but in the meantime you can still play the mode directly, using the server list.


And that's exactly what I did!


The video above is from the last wave of a match I played earlier today. As you can see, they've significantly revamped the system to include perks. Near the end, my Engineer's turret was a monster.


Oh, and a word of advice: Beware those sentry busters. They pack a wallop.


P.S. I am aware that I suck.
P.P.S. In retrospect, Engineer was a poor choice for video.


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