TF2 Update Turns Into Man Vs Servers

By Craig Pearson on August 16th, 2012 at 6:15 pm.

Win all this, or play for free.
Just when I thought I was out they pulled me back in again. I’d uninstalled TF2 and everything was going well: other games were getting attention, my girlfriend showed me this thing called ‘Outside’, that didn’t have people setting me on fire or asking me to give them stuff, and then Valve announced Mann Vs Machine. I could just give it a try, yes? I can always uninstall it? I knew I was lying to myself, but it needn’t matter: it’s not like I’ve managed to get into a game.

Have you? My experience of the new MvM mode has involved reading about it on the TF2 site and wanting to give it a go. I want to beat those robots up! I want to figure out the best combination of unlocks.

I kind of don’t want to pay for the privilege, though. Valve are doing what they always seemed opposed to: splitting the community. It’s a different way of doing it, allowing everyone to play the mode but only those that pay to access the official servers will get the rare loot and rewards, and only after they complete the game modes. Tickets cost 69p (or 99c, or a quadra-Peggle) and aren’t consumed if you lose the game you take part in. Loot won is entirely cosmetic and can be traded. I thought I’d be angry at this, but I’m not: I can play for free, and not care about loot. I just need a free server.

Getting in has been stymied on three occasions. I first was told that I couldn’t even make see the co-op screen, as I was not connected to the “TF Game Co-Ordinator”. It was getting hammered. An hour later I got in and looked at the UI: it allows you to set up a lobby for friends, so you can join a server en masse – and it looks like that’s available in the normal mode as well. That’s neat. You can also select what mission (map) to take part in, and if it’s official or free. I hit “search” and watched it crash.

Sigh.

Third time’s a charm. This time I manage to start the search, but instead of it launching a server browser I’m left staring at a screen that shows me I’m 38 minutes from joining *any* game, and there are 11 thousand people in front of me. I do other things and leave it running. John and I have nice conversation about keyboards while it counts down. The current game population is so high that the servers are queuing those looking to join the battle of the bots, something I’m unused to having to do it TF2.

But then it springs to life. I’m in, I have joined a game in progress. Ooh, ahh! I spawn as Soldier and run to the store – I poke around the upgrades (http://www.teamfortress.com/mvm/mercs/) and grab faster firing and a bigger ammo cache. No time to look around: the countdown to the bot rising is nearing ten seconds. I spy some other players and run. We’re at 5, 4, 3, 2, 1… CRASH!

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121 Comments »

  1. Paxmayne says:

    I currently have the game minimised and I’m in a queue with eleven thousand other people but somehow have a 55 minute wait time….

    I only wanted to see what it was all about.

    Edit: 63minute wait time!

    • Namey says:

      My record was 98 minutes yesterday!

      • Spengbab says:

        Fastest way to get into a game is to join a game in progress at one of the later waves as a spectator and when the map changes you should be able to secure a spot on the Defending team.

        Anyway, played a few rounds yesterday. It’s certainly charming, but I expected more chaos – there’s definately a lot of waves, but the amount of bots just isnt high enough. I want a stream of a blue bots all the way from their tank to the Mannhole, not little blobs that only take a few seconds for a pyro and a sentry to chew through.

        EDIT: Oh god how wrong I was. I checked out the other gamemodes (“What other gamemodes?” EXACTLY) and we kept getting our asses handed to us on aluminium platters.

        • BluElement says:

          Actually, the fastest way to get into a game is ignore the matchmaker altogether and just use the server browser and join the game manually… When I saw that I had a 40 minute wait time to get into the game, I just opened the server browser instead and joined a game in a couple seconds.

          These silly gamers being spoiled with these silly matchmaking things that PC games keep trying to implement. :P

  2. aliksy says:

    Can any bozo host their own server? If so I’ll just make one for me and a few friends. Does it work if there’s only 2-3 players?

    • Malkara says:

      You need a 32 pop server to host MvM, so no, you probably can’t just host one for you and your friends unless you have some REALLY hefty equipment and bandwidth.

      • Koozer says:

        A friend and I quite happily played through a couple of waves with me hosting a server on my laptop, through the in-game ‘create server’ option. On a student flat connection. It’s way too hard to finish with just two though.

      • Clavus says:

        Almost anyone with a decent rig can host it really. Haven’t had any issues with people who hosted locally.

      • Phasma Felis says:

        So, um, why does a six-person game mode require a 32-pop server?

        Edit: Ah, the bots count as players. All right.

      • soundofsatellites says:

        I think you can host fine if you have your ports forwarded ok (if you ever created any other servers and got friends to join should be ok).

        As for stress, you don’t need that much bandwidth (only 6 players) and can’t really says how much it stresses the processor. We tested it last night in a private server hosted @amazon (should be enough for 32 players) and ran ok. We then tested it in a mix server (usually 18 players max) and still ran smoothly. IA must be at some level near l4d2.

        So far I can say it’s kinda fun but felt a little gimmicky (some maps are easier than others because of chokes) and that it doesn’t scale dificculty down. playing solo is not possible, and splash damage classes + medic + engi ease things quite a bit. Also, bots sometimes get bugged when entering the map (so far I’ve seen it in giant bots only, it seems to be a nav problem).

      • MikoSquiz says:

        The problem with running a regular TF2 server on the average home desktop (current generation) is pretty much just upstream bandwidth. With 24 players, you’re receiving 24 players’ data and sending it out to all 24, for 24*24*(data), which works out to 576*(data), so an individual player doesn’t need to be sending out many bits (and voice in particular is a lot of bits, even at low quality) to thoroughly clog up 1MB of upstream. About 5 or 6 is the limit.

        Unless there’s something very weird with the way MvM works, 6 human players and 26 bots should work out to (26+6)*6*(data) being shoved into the upstream, for a result of 192*(data), well under half of what a normal game consumes.

        As for other resources, eh. I can run a 32-man regular bot match in the background all day long while playing Far Cry 2, rendering 64-track 24-bit audio and compressing it to .ogg, and watching a movie, and my cheap’n cheerful economy desktop doesn’t so much as blink.

        What am I getting wrong?

        • LionsPhil says:

          (26+6)*5*(data), surely. You don’t send to yourself. ;)

        • iviv says:

          I ran a listen server yesterday, and it was fine. One friend and four random people, most of them had pings in the range of 40-60, and that’s on a 10Mb Virgin Media connection, so terrible upstream.

  3. Moni says:

    Keyboards then, with or without the number pad?

    • AmateurScience says:

      Mine is detachable. As it turns out I have it detached for the most part, I only pop it back on when I need to do some data capture.

      • jikavak says:

        I spilled things over my old crappy keyboard yesterday and now I have to use the oldest office keyboard known to man.

        • The Random One says:

          I have five keyboards. Four of them are PS/2. I do not know how that happened.

    • RegisteredUser says:

      Clearly a question only someone who has never had to work with Excel, any kind of calculations, number input fields, etc could ask, ever. :P

  4. zeekthegeek says:

    The trick is: don’t queue. At all. Host your own server (doesn’t even need to be a dedi) and invite your friends and bam, you’re playing. Queueing is really for the completely tech unsavvy. I played 6+ hours yesterday on a friend’s server and had a blast.

    • Gnoupi says:

      Queuing is for people who need a dedicated server. Not everyone has the bandwidth required to host a 32 players server. You can, good for you. But the rest of us have to find dedicated servers. Tech savvy or not.

      • zeekthegeek says:

        No, it really doesn’t require anything special. And you still don’t need to queue if you can get a dedicated server together with your pals.

      • SexualHarassmentPanda says:

        You don’t need a dedicated server nor an amazing internet connection if you only plan on playing with a dozen or so friends. You start needing hardware and bandwidth when the playercount reached 16+.

        • Gnoupi says:

          I’m sorry, but connection quality is not equal everywhere. What is possible with your connection is not necessarily possible with mine.

      • Verio says:

        People keep saying this and forgetting that an MvM game is only 6 humans. Those other slots are used to spawn bots I believe.

        • Gnoupi says:

          It’s 6 players, and 26 bots. That’s a lot of activity (characters, rockets, bullets, etc) to send, even if only to 5 other players. That’s what I meant by 32 players. You might send only to 5 players, but it’s still the activity of a 32 players game, or more.

          When things get hectic, I hit my upload/s cap, and people start lagging.

    • Metonymy says:

      Please don’t respond to someone this insecure.

      A standard cable connection will generate a 600 ping for all non-host players once the bots actually enter and begin firing. It’s not playable.

      • MikoSquiz says:

        I didn’t think “a standard cable connection” was equivalent to a telegraph pad attached to a piece of string and a cup. What on earth?

    • Stevostin says:

      “and invite your friends”

      Assuming you have some connected and willing to play now. I.E very, very unlikely. Tips : huge majority of pple nearly never play with friends. At most they book a time in the weekend with one specificic person for a coop on portal or Trine. Then 50% of the time one of the two won’t show up.

      Multi is pickup or for a few but commited player, clan. The rest is incidental at best.

      • Unaco says:

        For yourself, perhaps… But I think everyone is different, and you can’t just state that EVERYONE plays games one way and one way only. For example, I had ~15 friends on yesterday evening playing or looking to play MvM… I saw about 3 or 4 servers get set up and filled through the RPS Steam chat room… there were more people in Steam chat playing TF2 than everything else combined… I joined in on 2 of those sessions, and even made a new friend.

        Maybe you’ve been burned by personal experience (all those people not showing up for your Trine Coop session), but a lot of people do play with friends, and more than just a single 2 player coop one weekend.

  5. elFarto says:

    The way I’ve been doing it is using the server browser. Set the map filter to mvm_, check not password protected and order by players, least to most. Then pick a server with less than 6 players. You’ll probably have to click refresh a bunch of times.

  6. Echo says:

    Yeah, I’ve been playing on my own local server and inviting friends. This is pretty darn fun.

  7. Theory says:

    We ran a LAN server. It was beautiful.

    • RegisteredUser says:

      In the age of “Diablo 3 and friends / no LAN soup for you!”, this is a small miracle.

  8. JB says:

    I jumped on TF2 this morning, jumped straight into a game. Lots of fun. Those Major League Scouts are harsh.

  9. Neoreo says:

    When I pressed queue and saw the insane wait time, I just decided to host my own server with my buds.

    If you’d like to do the same follow these simple steps:

    Step 1: Forward port 27015 to your PC on your router
    Step 2: Start TF2, press the + inside the Server button
    Step 3: In the game tab set max players to 32, then set any other desired settings, map doesn’t matter as you’ll be changing it anyway
    Step 4: In game, open up the console, type “sv_lan 0″ followed by “map mvm_decoy” (or any other mvm map)
    Step 4.5: If you didn’t set a password, when you load back in after the map change type “sv_visiblemaxplayers 6″ into the console to avoid getting spammed with spectators that waste your precious upload bandwidth
    Step 5: Have your friends join, or watch your server fill up within a few minutes
    Step 6: Enjoy

    • Lamb Chop says:

      Any idea why one would receive a server not responding message when the host tries to invite people to the game?

      • Zarunil says:

        In the 3 cases I’ve had this problem, it was always due to port forwarding not being correctly set up.

    • Donncha O Caoimh says:

      Thanks Neoreo. I hosted a number of games on my DSL connection that has a 32KB/s upload speed. Games were fine and friends reported hardly any lag!

  10. Hug_dealer says:

    if this game was anything but valve and tf2. There would be complaining riots by people.

    Seriously though, buy 15 of those tickets, and you bought yourself a DLC for bf3 for life. Which includes guns, maps, vehicles, and perks for that cost.

    • studenteternal says:

      Yea, I mean its weird the forgiveness that years of great games and serious community goodwill does. I mean just imagine how upset we would be at this sort of thing from a company with a major history of screwing their consumers! Its almost like we have memories that last beyond the last major release from a publisher.

      • Hug_dealer says:

        there is your problem. Look at Devs not publishers.

        A publisher and a developer are often not the same thing. Valve happens to do both, to many people see EA and think they make the game. They dont. Hate EA all you want, but always look at the Dev. Personally I’m not that fond of valve, they are often over priced compared to the competition in pricing, and they havent made a game that interests me since left 4 dead, and then they ruined it by ditching l4d and releasing l4d2 so fast, which was a total milking, EA style.

        • Grygus says:

          Of course you are right that developer and publisher aren’t the same, but when it comes to criticizing a business, it’s generally the man with the money who makes the decisions, and that’s the publisher.

          Besides, you’re oversimplifying peoples’ positions; if a whole bunch of developers who release games for EA have problems, then it’s completely reasonable to blame EA. Also: Origin (the online system, not the old developer.) If a developer releases beloved games, get bought by EA, and then starts releasing worse games, it’s not far-fetched to wonder if the problem is their new daddy. Lastly, having your CEO make comments that he values his business more than his customers is another way to alienate those customers, even if you make good products.

          People are suspicious of EA games for good reasons, not just ignorance.

        • RegisteredUser says:

          You’re so right dude.

          The _free_ Portal game I got and the two 10 EUR priced other ones from Valve really are much more expensive than those 44.95 EA bargains out there.

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      I’m sure the torches and pitchforks are out at the TF2 forums.

      • Yglorba says:

        Surprisingly not. It is weird, since normally the Valve forums explode into tears at the slightest hint of anything at all.

    • Vorphalack says:

      Riots about what exactly? It’s a new free game mode, and the payed option just seems to be a new way of selling hats. I don’t play TF2 anymore so don’t go calling bias here, but I really can’t see the problem.

    • zeekthegeek says:

      It’s a free god damn game. How angry are you expecting people to be about a free update to a game that has been running for years? Valve have updated this game literally over 200 times for no charge.

      • Hug_dealer says:

        i would hope, people arent. I am merely pointing out the fact that if any other developer/publisher did this, we would quite likely see riots from morons. Valve get special treatment though.

        • aliksy says:

          Probably because of all the free content they provide. Two way street, etc.

        • zeekthegeek says:

          Valve aren’t any other developer. Because they do well by their customers (see the 200+ updates for a free game)

          • Hug_dealer says:

            where are those same amount of free updates for their other games. L4d2 should have been a free update of l4d1. All the things they promised for Free updates in l4d1 were instead put in l4d2.

            Valve isnt as clean as you all make them out to be.

          • TheTuninator says:

            Pushing out L4D2 so soon was a raw deal, I agree, but I think they’ve more than made up for it in the long run with the amount of support both games have received.

            L4D1 got 2 new campaigns and a whole new game mode, and Valve has made L4D2 freely available for dirt cheap through Steam, so while it sucks that you pretty much had to buy a very similar game all over again it’s not exactly breaking the bank. It’s not like L4D was completely unsupported, either.

            If Valve was like EA or Activision, all of the L4D maps would never have been ported to L4D2 for free; at best, they’d be a $15 DLC, and at (the likely) worst they’d be a $10-15 DLC for each individual campaign.

          • Vorphalack says:

            How did we move on from discussing this update to bashing Valve in general? You got a hidden bone to pick here?

          • Hug_dealer says:

            hidden, not at all. Its pretty easy to see that I rate Valve right at the same lines at Activision, EA, and Ubisoft.

            There approach to steam and their attempts to ram their distribution methods down other developers and publishers throats. Yes they have the Monopoly, and they are attempting to maintain it, but they are also hurting the people who valve is supported by. Go and try to purchase BF3 on steam. Only 1 reason you cant. Steam. You can buy bf3 on any other online retailer, but not steam.

            Don’t think i am a Fan of EA and origin, or Activision though. I hate them all. The bane of gaming.

          • zeekthegeek says:

            Factually incorrect; the reason you can’t get BF3 on Steam is because the game can ONLY be run through Origin. You can buy it on other services sure but you 100 percent must run it through Origin or not at all. This is EA’s decision.

            Of course the whole EA/Valve split is mostly over petty DLC rights, but I think Valve took the right approach on that too: either make your DLC available on Steam without a third party site/program or get out.

          • Hug_dealer says:

            there are tons of games that require 3rd party software to play that are purchased off of steam.

          • zeekthegeek says:

            The difference is pretty big: those other third party apps will run within Steam. Origin will not, it refuses under all circumstances. You MUST launch it separately to run BF3. I know, I’ve played it. There is no way Valve could have made this work.

          • woodsey says:

            L4D2 has been updated up the arse and L4D’s gotten all the L4D2 campaigns, I believe.

          • Hug_dealer says:

            no zeek, they dont run within it. Rockstar has a 3rd party for their game. Ubisoft requires you to use their program, and others still force a 3rd party DRM upon you as well. Then you also have GFWL in others.

            Really not much different that Origin.

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            “There is no way Valve could have made this work.”

            Seeing as how UPlay and Steam work fine together, I don’t see why Origin and Steam couldn’t logically do the same thing.

          • subedii says:

            Steam is not a monopoly.

          • Phantoon says:

            If you want people to join your side, please be less of a flammable strawman.

            I swear, you’re only making me want to defend Valve more. At the very least, they’re smarter than you.

          • Hug_dealer says:

            I dont care if people take my side or not. I am merely stating my opinion on the subject, its up to everyone else to make their own opinions also. Just cause i hate valve, doesnt mean everyone should.

          • subedii says:

            In that case I might suggest you’ve successfully discovered that quite a lot of people disagree with your stance that paid for hats are actually equivalent to paid for map packs which segregate the community.

          • Hug_dealer says:

            wow i never thought of it like that………………..

            I’m glad that bf3 has gotten much larger amounts of good DLC instead. I hope everyone that makes that statement is entirely against sequels, expansions, and DLC. Why Isnt Episode 1 free, or 2?

          • subedii says:

            I’m glad that bf3 has gotten much larger amounts of good DLC instead. I hope everyone that makes that statement is entirely against sequels, expansions, and DLC. Why Isnt Episode 1 free, or 2?

            Not only is this a mis-interpretation of what I stated, it’s combined with a Strawman regarding Episodes 1 and 2.

            And the thing is, I believe you already know the answer I am going to give to this. So I’m going to ask you directly: Do you genuinely want me to answer this question, or did you think it was some kind of “Aha! Gotcha!” Statement?

            If the former, I suppose I’ll post a response. If the latter, well, I’m not really flummoxed by what you said because I don’t really see that there’s a contradiction in my statement, and I can post a response explaining that.

          • thestage says:

            free new content? shaky servers on update/new product releases?

            sounds like…blizzard!

            NONOGETITOFFME

        • CrookedLittleVein says:

          mo·nop·o·ly/məˈnäpəlē/
          Noun:
          The exclusive possession or control of the supply or trade in a commodity or service.
          The exclusive possession, control, or exercise of something: “men don’t have a monopoly on unrequited love”.

          Seriously now.

    • TheTuninator says:

      Yes, and $0 bought me this expansion for life, which includes an entire new game mode, new items, and new maps. No payment is necessary to play it (current server crush notwithstanding) and I certainly won’t be wasting any money on hats I don’t care about when the mode is fully available for free.

      $0 also bought me 4 new L4D/L4D2 campaigns, a new L4D game mode, all of the L4D maps in L4D2, constant updates bringing new weapons and maps to TF2 for 3-4 years, a Portal 2 level editor which contains the potential to make the game near-infinitely replayable, and a fully-playable DOTA2 with access to every single hero, in full, without paying a cent.

      I’d say that stacks up pretty decently against one $15 BF3 DLC.

      THAT’S why I love Valve.

      • Hug_dealer says:

        the mode is not fully available if you have to buy tickets for a chance at certain content.

        I am certainly not complaining about them adding things for free and expanding their game beyond what it was originally. I applaud Valve on that, and they do deserve money for adding this content. But what they are doing though, its using the free 2 play model in order to reap greater profits, because in the end you will spend much more money over years if you play, than a flat buy it and own it content purchase. Nothing wrong with that either, if people are willing to spend $30 on tickets each month and are happy, more power to them. But this isnt any better than paying a flat cost for DLC like BF3, atleast you know what you buy will always give you access.

        Also, why do people want to buy strictly cosmetic stuff? To me if i am going to spend money on a ticket, it should provide me more benefit than looking dapper.

        • TheTuninator says:

          Absolute balderdash. The mode is 100% fully available to play. Whether or not you get a special shiny hat at the end of the mode has nothing to do with your ability to play the game mode itself.

          Much like you, I don’t give a rat’s ass about hats, and so I will never spend a single cent on this expansion, which will not impact my ability to play and enjoy it one whit.

          To use the example of shooters like BF3 or CoD, this would be like saying those games aren’t 100% available for normal purchasers to play because those who ordered the Deluxe Edition get a special shiny badge or gun skin that normal players who didn’t pony up the extra cash can’t access.

          • Hug_dealer says:

            you are correct in part of you statement. Unless you buy tickets, you are cut from content. Just like alot of other games.

            People could do without the expansions, or items stores in other games and enjoy them without spending a cent, but they do lose content also. But they can enjoy it 100% just like you. Enjoyment and buying things really have nothing to do with each other.

          • TheTuninator says:

            The statement “Unless you spend X amount of money, you are cut from content” can be applied literally to almost every game in the industry.

            Deluxe/collector’s pre-order has exclusive content? Don’t spend the money and you’re cut from the content. Game has DLC/an expansion? Don’t spend the money, and you’re cut from the content.

            I honestly just cannot fathom what you are complaining about here. The game mode is free. 100% free. If content that actually altered the game or the game mode was withheld on a pay-as-you-go system, I’d be right there complaining with you, but it hasn’t been! All that you are required to spend $1.00 on is the guarantee that you will receive a nice badge and perhaps a fancy hat.

            The statement “the mode is not fully available if you have to buy tickets for a chance at certain content.” is just incorrect, plain and simple.

          • Hug_dealer says:

            I’m not complaining, i am simply pointing out that the game is not 100% free. You dont get all the content for free, but you insist that it is 100% free and you get everything. Regardless of whether it is merely cosmetic or not, it isnt 100% free. Its not a complaint, its a statement, and i am fine with Valve making money off of it.

          • Phantoon says:

            “cut from content”

            Hats are “content” now? Really? So you’re saying no one should get the updates because we didn’t pay for it, because it’s content too?

            Your argument is backwards at best.

          • Hug_dealer says:

            i didnt say that at all. Or even come close, i am not sure you ever read what i said.

          • Milky1985 says:

            “i didnt say that at all. Or even come close, i am not sure you ever read what i said.”

            Not sure you have read what other people have said …….. or read the information properly

            While i don’t like what the are doing with this pass thing as far as i can tell if you don’t pay you can still play all the missions and all the content, you can’t do the tour of duty thing, which as far as i can tell just basically says “do this on this mission, once your done you get goodies”. Bollocks that they should separate it out (tickets should be skipping things, not giving things) but its not as bad as you are making out.

            You are not locked out from content, except for the goodies, which people are saying are cosmetic (and random like everything else in TF2)

            From the looks of this thread about half of the comments are yours, you really should just go away, your coming across as the guy who stands outside the shops shouting “the aliens are coming they took me up to the ship and probed me” while holding a big sign and a brown paper bag with alcohol in it. The one everyone avoids as he smells funny and has pissed his pants.

        • coolwithpie says:

          I have been playing for a while now and havent spent a penny

    • derbefrier says:

      oh there is always a double standard with stuff like this and your completely right. I mean just look at what people have been saying about BF3 lately, suddenly normal things like booster packs are considered pay 2 win but we don’t hear a peep out of anyone the entire time LoL sells booster packs, nobody criticizes GW2 for selling xp boosters and yet a game with EA on the box has to hear how its P2W. It makes it apparent different companies are held to different standards. What is evil and horrible for one company is fine and dandy for another. Hivemind is a curious thing, how people can be so blatantly contradictory is beyond me, but i guess that feeling of being a part of the group is more tempting than standing alone and speaking the truth.

      • Phantoon says:

        To be fair, Bioware were total pricks about it the entire time. And to quote (verbatim spirit if not words), “we will never ever ever make this game free to play because it is the best game ever and only stupid dumb sexists would ever dislike this game because it is so perfect much less not play it”.

      • Milky1985 says:

        I’ve heard plenty of people complaining about booster packs for GW2 and LOL, they are just as stupid as the idiots complaining about the EA booster packs as that’s skipping stuff not pay to win (unless you are saying that the higher level weapons are in fact better than the lower level weapons, in which case the games design is broken as its meant to be side-grades)

        You seem to both be not able to separate the idiot complainers from the valid complainers, and have selective vision!

    • subedii says:

      “Seriously though, buy 15 of those tickets, and you bought yourself a DLC for bf3 for life. Which includes guns, maps, vehicles, and perks for that cost.”

      Well there’s no “perks” in TF2. Or vehicles. It’s not that kind of game, and I’d sooner complain about their lack if the gameplay model was designed around them. It’s not. You might as well bring that statement to Counter-Strike or Quake Live.

      Guns and maps I get for free, and without splitting the community.

    • JB says:

      No-one is forcing anyone to buy tickets (with which you can win purely cosmetic items).

      So it’s a new game mode for a much-loved game that’s lots of fun to play. For free.

    • Phasma Felis says:

      if this game was anything but valve and tf2. There would be complaining riots by people.

      Oh, don’t worry, there’s complaining riots anyway.

  11. InsanityBringer says:

    I ran my own server for my friends and a few random people online, it was pretty fun but the server kept crashing constantly, and I’m not sure if this is the game (or something about the map, coaltown) or my computer. What I did get to play was pretty fun though.

  12. Axyl says:

    See, some of the F2P stuff in TF2 really annoys me.
    I bought TF2 back before it was F2P. Bought it full price. Not even as part of the Orange Box..

    It’d be really nice if Valve acknowledged people like me and not continue to charge us for various parts of the game. I’m fine to buy hats (mostly because I never actually would).. but to lock off a mode of the game (albeit the only difference is that you can earn gear in the paid for version) is bloody stupid.

    Maybe just a stipend of Tickets.. say, 5 a month or something or anyone who owned TF2 pre-F2P. I know a lot of F2P MMOs do something like that, in which you pay for the “optional premium account” and in doing so you earn a small amount of “hard currency” over a month.

    I *think* Global Agenda does something like this, but don’t quote me on that part. :)

    • Gnoupi says:

      They don’t actually lock the mode, though, only the cosmetic loot (and the dedicated servers, but in a way, people tend to forget that it’s not something “free”. Whenever you play on an online server, someone’s paying for it).

      About Global Agenda, it’s quite different. The “premium” was the base, for people who bought the game before it went F2P. The difference with free players is that they earn experience and tokens at half the rate. You also have the possibility to by time-limited “boosts”, which are doubling your loot, xp and tokens earned by mission. They also give you some tokens each day of active boost.

      But that’s all.

      • Voltir says:

        Actually, every online game needs a server and yes someone pays for them. On the other hand, online game without servers kinda sucks, don’t you agree? (Let’s skip p2p gaming ;) ).
        As someone who bought TF2, right now I feel like I’ve been moved to the non-paying crowd with no privileges.

        • Phantoon says:

          And how many hundreds of hours of gameplay did you get out of this prior to that point?

          • Misnomer says:

            Why do I get a feeling that the people who make this hundreds of hours of enjoyment argument will turn around on the next article about games as a service and demand they should have their software treated like a product?

            The point here is that if what everyone says here is correct, then the value of my TF2 purchase has only gone up since I bought it what with all the free stuff. The problem with that argument is that all of that is available to people who can now get it for free so the money I spent on the original game is essentially zero.

            You say I paid for the fun then? I suppose that is true.

            TF2 is like Steam sale. You feel screwed for paying for content that everyone else isn’t paying for… and now what people are paying for you can’t have without doubling your real money/time investment in the game ( for example none of my 300 hours before it went free to play count towards getting weapons and other “free content” available to me in the game).

            Not saying this is special or compensable (you get what you paid for), it is darn frustrating though to see everyone lauding a company for free updates to a core game you bought when really it is updating a F2P game that ate and devoured the game you bought.

          • ElvisNeedsBoats says:

            If they made a game called “Mann vs. Machine” that just so happened to use the TF2 characters and made it a separate free download, would you still be upset?

          • Misnomer says:

            Probably not…unless it dragged down all the TF2 servers with it. Which it probably would for the first week. But after that, the psychological effect would be nice.

            Sadly, even that seemingly arbitrary distinction is entirely outside of Valve’s current attitude about TF2 that has turned it into a cesspool of advertising for other games. Putting a game on Steam, why not get stats bearing items in TF2 to advertise it with? Hard to believe there is anything that isn’t mashed into TF2 that is on Steam anymore.

            Sometimes it is like your favorite TV show being filled constantly with cameos from characters of other completely unrelated TV shows.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      I’d like that, especially since I generally dislike F2P systems. Sure, I could use the F2p version to see if it’s fun to play, but if I really want to play it I’d rather pay once and not have to be assaulted by the latest payment plans in game.

      • Misnomer says:

        Then TF2 is not for you. This is Valve’s testbed for ways to get money. There is a new monetization scheme in this game being shoved in your face every half year or so.

    • Magnusm1 says:

      You think Valve owes you new free content because you bought the game 2 years ago? Don’t make me laugh.

      • Phantoon says:

        That’s the best part though. They do anyways.

        • Misnomer says:

          No they aren’t. They are giving everyone free content because it is a Free 2 Play game. Original owners get it because they are part of “everyone.”

          Stop pretending this is a free update to that original game. Once it went Free 2 Play, Original Owners were assimilated and given a premium account, a badge, and a hat as a concession. TF2 support ended there. F2P TF2 support began immediately after.

          Any new content is FREE for people who got the game FREE as well.

    • TwistedRaven says:

      Even if you weren’t paying for it, the Valve servers would be overloaded.

      This just keeps happening. Its a Vicious Cylcle.

      Same thing happened with WoW when servers crashed “uhh, I wish I never got this expansion, bunch of money milkers”

      And then, days later, it would all be fine!

      I know its not the case here, but give it a bloody break!

  13. Adekan says:

    Joining servers on TF2 has always been mindbogglingly terrible for me, but it’s even worse now. Prior to this I could play one or two games before I was shut out completely for no discernible reason.

    Searching for games using either the awful matchmaker or the regular server browser lists no servers and claims I am not connected, only way to fix is a complete steam reboot.. This has happened for 3+ years, on 4 separate machines. Steam tech support told me to re-install the game, which I had done multiple times.

    Now it seems I immediately CTD whenever I join an MvM game. This is not an acceptable way for a veteran company to roll out a feature.

    • Enkinan says:

      Not exactly sure what you are doin, but ur doin it rong.

      I have never had that happen since beta, and the longest I’ve ever waited for a server is roughly 5 minutes.

  14. mr.ioes says:

    This launch was a bumpy one.

    • Enkinan says:

      The only bumpy part I’m hearing is that there isn’t enough servers to accommodate the massive amount of people who want to play the new content. I’d say that is actually a huge success.

      • thestage says:

        unless you are blizzard, at which point the sky is falling

  15. Vinraith says:

    Oh.

    Well, never mind then, lots of other stuff to play!

  16. pierrot says:

    At around 11am this morning 2 others and I created a party and waited in a queue for around 20 minutes before playing a full game. It’s fantastic, though I was annoyed twice when the group voted to restart the whole mission after failing wave 3… but in the end we managed all eight waves and I immediately wanted to go again. The emergence of the connection problems in the afternoon has been really frustrating, but it’s not unexpected

  17. Solar says:

    There are some elements of the new f2p system that are frustrating, but all the content that meant a difference to the gameplay was free. For those that never spend a penny you cant trade and your backpack is just a measily 50 slots. But for free its still awesome. Now the server issue between dedicated and community server has been put in the f2p mix, gameplay is definately affected. When I was online this am there were 8000 peeps online with 777 servers intotal, thats space for approx 4000 peeps. Envelope calculations meant a wait of around 20 to 40 mins with that load not counting for other matchmaking criterion like ping. I waited for 31 mins for a game on the free bootcamp setting (not waiting for free slot). Depending on how the matchmaking works I would avoid waiting for games in progress as I suspect you will get more connection issues. With 11000 waiting you could be waiting 30 to 60 mins
    This doesnt allow for dedicated servers, if they are different in the paid mode, possible reserved slots?
    My stance on paying for this is mixed. My understanding is that its 69p per map as a one off payment, miniscule for the work done to create it. However if it favours access to dedicated servers then it goes against freedom in game experience in a f2p model, not so much gameplay.

    Overall I would be happy to pay £2.10 for an expansion, and would expect no server issues. In any f2p game I would also expect servers to be choked on day 1. More clarity would be nice though.

  18. Unaco says:

    Matchmaking and server problems aside (83 minute queue time, and then 5 friends got into a server together, but I couldn’t join that one free slot… because the server will only accept connections through matchmaking) the mode is actually a whole lot of fun.

    Not worried about the ticket stuff. It’s like getting the souvenir hat after your trip on the roller-coaster… a cosmetic item you get at the end. From what I gather, you’ll only need to buy 1 for each Tour of Duty… and it’ll only get consumed the first time you completely complete it.

  19. wyrmsine says:

    The default matchmaker is startlingly abysmal. The advice above on using the server browser is solid – the only problem being that most servers don’t change the 24/32 person limit, so it often looks like there’s lots of room while the gamemode only supports 6 active players.

    The co-op itself is okay, and the robots are adorable, but that seems to be about it. I’ve yet to see any incentive to buy the paid content. Pretty underwhelming, really. I’m hoping that they’ll use the robot models in the regular multiplayer whenever bots are included.

  20. TwistedRaven says:

    In all honesty, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the tickets.

    I’ve been finding sometimes a few servers on my own, and its good really. Bit of lag sometimes but yeah.

    Rather than that, I think Hamachi also provides a good Stable connection without 10 people spectating.

    Besides, the tickets its only if you do want items. All the items haven’t been discovered yet.

    If something that actually looks badass, appears, and I take my strong interest in it, then I’ll buy it.

    If I too, don’t want to buy it, I can get one from another player. Seen someone selling it for 2 refined.

    Accessible price. And with time, it’ll lower even more.

    People are just stressed out because of the fact that they can’t play right now, and they couldn’t last night.

    Too many people passing through the same doorway, doesn’t allow anyone in, right? ;)

  21. Tei says:

    I managed to enter a server, but was a modified rules server with lots of glitches, so I don’t know what I have played. But at least I have played it. I even have a lot of achievements for it (but I am a crappy player).

  22. Driveshaft says:

    Anyone having frame-rate issues?

    For some reason, my computer seems to really struggle once the robots approach. I don’t have any problems when in spectator mode though – only while playing. It doesn’t appear to be a latency issue – it’s my actual computer that’s struggling (and it really shouldn’t be).

  23. Forceflow says:

    Bought some tickets, and the wait time is much less (< 5 minutes) if you Mann Up. I don't mind paying a bit. For christ sake, this game has received a gazillion of free content updates, and the tickets are the price of a can of soda.

    Also, these Mann Up tickets aren't just one use: they only "expire" when you've completed a tour of duty.

    • Milky1985 says:

      Personally i think they should increase the price by a couple of quid and make them not expire, would be a better option as a “premium server” type option

  24. TechnicalBen says:

    Wow. Thank you for calling out Valve on this one. I may be mistaken, and they may change it, but I also don’t like the payment scheme they are running. :(

    Worse of all, very few gamers seem to see that TF2 is turning into a monetary gaming system, not a gaming service. It’s becoming a Zynga! :O

    Well, it might not be that bad yet. I hated the Mann Economy, but understood it was at least a fair setup of an in game store. However the MVM ticket system has stepped over the line of paying for a board game, and started to look like paying for a bingo night.

  25. Commissar Choy says:

    The mode is completely free to play on unofficial servers. BUT if you pay for a ticket, you get to complete a missions on an official, dedicated server (and get sweet loot) or additionally you can buy a voucher (which is only consumed when you finish a mission you haven’t completed before) and everyone involved gets more sweet cosmetic loot.

    I’m not seeing where all the anger in the comments is coming from.

  26. nk says:

    My experience with the game tonight has been quite smooth: joined a mvm game through the good old server browser and stayed for a couple of missions. No wait whatsoever, furthermore there were only 5 of us for an entire mission. Does this game-coordinator thingy only match people to missions that have not yet started ?

    Overall a fun new addition to TF2 !

  27. RegisteredUser says:

    To be perfectly honest, 60% of the comments here shouldn’t even exist after these two FAQ excerpts are understood:

    Q: Do I need to buy anything to play Mann vs. Machine?
    No. You can play the game as much as you like on any non-Mann Co. server. All Missions are available for free, and all play time in Mann vs. Machine will count toward your standard timed loot drops.

    Q: Do the new items earned in Mann Up Mode affect gameplay?
    No. All items unique to Mann Up Mode are cosmetic. They are equippable throughout all of TF2, and are tradable.

    There is now more content in a free game anyone who wants to can access. Thanks to the game _not_ being a locked down dickish POS like Diablo 3, you can even just fire up your own little game and server either in a LAN or over the internet mode.

    What the FUCK are people complaining about?
    I’m a nr 1 fan of whining, bitching and trolling about anything remotely bad, but what exactly really is the downside here?

    Same goes for the “butbutbut I paid for the real pre-F2P game!” people: Yes, you paid for a game that later turned free, just like games will eventually become worthless, end up in bargain bins etc.
    That PC you are playing it on? Will eventually not even be taken for free by people, either.

    With IT, value, compatibility and tech erodes over time. We kinda have to bear through that.
    But keep in mind: You also got to play it for several _years_ worth because paying for it, too(from 2007 to 2011), and with a totally different crowd of people as well.

  28. Stevostin says:

    Same here. Valve seriously screwed up on that one. I am even willing to pay for ticket – but not to give it a try. Huge amount of sales lost in space for what seems quite an intensive production effort.

  29. AsG_Alligator says:

    Why do you people use matchmaker to join the game? It is DESIGNED to make you wait. Make use of server browser… I find a suitable server under a minute… And i never use matchmaker. Simply make the browser show the servers with mapname starting with mvm, and look for servers with 1-5/32 players in it