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December 2, 2010 - TF2 Team

As you've probably seen by now, we like to change things in Team Fortress 2. A lot. And while we're perfect most of the time, we occasionally get something wrong. One reason for this is we just don't get enough data from internal play testing, and another is that we spend too much time watching Tom Bui serenades on Youtube (Hint: Search for "Tom Bui" on Youtube) (Another Hint: Click here). So to help us change TF2 even more frequently, we're pleased to announce the Team Fortress 2 (public) Beta.

What sorts of things will we use the beta for, you ask?

  • Testing and tuning various class, item, and weapon changes
  • Testing map changes and variants
  • Running higher level, game-wide experiments (like doubling player health)
  • Testing new technologies without the risk of breaking the game

The beta is available to anyone that owns a copy of TF2. To install, launch Steam, open the Library and install "Team Fortress 2 Beta" from your games list.

What's in the initial release?

Three Natascha variants:

  • -40% damage
  • -25% damage, -25% health
  • Spin-up/down time increased, slowdown-on-hit effect falls off over distance.
Map changes:

  • cp_granary: new entrance added into the RED and BLU mid ramp room.
  • cp_5gorge: 5 CP version of cp_gorge.
Misc balance changes:

  • Players being healed by a medic are immune to movement-impairing effects generated by hit-scan weapons.

Are there items in the Beta?

  • On signing into the beta, you'll be automatically granted all the achievement based unlockables. As we add new items for testing purposes, these will automatically be added to your backpack. Random items drop are turned off, and the store will not be available.
Will Beta items be changed or removed?

  • In response to the feedback on them, items in the Beta may change, or be removed at any time. Don't get too attached to them.
Are there Beta servers? Can we host our own?

  • We're running a set of official Valve Beta servers, and it'd be great if other server administrators want to chip in. Details are here. (Use "-game tf_beta" with HLDSUpdateTool to install the server files for the Beta).
How do we give feedback?

Also, while we're here, a couple more quick community notes:

  • UGC is about to start their TF2 Highlander League, with signups opening up on the 5th of December.
  • The Ozfortress chaps told us to check out Son of Dad's TF2 State of Origin Promo Video. State of Origin matches in Australia are competitions where each Australian state fields an official team. Not surprisingly, the Victorian team won. Here's a comprehensive Australian primer for you non-aussies: Australia has six states and two territories (things that wish they were states). Objectively speaking, Victoria is the best state. The end.