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Left 4 Dead 2 Beta is out of Beta!

July 2, 2013 - L4D Team

The Extended Mutation System, Linux support, and other features and fixes are moving to Left 4 Dead 2 proper. Thanks to everyone who helped test all the changes in the Beta Build. You can find a complete list of the change notes here.

The Linux conversion is ready for primetime so we are opening it up to more people and releasing it officially on Steam. This will let us get feedback on more builds and distros.

Some of you may have noticed a quick update to your game last week. That was our conversion over to SteamPipe. For L4D2 it was quick and painless as our system was already using VPKs. What does this change mean? For server operators there is an easier update path and smaller downloads. For clients, we have improved the downloading experience and you can now install L4D2 on any drive. You can get more details on the support page.

Extended Mutation System.
The EMS takes the current idea of mutations and mutates it into a powerful tool for modders. They have been busy at work creating a bunch of new Mutation and game modes that will begin to be uploaded to the L4D2 workshop today. With names like Vicious Infected, Boomer Peril, Stranded, Vampirism, Plague of the Dead, Zombie Run, and Tiny Terror, there is something for everyone.

Later this week, we will highlight some of our favorites.

For now, make sure to checkout Holdout. It is a multi-map Mutation that includes the concept of resources and buildable items. It was created to showcase some of the functionality of EMS and as a byproduct, it is pretty damn fun.

You can find our original EMS blog post here, or jump into the developer wiki here. If you want to get cracking on it, you can also join in on the discussion here.

We will be adding the most popular EMS creations to the official servers.

I’ll trade you two Boomers for a Spitter

June 6, 2013 - L4D Team

Left 4 Dead 2 now has trading cards.

If you are in the beta, you can view them in your profile under badges. While we love that the community created their own cards in lieu of L4D2 being in the first batch of cards, our first series is concentrated on the Special Infected and in the style of the Mutations.

How do you earn the cards?

You receive 4 card drops for owning L4D2. A card drop earns you the right to receive a card by playing the game. You can get four cards to drop by playing L4D2. One problem, you can only get 4 this way. To get the complete 8 you need to trade among friends or even strangers. Who knows, you might even meet your new best L4D2 friend ever trading. You two realize you have more than L4D2 in common, get married, settle down, raise a family and then complete your set when your third son earns the Spitter Card and trades it to you.

What happens when you complete all 8? You can craft an L4D2 badge and earn an L4D2 emoticon item, profile background, chance to get a discount coupon, and 100XP for your steam level.

If you have more questions, we have this extensive FAQ to help explain the entire system to you. So read it. We will be asking for a book report on it next week.

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.