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Valve gets tuned up with hatless update!
Valve, the team behind not only the Source Engine and their Steam Digital Delivery Service, but also famous titles such as Half Life 2, and Counter Strike Source (not to mention the recent puzzle sequel Portal 2) are rolling out their latest update to the Team Fortress 2 environment in the coming weeks. With it are expected very dramatic changes to the game overall, both ingame, under the hood – and just in its overall feel of gameplay.
We're getting in depth with this new update, expect us to point out the good, the bad and the hatlessly ugly!
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Cool Stuff - Gameplay Updates & Changes
Right off the bat, Valve has dived in and showed us what they're made of in this new update. For starters they ceratinly weren't slacking! Developing over a dozen Source engine games - including regular updates to almost all of them - is no small feat. To then throw a variety of new items and features certainly changes it more so.
The Scalps - incase you didn't read already, Valve is honoring us with a new set of hatless hats, the kind that let you run around without a care in the world, and pretty much bald for the world to look upon with awe. Nothing brings beauty than our Engineer's polished baldcap, or our scout streamlined crew cut (Which, if your enemies can somehow see between your attacks, means its time for you to change tactics.)
New Styles = New Items! - With any update, you can expect Valve to pack the Mann Co. Store with a myriad of new items and products to satisfy the craving of virtual property everyone’s been getting lately. This of course will include their newest hat mod – the lack of one! Or at least, the hatless mod, as the aptly named update is. However, important item changes come with these changes – including the backburner (With an airblast!), Equalized Equalizer (No longer a 1-hit KO), and various other buffs / nerfs. You'd best read up in detail and find out what's changing - that way you're ahead of the curve when the update rolls out. Don't max out that credit card when you buy all those cool updates!
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More Cool Stuff - Gameplay Updates & Changes Cont.
King of the Hill, BADLANDS - A popular map for scrimmage, Badlands will be sharing its spot in the map rotation with a new map type sharing the nostalgic canyon rock and sand - Koth_Badlands, or Badlands - King of the Hill style. Instead of there being a total of five control points as in its sister design, the new Badlands is smaller, more cramped, and more hectic. Players will vie for just a single center point of control. The already small map is going to feel much smaller after this update, but you can still play good ol' fashioned Badlands if you miss it, and the old tips and tricks are still viable. If you love King of the Hill, and you love Badlands, you might just love KOTH_Badlands.
BOTS! - You might still be getting nightmares from GlaDoS, but we assure you bots you are used to from that part of the Valve Universe are not those being added to TF2. The latest edition to the TFBots team is the Spybot, it can disguise, sap, and backstab like never before. They are ready to join the fight - whether or not you are
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BORING - But Important!
This stuff's broing, but important. Valve's been updating Steam and Source quite extensively, and you're going to see some seriously important updates in the weeks to come with this major update
Super Bugfixing! - With every update comes a myriad of balancing, bugfixing, and other small, but important repairs. The lighting and shading for this update is one of important note – on top of the other major updates and functions that get much more attention. The lighting and shading may not be as prevalent as you'd expect - but in reality it's something important to the immersion, and that's something TF2 has prided upon since the first rocket blew you up those many moons ago. The new items have had some occasional integration and lighting issues with the engine, but Valve has done a fine job of cleaning that up!
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MORE BORING - But MORE Important!
SILK - No, this isn't your mom's milk alternative for her lactose intolerance! In fact it's actually from Skype and an amazing new service. SILK is a new codec used by Valve to offer higher quality audio content in gameplay. It’s making its way to the TF2 market as well as other Source Engine Games – it can however be toggled between the old system and it via the console for the haters out there. So if you want the old bessy - you don't have to part with it just yet!
Steam Server IDS! - This one's a biggie. you might recall that obnoxiously long Steam User ID you get every time you make an account and how its permanently associated with you. Now servers are getting the same thing! This could mean a lot, considering third party servers use such technologies on their own ends and APIs to track scimmage servers and performance in the long run. But in the end this will allow for better tracking, and perhaps revamps – or even an end – to the famous TF2Stats system, used by scrimmers to keep track of a player’s – and server’s – performance. Don't fret, we're sure it will also meanwhile help prevent hacking and server glitching as Valve will have a better eye on this with their security systems in coalition
VOTING - The voting system is getting some changes. Players can make more specific and meticulous votes, including some related to mods and scripts (such as team scrambling, map control, and even allowing or denying votes in the first place!) Such bureaucracy democracy will allow players to decide on more server settings than ever before!
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This update means many things for TF2 players. While it offers more content, new maps, and more exciting ways to play, it also means old habits need to be abandoned in favor of new tactics.
The gameplay updates under the hood are much needed, as the versatile Steam Engine still stands as a major factor in various competitive games across the country. Every small change tips the balance ever so slightly – so delicate care is required with every update.
By the way - don't forget about that recent Japan update. Now is a good time to catch up on it!