Legend tells of the “Australian Christmas”. That on December 18th, 1788, just a year after the first settlers colonized Australia, an old cutthroat named Nicolas Crowder arrived on a boat with some other new settlers, took one look at the heat and whatnot, said “screw this,” commandeered the boat, and set course on a one-man voyage to conquer the South Pole. They say he still lives there.
Every December 18th, “Old Nick” returns down under to find out if Australia’s children have been naughty or nice. The nice children are given perhaps the greatest gift ever: not being kidnapped and taken to the South Pole.
For the next twelve months, the naughty children make toys, hats, weapons, and tools to Old Nick’s exacting specifications. Then, on December 17th, the presents are gift-wrapped, placed in a sleigh, and driven to Old Nick’s mansion, where he opens them. Naturally, given the sheer number of hats and weapons Old Nick receives, there are bound to be duplicates — and every December 18th, he posts them online, selling them at prices so low that he’s practically giving them away.
Meanwhile, some time in the 1960’s, a disgruntled WW2 veteran pisses off a wizard. He and his team, along with their rivals, the BLU team, are teleported to sometime in the 10th century, with nothing but the clothes on their back, their melee weapons, and whatever weapons could pass as being “medieval”.
The Australian Christmas Update’s biggest addition is Medieval Mode, in which all players only have their melee weapons, while the Sniper retains his Huntsman and the Heavy and Scout retain their food items. The Medic also gets to use his new weapon, which we’ll talk about in a bit.
The first, and currently the only map available for Medieval Mode is DeGroot Keep. It takes place around a large medieval castle, and features 3 Control Points, 2 of which are situated left and right of the castle, and must be captured before the castle gates will open and the Attackers can capture the final Control Point. All text chat in DeGroot Keep is changed to a more “gentlemannly” type of speech, with things like “Hark!” being added before a text chat message and “Anon!” added after a text chat message. It’s quite entertaining.
What about the Crates? Well, the Winter Crates can now be opened by purchasing a Winter Crate Key from the Mann-Co Store. The Winter Crates contain the numerous new weapons and items added in the update.
Other than that, numerous weapons and hats have been added. You have three new weapon sets, one for the Demoman, containing:
– the Loch-n-Load, a new Grenade Launcher that only has 2 grenades in its “clip”, grenades that fire faster and cause more damage, but will shatter on impact with anything that isn’t an enemy player, and will cause more damage to the shooter if he accidentally shoots them too close to himself.
– the Ullapool Caper, a new Melee weapon that appears as a German Model 24 “Stielhandgranate” grenade, from World War II. On impact with any solid object or enemy player, it will explode, causing blast damage to both the enemy and the user, as well as propelling the user upwards, which can cause fall damage.
Using these together as the “Expert Ordnance” set will give you a set bonus of 10% fire damage resistance.
There’s also a new pack for the Heavy, which features:
– the Brass Beast, a new minigun made out of brass and based on the gatling guns of the 1800’s, which does more damage, but has a slower spin-up time and makes you move a lot slower
– the Buffalo Steak Sandvich, a slab of buffalo steak which, once eaten, increases move speed, changes all damage done and received to mini-crits, and restricts the Heavy to only using melee weapons. The effects last for 15 seconds.
– the Warrior’s Spirit, a pair of brown bear paws with sharp claws, literally strapped to the Heavy’s hands. They do 30% more damage, but bring your health down by 20 HP.
Using these together as the “Hibernating Bear” set will give you +5% Critical Hit damage resistance.
Last, but not least, it’s the Medic’s set!
– the Crusader’s Crossbow, which fires special bolts that will heal teammates and deal damage based on the distance they travel, but cannot do headshots and have -75% max primary ammo
– the Amputator, a saw with the same stats as the regular Bonesaw, except taunting with it will heal all nearby teammates
Using this “Medieval Medic” set will give you +1 health regenerated per second.
All of these packs are based on Polycount Pack entries and can be found through drops, crafted or unboxed.
Other than these main sets, there’s also quite a few other weapons. The Jag, the Fists of Steel, the Claidheamohmor, the Candy Cane and the Boston Basher can only be found in Winter Crates.
And, of course, there are a TON of new hats. So many, in fact, that if we started talking about them, we’d be here all day.
In addition, the Backpack Expander has been added to the Mann-Co Store. For 5 dollars, you can expand your backpack by 100 spaces.
Another awesome feature added to the Mann-Co Store is Map Stamps.
Each Stamp costs 1 dollar, and corresponds to a community-made map added to the game.
All of the money from the Map Stamps goes straight to the community map-makers.
Buying 1 Stamp will give you the World Traveller’s Hat, which will show a special particle effect on every map you bought a stamp for.
All stamps you buy are linked to one hat. All hats are also ranked from Bronze to Platinum. The exact details of the hat’s rankings are unknown, but it’s believed to be 25 for Silver, 50 for Gold and 75 for Platinum for any one map.
That’s about all for this monstrous update. For more info, head over to the Official TF2 Wiki, or head over to the Official TF2 Blog to get it all straight from Valve.