Team Fortress 2 Receiving Unlockable Items, New Gameplay Mode, New Maps Soon

By Chris Faylor, Jan 23, 2008 8:09am PST Unlockable items and a new gameplay mode are on their way to the PC version of Valve's Team Fortress 2 as part of its upcoming large scale gameplay shift.

According to PC Gamer, the items will become available as gamers earn class-specific achievements. As the Medic will be the first class to receive specialized achievements, it will also be the first to receive new items.

One of the two Medic-specific items will be the Overhealer, which permanently doubles a target's health capacity. To balance this, Valve is considering increasing charge time for an Uber when it is equipped. Another possibility is that the company may remove the Overhealer's Uber capability altogether.

Currently, the plan is to allow gamers access to the Overhealer when they earn about half of the 35 Medic-specific achievements, with the other as yet unannounced item unlocked after the criteria for all the achievements have been met.

The items will be available via the new Loadout menu, suggesting that gamers will not be able to easily swap between the gameplay-altering tools in the midst of battle.

Goldrush, the second of the two forthcoming maps, sports a new escort-oriented gameplay mode. In it, the Blue team must escort a mining cart from one side of the map to the other. The more Blue are around, the faster the cart moves. However, it stops dead in its tracks if even one Red is in the vicinity, with the ever-moving point of conflict is said to make a solid defense rather tricky.

The two new maps, Badlands and Goldrush, are now expected to arrive in just over a month, with the Medic achievement pack and gameplay slated to hit before then. In true Valve spirit, which appears to be unaffected despite the studio's crushing defeat at the hands of Team Shacknews, the content will be provided for free to owners of the PC version.

At present, the company is unsure when or if it will release the content for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 editions of Team Fortress 2, which are only available in The Orange Box.

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  • I've never enjoyed permanent unlockables in multiplayer games.

    The concept is good in theory, but it just never seems to have a fun point when you have people with certain advantages over new players just because they've been playing longer.

    I much prefer an Enemy Territory/Call of Duty: UO system, where you can get unlocks during a campaign/map, but that then reset during the next campaign/map. Quake Wars, for those who've played it, has probably the best implementation of this.

    For example, Medics in Quake Wars get "Full Revive" after getting enough EXP during a campaign, allowing them to revive a player to full health (as opposed to reviving them to 60% health or whatever it is normally). It's great to have, and it definitely helps your team, but it doesn't break the game... particularly for people just joining the server. (Compared to the more broken unlocks in the original ET, this is exponentially better)

    After the campaign ends though (a campaign being 3 maps), and the next one starts, everyone's EXP in every area is set back to 0, meaning you have to work to unlock these benefits again. It's fair for everyone, and yet still rewards players who've played longer and know the game well (since they'll probably be better than most people, and thus likely be able to gain exp in whatever area a little quicker).