This blog has been updated for the changes from Day 2. Here’s the summary, with more details forthcoming:
Day 1′s Important Changes
- Competitive Mode is now out of Beta
- PASS Time is now out of Beta
- You can play in unranked (casual) games, if you wish, to match you into games with players with roughly equal Comp Rank
- Three new Community maps
- Released in the Day 2 patch: Sunshine, Swiftwater, and Metalworks
- No TF2 patch has released yet–but one is expected on Day 2 (tonight or tomorrow?)
Day 2′s Important Changes:
- A “WAR” between Team Heavy and Team Pyro
- Choose one Team when you join your next Ranked or Unranked game
- Points you score go toward your Team; doesn’t matter what class you play
- Winning Team overall all of TF2 (Heavy or Pyro) will decide which character will be first to get a patch designed for that character
- The losing character will likely get a patch some time after the winner
- Some important game rebalances
- Added 4 new taunts
- Added the Perfect Stranger crate
- Added new “starter pack” crates and “keyless cosmetic” crates in the Mann Co. Store
- Each class has one of each, so that you can outfit your favorite class
- Added new items in the Valve Store
What is Competitve Mode?
As the splash page says, you can now join a ranked 6-vs-6 game, solo or with up to 5 of your friends, to play a Ranked game where the outcome of the game affects your Rank. Measured from 1-18, your Rank can go up or down depending on points scored and whether you win or lose. You can lose Rank and face temporary bans from Comp play by leaving a match or being disconnected.
There seems to be an option for 9-vs-9 games as well, but it isn’t currently available.
Quickplay now has the option to join a casual, unranked match where you play against players of similar Rank. “Unranked match” means that playing doesn’t affect your Rank, but does put you into a game with (hopefully) users of similar skill.
Here’s the FAQ and the wiki page, but here’s some more pertinent info:
- To play, you need to be a Premium (not F2P) user. See this blogpost for more info on what Premium is.
- To play, you also need either a valid phone number registered to your Steam account OR buy a Lifetime TF2 Comp Pass.
- The Lifetime Comp Pass is not to be confused with the TF2 Comp Beta Pass.
- If you currently have the Steam Mobile Authenticator on your smartphone, you should already qualify.
- During play, note the following additional rules:
- Currently only 6v6 is supported, no class restrictions
- You can’t change your teams, and you’re penalized if you leave the match
- Random critical hits are disabled for all weapons
- Shotgun-type weapons (only) have fixed damage spreads (in a 3×3 grid pattern)
- Symmetrical Control Point maps play best-of-3 rounds (or best-of-5 rounds in higher Ranks)
- Attack/Defense maps play the Stopwatch mode where the fastest attacking team wins
- DirectX9 and certain vanilla graphical modes/options are enforced
- Maps currently supported: Process, Badlands (!!), Gorge, Gullywash, Snakewater, and KOTH Viaduct
- Note that the 3 new Community-made maps are not yet supported
3 New Community Maps
(I’m glad to see that these maps aren’t set in the desert.)
Sunshine is a traditional 5CP map designed for competitive 6v6 play that might remind you a little of Badlands. Has already seen UGC Comp play. A Halloween-themed clone, Sinshine, also exists, so expect it to show up in this year’s Halloween rotation as well.
Metalworks is also a traditional 5CP map, set in a cloudy industrial setting at night. It’s as grey as your bosses’ hearts.
Swiftwater is a payload map in a water bottling map in an Alpine setting. This map has seen lots of play in the UGC Comp Highlander ladders.
Important Game Rebalances
There are SO MANY important game rebalances, I’m going to have to write a separate blogpost about it. Here are the biggest changes:
Yeah, I’m out of time. Scroll down to read the patch notes–you’ll be glad you did. Have fun adjusting how you play Medic!!
4 New Taunts
These taunts are currently only available for purchase in the Mann Co. Store, and not in a crate at this time.
- The Balloonibouncer has the Pyro jump onto a spring-loaded Balloonicorn and ride it… well, a little gentler than the Engineer rides his Bucking Bronco. $7.99 in Mann Co. Store.
- The Disco Fever has the Spy do a short disco-inspired dance for 8 seconds. $4.99 in Mann Co. Store.
- The Carlton has the Scout do a 6-second dance where he wishes he was related to the Fresh Prince, Will Smith. $6.99 in Mann Co. Store. Da da DAA daa….
- The Fubar Fanfare has the Soldier play a sad trombone for 5 seconds. $4.99 in Mann Co. Store. Womp womp womp womp….
The “Perfect Stranger” Crate
Also known as Crate #103, this crate requires a standard Mann. Co Key, and is filled with Strange-quality weapons and weapon parts that have been requested by the TF2 community. Here’s what’s inside:
- Strange Part: Heavies Killed
- Strange Part: Pyros Killed
- Strange Part: Critical Kills
- Strange Part: Allied Healing Done
- Strange Part: Damage Dealt
- Strange Sandvich
- Strange Natascha
- Strange Powerjack
- Strange Degreaser
- Strange Reserve Shooter
- Strange Ambassador
- Strange Quickiebomb Launcher
- Strange Back Scatter
- Strange Panic Attack
- Strange Iron Bomber
- or the usual 1% chance of an Unusual cosmetic item
None of the above items existed as a Strange item before. Also, all of those items are assumed to have an equal chance to drop. (Don’t forget: all of those items are marketable also!)
“Starter Pack” Item Bundles
Nah man, it’s not a meme. These are item packages sold in the Mann Co. Store to outfit the class of your choice. They’re on the Home screen of the Store under the “Starter Pack” tab.
Each item bundle includes one each of all of the non-Stock, non-promotional items for that class. All of the items are Unique-quality, cannot be used in crafting, and they (and the item bundle itself, if left unopened) are tradable after a few days. The bundles cost between US$2 and $6, with the Medic being cheapest (fewest items) and the Soldier being the most expensive (most items). Each bundle also includes one Name Tag, so you can rename your new favorite weapon.
For example, the $3.99 Sniper Starter Pack include a Huntsman, Razorback, Jarate, Tribalman’s Shiv, Syndey Sleeper, Darwin’s Danger Shield, Bushwacka, Shahanshah, Bazaar Bargain, Machina, Cozy Camper, Cleaner’s Carbine, Hitman’s Heatmaker, and the Classic, plus a Name Tag. (Note that you don’t get items like the AWPer Hand or a Fortified Compound, because those were both promotional weapons and cosmetic reskins of other weapons.)
You can also choose not to open the bundle after you buy it, and trade or market it later. Perfect for gifting to noobs.
“Keyless Cosmetic” Crates
Called the “Unlocked Cosmetic Crates” in the Mann Co. Store, you can buy for US$2.49 (the same price as a key!) this tool item of the class of your choice. When opened, it produces one random cosmetic equippable by that class, with an unknown chance of it being Strange or Unusual. These crates are found under the same “Starter Pack” tab in the Store.
We don’t know what the chances are for the item to be Strange or Unusual. We also don’t know if all-class or multiple-class cosmetics can drop from it, or cosmetics from certain series like Robocrates, or promotional items. The crates do say that any Strange or Unusual items pulled are hats only, so don’t expect to get lucky and pull an Unusual that wasn’t possible before. If a drop list becomes available, I’ll provide a link in the future.
Consider this: It costs four refined metal + one class token to craft a hat of a given class (or three ref for a cosmetic of a random class), which is cheaper than buying this crate (or a key). But it can be a pain to bother finding a trading partner to trade enough metal, with keys being worth 20 ref for a while now.
Also, all of the cosmetics for sale in the Mann Co. Store are minimum US$4.99, so whatever you get is a relative deal. The TF2 community, as well as Valve, has gotten away from crafting or introducing new weapons into the economy (at least until the Pyro and/or Heavy future patches come out), and players are much more likely now to buy straight from Valve or the Market. TF2Newbs still has two trade servers, #2 and #18, so you can try to find trade partners there.
One More Thing About Crates
All (well, maybe most) crates in your inventory now include a list of the possible items within. If you mouse over the items, you get a pop-up picture of the item, so you can see better what possible items are in the crate.
Full Patch Notes: July 8, 2016
As always, the full patch notes are from the Official TF2 Wiki.
- Added Casual and Competitive Matchmaking modes
- Added the Heavy vs. Pyro war
- 3 new community maps
- Added 3 new community taunts
- Added 1 new official taunt
- Added the Perfect Stranger crate
- Reworked the main menu
- All play-related buttons are now accessible by clicking the “Find a game” button
- Moved the Workshop and Replay buttons down the bottom group of mini-buttons
- Enemies killed by energy weapons now play a special sound as their body dissolves
- Improved stopwatch UI to help better communicate game state
- Added new sound vo files for Competitive Mode
- Added sounds to all attacks where the target player resisted a part of the damage
- Added Prinny promo items for purchasing Disgaea: Prinny Hat, Prinny Pouch, and Prinny Machete
- Added AsiaFortress Cup Mercenaries Cup Season 7 medals
- Added TF2Maps 72hr TF2Jam Summer Participant medal
- Added Random Acts of TF2 medals
- Added check to prevent players with P-REC loaded from participating in matchmaking
- Prevents P-REC crashing which results in players receiving abandon penalties
- Updated the Demo Support feature
- Added an option to only record matches that are played using Tournament mode (
- Added an option to auto-delete matches that don’t have any events recorded
- Fixed a bug where tickcount values were being noted incorrectly
- Options can be set using the Adv. Options menu
- Updated model/materials for the Bonk Boy, Dr’s Dapper Topper, The Sole Saviors, and The Dark Falkirk Helm
- Updated the localization files
- PASS Time update
- No longer in Beta!
- New Items Available
- An Early Participation Pin will be awarded to everyone who played PASS Time during beta
- Two new achievements with item rewards
- Tune Merasmus’s Multi-Dimensional Television
- Map Changes
- Game Mode Changes
- Changed the score limit from 3 to 5
- Tweaked various JACK throwing parameters
- Pack Running
- The JACK no longer heals the player carrying it
- A player carrying the JACK with no nearby teammates is marked for death
- Teammates near a player holding the JACK will be slowly healed, and can run as fast as the fastest nearby teammate
- JACK Power
- Passing the JACK increases a power meter
- The power meter will decay over time
- Filling the power meter unlocks a special goal worth extra points
- Art Changes
- New view model animations
- The HUD provides more information about goal type and status
- Player pips for Spies will reflect cloak and disguise status
- Misc Details
- Added cvar
tf_glow entity that can be used to enable the glow effect on any entity
trigger_passtime_ball FGD entry to hide unimplemented features, temporarily
- Spawnflag added to
func_passtime_goal to indicate to the HUD that a goal is unlocked by JACK power
- Fixed being able to repeatedly activate taunts before the current one had ended while underwater
- Fixed disguising with the Conniver’s Kunai while spotted by a Sentry causing the Sentry to ignore the Spy
- Fixed class change notifications appearing to the enemy team for a period of time after teams swap sides in Competitive Mode
- Fixed a case where players would sometimes see other players carrying the wrong weapon(s)
- Fixed a bug where the Engineer couldn’t remove the Sapper from a linked teleporter if was building (not active)
- Fixed a bug where the Engineer was able to heal a linked teleporter while it was building. This now matches the behavior for the other buildings.
- Updated several hats to fix the Sniper not removing them while taunting
- Fixed hiding the Pyro’s head when using the second style of the Fear Monger
- Fixed using the wrong ozfortress medals for divisions other than Premier
- Fixed a few UGC tournament medals using the wrong names
- Fixed the Engineer’s missing pelvis hitbox
- Thanks to Justin G., aka sigsegv, for these reports
- Fixed airblasts sometimes sending reflected projectiles toward friendly players, buildings, and projectile shields
- Fixed demo record/read stringtables not writing/reading past 512kb
- Fixed inconsistency between items that use mini-crit buff (
- Fixed multiple Mann vs. Machine bugs caused by bot AI functions being executing after the bots have died
- Fixed a bug related to lunchbox items, where the ammo bar can be drained in cases when it shouldn’t be
- Fixed Medics sometimes instantly reviving players in Mann vs. Machine
- Fixed several cases of loading and rendering hitches that would cause abrupt changes in FPS
- Improved Flamethrower flame performance in Mann vs. Machine on clients and servers by up to +500%
.res files are now cached after loading, reducing framerate hitches. Custom HUD authors can disable this by setting
vgui_cache_res_files to 0.
- Improved rendering performance of zombies
- Improved VGUI font performance
Custom HUD Versioning
- In order to reduce crashing and broken UI elements after updates, custom HUDs now must explicitly specify the version of the TF UI with which they are compatible
- Custom HUD files must now be installed as add-ons under the
tf/custom/ folder. Loose .res files extracted to the game directory will not be loaded
- Custom HUDs must now contain a file named “
info.vdf” in their root folder, with the key “
ui_version” set to the TF UI version with which they are compatible
- The current TF UI version is 1
- Non-HUD add-ons under
tf/custom/ will continue to work without an “
info.vdf” file, but may not load
Mann Co. Store
- Added the Competitive Matchmaking Pass
- Added new class starter packs
- Added new key-less cosmetic crates
- Revamped main store pages
- Added a spotlight item
- Added ability to mouse over and preview items in a bundle/crate/collection
- Adjusted some weapon prices for consistency
- Added new ammo pack locations in final and yard areas
- Clips and blockbullets added to stairs
- Final cap point capture time increased to 2 seconds (from 1 second)
- Clips and blockbullets added to stairs
- Reduced ammo kit in final cap entry room (attackers’ side) to medium
- Slightly reduced attacking team’s spawn time when working on final
- Fixed an exploit where players could sometimes build sentries in the cliffside by capture point 3
- Fixed the first and second cap points of stage 3 each awarding 2 points to the capturing team instead of 1
- All official maps now set Mannpower mode without requiring the use of the
- Added Marked-for-Death debuff for 2 seconds after the buff effect expires
- The Soda Popper
- Added “On hit: build Hype”
- Removed “build hype by running around”
- Added an Alt-fire attack — reach out and shove someone!
- Removed +healing bonus
- Reduced pushback vuln to +20% (from +40%)
- Sun on a stick
- Take 25% less damage from fire while deployed
- The Righteous Bison
- Fixed a bug causing players to be hit by the same projectile multiple times, causing the damage dealt to vary wildly
- Per-shot damage has been increased to compensate, resulting in slightly more damage on average 
- Point-blank deals 54 damage (previously 20-80)
- Maximum range deals 24 damage (previously 14-56)
- Slowed projectile by 30%
- Projectile damage reduced by 25% for each enemy penetrated
- Updated projectile impact sound
- The Disciplinary Action
- Reduced duration of speed bonus on teammates to 2 seconds (from 3)
- The Rocket Jumper
- Updated model/materials and sound
- Cozy Camper
- Now requires a full charge to gain flinch resistance
- The Sydney Sleeper
- When fully charged, or when making a headshot, now applies Jarate in a radius
- Scoped shots now extinguish teammates
- The Cleaner’s Carbine
- Removed hidden +10% damage taken multiplier while under the effects
- Natascha and Brass Beast
- 20% damage resistance now only applies when spun up and below 50% max health
- Huo-Long Heater
- Added -10% damage
- Added +25% increased damage vs. burning players
- Reduced ammo drain to -4/sec (from -6)
- Reduced pulse damage from Ring of Fire to 12 (from 15) due to increased damage vs. burning
- Buffalo Steak Sandvich
- Fixed “damage taken” multiplier accidentally being +10%, instead of the listed +25%
- Max speed increased to 320 (from 300)
- Attacks pierce resist and absorb effects from all sources
- All Flamethrowers
- Added: Direct damage reduces Medi Gun healing and resist shield effects by 25%
- Medics hear a “healing interrupted” sound when this is happening to their heal target
- The Manmelter
- Removed (hidden) 20% fire rate penalty
- All Mediguns allow the Medic to match the speed of their heal target
- Quick Fix
- ÜberCharge rate reduced to +15% (from +25%)
- Increased movement speed bonus to +20% (from +10%)
- Increased damage penalty to -15% (from -10%)
- Dropped Mediguns
- Stored ÜberCharge begins to decay over time after coming to rest
- All boots now require a shield to activate any move speed bonus listed on the item
- The Iron Bomber
- Decreased the fuse time to 1.4 seconds (from 2.0)
- The Quickiebomb Launcher
- Increased charge time reduction to -70% (from -50%)
- Increased damage bonus for (max) charged shots to +35% (from +25%)
- Increased clip size penalty to -50% (from -25%)
- Removed “Stickybombs fizzle 4 seconds after landing”
- The Sticky Jumper
- Updated model/materials and sound
- Level 1 teleporters now cost 50 metal (previously 125)
- Damage increased +10% when attacking the same target as your sentry
- Eureka Effect
- Reduced “50% less metal from Dispensers and Pickups” to 20%
- Added “Teleporters cost 50% less metal”
- The Short Circuit
- Base projectile attack is -10 metal (hit or miss) and then add -5 metal for each projectile destroyed (sometimes a buff, sometimes a nerf)
- The Pomson(sic)
- Fixed an exploit with shooting through your own buildings
- Increased close-range damage to 72 (from 62)
- Reduced long-range damage to 32 (from 42)
- Updated projectile impact sound
= Undocumented changes
- Pomson 6000
- Added projectile impact particle.
- Fixed a bug where the Medic’s run speed would not adjust when his heal target was killed
- Fixed client crash related to custom HUDs
Feel free to leave a comment with any questions, and I’ll answer them in a future blogpost.
And expect a blogpost about the item rebalances and bugfixes in a LENGTHY blogpost in the next three days. 284,677 lifetime hits, and we want more!