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Doubling Down On the Updates

May 23, 2013 - L4D Team

This week we updated both the L4D2 Beta and L4D2. As we get closer to the Linux release, we will continue to merge in some outstanding bug fixes and issues we have been working on.

Thanks to everyone playing the Beta and helping us test. The update today consists of changes that were tested in the Beta. Check here for the complete change list for the Beta and the patch notes for today’s L4D2 update are available here.

We have seen some discussions about some of the sample Mutations with shipped with the Beta. Some of these like Holdout are fully formed game modes. Others are tests or example code for other people to play around with.

A good example is with the L4D1 Mutation. It is a sample Mutation to show how easy it is to change the game. Don’t like some of the choices? Change them. The code below is the script file for that mode – 52 lines of script. You can see how simple, yet powerful the new scripting mode is. For more information visit the L4D2 EMS Wiki.

Msg("Activating Mutation L4D1\n");
DirectorOptions <-
    ActiveChallenge = 1
    SpitterLimit = 0
    JockeyLimit = 0
    ChargerLimit = 0
    weaponsToConvert =
        weapon_shotgun_spas                = "weapon_autoshotgun_spawn"
        weapon_defibrillator           = "weapon_first_aid_kit_spawn"
        weapon_ammo_pack          = "weapon_first_aid_kit_spawn"
        weapon_sniper_awp           = "weapon_hunting_rifle_spawn"
        weapon_sniper_military       = "weapon_hunting_rifle_spawn"
        weapon_sniper_scout          = "weapon_hunting_rifle_spawn"
        weapon_vomitjar                = "weapon_molotov_spawn"
        weapon_adrenaline             = "weapon_pain_pills_spawn"
        weapon_pistol_magnum      = "weapon_pistol_spawn"
        weapon_shotgun_chrome    = "weapon_pumpshotgun_spawn"
        weapon_rifle_ak47              = "weapon_rifle_spawn"
        weapon_rifle_desert            = "weapon_rifle_spawn"
        weapon_rifle_m60               = "weapon_rifle_spawn"
        weapon_rifle_sg552             = "weapon_rifle_spawn"
        weapon_smg_mp5               = "weapon_smg_spawn"
        weapon_smg_silenced          = "weapon_smg_spawn"
    function ConvertWeaponSpawn( classname )
        if ( classname in weaponsToConvert )
            return weaponsToConvert[classname];
        return 0;
    weaponsToRemove =
        weapon_grenade_launcher = 0
        weapon_chainsaw = 0
        weapon_melee = 0
        weapon_upgradepack_explosive = 0
        weapon_upgradepack_incendiary = 0
        upgrade_item = 0
    function AllowWeaponSpawn( classname )
        if ( classname in weaponsToRemove )
            return false;
        return true;

What’s that Beta thing again?

May 14, 2013 - L4D Team

We have had plenty of people asking about the L4D2 Beta showing up in their steam catalog. So in case you missed it or were confused, here is some more info.

Currently, changes to L4D2 will first appear in the Beta before they appear in the main game. The Beta will change often. This mean this build is very active so you might want to avoid it if you have bandwidth caps. Today we released another update for it. You can read the release notes for the update here.

Right now the Beta is the only place you can play L4D2 on Linux natively. If you run Linux, load it up and give it a try. If you have problems, let us know. You can post here and share your experience.

While the biggest changes are for Linux, those changes actually have the possibility to impact Mac and Windows players as well, which is why it is helpful for even non-linux players to test the Beta.

The Beta also contains an update to the Authoring Tools to allow you to work in the new EMS. These tools are only available for Windows users and only currently available in the Beta. You can check the developer wiki here for more information.

While the tools are only available on Windows, everyone in the Beta can play the new EMS content.

We do not have servers running for the Beta yet as we concentrate on client issues and fixes but the server code has been released and is working - so let us know if you have any issues with Windows or Linux servers. We will be rolling out our own dedicated servers in the near future.

The Linux Beta Build is Live!

May 3, 2013 - L4D Team

Thanks to the efficiencies we were able to achieve with Linux, we skipped Valve time and are delivering the L4D2 Beta Linux build today as planned. The Beta build not only allows Linux owners to play the game natively, it is also the testing ground for our new Extended Mutation System.

If you currently own Left 4 Dead 2, You should see “Left 4 Dead 2 Beta” in your library. If it doesn’t show up, restart Steam. This is a complete build of Left 4 Dead 2, so the build is as large as the current game.

You also receive access to the Left 4 Dead 2 Beta Authoring tools and Left 4 Dead 2 Beta Dedicated Server. This will allow you to start working with EMS.

The Beta version also contains updated Windows and Mac clients, so even if you are not running under Linux you can help by testing the Beta.

Current changes in this build include:
- Server operators can now specify whether or not custom content is allowed when playing on their servers. This can be set on a per game mode basis - see cfg/addonconfig.cfg for details.

- Fixed main menu not refreshing after workshop add-ons have been loaded. Custom UI skins should display correctly now.

- Reworked add-on management to improve stability and properly support custom mutations

- Prevent an intermittant crash when browsing the add-ons screen

To give us feedback on the Beta, please use this brand new forum.

If you aren’t up for downloading the beta, we are trying a new experiment with our friends over at Pinion. On the additional official servers they are hosting, we have added four new community campaigns to them so that you can get the stock L4D2 experience on some great community maps. It was tough work playing so many great custom campaigns as we narrowed it down to four. To quote Daniel from Pinion, "Diescraper has some of the best levels I've played in L4D2!!". Yes it does… And with campaigns only a mouse click away thanks to the Workshop, make sure to give them a try this weekend.

Here are the current list of supported Campaigns.
Diescraper Redux
Urban Flight
Back to School
City 17

Thanks to everyone who voted on the campaigns in the workshop and helped us make our selections. If you have any feedback on the servers or campaigns, please let us know in the forums.

I ever tell you about the time my buddy Keith played L4D2 on Linux?

April 25, 2013 - L4D Team

The L4D2 Beta is mutating. Not content to just be the testing ground for the new Extended Mutation System, we will be adding Linux to the Beta. And not content with the number of testers in the Beta, we will also be opening up the Beta to all L4D2 owners.

Huh, what?

The L4D2 Beta build is a separate download from the main game. This is where we are testing new features to the game – currently we are testing EMS. Starting next week, we will be testing Linux there as well.

This code churns more frequently than the main game depot, so if you are bandwidth constrained, you might want to wait for the changes to move to the main game.

If you are playing the Beta game, you can only connect to other players in the Beta and to Beta servers.

Next week it will appear in your library alongside the main L4D2 game.

You do not need to enter a code to gain access and it is totally voluntary to download and participate in the Beta.

For modders currently in the Beta, now would be a good time to update your current work and get ready for a whole bunch of new testers.

For players, not only is the Linux build new, but the Window and Mac versions are also updated, so we need plenty of non-Linux testing as well.

When the Beta expands next week, we will post on how you can help give feedback and participate in the Beta.

Resident Evil 6 Day

April 4, 2013 - L4D Team

To celebrate the release of Left 4 Dead 2 content in RE6 today, we are releasing two more RE6 special reskins for L4D2. Ogroman is a skin for the Charger and Lepotitsa (pictured) is a replacement for the Boomer. These two join Napad, the Tank replacement in our Official Resident Evil 6 Collection.

There are still a few more weeks to submit your character skins before we “review” them and see which ones we like the best. Who knows what the best ones might get besides being added to the official collection...

While you are busy at work on those, take a few minutes to vote for your favorite campaign. We will be featuring a new community campaign on our servers in a few weeks.