How Serious...

Discussion in 'Team Fortress 2 Talk' started by Shovel-Head, Apr 20, 2013.

  1. Shovel-Head

    Shovel-Head L1: Registered

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    How serious is TF2 anyway?

    I keep reading/hearing complaints about weapons/items/maps/etc. not being "skill indexed" or random crits being "unfair" or "annoying".
    But I can't seem to grasp why these complaints exist in a game like TF2, a game essentially all about random cartoon violence. Something that doesn't exactly mix with serious, skillful play.

    I know the comp scene is huge, and I know that some weapons are considered cheap or broken, but whn it comes right down to it, I see TF2 as a silly spam-fest, more-or-less suited to dumb-as-a-brick fun. Y'know, more suited to fatspy, trolldier, trolldemo, or the like.

    But I know that it means different things to different people, and because I'm too lazy to make an account on any other TF2-based forum, I ask you guys; How seriously do you take TF2 or TF2 matches? Are you the "let's get our shit together and win!" kinda person, or "you guys do what you want, I'm going to try to beat some people to death with a mackerel." kinda player?
     
  2. Faux Rhinoceros

    aa Faux Rhinoceros Also known as Dr. Element

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    I wholeheartedly disagree with the entire idea that it's a dumb/unserious w/e game just because of the design choices.

    If you watch the in-game developer commentaries, you will find that they chose to go by the humorous, cartoony style, because it allowed them to convey a lot of important gameplay info to the player without breaking the players immersion (think medi-beams, cardboard masks for the spy, unrealistic character proportions that gives very unique silhuettes and so on.)

    The reason i don't like random crits is that i can't predict them. There have been far too many times where i would stand in the middle of a heavys fire, because i know that i could get out alike - untill their damn minigun started to fire critical hits that almost instantly wipes one out.
    I usually take TF2 matches relatively serious, but it won't stop me from doing a trickstab, tauntkill or humiliating post-kill taunt if i can.
     
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    Last edited: Apr 20, 2013
  3. Trotim

    aa Trotim

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    I'd like to know when you started playing, because for the first few years after it came out it was a lot less ridiculous and chaotic a game
     
  4. Deodorant

    Deodorant L6: Sharp Member

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    First, I second what Dr.Element just said.

    Secondly, fun is not proportional to imbalance. TF2 is a comparatively casual game and I enjoy playing it in a carefree pub environment over a controlled competitive one, but that doesn't mean balance doesn't matter. Significantly underpowered weapons are in general unfun to play with, and significantly overpowered weapons are basically always unfun to play against. It takes a whole lot of thoughtful balance design to create a multiplayer game as consistently enjoyable as TF2, and it's understandable that people get upset when poorly planned new items that upset the balance are thrown into the mix.

    Finally, I'd describe the style of TF2 - at least in its vanilla state - as heavily stylized and peppered with subtle jokes, not cartoonish.
     
  5. GPuzzle

    GPuzzle L9: Fashionable Member

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    First, I second what everyone above me said except the original poster.
    Second, I always thought of TF2 as a game of multiple faces. Sure, it is fun just to slack off for a while and beat people to death with your fish who leaves bullet holes in the wall, but it gets boring after some time; on the other hand, you can go all serious and try to win the match.
    The fact that TF2 has nine classes, with different health, speed, weapons, abilities and a ton of weapons allow for some interesting combinations, and there's where skill comes into play.
    There's that guy who is able to headshot you without being seen, or that Spy that fools everyone and stabs the Medic, dropping the uber.
    But that doesn't mean that you can't beat him as a Pyro, if you're good at that, and not get headshotted, or you can drop the uber with the same ease as a Soldier.
    But that ALSO doesn't mean that you will have the same ease dropping the uber as a Gunboats Soldier then you have as a Shotgun Soldier.
    The point is, everyone has their skills, their abilities, their playstyle. The ones who take the game seriously win and sometimes lose, but they also allow themselves to just screw around and fish them to death.
    It's not like if your a comp player, then you're 110% serious.
    Or if you're a guy who just screws around, you're always gonna be the one not helping the team.
    It's not like that, especially in TF2, one of the most balanced games considering skill levels, weapons, classes and abilities.
     
  6. Shanghai

    Shanghai L6: Sharp Member

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    Answering the very first question, TF2 is only as serious as you make it. If you want to play tickleheavy, then you can, and nobody is going to try to stop you. That being said, many people take the game more seriously, which is equally fine. For these people, there's a lot of strategy and thought behind their actions, and these strategies can get ruined when the line of fire they thought they had enough health to run through suddenly turns critical and utterly annihilates them. For me, the divide in seriousness is here; a not-so-serious player will shrug and wait to respawn, while a more serious player will get really angry.

    The thing is that people don't only operate at one level of seriousness. I get angry when I die sometimes, I brush it off sometimes, and I tickle people to death sometimes. I will argue that the game itself is serious though. A large amount of thought must be put into map design and balancing in order to keep things fun. Getting rolled repeatedly or not being able to step out of your spawn without being killed instantly are things that just are not fun. That's why there's so much complaining about balance. You need to enable the silly players and the serious players to both enjoy themselves.

    On the subject of broken weapons, there are some weapons that just aren't fun to use (because they're underpowered) or aren't fun to fight against (because they're overpowered). It's a little frustrating when your team is pushing down a hallway and then is mowed down entirely by one phlogistonator pyro who's doing nothing more than holding down mouse1 and forward. Weapons that enable a player to take out huge groups of enemies without much skill or effort get frustrating, because they essentially mean that no matter how much you know about the game, the map, or the class you're playing, you can still get completely wiped out. Think of it as a professional fighting game player getting killed by someone who's only picked up the game twice because the person picked a certain character.
     
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  7. Deodorant

    Deodorant L6: Sharp Member

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    Are you saying tickle Heavy is not a legitimate strategy? I will have you know I played a few rounds a while ago using no other item than the Holiday Punch and ended up third on the scoreboard.
     
  8. Shanghai

    Shanghai L6: Sharp Member

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    Not at all! I think that silly play can totally be a legitimate strategy. I've paralyzed ubers as a tickleheavy before and topped the scoreboard as a demoknight. It's just that it's a different mindset from typical play.
     
  9. A Boojum Snark

    aa A Boojum Snark Toraipoddodezain Mazahabado

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    It used to be serious, now it has been made unserious.

    Before the flood of weaponry, you would be able to make calculated decisions on the fly very easily based on the situation/threat you found yourself facing. You knew what all the classes did and how you could deal with them (even when they all gained a handful of alternate weapons (initial class packs)).

    The main reason my interest in the game dwindled to the point me stopping is because there became so many combat scenarios that it was no longer possible to play "serious" in the sense that you can observe and predict to come out of your encounters on top. Too many alternate weapons with too many different kinds of effects/bonuses. It became more about reactive play than proactive play.

    For me personally, once I stopped playing the issue snowballed. Occasionally I've hopped into a game to have a go, and so many things have been added that I don't even know what they do it becomes hopeless for me to do anything but play reactive.

    /rant
     
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  10. Shanghai

    Shanghai L6: Sharp Member

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    Less chess, more dodgeball?
     
  11. Shovel-Head

    Shovel-Head L1: Registered

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    Nov. 2012, I'm pretty much a n00b of the highest order. I do wish I'd have jumped on the bandwagon when it came out though.

    I didn't mean to imply that. Re-reading my post I guess I kinda conveyed that message. I wanted to ask if anyone thinks people take the game too seriously. Y'know, at what point does a serious player become a "tryhard"?

    I'm not condoning imbalanced weapons by any means.

    I agree wholeheartedly, however, I'd go as far as to say that spawncamping and rolling generally don't happen unless there's some shady team balance, rather than one or two members dicking about. This is just my experience anyway, so take that with a grain of salt.

    Maybe my vision of the game is skewed by my late-join-time. I'm not sure.
    I guess what really bugs me is people taking maps like Hightower seriously. Or bringing out pomson/gunslinger engie on Koth maps. It's almost like they try to ruin other people's fun by playing like that. (maybe not Gunslinger engie on Koth, that's a viable strategy, however annoying) Maybe I'm just a whiner who wants to sticky/rocket jump around on Hightower.

    Yeah, I think it's me. Thanks anyway guys.
     
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  12. theharribokid

    aa theharribokid

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    I after one or two lives the point about TF2 being reactive play is rather moot, you've scouted the battlefield out and seen what people on the opposing team are using. Sure a random class/weapon combination comes out the blue a few times throughout the round but not to the point that it swings the tide of battle or changes anything drastically
     
  13. Shanghai

    Shanghai L6: Sharp Member

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    You're definitely not the only one who feels that way. Pomson/wrangler/gunslinger pretty much never fails to get my blood boiling.
     
  14. Deodorant

    Deodorant L6: Sharp Member

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    I really wish Valve would tweak the Gunslinger.

    I tend to go Engineer when my team badly needs a teleporter or I just feel like I can't aim for shit. Because I can't be arsed to play nest-turtling Engie and I'm too bad to play awesome Rescue Ranger/Wrangler jumper Engie, I tend to use the Gunslinger. I think the basic idea behind the item is great and I actually find it neither over- nor underpowered, but it's designed in such a way that it's incredibly unfun to play against and kinda unrewarding to play with.

    Something like nerfing the range and health of the mini-sentry, slightly increasing the time it takes for it to lock onto players, and possibly giving it damage ramp-up/falloff as well, then adding a +x% movement speed on wearer trait to the Gunslinger. Basically, force the Engineer to place sentries tactically and then cooperate with them, rather than just spam them wherever and stay out of harm's way to get undeserved kills.
     
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  15. EArkham

    aa EArkham Necromancer

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    You say you don't think it's over- or underpowered but then give a laundry list of downtweaks to it. Heh.

    It really only needs range decrease; something like -20%. That alone would improve the survivability of light classes and force engies to lay them down at least semi-tactically. Right now you can plop one out in the open, have it chew everything up before it's destroyed and then plop a second one 10 ft away for the kills. With a range decrease, they'd be less effective spamming in open areas, but still usable as distractions, and just as effective in surprise locations.
     
  16. Fish 2.0

    Fish 2.0 L6: Sharp Member

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    Thats all I see my mini as - a distraction. It does a bit of damage then it's gone. My team can move up during that time and I can kill people who are looking at my mini.
     
  17. Faux Rhinoceros

    aa Faux Rhinoceros Also known as Dr. Element

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    And yet, you can easily take up around 75 damage from one before even being able to spot the damn thing.

    It wouldn't bother me if the mini sentry got an even greater range reduction than 20%. Especially after playing a few gamedays with Schwa on the opposing team.
     
  18. Fish 2.0

    Fish 2.0 L6: Sharp Member

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    Whenever I get hit by a sentry (I'm used to the timing and silence of the hits) turn and destroy. They completely own teams, usually getting many lighter classes down at least 1/3 of their health when they just run past them.
     
  19. RubbishyUser

    RubbishyUser L7: Fancy Member

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    Aww, man, this is MY thread. Get to rant about TF2's game balance and the minisentry? I'm so in.

    I totally agree with the simple range reduction on the minisentry - maybe even something as drastic as 40-50%. Consider Harvest, OK? An engineer should be able to slap down a minisentry on the point or near the various healthpacks and say "this is my corner, and I will fight for it". They should not be able to put a minisentry on those concrete blocks and say: "I am now covering 3 of the 4 exits from your house". By reducing the range, distance is not the minisentry's strength, so keeping it inside becomes the better tactic. This would encourage fun play for the engineer: think a-man-and-his-attack-dog style survival - whilst allowing the enemy team to do what they want - traverse the map - freely.

    But this is off-topic. I find that in the TF2 community has this healthy culture where players that are using melee only are met with a force proportional to the damage they actually dish out: a crouch walking heavy is completely ignored, a fish wielding scout is fought melee only, and a serious sticky-bomb grenade launcher demoman is fought with tooth and claw. In fact, it's only when the system breaks down, when disproportionate force is used, such as a pesky scout blasting from range a tickle heavy, that people are accused of being "tryhard" - and in my opinion, rightly so.

    Oh and Shovel head, you've only been playing for 10 months and you're already aware of proper TF2 ettiquette. That's ma boy.

    I won't document why Valve added random crits to the game: I believe they mention that in the developer commentary. It's along the lines of "giving newer players occasional epic moments" where they get some kills. Guarenteed crits are another interesting story, but overall I've slowly gotten used to the major additions. Many can be countered by good gamesense, or require genuine skill to pull off.

    And in terms of the reactive/proactive debate, I sometimes feel like that was one of TF2's weaknesses: Spy was so effectively hardcountered by Pyros that it became difficult to enjoy either class when the other was operating and dangerous. In competitive highlander, where the roles are much more defined than in Pubs, that is still a problem: the only way of fighting a good defensive pyro as a spy was to wait for your team to kill him, or leave the combo and particularly the engineer to find prey further afield. Of course, skill can tip that balance, but it's much easier to do so if you can fight reactively to the presence of a pyro rather than accept your fate or require your team's help.

    But then, I'm one of those weird people who tries to play as competitively as possible with the worst weapons available. I'll pick chocolate over sandwiches any day of the week.
     
  20. Crash

    aa Crash func_nerd

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    I think minisentries could be fixed super easily.

    Make them cost 105 metal.

    They can't spam them back to back whenever they have full metal. If they drop one they have to pick up any amount of metal before they can drop another.

    This makes them actually have to put some thought into where they set them instead of a random place on the field because, who cares, they are disposable.