Team Fortress 2 Blog: Designing Sniper Unlock

Hectic Glenn

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The TF2 blog has been updated by Robin Walker, who talks about the struggles of trying to create a sniper rifle alternative unlock for the next update. Robin outlines the development process TF2 has taken regarding deaths of players, adding changes such as the freezecam and removing grenades since Team Fortress Classic.[br]Changes such as this have allowed players to identify and understand how they died, so they can learn how to avoid this and improve their skill level. The sniper can cause this kind of anger by killing you without being near you so the next unlock will add a new depth...
In an effort to reduce some of the aggravation that other players feel towards the Sniper, we chose the goal of designing an unlockable that encouraged the Sniper to get a little closer to his target. We want him to give up some of his primary advantage in return for something else, so that enemies he kills feel like they were engaged with them, and feel like they could have survived if they'd just managed to fight a little better
There is also a mention of Gang Garrison 2.1 being released (the 8-bit style TF2 game) which has many new additions. Team Fortress 2 Blog.
 

Planetary

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You mean to tell me Snipers won't be playing their own private point-and-click minigame anymore? Scandalous!

Also: the Steam forums are going nuts, as usual.
 

Sloth

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Did anyone else read the post while listening to the Doctor Who theme? It was a tad creepy...

The Sniper unlocks have to be the most exciting ones yet.
 

TwwIX

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I wouldn't mind a Boomerang upgrade/replacement for the Machete. One that decapitates.
 

FoxFire

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I hope they don't pull a Natascha.

I mean, he is a sniper.
 

morgs

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Why call him the sniper if he's going to be fighting up close, pfft, I'm really going off this game. Not to QQ but if a game is a GOOD game, it shouldn't need constant updates like these to keep people interested.
 

Hectic Glenn

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Why call him the sniper if he's going to be fighting up close, pfft, I'm really going off this game. Not to QQ but if a game is a GOOD game, it shouldn't need constant updates like these to keep people interested.
The point of an unlockable is to give an extra depth to the class, to be able to approach situations with a slightly different string to your bow. You can still use the original sniper rifle you know?

Also, the updates aren't because the game sucks and it requires improvements. It's to keep it fresh, bring new players (more sales!) and bring back players who get bored. I guarantee you'll be playing the update. You are missing the point.
Clever girl...
Perfect timing! :D
 

Darkside55

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However, if a game is good, then the developers should not tinker with it in an attempt to make it "fresh" and "interesting." A game that is already good at its core will stand the test of time without having to resort to "LOOK AT THIS NEW THING WE PUT IN HERE!" at every opportunity. Adding things for the sake of adding things to give the game 'a new spin,' or 'depth,' or 'an option for you when situation X is different from situation Y' serves no one.
 

hool10

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However, if a game is good, then the developers should not tinker with it in an attempt to make it "fresh" and "interesting." A game that is already good at its core will stand the test of time without having to resort to "LOOK AT THIS NEW THING WE PUT IN HERE!" at every opportunity. Adding things for the sake of adding things to give the game 'a new spin,' or 'depth,' or 'an option for you when situation X is different from situation Y' serves no one.
This. Valve keeps popping out games left and right trying to get sales with updates. Yet ironically a mod for their first game in 1998 is still the most played online action game to this day. Well it's actually the 2004 version of it, but it's still CS. http://store.steampowered.com/stats/ When you look at the stats "Football Manager" is doing even better than their latest game. :LOL: If I was Gabe, I would seriously take a very close look at improving CS. I don't mean touching the game at all, I mean making another CS game.
 

chimpmunk

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This. Valve keeps popping out games left and right trying to get sales with updates. Yet ironically a mod for their first game in 1998 is still the most played online action game to this day. Well it's actually the 2004 version of it, but it's still CS. http://store.steampowered.com/stats/ When you look at the stats "Football Manager" is doing even better than their latest game. :LOL: If I was Gabe, I would seriously take a very close look at improving CS. I don't mean touching the game at all, I mean making another CS game.
Valve are coming out with games left and right? It takes them years to even release one!

Indeed football manager seems to have more players, and CS has even more. But does that mean because a game is played by a lot of people it's better? Following your logic, sicne Britney spears sells more CD than Beethoven ones do, Britney spears is a superior musician.

Also, maybe you are too young to know but TFC stayed for 10 years, I don't think that footbaal manager will still be played in 2019, TF2 might last 10 years though.
 

hool10

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Valve are coming out with games left and right? It takes them years to even release one!

Indeed football manager seems to have more players, and CS has even more. But does that mean because a game is played by a lot of people it's better? Following your logic, sicne Britney spears sells more CD than Beethoven ones do, Britney spears is a superior musician.

Also, maybe you are too young to know but TFC stayed for 10 years, I don't think that footbaal manager will still be played in 2019, TF2 might last 10 years though.
I'm fairly certain that Britney Spears is selling more albums than say Ozzy Osbourne as of today and from a business stand point, more sales is better. Sure Ozzy is better but Britney is selling more. If Valve really wants sales and to please the majority of its fan base, they would do a CS game. Forums went insane over the last mention of it from the GT show yet they said it probably would never happen.

Another thing that is putting people off of Valve on the console side is how they are handling their crappy console ports. They blame Microsoft but when you look at Call of Duty, etc they have more users. Primarily Valve games on consoles are terrible and unsupported. TF2 get updated yet? I think the second DLC for COD:WAW has sold over 2 million copies. So if I were Valve I would charge for DLC to please Microsoft and get the content to the fans. As of now they are just putting off frustrated fans by fighting with Microsoft who will never buy a Valve game again on consoles.

*I would lol if Valve made the new sniper unlock a tranquilizer dart. Then you get like a bloody machete to whack the sleeping enemy. :LOL: :|
 

Pi Mu Rho

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Do you even read what you type? Or do you just bang the keys for five minutes and hit "Post"?
 

Sledgehammer

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Following your logic, sicne Britney spears sells more CD than Beethoven ones do, Britney spears is a superior musician.
This is incorrect.

Also the part that Britney Spears sells more than Beethoven. She doesn't.
 

okidoki

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So apparently,

Counter-Strike = Beethoven

Team Fortress 2 = Britney Spears

Beethoven's stuff is getting stale. I wish it would be updated with critical violas and french horns with knockback capabilities.
 

Asknoone

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Basically.
In light of this I feel compelled to inform you that until you learn the art of posting rationally, sensibly, and appropriately, and with at the very least the merest hint or sprinkle of intelligence, I am afraid I am going to have to ask you to cease and desist. Indeed, I revert to my earlier advice: tie your hands together with barbed wire.
 

Schru

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This. Valve keeps popping out games left and right trying to get sales with updates. Yet ironically a mod for their first game in 1998 is still the most played online action game to this day. Well it's actually the 2004 version of it, but it's still CS. http://store.steampowered.com/stats/ When you look at the stats "Football Manager" is doing even better than their latest game. :LOL: If I was Gabe, I would seriously take a very close look at improving CS. I don't mean touching the game at all, I mean making another CS game.
Valve releases too many games and updates them too often, therefore they should update one of their games by which you mean release a new one?
 

Absinthe

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And that new game is CS2, as well.

I would absolutely dread trying to develop a sequel for that game.
 

Sledgehammer

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Left 4 Dead was an attempt to make something that players of all Valve games would enjoy. It even had a couple of CS weapons (the autoshotgun model is the exact same).

By the way, Counter-Strike didn't get so much attention because it was particularly good. It was just lucky. There are many as good or better similar games, but Counter-Strike won that battle.
 

PvtRyan

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And that new game is CS2, as well.

I would absolutely dread trying to develop a sequel for that game.
Take that fear, and multiply that by 1000 for what Blizzard must be feeling right now with developing a sequel to a game that's being played in stadiums. Fucking stadiums for Christ's sake!

OT: The sniper in TF2 is easily the best designed sniper of any game I've played. I don't really see when I would want a close(r)-range alternative to his rifle though.
 

Sheepo

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Ugh, I really would rather not see Valve spend their time on a CS sequel.

OT: Interesting, we've never had a real fundimental change of the primary weapon (possible exception: Kritzkrieg), hopefully it's good.
 

Absinthe

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I have fond memories of Counter-Strike. But I just don't know how Valve can approach it. I think Valve has learned a lot since its acquisition, but trying to apply the techniques they use in TF2 to diminish player aggravation could be met with heavy hostility. At the same time, Valve is trying to make their titles more accessible to audiences of varying skill levels. TF2 is a game where even the unskilled players have a shot at making a few victories. CS was kind of built on face-stomping domination.
 

Sheepo

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Yeah, there is a pretty monstrous difference between Counter-Strike's core audience and the more casual and unexperienced players Valve has been trying to draw in with their game design lately. The only direction I can see them really going is making it more hardcore, but no matter what many of the CS fanboys are still going to be crying foul for it not being true enough to the original, and the newer players are just going to be waiting in respawn, getting shot in the face, waiting in respawn, and then quitting.
 

Darkside55

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CS2 is easy to make. You simply update the graphics, revert to 1.6 settings, remove all weapons and equipment save for M4A1, AK-47, deagle, armor, flash, and defuse kit. Ship the game with de_dust only. Instant GOTY.

Hool said:
*I would lol if Valve made the new sniper unlock a tranquilizer dart. Then you get like a bloody machete to whack the sleeping enemy.
Stolen from the TFC spy.
 

Sheepo

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Except there is fundimental gameplay difference. But yeah, the name is the same.
 

Darkside55

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What's the difference, that the enemy would be asleep and immobile instead of slow? That's not 'fundamentally' different. You'd still be tranqing someone and walking up and using a sharp instrument to cleave them. That's spy status.

Plus, a tranq gun that puts the enemy to sleep would be stupid as all hell, from the victim's perspective. Valve is trying to REDUCE player aggravation by removing that "feeling of helplessness" that comes from being hit and not being able to retaliate. It's not just about "we want snipers to get close," they're trying to make babies not cry so much about being hit from far away. Giving the sniper a gun that renders the opponent unable to move, and then you come up and humiliate them with a melee kill...yeah. They're not going in that direction.
 

Sheepo

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Well the TFC tranq gun is as hard as hell to use (feel free to tell me how I suck and am doing it wrong :/) and ultimately not worth it the speed decrease being as insignificant as it is. And I'm just saying that I think that's what Hool was trying to say.
 

Darkside55

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Well the TFC tranq gun is as hard as hell to use (feel free to tell me how I suck and am doing it wrong :/) and ultimately not worth it the speed decrease being as insignificant as it is.
The tranq gun was one of those things that seemed really useless, even after extended time trying to figure it out. It fired slowly, didn't greatly hinder most classes, alerted people to your presence, and removed your disguise. Even if the enemy was tranq'd they could still fire at you and possibly kill you, depending on the class. So most people wrote it off as being a useless weapon.

Except that, y'know, it wasn't. It just takes like a hojillion years to figure out what the damn thing is good for, and another million to learn how to use it properly.

Because right off the bat the tranq gun isn't an offensive weapon like everyone initially assumes. "I can tranq this guy and get right on him and stab him in the back." No, you're dead. "I can tranq this guy and shotgun him to death at close range." No, you're dead. "I can tranq this guy and run circles around him and peck him to death with my nailgun." No, you're dead. The only correct answer is, "I can tranq this guy, throw a grenade, and get the holy hell out of here." Yay, you live. Probably.

And then firing the thing is like...it's a devil when it comes to leading. Like the disc launcher in Tribes or trying to snipe someone in Battlefield from 500 yards out while they're in a moving vehicle. That's all just practice though. Sometimes people think they ought to get close, fire the tranq gun, and beat feet, but no...you're probably dead. You want to hit someone from far enough away that they aren't going to be able to give chase, or fire a rocket at your ass, or snipe you, or throw a grenade, or whatever the hell else they can do in retaliation. Preferably you want to be somewhere near a corner, or a door, or a moat. And you shoot them from a distance and get out of there.

The thing's basically for running away. Or if you've got an enemy in your base. Or if you're traveling alongside some offense and you want to slow down their pursuers. Tranq gun actually turns out to be pretty handy, and while it's not likely to net you any kills it can certainly save your life.

Which is why having the sniper have a tranq gun is silly, not only for the aforementioned reason of increasing the opponent's feelings of helplessness in a situation (adding to more rage against snipers), but also because a tranq gun should never be used as an offensive weapon that allows you to walk up and stab someone in the face. Tranq gun is the weapon of "I am in a very bad position. I must leave, and quickly." Pshew! Tranq'd enemies. Run away.





And this is why the tranq gun better be the spy's revolver unlock, Valve.
 

Naph

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Yeah yeah, "It's new for interest", but the casual gamer still doesn't have a chance against unbalanced upgrades.
 

Darkside55

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Fuck casuals. The sniper update is geared directly at casuals, because only casuals would cry about being shot from far away by a SNIPER.

Designing for casuals has ruined gaming.
 

hool10

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Yeah that's another good point. Valve has been going towards a more casual approach to gaming. I do notice that Valve play a lot of Peggle and do see the sales of those games. I used to play CS, TFC, NS, etc. You would be terrible and over time you would watch the better players play and learn from them with the death cam. It's kinda like bowling. You always get gutter balls then there is that guy in the next lane who is just getting strikes and you are like "how is he doing that"? Then you try and copy his technique and you get better. So essentially back then you had to play the game a lot to have fun at it but in the end it was rewarding.

Today you just hop on any server and you don't know what you died of because of the critical hit system or you just get stunned for no apparent reason. Also you cannot learn from more experienced players. It shows you who killed you for a screen shot and really all you need to do is spam grenades as a demoman. The majority of the fan base for Valve is currently playing a Counter-Strike game. It's not a casual game by any means and yet Valve casual games like TF2, are not doing so hot.

I do think that L4D has been the closest to a more hardcore game yet it still caters much to the casual crowd. The Smoker for example would pull you away very fast but now it pulls very slowly providing plenty of time for the inexperienced player to save the victim. Often times when I play with hardcore L4D players, they are frustrated by bugs or broken game mechanics in the game, but still have tactics just like in CS.

I would say Valve needs to cater to the hardcore crowd, the CS crowd. With the recent CS update, they removed many valid competitive techniques and many players just wished they left the game alone. Also does anybody notice that the more Valve updates their games, the longer it takes to load?
 

Pi Mu Rho

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I...

Please, just stop posting.
 

Asknoone

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Hool, I warned you. You're on thin ice. I do not care for your stupid opinion, and if you persist, you will be prevented posting.

In light of this I feel compelled to inform you that until you learn the art of posting rationally, sensibly, and appropriately, and with at the very least the merest hint or sprinkle of intelligence, I am afraid I am going to have to ask you to cease and desist. Indeed, I revert to my earlier advice: tie your hands together with barbed wire.
 

Naph

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Fuck casuals. The sniper update is geared directly at casuals, because only casuals would cry about being shot from far away by a SNIPER.
I think hardcore people are more prone to cry about simple occurrences in game.. Those freaks have the shortest tempers.
 
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