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As part of this year's Smissmas Update, we'd like to Introduce Mannpower Mode, a new beta game mode for TF2! There's enough to tell you about it that we thought it deserved its own post.
We want to stress a very important word in that last sentence: beta. All of the art is temp and all of the game mechanics are in flux. This is an unpolished beta game mode we're releasing specifically so we can get playtest feedback from everybody and improve it moving forward. So dive right in! Your feedback will be heard and incorporated into the development process.
What's Mannpower Mode?
It's an in-beta CTF-like game mode with grappling hooks and nine different types of powerups. (A lot of this will change during this mode's development. We'll be tweaking rules and adding/subtracting powerups as we go.) It's currently playable in modified versions of Ctf_foundry and Ctf_gorge.
Mannpower alters a few game rules. For one, random critical hits have been disabled. Additionally, teams won't be able to capture the enemy flag unless your flag is at your base. (When your flag is away from your base, you can touch it to instantly return it to base.)
What was that part about grappling hooks?
Right, that! There's a grappling hook available to all classes in Mannpower Mode. You can equip it in your action slot and use it by switching to slot 6. Press fire to shoot out a hook. As soon as it hits something, it’ll start to reel you in. Release the fire button when you want to detach.
You mentioned powerups?
Yep, there are currently nine with more on the way. Note that these are works-in-progress, so the specifics of these power-up boosts might (and probably will) change as the mode improves:
Mannpowers exist in the world and can be picked up by all classes. When picked up they add abilities and enhancements to the player carrying it. Mannpowers can be dropped at any time by hitting your "dropitem" key, and will drop automatically when the player carrying it is killed. Note that you can only carry one at a time, and that you can't take powerups into respawn rooms.
How do I participate?
Click on Play Multiplayer, enable Play Beta Maps checkbox, and then choose Mannpower Mode.
Why is this in beta?
We would like to include the community early in the development process to gather feedback as we try variations in the map layout and game play mechanics.
How can I help the development process?
Play Mannpower Mode! Playing and providing feedback is the biggest way you can help us develop this game mode. Having servers full of users interacting with each other is the quickest way to isolate and fix gameplay problems.
How do I submit feedback?
Are there Mannpower Beta servers? Can we host our own?
Yes and Yes. We're running a set of official Valve Beta servers using quick play matchmaking. Community server owners are welcome to host too.