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rising to the occasion
June 18, 2014 3:06 AM   Subscribe

For fans of Team Fortress 2, Valve inside jokes, wacky skits about corpses, animated shorts and bread-based warfare, presenting: TF2 - Expiration Date.
posted by fight or flight (35 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
Now I want to play TF2 again.
posted by Crankatator at 3:22 AM on June 18


That was great! I'm pretty much addicted to this game.
posted by persona au gratin at 3:23 AM on June 18


another one.
posted by persona au gratin at 3:31 AM on June 18


The video is part of the Love and War update, which promises fun, frolics, new taunts and playable female characters lots of hats!
posted by fight or flight at 3:45 AM on June 18 [3 favorites]


Bad news for Pyro fans.
posted by ShutterBun at 3:49 AM on June 18


>playable female characters

Well Pyro might be...

I just want some new weapons tbh.
posted by bdz at 4:35 AM on June 18


Indeed. How long has the game been out? Why are there not female PC models? Otherwise, 2Fort might be the best multiplayer experience in the world.
posted by radicalawyer at 4:36 AM on June 18


I've just deleted this from my hard disk, and this is making me want to re-install it again.

God damn.
posted by daveje at 4:40 AM on June 18


More of this, please.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:46 AM on June 18 [1 favorite]


Also. The gender dynamic in this video is not my favorite. Miss Polly is the only competent person in the entire film (other than Spy). She builds the bomb ftw. Yet her 364-day-a-year job is basically doing administrative support for the boys after they make a giant mess of everything. Oh and she is tiny, hourglass-shaped, wears bookish glasses, and is just the right amount of helpless at the appropriate times. Despite saving the day and proving more useful than the boys, her job duties evidently do not change. At some point, this type of setup becomes less funny and more problematic.

Just when I think that Valve is big enough to Get It, I remember that its core is a bunch of video game designers. Only BioWare has been able to make the leap.

Maybe I'm being too hard on Valve. They did a decent job with Alyx Vance, other than the fact that she wears painted-on jeans and shows her midriff despite living in a post-apocalyptic world.
posted by radicalawyer at 4:54 AM on June 18 [3 favorites]


The gender dynamic in this video is not my favorite.

Yep. I'm hoping to see Ms. Pauling as the 10th Class, although the community theories are circling around the idea that she will be part of a Civilian escort mission (given that they haven't done anything with the Team Fortress Civilian maps yet). I'd be pretty peeved if they made the only PC female character part of a "protect her while she does stuff" story.

I am hoping that the new character models will be useful to the mod community currently reskinning the teams as women. But since the internet is currently full of people crowing about being able to create Ms. Pauling/Giant Bread Monster porn in SFC I'm not holding out much hope for that being a priority.
posted by fight or flight at 5:36 AM on June 18 [1 favorite]


Groovy man.

Might just go play some TF2...
posted by Fists O'Fury at 5:47 AM on June 18


I assume a gender-balanced re-skinning of TF2 characters would create an enormous shitstorm of internet hate and Valve think it isn't worth it.
Which to me is both terrifying and disappointing.

Oi Gabe, what's the point of fuck off money if you don't tell anyone to fuck off?
posted by fullerine at 5:48 AM on June 18 [2 favorites]


Anthony Burch ‏@reverendanthony
Ash helped write the latest TF2 short and she voices Miss Pauling. How fucked up is that
Ashly Burch ‏@ashly_burch
I also helped workshop that episode a bit while I was at Valve
This episode had input from known awesome lady Ashley Burch of HAWP fame, and voiced by her too. Not saying that "cool lady helped write this therefore free from criticism" but my interpretation of this is not that valve doesn't care, but that valve realizes that their 15-year-old game is both too popular to replace, but also too problematic to leave as is.

I interpret this video as the writers having set out to write the best video they can given the setting they had to work in.
posted by rebent at 5:58 AM on June 18 [5 favorites]


Indeed. How long has the game been out? Why are there not female PC models?

I assume a gender-balanced re-skinning of TF2 characters would create an enormous shitstorm of internet hate and Valve think it isn't worth it.

Valve has said in the past that this has mostly been a technical issue, in that it's not even about making female alternative models, but making any alternate models.

Creating alternative models for the characters would be effectively creating eight new characters (assuming they stick with a single ambiguous Pyro) like they did with the robots in the Mann vs. Machine update, which took them almost three years to finish. However that gameplay was a unique co-op mode, not identical teams fighting each other, and with that comes a massive balancing issue, in that a HUGE factor of the gameplay is that each of the nine models employ very distinct voice accents for better character recognition in a multiplayer environment, and have a distinct silhouette and pose as to be recognizable from a distance, and all of the now thousands of approved customization items (hats, glasses, etc) are required to keep that doctrine in mind.

Essentially, making alternate models of the characters would require the new characters to, well, look and sound like the old characters, which is likely considered highly redundant, and probably not as awesome as what we'd all like them to be.

None of this, of course, is to say Valve can't do it, or doesn't want to do it. But the short version is, yes, it would take a lot of time and resources, and you know how well Valve is at that.

As far as fan support, short of countries where the game actually restricts depictions of violence against women in general, there actualyl is plenty of fan support for female playables. There are actually LOTS of female team designs online, but fewer that conform to that design standard mention above. Sadly, many are just typical DeviantArt examples of "female version = male version but thinner and with tits."
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:16 AM on June 18 [1 favorite]


Also. The gender dynamic in this video is not my favorite. Miss Polly is the only competent person in the entire film (other than Spy). She builds the bomb ftw. Yet her 364-day-a-year job is basically doing administrative support for the boys after they make a giant mess of everything. Oh and she is tiny, hourglass-shaped, wears bookish glasses, and is just the right amount of helpless at the appropriate times. Despite saving the day and proving more useful than the boys, her job duties evidently do not change. At some point, this type of setup becomes less funny and more problematic.

I'm honestly really surprised by this reaction, because mine was that Pauling was a stronger female character than most of the "assigned love interests" of any Dreamworks film made in the last decade or so.

Valve had every opportunity to make Pauling nothing but Scout's prize for valor, or have him grab her for a kiss etc., or anything else you see in a Dreamworks movie about a male character who just Wants to Win the Girl, and didn't. They made a film that ended with people saying "I want to see more stories about the female love interest" and holy shit that's awesome. Usually the ending of these is "oh I'm strong, smart, more capable than all of you... and that proves what a prize I am for the man!" Instead the concluding lines are that Scout still has no idea what to do with a woman this awesome because he truly isn't even on her level. She starts, is shown as, and finishes the movie as a better person than him because she is.

Also, don't know if it's much of a defense, but canonically, Pauling's job isn't 364 days a year of picking up after the idiot mercs; it's 364 days a year of being the single trusted agent of the powerful female conspirator who has been pulling all the strings on all sides and is the secret mastermind of the entire TF2 universe. Pauling is incredibly unique and valued versus the mercs, who are, quite literally, disposable. For what that's worth.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:21 AM on June 18 [15 favorites]


theories are circling around the idea that she will be part of a Civilian escort mission

NO ESCORT MISSIONS
posted by backseatpilot at 6:34 AM on June 18 [3 favorites]


Soldier's neverending utter lunacy always amuses.
posted by mightygodking at 7:14 AM on June 18 [1 favorite]


XQUZYPHYR: "Also. The gender dynamic in this video is not my favorite. Miss Polly is the only competent person in the entire film (other than Spy). She builds the bomb ftw. Yet her 364-day-a-year job is basically doing administrative support for the boys after they make a giant mess of everything. Oh and she is tiny, hourglass-shaped, wears bookish glasses, and is just the right amount of helpless at the appropriate times. Despite saving the day and proving more useful than the boys, her job duties evidently do not change. At some point, this type of setup becomes less funny and more problematic.

I'm honestly really surprised by this reaction, because mine was that Pauling was a stronger female character than most of the "assigned love interests" of any Dreamworks film made in the last decade or so.

Valve had every opportunity to make Pauling nothing but Scout's prize for valor, or have him grab her for a kiss etc., or anything else you see in a Dreamworks movie about a male character who just Wants to Win the Girl, and didn't. They made a film that ended with people saying "I want to see more stories about the female love interest" and holy shit that's awesome. Usually the ending of these is "oh I'm strong, smart, more capable than all of you... and that proves what a prize I am for the man!" Instead the concluding lines are that Scout still has no idea what to do with a woman this awesome because he truly isn't even on her level. She starts, is shown as, and finishes the movie as a better person than him because she is.

Also, don't know if it's much of a defense, but canonically, Pauling's job isn't 364 days a year of picking up after the idiot mercs; it's 364 days a year of being the single trusted agent of the powerful female conspirator who has been pulling all the strings on all sides and is the secret mastermind of the entire TF2 universe. Pauling is incredibly unique and valued versus the mercs, who are, quite literally, disposable. For what that's worth.
"

I had the same initial reaction as you did (and even with problematic elements, I loved the hell out of this and would watch an entire series of this!) and then was surprised, and then wondered why I was surprised and then realized that we're both guys and thus are going to not see or think of things a woman would. No mark against us, that's just how society is, y;know? That said, I agree with what you've pointed out, especially with Scout and Pauling.

Awesome that Ash is the character's VA, too. :D

I was going to say that it's pretty cool to see how neat it is for Valve to do even more fleshing out and 3-dimensionalizing of characters that are literally supposed to be 1 dimensional class archeptypes in the game... and then I realized that's also a good reason to want to see better gender representation and tweaking of said dynamics.

Also, I have done nothing but teleport bread for 3 days.
posted by ShawnStruck at 7:32 AM on June 18 [4 favorites]


This is so good I'm worried that Valve is just turning into a cartoon factory and won't be making any more games.
posted by Western Infidels at 7:39 AM on June 18


I maintain that the Spy has been a woman all along.

She's just that good.
posted by LogicalDash at 7:40 AM on June 18 [8 favorites]


...is just turning into a cartoon factory...

Just?!
posted by cthuljew at 7:42 AM on June 18 [2 favorites]


Only BioWare has been able to make the leap.

Much as I love Mass Effect, it's still a game that has sexy buxom blue exclusively-female aliens, most often spotted dancing on stage in grubby nightclubs. This doesn't cancel out all of the great things they've done, of course, but they're not without fault.
posted by liquidindian at 7:44 AM on June 18 [1 favorite]


I can see them making Pauling into the "escort" mission character in the same vein as the faction-less black ops playables in the original Planetside.

She's better, thinks faster, moves faster, aims better, and generally outperforms the mercs.

If what I'm thinking of is close to what they're thinking of she would be like The Tank from L4D. One player spawns as her character and is a murder machine. Loads more HP, very fast TTK weapons with high accuracy (so totally different from the usual in TF2), and the only one able to perform task X. She can take down 5 mercs at a time, but we're dealing with teams of 12-24. The other mercs need to thin the herd, or be ablative meat shields with a 12 second respawn, and let her work her magic.

So its an escort mission... kinda. The focus would be more on the defense who have to deal with the Murder Machine surrounded by lesser murder machines racing towards objective X.

That, or its an escort in the sense that NPC-Pauling will stop what she is doing and one-hit any enemy she can see. So in order for her to finish objective X, you need to keep her from being distracted... by killing the defenders before they're visible to her.
posted by Slackermagee at 8:16 AM on June 18


This is so good I'm worried that Valve is just turning into a cartoon factory and won't be making any more games.

After this, same, except hoping instead of worried.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:47 AM on June 18


Vs. Miss Pauling?
posted by anthill at 9:47 AM on June 18


Escort seems like a futile effort at this point, given that two of the most popular game modes are Payload, which is essentially "escort the inanimate object" and CTF, which is essentially "grab the briefcase and don't get shot." Escort seems like it would just be combining those two into "move the briefcase, which needs to not get shot."

And I find it next to impossible to believe Valve would do something as stupid as update a seven year old game just to give you the new option of an all-male cast murdering a woman over and over again for points.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:50 AM on June 18 [2 favorites]


This is so good I'm worried that Valve is just turning into a cartoon factory and won't be making any more games.

After this, same, except hoping instead of worried.


I have been reading rumors on reddit that apparently this longer film might have arisen from that deal with Valve and Adult Swim a few years back, with the intent of creating a series of shorts, and of course the plan fell through because Valve Time.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:52 AM on June 18 [3 favorites]


LogicalDash: "I maintain that the Spy has been a woman all along.

She's just that good.
"

I was half expecting Spy to be revealed as Ms. Pauling...
posted by pwnguin at 10:59 AM on June 18 [1 favorite]


Replace scout in game with Miss Pauling please. From a minute into the video she already had more life than any of the existing characters.
posted by No One Ever Does at 2:00 PM on June 18


Still waiting for End of the Line. Darn it, Valve Time. How many years ago did work on Expiration Date begin?
posted by Western Infidels at 2:28 PM on June 18


I like that the death watches appear to use nixie tubes, which are awesome.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:12 PM on June 18


Still waiting for End of the Line. Darn it, Valve Time. How many years ago did work on Expiration Date begin?

If Gabe's referring to Expiration Date in this podcast snippet, at least two years.
posted by chrominance at 4:16 PM on June 18


Is the game this wacky and fun? Because I would play it if it is this wacky and fun.

Wish they'd say who the rest of the VA cast is though because Spy sounds super familiar but I think that's just because I associate the corny over the top romance in that accent with Zevran.
posted by NoraReed at 5:49 PM on June 18


Meet the Femscout.

Meet the Applejack.

I think TF2 is hilarious.
posted by SPrintF at 8:20 PM on June 18 [1 favorite]


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