16 Years After Release, Team Fortress 2 Getting A Major Update

I know it is still available and being played, but Team Fortress 2 can at times feel like a game from a different age. Partly because it is, but also because it’s so old—and has gone so long without a major update—that you’d be forgiven for thinking it was on its last legs. But no!

The game’s website—which charmingly hasn’t appeared to have been updated since the game’s launch—hummed into life today, posting a news blog called “Attention, Steam Workshop Creators!”. It says that not only will the game be getting a “a full-on update-sized update” later this year, with “with items, maps, taunts, unusual effects, war paints and who knows what else?!”, but that the update will also include some contributions from the game’s community as well.

Steam Workshop Creators, can we have your attention please. The following message is so urgent, so time-sensitive, we made the executive decision to skip TikTok and Twitter entirely and break the glass on the most bleeding-edge communication technology available.

Welcome to the future. Welcome… to a “blog-post”.

“Wow!” you’re probably thinking. “I forgot how hard reading is!” Yeah, it’s scary how fast you lose that. Don’t worry, we’ll be brief:

The last few Team Fortress summer events have only been item updates. But this year, we’re planning on shipping a full-on update-sized update — with items, maps, taunts, unusual effects, war paints and who knows what else?! Which means we need Steam Workshop content! YOUR Steam Workshop content!

So get to work! (Or back to work, if you were already working but got distracted when the entire internet simultaneously found out about this state-of-the-art blog-post.) Make sure to get your submissions into the Steam Workshop by May 1st, so they can be considered for this as-yet-unnamed, un-themed, but still very exciting summer-situated (but not summer-themed) (unless you wanted to develop summer-themed stuff) update.

This is the first good news the game’s community have had for a while, since over the last few years the only things outsiders have heard about Team Fortress 2 has been the enormous issues the game has had with bots, and the userbase’s subsequent protests about it.

Valve Edits Blog Post, Walking Back Its Team Fortress 2 Hype

It was pretty cool last week when Valve, developers of the ancient Team Fortress 2, said that the game was getting “a full-on update-sized update”. It is less cool a week later to find that the company has edited that announcement post in an attempt to pump everyone’s brakes.

You can’t blame folks for getting excited! As neglected as the game has become over the years, it’s still a big deal for a lot of fans, and the news that a 16-year-old game was going to be getting a big update so long after its last was welcomed accordingly.

Sadly, it’s now time to lower both your excitement levels and expectations, because as spotted by billcage32 the blog post written up to tell everyone about the update has now changed some key words to make it sound a lot less major than it did at first.

Here’s the key passage as it first appeared last week:

The last few Team Fortress summer events have only been item updates. But this year, we’re planning on shipping a full-on update-sized update — with items, maps, taunts, unusual effects, war paints and who knows what else?! Which means we need Steam Workshop content! YOUR Steam Workshop content!

And here’s how it looks today:

The last few Team Fortress summer events have only been item updates. But this year, we’re planning on shipping a full-on holiday-sized update — with items, maps, taunts, unusual effects, war paints, and other community-contributed fixes for the game! Which means we need Steam Workshop content! YOUR Steam Workshop content!

What’s changed is that the term “full-on update-sized update” has been edited to “full-on holiday-sized update”, and the very excited, teasing “and who knows what else?!” has been deleted entirely. Meaning Valve likely saw the reaction to the initial blog post, realised instantly “holy shit these fans are expecting an update a lot bigger than the one we’re actually going to be shipping” and have tried to dial back expectations by softening the language accordingly.

Team Fortress 2 Hits New Player Record After Big Update

The cast of Team Fortress 2 is shown with weapons drawn.

Image: Valve

Team Fortress 2 got a big content update yesterday, July 12, and it’s got players flocking to the hero shooter in such numbers that a new concurrent player record has just been set for the game, 16 years after it first released.

The Summer 2023 update includes 14 new community maps, as well as a new batch of taunts and cosmetics. All of this is on top of some bug fixes and updates for server stability. The Summer event will run until September 15. The full patch notes are as follows:

Summer 2023

  • Featuring 14 new community maps: Sharkbay, Rotunda, Phoenix, Cashworks, Venice, Reckoner, Sulfur, Hardwood, Pelican Peak, Selbyen, VSH Tiny Rock, VSH Distillery, VSH Skirmish, and VSH Nucleus
  • Added the Summer 2023 Cosmetic Case
  • Contains 25 new community-contributed items
  • Added 6 new community-contributed taunts to the Mann Co. Store
  • Taunt: Killer Joke
  • Taunt: Star-Spangled Strategy
  • Taunt: The Head Doctor
  • Taunt: Tuefort Tango
  • Taunt: The Road Rager
  • Taunt: The Killer Signature
  • Added 20 new community-created Unusual effects
  • 12 new effects for Unusual hats
  • 8 new effects for Unusual taunts
  • Added the Summer 2023 War Paint Case
  • Contains 10 new community-created War Paints that make-up the Summer 2023 Collection
  • Has a chance to give a taunt Unusualifier as a bonus item
  • All cosmetic and taunt cases will grant Summer 2023 Unusual effects instead of their normal Unusual effects during the Summer event. This does not include crates.
  • The Summer event runs through September 15th, 2023
  • General
  • Security and stability improvements
  • Fixed the Mann vs. Machine upgrade panel closing after receiving a matchmaking party invite
  • Fixed an exploit related to the ConTracker and being able to move/shoot while it’s deployed
  • Fixed the Strange Count Transfer Tool not being able to transfer stats for Sandvich items
  • Fixed the Engineer not being able to move for a short period of time after doing The High Five taunt
  • Fixed missing No Headphones style for the Universal Translator
  • Fixed Engineer teleporter audio that was referencing the dispenser by mistake in Spanish
  • Fixed incorrect alpha channels for the Smissmas 2021/2022 Cosmetic Case models
  • Fixed the Winter 2019 War Paint Case not being shown in the Mann Co. Store
  • Updated/Added some tournament medals
  • Updated pl_enclosure_final to fix localization issues
  • Updated cp_gravelpit_snowy
  • Boosted volume of snowman explosions
  • Added occluders to C to improve performance
  • Improved clipping
  • Updated cp_steel
  • Prop collision cleanup and improved player clipping
  • Explosive splash bug collisions on stairs, props, etc., around the map
  • Spawn point issues (collision, prop blocking, clipping, etc.)
  • Fix Pyro door exploit on A
  • Fix choke and spam issues into Blu & Red spawns
  • Fix Pixel walk collision issues
  • Fixing ceiling clipping and stuck spots including exploits
  • Clean up geometry in spawns, the spawn locations and their exits
  • Fix roof readability issues, with sticky and rocket jumping
  • Fix rare double death bug when falling into pit
  • Fix Cliff stuck spots and ledges in E pit
  • Removed head glitch tele spawn on A-B connector
  • Fix rare overtime cap bug
  • Fix Red team getting stuck in spawn door to A
  • Updated cp_mossrock
  • Fixed numerous perch points
  • Fixed players being able to get under Blu spawn
  • Fixed a location where a teleporter could be build out of the map
  • Fixed collision on rock near final point so it is more accurate to the visuals
  • Fixed lots of small visual bugs
  • Fixed some small exploits
  • Improved optimisation

Whether it’s the new maps or the new hats, Team Fortress 2 players are swarming to the game right now, as the shooter just hit a new peak player number on Steam in the wake of the update. In the past 24 hours, the game reached 253,997 players on the platform. Team Fortress 2 launched in 2007 and still has a dedicated community playing it, even if there has been a bit of a tug-of-war between them and Valve to see the game supported in recent years. Though Team Fortress is considered a precursor to the hero shooter craze and games like Overwatch, clearly the game still has legs, even as the shooter genre grows more and more crowded with each passing year.

Chaos Erupts As Team Fortress 2 Jacks Player Count Up To 100

Team Fortress 2 has now been with us for over 15 years, and for some reason, developer Valve just decided to jack the maximum number of players who can join a server at once up to 100. Valve doesn’t actually recommend you play with that many people, and warns that the game doesn’t properly support that many players, but that hasn’t stopped the community from creating chaotic 100-player TF2 servers.

Valve’s online class-based FPS, Team Fortress 2, isn’t a spring chicken by any definition, having first been released back in 2007 for PC, Xbox 360, and PS3. And while the console versions have been long since abandoned, the PC version on Steam has continued to receive hundreds of tiny, medium-sized, and significantly large updates, all of which have been free. The latest update to the classic shooter has provided gamers with an option to set the world on fire and invite 99 other TF2 players into a single server.

On July 25, Valve released an update for Team Fortress 2. The patch notes reveal a pretty lengthy list of tweaks and changes, but the one change that caught the attention of many was the quiet announcement that the game’s maximum player count had increased from 32 to 100.

Valve: Don’t make 100-player servers, Gamers: LOL

Also in the patch notes? A warning from Valve letting players know that this new max player count is totally “unsupported” and “not recommended.” In other words, Valve isn’t going to spend time fixing bugs introduced by playing with 99 other folks. If shit breaks, that’s just how it goes. You were warned, after all.

Freddy210hill / Valve

As you can probably guess, even with that warning, many players have already fired up servers with the new max player count, and the chaos that followed was incredible. Watching people play on 100-player servers feels like looking into an alternate dimension in which Valve teamed up with Sega to put out a Total War: Team Fortress 2 spin-off.

Unsurprisingly, playing Team Fortress 2 with this many players causes some issues. Players are reporting lots of lag, poor framerates, broken models, collision problems, and even some instances when the game just crashes completely. That’s not surprising considering this is a 16-year-old game that was never designed to handle 75 people, let alone 100.

But also, I love this so much. Good for you TF2! There is something very impressive about 100 people in a single TF2 match. It’s like an old car making a long road trip after years without a tune-up. It might stall a few times, overheat, or even lock up, but it gets the job done. Brings a tear to your eye, really. It’s also a perfect time to let people create high-player-count servers, as Team Fortress 2 is setting player count records on Steam following the last big update.

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