Scout Update Day 4: Community Maps & Details

By John Walker on February 20th, 2009 at 11:40 pm.

Frag like an Egyptian.

Friday brings us another community CP map by Sean ‘Heyo’ Cutino, CP_Egypt, and an update for previous community map, CP_Fastlane. There’s also the details filled in for the achievements on yesterday’s page, including spoilers for next week’s weapon reveal via Russian site www.hl-inside.ru and the spoilsports at PC Gamer.

CP_Egypt is described by Valve as,

“A Dustbowl-style control point map, Egypt is visually striking, full of great combat spaces, and features some really interesting uses of vertical space. Classes with the ability to ascend rapidly (Soldiers, Demomen, and Scouts using the new scattergun unlockable) have lots of options for traversing the arenas. In addition, the ruins provide Engineers with a large number of potential sentrygun locations.”

Then there’s this info on changes for Fastlane,

“Fastlane is an update to one of the first community maps we shipped. This release features a wide variety of changes, from spawn and capture timer tweaks, to geometry and art modifications, to exploit fixes.”

You’ll have spotted the words “new scattergun” above, which was presumably intended to be a reveal for Monday or Tuesday, before HL-Inside blew the lid on it all. As well as detailing all the achievement requirements, they gave more details about the new scatter gun, hinted at in the pic on Thursday’s update. Imagine if we’d had to wait a whole four days before knowing?! Valve have confirmed that it’s called the Force-A-Nature, and from some of the achievement descriptions, it appears to be a shotgun with a uniquely powerful kick.

The Fall Classic achievement requires you to, “Cause an environmental death or suicide using the Force-A-Nature’s knockback.” Then there’s Caught Napping which asks you to, “Kill 50 enemies from behind with the Force-A-Nature.” Speculate away.

PCG spots a couple of other interesting moments in the achievements. Out of the Park wants you to, “Bat an enemy 25 meters,” which they suggest implies stunned enemies may be sent flying. The other is Beanball, where you need to, “Stun a scout with their own ball.” Which does rather suggest you can bat balls back again. This is going to get very silly.

Still no news on what that background image was all about, with the two parallel cart tracks.

Squint.

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43 Comments »

  1. rob says:

    Bring on CP_Dust!

  2. Premium User Badge

    Gnarl says:

    Some of us posted a good 8 mins ahead of Mr. Walker on the forums. And, no, the fact has all those pictures, links to sources, better writing and general games journalism stuff doesn’t mean I didn’t win. It was about being first, not better.

  3. John Walker says:

    I was being distracted by Stuart Campbell showing me pictures of nipples! HE RUINS EVERYTHING!

  4. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    Nipples vs PC games = NO BRAINER.

  5. Premium User Badge

    Gnarl says:

    Were they Mr Campbell’s nipples? I hear there is an ancient curse attached to those, one I dare not speak of here.

  6. Fumarole says:

    Told ya there’d be an achievement for stunning a Scout with his own ball.

  7. Oak says:

    Egypt is wacky fun, and unique if nothing else. Very vertical, as they said. I hope Frontier or Cashworks get chosen for the next update.

    That said, I really wanted a new alpine map and it doesn’t look like we’re getting one. Cue several months of pouting.

  8. Jahkaivah says:

    Have to say they are taking bigger risks with these updates. Back with the medic the ubersaw was the only remotely significant upgrade and that expected the medic to successfully melee people dead.

    Would be interesting to see how this turns out.

  9. Vitalis says:

    cp_Egypt for those who wanted a different shade of sand!

  10. Down Rodeo says:

    Could just be the sandman has an improved knockback, particularly with crits? I dunno. My flatmate and I are playing at the moment, it is fairly awesome. Can I be reminded who [PCG]Buck Sexington is? I think I used to know.

  11. John Walker says:

    That’s Craig Pearson, in the room next to me.

  12. Oak says:

    They also added the Meet the Scout music to the menu screen. Neat.

  13. Premium User Badge

    Kelron says:

    The gun sounds interesting, the map looks a bit bland. Does it have any of the ‘surprises’ we might expect from an egyptian temple to help with the environmental death achievement? I’d like that.

  14. Nimic says:

    If I might hijack the thread, what ever happened to the RPS server? It’s still sitting there in my favorites, but it’s been a long time since I saw anyone on it. My TF2 world works in cycles, and after playing quite a lot of TF2, and quite a lot of that on the RPS server, me and my cousin (ElelloN) had quite a long break.

    We’re back to playing quite a lot, and though we’ve found a fun little Toy Fort server (the [CEUK] one), we’d happily find time to game on ye olde server again, if people were interested in “starting it up again”.

  15. Jante says:

    @Nimic: I saw an announcement pop up from the Steam RPS group today that they were going to play, so I guess you just need to get on at the right times.

  16. Erlam says:

    Climbing up the wall with the scattergun? Brings me back to the Goode Olde QTF(e) Days…e.

  17. PaulMorel says:

    Jahkaivah says:

    Have to say they are taking bigger risks with these updates. Back with the medic the ubersaw was the only remotely significant upgrade and that expected the medic to successfully melee people dead.

    Would be interesting to see how this turns out.

    I agree … kinda. I agree with your point that this update is very risky to the overall game balance. As it stands now, scout is the most powerful class in the game, so I am scared about what it will be like after this update…

    Still, the biggest change in the medic update wasn’t the ubersaw, it was the Blutsauger … a weapon that 1) encourages medics to play offense and 2) is often more effective than the shotgun or pistol that many classes carry.

    I am scared about this update … I really hope that it doesn’t bork TF2.. after all the NERFs to soldier and demoman, I am only tenuously holding onto my addiction.

  18. Alex says:

    Unless it’s undergone some major work, Egypt will continue to be terrible.

    Bring on maps with the alpine texture set!

  19. yns88 says:

    The dual payload thing is definitely interesting. I remember not long after the payload type was introduced I played on a custom map (by myself, since the server was empty at the time) which actually had the woods/mountains theme before TF2 officially had one, and it had the same system. It’s a shame I didn’t have anyone to play with, since it looked really fun.

    I don’t know about Egypt…last time I played it (maybe 8 months ago) all the areas were oversized and it seemed like it was designed for 32-player round-lasts-forever mayhem rather than the only-somewhat-chaotic assault maps that are standard to the game.

  20. MCDeuce says:

    A Year to Remember: Get 2004 lifetime kills.

    I guess that settles the question of whether the scout is from Boston or Brooklyn.

  21. MCDeuce says:

    Hmm, oops, nevermind. I guess I just remained perpetually confused by his accent.

  22. Arathain says:

    I think of the Red Team Scout as a Red Sox fan and the Blue as a Yankees fan. It explains why opposing Scouts meeting in game tend to focus on each other.

    The background (and now the achievement) makes things pretty clear, but my way works better in my head.

  23. Jeremy says:

    Man, I love playing the scout, and the achievements sound like fun.

    And I’m really going to have to try to make it on to the RPS server one of these days. I always miss announcements.

  24. yutt says:

    This Click It and WIN! advertisement is extremely obnoxious.

  25. Y3k-Bug says:

    Scout is in no way, shape, or form the most powerful class in TF2.

    Demo, Pyro, Soldier. Perhaps even the Heavy with his improved accuracy.

  26. yns88 says:

    Y3k-Bug: That’s kind of the whole point. The scout is noticeably the least-played class, so this update should change things and give him a big buff.

  27. McCool says:

    Maybe you haven’t met enough skilled Scouts yet, Y3k-Bug. In the proper hands the Scout is by far the most dangerous class. Hopefully these weapons will take the focus away from his awesome combat ability and Scout will become more about capturing points, again.

  28. Mook says:

    In skilled hands the scout may be the most dangerous class if you only play on public servers, because he does not need backup in the way that many others do.

    To say he is the most powerful class is ridiculous however, a skilled demoman or solly will be far more threat to a disorganised pub server.

  29. Mook says:

    That didn’t make much sense.

  30. Dorian Cornelius Jasper says:

    And yet we understood.

  31. Jeremy says:

    Scout’s not the most powerful, but in the right situation he’s quite formidable. Of course, I have a long string of snipings while trying to jumpr across 2fort, so I’ll be trying out the bat ASAP.

    Scout was my most played class for a long time (until pyro took over when trying for achievements). Now it’s, pyro, scout and medic very close, with heavy bringing up the rear. Demo’s behind, and the last three all have half the time of demo. I guess I don’t like snipers at all.

    These updates keep getting more and more interesting. Just played an alpine map today, I like the scenery. It’s like running through Heidi-land.

  32. the affront says:

    Scattergun to get a poor-man’s rocketjump and compensate for the loss of doublejump from the bat thingy – that’d be awesome. Quite possible totally overpowered, but awesome.

    Now there just need to be more open-area maps to race around and scout-duel or shoot people in the back pointblank on instead of all the pl_ crap :P

  33. espy says:

    Scuse me, has the RPS RSS-feed stopped working for anyone else? The feedburner thingy is apparently borked, and has been for quite a while now.

  34. espy says:

    Strange, I always get a page load error for that feed :( Must be something on my end, then.

  35. Nimic says:

    The scout is dangerous, but I’d hesitate to call him the most powerful. If we’re talking in truly skilled hands here, I’d say the Demoman is the most powerful. I’m a pretty good (even very good) demo, but the truly top demo’s will rip anything apart.

  36. Dave says:

    I play a lot of orange_x3 and their variants, and scouts are fairly awesome there. Snipers are terribly useful, but that just makes being a spy that much more fun.

    Scouts in dustbowl, though… not so much.

  37. Pod says:

    I’m a little dissapointed aboout “community maps”…. after all, those maps have already been out a while. It feels a bit….lazy, on Valves part.

  38. Yam says:

    Pod, it’s an effort to keep the community vibrant and make pubbing “work.” Think of it like this: for TFC, Valve released no community maps. They released 2fort, well, cz2, push, hunted, and rock2 originally. Badlands, crossover2, dustbowl, epicenter, ravelin, and warpath came later. These maps had vastly different levels of popularity in pubs versus clan play. Clans used 2fort, well, crossover2, epicenter, and warpath. Pubs stuck to 2fort, well, hunted, rock2, badlands, crossover2, dustbowl, and warpath. The problem is that there was a vast library of “community maps” that played better than any of the official valve maps. Shutdown2, pitfall, monkey_l, schtop, 2mesa3, mortality_l, mulch_trench… most pubbers never played these maps even once because they required a download, and the vitality of the pub game collapsed because of it.

    Valve is trying to avoid that by picking guaranteed-good maps and releasing them officially. Clan play is all well and good, but it can’t keep their game alive, so they want to make it as easy as possible for people to experience the good maps that the community generates.

  39. Welka says:

    Pod: I could go on at length about how ridiculous your claim is, but I won’t. Instead I want to remind you that Horse Armor costs $2.

  40. Nimic says:

    Dave, I certainly agree that Snipers and Scouts are quite a bit ahead of the rest on orange_x3 and the lot, but then I’d argue that orange_x3 simply isn’t a good map. Sure, it’s fun once in a while, and I play it occasionally myself, but it’s not very balanced. It’s basically a big open space with a tower and a couple of walls.

  41. Nick says:

    The orange maps are all awful. Utterly, utterly awful. Instant never return to server if they come on.

  42. Oak says:

    Also, uh, just look at it.