New PC Team Fortress 2 map today

Plus lots of other tweaks.

The awaited-since-they-announced-it Team Fortress 2 free update introducing the Badlands map is due to hit today at 11am PST, which is 7pm in old money.

It's the largest update yet in the words of the developer, with the new map the highlight. It's based on an old Team Fortress Classic map, and Valve says it introduces "control-point gameplay on vertical landscapes". Alright Wordsworth.

Elsewhere the fancy update includes "iterated" versions of Dustbowl, Granary and CTF_Well, and optimised networking, graphics and player stats, with improvements to Source TV for people who like to watch.

There's currently no word on when/whether PS3 and 360 owners will be able to take advantage of Badlands. When we spoke to Valve's VP of marketing Doug Lombardi recently, he said they were "TBC".

Here's a full list of changes:

Source Engine

  • Refactored how lightmaps are downloaded to the graphics card at level load. On some hardware configurations this can lower level load times significantly
  • Optimized some particle systems to improve performance on some hardware configurations
  • Player stats are now sent up as they change, rather than when the player dies
  • Improved playback of sub-frame sounds
  • Fixed a crash caused by alt-tabs during map load
  • Eliminated unnecessary temporary memory allocation in scenefilecache

Team Fortress 2

  • Badlands released
  • Changes to Dustbowl:

Added a new access point to the stage2 attacker gates (drop-down left from spawn), allowing attackers a way to reach the left route without being subjected to the spam and sentry gun fire
Fixed a gap in stage 3, cap 1 that allowed a player with to wiggle above the "ceiling" clip
Fixed a gap behind stage 1, cap 1 house
Fixed a high perch on stage1 cap1 house roof
Fixed a perch offering view of nodraw textures and the skybox (stage1 cap2 rock barrier)
Fixed a few places where rockets/demoman pipes could pass through non-solid models
Sealed up a gap over stage1 lower startgate
Clipped off tall windows in stage 3 to prevent sentry guns from behind built behind them

  • Changes to Capture the Flag Well:

Fixed trains not starting on map spawn
Removed cap association from red spawns that were spamming console

  • Changes to Granary:

Removed spawn timing advantage from the middle (from -3 to 0)
Fixed several model perch exploits (red, blue cp1 gate and blue cp2 gate pipe)
Fixed a few places where players could get stuck between containers and silos
Adjusted playerclips on red container that made it appear like players were floating

  • Added a small delay (200 ms) before a zoomed sniper shot can get a critical hit
  • Added server side convar mp_fadetoblack. Same functionality as Counter-Strike, used mainly during in-person tournaments and LAN events
  • Added flamethrower "sizzle" sound when the Pyro is hitting a target
  • Updated explosion debris to be a bit darker
  • Fixed idle players not being kicked from the server if mp_allowspectators was set to 0
  • Added ctf_well to the default mapcycle.txt file
  • Added ctf_well to the default motd.txt file
  • Fixed floor tile material type
  • Fixed some weapon damage info missing from TF2 game stats
  • Made some small changes to the Demoman viewmodel that were causing performance problems
  • Added exec'ing a .cfg file on the client when you select a class to play.
  • Added a new timer to the HUD to show the value of mp_timelimit. This is useful if you're playing a timed match on 2Fort, where you only set a timelimit on the server and no other win conditions.
  • Added server log entry for buildings destroyed by their owner
  • Fixed sentry gun shadows being clipped
  • Updated glass material

SourceTV

  • SourceTV now uses a hidden slot on the game server. This allows for 24 player servers to also have a SourceTV proxy connected to it
  • Fixed Pyro's flamethrower flames not showing up in SourceTV

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