Posts tagged update
The Heavy update for TF2 has been out for about a week and a half now, giving players time to earn and use their new weapons and sandviches on normal maps. Here’s a rundown on the content introduced in the Heavy update:
- A fan-made map, CP_Steel, is added to the offical map list
- Arena mode released, giving TF2 a deathmatch gamemode
- A new Valve map, Badwater Basin, released for both Payload and Arena gamemodes.
- 38 new achievements for the Heavy to unlock
- 3 unlocks for the Heavy: the Sandvich, Natascha, and the Killing Gloves of Boxing.
I played on an achievement server to unlock the 3 new unlocks, then I went onto my favorite Gib$Ru$ server, Dustbowl 24/7, and tried them out. I ended up using the Sandvich more than I thought I would on defense, but on offense, it does absolutely no good because you never have 4 seconds of spare time. Natascha, which slows down enemies but doesn’t do as much damage, doesn’t seem to have much of an impact on gameplay, so I would recommend staying with Sasha. Finally, the K.G.B.’s are a great new unlock, and even with the “slower” punch times, you’ll never want to go back to normal fists.
This week, nVidia released their first ever “Power Pack,” one of many planned to be released. This power pack comes with new drivers for the nVidia Geforce 8-series or newer, bringing nVidia PhysX to gamers around the world. Astute gamers will notice that Ageia is not developing PhysX anymore; this is because nVidia bought the company in February and began integrating the technology into their video cards. PhysX brings some really awesome features to gamers, such as:
- Explosions that cause dust and collateral debris
- Characters with complex, jointed geometries for more life-like motion and interaction
- Realistic weather effects, with forces such as tornadoes directly modifying the world
- Cloth that drapes and tears naturally
- Dense smoke & fog that billow around objects in motion
The Force Within Power Pack itself comes with a slew of games and programs to make use of the PhysX technology. From the Unreal Tournament 3 PhysX mod to Folding@Home, the pack will hopefully continue to be a showcase of ground-breaking games, mods, and programs. You can stay up-to-date on future nVidia news at The Pxl Lab.
Microsoft put out the newest version of DirectX, the newest release since June 2008. DirectX, for those of you who don’t know, is what developers use to help power games on Windows-based computers. DirectX 10.1, which is the latest version on the market, allows things in-game like motion blur, god rays, and other sweet effects. If you are currently having any problems with your games or would just like a little speed boost in-game, upgrading to the latest version of DirectX is always a good way to try and fix it.
DirectX Runtime Download (this download installs any versions of DirectX you may not have)
August 2008 Only Download (just get the latest version)
Today, a couple months after the release of the wildly popular Battlefield: Bad Company for the PS3 and Xbox 360, DICE, the developers of the game, are releasing the first content pack. The download contains small engine updates, such as lighting and other visual improvements, along with Conquest mode. Conquest mode brings the gamemode that made Battlefield 1942 and Battlefield 2 to the top to consoles. With multiple capture points scattered across large maps, teams battle to drain the other teams’ points before they lose their own. Here’s a video created by DICE to show you about it:
To download the content pack, go to either the Xbox Marketplace or the PS3 store.
The popular Runescape game, created by Jagex in 2001, has been going quite strong until recently. On December 10, 2007, after years of botters, gold sellers, and hackers messing with the game, Jagex decided to impose a horrifying rule. The rule stated that you could only trade within the market prices set by the Grand Exchange. For example, you cannot trade a certain item of x value for another item of y value if the difference between those two items is greater than 5000 gold. They later repealed this and allowed you to trade up to 30000 difference based upon your quest points. This update made it so you could not give items away, or even worse, you could no longer use botting programs on wimpy characters and then transfer the money to your main character.
This update, along with the destruction of the wilderness, was a huge blow below the belt to all Runescape users. Jagex lost a lot of its players, nearly cutting its attendance every day in half. They needed something big to strike back, and they delivered! On July 1, 2008, a High Definition version of Runescape was released to members only in the beta stage. The graphics are noticeably different from the previous version. On July 14, 2008, it was released to free players as well as members. This has not returned Runescape to it’s full glory, but it is a step in the right direction. Runescape has never been on “par” so-to-say with games such as World of Warcraft, and has gotten much criticism for it’s so called childish gameplay, but with recent updates Runescape has turned into a more mature game.
So, if you have quit Runescape because of recent updates, or are looking for a versatile MMO to play in your downtime, it’s definitely worth a checking out.
Apple recently released iTunes 7.7.0, bringing along its share of new features and bug fixes. The major update actually comes for owners of iPhones and iPod Touches, because Apple updated the firmware of both to v2.0. Version 2‘s highlighted feature is the App Store, which has 500+ applications for your pleasure. Other features are support for Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync, which keeps your contacts, calendars, etc up-to-date, GPS tracking, contact searching, Powerpoint and iView viewing support, direct screenshot capturing, MobileMe support, among other things. Sadly, current owners (i.e. not 3G owners) have to buy the firmware update for $20. It is worth noting that everything on your device will be erased after applying the update, so make a backup before you update.
If you have any problems applying the after applying the firmware update, check out this article at MyDigitalLife that talks about how to fix firmware errors.
Earlier this year, the Medic received an update, granting him 3 new weapon unlocks and 33 achievements. In mid-June, the Pyro got his share of unlocks and achievements. Now, the time is coming for the third major class update, this time for the Heavy. Valve states that the goal of this update is to “make the Heavy more viable when he has no Medic to pair with.”
Currently the weapons and achievements are being developed, so no pictures are available yet. You can keep updated on the Heavy update and more at the offical Team Fortress 2 blog, if you so desire.
The new 8.6 drivers were released by ATI, bringing along support for up to 4 ATI CrossfireX cards running at once and custom filters per application of anti-aliasing. The drivers support these cards:
- ATI Radeon™ X300 series and higher
- ATI Radeon™ HD 2400 series and higher
- ATI Radeon™ 9500 series and higher
Of course, any version of Windows XP and Vista are supported, too. The whole changelog and card support list details this with more depth.
To celebrate their latest patch to the amazing game Team Fortress 2, Valve is allowing anybody with a Steam account to download the game for free and use it for the weekend. After the weekend (June 20-22, 2008) you can no longer play the game for free unfortunately. The new patch adds 3 new unlockable weapons for the Pyro class. There’s a shotgun replacement called the Flare Gun, which is basically just what it sounds like. It shoots off a flare to allow you to ignite your enemies at long range, but takes a very careful aim to get it right. It also adds a new flamethrower into the mix, called The Backburner. It removes the Compression Blast ability, but the Backburner always has critical hits when burning an enemy from behind, as well as adding 50 points of health to the Pyro wielding it. The final unlockable is a new axe, called the Axtinguisher. This weapon critical hits any enemy who is on fire, but does considerably less damage to those who remain in a state of not on fire.
The patch also adds 35 achievements for aspiring Pyros to unlock. One of my personal favorites, is called BarbeQueQ. You obtain it by causing a dominated player to leave the server. Other fun achievements such as Freezer Burn (provide enemies with freezecam shots of each of your taunts), make it worth your while to try for the achievements. There are also two new maps added, A capture point map called “Fastlane”, and a Capture the flag map called “Turbine”. All of these factors make it an excellent weekend to play TF2, and if you aren’t already a player, to join the phenomenon.
Valve announced in their weekly update news that the Pyro would be receiving the next major update with 3 new weapons to unlock along with a lot of achievements. For people worried about how this will effect the game as much as the Medic update did, here’s a quote that should put your mind at ease:
We’ve spent time looking at how the recent Medic release went, and have rolled feedback from that release into the new item designs for the Pyro and into the design of the achievements required to unlock those items.
The Axtinguisher, as pictured to the left, is one of the three new unlockable weapons for the Pyro. This axe will only do half the damage of the standard axe in a normal situation, but if your enemy is on fire, then the Axtinguisher will always hit a critical. For those of you who aren’t into the whole unlocks thing, then Valve has some news for you too:
Along with all of the new content, we’re also going to be making some significant changes to the Pyro class for everyone, regardless of whether they have unlocked any new items.
Valve did not announce an official release day for the update, but expect it to come this month.