Ah yes, the calendar rolls over and my favorite time of year begins. Almost every online game is due to be hexed with haunted decor, outfits, and seasonal achievements. Team Fortress 2 is one of the lot, kicking off its spooky celebration with four new player-made maps and a good handful of cosmetic items for Scream Fortress XII. Oh hey, they’ve also made some balance changes to Mannpower and enabled Steam’s text filtering.
The new maps are Megalo, Bloodwater, Hassle Castle, and Moldergrove, Valve say. Up top there’s Hassle Castle (which is just downright fun to say), a Payload map with multiple control points. You can hop into Halloween matches under the Special Events tab of casual play. You can catch the cosmetics over on the TF2 wiki. Yup, it’s a lotta hats. Devils and pumpkins and mummies, oh my.
Along with the new maps and hats, you’ll have all your Halloween contracts reset so you can work on them again this year. TF2’s also added a couple spook-themed cases: Wicked Windfall and Scream Fortress XII War Paint. Scream Fortress 12 is live now and will run through November 7th.
Worth noting, the Mannpower game mode has also gotten a pretty long list of balance changes. There are updates to different characters as well as changes to ensure that the skill level between teams can be adapted in the middle of a match.
You can catch other details about Scream Fortress and the Mannpower updates in Valve’s post.
As for the chat filtering, TF2 has added Steam’s text & chat filtering system, which they say is now enabled by default. It’s likely a reaction to the racist bot problem the game’s been having. Text filtering won’t help with booting bots—or presumably with cutting down on their text chat clutter—it’ll just make sure don’t have to see the rude words. That’s something, I suppose.