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':
- 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.
- 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.
- 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...