Yes, that title is like that on purpose, because that is how I feel when I see Badwater pop up as the next map. I still think that when I see Badwater_Rainy pop up, but not quite as much, as I need to take a few seconds to rebind my swim up and swim down keys. Where does this hatred, where does this fear come from? Well, read on, I’m about to tell you.
In my early days of Team Fortress 2, I quickly realized that Teufort is a bad map. I wasn’t so quick to work out that Junction was a bad map, but I only ever played Junction on my own. At the time, the only friends I had who played Team Fortress 2 were my brother Terroxy and my friend Kelster, the two people who introduced me to the game in the first place. Terroxy has always been the sort of player who excels at any class, while Kelster was a Medic/Sniper/Spy main. While Terroxy would play on random maps, Kelster mostly played on a server called TF2 Newbs, on a 24/7 Badwater server.
They lied. The only newbie on that server was me. Everyone else knew the game and the map like the back of their hand. Whenever I received an invitation to play TF2 with my friends, it’d ALWAYS be Badwater.
And thus, Badwater was forever imprinted on my mind as a hellish landscape.
It’s not though. I’ve just been driven insane by it. A lot of people consider Badwater to be a pretty darn good payload map, far better than some of the alternatives. Personally, I don’t see it, especially when you’ve got quite a few long, straight paths that you have to walk down, and more good sentry spots than you can shake a stick at. That’s not to say that every sentry and sniper spot is the best, although those bugged spots were pretty nasty, but with so many twists and turns, sometimes you fear you’re going to run into twenty of them.
As well as places to camp, there are plenty of areas that simply don’t see much use unless you’re with thoroughly experienced players. Quite often I’ve wandered around the back of B, where those two random rocks are behind those buildings and then stopped to realise just how big that area is. You could fit a zombie skeleton army in there and not worry about them running out of room. On the plus side, other areas that are often vacant can sometimes turn into a flurry of activity if people work together.
Another problem I have is with BLU’s forward spawn. When I look at it, it feels so lonely and cramped and stuff. RED’s spawn is wonderful, with a multitude of exists everywhere. BLU’s one looks sad and depressed, nothing like the main spawn area.
There are good sides though. The map looks wonderful. It also contains one of my favourite deathmatch fighting places, the open rocky area just outside BLU’s spawn. This rocky patch contains all the ups and downs and high ground and low grounds you could ever want, creating a flowing, dynamic fighting arena. There’s the tunnel as well, but that’s just a boring old tunnel. It IS one of the more open areas for Snipers, but it’s also open enough for Scouts, Soldiers and Demomen to charge their way through.
The big problem though is inherent to any sort of attack/defend map: it gets stalematey and chokepointy. There are four main corners where one can set up camp and keep the BLU team locked up for ages. Eventually BLU will pass through, but it’s often predictable. That’s a downside of Payload and Attack/Defend as a whole though and not the fault of the map.
Still, all that time playing on that server, repeatedly getting my arse kicked, it’s done for me.