Sometimes, when the sun is hiding behind the clouds and I’m feeling too lazy to bother even joining a Teufort server, I find myself wandering into the strange world of modded Mann VS Machine servers. And let me tell you, it really is a silly place…
Mann VS Machine is already quite chaotic as it is, but if you limit yourself to the Play Coop button, either Boot Camp or Mann Up, you miss out on all sorts of goodies, much in the same way that Quickplay only gives you bare-bones gameplay. Or, if you’re unlucky, the fifth Saigns server in a row. As always, there’s the risk of landing in a server with adverts in their MOTD, but once again, the handy console command connect *ipaddress* matchmaking makes life simpler.
So what can one expect? It depends on what you want. Just by looking at the server list, (which you can filter to only show MvM servers by typing mvm_ in the map box) the first thing you might spot are new maps. Except not all of them are new. The thing with MvM maps is that different difficulties show up as different maps, for example, mvm_coaltown_expert is one of the expert missions that you might have played in Boot Camp or Mann Up servers.
Some of these maps will look obvious, some of them look completely different. Coaltown seems to be the most popular, as there’s almost always a custom ‘map’ for it. Generally it’s just a stupidly hard set of waves, or, more commonly, something silly like 30 waves, some of which are easy, some of which consist of hundreds of Bonk! Scouts.
There are custom maps too. mvm_Manndarin is a popular one, designed for a city setting much like koth_King. My favourite though isn’t a custom map at all. It’s a modified version of… Degroot Keep. Yes, everyone, Medieval Mann VS Machine. It’s rather simple but a lot of fun. Most people just go Demoknight or Sniper, but personally, I find that Soldier with the Disciplinary Action is the best by miles. Only issue is that the waves are a bit too easy.
If you don’t want to download custom maps, there’s always the option to play on silly, free money servers. Although some would consider playing on a server that gives you $30000 every round cheating, it’s amusing to try things that normally would not work at all. It’s also amusing to turn yourself into a hideously overpowered monster capable of killing hordes of robots with a single bullet. Alright, not quite, but you get what I mean.
As well as free money servers, there are also MvMx10 servers, where EVERYTHING, not just money, is multiplied by ten. Scouts so insanely fast that you blink and they’re gone, Soldiers with so much health that they take forever to kill and Tanks that move so quickly, they bash into walls and squash you. But don’t worry, your weapons have (some of) their stats multiplied by ten too, and you get extra cash, so before long, these threats are dead. A word of warning though, most stats are altered, so watch out with that Ubersaw. With it, you can only attack once every 10 seconds.
Finally, we’ve got 10-man servers. Or, in some cases, 16. I left these until last because they’re my favourite kind of MvM server when I’m really just not in the mood to think. Basically, everyone else can do the work for me. And you can try stupid things and no one will batter an eyelid. I’ve played whole games without buying a single upgrade, seeing how long I could survive for. Best I’ve done is survive Mannworks with only one death. Really, 10-man MvM isn’t much better than playing with bots, but it’s certainly less lonely.
But if you’re really in for punishment and pain, there’s almost always a server running mvm_Ghosttown. Wave 666, you are evil.