[UPDATE: Here's something I forgot about: the brand new Team Fortress 2 QuakeCon Bundle in the Steam Store, featuring all five of last year's promotional QuakeCon items, albeit in non-Genuine versions. So the items are not Genuine, but they are "clean" and tradeable, just like ordinary drop items.
This bundle, by the way, is TF2's first DLC to be offered for sale in the Steam Store, although technically it doesn't even qualify as DLC. Still, it says the bundle is available this weekend only for a discounted price, so I assume that it won't be taken down from the Store once the weekend ends. No idea why it got its own Store entry and page, anyway.]
Team Fortress 2′s Pyromania Update, released in late June, was pretty damn massive. Which is why most of us probably didn’t expect to see anything significant out of TF2 until this coming Halloween. But that doesn’t mean Valve was planning on forsaking TF2 for 4 months. No – quite the opposite, as they have just proved through the surprise release of the brand new Triad Pack!
As announced in the TF2 blog post “Year of the Dog”, this new item pack is part of a Steam promotion for the upcoming Sleeping Dogs (an amazing game, which I am extremely excited about), set to be released on the 14th of August. As such, pre-purchasing Sleeping Dogs on Steam will get you Genuine versions of the Triad Pack’s items for free.
But guess what? All Triad Pack items are available in-game right now. They’re craftable, with their own unique crafting recipes, they drop through random drops, and they’re also available in the Mann Co Store. This, as far as I can recall, is more or less unprecedented for TF2 item promotions. And it’s a great move too!
The Triad Pack itself, as you can see from its official update page, contains 8 new items – 4 weapons, and 4 cosmetic items. Apparently, a new King of the Hill map: “Kong King”, is also on the way alongside the Triad Pack, although there’s no telling when it may arrive, and it’s not in-game yet. Still, what with Sleeping Dogs being well over a week away, I’d say we might just see it relatively soon, within that interval
The 4 new weapons are:
- The Huo Long Heatmaker, a minigun for the Heavy, which emits a small ring of fire around the Heavy while the gun is deployed, but consumes 6 ammo per second while the gun is deployed even if not firing.
- The Red-Tape Recorder, a sapper for the Spy, which downgrades and unbuilds Engineer buildings until they are reduced to toolboxes. First new sapper for the Spy since TF2 was released 5 years ago, and is, thus understandably heavily bugged up.
- The Flying Guillotine, a secondary for the Scout, is a throwable meat cleaver which makes enemy players bleed when hit by it. If hit by it from a long distance, the hit will become a mini-crit. If hit while they are stunned, the hit will become a guaranteed critical hit.
- The Neon Annihilator, a melee for the Pyro, is a neon signpost which does guaranteed critical hits on any players who are wet, in any form whatsoever. However, it does not deal random critical hits, and has a -20% damage penalty.
The 4 new cosmetic items are:
- The Human Cannonball, a stuntman helmet, featuring 3 styles, available for all classes. Headgear item.
- The Triad Trinket, a shirt with a flipped-up collar, including a stylish golden necklace, and featuring 2 styles. Available for the Scout, Heavy, Engineer, Sniper and Spy. Miscellaneous item.
- The Champ Stamp, Chinese dragon tattoos on both arms, including some fancy new bracelets. Available for the Scout, Heavy, Engineer, and Sniper. Miscellaneous item.
- The Marxman, an all-class pair of Groucho glasses (or beaglepuss, if you prefer). Miscellaneous item.
As previously mentioned, you can get these things though random drops, crafting, trading, the Mann Co Store, or by pre-purchasing Sleeping Dogs itself. The decision is up to you, but be sure not to miss any of these items, because they are absolutely spectacular, in both the quality of the items (kudos to the community contributors of the TF2 Steam Workshop), as well as the clever new attributes on these weapons. Color me impressed, Valve!
In other news, just a couple of days ago on the 31st, Valve released this extremely informative and insightful new blog post, on how they brought Pyroland/Pyrovision into TF2 itself. If you’re interested in this kind of tricky Source development stuff (or interested in porting Pyroland/Pyrovision to non-Valve maps), then I urge you to take a look!