Team Fortress 2 adds organ harvesting, many nerfs & more open development

Traditionally, Valve have maintained impossibly motionless poker faces about what they have planned in the longer term for Team Fortress 2 [official site] updates – something which helped to build insane degrees of anticipation back in the day, as we prayed and begged for videos and comics and guns and hats. These days, Overwatch seems to absorb most of the air in the room, and in addition TF2 is so fatted with stuff that it’s hard to get too excited about this or that being tweaked. That’s why the latest round of patch notes are semi-notable: they’re telling us what they’ve got in the pipeline before it gets sprayed into the game, as opposed to the usual after.

“In the past, we’ve made blog posts about changes we’ve already shipped or stuff we’ve tossed onto the smoldering scrap-heap of failed ideas; this time – based on your feedback – we’re going talk about changes while we’re still working on them”, reveals the Valvian hivemind on the latest TF2 blogpost. As such, they go into detail about what’s currently on the drawing board “the next major update”.

If you’re not an active player of the game, this stuff may not make too much sense to you, I’m afraid – major it may be, but it’s not a new mode or class or delightful character backstory reveal. In short, though, they want to:

  • Transform the Panic Attack from one of the game’s least-used weapons into something more universally beloved, primarily by making it more immediate to fire after you switch to it but reducing its damage in order to compensate for it. “Removing the queued/delayed-fire concept basically invalidates the original design, so we’ve started over.”
  • Nerf what they seem to feel is a currently over-powered Spy with certain weapons.
  • Also tone down some Scout abilities, while making others feel more consistent and less random.
  • Make the Solider’s B.A.S.E Jumper harder to control in the air, in order to prevent bucketheads from being “frustrating to fight against”.
  • Try to stop the Sniper’s Darwin’s Danger Shield from being pretty much a necessity for anyone playing that class.
  • Change various Medic Ubercharge weapons so it’s less easy to achieve – including introducing, er, organ harvesting from other players as a means of recharging the Vita-Saw.
  • Assorted weapon tweaks for the Heavy, including making it so that the initial damage and accuracy penalty on miniguns can be eaten up by spinning up the gun first (where previously it would apply to your first second of shooting, whether spun up or not).
  • The Engineer now uses up metal when repairing buildings remotely – without that cost, Valve felt that the ability was “too powerful.”

They’re after feedback on all this stuff, and go into detail about all the changes right here. Any of you lot still playing TF2? How’s it holding up in the harsh light of 2017?


  1. Jalan says:

    Oh boy. Mess with the Medic, a class that already can’t be a damaging force by himself against most classes and experienced players, by fiddling with the one thing he does that already makes players gripe about wanting to play him long enough to charge it up.

    And the B.A.S.E. Jumper was already pretty hard to control as is (it’s not like the Soldier/Demos using it suddenly become precision flight sim classes when it deploys) so that’s something else to look forward to.

    • Somdudewillson says:

      All they did was make the Crusader’s Crossbow build uber with the same ramp-up as the medigun.

      The base jumper was a problem in comp much more than for casual players, AFAIK. Plus, they buffed the Mantreads with 200% air control, so there’s that.

  2. haldolium says:

    Huh. I quit before they transitioned into the F2P hatgame shit. The day they nerfed soldier rocket jumped was the last. I think that was about 10 years ago.

  3. golochuk says:

    An overpowered spy! I never thought I’d hear of it.

  4. April March says:

    Curiously, the one thing I think “killed” TF2 is the switch in server browser that makes it work more or less like Overwatch. I like Overwatch (or liked it during the free weekend) but I think the lack of community servers will keep it from having the longevity TF2 had, and now so will TF2.

    • d1ab0lical says:

      uuuhhh, TF2 still has a server browser. It never went away.

  5. Stinkfinger75 says:

    Just curious, is there any way to play vanilla TF2? I played a ton of it before they started changing the game and would love to be able to go back and play it in its original state again.

  6. Zorgulon says:

    I hope they stick to their word. The months-of-silence approach to game support, when the game is currently in a precarious state since the matchmaking update nearly a year ago, really isn’t good enough. Especially now there is a direct competitor (Overwatch) whose developers are the polar opposite and highly communicative about future and potential updates and patches. I suppose also that the development team on TF2 must now be skeletal.

    I’ve virtually completely jumped ship to Overwatch now, but I played TF2 for way too long to ever say goodbye completely. If they get it back up to a good state, and keep a modicum of an eye on what must still be a decent money-spinner, that’s good, and I can see myself going back occasionally for a long time to come. But as it stands, I have almost zero desire to go and play currently.

    • nasuknight says:

      I’m definitely in the same square as you. I loved and adored TF2, but the weird schism between Overwatch & TF2’s matchmaking update caused a clear divide in my preferences of time spent in online gaming.

      The thing I miss the most about TF2 is the community. Those Friday & Saturday nights when I could login to my favourite’d servers and enjoy the banter and laughs while enjoying the skills of those I played with. I’m still of the opinion that this represents #1 the strength of online gaming regardless the genre, so it was a bit of a shame that it kind of went to the wayside a little.

      Not that Overwatch is any better, but at least I run in to a few more like-minded individuals who are happy to befriend me after a good run.

    • d1ab0lical says:

      Well the main difference is that Overwatch is only a year old, and it has more than 16 developers working on it. Valve is pretty adamant towards hiring new employees, so much of the TF2 development team has moved their desk to work on some other Valve projects, but it’s good that the current team is starting to be more communicative.

  7. eAi says:

    I’ve played TF2 since day one (and TFC before that), but in a fairly casual way. I still really enjoy it, despite not really getting into all the hats business. I initially thought that the new casual matchmaking had killed the game (it was pretty broken when they implemented it) but it now works well enough for me, and gives me reasonably good games most of the time, and the occasional great game.

    I’ve dabbled in Overwatch a little, but I haven’t really felt that it does it for me – I find the games mostly too short and it feels strategically a bit simple – but I haven’t really played it enough to give it a fair shot.