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Team Fortress 2 Goes Free-to-Play

Valve announces that Team Fortress 2 is now free-to-play, saying this change is part of the Über Update, which they are calling the "largest content pack delivered to TF2 since it shipped in 2007." There is an interview about this with Valve's Robin Walker on Develop explaining this will not entail advertisements, just microtransactions for hats and other aesthetic items. "We've been toying with the idea of making Team Fortress free-to-play ever since the Mann-conomy update [in September 2010]," Walker said. "The data we got back from that update leads us to believe that TF2 would be more successful as a completely free product." He goes on to discuss the benefits of this move: "It's a belief of ours that in multiplayer games it's generally true that the more people playing the game, the higher value the game has for each individual customer. The more players, the more available servers in your area, the wider variety of other players you'll find, the greater the opportunity for new experiences, and so on." Here's a Team Fortress 2 is Free to Play trailer and the Meet the Medic trailer, and here's the announcement:

Team Fortress 2 is now Free to Play

June 23, 2011 - Valve, creators of bestselling game franchises (such as Half-Life, Portal, Left 4 Dead, and Counter-Strike) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), announced today that after four years and over 200 updates, its popular and critically-acclaimed online action game Team Fortress 2 (TF2) is now Free To Play (F2P).

The F2P announcement comes as part of the "Über Update". Released today, it is the largest content pack delivered to TF2 since it shipped in 2007.

New players interested in experiencing what PC Gamer calls "the most fun you can have online" will have access to training and offline practice modes, so they can hone their skills before jumping into the ever-expanding TF2 universe.

To celebrate the launch of the Über Update, Valve has released "Meet the Medic," the latest in its series of TF2 animated shorts.

TF2 is now Free to Play for PC & Mac players via Steam.

For more information on Free to Play, please visit http://www.teamfortress.com/freetoplay.

For more information on the "Über Update" and "Meet the Medic", please visit http://www.teamfortress.com/uberupdate.

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66 Replies. 4 pages. Viewing page 1.
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66. Re: Team Fortress 2 Goes Free-to-Play Jun 25, 2011, 06:35 Asmo
 
ViRGE wrote on Jun 24, 2011, 00:27:
It's not a FPS anymore, it's an RPG. Best stats win.

Bullshit, best teamwork wins.

Payload matches are a great example of this, everyone is off lone wolfing until 30 seconds before the match end then everyone starts bitching that no one is pushing the cart...
 
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65. Re: Team Fortress 2 Goes Free-to-Play Jun 24, 2011, 20:05 Jerykk
 
Yeah, I didn't realize it either until I turned on the damage numbers in the Advanced Options. I'm not a big fan of the decreased damage over distance. Rockets move slowly enough that they are easy to dodge at long range. There's no need to reduce their damage as well. Without the reduced damage, rockets would be significantly more effective against turrets and snipers.  
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64. Re: Team Fortress 2 Goes Free-to-Play Jun 24, 2011, 19:26 Sepharo
 
Rockets lose damage over distance

Didn't realize this, I thought a direct hit did the same amount of damage regardless of firing distance.

This very detailed page agrees with you though:
http://tf2wiki.net/wiki/Rocket_Launcher
 
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63. Re: Team Fortress 2 Goes Free-to-Play Jun 24, 2011, 19:06 DG
 
Steam is usually fast, even today it started at 2.2MB/s at 6pm UK time, sat there for a while then just fell off a cliff, eventually taking 4 1/2 hours to pull down the 5.5GB.

My ISP isn't one of the cheapo ones, packages are true unlimited and they do not throttle. It probably helps that I live in the centre of the city where more of the broadband lines will be serving offices than homes, so there's no "peak time" congestion at the last mile. I can saturate my connection by downloading Ubuntu or something from MS at any time of day.

Literally the only inconsistent source I use regularly is Steam, and that's almost always fast all the time except when there's a major release.

Which I figure means either Steam's content server stats information isn't reliable or the connection between my ISP and Steam isn't up to it. I'm tempted to assume the former since other people whom I know to have other ISPs are usually complaining at the same time.
 
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62. Re: Team Fortress 2 Goes Free-to-Play Jun 24, 2011, 18:58 Jerykk
 
The original TF2 was very well balanced. I don't think the Pyro originally had the air blast, but that was a good addition since you could use it to blast the sticky bombs out of the way. Before then, the Heavy could use his gun to shoot the stickies and make them roll away. I think any class with a shotgun could do it too, but only one sticky at a time. A lot of people didn't know that, and I believe they removed that after adding a new weapon to a class that would allow them to re/move stickies.

No, you can still use any hitscan weapon to blow up stickies. The problem is that you usually don't see stickies before you have a chance to blow them up. Demos can easily spam them around corners and doorways and as soon as you poke you head through, boom, instant death. Given how many narrow corridors and chokepoints there are in most maps, this happens pretty often. Two stickies will kill any class except the heavy. Three will kill the heavy. Demos can also detonate stickies in midair. In addition, unlike rockets, stickies and grenades don't lose damage over distance. Two demos spamming stickies on a capture point or around the cart in a Payload map is extremely hard to counter. If Valve ever released a list of the weapons with the most kills, I'd bet good money that stickies would be at the very top.

A good spy was a counter to a level 3 sentry, or a heavy + medic with uber. Since the introduction to the

Since they began introducing new unlockable weapons, the game just isn't as well balanced. I wish they would make a "classic" mode were no custom/unlockable weapons/items are allowed.

It depends on the map. On some maps, you can build sentries in spots that can't be flanked, making it nigh impossible for spies to sap them. The simple fact that level 3 sentries have 600+ HP and ridiculously high DPS AND that each shot knocks you back makes the sentry pretty damn overpowered. A couple of level 3 sentries in the right spots can completely suppress the opposing team on many maps.

As for "classic" mode, there are already servers that only allow vanilla weapons.

Edit: Correction, level 3 sentries only effectively have 600+ HP when they are being controlled by the Wrangler. Still, even without the Wrangler, lvl 3 sentries have 200+ HP. That's more than every class except the heavy.

This comment was edited on Jun 24, 2011, 20:08.
 
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61. Re: Team Fortress 2 Goes Free-to-Play Jun 24, 2011, 18:31 Verno
 
Krovven wrote on Jun 24, 2011, 17:05:
Didn't mean for it to sound like I think that is the ONLY reason. But it is one of them and is in the users control to troubleshoot. For me, changing the settings, restarting Steam and testing the download speed has worked for me on multiple occasions.

If it's a crappy ISP, not much you can do other than change ISPs. If its temporary ISP latency, not much you can about that either. If Valves servers are actually bogged down, or a region is out, etc...issue falls with Valve. If there are just too many concurrent users trying to do the same thing, just keep trying.

But...once you do get through, and download speeds are slow...try changing the region settings and restarting Steam. This has worked for me more often than not.


Sure but we're talking about the bigger patch/release days where the problem is basically demand outstripping supply in terms of bandwidth. That kind of stuff doesn't usually make a difference, it's a totally different problem that's mostly on Steam's end. You can change the content server and that's about it unfortunately. I get the business side of why it's that way and people don't seem to care beyond needing to vent a bit so *shrug*.

This comment was edited on Jun 24, 2011, 18:42.
 
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60. Re: Team Fortress 2 Goes Free-to-Play Jun 24, 2011, 18:18 jimnms
 
descender wrote on Jun 24, 2011, 11:27:
Since they began introducing new unlockable weapons, the game just isn't as well balanced. I wish they would make a "classic" mode were no custom/unlockable weapons/items are allowed.

Do I really need to breakdown the opinions of balance with someone that clearly doesn't even play the game?

No, I don't think so. Relax. Just because you like to wade in the cesspool doesn't mean we all have to.

If hundreds of hours of play time means I "clearly don't play the game," then go ahead and break it down.
 
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MeanJim on Steam
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59. Re: Team Fortress 2 Goes Free-to-Play Jun 24, 2011, 17:05 Krovven
 
Didn't mean for it to sound like I think that is the ONLY reason. But it is one of them and is in the users control to troubleshoot. For me, changing the settings, restarting Steam and testing the download speed has worked for me on multiple occasions.

If it's a crappy ISP, not much you can do other than change ISPs. If its temporary ISP latency, not much you can about that either. If Valves servers are actually bogged down, or a region is out, etc...issue falls with Valve. If there are just too many concurrent users trying to do the same thing, just keep trying.

But...once you do get through, and download speeds are slow...try changing the region settings and restarting Steam. This has worked for me more often than not.

 
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58. Re: Team Fortress 2 Goes Free-to-Play Jun 24, 2011, 16:55 Verno
 
Krovven wrote on Jun 24, 2011, 15:34:
Right...so as I said...Each users experience varies from the next.


Right but you seemed to imply it had something to do with download settings when most of the time your speeds and experiecne are largely out of your control. Switching content servers is a "treat the symptoms, not the disease" thing.
 
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57. Re: Team Fortress 2 Goes Free-to-Play Jun 24, 2011, 15:34 Krovven
 
Verno wrote on Jun 24, 2011, 13:27:
It has little to do with routing and more to do with whether you grab bandwidth when it's free or not. Even then it fluctuates quite a bit because they usually don't have enough to go around.

Right...so as I said...Each users experience varies from the next.

 
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56. Re: Team Fortress 2 Goes Free-to-Play Jun 24, 2011, 15:26 Verno
 
DG wrote on Jun 24, 2011, 15:19:
I can never understand why my Steam download rate is crap when the content server stats are far from full.

Usually network congestion on your ISPs end if you're playing at primetime. Sometimes it's a routing issue that usually resolve themselves if it's not a permanent peering issue. Other times it's Steam. They happen for a variety of reasons but generally speaking most companies do not provision for release days because it makes no sense from a monetary standpoint.
 
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55. Re: Team Fortress 2 Goes Free-to-Play Jun 24, 2011, 15:19 DG
 
I can never understand why my Steam download rate is crap when the content server stats are far from full.  
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54. Re: Team Fortress 2 Goes Free-to-Play Jun 24, 2011, 14:19 G-Snake
 
Thanks to the noobs!

You guys helped me set new life high scores for a bunch of classes.

PS. I love you Valve.
 
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53. Re: Team Fortress 2 Goes Free-to-Play Jun 24, 2011, 13:51 Sphinx
 
Gentle Nova wrote on Jun 24, 2011, 11:10:
Finally, the only negative downside to TF2 going free to play is the influx of newbs to the game. Hopefully the new tutorial and training methods can help these newbs get up to speed quickly.

Are you insane?!? New players are the best players. So naive, so killable. SO.. MUCH.. BLOOD!!!
 
-Sphinx
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52. Re: Team Fortress 2 Goes Free-to-Play Jun 24, 2011, 13:27 Verno
 
Each users experience varies from the next. Really depends on your download settings.

Not really on big release days. It has little to do with routing and more to do with whether you grab bandwidth when it's free or not. Even then it fluctuates quite a bit because they usually don't have enough to go around. Thankfully most TF2 patches aren't huge but there have been a few days where a big game drops and they decide to patch TF2 at the same time then it's just one big traffic jam all night.

To be fair to Steam, it makes no sense to provision for the 1% scenario as it's very costly and you get little payout. Most people are patient enough to wait a bit or try again later, it doesn't really have a big impact on anything.


Demoknight 4 life

Ok I'm convinced, I'll give that a whirl later.
 
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51. Re: Team Fortress 2 Goes Free-to-Play Jun 24, 2011, 12:48 PHJF
 
Demoknight 4 life

http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj316/PHJF/lochednloaded.jpg
 
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Steam + PSN: PHJF
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50. Re: Team Fortress 2 Goes Free-to-Play Jun 24, 2011, 12:46 Krovven
 
Dev wrote on Jun 23, 2011, 23:50:
That's because steam NEVER EVER has enough bandwidth for any major release. They have some amount of reserve for heavy demand thats still not enough for major releases.

Each users experience varies from the next. Really depends on your download settings. I'll get 150kb/sec from Seattle which is geographically right beside me, but I change it to San Jose and I get 2 mb/sec (which I get on a daily basis, major release or not).

Really only time I see a hiccup is the occasional 'This is not available' due to too many user requests on the Steam server(s).

 
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49. Re: Team Fortress 2 Goes Free-to-Play Jun 24, 2011, 12:34 Krovven
 
Tom wrote on Jun 23, 2011, 23:12:
Complainers should be shot. With many arrows.

LOL, So true, so true.

 
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48. Re: Team Fortress 2 Goes Free-to-Play Jun 24, 2011, 11:55 Verno
 
descender wrote on Jun 24, 2011, 11:27:
Do I really need to breakdown the opinions of balance with someone that clearly doesn't even play the game?

It generally helps to tell people why they're wrong instead of just saying they are wrong unless you're just posting to be a jerk.

I don't see what's wrong with weapon balance personally given that everyone has the same opportunities to acquire the weapons themselves. There is enough inter-class/item rock paper scissors to ensure that no one class is really overpowered. I don't play competitively though so maybe I'm wrong.
 
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47. Re: Team Fortress 2 Goes Free-to-Play Jun 24, 2011, 11:27 descender
 
Since they began introducing new unlockable weapons, the game just isn't as well balanced. I wish they would make a "classic" mode were no custom/unlockable weapons/items are allowed.

Do I really need to breakdown the opinions of balance with someone that clearly doesn't even play the game?

No, I don't think so. Relax. Just because you like to wade in the cesspool doesn't mean we all have to.

This comment was edited on Jun 24, 2011, 11:34.
 
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