Scream Fortress came a bit early this year, with very little going on with it. I didn’t make an article about it because there honestly was very little to write about, but what I DID do was make a fake update page for Scream Fortress XI (ELEVEN for those who can’t read Roman Numerals) because guess what, there wasn’t one this year.
Then again, there hasn’t been a Scream Fortress update page since Scream Fortress 7, which means I’ve made a fake update page for the last 4 years. The result is a strange mess of scribbles which gets worse every year, starting from a genuine effort for Scream Fortress 8, dipping down for Scream Fortress 9, getting worse with Scream Fortress X and, frankly, the Scream Fortress XI page is fucking atrocious since I only put like 20 minutes into it. But that’s still 20 minutes more effort than Valve put into THEIR Scream Fortress update page. It was literally just an announcement on the Updates page of the TF2 website, and a couple of follow-up updates.
But honestly, this is a pretty sorry state of affairs. This is Scream Fortress we’re talking about, one of the biggest updates of the TF2 yearly cycle! This is the beloved series of updates that brought us Merasmus, Monoculous, Soul Gargoyles (still available), Spells (no longer available), Paper Masks (somewhat available) and free cosmetics that you can earn (also somewhat available maybe?). How has it boiled down into nothing more than a few community maps, a crate, a key and a bunch of cosmetics taken off the Steam Workshop?
Well, really, it’s quite easy. Most people are satisfied with this. People get their Merasmissions, they get a few items from said Merasmissions, some people get rich on new Halloween Unusual Effects, a bunch of people waste money on limited crates… it’s a simple formula that continues to make Valve money with almost zero effort on their part. There’s no need to make comics, update pages, maps or cosmetics when the community does it all for them.
Even then though, Scream Fortress 11 is a genuine let down. There are only two new maps (one of which needed a fuckton of updates to be playable), there’s not that many cosmetics and they’re all Halloween-restricted, using a recoloured crate and key from a previous year rather than a new model. The best thing about this event is the nice new supply of unusual effects, which are genuinely really nice this year, but the majority of players will never be able to obtain these unusual effects. There’s also not a single new taunt, which is a genuine shame because Halloween taunts are always amazing. Then again, one Scream Fortress wasn’t even really a Scream Fortress anyway.
So yeah, even the mighty Scream Fortress has fallen. Scream Fortress XI does continue some of that juicy Halloween tradition, but it’s so lackluster and… well, pathetic. It’s genuinely pretty darn pathetic. Especially when the community does most of the work for Scream Fortress anyway.
On the flip side, at least Team Fortress 2 itself isn’t dead. Not yet, at least.