Valve Interview Pt 1: TF2 Getting Massive Update Soon, Includes Pyro Changes and New Map

Welcome to Part 1 of our Valve Interview Roundtable series. This week we had a chance to visit Valve’s headquarters in Bellevue, Washington to participate in a press interview roundtable where we spoke to several notable figures at the company, including founder Gabe Newell. In this multi-part series we will go over major talking points regarding software and the Steam platform.

The interview roundtable began with team leads for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Team Fortress 2 introducing themselves. We were immediately catapult into Team Fortress 2 discussion, where Dave Riller talked about the development team, sharing that they have been keeping busy with a variety of things, including a recently released comic and short film. When asked about how many programmers are working on the game, Riller replied, “Code writers? About five or six.”

We soon shifted to a discussion about the future, where Riller shared for the first time ever what is coming next to Team Fortress 2. He exclaimed that the next major update for the game will be “one of the biggest updates yet”, making improvements and additions across the board. Valve calls it the “Campaign 3 Update”

Speaking on the scope of the update, Riller described the upcoming contract changes saying, “We’ve revamped how we’re working on contracts and how we give them to players.” He added, “there’s a lot more player choice now”. He explained that players will soon be able to choose which contracts to accept and hunt for specific rewards in what Valve internally calls “choose your own adventure”. This particular change to contracts is in response to feedback from the community, something I would learn Valve takes very seriously.

Moving on, it was confirmed that the update will also contain a major class patch. A balancing pass will be run across all classes and weapons in the game, with an emphasis on the Pyro. Riller would explain that patches such as these “usually change the class in some way”, which alluded to the possibility of Pyro gameplay being affected as with prior class patches.

Riller went on to confirm that a Jungle world art theme is on its way alongside a “new Valve map” and community cosmetics. It was emphasized that the new map had never been discussed publicly before. No details were provided, although it sounded as if it was something completely new, removing the possibility of a map being inherited from Team Fortress Classic.

The last portion of our discussion was regarding ELO. As has long been rumored, an ELO system is coming to Team Fortress 2, and it will include placement matches similar to other competing FPS games. The system is being built as an attractive option for competitive players, providing a new way to enjoy the game.

With all these things in mind, it’s clear that Valve is serious about long-term support for its games. Team Fortress 2 will be seeing significant improvements in the near future, with plenty more to come.


This concludes part 1 of our Valve Interview Roundtable series. In part 2 we will share our discussion regarding Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and hear Valve’s opinion on the gambling scene.