The Spy, Meet The Ambassador

By John Walker on May 19th, 2009 at 11:43 pm.

Smokin.

Confused about what’s going on with Snipers and Spies and updates? Yeah, me too. Tuesday was originally thought to be the launch day for the Sniper update. Two unlocks were revealed, along with a new game mode, and then the switcheroo happened. Now it’s a Spy update, two unlocks were revealed at once, then yesterday the Meet The Spy video made an encore appearance, along with the achievement titles. Today… a Spy unlock. And it’s the pistol upgrade everyone was hoping for.

The Ambassador is a big, heavy gun, described as having “ammo count of a revolver and the pinpoint accuracy of a sniper rifle”. However, you can’t feather the trigger here – there’s a cool down after every shot fired. There’s scant details about it here. As for when this goes live – someone in the comments will know. They always do.

Meanwhile, if you haven’t been following the escapades on the TF2 blog, I strongly urge you to read this week’s updates. After Sunday’s leaking of the Meet The Spy video, Robin Walker has been on a systematic hunt to find out who at Valve was responsible, firing everyone he’s met along the way.

“Yeah, Robin?”
“Ah, come in, Matt. How’s the family?”
“Oh. Uh, good. What’s this ab—”
“Top drawer. How about your little boy? He getting better at the ol’ soccer?”
“Football. No, not really.”
“Do you think he’d be any good at cleaning out your desk by five?”
“I —”
“Because you’re fired.”

It seems at some point during this he fired Gabe Newell, which was an impressive powerplay.

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63 Comments »

  1. Spliter says:

    heh… they ought to make an post saying that Walker didn’t have the authority for firing all those people :)

  2. Rich_P says:

    One of my favorite things to do as a BLU spy in Badwater: sneak behind enemy lines at the start of the map, crouch in the sniper window facing RED spawn, and take potshots at heavies. Their confused reactions are hilarious. The Ambassador would be lethal in such a situation.

  3. Nurdbot says:

    Haha, the woman on the barrel representing the Scouts mother.

    I was kind of hoping the Tranq gun from the early beta stages but oh well. Now all that is left is the Snipers final unlock.

  4. Jonas says:

    Hahahah I hadn’t got around to reading those posts on the TF2 blog yet, that’s just gold. Actually laughed out loud.

  5. Limboing_leper says:

    According to a story on shacknews I believe the update is out on Thursday and will be a combined sniper and spy update.

  6. Y3k-Bug says:

    Release of the Sniper/Spy update is this Thursday, the 21st.

    I’d assume Sniper achievements and his melee weapon tomorrow?

  7. Sparvy says:

    I was hoping for silenced gun that did less damage, had more ammo, and would not show from which direction damage was taken.

  8. Mike says:

    Few use the direction thing.

    I think this is nice. Not really useful for the fun bit of being a spy, but still okay.

  9. Ben says:

    This whole crazy scenario is absolutely brilliant on Valves part. It really was quite exciting to load up the sniper’s page and realize the implausible had happened! He never really was on our side!

  10. Crash says:

    Holy crap, that thing is HUGE!

    Yeah, I know, that’s what she said, but.. I would love to break my arm by kick of such fine piece of weaponry!

  11. Serondal says:

    This will certain change things up abit. No more “haha , the spy’s got a pistol time to kill him” Now he’ll whip out his pistol and murder you.

  12. Bret says:

    Huh.

    You still think that’s Robin Walker, even after that corpse turned up in the mailroom with a knife in its back and Pinkerton sent off for products from Dapper Rogue?

    Naive, pal.

  13. Persus-9 says:

    Yeah it’s Thurday but Thursday Valve time so it’ll actually probably be early Friday morning Rock, Paper, Shotgun time (also known as BST) at least judging by the Scout Update.

    I think this sounds quite good, my speculation is it’ll do something like 125 damage at close range making it an instant kill on the weaker classes at close range but the cooldown will make it inferior to the knife in skilled hands.

    @ Y3k-Bug: Has it been announced that the Razorback is the SMG replacement? I suspect it’s the melee replacement.

    I’ve also still got my fingers crossed for Jarate for the third sniper “weapon” (I can dream can’t I?).

  14. Y3k-Bug says:

    I HIGHLY doubt it’ll do that much damage, that would be monstrously unbalanced. I’d guess the 60-80 dmg range.

    @Persus-9: Going by all the previous class updates, the secondary weapon’s unlock can be something completely different from its default, like the flare gun > shotgun, sandvich > shotgun, Bonk > pistol. The only exception to that rule was the blutsauger > needlegun for the medic, and thats only because they wanted the blut to be an outright replacement. So secondary weapons tend to be wildly different from the weapon they’re replacing.

    Whereas with melee unlocks, all of them have been variations on the actual melee weapon itself. ubersaw > saw, sandman > bat, boxing gloves > fists, axtinguisher > axe.

    So based on that I’d guess Razorback is for the SMG unlock.

    All that said though, I think it would be awesome if on the day of release its revealed that the Red Sniper comes back for revenge by nailing the Blue Spy with Jarate, also revealing it to be the Sniper’s melee unlock.

  15. dbdkmezz says:

    @Persus-9: I think Y3k-Bug is proabably right about the damage, otherwise any of the weaker classes standing still would be in great danger of a headshot, regardless of how much cover they have. Also, do any weapons other than the pyro’s do different damage a different ranges? (Other than that fact that some are just less accurate at different ranges)

    All that said though, I think it would be awesome if on the day of release its revealed that the Red Sniper comes back for revenge by nailing the Blue Spy with Jarate, also revealing it to be the Sniper’s melee unlock.

    Ha Ha! That’d be awesome! :)

  16. Hidden_7 says:

    Pretty much all the weapons do different damage at different ranges. Usually they fall off in damage, I believe the flare gun is the only weapon that increases in damage at range.

    Now the real question I have is do both the Spy’s watches replace his normal watch? Because that would be a first, where you could, at most, have two unlocks equipped at once.

    I could possibly see the Dead Ringer working with the other watches, although if it replaced something like the sapper I can’t see that being very balanced.

    On that note, it would also be nice to see a sapper replacement, perhaps something like the one seen in the Meet the Spy, that can be tossed from a distance, but isn’t as potent. But that would mean the Spy would have four unlocks.

    Further, there’s no knife unlock, this two watch thing is really throwing off the whole unlock system.

  17. Y3k-Bug says:

    Also, do any weapons other than the pyro’s do different damage a different ranges? (Other than that fact that some are just less accurate at different ranges)

    I know rockets and sticky nades have damage falloff, and I think the revolver does as well, not positive though.

  18. Ishindri says:

    @Hidden_7
    You can only have one watch equipped at once, but each of them replace the normal cloak, so there are now three watches to choose from. Plus, I think there’s going to be a knife unlock. If there wasn’t, there wouldn’t be a slot for ‘Knife’ on the Spy’s loadout screen. They already broke precedent by providing two unlocks for one slot, why not four extra weapons instead of three?

  19. RodeoClown says:

    I’m guessing the Dead Ringer doesn’t replace the watch at all.

  20. Nerd Rage says:

    I’m glad Valve has finally validated all of those post-backstab outbursts I’ve had over the last year and a half. Every time I called some spy a mother F’er, I was accurately describing his leisure activities. Perfectly appropriate.

  21. Wirbelwind says:

    Cloak and Dagger = replaces disguise

  22. Persus-9 says:

    @ Y3k-Bug and Mezz: Yeah that might be overpowered but not monsterously so. It depends a lot on the rate of fire, if it’s one shot and then any competant enemy will kill you then it’s not going to be much good except against lone enemies. The current pistol does a max of 60 points I believe so if the damage was doubled but the rate of fire quartered that would seem a fair trade off because with that rate of fire your probably not going to get a chance to make a 2nd shot.

    Also important is that almost all weapons have a large distance drop off (see http://www.teamfortress.com/post.php?id=2253 ). If it only does say 20-30 damage at range you aren’t going to be able to snipe with it to any great effect (I can’t see it having a headshot crit) and so even if it does do max 125 damage (if you’re right next to them and so effectively within knife range) it’ll still be much less powerful then the knife with it’s max damage of 450. If it does 125 like I’m suggesting then the tactic will be to use it while running around so you can do a good amount of damage and maybe get a kill if you get spotted but even if it is that powerful you’ll still want to switch to the knife for all the planned kills. It would still be a desperation measure weapon and therefore in my opinion not overpowered.

    @ RodeoClown: I’m thinking that, I’m wondering if it’ll replace the sapper.

    @ Wirbelwin: and give the spy two seperate cloaking devices and no disguise? I’m not buying that, that sounds like crazy talk to me. Dead Ringer could possibly replace disguise but not Cloak and Dagger surely?

    I think the disguise unlock is yet to be announced and at the risk of sounding like all the conspiracy theorists over on the official forums have you noticed how the blue spy has been smoking black cigarettes all this week.

  23. Nick Pettit says:

    So, my buddy and I wanted our own TF2 switchboard like in the video… so we made one:

    http://tf2.done21.com/#3_3-4_5-1_7

    Have fun! :D

  24. Mitthrawn says:

    Shacknews released a statement from valve where robin walker says “The dead ringer and cloak and dagger are spy replacement watches; there are now three watches”

  25. wyrmsine says:

    Cool beans, Nick. has anyone else noticed that “Leaked video” is one of the warning signs in the Meet the Spy situation room?

  26. Aftershock says:

    ALRIGHTY BOYS. I’ve seen a lot of not-sures and i-think-so’s here.
    Let me clear some things up. These are all 100% confirmed.

    1) Both the Sniper and Spy update are coming out.

    2) The Dead Ringer and the Cloak+Dagger watches are BOTH replacements for the current watch, so you have 3 to choose from.

    3) ALL weapons do less damage the further away you are from the target.
    Exceptions are – Nade launcher damage only drops if it bounces, Sticky damage goes back to normal after a few secs, the flare gun does more damage the further away you are. Sniper rifle has no distance damage reduction.

    You’re welcome.

  27. Zindaras says:

    Nick: Many have had the same thought, but only you were an excellent enough human being to implement it. For some reason my favorite combo in a few minutes of messing around was

    “BLUE DEMOMAN

    ABOUT TO EXPLODE

    EXPLODED.”

    despite that fact that it’s a fairly obvious one. Interesting that they use BLUE instead of BLU, as most (some?) of the stuff is spelled.

  28. Persus-9 says:

    @ Mitthrawn: Ah good, thanks for the info, I was hoping it would be like that. Playing with the dead ringer as your only cloak is going to be particularly interesting and different from normal spy play. I’m guessing we’ll see spys disguised as their own team a lot more. Plus that means if there is a sapper replacement it’s still to come. Yay!

  29. Scott says:

    If you look on the main TF2 blog, you can see a list of Major Updates on the right, with the Spy update set for the 21st. So likely Thursday.

  30. Walter says:

    They’ve still got to reveal the knife and kukri unlocks, what the Spy achievements are and the Sniper achievements.

    Will we be getting a sapper unlockable? There is no sapper on the Spy’s page in TF2.

  31. Persus-9 says:

    @ Walter: Good point, I hadn’t thought to look at that. That does make a sapper update rather unlikely looking. Also notable is that the invisibility watch and the disguise kit are both the same item on the inventory screen so the black cigarettes might come with one or both of the alternative watches.

  32. Walter says:

    And the hats! How could I forget the hats!

    I want my heavy to have a mullet.

  33. The Hammer says:

    Ahahahaha! Those TF2 blog updates are hilarious. Several updates full of funny.

  34. Nurdbot says:

    Anyone else going to miss this mad creativity and comedy behind these updates once we get the new toys?

    We won’t see anything like it until September when Soldier and Demoman might be updated :(.

  35. Scalene says:

    Nurdbot: Two words.

    Unlockable Infected.

    (You know it’s going to happen. And you will LIKE IT.)

  36. MacBeth says:

    Valve, wiz zis Ambassador you are really spoiling us…

  37. Rei Onryou says:

    @monchberter: Once again, Valve = win.

  38. MonkeyMonster says:

    Not sure they can replace the knife tbh so not surprised he has 3 watches or as others have said the gold one replaces sappers and makes him into more of a person hunter.

  39. CakeAddict says:

    It’s … it’s beautiful and is that scouts mother on the gun then? =)
    I doubt I’ll use it though since my aim is not the best but it certainly looks awesome.

  40. Hidden_7 says:

    I’m wondering if this thing does do more damage?

    I mean, it probably does, but it doesn’t actually say that on the page anywhere, it’s implied by calling it a cannon, but what it says is it has a sniper pin-point accuracy. I’m wondering if maybe it does normal damage, but lets you get head shots. Also suggested since it says that everyone not holding the Ambassador has a hole in their head.

    Might be interesting, though potentially overpowered in the right hands.

  41. Geoff says:

    Everyone seems to be busy speculating about the details, but I’m still stuck on the big picture.

    Reading all these posts, I realize that I could go play this game now. For free. Because I already bought it. More than a year ago. They threw it in along with HL2Ep2 and Portal. I was basically buying Portal, and Ep2 was a nice bonus.

    I’m just amazed. This sort of love shown to a game so far after release is nearly unique, even if it was a full price standard retail game. But to keep cranking out stuff like this for a game that was just one third of a package deal like that…

    Seriously, can someone out there share my “stop and smell the roses” moment? Just think about how remarkable Orange Box was. These updates are more enjoyable content than I see advertising new games, trying to get $50 out of you. I feel like buying it again, just to show Valve some appreciation…

  42. Chemix says:

    I actually have quite a lot of fun already disguising as a sniper on my own team and taking pot shots at the enemy who moves and reacts like I’m targeting them with the rifle (scope up or down, they don’t seem to notice when their counting my nose hairs, which are lies), now, I will kill them.

  43. Lack_26 says:

    Over powered? Technically. But I’m sure lag will balance it..

    But, really, I think this looks awesome.

  44. Malibu Stacey says:

    Geoff, VALVe also had a promotion at the end of April selling the Orange Box for 1/3 of the normal price on Steam for a whole weekend. It was under £6 for us brits and don’t forget they give you HL2 and Episode 1 as well as the games you mentioned.
    http://store.steampowered.com/news/2443/

  45. Geoff says:

    @Seniath – That’s fantastic.

    @ Malibu Stacey – wow, you’re right. I had forgotten that, since I had already purchased HL2 and Ep1. But in their awesome way, they gave me an extra copy of both, which could be gifted to a friend.

  46. Y3k-Bug says:

    @Hidden-7 they say right in the update page that it does more damage.