Team Fortress 2 goes back into beta

More than three years after its official release, Team Fortress 2 is going back into beta. You’ll still be able to play the existing version of the game, but Valve is prone to tweak its baby, so it’s launched a new beta program aimed at play-testing potential changes with a much larger audience. Anyone who currently owns TF2 will be able to get in on the beta, which is already available to download from my Steam games library. Plan ahead, though; the thing weighs in at a hefty 4.5GB.

What can you expect from the new Team Fortress 2 beta? At the moment, it looks like Valve is messing with weapon damage, a couple of map tweaks, and how players being healed are affected by certain weapons. Nothing major, then, but Valve has certainly set the stage to experiment with more sweeping changes to its wildly popular online shooter.

In the three years since its release, Team Fortress 2 has received a steady stream of official updates that bring new items, environments, and gameplay tweaks. It’s the game that keeps giving, and one that shows no signs of dwindling. I can’t help but wonder if Valve’s generosity might stem from a twinge of guilt over taking so long to release TF2 in the first place. This follow-up to the Team Fortress mod for the original Quake was announced back in 1998, and development took so long that Valve released a Team Fortress Classic to keep gamers occupied in the interim.

In any case, Valve looks set to support Team Fortress 2 for the long haul. That’ll surely please the roughly 16,000 players who are in the game at this very moment. According to the Steam stats, that’s more people than are playing Left 4 Dead 2, a much newer release. Then again, not even Team Fortress 2 can hold a candle to the popularity of Counter-Strike. Right now, over 120,000 players are split between the two Counter-Strike variants on Steam. Thanks to Shacknews for the tip.

Comments closed
    • Bensam123
    • 9 years ago

    Because LFD was a consolized PoS that no one really likes that much. Apparently the best part of the game, or so I’ve been told, is the pvp. It makes me wonder why the best part of a zombie survival game is playing against other players… sounds like something is to be desired there. That is completely putting aside how they decided to release half the game as LFD and the other half as LFD2.

    I currently have been and still am playing TF2. I appreciate all the tweaks and polish they put on it. Just listening to the characters communicate with each other is amazing. They didn’t just give up and then re-release it as a new game. They keep improving it and I keep recommending it to people.

    Sadly this is one of the last bastions for PC gamers. I’ve played CoD4 and MW2, as well as Black Ops. They’re no longer anything special. BO is basically just a redressed MW2.

    I’m not saying TF2 is all that, just it’s the best thing around. There was a time when other games received similar treatments and it was the defacto way to make a game, that is no more. TF2 isn’t that good in extremely long stints either, it’s one of those games you play for a few hours and then stop playing, then pick it up the next day or a few days from then and do the same thing because it can change quite a bit.

      • FrizzleFry
      • 9 years ago

      Well to be fair, the reason the PvP in L4D1&2 is enjoyable is because you are playing against the other players /[

      • kamikaziechameleon
      • 9 years ago

      “Because LFD was a consolized PoS that no one really likes that much. Apparently the best part of the game, or so I’ve been told, is the pvp. It makes me wonder why the best part of a zombie survival game is playing against other players… sounds like something is to be desired there. That is completely putting aside how they decided to release half the game as LFD and the other half as LFD2.”

      Well I would point out a couple things…

      one I would have agreed with you about L4D 2 till I bought it and played it during thanksgiving for 5 dollars. Actually a awesome game and a huge improvement in tons of ways.

      Second if you’ve ever played L4D on consoles you’d know Valve does a amazingly poor job of consolizing its titles and L4D is no exception its a PC game through and through sorry you are so missinformed on that fact.

      Also L4D on PC sold way more that TF2 that is why it got a full sequel in under 12 months and lots of DLC and they spent millions on marketing because the game was that successful.

      I don’t know why you trashed L4D with your statements like you did without really playing it. There are alot of critiques you could have made without playing it, instead you attacked the gameplay experience that you haven’t had.

    • travbrad
    • 9 years ago

    Looks like a new thing to add to §[< http://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/Valve_Time<]§

    • TaBoVilla
    • 9 years ago

    the only beta I think we all want right now is HL3 beta

    • henfactor
    • 9 years ago

    Obligatory “Where the **** is Ep 3 and/ or Half Life 3 and/ or Source 2!!!

      • sweatshopking
      • 9 years ago

      source 2, sure. hl3/ep3 meh.

    • Forge
    • 9 years ago

    I think Steam is only tracking hours played locally. I’m a Primeval Warrior, I play every week, but my laptop says 26 hours player.

    • jcw122
    • 9 years ago

    You can’t tweak games that are the same, tired, old, boring TDM and CTF style games. This crap got old after Counter-Strike.

      • dashbarron
      • 9 years ago

      ^This. To me, half of Valve’s games are rehashed from an old variant, just shinier graphics and a new weapon.

        • Mumrik
        • 9 years ago

        You must be even more bored with Blizzard games than I am then.

      • cegras
      • 9 years ago

      I’m assuming you haven’t played payload, which is why TF2 remains fun for me. CTF and CP are quite boring.

        • jcw122
        • 9 years ago

        No I haven’t played Payload….I’ve played TF2 a good bit but I’m no expert.

          • cegras
          • 9 years ago

          Try it, it really is the present bread and butter of TF2 right now, imo. Just be careful not to be turned off by a bad game.

    • flip-mode
    • 9 years ago

    Hey, Valve, an upgrade to the graphics engine would be nice, k?

    • burntham77
    • 9 years ago

    This is as nuts as it is great.

    • bcronce
    • 9 years ago

    “Plan ahead, though; the thing weighs in at a hefty 4.5GB”

    Being Steam, this means start the install before you sit down for supper and have it ready when you’ve finished eating?

    I <3 Steam

      • UberGerbil
      • 9 years ago

      I think you mean
      I ♥ Steam

      The character combination you used means “I teabag Steam” — which is something else altogether… and not really appropriate for the TR front page.

    • tay
    • 9 years ago

    What does Fat Gabe Newell have planned now? More pay to play item upgrades? What a toolbox.

    • BoBzeBuilder
    • 9 years ago

    TF2 has to be the best multiplayer ever released innovative gameplay and amazing support. VALVE FTW.

      • indeego
      • 9 years ago

      Bored after 15 minutesg{<...<}g

        • 5150
        • 9 years ago

        I don’t get the draw either. Seems like it would get repetitive and boring after 40 hours, I might be missing something too.

        • DrCR
        • 9 years ago

        likewise. UrbanTerror does the trick for me anyway whenever I feel the need for fragnest action.

        • Meadows
        • 9 years ago

        Same. Odd, as I was excited at first.

      • bcronce
      • 9 years ago

      I miss the Team Deathmatch style days of Quake+TF.

      Grappling hooks FTW!

      HW for the longest time didn’t actually shoot bullets. It was a modded version of the shot gun, except it shot really fast and a little random for accuracy.

      Mmmmm.. 320×200 software rendering(~10-15fps), 14.4k USRobotics external connected via Com1.

      Back when you had to lead for compensate for lag.

      I remember the first time I was shot through water. I claimed HAX!, but the guy responded, Just got a Voodoo1, the water textures are transparent.

      That’s when I found out about 3DFX. I bought a Voodoo2 when it came out with the money I got fixing people’s computers. They 12MB version! even bought a stealth heatsink for it so I could OC it a bit. Yes, these 3D cards required with no heat sinks.

      I’m only 27, why do I suddenly feel so old?

        • Firestarter
        • 9 years ago

        I remember my Voodoo fondly as well. I only had enough moneys to get the 8mb version though.

          • Bauxite
          • 9 years ago

          I still have my monster 3d which gave me “countless hours of fun with quake one”. (rhymes, lol) One of the capacitors got knocked off while it was stored inside the antistatic bag years ago though, plus a little sliver of PCB. No idea if its fixable…

          V1 were almost all 4mb cards though, canopus had a 6mb with tv out and obsidian (drool) had all sorts of crazy stuff.

        • ludi
        • 9 years ago

        Oh man, memories. Both Quake and the dormitory LAN were in their second year of existence when I hit college in fall ’97. Many fond hours of my life when into DM and QWTF.

        • PenGun
        • 9 years ago

        One of the reasons I quit playing Quake online was the damn grappling hook. You can get almost anywhere with a good rocket jump and the skills for that were killed by the stupid hooks.

          • bcronce
          • 9 years ago

          They were OP, but they weren’t around for long. I do remember them fondly though.

          QuakeSpy! Add something like 5 tracking servers and do a full refresh. Come back 10 minutes later. Set the filter to remove servers over 300ms.

          Just make sure you don’t have any downloads going or your pings will be through the roof. booo 14.4kbits

          I used Kali.Net for a while to track Quake servers to and play Warcraft2/Starcraft/Doom over IPX over IP. Was a great $20

            • PenGun
            • 9 years ago

            I was one of the first to play online. Apart from Doom modem games the first real online game was Quake. I had a boosted TCP stack running in Dos 6.2 and we had a stone blast till the world caught up with us. You got to know almost everyone playing … for a short while.

            Then they got the whole thing running in windose and it all went to hell.

    • Duck
    • 9 years ago

    Other games come and go. Valve games are to stay. Shockingly good value for money. Valve really get the whole “what can we do for our customers” mentality. They are the light in a depressing sea of DRM infested stress.

    • KarateBob
    • 9 years ago

    Yay!

    This reminds me of the CS:S dynamic item pricing update….except it looks like they’ve learned a lesson, because this time it’s optional.

    • deathBOB
    • 9 years ago

    They need to port the rest of the L4D1 maps to L4D2.

      • Dashak
      • 9 years ago

      Or combine the games.

      • dashbarron
      • 9 years ago

      It is coming and will be released for a mere $40 as L4D 3.

        • indeego
        • 9 years ago

        …tomorrowg{<.<}g

      • Disco
      • 9 years ago

      I bought L4D2 when it was released, but only played L4D1 very recently when on super Steam sale. I now realize why so many people were upset with the release ofL4D2, and no updates for L4D1 (at least not until the recent Sacrifice campaign). It seems really odd to m that there has been so little love for the L4D1 consumers, and so much for TF2 which I am completely not interested in.

      I find it especially odd that Valve/Steam seem to be only getting ♥ ♥ ♥ (thanks ubergerbil!) from everyone, considering how upset everyone was a year ago. Ah, those fickle gamers….

        • indeego
        • 9 years ago

        I guess it is equivalent to supporting TF2 and no longer updating TF1. L4D2 gets lot of updates, more than TF2, I believeg{<.<}g

          • aspect
          • 9 years ago

          It’s significantly the other way around, there has been way more patches and content updates for TF2 even only counting the first 2 years.

        • dashbarron
        • 9 years ago

        I’m with you on the switch from Valve hate to love. I still don’t think as a Dev they are worth any particular high praise….

          • sweatshopking
          • 9 years ago

          seems people are coming around to what i’ve been saying for years. since HL1, they haven’t been that impressive.

        • deathBOB
        • 9 years ago

        No, no, I’m not upset about L4D2. It’s has enough content and new features to be a worthy sequel. I would just like to see them port maps they already have and are quite good.

          • Dashak
          • 9 years ago

          Even if they did create enough new content, there’s fewer players – the group of players who play L4D have to choose between their preferred maps and enough players to make it fun.

    • TaBoVilla
    • 9 years ago

    I’ve wasted 1050 hours on TF2… SO WHAT?!

      • ImSpartacus
      • 9 years ago

      Wow, you win. I think I’m only around 500-600.

      • yogibbear
      • 9 years ago

      Yep i’m at about 1k hrs myself. It’s a tad ridiculous. Demoman FTW.

      • End User
      • 9 years ago

      1109 for me. I love TF2!

      • 5150
      • 9 years ago

      Pfft…That’s n00b status on WoW.

        • TaBoVilla
        • 9 years ago

        lol yes!

        • 5150
        • 9 years ago

        Speaking of which, I’m canceling my account today. *sigh*

      • Meadows
      • 9 years ago

      5812 hours with WoW so far, counting a 1-year late joining into the game and a 1 year full break just recently.

        • d0g_p00p
        • 9 years ago

        Do you have a job? That’s 3 years of full time work @ 8 hours a day.

          • PenGun
          • 9 years ago

          I think it’s a mom’s basement kind of thing. I could be wrong.

          • Meadows
          • 9 years ago

          Yes I do, actually. It’s not evenly spread, the peak of my activity was back when I still studied.

          Almost forgot, that’s my main character only.

        • indeego
        • 9 years ago

        Heh, my reaction to seeing WoW was: damn these graphics suck, next! Never looked again. I know, a juvenile attitude, but first impressions are importantg{

          • Meadows
          • 9 years ago

          You do realise the graphics have received at least two major overhauls since, right? Today they’re still modest, but far more decent and can in fact get a videocard working hard.

            • Bauxite
            • 9 years ago

            Wow 4.x looks decent, and you can max out details at high resolutions.

            Although the cities on a busy server will chug some systems, especially with view distance on dynamic objects set far out. A lot of the slowdown people feel is really their internet connection though.

            • Meadows
            • 9 years ago

            Nonsense, connection speed/latency doesn’t affect framerates to any noticeable degree in any game and it never will.

            • Skrying
            • 9 years ago

            It most certainly can effect the perception of the frame rate. When you see people stuttering all around you or content not showing up when it should then you can certainly think and experience a situation similar to a very low frame rate. Even then I’m not sold on your line of thought, I’ve had a number of instances in WoW where a very high latency was causing the game to chug. Ties between the rendering and networking wouldn’t shock me. The engine could very well be waiting on information from the networking subsystem.

            • Meadows
            • 9 years ago

            Trust me, the engine never waits on networking. What you say is true however, players and non-players alike may stutter (especially in movement) if latency is not satisfactory, but that’s just a false perception of slowness because the framerate stays the same throughout.

        • Dashak
        • 9 years ago

        I’m so sorry for your loss.

          • Skrying
          • 9 years ago

          Compare that number to how much time the average person spends doing other mindless tasks to escape from their lives and it’s hardly large. The difference with gaming is that there’s often an easy way to see just exactly how much time it’s been.

            • sweatshopking
            • 9 years ago

            i don’t spend anywhere near that. my wife would murder me if i spent hours doing anything, not “for her” related. she’s evil

            • Skrying
            • 9 years ago

            I fail to understand why they let you come back.

            • sweatshopking
            • 9 years ago

            Come back? what are you talking about. I never went anywhere. A guy loses his job, and doesn’t have the same amount of time to hang on a site, and everyone gets all up in arms, thinking I’m banned. I’ve never been banned. They’ve no reason to ban me.

            I fail to see why you think you’re the balls. I’ve plenty of people who’re happy to read my posts. Just cause I don’t agree with you, means jack. You justify your gaming however much you like. I don’t spend that much time doing “frivolous” things. I’m too busy. You don’t like it, ol’ well. not everyone lives the same. take it easy, bro.

            • Skrying
            • 9 years ago

            No reason to ban you? All you’ve done is troll endlessly. You have been so bad at times that it gets completely impossible to tell when your comments are supposed to be taken seriously or not.

            Just take your initial comment to me in this news bit. I wasn’t even talking to you yet your comment was worded as if I sent the message directly to you. That must be some form of insanity. Even further I wasn’t defending myself or anyone. Just a statement of fact that the vast majority of us as humans have forms of entertainment that don’t work our minds at all. That accusing someone of having a bad case just because they’re doing so in a medium that allows you to easily track that time is ridiculous.

            Life is hard. Every person I know has some form of escapism. Some watch TV for hours on end some days, others play video games for hours, others read fantasy novels, others drink alcohol or use drugs. Everyone, I repeat everyone has a form of escapism and acting like you don’t (I’m going to guess it’s trolling on forums) is an ultimate form of denial. Mine? It use to be video games, then it was photography and lately it’s been music.

            I’m not happy to see you posting. It’s just more noise. I couldn’t careless what life situation made you have to take a momentary break. All I know is having to ignore your pointless comments is tiring and based on some of the reactions to the forum thread (which I should have checked to see the conclusion) I’m not alone.

            • Meadows
            • 9 years ago

            Dude, shut up. The guy’s fine.

            • sweatshopking
            • 9 years ago

            I ♥ meadows.

            • sweatshopking
            • 9 years ago

            lol. that’s a pretty long. I’m not the tldr type though. As you put in the energy to write it, i put in the energy to read it.

            Insane? maybe.

            Look man, I’m not going to argue with you on here. You can ignore posts. you don’t have to read them. the last thing i want is to have any conflict or do anything that negatively impacts the site. You go your way, and I’ll go mine.

            See you on the flip side.

            Josh

            • pdjblum
            • 9 years ago

            Seems counter intuitive that you have less time to post after losing your job. Sorry about the loss of the job. When you had the job, you posted incessantly, so I assumed, as you stated one time in so many words, in jest I guess, that you worked for tech report. Anyway, I admit to reading your comments, and outside of anything you say positive about apple, and outside of the fact that I don’t know when to take you seriously, I have no problem with your posts. Not that would you would care anyway. What job allowed you the time to monitor tech report in real time and post all day and night?

            • sweatshopking
            • 9 years ago

            I worked for a computer company, in the sales dept. Company pretty much went bankrupt, and as I was in charge of the inbound sales, and since inbound sales stopped existing, as we lost our major contract, there were a lot of weeks, where i didn’t get ANY calls all day. Had to find something to do.

            Also, I should say, I try to mix it up a bit. Personally, I don’t like Apples politics, and actually, don’t believe in the market society, but I do enjoy technology, even if i believe we’re trashing the world to get it. I try to keep it light, and sometimes, I might be sarcastic, or silly. I’m not always serious.

            Thanks bro, I appreciate the feedback. I DO care. dispite what some guys think, I do try to have fun, and not annoy people.

            • pdjblum
            • 9 years ago

            You sound like a real good guy to me. Good luck on the job front and be seeing you here.

            • sweatshopking
            • 9 years ago

            Thanks man! you too!

            If you’re a steam user, look me up!

            Steam account is “sweatshopking”!

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