Sniper & Spy Updates Online, TF2 Free Weekend

By John Walker on May 22nd, 2009 at 2:38 am.

And so it comes to pass, the Sniper/Spy update is live, TF2′s gone free for a weekend, and the price for keeping it has halved. Here’s what we learned. The Sniper got his Huntsman bow, then he got his Razorback shield. Things got weird, Spies started appearing, and then the Spy had two watches revealed, The Cloak And Dagger and The Dead Ringer. We then met the Spy, shortly followed by the Spy getting The Ambassador. Finally the Sniper gets a jar of piss, and somewhere along the way lots of new achievements were announced and a new Payload Race game mode. Enough? Good. Who’s next?

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105 Comments »

  1. Psychopomp says:

    I’d lobe to play, but me a quite a few others cannot BACKSTAB SOMEONE WITHOUT CRASHING.
    WHAT THE FUCK, VALVE?

  2. PanamaHatBoy says:

    Second?

    Anyway, game seems to be crashing on spy achievements, which is a shame because I pulled off a sweet backstab on a revolver-armed spy. Ah well. Major game changes for spies here, including better spy and medic disguises (spy disguise gives you a fake paper mask. Yay!)

  3. Alex says:

    Someone seems to have placed a well-aimed Jarate blow to the Steam HQ. Friends keeps logging in and disconnecting and my download speeds go from 10KB/s to 300 and back again. Our only hope is that someone activates the sprinkler system in their data center. :(

  4. Zaij says:

    Where can I get that fight match up poster, I want it for my room.

  5. Mad Doc MacRae says:

    Indeed, that poster is epic. It’s now my background but I would pay money to buy it as a full-sized poster.

  6. RealHorrorshow says:

    Seems like the update is corrupt for most people. Can’t play, game says “not connected to Steam” even when you are, and I got a BSOD trying to connect to a server. I’ll wait until this is sorted out…

  7. Torgen says:

    “Oh, Piss Boy!”

  8. Gash says:

    OMG sniper is from Adelaide!

  9. MA6200 says:

    I think there’s a problem with all of Steam – I’m having trouble playing KF and L4D tonight too.

  10. Zaij says:

    You have it as your background? Where can I find it!

  11. The_B says:

    Some of the new spy quips are great. Especially:

    Well, off to visit your Mother!”

  12. Premium User Badge

    TRS-80 says:

    Some highlights:
    Shafted: Stab an enemy with an arrow.
    Standard sniper rifle now shoots through friendly players.
    Added new revolver replacement, The Ambassador. First shot is very accurate and will cause a critical hit if it hits an enemy’s head. Accuracy is poor for a period after that.
    Added new watch replacement, the Dead Ringer. When armed, you will appear in all ways to die to the first damage you take from an enemy. You’ll be cloaked for 8 second after taking this damage. Upon de-cloaking you’ll make a loud, distinct sound.
    Lots of spy buffs making it harder to pick when disguised.
    You now find new and old items as you play, instead of through achievements.
    The Man from P.U.N.C.T.U.R.E.: Stab an enemy while fencing.
    Added new community payload map Hoodoo
    Flamethrower’s air burst now extinguishes fire on friendly targets
    Added a new taunt for the Kritzkrieg, which also heals for 10 points

  13. Dorsch says:

    Trip report the new arena maps are awesone, but pipeline is a little spamheavy. No one knows how get the weapons yet, they seem to appear and disappear at random.

  14. Saul says:

    @Walker: you may want to add that they’ve changed the unlock system– there are now random item drops. This is my favourite change and I’m actually keen to play again now.

    Source: http://www.shacknews.com/onearticle.x/58742

  15. Dorsch says:

    Also, there are funny hats, but nobody has seen them yet.

  16. Dorian Cornelius Jasper says:

    Interesting that we’ve got multiple unlocks taking the place of one item. Two cloak-watch replacements, two SMG replacements.

    It’s either the piss or the shield, not both. Works for me.

  17. n01d34 says:

    Awesome the sniper is from my home town.

    I wonder if Valve picked Adelaide cause it’s got the highest per capita murder rate in all of Australia.

  18. Wazzle says:

    This update is undoubtedly the best one so far for Team Fortress 2. Shame I can’t play it until tomorrow afternoon…

    Also, do any of you fine gentlemen have any idea how exactly this new “random drop” business works?

  19. A Dead Eldar Guardian says:

    I would sure love to try this update, unfourtantly Steam is denying me access to TF2.

  20. Blast Hardcheese says:

    Weird, mine is working just fine. Maybe it’s a regional problem? I don’t live in a place with a queen, besides maybe Miss America.

  21. PleasingFungus says:

    Having tons of fun, except when it crashes. That’s somewhat vexing.

    Also got my first random drop! A… flare pistol. My second.

    Well, you know, better than nothing.

  22. Haml3t says:

    I, too am having difficulty booting up TF2. I get a dialog box that says “The Steam servers are currently too busy to handle your request. Please try again in a few minutes.”
    Frustrating.

  23. Saul says:

    @Wazzle: from someone’s post on the Steam forums (unverified):

    -Weapons randomly unlock for you, and you get notified at next death.
    -There is no killing, or pickups involved.
    -you can get duplicate items
    -there does not SEEM to be any relation to time played, as some report multiple unlocks, and some none within a 30 minute timeframe. (this could just be random RNG, and increasing timeplayed increases your chances naturally)

  24. CG says:

    Hell of a bad time for the fan of my video card to stop working. I can play about an hour, then it overheats and the computer crashes. Anyone in northern California want to send me an old 3d card? Any kind, don’t care… just stick it in an envelope…

  25. Chiablo says:

    I hope that they give this much love to L4D over the next few years.

  26. unique_identifier says:

    WUT NO RANDOM LUTE DROPZ?!>?!

    and ahaha, someone beat me to the adelaide murder rate / serial killer joke.

  27. Shadowmancer says:

    @Chiablo
    I hope they don’t, TF2 is ruined on the pc, at least I have the original untainted although buggy 360 version.

  28. Psychopomp says:

    JESUS DICKING CHRIST HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO SAY IT TO YOU DEAF BASTARDS?

    THERE
    ARE
    SERVERS
    THAT
    HAVE
    NO
    UNLOCKABLES

    DO YOUR MOTHERFUCKING RESEARCH.

  29. Vinraith says:

    Err, were a lot of people unhappy with the achievement item unlock system? I liked it, whereas random drops seem kind of pointless…

  30. bansama says:

    Am I the only one who finds TF2 incredibly mind-numbingly, oh-God-please-make-it-stop-now-ingly boring? (I get the feeling the answer to that will be yes…)

  31. Psychopomp says:

    @Vin
    Yes, there were.
    Same people aren ow complaining the new system is two grindy.

    Because playing the game as normal is a grind.

    Idiots.

  32. Wedge says:

    Probably be easiest if they just gave everyone the new stuff right off, but ah well. I won’t bother playing the classes with the new stuff until people have stopped whoring them to death anyways, and I’m sure I’ll have the new gear by whatever arcane means they’re acquired now by the time that’s all settled down.

  33. MD says:

    @bansama: nope, I do too, though that came after having a lot of fun with it for quite a while. Was hoping to recapture the magic today with the new update, but it wasn’t to be.

    @CG, have you tried underclocking it? I have a dodgy old card that produces all sorts of graphical corruption (presumably because it gets too hot), but it’s fine if I turn the clock and memory speeds down a bit. Also, the old open-case-with-a-fan-pointed-at-the-hot-bits trick might help. I use ATI Tray Tools for the underclocking, it’s nice and easy. I presume there’s some sort of Nvidia equivalent around.

  34. Dorian Cornelius Jasper says:

    Man. I seriously do not get the new item drop system. I kind of miss the Achievement grinding. At least that gave you a goal to shoot for.

  35. An Innocuous Coin says:

    On the one hand, going for achievements made me actually play the Scout as a point-capper instead of trying to be a speedy assassin, and it proved very successful in that.

    …on the other hand, I STILL don’t have the Bonk! and I want it. Bring on the new system, I say.

  36. Noc says:

    Achievements that entertained me:

    Consolation Prize: Get backstabbed 50 times.

    Slash and Burn: Backstab an enemy who then switches to Pyro before they respawn.

    Spies Like Us: While cloaked, bump into an enemy cloaked spy.

    I find myself amused. That will be all.

  37. Benny says:

    I dunno bansama. I’ve had the game since i bought orange box on release and played it maybe 3 or 4 times in total.
    Think I’d feel a bit intimidated comming into it now, not really knowing the ins and outs of the game (of course i doubt it’s gonna be too hard to pick up and enjoy). Maybe i’ll gatecrash an RPS game some time and help my team lose.

  38. Serondal says:

    I’m actaully able to get the update but when playing I randomly get kicked from server because it says I Can’t connect to the steam server O.o Which is strange since I’m logged into steam also it says can’t log into steam when I look at the times I’ve already unlocked

  39. Persus-9 says:

    @ Dorsch: I’ve now seen a hat! I just saw a spy over on Hampshire Heavies #2 in a rather fetching fedora.

  40. DigitalSignalX says:

    Perhaps all the TF2 coverage has caused a convergence of twitchtards to RPS?

    Lots of crashing here as well. Perhaps new content going live + a free weekend isn’t as hot a marketing idea as one would think.

  41. Hidden_7 says:

    I’m not a fan of this new unlock system. I’ve been playing for probably 2-3 hours and haven’t gotten one yet. Add to the fact that you can get things you already have and it feels like it might be forever for me to get all the unlocks. I don’t see how this is any friendly to casual play. At least with the acheivments there was a goal to shoot for and a sense of progress.

    Particularly worrying is the fact that duplicate items are NOT a result of having unlocked something normally and the new way, since one guy on a server I was playing with reported getting his THIRD Blutsauger. You could potentially just never get a particular unlock you want to play with.

    Also there’s nothing to do with duplicate unlocks (yet), which makes it particularly puzzling as to why they would allow you to get them. As one person I was playing with said when I asked what you do with the extras “sell them for extra mana and health potions.”

    It’s not that playing the game normally is a grind. It’s that when you really want to try out the new toys, and the only way to get them is to be playing and just luck out and have the game give them to you, it makes you just sink extra hours into playing a game you maybe don’t want to at that moment, because perhaps you’ve already played 2 hours that day. I’m pretty tempted to just start a server and leave it running, see if that works.

  42. Walter says:

    I’m a bit disappointed with the new unlock system as well. The achievements were nice because you knew what you had to do to get an unlock. I played for nearly 3 hours today and got nothing. Some other players got an unlock withing 10 minutes of joining and others 2-3 a map.

  43. Malagate says:

    Hmm, I haven’t had a chance to play yet, but I was imagining that this new unlock system would be “run around the map, random unlockable X appears suddenly, everyone runs to grab it!” but judging by comments it appears to me that it’s more like “Play, die, maybe now the fates decide it is the time to give you something, maybe nothing, maybe something you already have.”

    I did sort of like the idea that the unlocks would be in parcels randomly parachuted into the map, where you could only get what you hadn’t unlocked already, but I could see that getting messy (everyone stops what they’re doing to run after a sudden parcel floating into view, or everyone is just a scout running around on the hunt for them) and eventually redundant (everyone has all the unlocks, more parcels hold no interest to them).

    What I think could be something good to add to random unlocks is if somebody dies and drops a weapon you haven’t unlocked yet, if you collect that weapon for ammo then it will become unlocked for you. So on a server where no-one had any unlocks, eventually a few people get a random unlock, then when they try out the new weapons and die anyone who picks up their weapon also gets the unlock. That would start with no unlocks, and then towards the end of a round there would be a lot of potential unlocks floating around for everyone to collect.

  44. J. Prevost says:

    The randomness of the new unlock system seems a bit… *too* much. Seems like it would be better if you could get the item sometimes when picking up the weapon (not necessarily the unlockable) from an enemy player.

    I’m all for unlinking it from achievements, though. Achievements should be for achieving. Unlockables via achievements make them for whoring.

  45. Premium User Badge

    Nero says:

    As much as I hate linking the unlocks to achievements this new system is pretty bad. I played for about 5 hours straight and I got 2 Bonk, Axtinguisher and The Razorback (the first ones I had already). So yeah I was hoping for some more new ones, at least with achievements you knew when you were getting what and not like now totally random (people were getting things while spectating). We’ll see what happens.

  46. The Sombrero Kid says:

    i figured the unlocks would only appear when you killed someone and only for the player who killed him, this system sounds a bit shit tbh, i’ll decide when i play tonight.

  47. cullnean says:

    @gap gen

    that is mofuckin awsome

  48. Alex says:

    I managed to snag a Cloak and Dagger while standing in the spawn room. Then in the next three hours the only thing I got was a second Kritz. I can understand their wanting to get away from everyone grinding away in the first couple days, but the way things are now, it gives the game a sense of futility. Why bother playing if you could unlock the next weapon as easily by sitting in Spectator Mode?

    About the airblast putting out fires: I can see why they added it in, but it makes the Backburner even more useless in comparison.

  49. DarkNoghri says:

    The only thing I would see changed about the unlock system is that if you kill someone carrying it you can pick it up.

    But the system really is odd. I’ve got the dead ringer, the sandvich, and the axetinguisher (which I got while speccing on arena), in about 8 hours of playtime. Two of those I already had.