Valve opens up Team Fortress 2 for beta testing

TF2 Beta

Valve has decided that their quality assurance team doesn't quite do enough to make sure Team Fortress is perfect. They stated, on the Team Fortress 2 blog, that as much as they change TF2, and as perfect as they believe themselves to be they still make mistakes. Valve says they just can't gather enough internal testing data so they are giving everyone that owns the game a chance to test the beta version before it is pushed to production.

Users that own TF2 should see Team Fortress 2 Beta available in their Steam library. Users that choose to install and play the beta version of the game will give Valve the data they need for:

  • 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 initial beta release will primarily be testing changes to Natascha, the Level 5 heavy weapon. Other updates include changes to a couple of maps along side a few balance tweaks. ln the beta, all achievement based unlockables are available to all players, but Valve says don't get too attached because they could change or disappear at any time. Along side the official beta servers setup by Valve, users can also setup their own servers if they would like. If you do choose to play on the beta servers, Valve wants to know if you experience problems by reporting them to the TF2 Public Beta Forum.

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Daily Gaming: December 4, 2010

29 Comments

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COD: Black Ops could have used something like this. I only play it because some of my friends do, but in my honest opinion, it's a top contender for being the sorriest piece of crap to ever touch my PS3.

emzino said,
Isn't it already called Team Fortress 2?

Is this a re-release?

No, they are beta testing an upcoming patch. The title is misleading.

thatguyandrew1992 said,
TF2 (PC) is the perfect example of dlc.

Except DLC is generally seperate and paid-for, all of TF2's new content is free and part of the main game.

One of the reason for this is to let more people who have never played TF2 to try it and hopefully like it so when they will remove the public beta, some will buy the game to keep playing what they just discovered.

Nothing wrong in that, marketing...

Rhialto said,
One of the reason for this is to let more people who have never played TF2 to try it and hopefully like it so when they will remove the public beta, some will buy the game to keep playing what they just discovered.

Nothing wrong in that, marketing...

Only people that already have the game can do the beta.

Would be nice if the Team Fortress 2 beta used the same Source engine as Left 4 dead? Work on getting better performance. The only thing that would suck about that is they would have to drop DX8 and I dont see Valve having two diffrent Source engines for TF2 at the same time, one for DX8 users and the newer engine that would be testing nightmare.

Doli said,
Would be nice if the Team Fortress 2 beta used the same Source engine as Left 4 dead? Work on getting better performance. The only thing that would suck about that is they would have to drop DX8 and I dont see Valve having two diffrent Source engines for TF2 at the same time, one for DX8 users and the newer engine that would be testing nightmare.

They've stated before they won't be switching to the L4D-branch, they won't drop DX8.

The L4D1/2 branch is dead-end anyway, Alien Swarm's engine is newer.

Blah, TF2 is crap now after they introduced the hats. Not that the hats themselves were bad but in my opinion, it went spirally downwards from there. From my own experience, I'd say over half the community was lost and replaced with new players. Shame really.

If a new game is coming out it doesnt take that long for a person to post in the steam forums that we should get a hat in TF2 for pre-ordering the game haha. A part of me thinks the poker game only sold because of the hat (pre-order) and items you get in TF2.

Billus said,
Blah, TF2 is crap now after they introduced the hats. Not that the hats themselves were bad but in my opinion, it went spirally downwards from there. From my own experience, I'd say over half the community was lost and replaced with new players. Shame really.

Ignore the hats perhaps if you dont like them?

John Freeman said,

Ignore the hats perhaps if you dont like them?

I'm talking about the actual gameplay that changed after the hats were introduced.

Billus said,
Blah, TF2 is crap now after they introduced the hats. Not that the hats themselves were bad but in my opinion, it went spirally downwards from there. From my own experience, I'd say over half the community was lost and replaced with new players. Shame really.

Uhh, no not really. I see plenty of regular players which are Platinum and Gold badge holders. I myself am one.

If anything popularity has risen; The drop system adds a whole new layer to TF2 and many of the unlocks are inferior to the originals.

Blizzard does the same thing with content patches they just call it PTR (public test realm) instead of beta

Krux said,
Blizzard does the same thing with content patches they just call it PTR (public test realm) instead of beta

Blizzard may have the same model when it comes to patching but their PTR testing is a shambles with known documented bugs making it onto live servers making the game unplayable for days on end for some. It is a complete contrast to Valve BETA.

omnicoder said,
Bit late for a beta, eh?

Valve is basically letting their consumers beta test their product and allow for better feedback before updates come out. I wish everyone did this, it's phenomenal quality assurance.

omnicoder said,
Bit late for a beta, eh?

It's an ongoing beta, the game is always changing, maps and weapons are being added as well as other stuff.

omnicoder said,
Yeah I realize it's Valve and all, I even own TF2, this is just kinda... odd.
I think its a good thing, just not something I'd expect.

They've done it with CS:S for ages, it makes sense.

It also gives the normal community some chance for input, Valve mostly play test with the competitive guys, and they have a messed up view on what the game should be.

omnicoder said,
Yeah I realize it's Valve and all, I even own TF2, this is just kinda... odd.
I think its a good thing, just not something I'd expect.

Its not your typical "beta test" before the game comes out and than wait for patches that you have no control over. Valve is good to the people when it comes down to TF2 and to make it more so they want you to play the new patches before they're officially released so if there's something that needs worked on they can do that before mainstreaming something that would anger everyone.

Take a look at Windows Home Server update change when it removed the Drive Extender feature. That ****ed everyone off now think if Microsoft would have done a beta test of the patch before its initial release they would have feedback that people didn't want to see it go