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Team Fortress Gameplay Trailer


Love what I see, but the timing sucks. It's like your girlfriend buying sexy lingerie while you're overseas on business. Such a tease.

Ok, maybe the analogy doesn't hold water, since I'm not really too concerned that Team Fortress 2 is lying to me, and really using all it's wonderfulness on another player behind my back. But still... the timing sucks.

Jeez, I need to start dating again.

Team Fortress Launch DELAYED!!

Someone cue the scene where Darth Vader cries "NOOOOOO!!!!!!"

From PC.gamespy.com
    Doug Lombardi himself has confirmed that the Valve trinity of Half-Life 2: Episode Two, Portal and Team Fortress 2 is being delayed until early 2007. ....Lombardi says the reason for the new date is due to Valve being "overly aggressive" on the original schedule.

Word on the street is February. Team Fortress 2 delayed till February. My heart is a puddle of melted bloody goo.

Well, at least it won't cost as much as Half-Life 2. That was also confirmed. Then again, you never know.


Why Me?

Expect things to slow down a bit here. I know, I know, It's not like I had a rabid fanbase on the edge of their seat here. But I'm having serious computer problems, and even though I can do a bit of writing at work, that is also the only opportunity to research my compy problem.

Still, I am determined to make this little chunk of webspace the authority on all new, rumors, strategies, and ladder news for Team Fortress 2. Not that I'm being a little keyword whore or anything. Because I'm not.

*wanders off, whistling*


(It's an x-entertainment thing).


The Original Team Fortress Theme Song

A little fraggin' music, maestro. :)

Apparently, the first Team Fortress had an operetic theme song.

From http://miknight.blogspot.com/2005/12/team-fortress-theme-song.html

It was from a collection of songs known as the Carmina Burana by Carl Orff. The theme song is number 5: I Primo Vere - Ecce gratum. Apparently Primo Vere means "In Springtime" or "the first Spring". Ecce gratum roughly means "behold, the pleasant (Spring)". If you're interested you can view the lyrics (with translation -- I know my Latin is pretty rusty).

It was great to be able to finally hear the song in something of greater quality than the woefully encoded wave file included in the TF package. The song brings back a lot of memories and I've blogged the details here in the hope other people will be able to find the song and experience the same thing.

I didn't get it to work, but I'm sure some hunting with Amazon or Google could find an easier version to work with. Since I didn't really get enough time with good ole' Team Fortress for Quake, I doubt I would remember it. It was Weapons Factory that got me hooked. Maybe recalling my WeapFact days would make an interesting post one day.

Thanks to Mike and Mike's Blog.

Part 2 of the TF Class Revue!

This time, it's personal.

Well, not really.

See previous post to make sense of this.


1.5 Medic

My alltime favorite class. Not just because one hit kills (sorta... after a while... if they don't get healed... which happens less and less as players get smarter), and not just because you are the definition of an intuitive support class, but because of the balance. If you go offense, you're the second best flagcapper, thanks to conks, footspeed, and healing. If you go defense, you can heal allies, doom attackers to a quick death, and uncover spies. Even in midfield, infection can make a big difference, since it's unlike a player will get healed behind enemy lines. There is simply nothing bad about this class other than some days, you're all points, and other days - squat. But like I said, it's got the word "Team" in the title, and a good medic has loads of ways to show this.

This is why I feel he should be the last class to be nerfed. Soldier, Engie, and Medic should be the backbone of a team, especially if it is so easy to scout-proof a base.

1.6 HWGuy

Heavy Weapons Guy is like a Soldier. Only slower, tougher, and no splash damage. It's a tradeoff that favors the Soldier as a better, more fun class. But as long as it doesn't involve rocket jumping, the HWguy can do everything the Soldier can do. Just slower. And two things a Soldier can't do is guard a small hallway to 100% effectiveness (damage AND forceback from HWGuy's bullet stream) or inflict as much short term damage as the ole' MIRV grenade. In fact, I'm willing to best that the most damage that can be done by one class at one time would be a HW throwing a MIRV WHILE chopping them down with the minigun. Even another HW can't last long in that. So he's got that going for 'im.

1.7 Pyro

Pyro was the class that appealed to me first, since he was like a Soldier, only a little weaker, more of a nuisance, and because fire rules (cue Beavis saying "FIRE!! FIRE!! Heh heh"). I found out that he was a too little "Soldier", too much nuisance. Other thanspiess and scouts, Pyro is the weakest fighter in a confrontation. Unlike those two, it seems Pyro was designed specifically for battle.

Still, that doesn't make him unusable. A good pyro can work the midfield and defense fairly well. The fire eats away at enemies over time, more like a mild acid than napalm. If a persistent pyro really wants to take one or two players out of the opposing players offensive scheme, that offense will find themselves having to take extreme measures trying to free themselves of the pest that brings them to about one-third of their armor and health before they even get to the flag defense.

1.8 Spy

The thinking man's class. The spy is the best deceptive class in any first person shooter I've ever seen. Invisibility? I've never seen it done well enough graphically to be worth it. Smoke Screen? Splash Damage makes it all but pointless. The spy can mimic the other team. A good spy knows the illusion only starts with looking like the enemy. The master spy is the one who can act like it. A good spy, more than a good scout, can break a game (and enemy defense) wide open. Having both working together is a key to a truly elite offense. Very tough to learn the intricacies of the subterfuge though. Probably the only class I would say that I haven't been able to use effectively against stiff competition.

1.9 Engineer

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say, even though he isn't my favorite class, The Engineer is the class that truly separates Team Fortress from any other team based shooter. He gives the game a unique identity and provides a mechanic that is simply not found in any other game. The game is called Fortress in practically all versions of it, and it's because of the Sentry Gun. What is a Fort if not a building with capable, static defenses? Not unbeatable ones, of course, but one that take either surgical expertise, or multiplayer coordination to overcome.

Besides the Sentry, the 'Geer is a master support class, is useful on offense or defense, has arguably the most devastating grenade in the game, and everything he builds (in some games he can build teleporters in addition to a dispenser and the sentry. Oh, did I mention that this game ships with PORTAL, a game all about TELEPORTATION!!!) can detonate remotely, with at least the power of a rocket.

If you care about wins more than points, you owe it to yourself to learn how to play as, and against, the Engineer.

That's our show! Thanks for watching!


Class Based Wonders... and a crappy chart

What up Intarweb?

Today, I'll be writing a little about the various classes in Team Fortress. Just enough to get your/my/someone's appetite whetted, since I could write an essay about each one of these classes.

Here are the classes of Team Fortress.

1.1 Scout
1.2 Sniper
1.3 Soldier
1.4 Demoman
1.5 Medic
1.6 HWGuy
1.7 Pyro
1.8 Spy
1.9 Engineer

Actually, there is not enough time to write a summary. Here is a chart. I rated them from 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest).

OFFENSE: How much this class helps the offense/is designed for offense.

DEFENSE: Read above. See the word "Offense"? Strike that, reverse it. Thank you.

MAX FIREPOWER: How much damage they can cause in a short second-or-two burst.

LEARNING CURVE: How difficult it is too learn. 5 means "easy to pickup/own with", 1 means difficult.

Here's where I justify my ratings like I'm a rap star on MTV trying to defend my ranking of Missy Elliot's "I Can't Stand The Rain" as the second best Hip-Hop song of all time. Yes, a bunch of respected rappers really did this on one of those shows. First was Run-DMC & Aerosmiths, so at least they got that right.

Where was I?

1.1 Scout

Yes, with his footspeed and conks, he is the expert's choice for offense, if offense is sorely lacking. But the fact that he depends on his team for destroying even simple obstacles, and that one scout rarely turns the tide of the map, I didn't give him the 5 in 'O' that many players would probably argue for. If they read this blog. If only. :(

1.2 Sniper

I think I did this one justice. Enough footspeed and nades to make a decent grab at the flag. Enough "campiness" to make a decent substitute sentry gun in a pinch. Can't argue with his firepower, it's a fact. Let me just say that this is my least favorite class. But I respect it. If only more snipers wouldn't get so hung up on sniper wars. The word "Team" IS in the game, after all.

1.3 Soldier

The most popular class for good reason. Devastating AND versatile weapon. Good armor. No Learning Curve. If you've played a/an FPS before, you know how to use this guy to his (mostly) full potential. Can't say anything about this class that one game playing with it won't confirm. If any class is to be the powerhouse, it seems fitting that it should be this one. The four rocket reload really does keep the class form getting totally overpowered.

1.4 Demoman

From all my years playing, I know that Demoman isn't one of the popular classes. What I don't know is why. Maybe he's underrated? Maybe he's just got a tougher learning curve? Maybe cuz he's a spam cannon, and newbies figure it'll be more fun trying something else first? Maybe it's because he's not as sexy as Soldier. Yeah, that's right. I bolded sexy. And right next to soldier. How many gay men you think will pass over this blog in their googling?

Whatever the reason is, a good Demoman can be an AWESOME defender. But only as flag support. I've never been able to really grind down a defense by attacking with him, but I'm not really sure why that is.

Here is what I do know. With all the time and energy devoted to advanced play of Engie, Soldier, Spy and Scout... I have no clue why the twinks out there haven't found a borderline exploitative way to abuse the enemy with the detpack, considering its huge radius, and instakill damage. I just don't get it. Demoman is as enigmatic to me as allowing Paris Hilton to put out a record. I mean, come on. Isn't the market full of bad blonde singers for preteen girls already? Maybe in comparison to Hilton, they're trying to make some of those girls sound good? Totally baffling.

PART 2!! This time, it's personal.



I just finished this graphic, and I'm so pleased with it, I decided to write an article specifically so I could use it.

Anyway, if you didn't read the previous article, Chalkboard articles are where I go over strategies I found useful in Team Fortress (Classic), along with other team based first person shooters, such as Battlefield 2 (and vietnam), Unreal Tournament, and other Quake Mods.

A mini disclaimer is in order here. I am not a World Class gamer. I'm pretty good, I can rock alot of public servers. But compared to harden clan-only veterans, I'm a benchwarmer.

Still, even a minor league athlete may have some pearls of wisdom, especially for a general audience. I invite any and all to add to my lessons, or dispute them. I won't get bent out of shape or anything... as long as you keep a respectful tone, of course.

This article focuses on Backchecking.

Backchecking is a hockey term (and maybe soccer, but I didn't play enough of that to learn the right term). It's a great choice for a first lesson in advanced team warfare, because it applies to so many situations, and because it can put even the worst player in a position to come up huge for his team.

Consider the direction that CTF (capture the flag) teams go in relation to hockey teams. Both teams are trying to push the puck towards the other teams goal. Both teams have to dedicate some men to this effort, but not too many to leave their own end unprotected. This is the basis of offense and defensive balance.

Attackers are used to heading into the heart of the enemy. Because of this, they are expecting to engage their opponent head on (in a very vague sense, like when you look at the map from a bird's eye view). Attackers do not expect to suffer an attack coming from their own defenders, whom they leave behind. Backchecking is resistance from behind the target. It is effective because attackers are rarely flanked, so they often will take an enormous amount of damage before they stop thinking two dimensionally. Even if they do catch on, it is very difficult for an attack to maintain any sense of timing or coordination when it is constantly being harassed from awkward angles, even before it gets to enemy chokepoints.

In case I am still painting a foggy picture about how effective this can be, picture this: You are leading a small squad of soldiers to raid a castle. You're halfway up the walls of the fort, when you start taking fire from the moat you had crossed over rather easily before. You're out of position, and you have to regroup. Provided you can get yourself out of that situation, your assault will be shorthanded to say the least.

To backcheck effectively, look for areas where you are isolated, where you can see a path into your own base your back is covered, yet the backs of enemies appear frequently. Simply follow the enemy into your base, and fire at will.

It is good to find one or two reliable spots per map to do this from, but at the same time, when enemies start coming into your line of sight, blasting away at you, you know it may be time to find a new spot.

Some people may find this to be camping. While it is a fine line, I believe if you're consistantly finding a new spot, and not setting up camp in just one or two, you're doing a good job monkeywrenching the enemy offense.

During your team's flag touch, midfield backcheckers are also in prime postion to defend their flag carriers, or pick it up after it's brought out from the teeth of the defensive configuration (IE: away from sentries & heavyWeps).

Like I said before, a very basic strategy, and not one that is likely to catapult a player into the top of the points standings for the round. Nor does it gain a player a better understanding of the more vital and intricate workings of offense and defense. It will, however, allow the unskilled players to contribute to the team effort.


Coming Soon: Uber-Categories

Ok, kiddies, we're gonna have a little format change in regards to this blog.

Yes, it's still going to be your leading resource for all news, rumors, strategies, tragedies, comedies, hype, gripe, gonads and strife... regarding Team Fortress, Team Fortress 2, and to a lesser degree... previous Team Fortress releases.

But now, since I'm trying to keep this as my main writing focus, and it's not like there is breaking news daily on this game right now, AND since I said I would be mixing things up, writing about other topic, but trying to tie them into Team Fortress... I will also be writing about more things than just Team Fortress here in, from now on. In fact, there will be articles that have little or nothing to do with Team Fortress. It's likely that I'll have as many articles with no trace of TF content as I do articles centered totally around TF.

But I don't want to lose my fanbase (all two of you) either. There should be a way for you readers to know, prior to committing to reading, whether this is a TF or non-TF article. So here's how I will do this.


There will be several categories of blog entries. They are as follows.

  • BIG TF NEWS! This is what we're leading with. This is the stuff we want the search engines and directories to know us for. We also want to know why we are referring to ourselves in plural form. There's only one of us, and it's me.

  • TF Tidbit. This will be a minor development in the Team Fortress scene. Maybe hints, quotes, reports. That sort of thing. Nothing earth-shattering, that is for the previous category.

  • TF Comparison. This is a fun little segment for me, because since I am incurably obsessed with Team Fortress, I see it in many other activities that I consider fun. So I want to share the resemblences with the world, both to educate newbies, and to amuse veterans.

  • TF Chalkboard. This is a strategy topic. Whether it is an in-depth look at advanced play, like conc-jumping, or a more abstract concept, like how to measure a good balance of offense and defense on a new map. These will not be as frequent, but when they come around they will be quite long, and of a high quality. Much like myself in bed. :)

  • Wrestling. Really off-topic stuff. But it's one of my other major active interests, and occasionally, I just need to vent about it. It may interest some to read how a fairly intelligent man who knows it is all scripted (and writes 4000 as easy as he combs his hair), views wrestling. I said "some people". I know it will probably not be for "most".

  • Sports. Kinda the same as above, only less subjected to ridicule.

  • Academia. Sometimes I just have a good point, and I wanna make the world a little better by sharing it. These are the least likely pieces to make you "ROFLGASM".

  • Random Zaniness. These are the most likely to make you ROFLGASM. Just miscellaneous silliness. Maximus. Omnibus. I-missed-da-bus.

  • Random Awesomeness. These are very similar to the last two categories. Sometimes I just realize or discover something so friggin cool, I just have to share it, or talk about it.

  • Internet Gold. This is just like the last one, only if it can be linked to on the net, or transcribed, it will be done in this category, and with this tag/banner.

Right. That's what these categories all mean. Every post will soon have a banner like this, so you know if you wanna read it or now. And of course, I'll be adding a category column to that sidebar over on the left.

I'm sure in the next few days, I'll get all those banners done, and have a link to show them all off.


Hey! I bet not everyone picked up on this!

I didn't actually read the previous post's italicized text - it automatically came with the video. But when I went over it, I realized something. Check this out...

...Players choose from a range of unique character classes such as medic, spy, sniper, or engineer and must work together to complete a variety of tactical objectives.

Variety of tactical objectives? Well at the least, that is the developers hinting to us that Team Fortress 2 will have many of the victory conditions or rulesets that made Team Fortress Classic (and to a lesser degree, all the previous Team Fortresses) so awesome.

Previous Rule Sets included....

2.1 Capture the Flag
2.2 Territorial control
2.3 Attack and Defend
2.4 Hunted-style
2.5 Shutdown CTF
2.6 Skill maps
2.7 Team Deathmatch maps
2.8 Sniper War maps
2.9 Sports War maps

(thank you wikipedia)

OR... it could mean maps with more detailed and planned out phases... ala UT's Assault or Onslaught games. That would be... incredible.


Team Fortress 2 Steam Trailer

Team Fortress 2, an all-new version of the title that spawned team based multiplayer action games, features the most advanced graphics of any Source-based game released to date. Players choose from a range of unique character classes such as medic, spy, sniper, or engineer and must work together to complete a variety of tactical objectives.

I can hardly wait! Anyways, in addition to other Team Fortress 2 related content, I plan to add a quick look into my efforts to upgrade my compy so that I may run/conquer/pwn Team Fortress 2 once it is released.

Oh, as a quick addendum, I've been talking to a few people online - not exactly authorities, but they know a thing or two about Valve and their release schedule tendencies. So I'm just throwing it out there, but there is a rumor that Episode Two, Portal, and *dun-dun-dun* Team Fortress Two will be in stores as early as the first week of November. Again, take it with a grain of salt. Deep breaths, Yooka. Deep breaths.

Thanks again to Google Video. Hope they can turn a profit sometime soon with how well their stock has been doin.


So when is this thing going to be out already?

If you have found this blog, you probably are web-saavy enough to know how game release dates work. In case you don't, here's the rundown.

Game Companies want the game to come out by a certain date. The more concrete that date is, the better off they end up looking. However, the Game Marketing and Finance departments are constantly telling them to release the games as soon as they can, because they have paid the developers and testers for months and months, and have seen no return of invenstment.

And the Developers are at ends with Finance, because they know that the more time they spend adding new content, and removing bugs, the better the product will be. So they want basically want more time, and marketing wants less time.

So in this power struggle, every project can have wildly different release dates, and depending on who is winning the struggle determines how bankable the announced release date is, or how likely it is to get pushed back. All the while, places like Gamespot and Amazon blatently lie about it, to get pre-orders.

So when is this thing going to be out already?

Right now, no one knows. It is a total crapshoot. Gamespy has said "Late 2006" That could mean between Mid-October to December. uGo.com has said Fall 2006. They are usually not in the loop, so they are probably just trying to drum up hype, or really don't care about the details, since they cover so many things, on such a superficial level anyway.

My bet is January, and I wouldn't even rule out February. Always assume that the release will be towards the latest, farthest away edge of the announce range, and with companies renown for missing deadlines... add a few more months. I can't tell you how painful the anticipation was for The Matrix Online (another class based game that almost tempts me into writing a comparison piece for this blog... but not quite).

Anyway, keep checking back, and I swear, the very day one of the big sites knows, I will have it here also.


TF2: It's NOT Brotherhood of Arms

So about six years ago, after Team Fortress Classic was released, Valve said the next big thing in their Team Fortress line would be Team Fortress 2: Brotherhood of Arms. It isn't hard to find screenshots of this project right now. Since there is only the one screener of Team Fortress 2 - which is the one that looks like rejects for the Incredibles - all other screenshots of Team Fortress 2 are of the scrapped Brotherhood of Arms project. (By the way, as soon as newer "real" TF2 screeners become available, I would expect these BoA ones to go the way of the dodo).

Clearly, they decided to go another way with the animation - this is obvious and overstated. While I am sure that both had the hallmarks of TF2, I'm glad they didn't go with the Battlefield/Wolfenstein theme. Maybe they are going just a little too silly for everyone's taste right now with the caricature-like exaggeration. But I think it would have been worse tog et any more serious, any more true-to-life military than TFC. Even that was sort of skirting with being less than fantastic - and I mean that in the sense of "not related to fantasy"

IMHO, the best genre for TF is Sci-Fi. Only in a futuristic setting do EMPs come across as less than cheesy. Only in the future could there be an item that heals major damage instantly upon usage.

All in all, it's about walking that fine line between the fun of suspending disbelief, and seeming real enough to take seriously, and feeling the action enough to be jolted and moved by it. We'll see if they can pull it off this November or December.


Old Relics from a era gone by

Hey, just a thought.

If anyone has any old Team Fortress web pages, images or (and especially) animated gifs, I might be very interested in acquiring them for this blog. The older and cheesy the better, that stuff is hilarious. :)

Be it Team Fortress 1, TFC, Weapons Factory (HIGHLY underrated) or whatever.

Oook. Be back on with some premium content a bit later.

For Shame, planetfortress.com

4 Shame indeed.

Part of the reason I feel so strongly about creating a site/blog to sing the praises and incite the crazes of Team Fortress is that I feel there is a very substantial niche out there, who is not only chomping at the bit for more info on this undoubtedly great follow-up game... but also due to the fact that gamespy isn't really giving it that much press.

Don't get me wrong. I understand that there really isn't alot of detail on this bad boy. I fully realize that they can't exactly do much more than they have done in regards to putting TF2 on gamespy.com. But what I am talking about is their sub-site system, of having "planet" sites for each genre or gameline (I guess making gamespy the sun on this system?)

Along with planetquake.com and planetbattlefield.com, gamespy has had http://planetfortress.com for almost as long as they've had planetquake. Seriously, it's an old, old game, the original Team Fortress. You just wait until I'm desperate enough to give up the ole' screeners from Team Fortress based off of Quake 1. That'll be some pixelly bloggin, I assure you. And the word "pixelly" isn't too many other places on the internet, that too I am fairly certain of (Ok, not at all, but I talk a good game).

Anyways, my point is that they have a perfectly good domain, and they, more than any other site out there, has ties to both the original game, and through that the original fanbase.

So why am I peeved at gamespy? Because they aren't, and will not be doing anything major with this site. Right now, the only new hype about TF2 is the trailer, and about three lines leading it to it.


On the forums, one of the admins revealed that the gamespy bosses feel that since Team Fortress' future lies entirely with Half-Life, that all TF coverage will be from within the planethalflife subsite.

While this idea has some merits, I feel it forces the Team Fortress community from developing it's own separate identity. Mods like Counter Strike and Team Fortress surpass the games that they are based off of - in the eyes of many gamers, anyway. And just like parents eventually wish for their offspring to venture out and develop their own identities and lives, so too should Valve push for Team Fortress to grow like Counter-Strike did - enough to make a real name for itself apart from the games it is packaged with - much like Counter-Strike has, with its console version.


Also shipping with Team Fortress

This is a trailer of Portal, a neat little bonus game that will come free with the additional singleplayer campaign for Half-Life 2, and of course... Team Fortress.

Portal rocks. YouTube rocks. Valve rocks. I'm such a little fan boy right now. Nighty-night.