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Archive for the ‘Newbs’ Category

TF2Newbs Blog Still Going Strong

Posted on: February 26th, 2016 by Obey

Hey all. The TF2 community has changed radically over the past two years. A lot of the hardcore players have left to pursue other games or responsibilities, yet the game continues to attract more casual players than ever. A minor adjustment to the TF2 Quickplay — defaulting the “Play Now!” button to search only for Valve servers, as opposed to community servers or both — has poisoned the well with longtime players, as well as doing harm to the population of community servers.

The TF2Newbs servers haven’t been very active of late. But the blog continues to draw traffic, although much of it is from hits from search engines.

Overall, the blog has passed 275,000 lifetime hits!!

The “TF2Newbs’ Guide to More and Better Items” has passed 15,000 hits, and continues to grow!  Team Fortress 2 continues to attract new players that then use their search engines to learn more about basic TF2 facts, such as earning achievement items and what refined metal is for.

My first FAQ, “A TF2Newbs Guide to MvM Item Hunting”, has also passed 15,000 hits! I don’t think the Mann vs. Machine horde mode is as popular as it once was, but there continues to be demand for Australian weapons, so somebody’s got to keep killing those robots. Golden Frying Pans still drop once in a while as well; as of this posting, currently 107 exist in the game.,14017.0.html

(Sorry, hyperlinks are busted.)

I just started a thread asking Where (and What) You’re Playing on Steam Lately. Log in and tell us, so we can meet up and play together.


By the way, Valve’s updates have been few and far between for a while now. Methinks Valve is finally hard at work on their next game. They’ve already polished their next Source engine; so they could be making the next incarnations of their franchises, such as an overhaul of TF2, that mythical Half Life 3, or even some new game. They’ve sold hardware, launched an OS, made a new engine; it’s about time they actually publish a new game. Oh wait–it very well could be Left For Dead 3….


[N] Obey

TF2 Tough Break Update

Posted on: December 19th, 2015 by Obey

Full Patch Notes at the end of the post.

By the way, there was some Batman-themed community items released a few weeks ago:


Winter is Coming…

The Steam Winter Sale hasn’t happened yet, but surely it is soon….

Meanwhile, just load up TF2 and receive a Secret Saxton and a Gift-Stuffed Stocking! Use the Saxton to give someone else on the server a free item drop. Use the Gift-Stuffed Stocking to get some free items yourself!

If you haven’t already, you will get the Spirit of Giving Badge, which tracks how many gifts you’ve given, and/or the Winter Holiday noisemaker. [The "Use Item" keybind is the button assigned to activate it, if you equip it to the Action slot in your loadout.]


MAJOR Weapon Changes:

There have also been a lot of weapon changes. Here are the MAJOR MAJOR ones:

  • Weapon-switching is a little faster in most cases. Some weapons are now quick to draw and slow to sheathe (Fists of Steel), and some are slower to draw and sheathe (swords).
  • Mannpower: Flags are now poisonous after 90 seconds, and they will return to base if dropped/killed.
  • Panic-Attack: You can now hold your fire after fully loaded until ready to release.
  • Most swords now have even greater range than before. BEWARE!
  • Weapons giving health regeneration (Concheror) now heal twice as fast as before.
  • Medics that heal with taunts or primary weapons (C. Crossbow) now gain some Ubercharge doing so.
  • Extinguishing allies reduces Jarate cooldown by 20%
  • Extinguishing allies as a Pyro heals 20 of your health.
  • Phlogistinator Pyros are now IMMUNE TO DAMAGE when in the engaging taunt stance. BEWARE!
  • Quick-Fix: Can no longer cap during Uber.
  • Dead Ringer: Reduced damage reduction while feigning death.
  • Warrior’s Spirit: Now heals +50 health on kill, take and receive 30% more damage while deployed.
  • Chargin’ Targe: No longer has afterburn immunity.
  • Persian Persuader now earns charge (not health) on kills.
  • Sapped Sentries now have a half-second delay before coming back online after a sapper is removed.

Beware the Phloggy Pyro. Beware.


“Tough Break” Season is Here!


Buying in to the three-month season costs a one-time fee of US$5.99. You’ll immediately get a Contract Pass, which will act as an upgradable Contract Map Stamp, keeping records of your achievements.

Like previous seasons, you complete contracts by performing in-game objectives. Some contracts require you to play one of the four new maps, but now they only require you to score points and win rounds while playing that map. Other contracts have weapon-specific objectives: a Hunstman contract grants points when you score points, headshot with an arrow, kill from different ranges, and taunt kill with a Huntsman while a Sniper.

If you don’t own a particular weapon, there is a “Loaner Program” (much like the pre-existing weapon tryout function in the Mann Co. Store) that will allow you to borrow a weapon to complete the contract.

High Roller

Also like before, the rewards are from four different collections of reskinned weapons, with six rarity grades, with the same drop/uncrate access as in the Gun Mettle update. Rainbow-decorated flamethrowers and Halloween/Fall themes are available.




Patch Notes–December 17, 2015

The Tough Break Update has arrived!

  • Additional information available on the website (
  • 4 new community maps: Snowycoast, Vanguard, Highpass, and Landfall
  • 26 new contracts, including contracts which issue loaner weapons
  • 4 new weapon collections
  • 2 new community taunts: Badpipes and The Bucking Bronco
  • 1 new official taunt: Mannrobics
  • New community cosmetics case with 15 items


  • Significant weapon and class balance improvements (see section below for full details)
  • Smissmas 2015 has begun! Launch Team Fortress 2 to receive your Spirit of Giving badge, Gift-Stuffed Stocking, and Winter Holiday noise maker
  • Added Smissmas 2015 Mystery Gift. Can be found by opening a Tough Break Weapons Case. Have you been Naughty or Nice?
  • Added Strange Count Transfer Tool
    • Takes the Strange scores from one item and adds them on to another. The count for the source item is reset to zero. Strange part scores are only transferred and zeroed if a matching Strange part is found. Can only be used between Strange items of the same base type.
    • Can be Crafted by 2 Strange parts in the crafting menu under Rare Items
  • Updated Case opening item drop algorithm. Going forward players are now less likely to get duplicate items from the same rarity tier on repeated Case openings.
  • Updated several weapons sounds with consistency fixes from community member Mateusz Grzesik
  • Updated the scoreboard
    • Re-ordered some of the columns
    • Added an image to represent player ping values instead of the actual ping values. Added an option in Adv. Options to use the actual ping values.
  • Updated several weapon descriptions to better detail their functionality
  • ‘Gifted by’ Tag can now be removed from items via ‘Restore?’ Context action from the Backpack view
  • Fixed a bug in Mann vs. Machine where Medic bots with unusually long uber effects could have the effect time-out prematurely
  • Fixed a bug where Unusual Slider was not properly saving
  • All Strange parts can now be applied to Strange cosmetics items
  • Strange parts added to the Backpack Context Menu for Strange items
  • Paints now display both Market and Mann Co. Store prices in the Backpack Context Menu on paintable items
  • Added case and crate opening animation in Backpack view
  • Fixed seeing the fire texture on the Captain Space Mann, A Head Full of Hot Air, and The Tomb Readers in DirectX 8
  • Updated the models/materials for Der Wintermantel and made it paintable
  • Updated the Caped Crusader to include a team-colored style for the cape
  • Players can no longer use blast damage to move during the pre-round freeze period
    • Added server convar tf_preround_push_from_damage_enable for servers to utilize the old behavior
  • Fixed the Spy-cicle not melting properly if the Spy is burned while stunned
  • Added an option in Adv. Options to batch overhead combat text

Performance Improvements

  • Mac and Linux improvements (Windows Direct3D 9 players have these already)
    • Texture streaming now enabled
    • Reduced memory consumption by ~500 megs
    • Faster map loads!
  • Players on Mac can now select ‘High’ texture settings
  • Eliminated many cases of hitching when using painted weapons
  • Eliminated occasional hitching caused by using mat_picmip 2 (or selecting low quality textures in Video Options -> Advanced)
  • Massively reduced memory consumption when using painted weapons
  • Improved particle system performance, boosting overall framerate, especially in particle-heavy situations.
  • Fixed two most common forms of framerate stuttering / hitching when using popular FPS configs
  • Added -default launch option to help players triage performance / stability problems.
    • When run with -default, the game will ignore most convar settings and run purely with default options
    • Upon exit, -default runs do not overwrite the player’s config.cfg file. If a player wants to save the settings of a default run, they should execute host_writeconfig in the console.
  • Fixed 5 second stall when opening options menu
  • VR players: You must now pass -vr to launch options to play TF using VR
  • Fixed multiple cases of FPS stutter related to the sound system

Mannpower Changes

  • Flags will become poisonous (mark the carrier for death) 90 seconds after having been stolen
  • If both team flags are stolen and poisonous, they will return when next dropped
  • Fixed players being able to grapple during the pre-round freeze period
  • Reduced the number of flag captures required to win from 10 to 7 on official servers
  • Regeneration powerup
    • Health regeneration amount changes – Scout, Sniper and Spy increased, Engineer decreased
  • Reflect powerup
    • Added pushback force to players who damage the powerup carrier (except for flame damage)
  • Added overheal effect to players whose max health is increased by a powerup

Gameplay Changes

  • All
    • Base weapon switch speed changed from 0.67 seconds to 0.5 seconds
    • Upon spawning, friendly players will show an outline for 10 seconds
    • Updated various weapon descriptions to better detail their functionality
  • Multi-Class
    • Panic Attack
      • No longer auto-fires when fully loaded. Shots can be held and released at will.
    • Reserve Shooter
      • No longer boosts all-around switch speed, instead boosts switch-to speed by 20% and switch-from speed by 15%
      • No longer mini-crits any airborne target (i.e. jumping). Target must be forced in to the air via blastjump, knockback, airblast, or grapple.
    • The Half-Zatoichi
      • Now considered a sword (increased holster and deploy time and increased range)
      • Honorbound changed. Deals 50 self-damage on holster if no kill was made. Cannot be holstered if player is below 50 life and no kill was made.
      • 100% life restore on kill changed to 50% health gain on kill that can result in overheal
      • No random crits
  • Scout
    • Pretty Boy’s Pocket Pistol
      • Increased health recovered on hit from +3 to +5
    • Mad Milk
      • Extinguishing an ally will now reduce the cool down by 20%
    • Wrap Assassin
      • Now 42% more festive! Ornament shatters on all impacts, dealing a small amount of damage in a small radius. Bleed effect still only applies to a target that is struck directly.
      • Ball recharge rate increased by 25%
      • Damage penalty reduced from -70% to -65%
  • Soldier
    • Beggar’s Bazooka
      • Decreased blast radius by 20%
    • Concheror
      • Doubled health regeneration rate. Regeneration rate is now decreased if player has been recently damaged.
    • B.A.S.E Jumper
      • Removed hidden property of up draft when on fire
    • Market Gardener
      • Added 20% Attack Speed penalty
    • Air Strike
      • Reduced blast radius by 20% when rocket jumping (28% reduction when compared to stock)
  • Sniper
    • The Cleaner’s Carbine
      • Reduced firing rate penalty from 35% to 20%
      • Added ‘CRIKEY’ meter which is filled by dealing damage
      • Mini-crits are no longer activated by kill, but can instead be activated by alt-fire when the ‘CRIKEY’ meter is filled
    • Cozy Camper
      • Quadrupled health regeneration rate. Regeneration rate is now decreased if player has been recently damaged.
    • Jarate
      • Extinguishing an ally now reduces the cooldown by 20%
  • Pyro
    • Pyros like to collect rainbows! Extinguishing a teammate will now return 20 health to the Pyro.
    • Consecutive Airblasts will no longer prevent enemies from air-strafing until they touch the ground
    • The base Flamethrower’s damage fall off over distance has been decreased, resulting in higher damage output at range
    • Degreaser
      • No longer boosts all-around switch speed. Instead, boosts switch-to speed by 60% and switch-from speed by 30%.
      • Removed damage penalty
      • Increased Airblast cost by 25%
      • Increased afterburn penalty to from 25% to 66%
    • Phlogistinator
      • Removed 10% damage penalty.
      • When activating ‘MMMPH’, the taunting Pyro gains temporary invulnerability and immunity to knockback effects
    • Axtinguisher
      • Properties changed
      • 100% Chance to crit against burning targets
      • 33% Damage penalty
      • 20% Slower attack speed
      • 75% Slower switch-to speed
  • Medic
    • Medics now have slightly higher health regeneration when healing a hurt patient
    • During setup time, berCharge build rate is now increased by 3x
    • Amputator
      • Taunt can now be activated by alt-fire
      • Healing done with the taunt now grants small amounts of berCharge
    • Vaccinator
      • Removed 10% health regeneration on proper resist
      • Added slight berCharge build on proper resist
      • Increased berCharge rate from +50% to +67%
      • Reduced overhealed berCharge build rate penalty to 33% from 66%. As this penalty is applied after the base increase, healing an overhealed patient is now 33% more effective.
    • Crusader’s Crossbow
      • Healing a player with an arrow now grants a small amount of berCharge
    • Quick-Fix
      • Fixed cases where Quick-Fix berCharged players could still be affected by certain knock-back effects
      • Players can no longer capture objectives while under the effects of Quick-Fix berCharge
  • Spy
    • The HUD ‘Cloak’ meter now displays ‘MOTION’ and ‘FEIGN’ when Cloak and Dagger and Dead Ringer are equipped respectively
    • Dead Ringer
      • Initial damage reduction when feigning death increased to 75% from 50%
    • Spy-cicle
      • Fixed a bug where ammo packs from dead players were not filling the Spy-cicle meter
      • Fire immunity shield no longer appears when fire immunity is triggered
  • Heavy
    • Fists of Steel
      • Removed deploy time penalty
      • Added penalty of increased holster time by 100%
    • Gloves of Running Urgently
      • Increased holster time penalty
    • Warrior’s Spirit
      • Now heals 50 health on kill
      • Damage received and dealt increased by 30%
      • Removed health penalty
    • Eviction Notice
      • Now provides 15% move speed bonus
      • Now increases damage taken by 20%
  • Demoman / Demoknight
    • Shield bash now deals damage at all ranges, scaled by distance
    • Melee damage boost after shield bash is based on amount of charge consumed. Now provides mini-crit at 25% depleted, and full crit at 60% depleted.
    • Charging now removes debuffs from the Demoknight (Bleed, Fire, Mad Milk, Jarate)
    • All Swords now have a slower deploy and holster speed compared to base weapons in addition to their increased melee range
    • Splendid Screen
      • Removed the ability to deal charge impact damage at any range (now native to all shields)
      • Now increases recharge rate by 50%
      • Increased blast resistance from 15% to 20%
    • Tide Turner
      • Now grants mini-crit instead of full-crit on charge bash
      • Reduced resistances to 15%
    • Chargin Targe
      • Reduced blast resistance from 40% to 30%
      • Removed fire immunity
    • Claidheamh Mor
      • Removed charge duration bonus
      • Now restores 25 health on kill
      • Removed health penalty
      • Now increases damage taken while active by 15%
    • Persian Persuader
      • Removed ammo pickups granting health instead of ammo
      • Added penalties of reduced primary and secondary ammo
      • Ammo pickups now replenish charge
      • Now gains charge meter on hit
    • Quickiebomb Launcher
      • Fizzle time increased from 2 seconds to 4 seconds
    • Ullapool Caber
      • Base melee damage increased from 35 to 55
      • Added 20% fire rate penalty
      • Added 100% switch-to time penalty
    • Loose Cannon
      • Reduced projectile speed (now a visible attribute)
      • Reduced cannon impact damage from 60 to 50. Damage also scales with distance.
      • Reduced knockback from cannon hit. Knockback strength is now similar to airblast.
  • Engineer
    • After removing a Sapper from a sentry, there is now a 0.5s delay before the sentry is active again
    • Sentries brought into a respawn room no longer detonate outside of Mann vs. Machine
    • The Jag
      • Added damage penalty against buildings. Now takes 3 hits to destroy a Sapper.
    • Rescue Ranger
      • Healing per bolt reduced from 75 to 60


Patch Notes–December 18, 2015

  • Fixed a client crash related to the HUD
  • Fixed a client crash related to picking up weapons
  • Fixed some Mac client crashes related to being out of memory
  • Fixed a bug with removing the Gifter’s Name on gift-wrapped items
  • Fixed paint cans from the Gift-Stuffed Stocking always being tradeable
  • Fixed an issue with knives not animating correctly
  • Fixed a bug related to the Loose Cannon and bots in Mann vs. Machine mode
  • Fixed Engineer’s Wrangler contract updating points for players other than the Engineer doing the contract
  • Fixed a bug where the Sapper preview would disable buildings when removed
  • Fixed a bug with Sentry Guns being disabled for 5 seconds instead of the desired 0.5 seconds after a Sapper is removed
  • Fixed an issue with The Concheror regen not being 4 health per second as intended
  • Fixed the Half-Zatoichi giving more overheal then intended. Max overheal is 1.5x base health.
  • Added the EdgeGamers UltiDuo Participant 2015 tournament medal
  • Added an option in Adv. Options to disable teammate glow effects after respawn
  • Updated the equip_region for the Chicago Overcoat
  • Updated the models/materials for The Chill Chullo

Notes missed from the previous update:

  • Huntsman
    • Can be fired while off the ground
  • Updated pass_pinewood
    • Fixed lighting/shadow issues
    • Increased size of water tower goals

[N] Obey

News You Can Use: 5/31/2015

Posted on: May 31st, 2015 by Obey

There hasn’t been much in the way of patches in TF2, so let’s spread some news!

o. UPDATE 6/1/15: There is a new “Mysterious” badge locked in your Steam badges list.  Gee, that might have something to do with the Steam Summer Sale.  Get your gems together…!

1. Rumor is, the Steam Summer Sale starts June 11th! It will run for two weeks, and then there will be some encore sales afterward.

2. Back in April, Valve declared that they are working on ways to implement matchmaking (i.e. a rating system that measures your skill) in competitive play. In other words, an official Valve way of identifying your competitive playing skill without having to graduate through ranks to reach the top. Now, if they could just do this with regular pubbers!

3. PC Gamer’s May 4th article about TF2′s longevity, and their March 12th article about games that are great for kids while being somewhat educational also.

4. Strange Kritzkriegs are still selling in the US$40 to $50 range. They’re only a ~1% drop from a #92 crate (or a 20% drop from a #30 crate), but since falling from US$75 to $100, the price has stabilized for months. But hey, if you get lucky, quicksell it so you can have some money for the Steam Sale….


[N] Obey

Stats Contest #13 + #15 – Win Keys!

Posted on: October 11th, 2014 by The Jib

Hey Hey, Jib here.. With some updates on the latest Newbs Contest

In September we trialed our new stats contest, awarding 5 players with honorz and their choice of prize from my backpack.

Here are the winners for September:

Top Points: Arthur Digby Sellers 
Time Played: Lindorm 
Dominations: The Infamous Mr. A 
Godlikes: Dam dude 
Deaths: [N] BlueArmadillo 


Last month we kept the stats on #15 plr_hightower. This month we are combining #13 koth_harvest with #15′s plr_hightower stats for the contest (trial basis).

We’re also upping the prize to a KEY (or equal value) for each winner. (You can only win one category)

How to win this month?

Most Kills
Most Kills with Caber (the holy grail)
Time Played
Most Revenges

Stats run from 10/1/14 to 10/31/14. The month is still young, so get out there and kill some mofoz!

Server #13:

Server #15:

TF2 Update: 10/1/14

Posted on: October 1st, 2014 by Obey

NOTE: Currently, servers #13 and #27 (UK) are down.  The usual server mechanics have been notified, and I’m sure everything will be up in less than a day. –[N] Obey

Here’s what’s going on:

  1. The 2014 Saxxy winners have been announced! Click the link to watch the nominated videos.
  2. All TF2 servers can now allow a vote whether to activate/deactivate player-count autobalancing only.
  3. All TF2 servers now, by default, allow teamtalk to be on (allowing dead players to be heard by living players).
  4. Muting a player now applies to text chat as well as voice chat.
    • Previously, this was not available without SourceMod or other third-party scripts (I think).
  5. Minor changes to rd_asteroid

Full Patch Notes

  • Improved memory usage for Mac clients
  • Fixed an exploit that allowed item nametags to go beyond the 40 character limit
  • Fixed a bug where reflected rocket explosions from non-stock flamethrowers would cause the flame sound to loop
  • tf_teamtalk is now on by default – the dead can talk to the living
  • When you mute a player, the mute settings now apply to text chat as well as voice chat. If you want the previous behavior, change convar cl_mute_all_comms to 0.
  • More weapon models are now loaded on demand to reduce overall memory usage
  • Added “Enable/Disable Auto TeamBalancevotes
  • Updated rd_asteroid
    • Increased overtime to 45 seconds
    • Added more sound cues when overtime starts
    • Dropped reactor cores now blink on the HUD when they are about to return
    • Added latest art assets to blue base exterior

Undocumented changes


[N] Obey