Team Fortress 2 Retrospective
Team Fortress 2 Retrospective
This is a list of all important events in the game's history.
- June 13th: Team Fortress 2 is revealed at EA's Summer Showcase, ending years of development hell and vaporware rumors. The first-ever artwork picture is released to the public shortly thereafter.
- July 19th: The first-ever trailer for Team Fortress 2 has been released, introducing the community to all nine classes.
- August 24th: Team Fortress Classic celebrated its 10th anniversary. The same day, Valve released a second trailer for Team Fortress 2.
- August 24th to 27th: A life-demo of Team Fortress 2 was shown at the Games Convention in Leipzig (press-only event).
- May 14th: Release of Meet the Heavy, the very first Meet the-Video.
- August 22th: Release of Meet the Soldier.
- August 23rd to 26th: Team Fortress 2 is available for play at Games Convention (again).
- September 11th: Release of Meet the Engineer.
- September 13th: Release of Fortress Forever, a Source mod inspired by Team Fortress Classic.
- September 17th: Release of the Team Fortress 2 Beta for everyone who pre-ordered The Orange Box. The same day, the European Sports League (ESL) opens their TF2 section.
- September 22th: Release of cp_lazytown, the first custom map for Team Fortress 2. (Source)
- October 8th: Release of Ignus Solus, made by LitFuseFilms, on YouTube. It's the first Machinima made with Team Fortress 2.
- October 9th: Release of The Orange Box in Japan. The same day, Valve released Meet the Demoman.
- October 10th: Release of The Orange Box in the US (Retail) as well as Team Fortress 2 standalone on Steam.
- October 18th: Release of The Orange Box in Europe.
- October 25th: Release of The Orange Box in Australia.
- December 8th: Release of Saving Private Ryan, Team Fortress 2 Style, one of the first funny video clips with TF2 sounds.
- December 17th: Release of Team Fortress 2 Rejects, one of the first fanart pictures for Team Fortress 2.
- January 8th: Start of the first season of the European Team Fortress 2 League (ETF2L).
- February 8th: Release of I'm Your Medic.
- March 20th: Release of Don't Meet the Spy.
- April 11th: Release of A Team Fortress 2 Western.
- April 17th: Release of the first episode of 101 Uses of a Dispenser.
- April 19th: Release of Meet the Scout.
- April 24th: Release of the Gold Rush Update, the first mayor update for Team Fortress 2.
Unlike all updates following this one, this update was not named after the class, but instead after the first new map Valve created after the game's initial released.
In a first for the game at the time, a class received new achievements and items centered around it. In this case, it was the Medic who received these.
Aside from the extras for the Medic class, the update also added the Payload game mode as well as the map pl_goldrush.
- June 2nd: Release of Rocking Fortress.
- June 7th: Release of Meet the Sniper.
- June 16th: Release of the Pyro Update.
This update added new achievements and items for the Pyro. 2 new maps (cp_fastlane, ctf_turbine) were added to the game. These two maps were not made by Valve, but instead by community members. Fastlane and Turbine are the first two community maps to be added to the official map pool.
- August 5th: Release of Temp Fortress (Wegame / YouTube)
- August 7th: Release of Gang Garrison 2.
- August 19th: Release of the Heavy Update.
This update added new achievements and items for the Heavy. The Arena game mode as well as 7 new maps (cp_steel, pl_badwater, arena_lumberyard, arena_ravine, arena_well, arena_granary, arena_badlands) were added to the game. Steel is the third community map to be added to the official map pool.
The same day, Valve released Meet the Sandvich.
- October 8th: Release of the first episode of Dynamic Action Team.
- November 23rd: Release of Mass A.I..
- February 22th: Release of the Scout Update.
This update added new achievements and items for the Scout. 3 new maps (arena_watchtower, cp_junction, cp_egypt) were added to the game. Watchtower, Junction and Egypt are the forth, fifth and sixth community map to be added to the official map pool.
Valve allowed the community to vote which weapon should be unlucked first. The Force-A-Nature won the vote, followed by the Sandman (2nd) and Bonk! Atomic Punch (3rd).
- March 3rd: Release of USK Mass Bots.
- May 11th: Release of Team Fortress 2 - Super Smash Bros. 64 Intro.
- May 17th: Meet the Spy video is leaked.
- May 19th: "Official" release of Meet the Spy.
- May 21th: Release of the Sniper vs. Spy Update.
This update centered around the Sniper alone at first, but on day 4 it was revealed that the Spy would receive an update as well. This trend of two classes receiving an update at the same time was continued in the War! Update.
The Payload Race game mode as well as new maps (plr_pipeline, arena_sawmill, arena_nucleus, pl_hoodoo) were added to the game. Hoodoo is the seventh commnity map to be added to the official map pool. Both the Sniper and the Spy received new items and achievements as well.
The item drop system was added to the game with that update as well. The game would periodically give random items to the player. While only non-standard weapons were dropped at first, hats and other items were added to the drop rooster in later updates.
The update caused some controversity with the item drop system at first. Originally, the new items for both the Spy and the Sniper were only available as a drop. Due to some heavy resistance from the community, however, this was later changed and the old achievement aquisition method was added as well.
Last but not least, this update introduced hats to the game, adding nine hats to the game which could be found via the item drop system.
- June 9th: Release of I Like To Bonk It Bonk It.
- August 1st: The second Team Fortress 2 beta is revealed.
This was the second closed beta for the game on which teams from the European and North American TF2 competetive scene participated. The goal of the beta was to test new items suitable for competetive play, among others.
One day later, a thread on the official Steam forums was created, listing all known items leaked from the beta. All items tested in the beta were eventually revealed, and as of today, all but one were implemented into the game in one way or another.
- August 6th: Release of Rocketman.
- August 13th: Release of the Classless Update.
As the name implies, this update was not centered around a class but instead added many new in-game features as well as improved a few points benefitial to all classes. The King Of The Hill game mode as well as 6 new maps (arena_offblast, koth_viaduct, koth_nucleus, koth_sawmill, ctf_sawmill, cp_yukon) were added to the game. Offblast and Yukon were the eighth and ninth community map to be added to the official map pool. This update also added eightheen new hats to the game.
- September 2nd: The Halocaust happened.
Players were cheating in order to obtain in-game items. They would use a thrid-party program to idle on servers. Since items are dropped while playing, but not everyone wanted to play at the time, they used the program to idle and received the items even if they didn't actively play the game.
Valve then took action and removed all items aquired throught the use of the idle program. In addition to that, Valve gave a special hat, the Cheater's Lament, to every player who didn't use the program.
The Cheater's Lament was eventually given to everyone once again (including those players who used the program) with the Mann-conomy Update.
- September 13rd: Release of Babyman.
- October 3rd: Release of Top FPS.
- October 29th: Release of the Hallowe'en Special.
This was the first update to feature Halloween-themed content. Two new maps (koth_harvest, koth_harvest_event) were added to the game. Harvest was the tenth community map to be added to the official map pool.
While koth_harvest represents the normal version of the map, koth_harvest_event is a Halloween-themes version of it. The event version featured pumpkin bombs and a ghost which could paralyze player for a few seconds.
Aside from the two maps, five achievements (so-called "Scarechievements") were added to the game. Similar to the class achievements and their milestones which unlock certain items, the Scarechievements allowed players to obtain two hats: The Ghastly Gibus and the Mildly Disturbing Halloween Mask.
- December 17th: Release of the WAR! Update.
This update is the second one to include both achievements and new items for two classes - in this case, for the Soldier and the Demoman. The update added 2 new maps as well (cp_gorge, ctf_doublecross).
In a similar fasion to the vote from the Scout Update, the community was getting involved into the choice of items for each class. During the few days prior to the update's release, all dead counts of both Soldier and Demoman players would be recorded by Valve. Depending on which side suffered less casualties (and therefore, won by defeating more enemies), a special item, the Gunboats, would be rewarded to one side or another. The item would eventually become available for the Soldier class.
Another commnity-involving event was the propaganda contest: Players could create their own propaganda posters for the Soldier vs Demoman conflict and submit their creations to Valve. The best 3 entries were posted on the official blog.
Last but not least, the crafting system was added to the game, allowing players to craft items and hats by using the items in their possesion as crafting materials.
- January 13th: Valve introduced the contribution system. Players were now able to submit self-created items and avatars. Some of those should eventually be added to the game via updates.
- February 14th: Release of Spy & Pyro.
- March 13th: 9 hats and 4 weapons made by the community were added to the game.
- March 31th: Release of Law Abiding Engineer.
- April 24th: Release of the 119th Update.
The importance of this update was hinted at on the newspaper added to the main menu of the game during the WAR! Update. The update page reflects the progress of the game and lists the entire changelog for all 199 updates so far and included a teaser for the Engineer Update.
- May 9th: Release of Heavy Bieber - Baby (feat. Scoutacris).
- May 18th: The Fancy vs. Nasty Update, a fan-made update with custom-made hat models, is mentioned in the official blog. Most of these items would be added to the game in the Australian Christmas Update.
- May 20th: 11 hats and 2 weapons made by the community are added to the game.
- June 10th: Release of the Mac Update.
Following Valve's release of a Macintosh-compatible version of Steam and some of their games such as Half-Life 2, Portal and Left 4 Dead, Team Fortress 2 is released for OS X. All Mac players who bought the game or player the game from June 10th to August 16th received a special promotional item: Earbuds.
Aside from the compatibility of the game with OS X, the update also included a Training mode and Offline Practice mode to help new players get familiar with the game. The Soldier class is the only cass available in Traning Mode at this point. The main menu of the game has been changed as well.
- June 28th: Release of the first episode of Spy Fiction.
- July 8th: Release of the Engineer Update. It's the last mayor update centered around an in-game class.
This update added new achievements and items for the Engineer. 4 new maps (pl_thundermountain, plr_hightower, pl_upward, cp_coldfront) were added to the game. Coldfront is the eleventh community map to be added to the official map pool.
A few days prior to the release of the update, players could obtain a special item; the Golden Wrench. This item could only be obtained throught crafting. In an intervall of roughly an hour, the system would pick up a player who is currently crafting something and give him/her a Golden Wrench instead of a normal item. Only a total of 100 golden wrenches were available and eventually given to 100 players.
A few players exloited the system and aquired a golden wrench by knowing the exact time for a wrench to appear and using scripts to craft in rapid succession. 4 golden wrenches were eventually taken away and given to other players.
- July 16th: Valve announced the Art Pass Concest in a blog post. Players could design a map whose geometry and game mode were pre-determined by Valve. The winner of the contest would be included in a future update.
Submissions were open until September 25th and the winners were announced on October 26th in a blog post. The two winning maps were added to the game with the Scream Fortress Update.
- August 24th: Valve announed the Hat Describing Contest in a blog post. Players could write descriptions for all hats included in the game. The contest lasted for three days and the winner's descriptions were added to the game on August 27th.
- August 31th: In an effort to raise money for charity, 14 players were destroying their Golden Wrenches that day. They raised over 31,000$ for Child's Play.
- September 2nd: Valve announces the Highlander Mix-Match in a blog post.
- September 4th: Inspired by the actions of the 14 players, Daniel Sato is organized the PAX Golden Charity. Jerry Holkins from Penny Arcade destroyed his Golden Wrench at PAX, 530$ were raised in total.
- September 28th: Release of Dance Fortress.
- September 30th: Release of the Mann-conomy Update.
This update introduced the trading system and the in-game item store "Mann. Co Store" to the community. In addition to that, 5 sets of items were added to the game. Each set consists of an alternate weapon for each of the three weapon slots and a hat (with the exception of the Spy, who has only two weapon slots and therefore only received two new weapons). There exist a set for the Sniper, Soldier, Pyro, Scout and Spy class.
Aside from these 5 item sets, 15 new hats and 4 new weapons were added to the game. 65 new items were added to the game in total with this update.
All items aquired prior to this update have been turned into "Vintage" items. According to Valve, this was done to give players a visual indication for their hard work. Since most hats and weapons can be purchased from the Mann. Co Store, the Vintage label indicates that these items were aquired through other, sometimes harder methods like achievements and crafting.
- October 27th: Release of the Scream Fortress Update.
This was the second update to feature Halloween-themed content. Two new maps (cp_mountainlab, cp_manor_event) were added to the game.
These two maps are winners of the Art Pass Contest. Even thought the layout was created by Valve, everything else was designed by third parties, and therefore are considered community maps. Mountain Lab and Mann Manor are the twelfth and thirteenth community map to be added to the official map pool.
Just like koth_harvest_event from October 2009, cp_manor_event features some special items and a NPC limited to Halloween. The Pumpkin bombs make a return from the last Halloween event. New additions were the Horseless Headless Horsemann and the Haunted Halloween Gifts. The Horsemann would spawn periodically on the map and kill all players regardless of team affection, while the gifts contained one of the 9 class-based halloween masks. If a player colelcts one mask for each class, he/she could craft them together in order to obtain the Saxton Hale Mask.
The update added 4 new achievements called "Ghostchievements". Some of the Scarechievements from the Halloween 2010 event were unlockable as well, if someone missed them last time around.
- November 22th: Release of Pokernight at the Inventory. It's a crossover Poker game featuring the Heavy Weapons Guy from Team Fortress 2, Tycho from Penny Arcade, Strong Bad from Homestar Runner and Max from the Sam & Max-series.
Players could aquire the Dealer's Visor by pre-ordering the game. In addition to that, 5 items are obtainable in the game and are subsequently unlocked in Team Fortress 2. These items are the Iron Curtain, the Lugermorph, the Licence to Main, Dangeresque, Too? and the Enthusiast's Timepiece.
- November 24th: The Highlander Mix-Match happens. Players from the development team, competetive scene and public players are participating in a match with Highlander class rules.
The match was announced two month earlier and was scheduled for September 2nd. Due to a DDOS attack, however, the match was postponed to a later date.
- December 2nd: Release of the third Team Fortress 2 Beta. This was the first beta to be available for everyone who owned the main game.
- December 17th: Release of the Australian Christmas Update.
The Medieval game mode as well as the mode's first map (cp_degrootkeep) were added to the game. As far as items are concerned, 21 new hats and 13 new weapons were added to the game.
The update introduced the map stamp to the community. Players can buy a stamp for a community map in the Mann Co. Store. All stamp proceeds (minus any taxes) will be given to the mapfmakers of the corresponding map.
- January 19th: The map cp_5gorge was added to the game.
- February 3rd: Release of the promotional items which were awarded when the game "Rift" was pre-ordered. Along with the pre-order bonuses, players can obtain the "RIFT Well Spun Hat Claim Code" by unlocking the "Riftwalker" achievement.
This code can be used in Rift in order to obtain a free in-game item. This is the first time time players could obtain an item usable outside of Team Fortress 2.
- February 14th: The news article "A Comment On 3 Years Team Fortress 2" is published.
Several community celebrities such as azureguy, Daedalus and Drunken F00l as well as Team Fortress 2 developer Robin Walker comment on the 3rd anniversary of the game and how it has changed in these three years.
- February 24th: 3 new maps (plr_nightfall, pl_frontier, koth_lakeside) were added to the game. Nightfall, Frontier and Lakeside are fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth community map to be added to the official map pool.
- March 8th: Release of The Demo Knight.
- March 23th: To help the people living in Japan after suffering from a series of natural disasters, Valve initiated a charity promotion: From March 23th to April 6th, players could purchase 3 hats (priced 7,99 $, 19,99 $ and 99,99 $ each). The money earned from these items (minus taxes) would be spend to the American Red Cross. A total of 430,543.65 $ were gathered.
- April 14th: Release of the Hatless Update. While it didn't include any new game modes, weapons or hats, it added other updates and important changes to the game.
The update introduced the Coaching system, allowing veteran players to give instructions to new players via a special spectator mode. The Training Mode had been improved as well, with the Demoman, Engineer and Spy class now available.
Game performance had been improved throught dynamic model loading and both the voice chat and voting system had been improved. The AI of the Spy bot had been improved, making him more effective than before.
Even thought the update didn't include any new hats, the hat system received some updates. The shading had been improved and the colors were now visible in DirectX 8 as well. In addition to that, some of the hat's shape and color pattern could now be changed via the Styles system. One example of this is the Ghastly Gibus, whose appearance had been slightly changed in the Halloween 2010 event, which can now been switched between its 2009 and 2010 version.
Last but not least, the map koth_badlands was added to the game.
- May 5th: Release of the Replay Update.
The update added a new replay type to the game (before this update, the only other way to record and edit replays was to use the developer console). This new type is created automatically by the server and can be downloaded by the player. These replays can then be edited with the new replay editor which allows for easy editing of replays. In addition to that, the option was added to upload a replay to the player's YouTube channel.
The new replay features were accompanied by the game's first video contest: The Saxxy Award. Players could submit their videos and win a Saxxy statue (which can be used as a weapon in-game).
Videos could be submitted from May 5th to May 20th. The first phase of the voting started on May 20th and ended on May 26th. The second phase with the finalists for each category started on June 2nd and ended on June 6th.
The winners of the Saxxy Award were announced on June 8th. For a full list of all winners, see here.
- June 23th: Release of the Über Update.
This update is centered around the Medic in both name and realtiy, closing the circle of class updates. Every class except the Engineer received new weapons and hats. A total 32 items were added to the game. Also, the map pl_barnblitz was added to the game and Meet the Medic was released.
Starting with this update, Team Fortress 2 has become a free game (Free to Play). Any player with a Steam account can now play the game, regardless if someone paid for it or not. Like in many f2p games, new players have some limitations, although none of them are gameplay-relevant.
- July 6th: News surfaced that Tony Paloma, also known as "Drunken F00l", was being hired by Valve Software.
It is a well-known fact that Valve not only supports community encouragement, but also hires people whose work proves promising enough (such was the case with the developers of Counter-Strike, Team Fortress Classic and Portal).
Tony Paloma contributed to the community through his SourceOP server mod as well as the website TF2Items.com. He also is (in)famous for having used unorthodox means in order to receive a golden wrench weapon.
- July 31th: Release of Mac 'n' Cheese, a short GCI movie created by students from the Netherlands which is influenced by Team Fortress 2 and Meet Buck.
- August 24th: The original Team Fortress celebrates its 15th anniversary.
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