Sunday, September 2, 2012

Man Vs. The Team

KG and I started playing Team Fortress 2 after a long hat-related break. I'd be lying if I said we didn't come back to try the Mann Vs. Machine co-op mode.

After a couple rounds of robots running wild over our junk, we learned the basics and starting thinking about ideal loadouts. Certain items are inherently better than others for these robot defense maps as opposed to the usual Red Vs. Blu game. Items which have MvM-only upgrades such as the Scout's Mad Milk and the Sniper's Jarate are substantially more useful to the team than other items in that slot, for example.

The most frustrating thing so far about MvM is not the difficulty of advanced robots, or the relative balance of the team composition, or even the relative skill levels of our teammates. The most frustrating part of the co-op mode is what I perceive to be ignorance in teammates' loadout choices and their unwillingness to listen to criticism, constructive or otherwise. I know that getting mad at video games is my personal problem, but I'm going to gripe anyway.

As I've said, some weapons are much better for the defensive MvM environment than others. In many cases, an argument can be made for using less ideal weapons, like trying something different, or (God help you) having fun with some crazy alternative. However, some weapons are no good at all, and can never be good even when upgraded, but it boggles my mind as to why I continually see individuals making the conscious decision to use them, as though they have never read the item's description and considered its effects. I'm looking at you, Tomislav.

I implore you to reconsider using this minigun, Heavies. Let me spell it out: the Tomislav's bonuses are not helpful to you or your team while defending Mann Co. The decrease in spin-up time and silent spin bonuses count for nothing against robots which you should never be not firing at and don't care about what sound you make. The firing speed penalty hurts your primary role in MvM which is to deal as much damage per second as possible to incoming robots. Yes, you can make up the penalty with upgrades, but considering the bonuses aren't helping anyway, it's money spent for nothing. If given no other options, the standard minigun is a better alternative.

Admittedly, I've only played MvM in Boot Camp mode (which is probably part of my problem) but it's still disappointing to see this behavior. I think it really shows a lack of critical thought about the situation. Of course they might also be doing it on purpose. It wouldn't bother me so much, especially since the normal difficulty missions are easy with a group that has half a brain, but the most advanced missions require the whole team to be conciously thinking and putting their best foot forward.

So that's all I'm asking for. Think about your choices. Ask yourself "How does this help me and my team be successful?" You comedians trying to sabotage the team should just go play in traffic.

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