The Orange Box goes live at 8.01AM this Wednesday, UK time. If you're on the beta now, prepare to own some noobs when the great unwashed come flooding in. And if you haven't preordered, you're going to need a headstart.
Either way, it's time to brush up on a few of the lesser-known factors in the TF2 equation. Here are fifteen to get you started, and there'll be a full fifty in a forthcoming issue of the PC Gamer UK.
- Every weapon except for the Sniper Rifle and the Demoman's grenades does less damage at longer ranges. Even rockets do less than half their full damage when fired from a distance.
- Team-mates are almost completely immaterial to you, whereas enemies block your path. If a team-mate is blocking your path, he's a Spy.
- Scouts count as two people when capturing control points.
- The Pyro's flame can be put out by any form of healing, but isn't affected by knee-deep water. Only swimmable water extinguishes it. Either way, the flames burn for one last second before going out.
- The Pyro's flame range is halved while he's running forward, since it travels at twice his running speed.
- Even without a Medic, a Heavy will win a firefight with a fully-upgraded Sentry if he's close enough to it. Don't place your Sentries too close to entry points.
- The Heavy's fists are the only melee weapon with a secondary fire. Left mouse is a left hook, right mouse is a right hook, and critical hits are uppercuts.
- A Sentry gun can fire in any direction, but takes a moment to turn around if attacking an enemy behind it's normal arc of fire. You can place them closer to walls if you right-click twice before deploying - that rotates the turret's position to face you.
- If he gets in its way, an Engineer can be killed by his own Sentry. It won't do damage to team-mates, though, even if they stand in its line of fire.
- Players always emerge from teleporters facing the same direction. Instead of destroying an enemy teleporter, stand behind it and kill the players as they come through. Particularly effective as a Spy.
- You can build Sentries underwater. If you have a Dispenser next to you, it'll heal you faster than you lose health from drowning.
- Disguised Spies appear injured to the enemy team. If an enemy Medic heals them, their apparent health will go up. But if they stand near an Engineer's dispenser, the healing beam will activate but their health will stay the same. Look out for this.
- A Medic can Ubercharge two players at once by switching between them very rapidly with his medigun. It lingers slightly on each person after you switch, so if you can switch back and forth quick enough, all three of you will be completely invincible.
- A cloaked spy becomes visible briefly if hit by enemy fire, or touched by an enemy player.
- There's a corner of the water on 2fort, on the Blue side, where it's shallow enough to stand. It's a great Sniper spot, and Soldiers can use it to rocket-jump up onto dry land.