This means WAR!!!

In a vague attempt to actually pay attention to the current gaming situation, I’ve actually stopped playing Dungeon Keeper and loaded up Team Fortress 2. The past week has seen the beginning and end of the WAR update with the focus of this update being the Soldier and Demoman. Those who haven’t ever played Team Fortress 2 really should stop reading now and go and buy it on Steam, but they might also be interested to know that the Valve updates are usually an interesting affair.

Going back to the first class update, we had the first set of unlocks given to the Medic. Back then, TF2 really wasn’t that old (Roughly 6 months) and it was the first big update that the game was given. Dear God it was horrible. Everywhere you looked you saw people flailing uselessly as medics, and too many times it was impossible to win a match because everyone would be farming away. This lead to the creation of the achievement maps and overall farming by some to get the achievements. The shiny achievements took away many souls. Even worse was the fact that they were just stupid achieves as well, a great example being ‘Play Doctor: In a team with no Medics, be first to switch to Medic after a teammate calls “Medic!”, and then heal 500 health.’ which as you’d imagine is both hard and annoying.

Granted, over time, the system got better. Changing the rules so that everyone didn’t need to get every achievement and only needed two-thirds eased the farming. The updates were just handled better as well. Instead of just being told outright that we’d be getting a new maps, new guns and so on, it made it much better to be told in stages. I for one kept refreshing the page every day to see what the new things would be. Also because I had no life, but that’s beside the point. The past 4 or so have been amazing, with Valve really pulling all the stops out. The Sniper update which turned out to be a Spy update at the same time, the classless update which had Valve making the mistake of assuming that nobody in the community had thought of snow, and all sorts.

Then of course we have this wonderous WAR update, with Valve throwing down the gauntlet to Soldiers and Demomen everywhere to see who could kill the other more. I sadly didn’t get to partake in the actual war itself, but it looked endlessly entertaining, especially as it got so close towards the end. And now we have a new update on our hands, a new selection of achievement maps and various other little tweaks.

Having now had a little play, I’m not too sure this update is as good as the last one. I loved the Spy update seeing as the unlocks were easy to get playing like a normal spy, and the sniper ones seemed similar. Maybe I just suck at playing as a demoman that I’ve only got one. Then again, a lot of the achievements are linked to you using the grenade launcher, which I actually don’t use, or more are require the unlocked weapons, which isn’t fair really. I haven’t had the chance to look at the soldier ones personally, but some people have been saying that a fair few of them are bugged.

So is this update a good job or a bad one? I’m undecided so far. I don’t really have the skills as either class to see why I should really go to them. Then again, my spy work was quite shoddy, but now I’ve found my niche I appear to do enough cleaning up. I think it’s a case of wait and see. Some of the new weapons look like fun, but the sword that gives you health and speed as the demoman? Wasn’t he overpowered as it is? The only weapon that looks like fun and not a game-breaker is the Direct Hit, seeing as it appears to be a good way of getting Soldiers to be thinking about their shots. Who knows?

However, a little update that might have skipped your eyes is the fact that there are now bots in Team Fortress 2. It’s only a beta, and only works on 3 maps, but I’ve been having a play with them the past few days and it appears to be a good way of practising your skills to take to proper online play. If you want to give them a go, create your own server, load up one of the KOTH maps and type ‘tf_bots_add (number of bots) (Bot class) (Bot team)’ in the console. It’s worthwhile if you need a quick mess around. It also makes you feel better if you’re planning on farming the achievements. Not that the thought has ever crossed my mind. Give it a go.

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