Team Fortress 2's Next Update Kicks Off a Three-Month Event
New maps, contracts, items, balance changes, and more.
Valve has detailed the next update for Team Fortress 2, and as previously indicated, it brings a new set of contracts for players to complete.
The Tough Break update adds a combination of free and paid content to the game. There are four new community-made maps for everyone to play and a number of gameplay changes and balance tweaks being made (more on those below).
Similar to the Gun Mettle update earlier this year, you can purchase access to the Tough Break campaign, a three-month event where you'll be able to complete new contracts (essentially in-game missions) and earn new one-of-a-kind weapons.
Over the three months, there will be 26 contracts in all, some of which will be weapon-specific (something we didn't see in the Gun Mettle campaign). This presents a potential problem if players don't have access to the necessary weapons, but that's where the new Loaner Program comes into play. If you have a gun-specific contract but don't own the necessary weapon, you can borrow one until you're done with the contract.
By completing contracts, you'll be rewarded with either special weapons (each featuring its own unique design and one of several rarity levels) or weapon cases. These will presumably function like those in the Gun Mettle update, requiring a specific type of key that costs $2.50 to open. Aside from including a different slate of items, these cases can contain strange- and unusual-level items.
Purchasing access to the Gun Mettle campaign also grants you a new cosmetic case (again, requiring a key to open) every week and a Contract Stamp. This tracks your progress during the event, leveling up as you hit certain milestones. Your level is also displayed on the in-game scoreboard, again much like how things operated during this year's Gun Mettle and Halloween events.
There are also new taunts that will be available for purchase in this update, including the bagpipes and Mannrobics ones above. The latter is a pretty obvious reference to this amazing video from what I assume is a fictional time period known as the 1980s.
As for the gameplay changes, the time required to switch weapons has been reduced, and teammates will now have an outline around them for 10 seconds after spawning. Most of the changes are class-specific. Pyros will receive 20 health when extinguishing a teammate who's on fire and do more damage with their flamethrowers from further away. Sentries are getting a half-second delay before becoming active again following the removal of a sapper. And Medics will have "slightly higher" health regeneration when healing someone who is not at full health.
There are many other changes as well, mostly involving specific weapons and items. The Half-Zatoichi, for instance, is now considered a sword, and the Sniper's Cozy Camper sounds as if it may actually be useful, as it now grants quadruple the health regeneration rate.
You can see the rest of the patch notes here.
There isn't a release date for when all of this will be available just yet, but it should be coming soon.
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