Now, unless you're living under a rock, you may have noticed that TF2 has gone along with the Halloween style of things and is releasing the 4th annual 'Scream Fortress' event, adding new hats, weapons, and of course, a boss NPC, Merasmus The Magician.
The map is the all new map called 'Ghost Fort' which is a King Of The Hill map, and every 2 minutes or so the boss 'Merasmus The Magician' appears. When he appears the capture point is reset to neutral until he is killed or leaves the area. His attacks vary from using a melee attack and chasing people, to summoning the 'Bombinomicon' which showers the area in powerful explosives. Like MONOCULUS the previous Halloween boss, he disappears if not killed in 1 minute 30 seconds.
Merasmus will mainly stay in spirit form, in which he is more resistant to damage, and only leaves this form when he uses the Bombinomicon, or if he is stunned. Occasionally, the Bombinomicon will try to help you defeat Merasmus by planting a bomb on a random players head. If that player touches Merasmus, the bomb will explode, stunning him and giving you Uber and Crits. After Merasmus has 50% - 10% health left, he will vanish, disguising as a random prop and placing other dud props around. After destroying the correct prop, he will rise from it and be stunned, leaving him open for attack.
Teamwork is vital to defeating Merasmus. He has extremely high health, and if just a few people aren't cooperating when he arrives, you have no chance of killing him. I would recommend playing with people you know so you can coordinate with each other. The Snipers Bow (The Huntsman) actually deals phenomenal damage to him (as seen above) and is a recommended class to play as to whittle his health down. However with everyone killing each other his health isn't going to go down fast enough, so teamwork and coordination is a must have if you want any hope of defeating this boss, and even then, it's going to be tight.
If you played the other TF2 Halloween events you would be aware of the little presents that everyone can see that would contain a single item, meaning it's first come first serve. Well now, that's all gone... sort of. The presents are still there, but now the server randomly selects one player who can see it and hides it for them, which can leave a few players trotting around mindlessly searching in corners looking for presents then jumping around while all their team can see is them looking like an idiot.
And finally, I'd like to tell you one last new, awesome feature. On the Ghost Fort map, there is a 'Wheel of Fortune' which every time a team captures the point, spins and randomly gives all the players boost or a de-buff. These can be anything, and Merasmus will comment in the distance about them. For instance there are ones that sets everyone on fire, gives people Crits, even one that teleports everyone to the centre and makes them do the Thriller dance, to which Merasmus sometimes sings along to. Nope, Valves sense of humour hasn't vanished. Along with the speaking Bombinomicon that can sometimes pipe up with 'Ok, I don't like Merasmus dude, your head is a bomb now, run into him, okay?'
Overall I find the new update interesting, funny and makes the game competitive one moment, and suddenly that guy who was about to shoot you in the head is now trying to save you from that 10 foot Magician standing behind you. At least, most people try to save you... most.