Team Fortress Two

A bunch of the press got to play this game recently and stories have been popping up. Looks great, sounds like they have done a lot of smart things. However, listening to the latest Played podcasts, Chris Remo gave his impression of it and I’m a little miffed at one of the character’s changes based on his description.

The medic is currently one of the most over powered classes in Team Fortress Classic. Someone who is good as a medic can seriously screw up all but the best defense. Really, in the right hands, unlike any other, the medic could rule most maps. If any class that needed to be taken down a notch, it was the medic. Well, turns out Valve didn’t agree and gave the medic class the ability to be invincible for 10 seconds. Unless they gimp the medic in other ways or somehow make some other classes uber powerful to counter that, thats going to make maps like 2fort unplayable. In TFC, if given 10 seconds of invinicablity, a good medic could leave their home fort, get the enemy flag, infect a good chunk of the enemy, and return to cap it in 10 seconds. The reason for this change according to Chris is to stop people from setting up a defense and not attempting to attack. While that is a way to cope with that, I perfer the old fashion way of manning a multiperson assualt and chip away at the weaknesses of the other team’s defenses. Seems more fun than taking a character, making him god, thus making sure defrense of any type is pointless.

Ofcourse if the character is really too powerful, I imagine most servers will ban the character class like they do now or restrict its numbers. Not the end of the world.

It’s very rare that I link any of my content here, but here’s my TF2 preview from 2 weeks ago. As someone who spent a lot of time playing a bunch of TF-style mods for Quake 2 and then a ton of TFC, to say that I loved my time with TF2 would be a massive understatement. I cannot wait for this to come out.

As for the medic: I’m not sure how overpowered it will be. The way the invincibilty works is that you have a little meter that charges up as you heal other characters, and when it hits full you can click on 10 seconds of invincibilty for both you and the character you’re linked to. However, over the course of 8 rounds, not once did I see anyone on either team get infected, and this was a 24-person game full of Valve players who knew what they were doing. Maybe it was just something that people avoided doing, but my impression was that the disease-infection mechanic was removed from the game, which would probably alleviate your fears.

Whatever the case, I really liked the medic dynamic. The invincibilty thing makes for a good defense-buster and adds “moments” to the game. Instead of long stalemates where both teams have strong defenses set up, you now have these moments of panic that you have to prepare for.

From all the previews I’ve read, Valve has stated constantly that they didn’t like the infection ability, and thus was not included in TF2.

And if sluggo’s impression is any indication, I’m totally going to be addicted to this game when it comes out. QWTF and TFC account for my greatest times in online gaming - nothing comes close.

Also keep in mind that the medic won’t be conc-jumping.

How much of the outright insanity of TFC is going to be toned downed for TF2? I’m not good at conc-jumping, but I think it’s cool. They’re taking that completely out? What about like when a whole team is just spamming the hell out of something? (Like when the flag is on the bridge in 2fort.) Did they limit that somehow?

And is Hunted coming back? I hope it is, with some sort of vengeance even. It was a shame they never put out any more maps for that mode in TFC.

edit: Okay, after reading sluggo’s story, it looks like it’s still plenty zany… still, any word on Hunted?

Fucking TFC newbies.

If conc-jumping and infection has been taken out, then I imagine the medic is ok.

Nice preview Sluggo.

When the medic is “attached” to someone else, are they limited in what they can do? Can they still shoot their scatter gun? How close do they need to be?

So many questions.

When the medic is attached to someone else, they’re using a healing item in the weapon slot, so they can’t use the scatter gun. They also need to be relatively close – not right on top of the guy, but maybe 5-8 steps behind. It feels a little like using the link gun from UT2004.

I asked about Hunted, and sadly, there’s no version planned for the TF2 release. I’m sure it’ll take about a week for some mod maker to cobble one together, but it would be nice to have an official one from Valve.

Some new footage

I see they kept the M rating, what with the raining gibs. Also, chet wearing a hardhat!

I just saw this video discussing the art style in TF2

I’m so glad that finally someone seems to “get it”, that not all nextgen graphics need to be colorless, dark and wannabe-realistic. I really love the TF2 style and the carefully thought out reasons behind it.

The game is simply looking ridiculously good. I don’t know any 2D & 3D artist, who wouldn’t have loved to be part of a project like this.


Great… now where’s my new Weapons Factory mod?

Eh, it’s Valves reductive design principles at work. If somethings problematic or exploited by a large percentage of the players to great effect the most simple thing to do is:

A) Consider why this is the case by studying behavior, design and implement a compatible solution that fits into the game world.
B) Expand upon the exploited mechanic, bringing the gameplay element into the official fold, bridging the gap between new players and hardcore players more readily.
C) Remove the feature entirely, suturing over the surface areas with a lot of pointless thread to make things appear as intended.

Guess which one always wins?

Look at the development history of CS and you will see this exact practice in full force:

Q: Noscope AWP shots piss me off
A: Random deviation trajectory factored in when not zoomed

Q: There are only three assassination/escape maps
A: Remove the assassination/escape mode

Q: Goose worked hard on getting vehicles in the betas but they are buggy
A: Remove vehicles

Q: Everyone buys the same weapons every round
A: Dynamic Weapon Pricing

Q: People always play the same maps
A: The community hates itself and they can provide their own alternatives

People are concussion jumping and this confuses new players - remove secondary grenades entirely.

People get confused when they become infected because they are losing health and they run back to their spawn to heal and infect their team. Remove the infection mechanic entirely.

I spent so much time with NetQuake TF I have to hold out hope for a successor, and of course I have to purchase the package just to check it out. The only thing keeping me in that boat is the art direction, and we all know that won’t be the saving grace here. October will tell, until then it’s simply another month added to the previous decade of speculation…

Yeah, I guess you’re right, no wonder Counter-strike was such a complete failure and Valve is the laughing stock of the industry, ignored by players and critics everywhere.

Oh, wait…

Would you like to address the factuality of my claims wrt to the development history of the mod, or would you like to make a smug sarcastic remark and end it with a completely trite cliche much like the very rhetorical question you are now processing?

Look, I’m not saying it’s good or bad, I’m saying I don’t agree with their perspective. It’s obviously been successful enough for them in the long haul but IMO it could have been a bigger and better experience, especially in the context of CS:S which was as straight a port as you could get. I’m also not a traditional player or consumer, so let me iterate how useless my views are as a metric for any sort of general polling or comparative analysis - especially in the context of glib dismissals, however much pleasure you may take in relaying them.

counterstrike is a joke, it’s a popular and very successful joke, but it’s still a joke. ;) I tend to not get along with the average person that plays counterstrike, can you tell?

I can tell you’re new here.

I play Counterstrike. I demand some love!

Oooh! Ladies and Gentlemen, if you look out your left window, you’ll see a fine example of the Disgruntled Fan-Boi in his native element, the wild Online Forum.

Listen how he Roars at those who disagree with his opinion! See his mighty Gamer Credentials! Marvel at his Indignity as the Wholly Game Developers design their game how they want!