Team Fortress 2 Sniper / Spy Update – How to get unlockable weapons & items (and other important update info)
TF2 players have been waiting for this day for weeks. The newest Team Fortress 2 patch is now active as of about 7:30 CST (-6 GMT).
There are a number of eyebrow-raisers in this update:
- Weapon Unlockables are now…not unlockable!? From what I can gather, Valve has now made all extra weapons … DROPS! Yes that’s right, no need to spend hours trying to farm achievements. Now you will just find the weapons while playing. No word yet on how exactly the “drops” work, but I can verify that other items, such as the Heavy’s gloves ARE dropped now. I have heard some unfounded reports that you have to find a drop each match (not likely), that you must kill someone using the item (a little more likely, but not really), or that you will simply find them randomly while playing after a set amount of random time (seems a bit more likely). As mentioned, I have seen someone get the Heavy drop and I’ve also seen someone get the Spy’s new revolver: the Ambassador. This is after the patch has been live only 2 hours.Of course Valve is letting everyone figure it out for themselves as is their custom.To keep updated on how to receive the new items/weapons, see the TF2 forum thread UPDATE: A couple of different sources have confirmed that item drops are now completely random. For example a player playing as an Engineer has received the Scout weapon “Sandman” while upgrading a teleporter entrance.
The unlockable item drops are currently at random, over time. As with all such systems, the more you play, the better your odds of getting the items. Unfortunately you can also get items you already have. This may be a bug and may be fixed. When you do “find” an item, everyone in the server will receive a message about which item you found. The drops/finds are at random and do not seemed to be based on performance, achievements, or any other action in-game. The system is set to be explained officially by Valve tomorrow, Friday May 22.
- The Sniper is receiving a new item, the Jarate, which is causing something of an uproar on forums. The Jarate was originally touted as a new Sniper unlockable wayyy back in April. April 1st to be exact…Valve played this news off as an April Fool’s joke. Apparently they played it off too well, because nobody could believe that a jar of Australian Sniper urine would be one of the biggest game updates. Many people are also concerned that a jar of urine is not appropriate for the game. The Jarate deals a splash effect which does all of the following: enemies will receive 35% extra damage, douses flames from friendly players, and stops spy cloaking for a short amount of time.
- New Map type: Payload Race. This is an extremely action packed map, generally set in very small areas. So far it seems to be quite a lot of fun, but really its tough to judge anything with 80% of teams being made up of spies and snipers.
- A couple of forum detectives over at the TF2 Forums have found a new female head skin. What this means, what it will be used for, and why we should care is undetermined as of right now. The file is located at: tf/materials/models/player/shared_parts/head/female … see the thread here and here’s a link to the actual skin image file
- The scoreboard has been updated with small icons to quickly give information on classes and whether players are alive or dead. Many, including myself, feel these icons look pretty amateurish
Also, current bugs:
- If you backstab a cloaked spy, the game will crash. This has personally already happened to me and I have seen other reports of it on the TF2 Official Forums. When this happens, TF2 will either stop responding or will completely crash with an “Unexpected Error” message.
The Valve/Steam servers are currently overloaded (9:00 PM CST), but this seems to be settling already. Since the update there have been connection problems and most players have reported not even being able to use their old unlockable items.
For me, I can’t wait to “find” the new weapons and give them a try. Until then, you can find me playing the new maps–especially the Payload Race type. Happy spy hunting.
Some links to check out:
- New “Meet the Spy” video. Leaked the day before, apparently by accident by one of the Valve employees who did not know how to use YouTube properly. A hilarious volley of TF2 blog posts followed wherein many employees were fired/killed for the accident.
- TF2Wiki – a great starting point for learning more about Team Fortress 2. Detailed statistics and information on classes, maps, weapons, etc.
- Team Fortress Official Forums – a great source of bleeding edge current information on the game, community, strategy, etc. You’ll find a fair share of flaming here but if you sift through it enough you can find some great information.