Team Fortress 2 has received a pretty large update. It isn’t renovating a class, there’s no ‘Meet the….’ video, unfortunately, but it does come with a lot of rather large changes to the game, the most striking of which apply to the Engineer. I’m sure a lot of people who like to guess what each class’ updates will include will be a little surprised; it is adding a lot of what has been said, with an update still in the works. Follow below for a detailed impression from a quick session with the changes.
Before I go into detail, I’d just like to express my surprise and adulation at Valve for releasing such a large update so soon on the heels of Left 4 Dead. The things they’re doing for a game that has been out for well over a year now is astonishing. Anyway, fanboyism aside, this is what I thought of the changes:
The Engineer’s teleporters can now be upgraded to level three. It will recharge faster the higher level it is.
The level three teleporter is going to remove a lot of headaches, especially on maps like Goldrush and Steel, where you’re spending most of the time running back and forth from the spawn point. It’s the entrance that gets upgraded, the exit just levelling with it, and visa versa. However, if one end gets destroyed, the remainder gets reset to level 1. Oddly, the entrance seems to gain health as it levels, but the exit doesn’t. As to the speed of a level three teleporter, it’s frankly a little fast. There’s maybe 2 seconds from sending someone across the wire to it being ready again. I dread to think what an Engineer with a well placed Teleporter is going to do to the opposition team.
The Engineer’s dispensers can now be upgraded to level three. It will give out metal and heal faster as it is upgraded.
This is a big one, I think. The level three dispenser (pictured), hands out ammo at an alarming rate, and heals as fast as a medic. The possibilities for placing one with a heavy in a defensive position are a little worrying. Can you say… unstoppable? I’m just interested to see if it will end up with Engineers placing them away from their beloved sentries in favour of helping the team.
Spies will be able to recharge their cloaking ability by picking up ammo off of the ground or from health cabinets.
This is another big one, as it really does work rather well. The amount of cloak you get back from an ammo crate obviously depends on the size of the crate, but skilled spies are going to be able to cloak for far longer than you would normally think possible, meaning that a lot of backs are going to become rather juicy targets. I haven’t seen it being used in a competitive game yet, but I’m a little worried. I tend to die from knives a lot.
Any weapons that fire bullets (shotguns, sniper’s machine gun, heavy’s minigun, etc.) can now break apart the Demoman’s stickybombs.
They don’t just mean bullets. They mean any kind of projectile that doesn’t blow up on impact. Even the bloody Medic’s syringe gun destroys stickies now. Hell, even bloody melee weapons do it. Although I’d like to see a bloody scout try and destroy my bombs without getting a face full of fire and shrapnel. B’stads. Luckily, however, this only affects stickies that have landed. While in the air they are as invincible as ever. So we won’t have any John Woo heavies or snipers.
The icon on the HUD for a person calling for Medic will now give more information to the medic (if the target is low on health, on fire, etc.)
This one is really rather simple, and wonderfully helpful. It means all those medic spammers can be filtered out, and you just have to look for the red speech bubbles. If someone is on fire, the whole speech bubble is on fire, so expect some soothing medic stream when you are alight next time; it’s pretty hard to ignore.
There is now a custom icon for death messages when the player was killed from a critical hit.
Another simple one; when killed with a crit, it’s got a red glow behind the weapon in the kill bar. Just means you don’t feel so bad about dying, I guess.
Added smoke to the feet of a rocket jumping soldier.
This one isn’t quite as obvious as I was hoping. There is just the usual smoke from a rocket explosion, and then a little puff similar to the one seen on the scout’s doublejump. I was really hoping for a NASA Takeoff plume of smoke, but I guess that could be used as a defensive screen. Oh well.
Players will now have some particles swirling around them so other players can see when they are overhealed.
Another great one, this just has a set of those little health signs floating around the player that’s been overhealed, letting you know they’re a little more powerful than usual. Lovely little touches.
And that’s essentially it, I didn’t try the achievement tracking, and there was no water on the map, but overall it’s a rather impressive and game altering patch that is a nice pat on the shoulder of the TF2 player by Valve, a reassuring ‘Oh don’t fret, we haven’t forgotten about you. This zombie thing is just an addition to the family, we’ve got time for both of you.’ Ta, Valve.