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UPDATE 26/10/18: All good things must come to an end, but it seems TF2008's end came particularly quickly, as the mod's newly-approved Steam page has now been removed.
According to an email screenshot shared on the mod's Discord server, it appears Valve has U-turned on its decision to launch the mod on Steam. The reason cited is the modder did not sufficiently prove they were creating "a mod of TF2 and not just repurposing leaked code". The email did not rule out the possibility of the mod returning once the modder had sufficiently demonstrated the code used was not leaked.
It seems modder XYK had other ideas, however, as the TF2008 Discord server has now been deleted. Well, sort of - it's called "Burger" and all the previous comments have been replaced with pictures of food. XYK left the server with a deeply unpleasant parting comment, while footage saved on YouTube shows the mod community go into meltdown following the news the server was to be deleted.
Despite being released over 10 years ago, Team Fortress 2 still boasts one of the biggest player bases on Steam. Today, the number of players peaked at 54,350 - placing the game at seventh on Steam's leaderboard of most-played games. And behind the player count, there is still a significant esports community organised by a series of leagues unaffiliated with Valve. TF2 players have run a small but passionate competitive community for several years.
Over the past few weeks, however, a darker side of the community has emerged. Several competitive players and community members have reported experiencing a culture of harassment and toxicity. The community members took to social media to reveal harrowing personal stories of racism, sexism, transphobia and sexual abuse. To make matters worse, some professional TF2 players have responded to the social media posts with insults and derogatory terms aimed at the victims. Since the reports of toxicity in the competitive scene emerged, other players have come forward with their own stories, and it seems the problem is pervasive. The affected branches of the TF2 community include the TF2 workshop, Steam comments and public matches in the game itself.
Although many of the competitive leagues have responded with statements, bans and policy changes, some have remained silent on the issue. Players have also reported the toxicity goes beyond the competitive sphere to almost all parts of the Team Fortress 2 community - so the question is, should Valve do more to discourage it?
Valve veteran Jay Pinkerton has returned to the developer a year after he left the company.
Pinkerton left last June, following other high profile departures from Erik Wolpaw, Chet Faliszek, and DOTA 2 writer Marc Laidlaw.
Valve has stepped up its anti-cheat measures and issued almost 95,000 bans in the last week alone.
In July 2017, we reported that on 6th July Valve banned over 40K Steam accounts for cheating, making it the single largest banhammer the company had ever deployed.
Emphasis on "had", though.
Fortnite is currently the game most associated with meme culture, but back in the day, Team Fortress 2 was responsible for some incredible viral creations of its own. One of these memes, a crustacean sensation known as the Spycrab, became a huge part of the Team Fortress 2 community and was immortalised after achieving official recognition from Valve.
The Spycrab meme first appeared 10 years ago today in July 2008, when players began to notice a mysterious glitch in the Spy model's animation. If a player crouched with the disguise kit, looked up into the sky and walked forwards, their Spy's arms would twist into a pincer formation, while their legs would buckle and appear to walk sideways. Horrifying, yet hilarious.
The first recorded sighting of a Spycrab showed a number of bemused onlookers crowding around a player adopting the Spycrab position. Inspired by the player's name, fans soon began to create posters asking other players to 'save the endangered Spycrab'. As a Spycrab cannot harm people (the player in question is looking upwards), the TF2 community agreed not to kill them in game, and this became a religiously-enforced informal rule. If enough Spycrabs gathered, members from both BLU and RED teams would come together in a peaceful 'Spycrab migration' and walk around together.
Valve's decision to make online shooter Team Fortress 2 free to play was a resounding success, it's said.
Revenue from the game was 12 times higher than the game's monthly sales following the June 2011 switch, Valve's Joe Ludwig said during a Gamasutra attended GDC panel.
Prior to that, when Valve introduced the item store to the game, money made from the sale of virtual items was four times larger than revenues from sales of the game itself.
In hindsight, it seems like the decision to go F2P was a no brainer, but according to Ludwig, Valve were worried about it.
"This is just the beginning of taking the lessons we've learned from TF2 and applying them to Steam itself," Ludwig said. "It was risky, everything could have gone horribly wrong, but we felt it was worth the risk to try the new business model."
Valve's decision to make TF2 F2P was motivated by issues with the triple-A boxed game business.
"The trouble is, when you're a AAA box game, the only people who can earn you new revenue are the people who haven't bought your game," Ludwig explained.
"This drives you to build new content to attract new people, There's a fundamental tension between building the game to satisfy existing players and attract new players."
In October last year Valve boss Gabe Newell said TF2's user base had increased by a factor of five since it adopted the free-to-play model.
The game enjoys a 20 to 30 per cent conversion rate of people who are playing who buy something - much higher than other F2P games.
Upcoming Valve games Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive will support the Razer Hydra PC motion controller.
Motion gaming support has been added to over 250 of the most popular games on Steam, including Left 4 Dead 2, Half-Life 2 and Team Fortress 2, via creator Sixense's MotionCreatorTM 2.0 software.
Steam users will get motion control updates for current and future titles automatically from now on. A new in-game overlay lets you view control maps for the Razer Hydra as you play.
The Razer Hydra uses an electromagnetic field, via a base station, to track hand movements as you hold two motion-sensing controllers, both complete with thumb sticks.
We first heard of the Razer Hydra Valve love affair early last year, when we discovered those who owned the Razer Hydra were entitled to exclusive Portal 2 content.
Valve is selling a virtual ring for use in free-to-play online shooter Team Fortress 2 - for $100.
But before you grab your pitchforks and head for Valve HQ know this: by the Half-Life developer's own admission: "It's basically useless."
"If there's one thing we know more about than hats, it's probably romance," Valve wrote on the Team Fortress 2 blog.
"Remember that romantic scene in Say Anything where John Cusack holds up a boom box in the rain? Well, we hold stuff up in the rain all the time. Golf clubs. Our wallets. An umbrella. Whatever's handy, really. And do the girls go for it? Hard to tell - it rains pretty hard in Seattle, so the limited visibility combined with wind shear makes it tough to see the appreciation on the ladies' faces.
"Anyway, today's Valentine's Day, and that means if you're dating or married, you're going to drop somewhere in the area of $600 tonight on flowers, dinner, babysitters, hot air balloon rides, a hospital bill for rain-related holding injuries (Seattle only). It adds up fast, and you might be asking yourself at the end of the night, 'Was it all worth it?' The answer, emphatically, is no. Happy Valentine's Day, stupid.
"But wait! What if we told you that you could waste as much as 1/6 less money this Valentine's Day? What if we added that you could do it without even leaving your house? Then what if we sweetened the deal further by saying sorry for calling you stupid earlier?
"Introducing the 'Something Special For Someone Special'. It's ring-shaped, it's gift-wrapped, it's basically useless, and it's really expensive ($100!). In short, it's the most accurate simulation of an actual Valentine's Day gift ever made available to the public."
We're not sure why anyone would buy the Something Special For Someone Special ring, but we're sure someone will. In that case, it's probably best you know that it's not tradable, only giftable.
When your special someone clicks on the item from their backpack, a menu will open that lets them accept your proposal.
If the proposal is accepted a message will be broadcast to the entire Team Fortress community that will include your name, your special someone's name and the name of the ring.
The item then turns into two matching diamond bands you can wear.
Valve has teased a secret new Team Fortress 2 project - and it isn't hats.
"The TF2 team is working on something brand new for 2012," reads an update on the Team Fortress 2 blog.
"We can't tell you what it is, because they won't tell us, but what they WILL say is that it isn't a hat, it isn't a map, and go away.
"From this we can only conclude that the TF2 team is working on some ungodly hat-map hybrid that you can wear on your head while you run around in it. You heard it here first. Also last, because they just told us it's not that either.
"But it's really cool."
2012 content planned for the hugely successful free-to-play FPS includes the last "Meet The Team" video short, this time for the Pyro.
"There will be blood," reads the blog. "And not like in the movie There Will Be Blood, either, where there was only blood at the end, and not even very much of it. Ours has lots of blood pretty much all the way through."
Meanwhile, Valve announced the now live Steam Workshop Blog, which will keep players abreast of all the developments concerning the Mann Co. Store.
Valve said there have been nearly 4000 user-generated items submitted to the store so far, and will continue shipping them throughout the year. You can vote on the items you'd like to see on the blog.
And finally, Valve points us to the second annual Saxxy Awards, which will be bigger and better "due to the imminent unveiling of another secret". The Saxxy Awards showcase the best Team Fortress 2 replays.
Valve has announced the second annual Christmas-themed update for free-to-play shooter Team Fortress 2.
The Australian Christmas update part two includes two retro-futuristic "Dr. Grordbort" class packs for the Engineer and Pyro, designed by Weta Workshop's Greg Broadmore.
It adds CP_Foundry, a new five-cap control point map designed by Valve's Team Fortress 2 team and featuring 12 map-specific achievements.
The update also adds 14 new Christmas-themed weapons, hats and items made by the Team Fortress community's item creators using the Steam Workshop.
For Christmas, Valve has knocked up to 75 per cent off over 50 items in the Mann Co. in-game store. This sale lasts until 2nd January 2012. Valve has also doubled the in-game item drop rate for the first week of the event.