The Long Night Of The Engineer

By Phill Cameron on July 13th, 2010 at 3:00 pm.


There’s a sixty second set up time before you start a map. Sixty seconds for the defending team to hustle, slapping down sentries at key locations, setting up sniper nests and anxiously sweating as they wait for that timer to trickle down to zero. It’s tense stuff, and it makes the coming chaos so much more powerful and brilliant.

But, as an attacker, you just wait. You hop up onto any scenery you can, just to have something to do. You spam taunts, pretend to shoot your friends, and look through the gates to see if you can form some sort of plan. That was a week ago. With the Engineer Update, Valve have changed everything. Again.

That’s getting wonderfully melodramatic about it all. Really, Valve have refined TF2 again, and in doing so have made the game that much more dynamic and fluid. You see, the biggest change to come with the latest update isn’t the new Engineer weapons, or the fact that every team is at the very least 50% engineer at the moment; it’s that now, Engineers can move what they build.


What this means is that suddenly they’re like militant roadies, spending those precious sixty seconds upgrading sentries, teleporters, and dispensers before they pick them up and haul them to the front lines. You set them up in a fraction of the time it takes to make a new one, and suddenly you’ve all but locked down the area. So those sixty seconds are spent with everyone switching to engineer and helping the real ones build up their stuff. From the other side of the gate, all you can hear is a desperate clanking as the starting zone turns into a hive of activity. What’s he building in there? (Sorry, I couldn’t resist the reference – Jim)

It’s this sort of rolling offense that’s turned the game from intermittent stalemates to a much more fluid state. Of course, the fact that you now get four distinct new flavours of Engineer means that these battle lines are never stagnant for too long. I might have been bending my emphasis a bit when I said that the biggest changes weren’t to do with the weapons; they do change things, just not quite as much as being able to move your buildings around does. The Wrangler, specifically, makes the most noticable impact, suddenly extending the range of a sentry’s weapons exponentially. Suddenly, you can out-fire and out-range an opponent. Not to mention previous spots that were pointless to place a sentry on become hill forts, commanded by a homemade mix of a tv remote and a joystick.

The Gunslinger, too, allows you to play the Engineer far more offensively with your mini-turret. It builds four times faster than the original as well as starting with full health, which makes nipping around a corner and setting up an impromptu emplacement before the enemy can counterattack a much more viable option. Combined with the Wrangler, with its damage boost and shield, and the superficially weak mini-turret becomes ferocious.


The update comes with three new maps: Hightower, Thunderstorm and Upwards. The first two of which are Payload, and the last Payload Race. They’re seemingly designed with the new unlocks in mind, providing high sightlines and flankable positions to both allow Engineers to set themselves up with the Wrangler, and for the opposing team to get around behind them. Thanks to Valve’s insistence of diversity over replacement, the Wrangler comes with drawbacks. While an engineer is aiming with the device, he’s not spy checking, and he’s not repairing his sentry. If he gets too trigger happy, he’s going to overindulge on ammunition and have to spend a few moments restocking it before continuing his onslaught. On top of that, the instant he stops Wrangling, the sentry goes docile for a few seconds, meaning the danger of spies is that much greater.

And that’s what the new maps cater to; on top of being beautiful examples of TF2’s art style and aesthetic merits, they cater to the use, and abuse, of the new unlocks in such a way that people are less likely to decry them as overpowered. Of course, there’s some element of this in other, less specifically minded creations, but that’s to be expected.


Amazingly, we’ve managed to keep the groups within some semblance of normality on the brand shiny new (Official) RPS server, with only a slightly higher number of engineers than you’d normally see. Despite an influx of confused Steam users seeing the server announcement in the TF2 news feed, people have remained cordial, friendly, and (mostly) benevolent.

With the new server, we’re trying to provide a diverse mix of maps and gamemodes that caters to everyone’s taste. At the moment the rotation is a mix of Payload, Capture Point and King of the Hill, with nearly half the maps being community made. However, this is just a stop gap to get away from the doldrums of having just Gravelpit, Dustbowl and Granary on there, so if you’ve got something you’d like to play, let us know. And that applies to everything else; if you want mapvoting in, or outbursts of mods like Prop Hunt, then let us know. The server is for you, after all. Do you want some specific TF2 events? Should we organise skirmishes with opposing websites? Are we better than the others? These are things we must know.

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159 Comments »

  1. Ian says:

    I really need to stop reading about Team Fortress. Everything I read and see makes it sound excellent but I’ve never tried it (despite having it from the Orange Box and installed, etc.) because it’s very nature as a multiplayer FPS frightens me.

    I don’t want to be the n00b that lets the team down and is subjected to nerdrage.

    • Premium User Badge

      Harlander says:

      I’ve got to agree with you. I never seem to have the stamina for multiplayer FPS any more, but the analysis of Valve’s game design work is fascinating.

    • Simon says:

      I wouldn’t worry, just join a server with lots of people in it, and you won’t even be noticed :)

    • Drakkheim says:

      @Ian
      You’re in luck, they’ve added tutorials and offline training to it, just to help people get over that initial hurdle, so there goes your last excuse.

    • Heliocentric says:

      Just play as a heavy. Its nearly impossible to screw up just do banzai charges and shoot at anything that moves.

    • bill says:

      Wow, I don’t remember writing this comment, but it must have been me…

    • Flobulon says:

      I think this is a massive barrier to many people – I know it’s the reason I’ve never played an RTS in a competitive online match.

    • Zwebbie says:

      TF2 matches last only 5 minutes, so there’s hardly a shame in losing, and there’s no penalty either. Sure, some people will complain about bad team mates, but they’re just a whiny bunch; they can play another 20 matches that day. Playing as a Medic works too, even a terrible Medic is still a nice guy.

      Alternatively, play on 2Fort, where nobody ever wins and nobody ever loses and the stalemates go on and on…

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      Schaulustiger says:

      Team Fortress 2 has the lowest entry barrier that a multiplayer FPS could possibly have.

      Not only can you train offline for as long as you want (both class training and “real” maps). If you join a 24+ people server, chances are that you will never even be noticed. It doesn’t matter if you screw up, you cannot get a negative score and ifg you stay at zero points, people that look on the scoreboard will think that you just joined.

      I’ve been playing TF2 for nearly three years now and I can’t remember a moment where one specific player was flamed on a server. Mostly it’s “red team sucks” and stuff, but never was a single person target of flames.

    • Sam says:

      You really just have to get over the hurdle of something like that. Yes, you may be called a noob, but by somebody on the other end of the country who you’ve never met and probably never will again.

      It’s really no excuse.

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      Schaulustiger says:

      Maybe I should actually a contribute a real story in addition to what I already wrote:

      There is a friend of mine who had never ever touched a multiplayer game before. He was only playing old strategy games on a crappy box, but one evening I lured him into playing TF2 at my PC (there was alcohol involved, of course, and the “Meet the…” videos).
      I told him to pick the Heavy since it’s mostly mindless shooting and – lo! – my friend had an absolute blast. He didn’t hit shit for about ten minutes but kept giggling because TF2 is just so hilarious to watch. After he got used to the basics of an FPS he was actually not bad. He didn’t exactly contribute anything to the game that was going on, but managed to kill a considerable amount of enemies when defending the Engineers in the back.

      Long story short: He built a real PC shortly afterwards and is now an avid TF2 player.

      TF2 is perfectly suited to have a peak at multiplayer FPS gaming. You can’t really mess up and it’s oodles of fun even if you don’t do well.

    • Ian says:

      Hrmmngh.

      Well maybe I’ll bite the bullet and have a go, then. I’ll still be annoyed at my invariable suckage even if nobody else has noticed me being atrocious but it seems silly not to have a go if it’s as lovely as y’all say.

      @ Flobulon: Ah see with FPS it’s the potential of wasting my time playing with people who are bastards to those who suck that puts me off. With RTS it’s the knowledge that I’d get faceraped every single time because I tend to let me mind wander and look at stuff on the map even in single player when I should be avidly planning and building stuff. :-P

    • Pani says:

      I was in the same boat as you about 4 major updates ago: I was worried that I’d get a kicking by the people who had played it for a year already.

      As it turned out, the community isn’t too bad and it’s not that big of a learning curve either. The spy and engineer are probably the hardest to play, the rest of them you just point and shoot.

    • airtekh says:

      You can’t really avoid servers that have idiots on them (it is the internet after all); however the RPS server should be more pleasant than most.

      People do tend to be quite skilled in online FPS’s, but the beauty of TF2 is that you can play a class like Medic or Heavy quite easily, and still be very useful to your team.

    • subedii says:

      Instead of decrying how hopelessly impenetrable online FPS’s are, perhaps you guys should actually try the game.

      Personally speaking I was never really into online FPS’s (barring the occasional bought of Coop SWAT 4) before. I bought the Orange Box for Episode 2 and Portal.

      Team Fortress? Isn’t that that ultra hardcore online FPS that’s like running your head into a brick wall? You want me to play the sequel to that?

      But still, when the beta rolled around, I tried it. And it was not just amazing, it was amazingly well designed, and built foremost to be intuitive to get into.

      Each class has a role that it fills. The nature of the gameplay design is that not only are a lot of the gameplay elements self-evident from the start (admittedly some of the additions like mini-crits might need explaining, but on the whole that’s minor, especially since you won’t have access to alternate weapons at the start, so you start off learning the more regular stuff). If you’re doing what your class is designed for, and what it’s inherently intuitive to do, then you’re helping your team. It’s as simple as that.

      Medics heal, Snipers snipe, Pyros burn and Spy’s Sappin’ Mah Sentries. You learn the nuances of each class naturally as you play, but in general, as long as you’re doing what your class was designed for, then you’re contributing, and you feel like you’re contributing.

      I’d suggest starting off as a medic or a heavy first off to get to grips with the gameplay, although really most classes are pretty easy to simply step into. I’d save learning the Spy for last, but that’s naturally the most complex role in the game.

      It’s tyime to stop being scared of the game and judging it purely because it’s an online FPS. You miss out on fun times that way. In general, just find a server / community that’s friendly (like RPS), jump in, and let people know you’re new, that’s about it.

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      Arathain says:

      @ Ian’s first post: Just adding my voice to the throng. There isn’t a better multiplayer game out there to just jump right in. Every class is easy enough to grasp, and as you learn the maps and experiment a bit you’ll find a class or three you really enjoy. The whole affair is gloriously chaotic, and no-one is likely to notice if you’re not excelling.

      As suggested above, Heavy’s a great class to start with, since he’s tough, and accurate aiming is not required. Remember to spin up your gun before stepping out from round a corner. Medics are also largely twitch free, and invaluable to a team. Remember to overcharge the health of any team mate how steps into range as well as healing the wounded and supporting individual assault classes. Try your best not to die so you can build up for a game-winning ubercharge; always abandon a patient if it looks like they’ll get you killed. The other nice thing about the Medic is you’ll be expected to follow other players, so it’s a good way to learn the maps.

      Once comfortable, proceed through Soldier and Demo, and from there to whatever you like the look of. None of the classes are hard to pick up.

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      VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      “Remember to spin up your gun …. Remember to overcharge…”

      Don’t even worry about that. Those are the nuances you pick up after a while, and you can be very effective without them. I’ll only give two “don’ts” to new players:

      1. Don’t worry about dying — you’ll do it lots (everyone does).

      2. Don’t just stand there, come in! Do join; the RPS server and PC Gamer servers are usually populated with friendly people, and new players are very welcome.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      The initial hurdle for TF2 is a rainbow shiny metal bar about an inch off the ground with tons of arrows pointing at it so you don’t miss it. Basically if you lift your feet at all you won’t trip.

      Also, TF2 is super laid back. It is not Counter-Strike, where if real names were enforced, people would kill each other (and in the game) with knives over it.

      Just jump on the RPS server, or if you’re a yankee like me, try one like SourceOP. (Basically you want a more or less normal server with low ping.)

      Also, protip! As a Heavy, never spin your minigun out of cover. You will become a snipe magnet. When starting to spin up around a corner, jump then start spinning it in midair. You won’t be slowed until you hit the ground.

    • Mctittles says:

      Try starting as a medic. Everyone loves you and you wrack up points when the person you heal gets kills so you aren’t bottom on the list.

      I’d say Pyro is easy to be ignored in, but I keep forgetting there is this ability to put out people’s flames and have been bitched out plenty of time from people burning next to me that I didn’t put out because I don’t remember my character has that ability in the heat of battle. Seriously annoying…

    • Scandalon says:

      Ian – You can doooo it! (Everyone else is, you’ll be popular, etc. ) Seriously, it’s fun.

      Note about the RPS server: The custom-maps don’t download for me, I had to go find them manually.

      I too believe it should be password protected, with the pass prominently listed on the website.

    • The Pink Ninja says:

      Few things

      1) Team stack. Don’t be shy. One team is almost always dominating. Join that one. Join the spectators and wait until a spot opens on the team with the good players

      2) Think carefully what your weaknesses are as an FPS player and pick that class. Broadly for a newbie the best classes are the Solider, who has a lot of health and is very direct and the Engineer because you don’t need to fight, just place buildings

      3) Check Youtube for tutorial videos

      4) Give yourself time to learn. I can get to the top of the scoreboard as a Heavy but I had twenty to thirty hours before I could do that.

      5) People raging at specific members of their team are almost none-existent. I have over 300 hours of TF2 and I have seen it half a dozen times, usually between very good and very loud players on mics.

      And mics are easily turned off

      There’s no TKing and it’s too anonymous for rage except general kind of dissing your whole team.

    • Shih Tzu says:

      I’ve had it from the Orange Box since 2007 but I only first installed it two days ago. Some of the classes definitely seem harder to grasp than others (eventually I suppose I’ll return to Offline Practice mode and learn what an Engineer and a Spy are), but others are easy enough to start with. If you’re a Soldier or a Heavy, you can just go shoot dudes. If you’re terrible at that like me, you can just go find a perch and > USE GUN ON MAN as a Sniper. And, like others have said, maybe the best for someone like me is the Medic, because you don’t have to know the maps or be a crack shot or anything. Just follow some people with the same color as you and give them delicious health, and you will generally not be unwelcome.

      I’ve only had one instance so far where someone called out my noobery. I was a Soldier and happened upon what turned out to be an enemy teleporter exit. I hopped on it to see if anything would happen, and then I was like “No, I suppose not.” Then I was telefragged. Someone wrote, “wow haha soldier is really dumb”, and you know, I couldn’t argue.

    • wererogue says:

      I started playing last week. I just read the user guides for some classes on TF2Wiki and watched some videos on youtube and I’m already good enough to join a team and make a difference to the game.Especially if they don’t have a heavy yet, but I can stay alive as a medic long enough to get an uber in, and I can piss people off enough as a scout that the soldiers can blow them up. I’ve never spotted somebody that I thought must be newer than me.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      The Engineer is not a class as easy as you think, especially with having to learn how to deal with Spies. Would not recommend as a newbie class! Also, when you get better as the Medic, carry the Ubersaw (do not ever use the Blutsauger if you are shooting people with it you aren’t healing or building uber) and hit Spies and smarmy Scouts that think they can outdodge whoever you are following. I build uber faster by hitting enemies than by healing. Remember that as a Medic, you do not need to look at who you are healing. Use this to keep a watch out for Spies as soon as you learn the maps well! Also, go into advanced multiplayer options and turn on advanced medic calls (or whatever it’s called). Being able to have the game do triage for you automatically is much better than hoping they’ll call for Medic. If you’re under fire and close to 100%, hold down the right click. As soon as uber is fully charged, it’ll go off, possibly saving who you are aiding but certainly saving you.

      Here’s a quick skill list (classes ordered from easiest to play for first time FPSers to hardest)

      Medic: Triage is your most important skill here, followed by ability to navigate, paying attention to possible spies, and ability to survey combat situations to best deploy your invincibility or crits. As you get better, you can hunt down spies if they are close or you don’t have a healing target, and if you get really good in melee, you can ambush people with your ubersaw for escape invincibility. Your quick speed (7% faster than normal speed classes, only the Scout is faster!), your automatic health regeneration (again, a reason to not use the Blutsauger because you cannot attack with both), your slightly higher hp than half the other classes, and your high chance of crits means with quick reflexes, a Medic can basically become a ninja.

      Heavy: The minigun has such a wide spread, minimal aiming is required at anything not a Scout. The first skill for Heavies to learn is combat analysis. The spin up and spin down time leaves a Heavy open, so choosing poorly can mean death. The Heavy has a large bulk of hit points (350 where the average for most classes is 125!) but his slower movement speed makes him vulnerable to Snipers and Spies, both who have instant kill abilities. If you cannot target well, you will also be vulnerable to Scouts and Pyros that manage to get in close. Combat discipline is also key! It’s easy to just shoot at the enemy but you also have to be wary of your own position and possible Spies. And always shoot at the Medic first, unless you can’t see him. And if you don’t have a Medic, run away or find teammates. A good Heavy uses maximum mouse sensitivity so no Scout could ever possibly dodge enough to kill him.

      Pyro: Though Pyro can be one of the hardest classes to master (second only to the Spy in my opinion) it’s also one of the easiest to grab a few points with. If you’re on defense, hang around the Engineers and spy check everyone you see running towards your base. Always spy check everyone, unless they are reloading, you can walk through them, they are firing, or they are taunting. Spies cannot do firing or reload animations, cannot taunt while disguised, and you cannot walk through enemy teammates, so the same is true for enemy Spies. If a Spy is on fire, they cannot cloak without being seen! Remember to use your compression blast to: Extinguish teammates, knockback enemies (specifically ubercharged ones!), and reflect projectiles (and ALL projectiles can be reflected, even arrows!). Early on you’ll probably run headlong at the enemy, but the Pyro is more of a ambush and attack support class. The short range of your flamethrower, the visually noisy effect of the flame spout, and high damage mean to maximize your attacking ability you want to be right on your target. If you find you’re having trouble killing Heavies, wait for the Axetinguisher. Then when you have it, equip it. If you run up on a Heavy who isn’t spinning his gun, you have just enough time (most of the time) to set him on fire, knock him back against a nearby wall with compression blast (to pin him and to keep him from shooting you) and pull out the axe and give him a mighty chop. A second chop may be necessary. The Flare Gun can be useful for setting a Heavy on fire without giving away your position (most Heavies are not very attentive!) so you can get in close and use the Axe. Do not use the Backburner unless you are sure you cannot work compression blast. You give up almost all of your defensive ability and do not gain much unless an Engineer put a secret teleport behind their lines or you found a way to get back there yourself. Your effectiveness as this class ends up depending on the speed of your reflexes. A great Pyro knows exactly when to hit compression blast to maximize reflected projectiles.

      Demoman: The Demoman (demospammer, spamsman, nade spam ahoy, etc) is actually a rather easy class to play. Like the other two defensive classes, he requires a little bit of planning to be most effective. At the easier levels, all you need to do is shoot grenades at people. The Demoman is the only class to have indirect damage. His grenades can bounce off walls and ceilings, a property only he has. A direct hit on a grenade will deal significant damage to most classes, so practice this! A direct hit from a crit grenade can (almost? not sure) kill a Heavy in one hit! Use your sticky bombs to secure areas or do mass damage against anyone foolish enough not to look for them first. Hide them on ceilings and in cracks, place them near a Sentry to kill a Spy that tries to kill the Engineer, or place them on a control point so you can defend two places at once (you keep track by watching the boxes at the bottom. If your control point is being contested, hit detonate and get a point or two just for thinking ahead!) Also, stickies will auto detonate if you try to go over their limit. Use this to soften up an area first! I myself am not a pro Demoman, so I will not claim to know what weapons are best, but I will tell you that sticky jumping with a Scotsman Skullcutter right onto your enemies is a very fun thing indeed.

      Engineer: Why did Engineer make it so far down the list? Simple! Spies. You have to learn to deal with Spies, which is harder than grenade spamming! The new ability to move all structures has dramatically changed the Engineer class, so I’m just going to give a few tips: The Gunslinger sentries are good for ambushes but unlikely to kill anyone by themselves and also do not really do enough damage to be worth using the Wrangler. I suggest using it and keeping the regular shotgun and pistol. On the other hand, the Wrangler is fantastic for a normal sentry, and with the killing power of a level 3, it’s unthinkable to not use Frontier Justice. If you’re well built up, think about detonating your Sentry during a lull for revenge crits in case of Spies or if you feel daring. Just build up your sentry again and have a bunch of high stopping power shots! As someone who was getting more shotgun and wrench kills than Sentry kills prior to the update, the Wrangler really gives you the entire map to place your sentry wherever. Where before it was only a defensive weapon, even if you used it offensively, it was still limited by location before anything else. The Wrangler also gives you the ability to Sentry jump! (Do not practice this on a server with a bunch of people they will get mad you are wasting a player slot) Also, if you got a Golden Wrench and you weren’t the first few people, I still think you cheated to get it, just like Drunken f00l did. Of course in his case, he was mostly honest about it. Not that anyone that has one of those is reading this.

      Soldier: The Soldier is a direct damage class. He uses a rocket launcher, is a little bit slower, and has a decent 200 hit points. When you get the Equalizer, equip it instantly. It is the greatest thing ever, basically. The normal rocket launcher is better at rocket jumping, killing groups of people, hitting cloaked Spies. The Direct Hit is better at killing Sentries, and killing Scouts (do not tell me otherwise because Scouts are not that hard to hit they even jump in the air for the bonus damage how nice of them.) You’ll want to know when to switch to your Shotgun on certain classes, or if you have the buff banner you’ll want to know when to use it. The Soldier is a friggin nutjob, even amongst the rest of The Team. Play like one with rocket jumping and you’ll do well.

      Sniper: Sniping requires aiming (bodyshotting is not that easy for newcomers!), setup, and good location. Not having one of these three things means you will be in trouble from one thing or another. No aiming means you aren’t gonna hit anything, or you’re going to body shot the Heavy which won’t kill him like other classes, no setup means you deal no damage, and location means you’re not getting heckled by anything besides maybe other Snipers and the occasional Spy. A fully charged rifle shot will down any low hp class like a Scout, Engineer, Pyro, Sniper, or Spy (I forget if the Medic can die one hit). This means even a mediocre shot can still pull off some decent crowd reduction. The Huntsman is easier to use, as its quicker charge time and lack of a scope means you can fire into crowds without making yourself too vulnerable. I suggest Jarate as your secondary choice, it’s good for finding Spies, and good for assisting your team, which is what the Sniper does. The Tribalman’s Shiv has had its damage penalty enhanced and bleed damage reduced, so use at your own risk! It looks pretty cool though. Note if you’re using the rifle, your dot is visible just as much to you as anyone else. Try not to aim directly behind your targets or at any walls they can see until you’re ready to blow their brains out. More competent players will fake you out if they know you’re aiming for them and you’ll waste a shot!

      Scout: At number 8, Scout is one of the hardest classes to play, and probably third hardest to master. The Scout’s low hp, high speed, double jump for dodging, and close range weapon mean a high stakes play style, with hit and run tactics your best way to rack up the kills. You have to have quick reflexes and also be mindful of enemy locations. I am absolute rubbish as this class, myself. Though the higher overall damage from the Force of Nature is tempting, ignore it! Though you can kill any low hp class at point blank range, other Scouts with the Scattergun will screw you up! You also become vulnerable while reloading, which you will be doing every time you fire. Also, if you do not fire at point blank range, it is unlikely you will kill a full hp opponent! The Force of Nature turns a high stakes class into a gamble class. Also, new Bonk will basically give the same effect, making you just as vulnerable while also giving you improved damage for a short length of time. You can also use original flavor Bonk to distract Sentries or escape, but you cannot distract a Sentry that is being Wrangled. In larger maps, it’s likely you will be off by yourself for long periods of time, so you will need to be good at knowing when to stand down and retreat, and when to press the attack. The class can also be highly frustrating, so it is most certainly not a beginner class!

      Spy: Hardest class to play, hardest class to master, most amazing class to watch in action. The unique abilities of this class give him a lot to work with on neutralizing threats, most notably his instant kill backstabs and sappers to kill Engineer buildings. He can disguise as enemies to trick them, and go invisible to get past them. The Ambassador turns the Spy from a mostly melee class into a (when properly played) clockwork killing machine. An aimed headshot plus a bodyshot from the Ambassador will send a message that all low hp classes understand: A trip to the respawn room. The class has too many nuances to be listed, so I’ll just give some interesting points about Spy VS everyone else psychology:

      The Spy can kill ANYONE in a single hit with his knife, provided they are not a Sniper wearing a Razorback. In this case, shoot him. Shoot him dead. This makes players paranoid when they think a Spy is in the area. Wanna buy your team time? Stand in a window and shoot at the enemy team. Don’t even bother aiming, just make sure you do it enough to get their attention. Then go hide, until you have multiple people looking for you. Most other players are not that smart, so you can usually jump onto a box and be safe. In an emergency, you can always uncloak and shoot at them. A Pyro charging right at you will not think to dodge until after you’ve put a slug through her head. Pop another one off and your fiery death will burn out and hit the ground before you can even Spycrab taunt. Scouts seem to think they have the ability to Spy check with their bats. Shoot them too. In fact, bringing the heat upon yourself is fine so long as you survive long enough to keep their attention. If you have only two people wasting time, looking for you, that means that you’ve done your job even if you haven’t managed to score a single point. Celebrate by telefragging someone. You can take enemy Engineers’ teleporters, by the way, as long as you are disguised. Backstab someone more than once in a single area. This is a surefire way to get them paranoid, and have them waste time looking for you. Diversion, assassination, subterfuge. That’s what a Spy is really all about.

      Other things:
      Turn on auto reload. You can interrupt a reload to begin shooting. You will not lose any ammo other than what you shot with anyways.
      Medics are your friend! Protect them with your life, because they will surely take notice of this next time you call for a MEDIC MEDIC COME ON DOC MEDIC EXCUSE ME I’M IN NEED OF MEDICAL ATTENTION
      Do not let John Walker be Medic. You should already know this, but just in case you didn’t, here it is again.
      Try every class at least once. Then go try them again later when you’re bored of your main class. You’ll hate Snipers a little less when you understand them more. Trust me on this one.
      Never ever ever ever ever ever ever craft your hats away. Not even for a Golden Wrench. You will just regret it.
      Tauntkilling is basically the best thing, ever. Do it to scoped Snipers. They won’t see it coming.
      When on defense as an Engineer, build in this order: Teleporter entrance, grab metal, run to point, build dispenser, grab metal, build sentry, grab metal, build teleporter, then focus on sentry. In gravel pit you can usually do this and have a level 2 by the time the warning sirens go off, with usually enough time to get it level 3.

      And never forget: It’s okay to ragequit, but not okay to rage on the mic or teabag anyone. This isn’t fucking Halo.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      OH GOD THAT IS A LOT OF TEXT

    • cynopt says:

      TF2 is probably one of the most noob friendly and easily learned FPS games out there; there’s a class for pretty much every conceivable play style, with enough balance to keep any of them from being particularly overpowering outside certain specific situations. It’s just a matter of working out what’s best for you, and finding servers that are not overrun with massive dicks.
      Just i nmy own experience, I suck big time at “realistic” shooters, but I can still top the board at least a couple of times a week in TF2.

    • Shih Tzu says:

      DJ Phantoon: But useful!

    • 1nightStand says:

      Just don’t play medic right on the start. They’re the only ones who tend to draw flames if played badly.

    • Psychopomp says:

      @Helio

      You’ve no idea how wrong you are. Heavy is 10% aim, 90% game sense, at least in high level play. It’s one of the least newbie friendly classes in the game.

    • jboy_2009 says:

      I just started playing this in the last week or so and I’ve been having a blast. I have maybe 15 hours logged and I’m pretty terrible at it, but it doesn’t matter because it’s so fun.

      I’ve mostly been playing as medic because it’s easy, essential, and no one else wants to play medic (it’s not as cool as putting rockets into faces.) Soldier and demoman are pretty simple to figure out and explosions are always great. I don’t like the heavy because of the sluggish movement. I’m still trying to figure out how to play pyro well.

      Just grab a beer and jump into a server.

    • nathanebht says:

      Play on servers that aren’t populated by serious clan players. Pay attention to the description of what their doing with their server, mods and such. Finding a server you like may take some time.

      To start, play as heavy or pyro. Or sniper if your already good at that. Stay away from spy and engineer which are the more difficult classes to learn. Medic and soldier are somewhere in the middle for difficulty to learn.

      Buy a good usb mic if you don’t have one. They aren’t expensive.

      Wear hats!

    • Ian says:

      Crikey, for a throwaway response I seem to have started something. Certainly sounds like having a go on the RPS server is what I should do.

      I gather then that a mic is a must? I have one but I’ve only ever used it with folks I know. I expect when playing alongside strangers I’ll clam up but at the same time I suppose if it’s a must and I’m going to try the game I should do it “properly.”

    • Premium User Badge

      Schaulustiger says:

      By god, no, you don’t need a mic!
      Playing on public servers in TF2 comes without any commitment. Teamplay there happens on the basis of an unspoken agreement between players. You don’t need to talk, you probably don’t even need to chat. Just join a server and play like you would play a single player game.

    • Sonic Goo says:

      Whenever I play, I don’t care about how well I do at all. If I play after a long day of work with tired eyes and a heavy head, I probably such tremendously. I play for fun, not scores that will disappear once you log out anyway.

    • Jayt says:

      Interesting thing about TF2 is that I never see anyone get blamed for the team loosing. The worst I see is “This team is shit”. Never “X is shit”. I suppose this is often me saying it as I like to top pubs and I get frustrated when I my team can’t keep up, but then I do some pugs/scrims and realise how bad I actually am. Helps keep the ego in check.

  2. Sparvy says:

    Hmm, looks like I need to get mah tee eff too up and running again. Great write up.

  3. Heliocentric says:

    “We need a dispenser here”
    - George Orwell

    • jonfitt says:

      “Entire team is babies!”
      – Bernard Montgomery

    • dartt says:

      I broke your stupid crap, moron.

      - Winston Churchill

    • Generico says:

      “Spy sappin mah sentry!”
      - Ronald Reagan

    • Cyanide says:

      “KaaBOOOOOM!”
      - President Harry Truman

    • Mr_Day says:

      “You’re a loose canon, sandvich, but you’re a damn good cop!”

      Sherlock Holmes

    • Man Raised By Puffins says:

      “I just bagged the world’s fattest man!”
      -Herodotus

    • Alexander Norris says:

      “So, your deadly skill is jogging? Mine is murdering people.”
      - General Charles de Gaulle

    • Popish Frenzy says:

      “You’ll never hit me! You’ll never hit my tiny head! It’s so tiny! I got a frickin’… such a tiny li’l head!”
      - Florence Nightingale

    • Petethegoat says:

      “Don’t run! It’s just ham!”
      - Alexander Pushkin

    • Mad Doc MacRae says:

      “Thanks for standin’ still, wanker.”

      - George Washington

    • Pamplemousse says:

      “If you were from where I was from, you’d be f-cking dead!”

      - Mahatma Gandhi

    • The Pink Ninja says:

      I appear to have burst into flames

      - Catchphrase of Marvel’s The Human Torch

    • RakeShark says:

      “MEDIC!”
      - John Lennon

    • Unaco says:

      “Mmmhm Mmhmmmph Huuurhuhrmmm Huuuuuuurm!”

      - Pope John Paul II

    • Koozer says:

      “Oops! Zat vas not medicine!”
      - Josef Mengele

    • Cross says:

      “Boom. Headshot.”
      - Lee Harvey Oswald

    • Sonic Goo says:

      “I have been shown who is the boss!”

      - Tony Danza

    • Mr_Day says:

      “You’ll never hit me! You’ll never hit my tiny head! It’s so tiny! I got a frickin’… such a tiny li’l head!”
      - John Sedgwick

  4. konrad says:

    I was surprised about how balanced everything is after the Engineer-update. And it’s true, the fluidity of combat has greatly increased. I haven’t had so much fun playing TF2 in a while.

  5. Cooper says:

    Fuck this PhD I’m getting on the next flight back to my rig in the UK and shooting some RPS types in the face…

    I wish :(

  6. Kdansky says:

    A few rounds of arena now and then are actually very entertaining, as long as it is not overdone. Moving sentries around was one of the best things they could have done, it has made the games much more frantic and fun.

  7. gou says:

    actually the most impacting change for me would be the engineer sentry jump, wrangling a level3 at the ground and using the rockets as if you were a soldier can get you to some amazing places and in conjunction with the “lastweapon” button you can even pickup the sentry as you do it, taking it with you to your new perch

  8. Popish Frenzy says:

    Great article, glad the updates getting some more RPS coverage. Spyings been a whole lot easier since engies were given 2 new hobbies (wrangling and moving buildings) more interesting than watching their backs. Specially like how engies cheerfully announce to everyone in earshot when moving their toys:D

  9. Unbudgingprawn says:

    The problem I’ve had is that on pubbie servers you get way too many engineers playing at once. It turns the game into a grind for achievements, as well as a exercise in boredom watching the wall of sentries slowly move up

  10. leo says:

    On accident I discovered the Frontier Justice’s taunt kill, which I think is the best one yet.

  11. NateN says:

    I wish that more maps with the setup delay would allow the BLU team to build in their base during the delay now that engineers can move their equipment. I can see the potential for abuse, but I think it could largely be avoided applying these rules to func_respawn on round start:

    1. Build restrictions are ignored during setup.
    2. Build restrictions are enforced after setup.
    3. Either built-items left in a func_respawn start to take damage after 60ish seconds on round start or teleporters will not function in a func_respawn (or both!).

    Of course, the other option would be to modify each map that has a setup round to have a “builder’s platform” of some sort in the BLU spawn/waiting area. It would have an inactive func_nobuild that is set to active at round start. But since that would require modifying every single map that has a setup round, it would be the more complicated solution!

  12. Tei says:

    I tried to get into this. But is impenetrable to me. I hate turrets that can be oneshotted, and I have see that this weekend.. but I am not angry at TF2, getting angry at TF2 is like getting angry at shreek *Puss in Boots*.
    If TF2 where my game, no turret would get oneshoted, … maybe his health reduced to zero, inactive 4 seconds, then explode. But never going from 100% to explode in bits of metal, in less than 1 second attacked by 1 enemy.

    I can’t comment the recent changes, since I was unable to use the new things (locked?) or see other people using then (other than the ability to move buildings).
    The whole game feels like chaos. I don’t understand what is going on.
    So, is me, that I am old, or is the new people that want games that fast at respawn. MW2 seems as fast, so maybe is that thing.

    Gamming 2010 is a terrible world, where a stun last longer than dead itself.

    • Senethro says:

      So basically you want to make the easiest class that requires the least aim and the most standing still looking at a thing while holding Mouse1 even easier? You want him to have no counters and to always be able to save his gun?

    • Tei says:

      I make sense for me, that the enginer class sould be like a electron orbiting a helium atom. Running around in circles, fixing things, putting things in motion, maybe a quantum leap here and there. Fixing practical problems.

      Playing a engineer as a supporting class, behind enemy lines, sould be a option, not forced. If my turrets don’t last long, then I feel I am doing more for my team rushing to the enemy flag, and building a dispenser on no-man-lands, and a turret on some horrible location of the enemy base (maybe in fron the raspawn room).

    • Alexander Norris says:

      The problem is, as always, crits (specifically crit rockets and crit grenades/stickies, Kritzkrieg usage notwithstanding). They’re meant to help break stalemates but all they really do is make the game random, unfair and bullshit.

    • Man Raised By Puffins says:

      Nope, crits do normal damage to buildings. I’m pretty sure sentries can’t be one-shotted either unless they’re in the process of being built.

    • Premium User Badge

      Arathain says:

      I love crits. Love them. They make me actually giggle happily when my Heavy gets them, or I jammily take out two folks with a rocket. When I catch a crocket I couldn’t have dodged I get this tiny frown that’s gone by the time I respawn, rather like getting stabbed by a Spy. Net benefit to happiness is pro-crits.

    • Tei says:

      Yea, the Fortress part in Team Fortress 2 is a house of cards, It only takes one critrocket.
      But I hate to say mean things to the game, is beatifull and popular. Lots of people love it. I just have a different taste.

    • Tei says:

      * reads better* no critrockets? ..humm.. ok. maybe I was wrong.

    • Rabbitsoup says:

      Sorry Tei but that there puffin man is right, you cant 1 shot any sentry (unless it is just getting set up and a non mini one), and crits don’t effect buildings.

    • satanpenguin says:

      Tei from barrapunto?

    • The Pink Ninja says:

      SGs can only be one shot if:

      1) They are being built

      2) They are level one and they get hit by a fully charged Sniper Shot or a Direct Hit Rocket (I think, not sure about the second)

      And Engies are hard to play. Placing your buildings requires knowledge and strategy, know when to replace, what to place, where the metal is and now, when and where to move.

      You’ve got to be able to fight alone alot of the time. Fighting off a good Spy is hard as are most other classes.

      Playing Engie requires the least work of any class, that’s probably true. Playing a good Engie is harder than being a Scout, Pyro, Solider, Demo or Heavy

    • Devenger says:

      You might also (tenuously) include multiple stickybombs as a ‘one-shot’ kill, especially since it’s the primary method by which building(s) are destroyed in an instant while at maximum health. Of course, stickybombs have their limitations – a skilled Engineer can shoot stickies to destroy them, kill the Demoman who placed them before he detonates enough of them, or even (since the update) pick up the sentry and run away to fight another sentry-aided day.

  13. Chiablo says:

    One of these days, I need to try getting back into TF2. It seems like it’s become more of an MMO now than anything, or as the Penny-Arcade folk call it: “hat simulator”.

    My biggest problem I had when I played it months ago, is that I seem to be the only person who cares about the objective or actually completing the team goal. Everyone else is playing deathmatch, and they are significantly better at it than I am. I need to find my inner apethist and just ignore everything but the killing.

    • nk says:

      This really depends on the servers you play on. There are some telltale signs though : ctf_2fort 24/7 32p instaspawn is the promised land of deathmatch and sniper practise.
      However on vanilla servers with a good map rotation AND alltalk disabled, there is plenty of teamplay to be found.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Actually, Valve called it a war themed hat simulator first.

  14. Miko says:

    There’s lots of very good maps around that haven’t made it in as community additions and don’t always see much use on custom-map-using servers. plr_panic in particular is superb. cp_daylight isn’t half bad. cp_indulge is pleasantly lateral and vertical. I can’t remember the name of the one that’s like a cross between Granary and Badlands, but it’s also excellent, if a little close for comfort to its inspirations.

    There’s also a pretty great little tc map .. meridian, maybe? But that’s tc, and for some reason people object to the way tc tends to drag on.

  15. bshm says:

    The downside in taking a hiatus from TF2: having to read through all the patchnotes to see what has changed.
    The upside after taking a hiatus from TF2: seeing all the crazy and awesome new content

  16. Bahumat says:

    “WUAAAAHAHAHAHAHAAHAA! CRRRRYYYY SOME MOAAARRR!” — Atilla the Hun

  17. Persus-9 says:

    @ Ian: Another tip for getting into TF2 is to spend some time on the DM servers. I spent my first few hours playing on the map DM_Store trying out the different classes. It’s instant respawn and there’s no way either side can win or lose so It’s basically just an endless brawl. Most of the players are rubbish and nobody cares if you’re any good except for the opposition who all things considered would prefer it if you were bad.

  18. Bhazor says:

    I reinstalled TF2 for this update.
    Then I got hit by five sandman’s in a row.
    Then I saw that I had gained no unlockables in three hours.
    Then I got lagged out on a 6mb Internet connection.
    Then I uninstalled the game.

    So yeah, the engineer update hasn’t fixed what put me off the game in the first place.

    • Arthur Barnhouse says:

      I’m mildly surprised you got hit with any sandman, they nerfed it pretty extensively. Still, I don’t see what the problem is with it as a weapon.

      The unlockables issue is strange, I would say borderline impossible, since the recent changes they made to how the drop system works. Still, why didn’t you just play engineer and get the drops through achevements.

      Lagged out? That is a problem I just don’t hear about from people regarding TF2.

    • subedii says:

      I’ll echo what Arthur Barnhouse said about the Sandman (and the 6MB connection as well, that’s not really the game’s issue there), and add in that until random drops started appearing, I had virtually no “additional” items either. And a lot of my classes still don’t have them. Heck, I think I’ve still only got 1 hat, and that’s the one they gave away for pre-ordering Left 4 Dead 2.

      Different weapons aren’t designed to give you an advantage, they’re designed to simply allow you a different manner of play. I don’t care that I don’t have them, heck most of the time even when I do I prefer to stick with the default set because those suit the style of play I feel works better. You don’t need them, and fundamentally, they don’t stop you from playing the game or being any good at it.

      Still, I’m not trying to convince you to play. You’d need to give the game a chance first, and given your complaints, it doesn’t sound like you’re all that interested. I mean fair enough if lag’s killing your gaming, but I don’t honestly see how that’s TF2′s fault unless you play a tonne of online games and TF2 is the only on that gives you that problem.

    • airtekh says:

      From what I understand, Valve changed the drop system from ‘Will I get an item?’ to ‘How long until I get an item?’.

      The way it worked before was that a digital ‘dice roll’ was made every few hours to see IF you got an item, and then another one to see which item it was. This meant a few unlucky souls went for hours (or even days) getting negative rolls and no items.

      The new system means you are guaranteed to get an unlockable, but the time it takes to receive it is randomised. My guess here is that Bhazor ‘rolled’ a high number, which is why he hasn’t got an unlockable yet . I’m not sure what the maximum length of time it is between drops. My guess would be four hours, since that was length of time between checking for drops in the old system.

      It is possible to receive items quite quickly in the new system. I know because I’ve been awarded two items in the space of ten minutes once.

    • Flamevip says:

      The new drop system has a chance of giving an item every 15 – 60 mins (as value has said) I do not remember what the max Item drop per day is. although I have not gotten any items in the past 3 days…

  19. Auz says:

    If all you’re finding are deathmatches you need to play on different servers. There are a lot of servers that I play on that are very objective focused. I don’t think I could play TF2 otherwise, I’ve always preferred objectives to straight up killing in my FPS games.

  20. dartt says:

    Please continue slipping Tom Waits links in to articles, it’s a wonderful accompaniment. It’s like I’m having a lovely cup of tea and then someone hands me a plate of hobnobs.

  21. yabonn_fr says:

    Btw : what is the shortest path to, say, the wrangler ?

    • Premium User Badge

      VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      Tom Francis has the answer for you: http://www.pcgamer.com/2010/07/09/the-quickest-way-to-get-the-wrangler-in-tf2/

    • nk says:

      As always, the quickest way to get the unlocks is by the achievements. The wrangler comes with the third milestone (17 achievements). The engineer’s are fairly easy to get in the course of normal play. Otherwise there are, you know, those other servers where like-minded people come together to build a bloodier future. One with more gadgets anyway.

    • Hidden_7 says:

      Eh, getting the achievements isn’t really that hard, I think Francis’ method is far more dangerous, since you give up the sure-fire achievement drop for the Frontier Justice in favour of just waiting it out.

      I got my 17 achievements the very first night, 14 of them rather quickly just through regular play. The last three I just had a buddy go online and help me out with a couple easy ones (The tauntkill one, which can be farmed very quickly, but can take forever to get in normal play, for example)

      So far I’ve found the engineer achivements to be the easiest ones to get get. The speed at which I got all the unlocks is unmatched by any other class update.

    • Devenger says:

      Crafting an Ambassador and one Scrap Metal creates the Southern Hospitality, which can be used as a substitute for the Frontier Justice in the method Tom Francis outlines. So if you have two Scrap Metal, a spare Ambassador, a spare three secondary slot weapons and a spare three weapons of the same class, you can craft the Wrangler without sacrificing a piece of Engineer equipment that you can only reliably craft using achievements or another Engineer weapon.

      tl;dr: Ambassador + Scrap Metal = Southern Hospitality, working substitute in Wrangler crafting.

  22. Smeghammer says:

    You linked to whats he building and didn’t even mention the tf2ized version:

  23. brulleks says:

    I haven’t even seen a deathmatch (arena) map on any of the servers I’ve played on in the last year.

    The weapons might still be balanced after this update, but the teams rarely seem to be. I’ve yet to adjust to the idea that the Engi is a frontline player now though, I think.

  24. FP says:

    FWIW I tried TF2 online once and was called a retard within 30 minutes, still not sure what I was doing wrong. I know I shouldn’t be so thin skinned but that sort of thing just sucks the fun out of it for me, both in the sense of being insulted is not pleasant and in the sense that I feel guilty I’m messing up the game for the rest of my team.

    I have been playing against the bots a bit lately which is suprisingly fun, I really wish they’d let you play on more than four maps though.

    • FP says:

      Oops, reply fail, that was supposed to be a reply to Ian and the following posts.

    • wowza says:

      Most likely, you were on a bad server. Still, it’s the internet, you’re going to encounter people like that everywhere. The community for the most part is nice and friendly. If you’re worried about not helping your team, you can play a class like Medic, which is easy to pick up and and helps your team win.

  25. Neuromante says:

    No!
    Most of the games in TF2 are filled with people who take care of the targets (Specially in payload maps), as long as playing deathmatch gives noting to the game (You can get a really nice kill/death ratio and feel bad due your team losing).

    Just an hour ago played a great game in pl_upward pushing little cart towards the final point, and the last pushing was just epic.

    I think TF2 it’s the only multiplayer fps I still playing because its objective-based gameplay.

  26. ken says:

    The engie is just as hard for me to play well now as he was before the update. There are always people who stand around watching a spy sap all of my buildings without attempting to help me kill him, people who take metal before the round starts, and engies who do nothing to help each other out. I guess there’s just not enough teamwork in my opinion, but maybe I just play the wrong servers. Any server suggestions?

    • Alexander Norris says:

      Why not, you know, the RPS one?

      If you can stomach 40mn queues, that is. We should really put a password on it to see if the constant occupants are actually RPS readers or just squatters.

  27. Lilliput King says:

    I like the dark re-imagining of the engineer that What’s he building in there conjures up.

    Spooky.

  28. SWOne says:

    Mmph. Mmph mmmpppphhhh!

    -Sun Tzu

  29. austin says:

    Hey man, this isn’t counterstrike. The tf2 community is usually really good about new guys, and the learning curve isn’t steep. Here’s my advice: find a server that runs between 6 and 18 people, has a map rotation, and normal spawn times, and go on and play soldier. Just do it. The soldier has plenty of health and you can help out your team by just spamming rockets towards the enemy

    • Premium User Badge

      Arathain says:

      Good old rocket spam. I usually find the Soldier to be tougher, on balance, than the Heavy. He can operate effectively at ranges that render the minigun an annoyance rather than a threat, and that extra mobility is key for dodging fire and making a clean getaway to find a medic or a healthpack.

    • Collic says:

      Soldiers a good one to pick, he has weapons that will familiar for most people who have played other fps’s. As far as what class you can be most effective with, having the least amount of experience, probably heavy or pyro, as long as you have a good grasp of staying aware of your surroundings. Look up often, and look behind even more often.

      Everyone should also play medic, at least some of the time. Not only is it a great class, but the slightly detached view the medic has of what’s going on will really help you learn the ebb and flow of the game, and the maps.

      Just don’t use the medi-gun toggle option – please !

    • Devenger says:

      Nothin’ wrong with the medigun being on toggle! It doesn’t prevent you switching targets when necessary – if anything, I find that being able to click on a new target to change lock onto them is far more convenient for tactical re-prioritisation. And makes my finger ache less, of course.

  30. Dughy says:

    I dont get it Team Fortress 2 is a fun game.People come to play for fun not skilss.

  31. Brian_Black says:

    Soldiers with rocket spam make Brian a happy pyro.

  32. Axis says:

    If you can’t play this game or won’t play it, you are either misguided, stupid or both. I have played fps games pretty much exclusively since Doom, Descent and Quake. It’s all the same basic recipe, aim and shoot and hopefully outskill your opponent to death. That hasn’t changed but TF2 has the same great attraction that TFC had. Classes. You have 9 classes to cater to your wants. You can jump in and not know anything and still move around and actually do things that help your team. If you are really unsure and want to check out the lay of the land, go pyro. Pyro is a simple class to begin with because you can hopefully avoid getting spy raped (tap M1 in quick bursts to check areas as you run around… you use like 1 or 2 ammo per blast and will set invisible spies on fire so you can then char-broil them). It’s red vs blue… think Halo and have fun. The map objectives will become clear as you follow your team to victory or defeat. This game has outlasted all other fps’s I have played and its still as fun as it was the first day I launched it 3 years ago. Also complaints about community and such are in every game… if you are on a server of “chaos” and people acting out, find another server. There are plenty of fun, good servers out there with little griefing going on. Try it and see what you are missing.

  33. Collic says:

    I’ve really enjoyed playing on the server. It seems to have a good crowd already. Good stuff!

    As a side note i recently smashed my point record as demo – it’s a good time to be angry scottish cyclops.

  34. Rick says:

    Server is awesome. Its great to see a solid vanilla server with no extras bar the custom maps. The lack of votemap is lovely and further enhances the customs, since it prevents the server just getting bogged down on the same four or five maps that the tyranny of the unthinking majority will waste their TF2 time on without expanding.

    Are any CTF maps loaded on the server? If not, please shove some on, especially any good custom ones out there. Even 2fort; it has a bad rap from all the 24/7 instarespawn-gift-stats-achievementfarming-subscriber-cheating servers out there, but its a decent map when played as God intended. Alas there just aren’t that many servers out there that do that.

  35. Jimbo says:

    BALANCED? Maybe after a limit on engineers, or if people decide not to be idiots and have 6 engies on one team, but the way it is right now, until the engie spam dies down, it’s anything but balanced.

  36. Robin says:

    Very happy to have an RPS server back. I don’t even mind the class rush for engie. It’s just a bit of fun. It may very well be the last time we have one anyway.

  37. susa09 says:

    I managed with much less than 17 achievements somehow, and I also managed to get all 3 new items as drops within 4 hrs gameplay

  38. Collic says:

    Dear RPS writers, is there anywhere we should be directing messages to give feedback on the server rotation. It’s generally pretty good, but there are a couple on there which don’t play so well, and i’m sure will be server emptiers a few weeks down the line.

    We also need rtv. That’s the one essential mod it’s missing, I think.

    • PhiIl Cameron says:

      I’ll start up a forum post on it, but at the moment it’s best to make suggestions here as I’m away for the moment. All changes will be made at the begin of next week, hopefully, so long as Develop doesn’t kill me.

  39. Zippo says:

    You needn’t bother worrying, your impressions about the game are not entirely correct. While it is a team vs. team game, and by its nature competitive, it’s incredibly hard to take anything in the game seriously unless you are on a team that is specifically very competitive. I have been told my explanation of the way TF2 works is a very good description: If you took Half-life, or any other game based on it, and let the Loony Toons characters rewrite the physics, you would get Team Fortress 2. When your normally defensive demoman whips out his shield and claymore and goes barreling into a gaggle of enemies, beheading anything that moves, it stops seeming that competitive on a statistical level and more on an “what is the most ridiculous thing I can do” kind of level.

  40. Doc says:

    “What sick man sends team of tiny babies to fight me?”

    -Napoleon Bonaparte

  41. Gyrospiral says:

    Are you sure you are logged into Steam Friends? If you are not logged in, you don’t get drops~

  42. Premium User Badge

    DollarOfReactivity says:

    I’ve had TF2 for years but never played it as I’ve had bad experiences playing with strangers in other games. Lately I’ve been enjoying the offline training, and the comments here are making me think of dipping my toes in multiplayer…

    Can anyone recommend some friendly servers for the US?

  43. nomad4 says:

    Those screenshots look amazing, what config do you guys use? I have searched high and low for a config that makes my TF2 look great and nothing matches what I see in those screenshots!

    • PhiIl Cameron says:

      Actually some of the more extreme shots have been editted in photoshop (the guitar one and the decapitated head one), but apart from that the shots have been done just by maxing out the settings, I think.

      I’ve done a bunch of the editted ones, which can be found here.

  44. Out Reach says:

    “The update comes with three new maps: Hightower, Thunderstorm and Upwards. The first two of which are Payload, and the last Payload Race.”

    I think you will find Hightower is the payload race. Upwards is just normal payload.

    • Out Reach says:

      and for that matter it’s Thunder Mountain not thunderstorm.

    • Hidden_7 says:

      Speaking of the new maps, Thunder Mountain is amazing! The ambiance, length, and design make me feel like it’s the last level. As in, if TF2 were a single player game where you progressed through the levels in a linear order, Thunder Mountain would be the grand finale.

  45. HazySarkany says:

    [No Heroes] Payload Extreme

    That’s a pretty good community (a mix of regulars and lots and lots of n00bs and drop-ins.) Pretty friendly environment. Intense competition for the most part.

    I had the Orange Box for more than a year before I ever bothered to launch TF2. As they say, “Yesterday I couldn’t spell Engineer. Today I are one.”

    Just jump in feet first!

    • HazySarkany says:

      This was supposed to be a reply to DollarOfReactivity but somehow didn’t get threaded right…

  46. Thor says:

    Don’t worry about it, the more people the better. Also, just think of it as a point and click adventure game ;)

  47. The Pink Ninja says:

    The ability to move your buildings is the best, most needed update ever. I do it all the time now both to slightly to get a more perfect gunning position, and also to throw off people trying to destroy it

    It surpasses even the improvement made to the spy with his variant watches

  48. Max says:

    I, for one, don’t like how many engineers build up at spawn and then move their buildings into position. During setup it’s fine and can actually save time, but during the match it’s a complete waste of time. I’ve lost count of the times that we’ve been in the middle of a match getting hammered by the enemy team, and an engineer is sitting around at spawn hitting stuff with his wrench while we lose the round.

    Remember: what’s more useless than a level 1 sentry defending a cap? A level 3 sentry sitting at spawn.

  49. Tahnok says:

    hey dude no need to worry tf2 its intense, fun, and for the most part not immensely serious if your scared dont be its tf the main part is to have fun.

  50. George says:

    I think the only time you’d be critisized is if you’re a medic and you screw up an ubercharge.