185: Storming the Fortress

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

Storming the Fortress

Can releasing a patch actually persuade new customers to purchase a game? If your game is Team Fortress 2, it can. Nathan Meunier speaks with Valve's Robin Walker, co-creator of the original Team Fortress, about the game's ongoing development.

Read Full Article

I wonder why they haven't already brought those updates for the 360 version. If I know the PC would get these updates first I wouldn't have bought it for the xbox.

Team Fortress is slowly approaching to take over as my favourite game.

Sure there still are a few bugs, a few Kobayashi Maru scenarios (like trying to beat Goldrush/Badlands against 4 engineers) and a few speedhackers/cheaters; but overall it's just a really great game.

Even in L4D there's still a bunch of knuckle-draggers that will Teamkill at random but the whole community in TF2 does little wrong except scream "HAX!" occasionally. And I can put up with that as they burn..BURN....BURN!

As the Pyro would say, "Hommana Hommana Ha!"

Very enjoyable read. Well researched and nice article flow. Makes me all the more jealous I picked up TF2 for 360 instead of PC though.

That's it... today I'm going to get out of work, go to the nearest store and walk out of there with the orange box!

And great article!

Team Fortress 2 is probably the best thing Valve have ever released, it's close for me with Portal.

It just has something about it, it's well balanced, it's fun. It doesn't sacrifice game play for realism. It requires skill, sneakiness and strategy. It's so rare to find something like that in the multiplayer world.

Love it to pieces, easily one of my favourite games of all time.

Even the random community seems decent, i've occasionally been called a cheater (usually by amateur spies).

I need the internet back :(

corroded:
Team Fortress 2 is probably the best thing Valve have ever released, it's close for me with Portal.

That's saying alot.

Personally, I've been playing a ton of L4D on my 360 recently and actually don't have The Orange Box. I didn't feel the need to get it after beating a friend's copy of Portal, but after reading this article, I know I need to pick it up for PC :)

Thanks for the heads up!

Here's a tip on how to get the "Rasputin" achievement (at least, this is how I got it.)

Playing as a Heavy, it's pretty easy getting the shot, burned, and blown up damage in a single life. It's the bludgeoning part that's tricky. You rarely see scouts, soldiers, demomen, or engineers running towards a heavy with their melee weapon, unless they want to occupy the spot of about 50 bullets.

So you have two approaches: During a team assault on a sentry gun, stand in the area around the engineer as he furiously whacks the sentry with his wrench. Seeing you right next to him, he might whack you in the process. It's really only useful to do if you've already been shot, burned, and recieved explosive damage, as you'll die either by the sentry or by the engineer's frenzied attack. That's how I did it.

Or you could just watch for the rare heavy coming at you with the KGB and take the hit. =/

Thanks for the advice!

Nathan Meunier:
Thanks for the advice!

Another way to do it is simply to charge a group with invulnerability on. Most of them will scatter apart from the soldier, demoman and pyro, which takes care of most of the damage; and then you'll probably get stabbed as soon as you come out. Bing, Rasputin.

Viteus:
That's it... today I'm going to get out of work, go to the nearest store and walk out of there with the orange box!

And great article!

Do it. Do it now. And thank God the orange box exists.

...Team Fortress 2 was so good I bought it alone, although now I would buy the Orange Box. But not on the Steam, retail version not only comes with an awesome box, DvDs and some other stuff, but also is CHEAPER.

The Orange Box is possibly the best investment I've made in gaming in years. Running around with Gordon Freeman ate up some time. Portal helped me re-discover what really makes a great game.

TF2 has been my favorite game since Counter Strike first came out. The players for the most part are well manered. The action is always light hearted, while still deadly serious. Overall, it's a game I can spend 30 minutes on or several hours depending on how much time I've got.

The game was easy to jump into and have fun, but I've still to feel like I've mastered any one class.

I have been thinking about buying the $99 valve bundle on steam, this article has just convinced me I need to.

To The_root_of_all_evil:

I wasn't aware that getting backstabbed was bludgeoning damage...

"Bludgeoned" just means being hit with a melee weapon, that includes the khukri, knife, axe, bonesaw, and broken bottle. I die inside a little bit every time I backstab a heavy and see that I just gave him the Rasputin achievement.

The things Walker said about the sentry and disguise seem to have been partially addressed already. The spy's cloak is now much more effective as it can be recharged by anything that gives ammo (Including an enemy dispenser!) and Engineers have been given upgradeable teleports and dispensers that make them more useful to the team and--coupled with the now defusable sticky bombs--better at keeping their sentries alive.

The constant updates have definitely been a major factor in getting me to keep coming back over the past year. There have been plenty of bug and balance exploits that could've ruined the game in the past that have been addressed by the team. Here's hoping Valve continue to deliver an evolving experience in what is one of the best games in a long time.

With the exception of snip-hacks, still one of my favorite games to play with friends.

-Bio-Hazard (Mad Engineers Corps)

The_root_of_all_evil:
Team Fortress is slowly approaching to take over as my favourite game.

Sure there still are a few bugs, a few Kobayashi Maru scenarios (like trying to beat Goldrush/Badlands against 4 engineers) and a few speedhackers/cheaters; but overall it's just a really great game.

Even in L4D there's still a bunch of knuckle-draggers that will Teamkill at random but the whole community in TF2 does little wrong except scream "HAX!" occasionally. And I can put up with that as they burn..BURN....BURN!

As the Pyro would say, "Hommana Hommana Ha!"

Hudda hudda hudda! As a die-hard Pyro player with over three days combined playtime as the fire loving maniac, i must agree with this statement, I've met a lot of great people in this game, and even when my team is losing, I'm laughing and having fun.

Team Fortress 2 is a fantastic achievement, i only hope that maybe in a few years Day of Defeat and Counterstrike can be given a new life in the same creative and interesting way other than a minor facelift.

still love TF2 this far out of the release date. They got the formula right right his one.

Lord Harrab:
Hudda hudda hudda! As a die-hard Pyro player with over three days combined playtime as the fire loving maniac, i must agree with this statement, I've met a lot of great people in this game, and even when my team is losing, I'm laughing and having fun.

Three days combined as Spy =P. I must say, it's a lot more about cloak and a lot less about disguise now. I don't think the disguise is dead just yet; running up as a friendly pyro certainly draws a lot less attention than running up as an enemy spy, but I'm sure something will come out that will fix that. Most of my work is around the cloak now, though, thank gawd for that update!

As for Rasputin, I got it while playing normally, which makes it ironic that Heavy is my second least played and I haven't even gotten the KGB yet. =P

I'd like to argue in favor of the Pyro. I'm telling ya, it's not all about "Mouse 1"!!

...

You also need "W". =D

TF2 is still one of my favorite games. I usually change games like I change underwear (seriously, every day), but I can always come back and enjoy a few hours of TF2. It's one of the only team games I've ever seen that manages a good balance between teams and classes. There's a class to suit anyone's play style and they can always be helpful to the team. Some people will argue that certain classes require more or less "skill", but I find that all classes require skill, just different skills.

I find the unlocks interesting, though I don't think they've made a major difference in holding my interest (though each new unlock set certainly piques my interest). The new game modes and maps certainly help. I absolutely love payload maps and also find the arena modes enjoyable at times. Even just the small adjustments to classes (like the Pyro's air blast and the engineer's multi-level teleporters and dispensers) has a large effect on class play and strategy, keeping the game fluid and interesting. I have to say, a new class or game mode would certainly draw more of my attention back to this game.

Unlike most people, I play a wide range of classes. Pyro and Engineer tend to be my favorite, though Demoman is coming up. Medic and Heavy are close behind, though I usually choose them as strategic measures (such as when my 12 man team doesn't have a single medic). I'm not great with Soldier or Sniper, but I can manage, and I'm abysmal with Scout or Spy.

All in all, TF2 is easily one of the top games I've ever played and has kept my attention for the longest. It's just plain out fun!

why can't they release updates for xbox 360? seeing as they havn't, can someone answer my question?

genauguy:
why can't they release updates for xbox 360? seeing as they havn't, can someone answer my question?

They are currently working on releasing ALL of the PC updates for the Xbox 360 version, though there isn't a solid date as to when that stuff will roll out as far as I'm aware of.

Yeah, It costs money every time they want to release an update on XboxLive, so they're waiting to do a giant update at once, then a second/third one later on update wise.

TF2 is probably my favourate FPS of all time, if not favourate game. I've spent far too long playing it, trying to make a couple clan teams, knocking about for a while, losing interest, only to rekindle it months later. The new updates have been great, help to add varied, if sometimes infuriating gameplay. Personally, I love the Soldier the most, something about rocket jumping across the map while blowing people to pieces mid air... its so awakening :D
Close 2nds are Demoman and Medic, tend to be top of the table when I play medic, its really quite easy to be a good medic. But its also really easy to be a shite medic ;) and there are some really, REALLY bad ones out there, beware!!

I have over one hundred and twenty hours as the Soldier alone.

Team Fortress 2 is the best online shooter ever.

Don't mean to sound like a retard, but why isn't Valve sending any updates to the PS3 version of the Orange Box? If they're going to send a version at all to the PS3, they should at least try to look after it. The exclusion of Left 4 Dead from the PS3 was a big enough blow as it is. Watching the other consoles getting all the love while I'm on the lonely island of PS3 Team Fortress 2 is a sad, sad experience.

GCM:
As for Rasputin, I got it while playing normally, which makes it ironic that Heavy is my second least played and I haven't even gotten the KGB yet. =P

Yeah, I randomly got it one of the first few times I played Heavy after that update. And I haven't even gotten to Heavy Milestone 1 yet...

Shrake12:
Don't mean to sound like a retard, but why isn't Valve sending any updates to the PS3 version of the Orange Box? If they're going to send a version at all to the PS3, they should at least try to look after it. The exclusion of Left 4 Dead from the PS3 was a big enough blow as it is. Watching the other consoles getting all the love while I'm on the lonely island of PS3 Team Fortress 2 is a sad, sad experience.

I believe the fact that Valve let someone else (EA?) do the PS3 port and is currently avoiding all PS3 development (see L4D) has something to do with it. Sucks for PS3 owners either way, though.

GCM:

I'd like to argue in favor of the Pyro. I'm telling ya, it's not all about "Mouse 1"!!

...

You also need "W". =D

Come onto Xbox live and say that to my giggling, fire-spitting face.

That is if i don't axe you from behind.

Lord Harrab:
Come onto Xbox live and say that to my giggling, fire-spitting face.

That is if i don't axe you from behind.

I can't speak for Xbox Live, but for almost 100% of the time I've had on TF2, Pyros are the class that don't watch their backs... =D (You can guess why)

Sadly, I own no consoles whatsoever. Shooting for a PS3, though, sometime soon. Every game on the Xbox that I'm interested in also comes out for the PS3 or PC, and there are some PS3 exclusives... of course, not interested in getting the Orange Box again just for the PS3.

Also, really, not interested! Even if they did have that massive update, I'd still be missing mah sprays, a mouse and keyboard, custom maps, and my favorite server, Axls TF2.

Grenbyron:
With the exception of snip-hacks, still one of my favorite games to play with friends.

-Bio-Hazard (Mad Engineers Corps)

I have like 300 total hours logged in TF2 and I have yet to see somebody using a hack with the sniper. I have seen a total of 2 hacks in this game so far, and both were speed hacks.

It might have something to do with what servers you play on, but in general hacks in TF2 are extremely rare. Please be careful with the cheat accusations online because most of the ones I see are just people who don't know what they're talking about accusing genuinely good players.

On-topic, TF2 has been, to my mind, a textbook case of what a developer should do to maximize the success of a multiplayer-focused game. Valve seems to be the only company that has figured out the cohesive power that game communities have and worked to take advantage of it rather than sabotaging that element by releasing a new game every two years to maximize their profits from the retail cycle. Huge props to them, and I hope other developers and publishers are taking notes.

I think Blizzard has a handle on this too. Even without the two expansions, the updates to World of Warcraft over it's lifetime have really made it into a whole new game multiple times over.

It's nice to see that there are some developers who take the feedback of fans seriously. I never played TF2 and I probably never will (I'm a Counter Strike type of guy), but I really like how that community is developing. Well done!

This is why I have the upmost respect for Valve of any game developers. Great games followed up by great commitment. I just hope the xbox 360 update(s) come out soon....

"Storming the Fortress
by Nathan Meunier, 20 Jan 2009 4:53 am

Now more than a year after its release, Team Fortress 2, Valve's stylish class-based first-person shooter, still draws dozens of servers full of skilled players at any given moment. "

Cliff note version: I object to author saying the game is less popular than it is, apparently without bothering to verify.

A pet peeve of mine is how media often fails to fact check.

http://store.steampowered.com/stats/
Click on "View Steam players per game"
"5,788 15,383 Team Fortress 2"
First number is current players at this moment, 2nd number is peak today.

I don't know how many servers there are total, probably 1000 at a guess. But lets be generous and say that all the players are all playing on maxed out normal servers with the normal 24 players.
5788 / 24 players requires a minimum of 242 servers (that are 24 players each).

Thats HUNDREDS of servers required MINIMUM, not dozens at my given moment, which was only 1/3rd of the peak today. Its actually more likely that the current players are split across 400 or 500 servers, many servers aren't always full.
Its easy enough to run another check, just startup the server browser, do a refresh, sort to players. Look at the total up top of servers, estimate what percentage of the list has players compared to 0 player server (or count them if you like) and voila! Of course in a single refresh you often don't get all the servers, so probably relying on valves overall stats is better, although the data isn't as granular.

Now if you were talking TFC (the original mod for half life ONE) you might have a point
"145 395 Team Fortress Classic"

those 145 players probably ARE on a dozen servers.

It's a good game, and I hope the360 gets the updates soon.

Also, can't wait for the Scout update!

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Registered for a free account here