Pyro Maniacs: Achieving Nothing in TF2

By Alec Meer on June 21st, 2008 at 12:18 pm.

This isn’t a rant for or against Team Fortress 2 Achievement servers. It’s a recounting of the bizarre/hilarious/terrifying experience I had on one of them – yes, my personal reactions to what I encountered do inevitably slip in, but mostly it’s a portrait of this unique facet of gaming subculture. Whether you agree or disagree with their existence, these beat-the-system servers are fascinating enough to be worth talking about.

“Were you beaten as a child?”
“FOR FUCKS SAKE DONT SHOOT THE FUCKIN ENGI”
“Scout need 2 kill scouts someone spawn scout”
“Retards ur all retards omg retards!!!!”

Having been away from the TF2 scene for a few months until very recently, I wasn’t previously aware of Achievement Servers. I heard about their existence come the release of the Pyro update, and the idea that there were legions of TF2 players grinding away like Lineage players on special maps for impatient unlock-hungerers was so curious that I had to see it for myself. As the sampling of chat-channel quotes above might imply, I wish I hadn’t.

The server I elected to play witness on was an odd, unsettling place. The tiny, custom map placed the red and blue spawn points right next to each other, removed the wait period between respawns, dropped a single capture point in the middle and placed intelligence briefcases at either end. A small pool of water was placed awkwardly in a corner, and health packs scattered in bizarre columns. No-one could ever win this map – it was set up to repeat forever.

From the narrow strip between the start points spawned a constant stream of Pyros – a silent, infinite army. Half the time, it wasn’t possible to escape this six foot starting area, as I’d be toasted into nothingness within milliseconds. Other players screamed time and again that those attacking each other were ‘retards’, oblivious or unconcerned that their unchecked use of this most stereotypical of Angry Internet Man insults made them even more detestable than those they lambasted. Perhaps these kill-crazed interlopers were simply childish troublemakers, but more likely they were chasing the 1m points of fire damage and 1000 kill Achievements.

Once I finally managed to sneak to a safe-ish corner, I couldn’t help but join the fray. There’d been no explanation as to how this server worked, and the only communication between players involved the word ‘retard’. So I presumed mega-death was the done thing here – certainly, that steady stream of disorientated spawnees were fish in a barrel, a Pyro’s wet dream. Stood next to a supply cupboard, with my health and ammo infinitely replenished, I spent a few minutes clocking up kill after kill after kill – forever twisting my TF2 stats. In TF2 proper I play a Heavy almost all the time, but my permanent record is now dominated by Pyro points. They’re just numbers, but they make me oddly sad – it’s as though someone’s stamped LIAR on my Steam page.

As TF2′s achievement system gives only the vaguest sense of progress towards its more long-winded, uber-grindy tasks, my interest and blood lust soon diminished. So my eye at last drifted to the bottom left of the screen, where I noted that I too was now a ‘retard.’ One player on the other team had taken a specific objection to me – a cursory check of the score screen revealed he was one of the six or seven players I was currently Dominating – and was unleashing a storm of horrific invective, predominantly about parental abuse he claimed I’d suffered. Tired of the senseless, joyless carnage, I tried to leave the starting strip to investigate the rest of the map, but he followed me, using his compressed air blast alt-fire to knock me off course, preventing me from reaching anywhere I wanted to go. During my attempts to escape I was killed a few times by other players, and every time Compressed Air Guy was waiting for me upon my respawn.

Meanwhile, a Heavy had spawned. The Pyros circled him excitedly, believing him there to help ‘em reach the MAKIN’ BACON Achievement (roast 50 Heavies). Instead, he let rip. Standing just far away enough from the spawn points to dodge the flames, his amazing cannon was able to shred any and every Pyro before they could get to him. No Pyro on the server was Achieving anything. The chat channel went mad. Fortunately, it did mean Compressed Air Guy finally stopped hounding me.

The banhammer eventually fell on the Heavy, and I took advantage of the brief lull in spawn-point genocide to finally slip into the rest of the small map. At last the nature of this place became clear to me. The map was designed specifically to make certain Achievements easier rather than simply to clock up the kills for the PYROMANCER and FIRECHIEF grinds, as the two or three dozen instant deaths I’d suffered I had initially implied. It was carefully designed as an obstacle course, not the infinite dance of death I’d been swept up in at the spawn point. That’s why there was such vitriol on the chat channels.

Gazing around, left more or less in peace now I was away from the fury of the spawn point, the rest of the place was like a series of surrealistic art installations. To the left, three Pyros forever danced around the capture point, gently roasting but never killing each other. Ding! CONTROLLED BURN.

To the right, a lone Heavy stood by the water’s edge, allowing a half-dozen Pyros to set him ablaze then leaping into the pool to extinguish himself. Then he’d haul himself out and the process would repeat. Burn, douse, burn, douse, burn, douse. Ding! BAPTISM BY FIRE.

Just ahead of me was a Spy, waiting. As I approached him, he coolly flicked his cigarette up from and back into his hand. I waited, unsure whether I should attack. “Come on then”, he said in Chat. I moved closer. He flicked again. This time I emptied my flamethrower onto him. Ding! GOT A LIGHT.

Beyond was a BLU Engineer, also surrounded by a throng of RED Pyros. Planted firmly next to a supply cabinet, he had infinite metal at his disposal. So he built and built tirelessly, seemingly unconcerned that each of his dispensers and turrets and teleporters were destroyed the second they appeared by the mute, masked horde. Ding! ARSONIST. As I watched, a further RED Pyro ran in, paused, then turned his flamethrower on the Engineer. As the helpful BLUman’s charred corpse slumped to the ground, the Chat channel again erupted in outrage.

We waited a while, but the Engineer didn’t return. Who could blame him? The other Pyros said nothing, but I could sense their disappointment. So I changed team, picked Engineer and stepped into the fallen man’s shoes. I built and I built and I built, all of it turned to rubble the second I created it. Sisyphus in a hardhat. I felt slightly pleased to be helping, though no-one thanked me – as I hadn’t thanked those that had assisted me. This was not a place of etiquette. Some 70 or 80 destroyed Teleporters in, I had a moment of horrible self-awareness about exactly what it was I was doing. I had to stop.

And so I climbed back into my red Pyro overalls and continued, reaching the map’s last bizarre setpiece – a concrete bridge atop which were health and ammo packs. A single BLU soldier was beneath it, and I joined a small queue of three or four RED Pyros waiting in front of him. The Soldier looked down at the ground, jumped and fired a rocket. As he sailed smartly into the stratosphere, the first Pyro in the queue let off a jet of flame. Ding! PILOT LIGHT. The Soldier landed neatly on the bridge, replenishedhis health and ammo and was just embarking on his next rocket jump when a sudden shotgun blast from behind me disrupted his manoeuvre. As one, we Pyros turned to look. As we did so, an axe-weilding newcomer charged past me and duly dispatched the poor jarhead. Ding! LUMBERJACK. Good for him. Bad for the waiting Pilot Lighters. Once again, there was much wailing, gnashing of teeth and bellowing of ‘retard.’

By now, I’d ‘earned’ 14 Achievements – enough to unlock the Flare Gun. Woo? I didn’t feel good about it. It wasn’t that I felt like I’d cheated. I was sad because I was not in a place where a team-mate would congratulate me for achieving the unlock – on this server, I was just one more feckless dope grinding away. I didn’t feel good that, though fun in concept, the current nature of the Achievement system seemed to make so many people want/need to shortcut it this horrible, artificial way. And I felt slightly sick at humanity, or at least more so than usual – this server promised altruism, a perfect barter system where good-natured strangers would help each other attain these hallowed Achievements. Instead, it was a mess of self-interest, abuse and griefing. (I’ve since been informed that other Achievement servers are more amiable places, but still – I’m sticking to TF2 vanilla myself). I took one more look at the endless slaughter by the spawn point and logged off, just one achievement shy of the Backburner.

I sated my curiosity, but I’ll never do it again. It’s even made me briefly wish TF2 had never introduced unlocks. I know the Achievement servers weren’t part of Valve’s plan. I know that some people genuinely see them as necessary and even enjoy them. I know that most servers are entirely free from the horrific attitudes I encountered. I know that it’ll all calm down in a little bit when everyone who wants the unlocks has got them. But, to me, the game currently seems grubbier and sadder for this mass obsession with statistics, and I’ll be glad when it’s died down. Yeah, I’ve got my Flare Gun, and it’s certainly a fun toy that expands the possibilities of the game, but I don’t want it. I’m going back to my Heavy. My pure, untainted Heavy – just a big man with a big gun. That’s what I play TF2 for.

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201 Comments »

  1. Butler` says:

    I couldn’t agree more. I too have just returned to TF2 for the first time in… well, nearly since release.

    There again, it could be worse – at least they aren’t adversly effecting my play as such.

  2. Optimaximal says:

    I had an almost similar experience last night – I haven’t bothered with TF2 since before the Medic unlock as I wanted that too cool off.
    Due to the free weekend/unlock rush, my TF2 browser was showing barely 30 servers (after all, why bother not filtering the full/HPB/non-VAC ones?) and most of those were these unlock/achievement ‘DM’ servers… and what a pointless crapshoot they are.

    The TF2 game dynamic is so heavily geared to teamplay/goal-based gameplay, DM’ing is just poor – the limited weaponry just makes it so damn boring, especially when everyone is a Pyro.

  3. CrashT says:

    What makes me feel worse, is that there are plenty of people ready and willing to defend such servers.

  4. roBurky says:

    I think it was the medic achievements that drove people to do this sort of thing. The pyro achievements are all easily obtained just by playing pyro for a while, but the achievement farming is now habit for people.

    Someone who wants the axtinguisher has absolutely no need for the lighting a taunting spy achievement, or the OMGWTFBBQ, and so on, as those are the ones that were left to be actual achievements, not necessary for anything, just there to show off if the opportunity ever arises for you. But after the meidc achievements, lots of people are now in the mindset that they have to get all of the achievements as quickly as possible.

  5. Chris Evans says:

    What a shame.

    Last night I got a whole bunch of people on my friends list to jump on an empty server with me. All I wanted was the achievement whereby you play with 7 friends.

    That done the other proceeded to embark on a period of Achievement Whoring. While myself and DuBBle persevered for a bit as pawns in their games we eventually tired and moved elsewhere with Seniath.

    Soon we were joined by other members of the RPS Steam Chat and had a jolly old time of TF2 with lots of beer and lots of fun.

    Towards the end of the evening we made a move back to the original server where a few of my other friends still remained. From then on we all played properly. Until Hydro that is.

    On Hydro us members of [WAS] launched a startling series of counter-attacks against the Red team. Three medics all healing each other at the same time. Three spies disguised as the enemy.

    That was fun. Great fun.

    Your experience Alec. What a shame.

  6. Gap Gen says:

    Yeah, I’m not sure about the flare gun. I guess it changes the gameplay and makes it more interesting, but being sniped by pyros isn’t that fun.

    Good article, though.

  7. Lacero says:

    When I saw the title I thought this was going to be about how 9 pyros and one spy on a team achieve absolutely nothing.

    Thankfully it seems to be calming down a bit now. To five pyros per team.

  8. CRYOGENiC says:

    My friend went on one of these servers. I haven’t let him here the end of it. I feel cheated. They should just open up all unlocks if this shit is happening. Love the game btw.

  9. turban_man says:

    I hate achievement servers

  10. The Hammer says:

    Oh, the night the pack came out, I had a load of homophobic insults shouted at me from various players because I joined a perfectly normal server, without a tag that said it was focused on achievements, and proceeded to play normally as a Demoman, capturing points and killing enemies.

    They then left the server, leaving four guys still on. I disconnected soon after.

    But, you know, FFS, play the game.

  11. Cigol says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed reading that :)

  12. Jaxtrasi says:

    I’m absolutely amazed that achievement progress isn’t restricted to standard public servers running official maps. Can you acquire Ep 2 achievements by modding the rocket map to add the gnome just outside the rocket? Why should you be able to do it with an online game?

  13. Kast says:

    The night of the update, I was on my regular server – everyone grinding away. It was actually (for the most part) very polite and friendly, everyone taking their turn to be the spy or the soldier, and everyone thanking each other for the trouble.

    I ‘worked’ my way up to get the flare gun and decided that was enough, I can get the rest by myself. Perhaps not entirely out of a sense of good sportsmanship, but that some gentlemen with all three unlocks was running around shoving it in people’s face. Yes, very nice, you’ve got the axtinguisher. Now give us chaps the chance to get it ourselves, will you?

  14. Seniath says:

    First server I joined on the launch night was 2fort. Seeing the mass of Pyros, I went Demo. And got told off. They were, at least, polite about the whole affair, no insults and such.

    Still, yes, the whole achievement system in its current state is a bit silly. Great idea in theory, just not in practice. It’s like those stories of people playing Avatar just for the gamer points.

  15. CrashT says:

    I think the worse thing is that this is a Free Weekend, so anybody deciding to try out TF2 this weekend is going to get an experience that not representative of TF2 at all.

  16. sigma83 says:

    whereas I had a very pleasant experience as some chap I had never met before helped me (and conversely me him) get our axtinguishers together on an empty server. Much discussion of whose turn it was, how close we were, etc. Very positive experience.

  17. Rev says:

    I’m just going to see if I got this right.

    You joined an achievement server. You somehow felt that arbitrary numbers defined you in any way. And then you proceeded to mope about achievements just because there are such things as achievement servers. Is that right?

    For all your ranting on immaturity maybe you should take a look at what it really means to be mature. But then hey what do I know right? Achievements are just little fun add ons, and if you want to farm them or earn them the hard way, more power to you.

    I am however hoping that Steam continues this whole system of not needing to unlock every single insane achievement to allow the use of all the new weapons.

    CrashT: No, I’d say this weekend will be pretty representative of the game. You know, seeing as it’s the game :V

  18. Jay says:

    I’m quite happy with the situation at the moment (only on normal maps – I hate MMORPGs for grinding, and by God I’m going to avoid it here) – on normal maps, there’s never been a better time to be engineer or demoman

  19. KindredPhantom says:

    I’ll openly admit that half of my medic achievements i got farming on such servers.

    Most of the achievement servers are like that, uncontrolled DM. When i was farming i found a nice little server with a few like-minded people which had an admin on most of the time. Even then it was prone to some idiots that seemed to come just to troll, players who had already unlocked all the weapons; had come to just ruin it for everyone else.

    On one achievement server which gave you instant 1 million health points healed, i ruined my stats by getting “Most damage” 119,209,149 as Soldier, something which despite my numerous attempts to remove by using the reset stats console command i cannot remove. It is a very obvious mark telling anyone who would read my stats that i cheated at some point, it feels like a blot on a perfectly clean stat sheet. One which i hope i will have the chance to remove one day if i am allowed the option of resetting my stats.

    With the pyro achievements i have decided to get them all through normal play, on non achievement farming servers. I hoped the fact that you don’t have to get all the achievements to unlock the weapons and that most of them are fairly reasonable would mean that people would not need to go to the extent of playing on achievement farming servers.

    I enjoyed this article it sums up the achievement farming servers quite well and also the sort of players and gameplay that it attracts.

  20. Commando says:

    Achievement servers weren’t part of Valve’s plan?

    Achievements are such a poor design decision for tying to unlocks, I don’t see how they skip the blame. What do they expect to happen? You are going to get a ton of people playing pyros trying to get achievements just on regular servers. Everytime they add stuff to a class it’s going to shit on the game for a few weeks by encouraging everyone into trying to achieve arbitary goals instead of just playing the game properly.

    Good luck getting in a regular game of TF2 for the next month. Repeat this seven more times for the next year.

  21. Rev says:

    Commando:

    Yeah, how dare they want to try things out and have “fun”. Curse you Valve!

  22. CrashT says:

    Rev:
    The game as it’s being play but a lot of people right now has very little in common with what it was like just a week ago (Or what it will probably be like a week from now).

    I’ve quit playing TF2 for the next few days as servers full of Pyros and people screaming for help getting Achievements is not what got me into playing TF2. If it’s put somebody who’s already a fan off, I don’t think it’s going to do much to encourage new people to play the game, or at least not the type of players who would actually enjoy TF2 as it usually it.

    If you want to farm Achievements fine, but keep it to the Achievement servers there are plenty of them. The problem is a lot of people aren’t doing that, and it’s starting to disrupt the play experience for others. I don’t want to fuck with their experience so I stay off Achievement Servers, and I don’t want them to fuck with mine either, so they should stay off standard servers.

  23. Jay says:

    You should see the TF2 forums on the Steam website. What a bunch of ****s

  24. John P (Katsumoto) says:

    Rev – you think its fun for everyone to play the same class and act like homophobic 12 year old american halo kids swearing at anyone who isn’t helping them and not actually, you know, playing the game? I don’t see it.

  25. Heliocentric says:

    Steam have crippled the playstyle of TF2 just to keep up with the likes of CoD4. Sure in CoD4 the unlocked guns are better, but i can kill people with any of those starting guns, they all perform in fundementally the same way, but in TF2 every piece of equipment is (shotguns aside) unique. I’ll never unlock the medic achievements, and not because i dont play medic, just because i’ll never “achieve” the stupid things they asked for, sure they turned it down for the Pryo but i wish it would just be “look free guns”.

    Another game with “fundemental” unlocks is Battlefield 2142, BF2 had a few guns which were cool, but no one of those unlocks gave you a real edge. But in 2142 grenades, C4 scanners, stealth cloaks and all manner of other things are unavailble to starting players. Deployable turrets, bullet shields, even the shock paddles intrinsic to the medic (now assault in 2142) are an unlock. I recently got 2142 (£15 in HMV) but i’m not sure if i’ll ever get into it. Without the unlocks i’m crippled, and with the unlocks every person i kill will be tainted with the guilt of “i had an unfair advantage).

    I felt great when i took out 20 people who likely had all maner of unlocks in just 3 lives in my first game though, i guess I just perfer being a “have not”.

  26. MarvintheParanoidAndroid says:

    Within the space of about 20 minutes, on a locked server with some friends, I had my Axtinguisher. I won’t try and defend myself (having been on public achievement servers during the medic pack, I completely know how terrible it is), but frankly, I just want to have the new toys to play with without being forced to annoy other players by completing random, arbitrary tasks.

    When I finally get my Ubersaw, through getting the rest of my 1 million total heal points, that will be a proper achievement. Causing a dominated player to leave the server? Killing someone with a taunt? Not an achievement.

  27. Kadayi says:

    I think Valve went about this completely the wrong way in releasing achievements on a class by class basis. Instead they should be releasing across the board achievements for all classes, but in small doses (like 2-4 each), that way people would be far more likely to play the game to achieve them rather than resort to these kind of tactics, esp the point damage ones.

  28. Rev says:

    CrashT:

    You make it sound like it’s a publicly accessible multiplayer game or something.

    Kadayi: Yeah, that would probably have been the way to go, that way everyone just gets to hop on whatever class they like and have at in in a match.

  29. A-Scale says:

    I thought this article was going to be about the Pyro achievements being locked due to a Steam error. From Thursday night to Friday morning I was unable to gain a single point towards any achievement, save for Pyromancer (1m burn points). This was terribly frustrating, as I would be much closer to my sweet new weapons had the achievement system been functional. I’ve heard tell that Valve may have fixed the issue already, but I cannot confirm.

  30. KindredPhantom says:

    Some of the achievements are still a little broke.

  31. Alec Meer says:

    It will settle down, though. I have faith in that. Yeah, it’s gonna happen seven more times or whatever, but each time it’ll only last a little while. So long as the unlocks don’t grant dramatic boons to players who get ‘em I’m fine with the concept. The practice… well, not so convinced yet (I took one look at the Medic achievement list and decided there and then I’d never bother chasing the unlocks), but quite clearly Valve are honing the system and hopefully the next set of achievements will be even more broadly accessible.

    And Rev, I visited the achievement server out of journalistic interest in a weird facet of gaming culture, rather than a personal desire for fast unlocks.

  32. Gnome69 says:

    I went into one of those servers. 10 guys, and it was very organized. ppl were helping eachother not only winning achievements but understanding the game and best tricks with the diferent weapons of most classes. (i spent 10 minutes teaching someone how to rocket jump properly). It was like “heaven” among all the achievement servers. i made some good friends on that server that i play with now on a regular basis (i even recruited some for my clan) so not all servers are bad. and the chat, instead of a continuous streaming of “retard” was a stream of “congrats” “cool” and “what you guys need?”
    the new weapons shouldn’t need to be unlocked. there will allways be achievement server if we have to do the achievements to get the weapons. instead of unlocking weapons the achievements could be used to unlock other things. like special nickname effect, special taunts, maybe wapons with a diferent look but with the same stats.

  33. monchberter says:

    Haha, personally it’s definitely more than a bit of a noob fest this weekend and as i only play on ‘reputable’ servers it’s really not made much of a difference. Apart from maybe waiting for more than 2-3 players to join the server, you’d just help each other get the more idiosyncratic achievements, like the mostly OTT ‘Clearcutter’ (6 axe kills) or the taunt kill one, but to be honest i’m sure most people got that outside of normal play just to see how it actually worked!

    I’m a bit annoyed at the grinding achievements, mainly as i haven’t even got my second medic unlock by playing normally yet, and Medic and Pyro always have been my classes of choice. I don;t suppose i’ll ever get unlocks for the Spy or Demoman as i rarely play them.

    If Valve’s intention was to make some weapons rarer, and therefore the players that wield them more of a prized asset to a team, then with all the achievement grinding going on, sorting the ‘wheat from the chaff’ (good players over grinders) will not be any easier.

  34. dartt says:

    What a shame.

    I’ve had quite a different experience. Rather than getting annoyed by the hordes of Pyros waddling around the servers I’ve taken it as an oppurtunity to experience the game in a completely different way. The much larger percentage of players as pyros makes all kinds of new tactics viable: building sentry guns right out in the open where usually they’d be quickly destroyed by soldiers and demomen, the effectiveness of HWG+Medic combos is massively enhanced against a team with no snipers, soldiers, spies or demomen.

    In a week or so it will all be back to normal (not a bad thing, just a different thing), until then I’m just going to revel in the chaos of it all, oh, and work on those medic achievements!

  35. CrashT says:

    Rev:
    “You make it sound like it’s a publicly accessible multiplayer game or something.”

    And you’re saying it isn’t? Especially since this is a Free Weekend, which was my point.

    Team Fortress 2 is one of the most accessible multi-player games I’ve ever tried. It’s the reason I got back into playing multi-player after years (Prior to TF2 the only MP game I really played was Return to Castle Wolfenstein and that was before Enemy Territory).

  36. Matt says:

    It’s fun to grief on those servers. Slapping down a turret and ripping everyone to shreds is hilarious.

  37. Guido says:

    Valve should regularly go through those achievement servers, and mark everybody they see there that was on for longer than maybe 10 minutes with a non-removable, red and blinking sign on their Steam page.

    I might not have unlocked a single one of the Pyro unlocks, nor the Medic unlocks for that matter. But I’d never go and cheat like that on achievement servers. If I want to cheat, I do it in a single player game; cheating in multi player games is despicable and just low.

    That includes people who “feel dirty” after, or during, the fact.

  38. Mman says:

    As others said, the worse part is that some of the achievements were broke at first; I went on one of these servers for “Got a Light” (the only one I “farmed”, as it involves ridiculous circumstances that never happen in normal games) and spent about twenty minutes (thanks to the stuff mentioned in this article) trying to burn a helpful spy at various moments in his taunt animation, and it never worked, so I took it a step further and just used an unlocker instead. Hopefully the recent patch fixes those issues though.

  39. SuperNashwan says:

    I think everyone apart from the players themselves have learnt from the first set of unlocks; the new achievements are much more sensible and the few funny-but-hard ones aren’t necessary to get the new toys. GTFO have added a class limit mod to all their servers so there’s only four pyros at a time and other than the sickening damage buff for the pyro, the game is much as it normally is as far as I’m concerned. Would be nice if Valve could hurry up and fix the latest bugged achievements though, I’ve got a bunch that aren’t working and I want my toys (from regular play).

  40. Arnulf says:

    Meanwhile, a Heavy had spawned. The Pyros circled him excitedly, believing him there to help ‘em reach the MAKIN’ BACON Achievement (roast 50 Heavies). Instead, he let rip.

    That just made me really laugh out loud.

  41. Kieron Gillen says:

    To go against the flow, I’ve kind of enjoyed it in the way darrt expresses. Masses of Pyros changes the game significantly, and the tactics which work or don’t. It’s not the same game, but… well, a game’s never the same game. Achievement chasing kills the game, obviously, but in the same way – say – a Scout rush can be entertaining, a Pyro mob enlivens things a little.

    It’s also the first time I’ve played Pyro significantly, and the changes have kind of introduced me to the class, and I’ve discovered I kinda like it. Which is interesting – the Class-by-class thing is a chance to almost force people into trying other stuff. I suspect the first time I’ll ever play the Sniper – I’m still at 0:00 for him – will be the Sniper pack.

    KG

  42. Mman says:

    Despite the hordes (which will die down pretty soon), it’s nice to see the Pyro finally viable; he (she?) was my favorite class in concept but he was underpowered compared to almost everything else before so I had to resort to others. Now he’s brought up to speed (of course, it too early to tell how far things go, and whether it’s too much), I finally get to enjoy truly causing havoc as one.

  43. Commando says:

    Those are good points. I’m just annoyed with how you can’t escape it with everyone playing deathmatch in the middle of the map.

    At least the spy update will be hilarious.

  44. Snarf says:

    I always play the pyro, and yes the first few maps after the update were really fun. Watching 15 pyros running towards me was a daunting thing indeed. As of last night the regular servers i play on had started to normalise a little. Yes there were a couple more pyros than normal, but we had the usual spread apart from that.

  45. PfcBenjamin says:

    I was admin on an achievement server last night. I ran a tight ship. Nobody was allowed to do anything without another player’s consent. I encouraged people to group up to get one achievement at a time and take turns. When I saw someone get Milestone 3 I told them to stop trying to get more achievements and help out or leave.

    At one point we got this huge influx of players that didn’t know how serious I was. It was nothing but pointless killing in the spawn. I asked them to chill. I told them to chill. I told them to be quiet. I then force taunted them for about a minute.

    New kid: “Why are we all taunting?”
    Kid who had been there a while: “Because you’re all acting like idiots.”

    They all calmed down after that.

  46. Daniel Rutter says:

    You know what this reminds me of?

    Grant Stoddard’s sex doll review.

    That’s what this reminds me of.

  47. Riotpoll says:

    I wish they’d made the backburner the first weapon to unlock, as it’s so similar to the old pyro flamethrower. On achievements servers it’s so funny going as a heavy and butchering those mindless little chaps running around burning each other, and hearing their cries of abuse. Yes, I am a mean-spirited man.

  48. Andrew says:

    Interesting article – I’ve never joined one of those servers before. I need to get the medic achivements myself, most of which are of the type “typically impossible to get on a random server unless you are online with friends”.

    Maybe I should hit one of these places and trade pyro achievements (which I care little for) to get my medic ones. Maybe I should just go on some servers with RPS-group people and ask them for help ;)

    But in any case, leave them to it, at least these achievement servers are out of the way. Clan people do it more privately, at least Valve didn’t make it necessary to get 100% of them for the weapons. There will always be people doing this, and while the free weekends might be mucked up I’m happy to have brief spats of rubbish for continual game improvements.

  49. Mickiscoole says:

    I usually play as pyro, however this weekend I’ve decided to learn how to be a medic.
    The fact that there are more than 2-3 pyros on a server absolutely ruins my usual play style – less people get set alight, everyone is expecting an ambush from a pyro etc.
    I achievement farmed one or two weird achievements for medic, such as the one where you save a person from falling to their death, but that wasn’t on an organised server, that was a few friends of mine just mucking about on an empty server until some other guys rocked up.
    I will be getting all of the pyro achievements during normal play, I probably would have enough of them to get the second weapon by now if the achievements were retroactive, but I won’t be for at least another week so that I can go back to playing the same way I was before.

  50. FFD says:

    I wish they’d just go the whole way and have a pyro-only server option. It gets old fast but it’s great for a change.