Increased Max Players

What I think of as my “home server” in Team Fortress 2 runs just one map (2fort) with increased teams (16 per side) and a long running time (up to 3 hours). I found this very helpful for learning the game, as I did not need to simultaneously learn a couple dozen maps (including stages), nine classes, alternate weapons, etc. One map, enough people for my beginning incompetence not to doom us, and time enough to settle in and explore without frantic NOW rounds.

I moved to that server after starting to learn on a 2fort server with instant respawn. Instant respawn is nice for a beginner who dies a lot but utterly unsuitable for a real game on many maps, especially 2fort. If it takes longer to reload than to respawn and get back to the fight, the game is an extended stalemate. Maybe one side will eventually get a lucky grab or a really good spawn-camp going.

I am coming to see increased team size as a similar problem. Rounds still end, because many shy from playing defense even as the intel is running out the door, but large teams mean that there is always more defense available. Killing one per second is barely keeping up with the respawn. Furthermore, that defense is always there, even while mounting a big attack. You can have 3 Engineers, 3 Snipers, a Demoman with stickies, and a Pyro spy-checking at all times, and half your team is still available to assault your similarly staffed enemy. If your assault is going well, the (entire) other team respawns behind you, while any replacement attackers are 10-20 seconds away across prime Sniper territory.

Hence the 3-hour running time. Unbalanced teams can sometimes end it early with a string of wins, but it is not uncommon to see time reach 00:00:00 with one win and a cap or two into a second round.

: Zubon

I have been enjoying an Arena server on the side. “No respawn” solves many problems.

4 thoughts on “Increased Max Players

  1. mbp

    As a casual player I often find myself on 2fort because it seems to be one of the more popular maps. It has its flaws though. It seems to me that the balance of power is heavily weighted in favour of defence. In casual games people still manage to blunder in and steal the intelligence because as you have pointed out many player ignore defence but I can imagine a well organised team could make that place impregnable (2 engineers is probably enough) which may explain the 3 hour games. Oh and what is with the pointless sniper wars that go on from one balcony to another. Those guys may as well not be playing the game for all they contribute to the main objective.

    My favourite part of the map is the underwater tunnels – lots of interesting battles happen down there and in my experience many successful raids go through the tunnels. Its just a pity that they don’t bring you out closer to the intelligence – many many times I have pushed through the tunnels only to be murdered by a sentry in the courtyard :)

    1. croddam

      As one of those snipers I can tell you that going one on one against annother player is rare is TF2 except when it comes to those battlements. When I play sniper on 2fort I have to cover the three visable enterances that the usual 1 or 2 enemy snipers show up at while making sure I don’t take a stray rocket and swatting the odd scouts. But in short sniping on 2fort is all about my reflexes vs. the other sniper which is increadibly fun just on its own and is the main reason I still logon atleast once every 2 weeks to play.

  2. moondog548

    Tis sooth. While modded servers are great for fulfilling niche desires that pop up from time to time (instant respawn 2fort scratches that itch for sheer gratuitous violence), they really do make it impossible to play the richly and well designed game as intended. Vanilla servers should be the majority, with the altered servers a specialized minority catering to the particular niches, but it doesn’t happen that way. I’m often turned right the hell off playing TF2 at all because I can’t pick a vanilla server out of the hordes of them listed and populated at any given time.

    Also, fuck ANY server host that spoofs the numbers for people connected. Especially Lotus Clan, who I at least though was established enough to be above that kind of horse shit. /tangent

  3. Yeebo

    I play TF2 on occasion on the 360. The lack of oddball server options to help me learn the game may be why I’ve never gotten very far in it. Sweet mother of god do I suck, I am very nearly a roaming free kill. Still, I find it to be decent fun in short bursts.

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