The Latest Team Fortress 2 Update Improves Nearly Everything

There's good news and bad news. The good news is that the next time you launch Team Fortress 2, you'll automatically start upgrading to "Steampipe," a new content delivery system which "improves the way content is downloaded, updated and stored" according to Valve. It means faster downloads, quicker boot times and map loads, and better installation and management of mods.

The bad news is that Valve predicts the download will take a while — even if you have a fast hard drive. "It might look like it's hung. But it's not. Don't interrupt it, just please be patient and let it think," Valve wrote in a recent blog post.

According to the SteamPipe FAQ, if you have custom game files — like those for custom HUDs, hitsounds, skins and such — will need to move files to a different folder:

Previously, each user had a folder that contained several game files.

For example, [steam installation directory]/steamapps/[username]/team fortress 2/.

When the game is converted to SteamPipe, the installation directory is shared between users. The directory will probably be something like

[steam installation directory]/steamapps/common/Team Fortress 2/.

NOTE: In this article, we will use folder names particular to Team Fortress 2 in the examples. The same principles apply to all of the games being converted, so just replace "tf" with "dod", "cstrike", or "hl2mp"

You can read more technical details over at the FAQ.


    Updating it now, guess I'll see how effective this update is in a minute.

    My TF2 was up to date but after the conversion I had to download 400mb, so a small warning to those of you with low usage caps.

      I had to get 3GB+!

      Load time is greatly improved though.

    the update keeps timing out for me, very annoying

    Haven't tried to play it yet, but there's a definite improvement with the time it takes to launch the game.

    Yeah, thanks Valve for breaking Oculus Rift support the week mine arrives! :|

    "Improves nearly everything" is quite a misleading title. More like "converts nearly every game file to a new, improved layout" or something.

    Steam could do with giving you the option of "not right now" for these conversions too - I've found at least one game that will still launch fine if I launch it from the game directory rather than Steam, because Steam wants to convert it at exactly the time I want to play it, and maybe download some more on my slow connection.
    The worst time to make someone wait for something is right when they want it.

      You could always change each game you install, after you've installed it, to 'Do not automatically update this game' by right-clicking the title's entry in your library, going to 'properties' and then the 'updates' tab. It'll be annoying to do it every time you install a game, but if it's the kind of thing you care about, I'm guessing you don't install things often?

      There's another option in the overall steam settings which allows you to untick the option of receiving notifications about game updates and similar. I don't believe that relates to the automatic downloading benefit of the Steam service, and is likely instead talking about some sort of mythical pop-up window that lets you know when things have been updated, but given that I have somewhere around 700 steam games and NEVER see game update notifications, it's not unrealistic to think it might relate to automatic updates.

        "You could always change each game you install, after you've installed it, to 'Do not automatically update this game' by right-clicking the title's entry in your library"

        That doesn't help, if you try and play it the game demands that you update it right then and there, otherwise you can't play it.

          Nerts. I guess you're stuck using Offline Mode then.

          It's a bummer to have to do, but if your bandwidth situation is that bad, it looks like the only way. Got a mate out in the country who can't get broadband any way other than wireless mobile. Which is... well. He did some calculations on how long it would take him to download his Steam library without going over his monthly quota, and it wound up somewhere around 600+ years.

          He ended up mailing me an external hard-drive, which I downloaded the games on as steam backups, then mailed back to him via Oz post. Somewhere around ten bucks each way for a couple terabytes. Will probably do the same again after the next Big Sale. :P

          Rural areas really gotta catch up on broadband...

    Certainly works - booting the game up (or launching in text mode) is about 5 times faster, as is connecting to a server.

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