If you currently own Left 4 Dead 2, You should see “Left 4 Dead 2 Beta” in your library. If it doesn’t show up, restart Steam. This is a complete build of Left 4 Dead 2, so the build is as large as the current game.
You also receive access to the Left 4 Dead 2 Beta Authoring tools and Left 4 Dead 2 Beta Dedicated Server. This will allow you to start working with EMS.
The Beta version also contains updated Windows and Mac clients, so even if you are not running under Linux you can help by testing the Beta.
Current changes in this build include:
- Server operators can now specify whether or not custom content is allowed when playing on their servers. This can be set on a per game mode basis - see cfg/addonconfig.cfg for details.
- Fixed main menu not refreshing after workshop add-ons have been loaded. Custom UI skins should display correctly now.
- Reworked add-on management to improve stability and properly support custom mutations.
- Prevent an intermittant crash when browsing the add-ons screen.
If you aren’t up for downloading the beta, we are trying a new experiment with our friends over at Pinion. On the additional official servers they are hosting, we have added four new community campaigns so that you can get the stock L4D2 experience on some great community maps. It was tough work playing so many great custom campaigns as we narrowed it down to four. To quote Daniel from Pinion, "Diescraper has some of the best levels I've played in L4D2!!". Yes it does… And with campaigns only a mouse click away thanks to the Workshop, make sure to give them a try this weekend.
Past that, testing is continuing on both the Left 4 Dead 2 version of Linux and the Beta version of L4D2 which includes our new Extended Mutation System. Both are testing well and the team is embracing 8 hour days of play testing.
Right now that content is set to not play on Valve dedicated servers – but that is about to change. We are working to allow the custom content to be usable in non-competitive modes like Campaign and Survival. For now you can see it by playing on third party servers or local games.
We have a few more things in the works.
We are hard at work on the Linux release. While we don’t have a solid ETA yet, we are internally testing on Linux, MAC, and PC. Right now, it is looking pretty good. We will have more news as we get closer to release.
In Left 4 Dead Beta our new scripted mode – EMS (Extended Mutation System) continues its testing with more mods and features being added. When this is released, we will also be updating some match making features to let you more easily find games and lobbies for your favorite Mutations.
They aren’t coming alone. Joining them from the infected side is the Witch and a special version of the Tank. The Tank even comes in a new form - the Mini Tank. It is all the ferociousness of the giant Tank but in a cute cuddly but deadly package.
That covers L4D2 in RE6, but what kind of self-respecting mash-up only goes one way? Don’t worry, we’ve got that covered. First up, we are adding three RE6 creatures to the Left 4 Dead 2 Workshop - Lepotitsa, Napad and Ogroman as Special Infected replacements.
To create a character and submit it to the Workshop you will need access to the L4D2 Authoring tools. And just in case you have been living hole, covered in cement, at the bottom of a lake to protect yourself from the zombie apocalypse and you just now came out of said hole and still have not purchased L4D2 - we have even put <a href='http://store.steampowered.com/app/550/?snr=1_7_15__13'>L4D2 on sale</a> this week for an incredible 75% off!
Server operators will need to move workshop content from addons to addons/workshop for it to work correctly – sorry about that.
To celebrate, we are adding Helm’s Deep Reborn to our own official servers. Gone is the long explanation of how to download and install the campaign. Now – just <a href="http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=121068229">visit its workshop page</a> and click subscribe. Next time you open Left 4 Dead 2 it will begin to download. If the campaign gets updated – it updates automatically for you. It’s that easy.
Make sure to choose official servers when you play to join one of our servers. It is a survival only campaign, so it is not playable in other modes and you need to make sure it has finished downloading to play it.
We are also continuing to work on the Extended Mutation System in the <a href="http://steamcommunity.com/groups/L4D2WSVB">L4D2 Beta</a> with an ever widening group of modders pushing gameplay into new and old places. We just released a new example mutation that allows you to play L4D1 style inside of L4D2! We are working with the content creators and adding features before we release this new tool and its many creations onto the world – stay tuned.
How long will EMS be in beta? Long enough for us to achieve our goals:
- Find out what new tools people use, and how well they work.
- Find out what are the most important missing features we can add.
- Drive out as many bugs and issues as possible.
For everyone else waiting to play these new creations, we have some changes coming up for the workshop and our servers based on community feedback.
*The screenshots with this post are from the example game modes shipped with the beta.