July 27, 2012
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Inspired by the original rocket launcher from Quake, the Original is a bulky, tan rocket launcher with a metallic tubular exhaust port, metallic and tan handles, as well as a distinctive oversized barrel. While the weapon is statistically identical to the soldier’s standard rocket launcher, it fires straight down the crosshair rather than an angle like the standard rocket launcher. This means that all rockets fired will be accurate, contrasting the small deviation experienced by standard rockets.
- The Original’s first-person view model is at the bottom-center of the screen, and its rockets are launched straight ahead of the Soldier, as opposed to being fired at an angle. The Soldier holds the weapon normally in third-person view.
- Accuracy means that I typically prefer the Original over the other rocket launchers. The launch sounds are particularly impressive, having a significantly deeper and more powerful feel to it compared to the standard rocket launcher. I’ve casually noted that one of the guys I’ve killed here with a lucky critical rocket is the same guy who was on my team many moons ago.
These traits make the original ideal for situations involving long-range bombardment, such as assaulting sentries or distant enemies. The main disadvantage is a minor one: the rocket trajectories mean that one cannot fire from cover. Thus, the Original is probably optimised for maps with open spaces. Then again, I’ve consistently fielded the Original over my other rocket launchers in most successful games, suggesting that the Original is every bit as versatile as the rocket launcher, making this a preference more than a strategic option.
July 26, 2012
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The Hitman’s Heatmaker (affectionately referred to as the heatmaker) is the latest of the rifles to grace the Sniper’s loadout. It is a suppressed rifle outfitted with a sleek scope and features a wooden stock with a brown leather rest. The heatmaker is unique in that it decapitates the enemy on a successful headshot. The heatmaker also incorporates focus, a system similar to the Bazaar Bargain’s Headshot system: this time, the bonus is simply gained on kills or assists, rather than on successful headshots, and does not disappear on missed shots or body shots. Once the meter is full, the subsequent shot will activate the Focus state, granting the wielder an increased firing rate and removing the necessity of unscoping after every shot. Like the Bazaar Bargain, the Hitman’s Heatmaker is made for accurate Snipers; bodyshots from this weapon suffer a damage penalty.
- My initial impressions of the heatmaker are that it is a direct upgrade from the standard sniper rifle. While bodyshots are nowhere near as powerful, it compensates for this by being able to decapitate opponents on a headshot. When the focus meter is filled, a player will be able to prolong focus indefinitely by getting continuous kills. Another aspect I like about this rifle is that it fires suppressed rounds, giving the impression of a rifle optimised for stealth missions, not unlike the M21 suppressed from the CoD4MW mission All Ghillied Up.
- The heatmaker is generally more useful than the Machina and the Baazar Bargain for the sniper with less experience in combat, given that it can fire while unscoped, unlike the former, and missing won’t cost the operator anything, unlike the latter. The only real disadvantage is that tracer shots are fired while focus is active, revealing the operator’s location to the other team.
The weapon requires 3 kills (or 9 assists, or any combination of those) in order to fill the Focus bar entirely. It triggers automatically if it is filled with a killing shot. While focused, the weapon will charge 25% faster, fire tracer darts similar to the Machina, and will not unscope after firing. This does not increase rate of fire, but the weapon will still charge while reloading.
July 25, 2012
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An antique machine gun made almost entirely of brass, the brass beast bears a striking resemblance to the original 1861 Gatling gun made by Richard J. Gatling. This is the single most powerful weapon the heavy can wield, but the additional firepower comes with a pair of caveats: the spin up time is 50% longer, and while spun up, the user will move at 40% of their normal walking speed. These factors make the brass beast particularly suited for defending objectives at close quarters: a heavy with this will be able to eliminate almost anything that falls behind the crosshairs.
- I’m more of a high-mobility player, and as such, I prefer the Tomislav over the Brass Beast for most situations. I remember encountering a player who fell repeatedly to my Tomislav, threatened to pull out his strange brass beast on me. Sure enough, several kills and a domination later, he did just that. I conclude his victims weren’t particularly familiar with the WASD movement configurations, as his aim was surprisingly poor. A strange brass beast accumulating kills isn’t particularly impressive, given that it’s easy to do so.
- Choosing a suitable loadout requires a degree of foresight: players with the brass beast are essentially mobile sentry guns. For instance, players wishing to have more forward offensive power will opt with the shotgun, while players intending on defending a particular target (like a capture point of intel) may do better to equip the Sandvich: a single heavy with a source of health regeneration and ammo is all that is needed to hold off the opposing team long enough to force a stalemate in the worst case.
For all its powers, the brass beast is impractical as an offensive weapon. The weapons massive firepower requires a long spin up, making it difficult to engage enemies rapidly. Furthermore, the near-total loss of mobility while wielding this weapon makes the operator vulnerable to snipers and spies. For these reasons, the brass beast is ideally paired with the conventional shotgun. Opinions of the brass beast change rapidly when the weapon is applied in defensive situations. An operator in a defensible (that is, wall to back, indoors) position with a spun-up weapon will cut down any enemy, even an overhealed heavy with very little effort.
May 26, 2012
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As of July 10, 2013, the methods described in this post are no longer operational. This guide is intended for reference only and the procedures described cannot be used for idling.
Last time, discussions focussed around getting a single account to idle properly in Team Fortress 2. That said, for individuals who’ve got access to a few more accounts and are interested in maximising their item drops from all of these accounts from a single machine, there is a means to go about doing so. This method assumes that one has a reasonable machine: for instance, my old school XPS machine can run idle seven accounts simultaneously while I’m playing Crysis. Generally speaking, a machine with around 3 GB of RAM and a Q6600 Core 2 Quad should handle this without any issues. One must also have at least two premium Team Fortress 2 accounts and a copy of Sandboxie. The trial version of Sandboxie will allow one sandbox at any given time, allowing a maximum of two accounts to be idled at the same time.
- When all is said and done, you should have something that looks like this; the full version of Sandboxie will require a fee to download, and as such, I will do this tutorial assuming people are interested in the trial (i.e. free) version of Sandboxie.
The first step is to download and install Sandboxie. Ensure that Steam is not running during the installation. Once this is complete, delete the default sandbox and create a new one. Rename it as necessary. Once this is done, right click it, and select the sandbox settings from the drop-down menu. Go into Restrictions, and find Drop rights: from there, ensure that Drop rights from Administrators and Power User groups is unchecked. Next, under the Resource Access root, go into File Access, and then Full Access. From here, add the directory that Steam is located under. This is the most important step, as it tells you where steam.exe is located.
- This is what Sandboxie looks like. Delete the default sandbox by clearing out its contents, and then removing it. When you right-click on it, a drop down menu appears. Choose Sandbox settings and you will end up with a pop-up window like the one below.
- All the guides say to disable drop rights, so that’s what needs to be done to make this thing work. For the next step, people often say to make an additional copy of your Steam directory, such that it won’t overwrite any game files. If you choose not to do that, login informations may conflict, causing problems. To overcome this, ensure that you are logged out of all of their accounts before running Steam. Log in to your accounts one after another (that is, log in from either Sandboxie or Steam first, then upon successful login, log in to your other account).
- Once the directory is added, you are more or less done, and you should be able to produce similar results to those shown in the first image.
Once this is done, right-click on the sandbox and choose Run Sandboxed, and subsequently, Run Windows Explorer. From here, navigate to the directory where Steam is located, and log in to the alternate account. Apply the idling settings and run TF2 as per usual. There is one caveat to this method: when idling, it appears that starting the idlers one after another (waiting for one to connect before the other) is more efficient than starting them concurrently because of port mapping issues. Once everything is working, it is possible to even trade items between accounts. Simply add your other accounts as friends and then trade as you would do normally.
May 20, 2012
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Trolling isn’t always about griefing other players, wrecking gameplay or making players rage quit. By definition, trolling is the provocation of a reaction from other players for one’s own amusement, and as such, can be accomplished in a simple manner without constantly killing other players or being obnoxious in general. Owing to the nature of items in TF2, trading high-value items on a private server with many players can trigger amusing responses from the other players.
- The first step is to establish the terms of the trade. However, inform the other party that you need to do something before actually initiating the trade, and sign in to a crowded server.
- Privately hosted servers, such as crit servers and mod servers are actually a good idea, as there are many ‘hardcore’ players who know their ins and outs around the game and its items.
- Only one of two will need to go into a server: ask your contact to make the trade with you, and the items will pop up in the text chat window. Complete the trade as you normally would.
- Note how the other players responded to this trade, and laugh at them as they express total disbelief at your luck, and try to convince you to sell the item(s) that you picked up.
Nothing fancy is required to pull off a stunt like this, aside from the odd high-value item and a little bit of patience. Those wishing to carry out stunts like this should also ensure that the map they’re on has a longer match time limit to ensure that the round doesn’t end right as the trade is being completed.