Also known as The Orange Box Update, Beta 2.3 brought new life to the mod, introducing a wealthy amount of content, including a new character, a new map, a new game mode, and for the first time ever, Steam support, making use of its features such as automatic updates, achievements and more. With the move to the latest version of the Source Engine, the development team made use of the newest features as much as possible, receiving in the end warm reception from gaming sites for its visuals, maintaining the reputation of being one of the best looking Source mods, three years after its first release.
- 1 History
- 2 Gameplay
- 3 Classes
- 4 Game Modes
- 5 Maps
- 6 HUD/UI/Misc.
- 7 Steam Support
- 8 Media
- 9 Reception
- 10 Changelog
- 11 External Links
The migration to the latest version of the Source Engine was announced by the time Beta 2.0 was released, in early 2008, however the programming team could not get the upgrade done by the time Beta 2.1 and 2.2 were released. Shortly after the release of Beta 2.2, the dev team announced that Steam support was greenlighted by Valve Software and thus they received the Steamworks technology, providing automatic updates and achievements.
In february of 2009 the dev team announced the brand new features introduced in Beta 2.3 thanks to The Orange Box Engine's updates: soft colisions, facial expressions, custom particle systems, among other things. Following that announcement it was revealed new information about the updates on several existing maps, such as Island, Temple, Frostbite and Forgotten.
The new menus were revealed in September 2009, showing a new menu screen and a new character select screen, as well some of the achievements to come with the update.
The planned december release was delayed due to many members of the PVK Team having a very busy schedule, and because of that the update wasn't polished in time for its debut on Steam, which ended up being released on February 12th 2010. Shortly after its release, several bug fixes related to server crashes and frame stuttering were released in third-party websites, and later through Steam.
Probably the biggest changes in this update in terms of gameplay are the shields. They now absorb 100% of the damage, and in return, classes such as the Heavy Knight, the Huscarl and the then newcomer Gestir have now breakable shields; while they absorb the damage from impacts and explosions, the shields become more fragile as they persist, to the point of breaking up and becoming useless in the battlefield. A fully charged shield bash can now stun enemies which are blocking, as well drop chests from the hands of chest carriers; with these new abilities there's also a delay between shield bashes so that the players aren't constantly bashing enemies. Classes can now move faster while shield blocking, albeit still slower when not blocking, and the shield counter attack is faster.
Apart from the new mechanics for the shields, several new additions were added; two players that attack at the same time with their weapons fully charged will stun each other, the blocking direction is automatic according to the attack direction of the closest enemy, and Mouse 2 cancels a charged attack instead of going directly to block mode. The hit groups, such as head, arms and legs, now deal the same damage. The opportunity to counter-attack after a perfect parry was also greatly increased.
Several classes got their speed tweaked, among other updates written below; Their textures also got updated as a result of the new HUD, among several other properties.
The crossbow's reloading time was reduced; not only that but it can now push players back and does less damage when it's not in aim mode. The special meter has increased and its special requires only one arrow for now on; the special also cannot be blocked by teammates.
The Berserker's attacks can no longer be stunned while in berserking mode.
The Captain can now cancel his parrot attack by calling it back with the same button to launch the bird (Mouse 2 by default) Its special now does 90% of damage on himself. Ironically enough the parrot no longer dies with the special. The Captain cannot turn while reloading the blunderbuss. The starting ammo was also reduced.
Apart from the shield breaking feature, the Heavy Knight's special attack now stuns enemies for a slight advantage. Its special meter was also increased.
Like the Captain, the starting ammo was reduced. His walking speed was decreased while throwing axes.
The powder keg can now be reloaded with time, while in previous updates the Skirmisher had only one keg per life. His cutlass' swing received a faster rate and a dynamic crosshair for the flintlock while it's accuracy decreases. The keg explosions can now push back players and enemy blockers. The starting ammo was reduced.
Main Article: Gestir
The Gestir is the third class added to the Vikings and seventh class overall. In order to improve on the ranged weapons arsenal for his respective team, javelins were included, with a bigger accuracy than Huscarl's throwing axes. His spear is the primary weapon with the longest range, and also serves as the weapon of choice for Gestir's deadly special attack. His Langeseax comes with a shield, just like Huscarl's sword and shield combo.
Despite both the Gestir and the Huscarl feeling similar at first glance, they have several differences that make them stand out from each other: the Gestir in general is more vulnerable to attacks, however it takes less damage to perform the special attack. The spear has a bigger range while the two-handed axe causes more damage. Both shields are identical, while the langeseax deals with more damage. The javelin, not only is more accurate than the throwing axes, but it also deals with more damage, nearly twice as much at close range and about 1.5 times more at close range; the javelins also deal with headshots, even though that feature would only appear in Beta 3.0.
While Territory exists as long as the mod itself, it received a major restructuration for the better; it can now support multiple territories rather than a single one, and the more territories a team captures, the faster its timer runs out. The territories remain in the hands of the team, even when no one is inside the area. Two teams can cooperate to kick the third one out of the territory in question but only one team can own it. Mappers have several options to customize their own maps. They can create their own HUD icons to represent each territory, decide to either end the round, give a timer or nothing happens when a team captures all territories, as well several other outputs with the func_territory entity.
The remaining game modes also received substantial changes; in Holy Grail, the grail itself regenerates health with a slower rate and players who kill the carrier in his line of sight receive it automaticaly; the Last Team Standing received tweaks in Sudden Death mode, now mappers can set the timer of the mode, and server owners have now the option of starting the round in Sudden Death.
Booty's chests are now locked for 30 seconds at the start of the round so that certain teams don't start out in advantage (the only exception being Island for obvious reasons). The timer stops counting down if enemy players are in the chest area, a captured chest regenerates health and armor once it reaches the player's goal, the chest carrier's speed got reduced and it respawns faster when it's dropped.
Main article: Sandstorm
Sandstorm was the first map with the revamped Territory game mode in mind. Despite its similarities with Desertruin at the time, looks can be deceiving, specially when Desertruin was converted into Holy Grail mode.
The map received a new pickup layout. Even more important are the inclusion of several new alternate paths for each team's base to add more gameplay strategies for players. The Vikings and the Knights' spawn base got covered and, alongside the Pirates', the spawn bases are blocked, once the player steps out it can no longer enter. Each team starts with one chest while the other three chests are placed in the middle of each team's paths. Flags were also added to indicate to players where they're leading to. Several places were fixed so that players can't exploit the chests.
Similar to Forgotten, Island got a new pickup layout, several chests exploits fixed, and at a couple of new paths were added; the other paths were improved to be more user friendly. The Knights' starting timer was also decreased from 480 to 450.
As already mentioned, Desertruin migrated to the Holy Grail game mode, and as a result several paths were added and removed for balancing purposes; pickups and spawn points were also updated to work with the game mode and props were added to open area locations to serve as cover.
The pickup and spawn layout were updated, as well adding priority spawns near the grail; several exploits where the player could throw the grail into unreachable places were fixed, and a new path was added.
A new pickup and spawn layouts were added, priority spawns were added near the grail, several paths were updated, including ladders to the frozen cave, and snowflakes were added.
Temple got scaled up to help concentrate more players; new traps were added and some old ones were updated to be triggered by the players. The jail cell basement was removed do to be camped quite easily, a new pickup and spawn layouts were added as well the priority spawns, and several graphical updates were added, such as different lightning effects for each room, as well props and other details to make the rooms distinguishable from each other.
The players no longer spawn inside the gladiator rooms, instead they spawn outside the gates. A new Sudden Death mode was added: the crows were removed, instead rocks expelled from the volcano in the skybox fall through the sky, while the lava rises even faster. The pickup layouts were also updated;
A new pickup layout was added, as well new particle and sound effects for Sudden Death mode.
The black sheep of the mod, Saints was removed from the mod, making it the first in a long series of updates.
With the new version of the Source Engine, programers and artists have got the opportunity to make the mod with a more flexible and appealing interface. The PVKII Team gave substantial improvements on that area.
Once the mod starts loading the player received a brand new menu background, featuring Gestir, Skirmisher and the Heavy Knight. The main menu screen was also extensively updated, giving a better appeal than the generic text seen in past versions.
A new Team and Class Select screens were added, showing three vivid icons representing each team (Captain for Pirates, Huscarl for Vikings and Heavy Knight for Knights), followed by a screen showing a 3D model of a class playing a taunt-like animation when the cursor passes through his icon in the left side of the screen; on the right side the player has a description of the character and his arsenal, as well a "Random" and "Cancel" buttons.
Other screens were also updated; the player's personal round stats can be seen alongside the scoreboard; the end round screen also displays the top players of the winning team, or all teams if a round ends in a draw. The client's player is also highlighted in the scoreboard.
One of the HUD's biggest changes are the colors which represent each team. The Pirate flag's background color is now red instead of a dark brown, the Viking flag has a green background instead of white, and the Knight's flag has a blue background instead of red; each flag's icons (the Jolly Roger, the eagle and the lion) are now white instead of having their own color. As a result many classes' textures got updated. The Knights' vests have the red-painted vests changed into blue, such as Archer's cross, Huscarl's shield colors are yellow and green instead of yellow and blue, and Captain's coat having a shade of red instead of gray. Berserker's beard was also updated, adding a brighter, more vivd color, though it's not painted green.
Aside from the new team-based colors, new effects were added for a bigger immersion. Three new color correction-based overlay effects were added: a black and white one to indicate the player's low health, also known as Pushing Daisies Effect, a bright red one for Berserker's berserking effect, and a bright yellow one for the grail carrier in Holy Grail mode.
Other additions include a flashing effect when the charge bar is full, when holding a weapon. The flintlock and the blunderbuss have their own crosshairs. Two new icons were added: the death by beserk one, and the punch icon, which indicates Captain's left-strafe attack while he's not holding the parrot. And for the first time in the mod, a respawn timer was added in the HUD.
Walking was disabled, for it no longer had a purpose in the game; other movements such as crouch walk and backwards had its speed reduced. Several new particles and sound effects were added for several occasions, such as special attacks, a glow effect for third-person models when the weapon is fully charged and gold coins that fall from the chest. The ammo and armor pickups are now universal, instead of having several team-specific pickups. The Food pickup now takes 10 seconds to regenerate health rather than doing it instantly.
The Orange Box version of the Source Engine has contributed for the creation of several new particle effects, map prefixes, hints during loading screens, kill assists, soft player collisions and, for the first time ever, facial expressions, with classes being able to express emotions and feeling more human than ever before.
Pirates, Vikings and Knights II was released on Steam on February 12th 2010, being at the time one of the few multiplayer Source mods to be released on the platform. The implementation on Steam brought several advantages, including automatic updates and patches. Not only that but the development team made good use of its features.
Main Article: Achievements
One of the most ambitious features in this update, the development team received some inspiration from Source games like Team Fortress 2 while designing and programing the achievements, each of them having specific tasks to complete; some of them are easy to obtain, others have a higher degree of difficulty, and others have cryptic ways to obtain. As a result the mod is often criticized for having "broken achievements", where in reality they were designed like that.
Several new screenshots were added. Throughout the development of Beta 2.3 new pictures of Pinegrove, then in development, were released on ModDB, announcing that it would be released in this package. Like many other maps, it didn't happen.
While no official trailer was added, a couple of demonstration videos were added on CrazyTalk's YouTube channel to showcase the new features in Beta 2.3, as well gameplay of Gestir. The first video uploaded is a demonstration of the new particle and overlay effects, specially those seen in Cathedral and Arena. The second video shows facial animations and expressions, something never made for the mod, and possibly impossible to make with the old version of the Source Engine. Last but not least, the gameplay video of Gestir.
Anticipation was very high, and as a result this update was greatly lauded by the comunity, praising the graphical updates and the new class. The number of players joining the brand new mod released on Steam were a solid 500 players. Despite the praise the Steam release got plagued by server lags at launch due to Steam's busy nature.
Orange Box Engine
- Many weapons now use new particle system for their effects
- Added new map name prefixes, the prefix is removed and Map Name displayed with Game Type on loading screen and map list. (bt_ for booty, te_ for territory, hg_ for Holy Grail, obj_ for Objective Push, lts_ for Last Team Standing, dm_ for Team Death Match)
- Added thumbnails for maps for map list browser
- Added Win system to use Medals now, Gold for winner and Silver for second placed team.
- Added an Achievement notification panel for showing when you achieved and periodically with progress for longer count ones
- Added over 100 achievements
- Added a hints system to the loading screen
- Added Support for Steam Community Groups for Server Admins and Server Community. sv_admin_groupid, sv_community_groupid, and sv_community_grouptag are the convars used to setup a server with this feature. Admin group takes precedence over all other special status, community group is lowest on totem pole.
- Added cases carrying a chest and holding the grail for being in excited face state
- Added other facial expressions
- Added a particle effect when a player is stunned
- New Objective Score System
- Added kill assists
- Added Steam Avatars to Scoreboard
- Added soft player collisions
- Added new OB water effect which makes the view look like you are underwater with a refractive overlay
- Attacking at the same time with fully charged weapons will stun both players
- Blocking direction is now chosen automatically according to the attack direction of the opponent closest to the blocker
- When pressing the block key the player will now block to a random direction if there are no enemies nearby
- Perfect Parry/Shield Bash now gives a speed boost for 1 second (to make it easier to hit players with a counter-attack)
- Mouse2 can now be used to cancel a charged range attack
- Added a speed bonus for melee attacks. The player's velocity now affects the amount of damage dealt.
- When an attack is readied, Mouse2 now cancels the attack instead of going directly to block mode
- Charged attacks are slightly faster than normal ones
- Charge meter now slowly drops down for projectile weapons
- Projectiles now deal less damage from point blank range
- When attacking a blocker with a fully charged attack the blocker may be stunned and some damage will be delivered to him
- Blocking with a large weapon is now slower
- Increased charged attack bonus
- Reduced perfect parry effect
- All hit groups now do the same amount of damage (head, legs, arms..)
- Damage received from getting hit by throwing chest/throwing keg increased
- Blocking an enemy attack to the wrong direction may stun you
- Player speed when blocking with melee weapons now depends on the class speed
- Increased opportunity to counter-attack after a perfect parry
- Shields now block 100% of damage
- Breakable Shields added - armor pickups restore shield health
- Shield bash can now be charged. A charged bash pushes the opponent farther and does more damage
- Fully charged shield bash is a block breaker (stuns blocking players)
- When you bash (full charge) someone carrying a chest they will drop it
- Players now move faster when blocking with shield
- Shield's counter attack is faster now
- Increased movement speed while blocking, still slower than when not blocking
- Added a delay on shield bash stun, so a player cannot be stunned constantly
- Attacking a player who blocks with the shield with a fully charged attack will damage the player a little
- HK special now stuns enemies
- Captain can now cancel his parrot recall by using right click again
- Keg re-spawns back after sometime
- Made the skirmisher cutlass attack at a faster rate
- Added dynamic crosshair to flintlock
- Reduced crossbow reload time
- Reduced Huscarl's walking speed when throwing axes
- Crossbow now pushes players
- Many class speed and damage tweaks for balance.
- Archer special now pushes players away
- Crossbow does less damage when not in aim mode
- Captain Special does 90% damage to self now.
- Removed crossbow zoom
- Reduced flintlock accuracy
- Reduced blunderbuss ammo in pickups
- Blunderbuss now has a pushback effect depending on range from player
- Berserker's attacks cannot be stunned while berserking
- The archer special now requires only 1 arrow
- Increased Heavy Knight special meter
- Increased archer special meter
- Reduced starting ammo for Skirmisher, Captain and Huscarl
- Keg explosion now pushes enemies farther
- Keg explosion now pushes shield blockers
- Archer special cannot be blocked by teammates
- Cannot turn while reloading blunderbuss
- Crossbow does some damage to shield blockers
New Class - Gestir
- Langseax/Shield weapon
- Spear with spear charge special
- Throwing Javelins
- New team and class selection menus
- New main menu and background when starting game
- Changed team flag/player colors to match scoreboard and text
- Added punch death with icon (Captain left-strafe attack without parrot) and added drown death icon.
- The client's player is now highlighted in the scoreboard
- Personal Score Breakdown now displayed on scoreboard
- Added a new GUI for the end of a Round that will display the top mvps for the winning team, or if it’s a draw, the top 3 from all teams.
- Added a re-spawn timer HUD element
- Added class descriptions to the class menu
- New color correction based effects are now being used for Berserker Special, Grail Vision, and a Pushing Daisies Effect.
- Flintlock and Blunderbuss now use new crosshairs
- The charge bar now flashes when full
- Added an icon for when berserker dies from his own special
- Added Random and Cancel buttons to class selection
- Added player re-spawn delay to Grail and re-spawn waves to Territory and Booty
- Added Priority Spawn option for spawning during round starts
- Holy Grail will now only reach a minimum alpha of 0.25 so that maps of any size the players can more easily find the grail location
- Reduced health regen rate with grail
- Grail is now always transferred to the player who killed the carrier as long as the killer has line of sight to the carrier
- Added to LTS a random chance for a whole round with sudden death at the start. mp_randsuddendeath controls the chance from 0(none) to 1(always)
- Added ability to set Sudden Death time in info_pvk
- Added a Revenge objective type for Last Team Standing for killing the person who killed you in previous rounds.
- Chests are now locked for 30 seconds at the start of the round so all teams will have an equal chance of getting to the chests (time can be specified by the mapper)
- The timer stops counting down if there are enemies inside the chest zone
- Capturing a chest now gives health and armor
- The timer of the team that is currently winning now flashes. If the winning team changes it is announced with a text message
- Added a special to the chests. When you have a full special you can grab a chest and use your special to gain a speed boost
- Added a mechanic for capturing a chest you did not own to subtract 5 points from your timer while adding 5 points to enemy timer it was stolen from
- Reduced booty re-spawn time
- Reduced speed when carrying a chest
- Now supports multiple territories which show up on HUD. The more you own the faster your counter reduces
- Territories on HUD can use custom icons specified by the mapper in the mod_textures_mapname.txt file under maps folder
- Territories are now captured and remain in the team's control even when players aren’t in the territory
- Mapper can decide if owning all territories in the map leads to a win and can specify a countdown to win when all are owned
- Enemy teams can work together to take control of a territory away from the other team, but only one team can capture at a time
- Enemies in territory will cause counter to countdown slower
- Flag entity can now be linked to a func_territory to have the flag update when the territory state changes
- Added outputs to func_territory
- New map: te_sandstorm
- pvk_saints removed
- New pickup layout
- Blocked team spawns, its not possible to enter the spawn once you have left it.
- Attacking in spawns doesn't work now
- Each team starts with one chest, while the other 3 chests are outside the spawns (in the middle of each route)
- It’s now not possible to fall down the wooden planks when using the Viking-Pirate path
- Made the Viking-Pirate route more user friendly
- Added two new paths to Pirate base from Viking side
- Added one new path to Pirate base from Knight side
- Added one new path to Viking base from Pirate side
- Added two new paths to Viking base from Knight side
- Added new path to Knight base from Viking side
- Added new path to Knight base from Pirate side
- Changed Viking base, added more cover and new locations. changed spawn location.
- Changed Knight base, added more cover and changed the spawn itself.
- Made entrances wider (in the whole map)
- Fixed places where it was possible to exploit the chests
- Fixed graphical flaws
- Added rope on the boxes next to the tree in the Knight base
- Added enemy team flags to bases to show which route leads to which enemy
- New pickup layout
- Added a new path to Viking base from Knight side.
- Altered the old path to Viking base, making it wider mostly.
- Altered the Pirate escape route, it now ends at the hubb jubb café
- Made the doors and stairs between Pirate and Viking base wider.
- Made the cave leading to Viking base from Pirate base wider.
- Added new path for Vikings escaping the Pirate base. They can now escape through the disco.
- Made the cave and tunnel leading to Knight chest zone wider (Pirate side)
- Made the cave leading to Knight chest zone wider (Viking side)
- Added a new path from the docks next to Knight base to the basement (Viking side)
- Added rope from the water near the bridge at Viking-Knight side
- Fixed graphical bugs
- It’s now possible to shoot through the gaps in the Knight-Pirate basement gate
- Fixed locations where a player could exploit the chest
- Reduced the starting tickets of Knights from 480 to 450
- Now uses holy grail game mode
- Removed some pathways and added new ones for balance
- New pickup and spawn layout
- Added objects to help block ranged attacks in open spaces
- New pickup and player spawn layout
- Added priority spawns
- Blocked some areas off where the grail could be thrown but not reached by player
- Added new path up the outside rocks
- Fixed graphical flaws
- New pickup layout
- Added priority spawns near the grail for each team.
- New player spawn layout.
- Added ladders to the frozen cave(from the grail room area)
- Changed the entrance to the snow cave next to the pillar room
- Made the path to the frozen cave wider (The one next to the yard)
- Added a new location in the pillar room with the broken floors
- Added snowflakes
- Increased the size of the map and all areas to allow for more room to move during combat
- Added several player-controlled traps
- Tweaked a few traps to allow player control
- Added new rooms and pathways
- Added detail to rooms and halls - also blocks ranged users so melee players can get to them without being killed as easily
- Changed lighting to add variety to different areas of the map
- Added themes to hallways to make it easier to distinguish one from the next (construction, foliage, dirt)
- New pickup and player spawn layout
- Removed jail cell basement because it was easily camped
- Added three priority spawns per team near grail for beginning of round so each team will spawn 3 players near grail
- New pickup layout
- Teams now spawn in the arena
- New sudden death - removed crows and flaming rocks now fall from the sky, lava rises faster
- New skybox includes volcano and apocalyptic clouds during sudden death
- New pickup layout
- New sudden death effects
- Clamped player's velocity when jumping to prevent bunny hopping
- Reduced the height of many death icons
- Moved custom death icons for traps to map specific mod_textures files to reduce loading on Maps that don't use them
- Fixed team balance and player shuffle counting as suicide
- Kegs can no longer be blown up by teammates
- Fixed moveplayer and moveplayerid commands not working correctly with mp_limitteams 0
- When suiciding with a keg or captain special it shows the correct icon now
- Crossbow reload will cancel if you enter water while reloading
- Kegs can't kill parrots anymore when dropped on them
- Several fixes to make client and server hitboxes match better
- Fixed weapon sometimes not being switched to the best one when spawning
- Berserk no longer gives a suicide when you die from it
- Parrot no longer dies from captain special
- Fixed captain special being blockable with shields
- Chests now properly award player kills of parrots
- Chest and Keg toss damage now adds to special bar of thrower
- Significantly reduced the push back from stuns so it can't be used for jumping out of melee range anymore
- Fixed auto-assign always assigning the player to the first team with the fewest players when there are multiple teams with the same player count
- Fixed captain special always inflicting full damage to the captain regardless of the distance to the explosion
- Skirmisher lunge damage is now limited per target
- Team balance now chooses the newest player on that team who hasn't been team balanced already before
- Dead players in scoreboard show dead string in the special status area now, instead of the player's name
- When you pick-up the holy grail it will not override any slow effects currently in effect on your person
- Fixed pistol underwater reload bug
- Blunderbuss reload is cancelled if you enter water
- Can no longer grab the booty while loading special
- Fixed a problem when a player didn't receive grail graced kill while under the effect
- Fixed an issue when projectiles would show onscreen at the end of a round
- Fixed an issue when player name wasn't seen sometimes when spectating
- Disabled walking
- Added a prop_dynamic_video that can play a BIK for the model texture
- Added lag compensation for NPCs (parrots)
- Added client side options for disabling head bob and melee view effects
- Blunderbuss and Flintlock now fire ranged impact events as well
- Added an event when a player throws a grenade type weapon (used with powder keg)
- Added a few mod events for melee swings, ranged projectile impacts, ranged impales, and projectile bounces
- New particles and sound when you have full special
- Added Universal ammo and armor
- Added trigger_nosuicide entity mappers can use to disable suicide in a specific area
- Added a berserker proxy to show players that a berserker is in his special
- Added prop_vehicle code to the fgd
- Blood Effects now show up on weapons after hitting an enemy
- Added an option to multiplayer advanced options for automatically taking a scoreboard screenshot at the end of a map
- Added a third-person glow effect for melee weapons to indicate when fully charged
- Chest drops gold coins when carried
- Fall Death Trigger can be set to not cause suicides
- Added a Waiting for players period prior to the start of the first round, to give people time to load the map.
- New ammo pickup model
- New Berserker Skin
- Reduced the blood effect when getting hit
- Increased health and armor pickup healing percentages
- Increased crouch walk speed
- Decreased backwards movement speed
- Parrots now have white Target IDs to tell them apart from players easier
- Modified Food Pickups to regenerate the health over a time period of 10 seconds rather than instantly. They also will stack so eating many foods will heal you faster
- Mute now blocks text as well
- Reduced the frequency of the jump sound while jumping
- Removed mp_friendlyfire