payload race

As Chris also spotted, the screenshot accompanying the latest Scout update preview seems to show a game mode with a cart for each team, racing up a hill. Presumably the mechanics are the same: the more people near your cart the faster it moves, but it stops if an enemy’s in range. So your team is split between pushing their cart, shooting the enemies pushing their cart, and running over there to block the enemy cart entirely.

I like the sound of that. When the carts are close, there’ll be heavy crossfire and cart-blocking. Then when one gets ahead, both move faster as they’re less hindered by the enemy team. At that point, crossfighting is in the losing team’s interests because they can get back to their cart sooner after respawning. If it works that way, it could be really interesting. You have to wonder how big a part Sentries play in a mode like that, though.


As for the new items – the Sandman stunning ball, and the Bonk! bullet-dodging energy drink – there seems to be even more whining than usual about imbalances. I’m not as sceptical, they sound great. I was disappointed with the Heavy items not because one involved slowdown, but because I just didn’t particularly want two of them. Both the Scout ones so far are highly desirable, and it seems absurd to fret about their effectiveness when we’ve been told no specifics.

150 Replies to “Interesting…”

  1. Indeed – the Steam forums are full of whingers and bitchers over these… people seem to think the energy drink will make the scout invulnerable, and it’s not clear yet what effect it will have.
    Judging by the text on the update page, it appears it will allow the Scout to dodge bullet-fire only, which would be fantastic. This would give the scout the edge it needs against sentries, as well as being more effective against snipers and shotgun fire.
    Bring em on, I say!

  2. Of course, this sheds new light on that comment in yesterday’s post about Watchtower: “More Sniper friendly than most Arena maps, it’s a perfect complement to the Scout update.” Bonk!

    I suspect it’ll be a chance to avoid bullets, rather than total bullet evasion – only a couple of the weapons in the game aren’t bullets, and the Scout is good at evading them all.

  3. Yeah, it definitely looks like a Payload Race mode, though both carts in that picture appear to be heading toward us, so downhill (though it’s hard to tell, it looks like the nose-ends rather than the dispenser ends are facing us).

    Also, it looks like that’s the new Scattergun he’s got — the original has a sight on the tip and sort of a round mag thingy bit this one is missing.

    I am a bit worried about the stun effect being a nuisance (I minored in Fretting Without Specifics in college), but the speed boost/slowdown bullet-avoiding go-juice sounds neat-o. The Scout is definitely gonna be twice as much a jerk as he already was. I hope dropped cans of Bonk let other players Bonkrush upon picking it up. Fast Heavies would be fun!

  4. ” Fast Heavies would be fun!”

    It would be fun for the Heavy at least…

    I love that they’re still maintaining the humour of the game, even in the blog posts. The most recent one is definitely chuckle-worthy.

  5. So, it’s Badwater, and you’re all pressed against the gates waiting to start your attack. No sign of any enemies. The gates lift, and a hail of baseballs reduce your whole team to staggering wrecks. The lone enemy demoman comes into his own, and the round is over.

    Most on your team respawn as Scout, and you do too, desperate to avoid a rerun of the same. The Bonk drink gives you the edge this time, and you’re running amok as they fumble for their scatterguns. Soon, though, the enemy is breaking out their own drinks and you’re feeling your energy dip.

    That’s when the lone heavy makes his appearance.

    @The_B – the “Last Comments” wadget quotes you as saying “Also – I want Valve…”

  6. My only worry is Stunlock (being immediately re-stunned after recovering) on an übered Medic, potentially rendering an entire charge impotent. Granted, the Airblast can juggle out an entire charge pretty well already, but at least the Pyro has to survive to get all up in our faces in the first place.
    Everything else looks smashing.

    A “Meet the BONK!” infomercial would’ve been amazing looking at how they’ve presented it there. However, I’d have thought they would’ve used it here like they did with The Sandvich last time, if they had one.

  7. I think it’ll be 100 percent evasion, but not avoid all classes of weapons. Remember, in addition to bullets, scouts have projectiles, explosives, melee, and fire to worry about (unless I’ve forgotten something). I guarantee that of those, a few are still going to do damage.

    My big concern as a selfish blut-happy medic is that they might let Bonk! negate projectiles like my needles. Considering what a threat scouts already are to medics, this seems a little over the top.

    Qazi, I don’t think stunning is going to stop ubers very effectively. Stun the medic and the hitter is free to continue wreaking havoc until the charge runs out. Stun the hitter and any medic with half a brain will switch to a new one. In order to really impede them you’ll have to stun both, which requires way more skill, luck, and coordination than a successful uber anyway, so it deserves to work.

  8. Ah, interesting point. Yet, that assumes a stunned person can still press/hold +attack in their stunned state. Somehow I think that would be missing the point of stunning someone. Alas, my argument is just a silly knee-jerk reaction of the potentially oppressed, assuming the worst rather than thinking things through from all potentialities. Or better yet, just wait to see how it actually works first. Ha.

  9. [Conjecture] I suspect that stunlockly situations would be avoided easily by not allowing a stunned character to be re-stunned before the duration wears off. Considering that the ball is a projectile with no splash, it should be relatively easy to avoid if you’re already aware that someone’s lobbing balls at you . . . which you would be, once you’ve recovered from a stun. [/conjecture]

    Anyways, I trust Valve with this. Since stunlock is something that’s tremendously frustrating to be on the receiving end of and one of the first things anyone with a stunnly weapon will attempt, and since Valve tends to do great scads of playtesting before they release anything, I can’t imagine it NOT coming up.

    It COULD potentially stall an Ubercharge pretty effectively, because even if the Uber’d players aren’t stunlocked and helpless they still might have a hard time advancing under a barrage of baseballs. But that’s, you know, sort of exactly what an incapacitation weapon is FOR.

  10. Stunlock could be easily prevented by adding a 2 second delay after you wake up in which you can’t be stunned again – that should be enough time for you to move out from the scout’s prepared aim and get to cover or retreat.

  11. You know, I already have suggested that energy drink. I have also guessed the Sandvich (even meet the sandvich). Maybe I am a food speculator. Can I get it as a job?

    Anyway, did you guys see the new shotgun the Scout holds in this picture? It’s pretty much a 100% to be the new primary weapon. It looks kind of lame.

    Also, double kart maps already exist. It’s pretty lame, though. It’s like Goldrush just with both teams defending (read: not attacking). I’m pretty dissapointed with the map not using the alpine theme. I NEED MORE ALPINE!

  12. Another detail that might be worth looking into is the gun the scout is holding – if you compare it to a normal scattergun you can see major differences (It’s missing the cylindrical portion towards the back for one thing). My guess is that Valve are showing you the new gun.

  13. Apparently, the Russian version of the Boink! + achievements site has all the achievement descriptions left in… this is highly unconfirmed, but a lot is given away by these details.
    Apparently, one achievement involves the scout ‘killing himself with recoil’ from a ‘double barreled shotgun’.

    Interesting, but plausible?

  14. So, it’s Badwater, and you’re all pressed against the gates waiting to start your attack blah blah blah

    So people quit humping the gate. It’s a stupid artifice anyway. This is a bad thing?

  15. I like to wait a little way back for the initial spamfest to die down before exiting myself, especially usefull as a Spy.

    Speaking of which, even if there isn’t much of a wind up (which I think there will be) the precise aim needed for the Sandman will suddenly make Scouts more viable targets, forcing them to expose their juicy, juicy backs.

  16. The way they’ve done the text on the Scout Update pages really makes me happy that they gave each class a personality.

  17. BTW, if those carts are going uphill in the new mode I wonder whether they’ll roll back to the last level ground if unattended. That would be sadistic and cool.

  18. The carts going downhill really improves the concept for me- segments where the cart will inevitably proceed even without any pushing, freeing the team to go nuts on their enemy while making their cart-pushers more exposed and less able to fire on the enemy. A nice variation in the pace, rather than a constant crossfire that offers little chance for a turnaround once one side takes the lead.

  19. Nah, the red cart is clearly going uphill.

    See the dark spot at the front? That’s the dispenser at the back.

    and the light is at the back (which is the front of the cart)

  20. Jason L: I totally agree. It’s in the art of war, ppl!

    I think that scout rushes are going to be great from now on. I think the Heavy update totally failed in comparison to the Pyro update, and this looks to completely marginalise it.

    What happens when an energised scout is shot my natascha?

  21. I agree with Zombuster. It looks like the Blu cart starts at the top of the hill and the Red cart starts at the bottom.

    I suppose if they both started in the same place it would be almost impossible to gain any ground.

  22. I was saying I hoped it was TF2 convention so far. It does indeed look like they’re going in opposite directions, though. That seems like a terribly imbalanced situation in terms of cover and splash vs. progress. Maybe you round-swap.

  23. Or maybe you need to go up, AND back down. So red goes up-down, and blu down-up. That would be interesting.

  24. Or maybe that’s only a small part of the level, and there’s another side to the hill, and more track?

  25. I don’t like the idea of yet another consumable item as an update, it just seems lazy because the heavy has a sanvich.
    What next, Scotch for the Demoman? Sauerkraut (sp?) for the Medic?!

  26. And I forgot to add, it would be nice to see a reskin of Dustbowl, Gravelpit and Goldrush into the Alpine style.
    And you can swap between them in your game options or something at will.

  27. Achievement descriptions are here!

    Brief interesting info:

    Out of the Park: Bat an enemy 25 meters.
    So the new bat CAN bat away.

    Beanball: Stun a scout with their own ball.
    It’s like the old sticky-bomb myth coming to life.

    Quick Hook: Kill a player in Well before the round starts.
    Wow, when people said that I thought they are crazy.

    Retire the Runner: Kill a Scout while they are snared by the post-dodge slowdown effect.
    Slowdown confirmed.

    Caught Napping: Kill 50 enemies from behind with the Force-A-Nature.
    Taunt kill? Probably the new primary weapond though.

    Closer: Destroy 3 teleporter entrances.
    Seriously what the hell is this lame achievement? I do this for breakfest.

    Fall Classic: Cause an environmental death or suicide using the Force-A-Nature’s knockback.
    Knockback. Probably the new primary.

    First Blood, Part 2: Kill 5 enemies with the First Blood crit buff.
    Crit buff? Does that mean 20 secs? Nre arena mode changes, perheps?

    Foul Territory: Cause an environmental death by stunning an enemy.
    Wait, if the game tracks that, can we finally be credited for these kills? I keep blowing people off the cliff in Lumberyard, and get no points.

    Poor, poor achievements. Hopefully the update has more to it than that.

  28. Also the Force of Nature definitely seems like the new shotgun and can probably shoot both barrels at once, which I’ve been curious about for awhile, and also I wonder if the recoil throws you back? How else would you kill someone or yourself with it, and atomic punch? what is that?

  29. You can already pick up the Sandvich, the Heavy drops it after he dies (adding 50 hp to any class but the Scout, who gets 75 hp).

  30. I think I know what the force-of-nature shotgun might be like. In the egypt update, it talks about classes that can ascend vertically such as the soldier and demoman, as well as the scout with the new unlock! So the shotgun will probably have a blast so powerful if you fired at the ground you’ll be thrown upwards.

  31. I wonder if the Sandman ball will be returnable with the Pyros secondary fire. Stunning a Scout with his own stupid baseball would be lovely.

  32. J-Man: yeah, that’s also suggested by the Well achievement and one of the icons. My guess is the kick does no damage, as initially speculated, but since it knocks you back the kick-suicide is possible if you’re near a cliff.

    Leman: I’m sure it will be, the law seems to be that it reflects all projectiles. Even if not, you can have that pleasure by batting it back as a Scout.

    It’d be amusing if only the original bat could knock back Sandman balls. Kind of.

  33. Does the airblast reflect needles? I just realized I have no idea. None of the hundreds of pyros I’ve pincushioned to death has ever tried it. They just chase and flame, like retarded dragons.

    And Tom, that Well achievement (quick hook) does not require an unlock. Red scouts have always been able to get over the trains by jumping on the lamppost to the left. But I am also pretty stoked for giving the scout a vertical jump. I always thought it was stupid that soldiers and demomen were more mobile than the mobility-themed class.

  34. Yeah, I’ve heard that but never tried it myself. My logic in thinking the achievement suggests (but doesn’t confirmm) an extra bouncy Scout is that right now it seems exploitesque (and asymmetrical if you’re correct in implying only Reds can do it), thus not the kind of thing Valve are likely to Achievementise.

    Interesting question about needles, it had never occured to me. Let us know if you get to try it out.

  35. I only use the pyro’s airblast gun, because the backburner doesn’t suit how I like to play as a pyro.
    That being running to the enemy sniper’s battlements on 2fort, and continually taunting the door until someone is unlucky enough to run outside just at the final moment. It works provided you can get up there :D

  36. I love playing with the backburner. It rewards you for using all those spy routes designed to get round the back of an enemy, makes you play a little differently with the Pyro, which is one of the reasons the pyro pack was such a success for me.

  37. ok now I am getting interested in this update. Dual payload sounds very interesting. Ultra bouncy scouts, nice!

  38. Is it just me or is this update going to be the most fun anyone has ever had in the history of having fun with things?

    Baseball! Super-speed! Bouncing double-barelled blasting action! Scouts as far as the eye can see…

    Personally, I think Valve have come up with a bunch of new content that, while maybe not hugely innovative, is just pure Fun.

  39. hey pentadact, I know this is insanely random, but how do you make the 4 squares of images on the left column of your website? I’m not too good with html so I’m asking around.

  40. BTW, poor Pyro. Sorry kid, there’s a new Uber-buster in town. He’s faster and he can do it from a distance while dropping from the sky.

    bricks: Ctrl-u, /images. It’s a Flickr script, so probably not much help unless you too are drawing from a Flickr account.

  41. Looking at the main image of the Force-A-Nature, it looks almost exactly like the M79 (a la Far Cry 2), bar the shortened double barrels. Down to even the break-open release switch and the shape of the stock, not to mention the colour scheme, it looks pretty much identical.
    Interesting indeed.

  42. If the Force-A-Nature gets two shots, I wonder if you could wind up having Scouts quadruple-jumping. Depending on the power of the blast, we very well might be able to see Scouts capable of jumping over the gap on 2Fort instead of using the bridge. Sheesh, if that’s possible, that’s a lot of power. Jump, then double-jump in the direction you want to go, spin around 180 and fire while in mid-air aiming slightly toward the ground to hurl yourself up ward, then do it again and you could potentially leap over the dam and get up on the enemy battlements in a single quadruple jump.

    Or stand right beneath the battlements, jump up, fire your shot at the ground to send yourself up high enough that you can see the enemy sniper, and while you’re still in mid-air fire again to send yourself flying backward and the sniper goes flying himself, then activate your double-jump on the way back down to soften the fall.

    This is gonna be sweet, if this kind of stuff is possible. We’re going to see a lot more acrobats (acro-bat’s?) in the near-future.

  43. Acro-bats? Aaaaa hahahahahahaha!

    Teams are already weighting toward scouts as of last night. They are scarily dangerous if you’re a medic like me, so I’ve temporarily gone a little pyro/engy crazy.

    I voted for the BONK! Might as well get the real game-breaker out of the way, help Valve ruin everything faster.

  44. @Tyshalle I get the impression that there’ll be a cartridge in each barrel and you fire them both at the same time to give you your jump.

  45. I don’t think so, Ludo. If that’s the case then “scattergun jumping” would leave you basically helpless for a few seconds. Demomen and Soldier’s aren’t so crippled when they rocketjump. Plus, if a scout were to load up with all three unlockables he’d pretty much be stuck with a baseball bat whenever he does his jump. If that’s the case then the gun’s way too underpowered.

    As it is, the only way to off-set the loss of the doublejump with the new bat is with the new scattergun, but that’s then offset by only being able to use your bat afterwards. Totally unbalanced, if you ask me.

  46. I’m pretty sure you get two shots. The gun is referred to as a ‘two-shotter.’ And besides, without any remaining ammo, my favorite line in the entire Force-a-Nature spiel is rendered moot. I don’t want to be PROPELLED into the sky if I don’t get to hunt birds up there!

  47. I think at some point in the last few days valve must have realised that 2payload wasn’t quite up to scratch so they quickly launched the poll to fill in the extra day they now had on their hands. I doubt they would have released that bonk screenshot unless they intended to release the map as part of the pack, or would have planned the class pack to have no new valve map at all.

  48. Terrible, Terrible move on Valve’s point-
    “Spies can now control which weapon the enemy team sees them holding. Hitting the “last disguise” key while disguised updates the disguise to show the Spy’s currently held weapon”
    It’s simple, but stupid.

  49. @Roadrunner
    Why exactly is it a ”terrible, terrible move on Valve’s point”?
    You seem to have forgotten to give any reasons at all for your criticisms.

  50. That’s cause I was getting lunch.
    It just seems like now the spy has an advantage for all the players who are rubbish when playing as him. Also, it makes it more difficult to catch a spy, when you could tell before if a guy isn’t swapping weapons, spycheck him.
    I thought it was okay before, where if you had some skill you could avoid dying for a bit but now they’ve made it too easy to play as him >.>

    I don’t like change.

  51. To be fair, I think it doesn’t mean much. Plenty of people don’t think before spy checking. Hell, plenty of people Spy check their own disguised spies, one of the few people who can’t possibly be spies.

    All in all, this isn’t really going to increase the his ability to hide at all, it’ll just make the dullards less irritating because they might actually be right now.

  52. I love the sound of the improvement to the spy’s disguise. The disguise had become almost worthless on a good server – successful spies mostly only killed by decloaking right before stabbing.

    It’s mostly the behaviour and direction of facing of a disguised spy that gives them away anyway. That they could only hold the primary weapon just meant there were only a few people you had to examine for spy-like movement.

  53. Buffing the disguise is a good call. Disguises were useless a week ago — and frankly aren’t much better today. Good to at least know what button I’m supposed to use to switch the gun.

    I’m also disappointed by the lame day 6 release. I was hoping for a new meet the team and an alpine map in a game mode that doesn’t suck. Poll results? Really? I agree with Nico that it was probably a last-minute bait and switch.

    And is anyone else feeling like this is the hardest achievement pack since Medic? I played last night until four in the morning, and actually got desperate enough to farm for a solid hour or two of that, and I’ve still only got one unlockable.

  54. Yeah it seems pretty hard. I only unlocked one today (Bat Man) after about an hour of playing. I’m really trying not to jump on one of the achievement servers this time around, as I’m pretty disappointed that I did that with all the other classes, but I dunno… seems tough.

    That said, I’ve already seen people who’ve unlocked all three.

  55. I agree about the Spy disguise buff – it was something that should always have been there anyway, and won’t change much gameplay-wise. It simply gives the spy another (thin) layer of disguise-effectiveness.

    I must say, I played for about two hours today, and I found the achievements bollock-hard. Getting kills while double-jumping is a lot harder than it sounds!
    Every low ceiling was full of scouts bunny-hopping to reach 1000 double jumps too – which I eventually resorted to trying for since it was the only one that seemed to me to be at least attainable.

    A lot of them are incredibly circumstantial also: Killing a Heavy and taking his sandvich for example is difficult due to the usual lack of on-field sandvich-wielding Heavies.
    Also, killing the enemy intel-carrier while carrying the enemy intel is really quite unlikely. It’s hardly an achievement at all, simply good look and good circumstances.

    Still! I want that bonk!

  56. I don’t think it’s hard at all, I played one full map (Dustbowl) today and made 4 without even trying: Gun Down (taking an active sentry down with pistol), Bat Man (survive 500 damage in 1 round), Retire the Runner (kill a Scout while they’re slowed down post-Bonk!) and Side Retired (Capture the last point in a CP map).
    All in normal gameplay without even thinking of the achievements. I do admit I double-jump much more though, even when it’s not necessary.

  57. Well that’s the issue — you get a few and then you stall. The control point-related ones aren’t bad except for Block the Plate, which operates according to some seriously arcane rules I flat-out don’t understand. But even if you include BtP, that’s only five control point achievements.

    Most of the rest are incredibly conditional — they’ll only work under precise circumstances. There are no less than six achievements that require the Sandman — SEVEN if (as I suspect) you need it to get 25m knockback. An additional three require you to have another scout unlock and a fourth requires your target to. Six achievements depend on other players’ choice of loadouts. Two require you to play arena mode, which I — like most players — don’t. One is only achievable on a single map and is only possible ONCE A ROUND.

    Discounting career achievements, which I’ll get over time, I’m in a position where there are a grand total of TWO achievements available that don’t rely on conditions like maps, loadouts, and medics being willing to waste an uber on a scout: Caught Napping and Fall Classic. The latter, of course, is an incredibly unlikely (though awesome) happenstance achievement.

  58. I see. I guess you’re right, but still, it doesn’t seem nearly as difficult as medic. (Ubersawing people? Ubersawing disguised spies who ask for a medic???)

  59. Why do all the acheivments either take too long to grind out, or require an unlock?
    They all take too long and are boring. And wheres the tauntkill acheivment? Batting 25ft is technically it, but surely tauntkilling is enough, so people don’t just go onto an acheivment server for it?

  60. Part of the trouble is that they committed to the achievements without knowing the unlock order. Either they planned to put the Sandman first, or they were pretty sure players would vote it first (I would have predicted that too, but I’m glad more agree with me).

    I think they should roll out new general achievements with these packs, partly to give players who don’t join in with the single-class pile-on something to unlock, and partly to have some less esoteric ones to get people started. Being with the cart at the moment you win a Payload game, dealing 1000/2000/3000 damage in a life, being present at every capture in a victorious game with at least 8-a-side. That sort of stuff.

  61. @Ludo
    Haha I love the Vince from Shamwow reference

    “”Look at this, I cave in your skull, my bat’s still dry. no clumps of hair, nothing!”

  62. @ Pentadact
    I agree, I think that they should add a few general ones in which are farily simple to get, stuff that you just get after playing for abit rather than having to really put effort in for a specific one.

    Left 4 Dead has done achievments really well in my opinion, there are some very hard ones, and ones that require a different playstyle or approach (like killing a witch with a single headshot or doing a whole campaign using only pistols), and yet there are also ones which are quite simple, and you just get them by playing, like the mini gun one, completing a camp with all 4 people surviving etc

    Having achievments for little things like being with the cart at the end of payload like you suggested would be sensible.

    At the moment the “general” section of the achievments just seems kind of bland and un fleshed out compared to the class specific ones

  63. I get the feeling that this personalities-in-multiplayer thing is going to be yet another Valve trick that adds so much but gets adopted very rarely even years down the line.

  64. Ludo: that is on a new level of hilarious!

    I love how he simply won’t shut up.

    ”Yeah I dare ya, ragequit! C’mon make us both happy!”

    So much of that I never knew existed!

    ”Here’s a schematic for ya! My ASS.”

  65. Actually, in my eternal campaign against meta I don’t care for the ‘ragequit’ one. Why couldn’t it have just been ‘give up’…

  66. In a game where you can shoot a man and see “CRIT!” appear in bright green letters above his head I’m willing to let the ragequit thing pass, though it does suggest the Scout knows he’s in a game, which sort of makes him the Neo of TF2.

  67. I love the meta-ness of it! He also makes fun of crockets, which I think is brilliant. If you’re going to TF2 for the immersion factor, you may be disappointed anyway.

    I played for an hour and a half yesterday and didn’t get a single achievement. This never happened during the pyro update.

  68. I got the 13th achievement today after like 4 hours of playing since the update went live. I still don’t think it’s that hard… also, the Force-A-Nature is awesome, I’m actually surprised how much I like it.

    Though, the triple-jump isn’t all that wonderful. It does allow to reach a few places where you usually can’t get with just the double-jump, but it’s nowhere as good as sticky/rocket jump. Of course, that’s a good thing, because there’s no penalty for that jump (except for loosing one shot)

  69. Though admittedly, losing 50% of your ammunition is kind of a big deal. Especially considering in order to even kill a scout at point-blank range with the thing you need to shoot them twice. So far I’ve found that doing a, uh, I don’t know, “scatterjump” is really only a smart idea when no enemies are around or if you’re just outright trying to evade.

    Also, I’m finding it a little difficult to get used to the whole idea of, if I’m going to shoot someone while jumping, I’m going to fly backwards. It’s especially awkward on 2Fort, where double-jumping off of the bridge roof and onto the battlements is standard proceedure, and if you’re not careful you can wind up missing your jump because of the gun.

    I’m also slightly disappointed at how you can’t get two jumps out of the shotgun. If you scatterjump with your first shot, nothing’ll happen with the second one. I guess I get why they did it, the ability to quadruple jump would be pretty powerful. That said, if you double jump and then shoot at someone, go flying backwards and miss your landing you might go falling down. Being able to shoot at the ground with your final shot would enable you to slow down your fall and avoid, well, y’know, death.

    I’m also slightly disappointed at how far people go flying when you hit them with the Force A Nature. Seems like they ought to go flying much further than they do. Seems like the only way you’re going to cause environmental deaths is if they’re standing on the edge of a cliff already.

    But all this said, I really do love the gun. I doubt I’ll ever go back to the old one.

    Wish I could say the same for the new bat, but the loss of the doublejump is kind of a significant blow.

  70. If I seem a bit quiet about my thoughts on this update, it’s because they still haven’t removed the feature that kicks me off every server after a few seconds. My ISP are stumped.

  71. The same thing started happening to me as well – I get connection problems on every server, though after a few minutes (5-7), not seconds.

  72. All my source based games are on the blink, and flicker before crashing.
    Also, a few servers don’t load properly and I have to cancel, then rejoin occasionally.

  73. I couldn’t load up and play DOW II the day after I’d installed and played it just fine, nor re-download TF2 to play with the scout. It’s gone on for a good few days now.

    As much as I love steam it’s just reminded me how much I dislike having to rely on it working to play games, moreso offline ones. Also makes me worried about future replaying if it ever goes under. Ah well, I know valve will work those bugs away soon enough just that it’s as frustrating as *insert clever similie* for the time being.

  74. I have to say, the update has really reminded me how obnoxious scouts are to fight against. Before I never really noticed, and the times I had fought them got kind of lost in the chaos

    However now that everyone and his dog is playing them, god they are irritating! Bouncing around, close range, and for a moderately incompetant soldier like me, totally impossible to hit

    Do any of the better TF2 players here have good tactics to use against scouts? Particularly if they are running rings around you unload shotgun fire into you. As a pyro I can usually do some damage but its quite hit and miss and if the scout is good he just dances out of range of my flamethrower

    Any ideas? :(

  75. As a Pyro, you really need a corner to force him into range. As a Soldier, wait until you’re sure of catching him in your splash damage before firing. Get him once and he loses air control, so you can predict where he’ll land. It’s good to have three other rockets loaded at that point.

  76. If the Scout gets close to you as a Soldier there’s not a lot you can do, except rocket jump. If it kills you then you’ll probably take him with you, if you have enough health it’s an escape.

  77. @Pentadact

    Just a played a match with you.. believed you grabbed the enemy intel repeatedly as a spy, but surely this new wave of scouts makes backstabbing less frequent?

  78. Stabs on scouts are always tough, but general anti-spy security has been alarmingly lax since the update. A lot of engineers and pyros have been distracted from their sacred counter-espionage duties by the hordes of more annoying, more obvious targets. And with such numbers of scouts eager to carry the intel, a spy who can just get it out of the flag room can really capture the initiative for his team.

  79. Cartho, as a soldier the only thing you can really do is try and shoot at the ground where you think the scout is going to land and hope he doesn’t doublejump or scatterjump away from it. It’s tough, though.

    As a Pyro, I’ve found the best tactic to be, especially when you’re out in the relative open and it’s a 1 vs. 1 fight where the Scout is definitely focusing on you, begin backpeddling rapidly and shoot at him with your shotgun so that he’s dodging around like a maniac but is ultimately running toward you so that he can get in close range with his scattergun, and then switch to your flame thrower quickly and charge forward in hopes that he’s still moving toward you when you suddenly shift gears.

    But yeah, scouts are tough opponents. They tend not to rack up a lot of kills, but it’s hard to kill them.

  80. The Force-a-Nature really makes it hard for me to be a Pyro, and i cant use that tactic of Tyshalle’s because im too fond of the Flare Gun.

    So I tend to sneak up on them, which is hard because they WONT STOP MOVING D:

    Also The Sandman is fun to use ONCE IN A WHILE. But if someone else has it and uses it nonstop it gets kind of boring to play, especially at the beginning of Payload maps where its Baseballs flying EVERYWHERE

    I need a good tactic for killing Scouts with the Flare Gun and no shotgun D:

  81. I did indeed. I thought it would be tough Spying, since some Scouts cause me more problems than Pyros. But the buffs more than compensate. Since I last seriously played Spy, every part of his arsenal has been massively upgraded: near-limitless cloak, near-instant backstabs, and a tweak to his disguises that people haven’t quite adapted to yet. It’s incredible how many people have watched a Demoman with half health and his bottle out sprint directly towards their own base and let him pass without a shot fired.

    Fun times on 2fort earlier, maybe just because we won a lot. Ludo and Dante joined me later on Steel and Egypt, where the same enemy Scout TWICE Sandmanned me while fully cloaked. Luckily he switched to Spy for Egypt, where I thoroughly outSpied him. Egypt feels easily defended: the attackers never got off the first map, then when they were defending, we couldn’t get past the second. There seems to be an unassailable sentry nest position.

  82. With the flare gun, all you need to do is hit the scout – most of them will flee or try to get health, allowing you to do the same and wait for them behind a corner or something. Don’t try to follow them as they tend to be good at backpeddaling and shooting you.

  83. I think I am going to try and get more friendly with the airblast, I hardly ever use it as a Pyro and that’s probably part of my problem

  84. I played Egypt for the first time today, its a good map, the sentry domination kinda ruins it, but if you have a good team, with Medics and Demomen and Spies and the like, its a fairly easy map for the attacking force.

    Also, when the entire defense team for a round is made entirely of Scouts, you know somethings up

  85. I have to say, now that I’ve gotten all three unlocks I am seriously loving the way this game is shaping up. TF2 has always been extremely awesome, but the more things are getting updated the more the game becomes physics-based. Scouts not only can hurl themselves around in the air and change direction in mid-air, but they can also hurl *others* through the air, as can Sentries, Soldiers, Demomen, Pyros, and even Heavies to a certain extent. Pyros can hurl grenades and baseballs and flares and rockets back at their targets, pretty much every class has an enormous amount of depth to them.

    The only ones that seem to be seriously lacking in this area and tends to play pretty straight forwardly is the Sniper.

  86. When you mention the sniper – I have the oddest score table on tf2. The two most boring, stationary, and not very good at attacking classes – Engie and Sniper – are on the top of my “points” table with 30 for Engie, and 28 for Sniper.
    My second best is Scout (I think) with like 15…

  87. Don’t get me wrong, the Sniper is my most favored class. I think I’ve racked in twice as much time with him as I have with any other class. I think I tend to have more fun with the Scout and Pyro, and I think I’d call them my favorite classes, but I tend to be a really good Sniper on 2Fort, and there is a certain sick pleasure I get out of outsnipering other snipers as well as shooting scouts in mid-air.

  88. Snipers and Scouts are the two classes where I hate fighting my opposite number: as soon as there’s a good Sniper on the enemy team, I’ll stop playing Sniper. As a Scout, I always feel like I’m doing well until I run into an actually good Scout, where it feels like they have twice the health and I do half the damage.

  89. Yeah, exactly – I consider Scout, Pyro and probably Spy my favorite classes as in, I have most fun playing them. But I’m not really good at them. And then I place sentries at new places noone probably ever did and rack up 30 points. Then I play a sniper and constantly camp one exit and get 28 points from killing those stupid heavies who always take the same route despite dying to me several times. Heh.

  90. I’ve just had a serious session trying to play Spy. Possibly my first since the first week of TF2, when spying was easy. This time it was horrible.

    The enemy team being half scout, and therefore un-stabbable might have had something to do with it. I spent a lot of time just getting killed as I was searching for a target.

    This is why I rarely last more than a couple of lives as a class other than my beloved medic and heavy. It feels so much more difficult to have a positive effect on the game. I felt happy just to get one kill before dying as a spy, but knew I could be turning the tide on top of a mound of corpses if only I switched back to my comfortable heavy skin.

  91. Other than kills, I consider my modest contribution to the team to be a sort of net nerf to the enemy. The people I’ve backstabbed either spend all their future lives checking their backs, or they get stabbed again until they do. I particularly like to waste someone’s life rather than outright killing them. For some reason people will follow an enemy Spy to the ends of the Earth, and quite often I’ve lured several people all the way back to their spawn, taking longer to get there than if I’d killed them in the first place.

    I used to think my job was to deal with tricky Sentries, then I tried playing Demoman for five minutes and kind of got despirited about that.

  92. Now you just need to valve implement a patch that awards a points every time an enemy follows you longer then respawn time? It would certainly encourage better team work then extra points for getting kills in a certain way (headshots and backstabs) …Not that any of us care about that sorta thing.

  93. The way I see it, chasing a spy for however long, as long as I do a good job of it, is totally worth my time.

    As long as the two of us are locked in our little game of cat and mouse, the rest of the team is free from the sort of net nerf you describe – it may have been faster for me to just ignore it, but worse over all for the team. The spy might be wasting my time, but I’m wasting his too.

    Of course, if you let the spy get away from you completely, and keep poking around in the wrong direction while they’re off killing your team-mates, then you really are just wasting your time.

  94. The beauty of it is that the rest of the team don’t know the Spy is all tied up being chased, so they’re still checking their backs every ten seconds. You could even change class after a few good runs as a Spy and still reap the benefit of the paranoia sown.

  95. I had an amazing game as a spy yesterday on Orangex. You know you’re doing well when there are 3 scouts and a demoman running around all their snipers with their melee weapons out, attacking anyone that comes near.

    Also, the best moments as a spy for me, include the feeling of absolute badassness you get when you see a line of snipers all standing with their backs to you. Tricking an enemy medic to heal you, only to stab him in the back (that one’s obvious) but possibly my favourite is watching an enemy pyro flaming anyone on his team that he sees, knowing that there’s a spy around, and then just as he stops, beginning to doubt his suspicions, he gets a knife in his back. Just imagining the frustration of that player makes all the fruitless suicide missions worthwhile.

  96. Was it you who described L4D Versus as ‘institutionalised griefing’ on the PCG podcast? Both Valve’s multiplayer designs have incorporated a perfectly-judged measure of genuine interplayer cruelty. It seems the dose makes the poison.

  97. i’ve actually managed to rope up 18 of the achievements in 2 nights with… *minimal* grinding. (yes, i did bounce up and down 500 times in a small room once. i was young, it was 4 AM, and i wasn’t sleeping until i had that damn bat.)

    my random pointless tips:
    No Hitter, Belittled Beleaguer: CTF Turbine(?) with a low player count. run like crap for the first, hide in an air vent and ambush for the second.

    Batting the Doctor: Total luck on my part, i blasted randomly into a crowd, accidentally taking out a medic who *apparently* had a charged uber. Poor sap.

    Beanball: Look for scouts having way too much fun with the sandman. Grab one ball when they miss, wait for them to stun someone else, and then stun *them* when they dash in for the cheap shot.

    I’m Bat Man: Lurk at a resupply cabinet. repeat. :P

    Closer: Tricky, but not TOO hard, so long as you can make it past the lines to an enemy spawn. IMO, best done with the Force-a-nature then swap to pistol, as it takes several sloooooow shotgun blasts otherwise, and you really only have until the next spawn wave.

    Stealing Home: Find a good hiding place and a good team. Remember that you only have to *start* capping to achieve.

    Fall Classic: i got it in badlands, on one of the stone pillars. Seemed easier on classes that can hurt themselves, demoman or soldier.

    First Blood, Part 2: You will not get this. Give up. ;_;

    Gun Down: Wait for engy to leave. Profit.

    If You Build It: Wait for engy to come back. Take out scattergun. Profit.

    Triple Steal: Just start your own 2fort server, or join an empty one. :P

    Race for the Pennant: Play a lot of payload or cp with wait times, jog around in said wait times. Never hold still. Got this first night, actually.

    Block the Plate: An annoying grind, this requires you to throw yourself into a pile of enemies capping one of your points. Because of how the blocking mechanic works, you have to be the *first* to throw yourself onto the threatened point. Luckily, survival is not a requirement.

    I hope this long-winded mess is helpful to someone.

    Incidentally, i do consider about 12 of the achievements to be basically improbable to the point of absurdity. Then again, i’ve thought this with every pack.
    (one MILLION damage?!? Really? What were they drinking?)

  98. quick point to clear up what now looks like arrogance to me:
    i don’t have first blood part 2. if anyone does, and they didn’t get it from an achievement server or farming, i’m never playing against them ever again because they’re obviously magic.

  99. Grinding in normal play servers is horrible. It messes everyone’s gameplay and fun. I got most of mine with a friend on my server. Also, I got First Blood, Part 2 legitimately. BECAUSE I AM AWESOME.

  100. EGTF: Sadly, just the user prefs. But I can re-download a lot of my clothes — albeit reeking of delicious barbecue.

    Jaz: Believe me, I complain on teh Steam forums every day.

  101. James: the only blog that feeds directly into the Valve hivemind. It’s the only explanation as to why it and i’ts commenters are always right.

    (Note: link might not work yet, as I assumed by the time most people read this it’ll be onto the Day 3 update and the link would be out of date, so I’ve made a pre-emptive guess as to Day 2’s update location based on where Day 1’s ended up. If it doesn’t show up, just delete everything after sniperupdate/)

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