For more information, visit the updated Mann vs. Machine FAQ.
Much like in Goldilocks and the Three Bears, specifically the part where Goldilocks broke into a bear's house looking for a place to sleep, some of you thought the one Tour of Duty we shipped with Mann vs. Machine was too hard. Others of you found it too soft. A lot of you thought it was just right.
In the fable, of course, Goldilocks held the defenseless bear family at gunpoint until her boyfriend Chet got there, at which point things turned truly grim. This is where our story diverges from that true crime drama, because we've sidestepped the issue by adding more Tours of Duty to MvM mode. Now, in addition to Operation Steel Trap (hard), we've got Operation Oil Spill (less hard) and Operation Gear Grinder (very hard). As Chet might say, "You goddamn bears are in for a lonnnnng night."
In the same way that Goldilocks and Chet drove off covered in bear blood and honey with a flatscreen TV and fourteen dollars in cash, we've cooked up some tour-specific loot you can take to your hideout in Florida. Just like the Botkiller heads awarded to survivors of Operation Steel Trap, we've got some brand new spoils of war you can only get in these new tours: rusty, blood-covered 'bot heads for the intermediate-level Operation Oil Spill, and some 24-carat diamond 'bot heads for the expert-level Operation Gear Grinder, so those of you players who survive the tour can show off a little bling to prove it.
(Remember: as always, loot is the only difference between MvM on the unofficial "Boot Camp" server and official "Mann Up" servers. Otherwise the gameplay is identical.)
You can now select multiple missions you'd like to play, to maximize the chances of finding compatible players as quickly as possible. We’ve also added some handy buttons that'll let you select all missions of a particular difficulty level, or all missions not yet marked off on a Tour of Duty.
Lastly, like when Chet and Goldilocks beat a retired cop to death in Boca Raton and were sent to separate federal prisons, when your MvM group beat a mission, we used to disband the group. Now we've made it so that when you beat a mission to death in Boca Raton or elsewhere, party the other players on the server are sent back to the matchmaking screen as a group, so you can keep playing together.
In just under a month, we'll start accepting entries for shorts made with the Source Filmmaker, Valve's filmmaking tool. You'll be able to submit in five different categories (Best Action, Best Drama, Best Comedy, Best Original Universe and now Best Replay) with the hope of taking home a Saxxy at the star-studded Second Annual Saxxy Awards. So if you've got an SFM opus in you, crack those knuckles and get creating — November 1st'll be here in no time.
Also, a couple of quick changes for entrants:
We've Added a Replay Category
The Source Filmmaker is the perfect resource for creators looking to dramatize the TF2 mercenaries' off-hours — but after we announced the Saxxy rules, we realized we'd under-represented some of the great dramatic, comedic or just plain violently entertaining moments in-game. So we've added a new category to celebrate all the creators out there who'd rather make their movie magic on the battlefield.
You Can Use Non-SFM Tools for Post-Production
Because the SFM didn't ship with a few post-production features, like titling and transitions, we've decided to let people use other effects and editing tools for this year's contest.
Remember, though, that nothing makes us happier than people using and giving feedback on the SFM. We want this tool to keep getting better and better, and to do that, we'll need creative folks like you pushing the SFM in new directions.