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Fight the ramrod

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by Darksoul, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. Darksoul

    Darksoul L1: Registered

    Positive Ratings:
    First I'd like to say, I'm honored to be allowed to be part of this community that hosts so many talented and generous individuals; all that's left to say is: let's hope I don't ruin it...

    Anyways, I'd like to use my first post to talk about a growing phenomenon in all TF2 maps in all sorts of servers; vanilla or instant respawn. It's something that the regulars at CnB have called the Ramrod.

    The Ramrod is simply an amazing amount of sentries, built and defended by a very motivated and focused group made mostly out of engineers. The ramrod takes many forms all aggravating, anyone who has played TF2 has seen some form it; a clear example it's the secondth control point in the first stage of Dustbowl, we all know where all the sentries are going to be and how "complicated" it can get to get through even with a solid team.

    There's also the typical sentry cluster in the high ground on Badwater Basin and on top of RED spawn in the first stage of Goldrush, or the standard Ramrod practice of custom maps like Junction or Hoodoo.

    The Ramrod assumes it's most powerful and ruthless form in instant respawn-32 man servers; sure those customizations aren't how TF2 is meant to be played, however it's hard to deny the popularity of that kind of servers and how "willingly" they add custom maps to their rotation.

    Just how powerful can the ramrod be? Well imagine a team made of five or seven engineers with specific roles, such as building, maintenance and metal delivery. Lead by veteran ramroders who tell the inductees how far each sentry must be from each other so stickies destroy at much one sentry; you don't have to be an engineer to be part of the ramrod, just by spy checking you are ramrod; but the ultimate upgrade is an airblast pyro, a single pyro can render any amount of ubers helpless; and even if you have really good uber targets and manage to clear the sentries the ramrod is far from being defeated.

    If the sentries are destroyed, you are left with five or seven very disgruntled engineers and at least one or two pyros, whatever RED happens to have alive, and no loaded guns for BLU to keep attacking. It is a well known fact that the average ramrod engineer is proficient in several forms of wrench-foo, he's seventh dan in wrenchate, has a 12 PhD in crits generation and mastered wrenchdo. All those portmanteau simply to tell "you're effed!" running away won't save you from the wrench rage that's about to come at you, and by the time you are finished respawning and back at the front lines there will be five or seven level three sentries....again.

    If you're too lazy to read through my ranting; my point is:

    No amount of sentries should be able to turn any capture impossible

    TF2 is reaching a point where the defense is all about either spaming pyros or Ramroding, how fun is that? for any part? build a drone to fight for me? Fight an army of drones to win?. Setting a limit for the amount of classes is not the solution, changing official Valve maps to avoid the ramrod is a no-no; I honestly don't know how much time TF2 will be profitable, but it's abusive to expect Valve alone to come up with a solution (to what maybe I alone think it's a problem).

    Instead, the mapping community could make an effort to design the maps in a way that the main goal of the map is to capture the points or get the intel and not play sentry demolition fortress 2, maybe make the maps and control points in such a way that "sure you can build 20 sentries there, but the point can still be captured and the sentries can do very little or nothing about it"

    But hell that's just me a single player who fought the ramrod in the servers and lost. Now I'm going to fight the ramrod with Hammer!

    PS: yes, TF2 is VERY serious business
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2009
  2. Penguin

    aa Penguin Clinically Diagnosed with Small Mapper's Syndrome

    Positive Ratings:
    Some of the best times I've had in this game were constructing hugely elaborate sentry nests with friends. I love this.

    Seriously, though, if the team is THAT co-odinated, they deserve the win.

    Also, remember the philosophy of the engineer:

    In closing...

    • Thanks Thanks x 1
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2009
  3. captainAngry

    captainAngry L7: Fancy Member

    Positive Ratings:
    This is called Turtling. It is one of the many reasons why there are spawn waves and why valve didn't make this game instant spawn. A dead engie should have to wait to respawn before he can run right back to his SG and start fixing it.

    This is also what Ubers are for.

    There are very few times when an SG farm (or ramrod or whatever) is actually impossible to take out. The only way that it can be done well is if the engies are extremely coordinated and all place their senturys in a way that they cover eachother. Most of the time people just group the senturys together.

    With a cordinated team of a few ubered demos/soldiers/heavys and maybe one of those scouts with bonk, you can take out almost all SG farms.
  4. Caliostro

    Caliostro L6: Sharp Member

    Positive Ratings:
    What you're asking is impossible without downright nullifying engineers as a class.

    No, instead, what you should work at is creating room for sentries to be built, but equally enough room for them to be taken out. A sentry should never be 100% safe except directly in front of it's fire.

    For instances, in my map, reanimation, I'm working on creating sentry spots that are both legitimate for engineers to setup without being constantly pelt by everything and anything, but vulnerable enough so they can't single-handedly (single-sentried...?) hold down a spot without any assistance. Thus I create (or am trying to) the possibility for engineers to have their nests, but force them to go out and fight to defend them, or turtle behind them and die.

    Honestly this a design flaw in many maps. If an engineer can be rendered invulnerable behind it's sentry, the map needs work.
  5. Nineaxis

    aa Nineaxis Quack Doctor

    Positive Ratings:
    Here's a general fact of TF2: If your team has more than 4 of any class, it's going to dominate. It's a sad fact. 5 scouts are annoying to a well-distributed team, as are five soldiers, five pyros, five demomen, five heavies, etc. etc (except sniper). Having upwards of four engineers on any point will cause distress in a well balanced team. More drastic measures will have to be taken to remove the resulting sentry farm. However, the team will fail in other ways.

    You can't expect any game on any map in TF2 to hold up with 20 engineers. It just won't work.
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