Past EED rants


Live leaderboard

Poker leaderboard

Voice of EED

Thursday 27 September 2007

Teamfortress 2 (TF2) - things that need fixing [Brit]

We've had access to the TF2 beta for a while now and the clan has racked up an astonishing 374 hours of play at the time of blogging. For those interesting in statistics, this means that in terms of clan internet usage, TF2 is second only to pr0n; which to be fair is what you'd expect.

However, TF2 is raising a number of questions in my mind and in turn a number of items that desperately need fixing - otherwise, (and at this point I've got my crystal ball out) I suspect it may turn out to be nothing more than a flash in the pan. So, in no particular order - and bearing in mind these are all 'imo':
  1. There are serious issues with class balance. The spy and scout both have abilities which far exceed 'fair' if you look at their performance in game. For example, the spy is just impossible to find and there exists no detection mechanism to enable a decent counter. The scout is not only extremely fast as you'd expect, but has the ability to take out even a heavy with his shotgun/baseball bat at a rate that suggests the heavies are made of spongecake. At the very least the spy should have the invisibility mode removed, or give it a much longer recharge time, and the scout should have a shotgun with fewer rounds before reload and the baseball bat shouldn't be the equivalent of a lightsabre. Alternatively, allow the engineers to build a spy detector type device... In fact, shotguns are almost like the DE in CS:S. Regardless of distance you can still inflict damage at quite a startling rate from a gun that is not designed for range. This needs fixing across all clases.
  2. It is very pretty to look at, but could someone explain what took the Valve guys so long to build exactly? The mechanic hasn't changed much since the original TF2 and whilst there are some nice extras and its very polished (even at this Beta stage) things seem to feel a little stale quite quickly. This could be because there are so few maps. Six is a joke especially when you consider that six is all there are going to be at the official launch too. Whilst a direct comparison to Unreal Tournament isn't necessarily fair, that game came loaded with maps and game types which extended it's shelf life well beyond expectations. TF2 needs a lot more professionally designed maps, at least double the number it has now. The CTF equivalent is a great game type but seriously underwhelming at the moment. Otherwise the mapping scene will be dominated by user generated maps which whilst not a bad thing, leads to a definite drop in game play quality as they are usually not up to scratch.
  3. The dedicated server needs work; options which should be there and are not must bethought aboutin my view... for example: a) Reserved slots need to go in. b) Class limitations would be great. c) Skipping the "intro" movie bit so it goes Connect > MOTD > Team Select would be a handy option d) In game player management for admins (rather than RCON via console) would also be good. e) Ability to skip/reduce the pre-game waiting/setup times as per your own preference.

Thats it really. For the purposes of sharing our awesome knowledge with the wider world, many of whom we know from the webstats sit at home waiting for EED to speak unto them, fellow clannies should proffer their own thoughts from hereonin...


  1. You raise some good points but the thing about this kind of thing is that everyone has an opinion. I think I would largely agree that the scout and the spy need a bit of a nerfing. The scout shotty is indeed too good but the baseball bat actually isn't that good, it's a finisher really. The problem really is that it can basically run into a room and avoid all fire and kill multiple heavier classes and blow up all of the gear. I'm kind of baffled how you can justify the scout having a better shotgun than any of the heavier classes.

    Range wise of the shotty, I think it's fine. You still can't hit things at range, but you can with the pistols.

    As for maps. Valve make a reasonable point that the hard core games tend to play the same maps over and over. So their argument was let's make a small number of maps and then make them a bit more varied, eg just slight variations of the same map's pathing etc. I think that kind of works but I'd also prefer more variety too. I don't think one necessarily needs to pander to what hard core guys do. Sure they like playing on dust forever because they want to own. That's not everyone, I don't really buy Valve's argument here. I think there ought to be some extra maps but six is fine for starters.

    Unfortunately I expect it'll languish rather like CS has. So it could be this is all we'll reasonably see for a very long time. If we know one thing about Valve it's that they don't do anything quickly.

    Concerning dedicated server issues you raise, that's not stuff that should be in the game, that should be left to modders just like it has been in previous games. The in-game management thing is basically what mani's mod does for CS and I bet when he's able to, we'll have this on TF2.

    The most baffling thing of all, of course, is the way this morning they simply removed friendly fire from the game - our prefered mode - claiming it breaks the game in an unspecified number of ways. It clearly doesn't break the game. This is really quite a lame thing for them to do.


  2. I think I actually disagree with everything you say, but where to start...

    The only class balance issue I can see is the poor old Pyro, having very little to do at range. Having said that, I have bumped intoa few guys who can play pyro really well and he does hurt in the right hands.

    Scouts over powered? Their shotgun is the best in the game, but they're also very low on hp. If aheavy lets a scout get near enough to kill him, fair play to the scout I recon.

    Spy's, they're also very weak, particularly their weapons, so they need invisibility. It's very slow to recharge as it is, pretty well balanced in my book.

    And engies, they're uber as it is, almost overpowered in defence. Give them some weapon against spy's other than 'my turrets are being sapped', and you'll make them unstoppable.

    What took so long? They re-wrote it a bunch of times. The current version isn't actually that old. I think it's a great achievement, it's very polished, has great balance, and the beta has been very smooth indeed. It's also fucking cheap. I don't get the issue?

    The maps? Again, what did it cost? A fiver? Six maps for that is fine, as in CS Source, the maps will come too. I'd have liked to see more non TFC maps, though.


  3. Concerning the spy. I don't really have an issue with the cloak. The issue is the backstab thing really. Particularly since there's no cooldown. Spys frequently run around backstabbing several people in a row just because they got past them. They run through whacking the backstab key and it's 3-4 dead in a row. That's just not right and it's not what the class is about.

    I think backstab needs a sizable cooldown. Sure a spy should be able to sneak through and take out turrets and snipers, that's their job. I also have issue with the way they can sap a large amount of stuff very very quickly. Forcing the engineers to decide what they want to unsap or if they want to basically lose everything and kill the spy. That's just plain wrong. To take out a large amount of structures built by several engineers, it should need a couple of spies going on at least. The class could benefit from being less of a loan hero thing and being more of a support class.


  4. Thinking about the scout, I don't think it should have a shotty. The problem is their speed coupled with the fact they don't have to aim particularly well and their shotty being better than anyone else's. I'd have their major weapon as a pistol or something like that. Then a really skilled player can still do well but while he's jumping around he has to actually aim at you spot on.

    The one/two hit kill from behind thing works though. I think it's right they should be able to sneak up behind snipers and take them out without the sniper whipping out a sub and mowing the scout down easily which is what would happen if they didn't have that shotgun.

    Anyway, we're indulging in fantasy here. Valve have forums full of thousands of people whinging about anything, they're clearly not going to listen to us. Particularly when some of the comments are about as well qualified as some of the forum posts anyway :)


  5. Even the stuff I've said, there's people who don't agree. But there's one thing I think everyone agrees on and that's that the Pyro needs some loving. I think a lot of the problem is that he's cannon fodder at any range at all. Valve say it's an ambush class but the thing is, most of the maps just aren't like that. If it's a choke point, it's being pilled spammed thanks to the lack of FF.

    The problem with being a Pyro is you get destroyed at medium range all the time. The secondary weapon of a shotty is a silly choice. If you can use a shotty, you'd use the flame thrower eh? So what the Pyro needs really is a sub gun rather like the sniper. We toyed with the idea of grenades, because it fits the class better (and the model has grenades on it) but there's quite enough pill spam as it is and it doesn't solve the problem of the Pyro being cannon fodder in medium to long range.


  6. "this means that in terms of clan internet usage, TF2 is second only to pr0n; which to be fair is what you'd expect......"

    To be strictly fair, they both come second to arguing with Slim which is the clan's number 1 persuit on the interweb.


  7. The Scout's Scattergun is a bit too good.. it's very powerful and the spread is a bit too tight. I'd prefer either making the weapon more inaccurate or removing it completely and giving the scout back his caltrops. As for the Spy, I think there should be a much longer cool-down between coming out of stealth and backstabbing people. I don't mind being backstabbed by a Spy that fooled me into thinking he was a friendly, but when they are invisible until the millisecond before they gank you, it's fucking annoying!

    Oh, and friendly fire sucks, go Valve! :D


  8. I'm not surprised you don't like FF because you've never shown the slightest acknowledgement of the fact it's a team game.


  9. I think the scout is generally ok, if not slightly hectic when you have lots of 'em around. Also the fact that you can get lucky shots with the shotty is a bit silly. A pistol or something that'd work better in close range would be nice.

    As far as the spy cloak goes, I find it to be an invaluable tool when making your way behind the enemy lines. If an enemy sees a friendly coming from the enemy base at the beginning of a round, he's bound to blast him. Cloak fixes that. Also, I find the active/recharge ratio to be fine. You can't be cloaked for more than 10-15 seconds, just enough to get you past that choke point where you're bound to meet enemies.

    Sapping then. If an engy isn't standing next to his sentry or dispenser, the sapper WILL destroy it. I wouldn't mind seeing a longer sap time on the sentry guns. Also, regarding mass sapping, limiting the number of active saps per spy would be handy. Hell, I wouldn't mind being able to do 1 or 2 saps at one time.

    And why the hell remove FF? It's not as if server admins couldn't turn it off if they didn't like it. Meh!


  10. The lack of cooldown on the spy is a big thing - it'd be nice to see something like LMB do 'jab' which can be continuous but does less damage, and RMB do a full power'stab', with a brief pause to recoil so as to help with defending against him in group.


  11. Backstab thing worked quite well in the Hidden mod, there you had a reload time a nice soundeffect before it, i dont see a problem with it in this game at all though. Only thing about the spy is the sapping thing. Way too fast, way too easy. Other than that its kinda ok.


  12. I've posted recently on the Valve forums of two types:

    threads that compare TF2 to TFC (...)

    and threads that dictate to Valve that character class changes are essential before the game collapses

    In both cases, I think comparing TFC to TF2 is fucktardery, and demands of urgent tweaks to classes are also mistaken near-fucktardery.

    BUt phew, there are valid points in this thread. I've had problems dealing with one or more scouts in melee combat. I shouldn't, I can play RA3 and 3wave like a bastard. That scout shotty can be a one shot kill on a soldier, and then he scampers off and kills someone else. Okay, not ideal, this isn't a game where a twitchfest team should dominate by having 3 or 4 Scouts on a team of eight. There's definitely scope then to look at scout firepower - something like pistol as main weapon perhaps.

    Maps and looks. A huge amount of preparation and effort has gone into both, and I think it shows. Every map is high quality. The rotation is not far off our CS map rot. I think graphics and maps are to a very high standard, but please Valve, in a few weeks be ready to release more maps and not stale-ify the game.

    Spy. Stabbing their way through 2 or 3 players. Yes I agree its powerful but probably not overpowered. Two cooldowns for that class would be a bit awkward. So how about the insta-kill backstab only working when stationary, and in other situations is a less lethal jab/slice as has been suggested?

    Pyro. To concur; he has medium range issues but there's a real danger of misbalancing this class. I think he is best left alone because positive tweaks would overbalance him. So perhaps scouts, if they kept their shotty, should have even less hp, in order to make defensive Pyros more effective.

    About spy sapping. I think it needs to stay uber, because the game would be worse were players to build little forts well-defended by overlapping turrents. Engineers need to stay in range of the sap warning, because if they don't need to they're potentially too effective an offensive class.

    Overall, I'd say this game is bloody well balanced, and a lot of testing appears to have gone on.