Over the last week or so, we've been hinting at something big. A few days ago, a potential technical difficulty forced us to say that this announcement might be postponed – which we took even more heat for. Facta Non Verba is a Latin phrase meaning quite literally “Deeds, not Words”, or “Actions speak louder than words”. This is ironic in more way than one. We've been hearing from a lot of folks because people just didn't see us getting an official response from Valve and that kinda makes people think we're not doing our jobs. Meanwhile, we've been giving Valve a hard time because of their lack of action in providing DLC and bug fixes.
This is difficult on our front as well as Valve's. We have been talking to them for the past few weeks trying to get some info on the upcoming DLC and what they might be doing for bug fixes. Meanwhile Valve can't release a whole lot of info on the subject either; because believe it or not, they don't want to promise anything that might not be able to happen.
Valve took the course of Facta Non Verba in dealing with myself and Agent of Chaos. Rather than trying to explain everything via email, they invited us out to their offices in Bellevue, Washington. That alone speaks of a developer that really does care about its fanbase. So, after making arrangements and booking the time off of our jobs, we flew down for a day to take a quick tour and talk with the guys at Valve.
We got a chance to take a look at L4D2 (including the version that was shown at PAX) as well as ask questions to the L4D/L4D2 team.
The good news: 4v4 matchmaking is supposed to drop before the release of Left 4 Dead 2. We have also been told by one of the fellows there that Crash Course is NOT supposed to be dropping this Thursday, but will be dropping 'soon'. We can't get into details, but we can definitely say that support for L4D is NOT being dropped by Valve and that they are actively pursuing bug fixes for Left 4 Dead. We're going to continue to talk to Valve and ask questions as needed, however if the frantic pace which we had seen people working at is any indication, we're not going to be left in the dust. The staff seemed to honestly love the original 4 Survivors and many said that “we're not done with them yet”.
As for L4D2, things seemed balanced and 'tight' and did not feel like a rushed job. While we were visiting their offices we personally witnessed what can only be called a small army of artists, coders, mappers hard at work, which explains the rapid transformations in artwork that we've all seen.
What we can say with confidence is that the quality of gameplay in Left 4 Dead 2 is not in question; and it will only get better (from what we understand, almost daily testing of game builds by most of the staff at Valve).