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Valve Discusses Team Fortress 2's Future 135

The Escapist chatted with Valve's Robin Walker about how the Team Fortress 2 team has been listening to feedback and continually updating the game to fix problems and add to the gameplay experience. Walker mentions that ideas for new classes are "floating around," and that a new mode of play will be introduced soon. "'Players have driven our entire approach to designing achievements, the way we tie unlockables to those achievements and the design of those new weapons themselves. The choices we made within the Medic and Heavy updates were very much the result of the ways that players have used that combination of classes within the game. The addition of the payload game mode came from players requesting an old Team Fortress Classic map called Hunted, and describing what they did and didn't like in that map.' ... The Scout is the next class slated for the special treatment, and Walker expects the update will be available early this year. Additionally, the team is juggling a number of side projects at the moment, including finally bringing a year's worth of the downloadable content and upgrades to the Xbox 360 version of the game. A new Payload map is in the works, more community maps are on the way and the team will soon unveil a very different new game mode."
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Valve Discusses Team Fortress 2's Future

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  • Valve Time (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @07:43AM (#26544281)

  • Hunted? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Nursie ( 632944 ) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @07:48AM (#26544311)

    You mean the old "Hunted President" map?

    Hell yes, that was great. I haven't played a lot of TF2, but back in the days of old I was a big player of TF (over quakeworld, not over HL, the original TF!). Is the old "Rock" map available too?

  • I really liked Quake and Team Fortress but I still haven't played TF 2, mostly because I have a mac.

    Anyway though wifi play on the DS suck I think it would had been a nice title on the DS. The graphics probably makes it somewhat easier to render with the very limited amount of polygons usable on the DS, the controls would probably work somewhat and the graphics would be good enough for old school enjoyment.

    Too bad it will never happen =P, 360? Couldn't care less, I'd prefer it on PC any day.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Actually, the number of engine features and intense shader-reliance make the game very CPU intensive, even compared to other Source games, though IANAGD(game developer). This would make a Nintendo DS port difficult, to say the least.

      The graphics themselves aren't so bad; maxed out, I rarely lose any noticeable number of frames without the map design being abhorrent, on a years-old mid-range GPU. The CPU and memory load, on the other hand, is quite large, even with a dual core running at 4ghz and enough RAM

  • A game mechanic I hope to see return: collect multiple flags for the win.
    • by JoshJ ( 1009085 )
      There's a version of Avanti which has the offense start with the flag, and have to move it to the point, and which point it is changes over time. There's also a one-way CTF map called stb_cowtown which has only one team trying to get the flag, and the other team defending, and a total of 4 flags on the map.
  • by Xest ( 935314 ) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @09:24AM (#26544897)

    I used to love the original QWTF, I thought it was fantastic, perhaps the game I spent more time on than any other, despite having to pay dialup costs per minute back then.

    I followed TF ever since it came out, and when TF2 was originally announce as a mod for Quake II I was excited, I was equally excited when it was slated as a massive combat game with commanders and people dropping down out of helicopters as the screenshots showed for Half-Life and then it's own game. After around 5 years I got bored of waiting then something like 9 years on it finally arrived.

    Yet, when it arrived, everything new had been dropped and it turned out to be some copy of the original TV, minus some pretty damn important features like grenades and coupled in with some horrible graphical style. Now they talk of some of the classic maps and game modes, perhaps they'll even bring grenades back.

    But my point is this, whilst TF2 is great, people obviously want more. It's taken them 9 or 10 years to end up back where they started, mimicking QWTF and even then not quite (again no grenades, lack of old favourite maps). Surely the lesson to be learned by now is that if they want to immitate the success of the original then all they needed to do all along is simply immitate the original albeit with updated graphics (minus the cartoony theme change).

    Yes, I very much miss the QWTF days, but it does really seem Valve is only just in recent years beginning to realise what the old QWTF fans said all along- just stay true to the original. They've had a decade to figure this out.

    • Grenades?? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jgtg32a ( 1173373 ) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @09:35AM (#26544973)
      The absence of grenades is one of the best parts of TF2
      • Exactly, they dropped it because of nade spam. Not too long ago I played COD4 (where you had to train your guns...) which had tons of nade spam, people would spam all the spawns. It was so pointless and luck based about your death. Maybe it was just a bunch of small maps, but still someone from both teams died regardless. Hell I went to servers where people complained about nades and threatened to ban people for it, that's how out of control"nades for all" became in games.

        Sure there's SLOW moving rockets
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by LoRdTAW ( 99712 )

        Yea instead of giving everyone grenades they just made a class dedicated to spamming the shit out the map (Demo Man). KA-BOOM!

        I cant wait for the updates. I definitely want to see them bring back the "hunted" play mode and also give us more than one hunted map. I used to play hunted allot but the map was boring after a while and community made escort maps were terribly un-balanced or plain sucked. I also want to see the new game mode they are coming out with, I really like the addition of the payload maps l

    • by Orleron ( 835910 ) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @10:13AM (#26545309) Homepage
      Dude, I'm sorry. I couldn't disagree more. Yes, they did drop all of the original plans for that TF2 you mentioned, but the one that they made was still decent. If you wanted some highly advanced combat game, then I see your point. TF is not that, and never was. You should play Call of Duty or CS. TF2, first off, is SUPER balanced. They did a huge job at class balancing everything, and that meant eliminating grenades, correct. Eliminating grenades DOES make it less realistic, sure... but it also makes it more fun. In TF2 you can actually try to get down and dirty and spar with people by using whatever special tricks your class has. It won't be screwed up by some 12-year-old who can spam 3 grenades down a football field and just kill you (unless you play a Demoman in TF2 of course.) The point of TF2 is cartoon-like combat and fun. You have to suspend disbelief somewhat. If you insist on something realistic, then I can totally see why you say it sucks.
      • by Xest ( 935314 )

        I'm not looking for realism and can only assume by your comments you never played the original TF but instead only played TFC.

        The original TF was well balanced and sparring was still perfectly possible, but grenades were an added tool in that on top. Grenades also added a whole new level of tactics through grenade jumps that are clearly missing from TF2 without them.

        I didn't say it sucks either, I said it's simply not what it could have been if they'd stayed true to the original. QWTF had everything TF2 has

        • by Orleron ( 835910 )
          Actually I played the original TF on Quakeworld when it first came out. I've been around as long as you. For the demoman comment, it's actually not unbalanced given the reload rate and number of nades in the cartridge. I was just being somewhat facetious. Granted, there were some strategic contraptions available through grenades in TF and TFC. However, in TF2 there are simply other strategies that replace those old paradigms, such as invincible medic/hwguy combos, healing at a distance, and other stuf
        • by brkello ( 642429 )
          Even if the game was perfectly balanced by all the divine powers in the universe, people still would complain something was unbalanced. People are dumb like that. It's a great game and I think you are looking at the past with rose colored glasses. It's the most fun I have had in an FPS since I did it competitively in college.
      • If you insist on something realistic, then I can totally see why you say it sucks.

        Exactly. Those who want realism can play the BF2 mod called Project Reality. One shot one kill, super slow, etc just like real warfare. I doubt most CS or TF2 players would think it was fun.

      • by Still an AC ( 1390693 ) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @12:42PM (#26547487)
        TF2 used to be balanced. Then they started rolling out updates for classes on at a time. And if you don't have the new unlocks you are at a disadvantage. Even worse they tied to unlocks to lame ass achievements, alot of which require you do stuff that is counter to the whole team concept. Of course that just leads to achievement servers where you don't actually play you just do what you need to to unlock the weapons.
        • I couldn't agree more.

        • I agree completely. I'm not a huge FPS fan, but I was enjoying TF2 quite a bit. But, when the class-specific patches came out and I figured out what it would take for me to get a lot of the nifty items for my classes of choice (even if that meant heading to an achievement server), I decided I would just play MMOs instead of I wanted to grind.

          No, wait, grinding is boring there, too. :P

          • The weapons are sorta eh. The syringe gun that heals you is a permanent fixture on my medic (and you get in an hourish of normal playtime on the medic) but the rest of them I could really take or leave. Even the syringe gun is not that great an advantage, just saves your bacon in some situations when people have already screwed up. Typically the original weapons are more versatile. I'm sure this is on purpose so that players really don't feel a compulsion to grind out those achievements unless they're neuro
      • by Mex ( 191941 )

        I agree with your whole post. Specially the "realism" thing.

        That's one of the worst complains that kinda show how out of touch with "fun" some people are. How can you expect such a cartoony game to be "realistic"? I mean, there's some game logic, but to say it's a bad game because it's not like Call of Duty (where it's so realistic you spawn immediately after you die), well, that's just wrong. They're way too different.

        Disclaimer: Call of Duty is a perfectly fine multiplayer game, just using it as an exampl

    • by Shihar ( 153932 )

      I personally was kind of disheartened by TF2. I know I got more millage out of TF than any other game. There were just so many delightful things about it... so many wonderful strategies. Do you recall the joys of the emp grenade? God, I loved that thing.

      TF2 has its virtues. It is certainly better balanced than the original in terms of classes, but it achieved that balance by dumbing the game down immensely. The levels are a lot more linear and narrow, and in general they have just stripped out a lot o

    • by Mex ( 191941 )

      I really hope your opinion regarding Team Fortress 2 is not widespread, or perhaps you were trolling, because while I've been around since the early Wolfenstein days, Team Fortress 2 is light years ahead of TFC, so much better than the original mod.

      If you seriously can't have fun with TF2 because "IT DOESNT HAV GRANADES", I am so sorry for you.

      Oh, and there are various user made maps that remake the old TFC versions, like Rock2. You know what? They are so ridiculously unbalanced and, well, plain bad, that t

      • by Xest ( 935314 )

        You're confusing QWTF with TFC, I never said TF2 was worse than TFC, I agree it is light years ahead, TFC was by far the lowest point in TF's history.

        What I'm saying is TF2 is much more faithful to QWTF (the original for Quake 1 that came before TFC) which is a good thing, because TFC wasn't faithful to it and was a horrible game as a result. TF2 is much more faithful, but the fact it's not truly faithful is where I'm saying it could be even better.

        My point was that Valve realised TFC was a poor port of QWT

  • I should prelude this with a bit of info on my PC, to give some perspective. It's a Dell Inspiron laptop, so, in all fairness, it's not really a 'gaming PC'. It has a Core2Duo 2.0Ghz processor (I think the model number was T-7200), nVidia GForce Go 7200 video chipset, 1 Gig of RAM, and a 7200RPM hard drive (I payed extra for the faster HDD instead of going with the stock 5400RPM disk).

    I think my system sits somewhere in the middle of PC's, performance-wise. I know there are systems that are much faster than

    • I realized after submitting, I had put the model for the GPU wrong. It's a GForce Go 7900, not 7200.

    • by IICV ( 652597 )

      I don't know exactly when you bought that, but nowadays such a laptop is about one step above the bottom end, and given that it's a Dell Inspiron it probably was that way when you bought it. From the graphics card, I'd say you probably bought it two or three years ago; as such, it's an older, lower end computer. You shouldn't expect too much of it.

      That being said, it's crippled for most purposes by that 1 GB of ram - on anything but a high-end laptop, memory is shared with the video card. You've actually go

      • by JSBiff ( 87824 )

        Yes, it was about 2 years ago, I guess. I have, actually, been thinking about upgrading the RAM. The thing is, most games play OK for me, even on that system. Like I said, I know it's not top of the line, but games need to run on systems that are not top of the line, too. Historically, Valve games have run pretty well on reasonably older hardware. Half-Life 2, the Episodes, and Portal seemed to all do OK on my laptop (after I turned down the graphics some), just not TF2.

        As for the nVidia, the GPU claims to

        • You gotta realize that running a game on a 2 year old laptop is like running it on a 4 year old desktop. Unless you dropped an insane amount of money on your laptop, chances are it was equivalent to a lower mid-range PC when you bought it. Valve updated the Source Engine for all of the Orange Box games. They take advantage of it to varying degrees but my understanding is that TF2 has the most new effects. They've even added more over time. EP2 probably does all right because it's single player and it's not
    • According to the games system requirements you fall somewhere between minimum requirements and recommended. You should be able to play with the graphics on low to maybe medium and get about 30fps.

      Your system is not a middle tier system. It is a low tier system. Thus you need to turn all the bells and whistles off. Keep in mind, right now TF2 only runs on a single core. Your dual core isn't helping you at all here.

      There is hope for you though. Valve has stated that they are bringing over the mul
    • by brkello ( 642429 )
      Laptops are going to be behind the curve for gaming right out of the box. Yours is a few years old. It might be mid-range for a general purpose PC perspective, but for gaming it is on the low end. It is too bad it doesn't scale better for you. It really is an enjoyable game.
    • by ADRA ( 37398 )

      I don't know what other games you're playing on your -laptop-, but generally a laptop's Video processor is a heaping pile of bullocks unless you're paying for the super duper premium chips; in which case, they double as base board heaters.

    • by miscz ( 888242 )

      Run it in DX8 mode. You loose shader effects but it runs leaps and bounds better on hardware of this class and doesn't actually look much worse. One of the computers I'm playing TF2 on has Athlon64 3500+ (single core), 1GB of RAM and GeForce 6600 (not 6600GT, big difference).

    • If you can play HL2 well but playing a networked game is laggy, then disable all performance counters.

      Well, it worked for me in XP.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Dear Valve:

    Please kick EA in the ass so that the PS3 people can get some updates and enhancements. Though the press claims that PS3 is the console of the year/future, PS3 TF2 players are still sucking hind tit. It's been a year and a half since TF2 came to PS3 and we've had NOTHING since.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Dear AC:

      Please play TF2 on a PC: The platform that TF2 (or any fps for that matter) was meant to be played on.


      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by JCSoRocks ( 1142053 )
        I love that console users *expect* updates now. Even last-gen consoles never got updates.

        Buying for the console is silly anyway. You pay $10-$20 more than you do for the PC version so that you can play the game using a terrible controller. Consoles are good for playing my BluRay, watching my NetFlix and playing Rock Band!

        Disclaimer: I grew up on consoles so don't read that the wrong way.

        • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

          by philspear ( 1142299 )

          I love that console users *expect* updates now. Even last-gen consoles never got updates.

          That would have been pretty amazing if they did. Hard drives and broadband were only standard on the XBOX. Current gen consoles could and do handle it just fine. TF2 has been updated a few times, but that seems to have been just to prevent cheating. Halo has had substantial updates.

          Buying for the console is silly anyway. You pay $10-$20 more than you do for the PC version so that you can play the game using a terrible controller.

          How is the used PC-game market treating you? And you have to love that DRM. Also the games that don't get to PCs. And then there's the computer maintenece and updates, which we all know are more fun than actually playing g

          • At least in the racing simulation arena, it's consoles the ones that have a smaller selection of titles.

            I mean, there's no equivalent to rFactor or LFS in any console whatsoever. And those games run amazingly well in a now outdated 8600GT.

        • by Hadlock ( 143607 )

          Buying for the console is silly anyway. You pay $10-$20 more than you do for the PC version so that you can play the game using a terrible controller.

          I dont' disagree with this, but an interesting point on the PS2 was that you COULD play Half-Life on the PS2 with a USB mouse and keyboard. Probably the closest thing to a straight port as humanly possible. Also Left 4 Dead has 360 controller support in the PC version (you have to use a specialized autoexec.cfg file for it to work, but the on screen b

      • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

        by philspear ( 1142299 )

        Dear cornflake,

        I have an 8 year old PC that serves my computing needs but can't run TF2 and can't be updated to that point. Spending thousands of dollars on a gaming rig for one game (two maybe, I would probably play the updated HL1) is a decision so stupid even I wouldn't do it. I also don't even have enough free time to where I should be posting this, so I do not have enough time to set up said computer.

        Therefore, please send me a gaming computer set up and ready to play TF2 and I will indeed play it as

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Chabo ( 880571 )
          You can now buy a PC perfectly capable of playing TF2 on high settings for around $400-500, not including the OS or monitor.

          Take that machine, and spend $100 on a video card, and you have a gaming PC. Now, if you spend a bit more for the "budget" system they have listed, then you'll have a complete, balanced computer. But spending "thousands of dollars" is no longer necessary for gaming; it's frivolous spending.
          • Okay, change "thousands" to "400-500." Whatever. Still too much to spend for the one or two games that I want to play that are nominally better on a PC, still have to do what I consider to be work to play a game.

            • by Chabo ( 880571 )
              My point is that you have an 8 year old PC. If you buy a run-of-the-mill PC right now, you can get something for very cheap that will speed up your day-to-day computing tasks manyfold. As an added bonus, you'll be able to play Team Fortress 2 at high settings.

              Then you won't have to buy another PC for several MORE years.
              • Well, yeah, and this has gotten massively off topic, but my daily computing tasks at home are mostly checking my e-mail in the morning. We've considered getting a new computer, it's not worth it even if we had excess money. The thing it gets down to is the computer I have is fine for everything, I just can't play TF2.

                Anyway, I would be loathe to buy TF2 again even if I did suddenly get a new computer, particularly since Valve has treated me like a 2nd class customer.

        • Dear philspear,

          Sorry for making the assumption that if you can buy a PS3, and have the free time to play it, that you have enough disposable income to upgrade your computer once every 3 years. Also, upgrading your 8 year old computer will not only allow you to play better games, it will make your non-gaming activities move along faster, giving you more free time.

          Best Regards,

          P.S. Writing slashdot comments in the form a letter is fun.

    • Sorry AC. I too own a PS3. Fortunately I also own a 360. I originally had Orange Box for PS3, I loved it. Portal, and even the HL2 games were a blast. Then I picked up playing TF2. It was more fun than I've had on a FPS in a long while. Eventually though, the glitching and balance issues got to me. Neither Valve or EA has any interest in patching. There is not a big enough user base of FPSes on the PS3 to justify it. So I sold my copy of TOB to Gamestop for $10. One day when valve issues the 360 update for

    • This is because Gabe Newell doesn't want to have his company to create a permanent set of programmers to program for the PS3, which if you want the game to be done well, you almost have to do. Either that or take much longer to write any updates or games. While sad, since Valve specializes in FPSs, and FPSs are best played on the PC(Although the two Resistances were good) this does not bother me overmuch.

"I prefer the blunted cudgels of the followers of the Serpent God." -- Sean Doran the Younger