Home Editorial Balance Shotguns galore: Undocumented Manniversary hilarity

If you’ve tried to log in to Team Fortress 2, or Steam for that matter, you may have noticed a wee bit of slowdown. In case you didn’t know, Valve’s monstrously successful F2P FPS recently received an enormous update, full of all kinds of goodies.

What kind, you ask?

Why, double misc slots, saved weapon loadouts, tons of new hats, and more. But you’re not here for the things that have officially changed. (You can read the whole list of TF2 patch changes at the bottom of the post.)

You’re here to read about two changes to shotguns that are gonna put a smile on the faces of underpowered players everywhere.


The Widowmaker finally lives up to its name

I’m calling it now: The Widowmaker is now the best Engineer shotgun. How’s this? Among the several undocumented changes of the the Manniversary patch, one was cutting the metal consumption of the Widowmaker in half.

While a full reserve of metal previously yielded only three shots (at 60 metal each), the Engineer now gets just under seven with the new, 30 metal price of each deadly round. And since he still gets back 100% of the damage dealt as metal, it’s very, very easy to stay in the positive range.

Strap on your mining light because you’re going to be swimming in precious alloys dug deep out of your enemies’ corpses.

At mind range, a typical glancing shot gives you fifteen damage, enough to cut the cost of each shot in half. Suddenly you’re capable of producing thirteen rounds of pain in a row. At close range, you can expect to regularly get 30 to 60 damage, meaning you’re actually gaining metal with each pull of that sweet little trigger. Congratulations, you’re now the proud owner of infinite ammunition without reloading. And, of course, at point blank a single squeeze will yield enough ammo to take you from your last 30 metal back up to half. That’s enough to lay down a mini-sentry and begin more shenanigans.


Valve doesn’t completely hate the Pyro

As was alluded to with the Team Fortress 2 beta changes, the Pyro can now wield the Reserve Shooter. For those who don’t remember, it’s the three-round Soldier shotgun that minicrits airborne enemies. If only the Pyro had a way to force foes to fly

While this possibility is cool enough on its own, there’s a more important strategic consideration than “Pyros can go skeet shooting.” Since it gives our favorite flaming maniac a new follow-up to the puff maneuver (i.e. puff and shoot instead of puff and sting), the Pyro is now freed from requiring the Axtinguisher to dole out surprise burst damage. Suddenly, Pyro on Pyro combat isn’t so stale. Suddenly, taking out enemies wielding their own dangerous melee weapons isn’t so terrifying.

Suddenly, The Attendant set just got a whole lot more hilarious.

Whereas the set always had the downside of excluding the Pyro’s best melee weapon, that limitation is no longer a major issue. Fire-loving speed freaks can now jog around the map faster, pushing flaming opponents skyward before finishing them with the all-too-satisfying pull of the Reserve Shooter’s trigger. In fact, there’s only one thing I can imagine more satisfying than your first puff and shoot performance…

…mini-critting a Soldier out of the sky with your new-found toy!



Full Manniversary Team Fortress 2 Patch Notes

Source Engine Changes (CS:S, DoD:S, TF2, HL2:DM)

  • Fixed an issue with the multi-threaded renderer which could cause a crash on map change
  • Adjusted whitespace to improve formatting in status command output
  • Changed stats output to show KB/s instead of bytes/sec, added a connections column, and changed the users column to “Map changes”
  • Fixed game servers not being able to execute the retry command due to the dependence on the connect command (which is not executable by game servers)
  • Made sndplaydelay executable by servers
  • Server frame rate is now based on the tickrate of the active Source mod, not the fps_max convar
  • Server processing delays have been reduced, especially for servers on modern Linux kernels
  • Entity processing logic has been optimized to significantly reduce CPU usage on full servers
  • Multi-threaded server code is now enabled by default under Linux (already enabled on Windows)
  • An exploit with non-printable characters causing lag on Windows servers has been fixed
  • CPU is fully yielded back to the system whenever the server is running faster than the tickrate
  • Dramatic increase in performance for low-level math libraries

Team Fortress 2


  • Experimenting with a new store interface with a subset of players
  • Added several dozen community items in celebration of the Manniversary
  • Added loadout presets — each class can now store four complete loadouts, including weapons and cosmetic items, and change between them with the press of a button.
  • Added a new item type that can accept user-applied decals. Take any image off your hard drive, put it on a stick, and then smash people with it! (See the Decal Tool in the store!)
  • Added new co-operative high five taunt
  • Class select menu now shows the active loadout for each class
  • Characters can now equip two misc-slot items at once
  • Added a new in-game abuse-reporting system (see “Capture abuse report data” under “Miscellaneous” controls)
  • Non-newly-released weapons in the store can now be tried out for free once per week! This will give you a fully-functional version of the weapon to be used in-game for no cost. If you decide you like it, you can purchase it for a discount during the trial period.
  • All items purchased in the store can be used for crafting and can be traded after a few days
  • Added a new startup music track from Meet The Medic
  • Integrated with the new Steam Workshop to enable the publication and management of community contributed content
  • Added new community control point map Gullywash. Stamps are available in the store to support community map authors!
  • Barnblitz is now available for offline practice
  • Frontier: various geometry fixes
  • Gorge/5Gorge: added team-specific func_nobuild brushes in elevated forward spawn areas
  • New camera shake functionality added for replays that are not sufficiently dramatic
  • New slow-motion functionality added for replays where even camera shake does not provide sufficient drama
  • Added support for recording voice chat into replays
Response Rules
  • Reduced the chance of many response lines occurring
  • Responses related to cart progress no longer play when disguised
  • Players will now always call for a Medic when low on health or when on fire when a medic is under the crosshair, whereas previously the character would ask the medic to follow them
  • Named base items will no longer trigger responses that were supposed to be for new item variants
  • Added additional Jarate hit responses
  • Demoman:
    • Added achievement award response
    • Removed “I didn’t need your help y’know” line if being healed by a Medic
    • Saxxy kills will use the same lines as kills from the frying pan
    • Taunting with The Pain Train or the Saxxy now plays the same taunt as the grenade launcher
    • Added a taunt for The Ullapool Caber
  • Engineer:
    • Fixed a problem that caused him not to say thanks after exiting a teleporter
    • Saxxy kills will use the same lines as kills from The Golden Wrench
    • Added a previously unused Golden Wrench kill line
    • Added an occasional response when swinging The Gunslinger
    • Wrangler taunt now performs the pistol taunt animation
  • Heavy:
    • Added a previously unused fist swing line
  • Medic:
    • Added a line to the response that occurs when doing a battle cry while looking at an enemy while holding a melee weapon
    • Taunting with a Saxxy plays the medigun taunt
    • Taunting with the Solemn Vow or the Crusader’s Crossbow now plays the same taunt as the syringe gun
  • Scout:
    • Removed the response when killing an enemy Scout or Pyro and moved the lines to the dominating Pyro/Scout response
    • Added a rare response to double jumping after getting a recent kill
  • Sniper:
    • Reduced chattiness when getting many sequential kills
    • Added a missing line to the scoped revenge response
    • Taunting with a Saxxy no longer play lines that reference a knife
  • Soldier:
  • TFBots have a percentage chance of noticing weapon fire based on their difficulty level. Easy bots are fairly oblivious, and Expert bots notice pretty much everything.
  • TFBots now treat certain weapon attacks as “quiet” (Spy knife, cloaking/uncloaking, some melee weapons, fists, etc). “Quiet” weapons can only be heard by TFBots when nearby, and their chance of being noticed is halved if the environment is “noisy” (ie., lots of non-quiet gunfire going on in the area). This greatly improves Spies ability to backstab TFBots without the entire team immediately turning on them.
  • Spy bot improvements:
    • Spy bots are much better about circling around and backstabbing their victims now
    • Improved Spy bot target selection in some situations (ie: clusters of sentries and enemy players)
    • Spy bots will give up on an attack and retreat if an enemy sentry gun aims at them
    • Spy bots now avoid nearby enemies while disguised and/or cloaked so they don’t bump into them and give themselves away
    • Spy bots now have a simple notion of when their “cover is blown” now
    • Spy bots lead their target’s position as they chase them down for a backstab now
    • Spy bots don’t go after victims until setup time has elapsed
    • Hard and Expert Spy bots avoid looking at their prey until they get close and go for the stab
    • Easy Spy bots don’t avoid enemies, or try to get behind before stabbing
    • Normal Spy bots don’t avoid enemies
    • Fixed bug where Spy bots would jump against the enemy spawn gates during setup time
  • Medic bot improvements:
    • Medic bots stick much closer to running patients now
    • Medic bots stick much closer to their patient if they have an Ubercharge ready, or are deploying their Uber
    • Medic bots hide from Sentryguns now, too
  • Pyro bot improvements:
    • Pyro bots are less “pushy” with their compression blast, but will use it against Ubers and to get enemies off of a capture point
  • Razer Hydra support can be enabled via “sixense_enabled 1″ in the console. See http://sixense.com/tf2 for details.
  • Added “tf_allow_taunt_switch“. Set to 0 for disallowed (default behavior), 1 for old bug behavior, or 2 to allow weapon switching any time during the taunt.
  • Screenshots can now be hooked up to the Steam Community automatically. There is a new option to control this under “Miscellaneous” in the Advanced Options page.
  • Fixed gold ragdolls playing custom death animations when they should be locked in a pose
  • Fixed Buffalo Steak Sandvich not having a cooldown if the Heavy is at full health.
  • Fixed touching a cabinet while under the effects of the Buffalo Steak Sandvich removing the mini-crits but not removing the melee weapon restriction
  • Fixed particle effects not showing up on spy disguise items
  • Fixed spies never using genuine, community, or self-made items as disguise weapons
  • Fixed demoman weapons primary/secondary being backwards in the loadout screen
  • Fixed effects on Sticky Jumper grenades
  • Fixed net_graph not updating server framerate when FPS is greater than 1000
  • Fixed game servers not being able to execute the retry command
  • Renamed tf_show_voice_icons to mp_show_voice_icons
  • Updated the localization files

Undocumented changes

Update list courtesy of the Team Fortress 2 wiki.


12 replies to this post
  1. And the hats. You forgot the hats, which were all leaked. Binerexis said it was a load of rubbish. Every single on of them was leaked. I can’t get the forum thread, because I got banned from the forums.
    So yeah. I didn’t get to try it, but I will on Sunday. New compooter.

  2. The changes were leaked a LONG time ago, and considering new weapon, valve pulled back on every one it was considering. More to the point, I LOVE the new gameplay changes they made. Competitive Highlander teams (and 6v6 for that matter) can’t strip a spy of his disguise kit simply by all wearing unusuals (I’ve seen this happen, I spied against one of these bastard teams, came out decently, but I didn’t have a disguise kit), the short stop will get so much less OP rage, meaning I can use that set with way less risk of raging on the enemy team (albiet the health bonus and milk are still unarguably OP).

    On to the center gameplay stage, the shotguns. I’m one of those few people who used the Widowmaker and the Polycount Pyro before this, so adding this buffed the hell out of my gameplay style. I absolutely love it. One thing you didn’t mention about the reserve shooter is the faster weapon switch. With it, not only are you not strapped down to your Axtinguisher, YOU’RE ALSO NOT STRAPPED DOWN TO YOUR DEGREASER! I used this thing in the beta, it was hella sweet pwning without needing a Degreaser. Giving this unlock for pyro was combining everything about his modern play besides airblast (namely powerful use of shotguns, puff and sting, and weapon switch). I love it. Now, give us our old Detonators back!

    (A small note I should mention since it’s listed NOWHERE. The quick fix NEVER has a slower uber charge rate. The normal two mediguns have slower charge when they’re target’s at 142.5%, as does the quickfix. However, the qf doesn’t overheal, meaning you will almost always have another uber in half a minute.)

  3. I’m glad the Demo doesn’t say that anymore when being healed by a Medic. Too many times I felt like a dick whenever he said that, when in fact I DID need the help.

  4. Dear god.
    Pyro+Degreasser+Reserve Shooter= Almost no switch time.
    Now they just need to buff all the flamethrowers by 10%, give the degreasser 10% less flaming damage, and give it the same burn damage.

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