Hello, my name is eugensiman and I’m a passionate newcomer into the world of Team Fortress games (400+ hours overall). I quickly found out that I’m more of a theorist than a practicalist in these shooters. I can acknowledge the importance and strategical advantages of various rocket jumps, however sometimes I can’t even do some of the simplest wall jumps on Badwater.
But we’re here not to talk about walls. As I’ve said, I’m a newcomer not only into TF2, but into all the Team Fortress games. That means that I also like to spam some grenades around, make sentries out of cardboard, fire nail streams and show off my exclusively awful conc-jumps that stomp me into the ground rather than launch into the sky. Boy, I love some TFC.
Thus, when aabicus started to liberally print and produce TFC articles, I instantly decided to help him with that. Well, instant decisions don’t always lead to instant actions. The thinking process, a “sudden” archaeological expedition, fooling around on rd_asteroid and riding on a hype train about Bionicle coming back in 2015 took a lot of damn time. So the article is kinda late, but at least it’s finally here!
During the last half a year, an average TF2 player grasped a lot of old fresh TFC air. TFC mercs appeared in the comic, a TFC analogue was released as a new weapon, new maps have built-in-spawn teleporters and a huge amount of water to drown in, and according to the code leaks, there’s more on the way, even including the symbol of TFC: the green rectangular-shaped handheld god, the Conc Grenade.
Aabicus’ articles described TFC more from a reviewer’s standpoint, generalizing the things and mostly saying “try this out yourself”. Well, in case of TFC, it’s sometimes literally uncomfortable to “try out yourself”. You don’t understand the ♥♥♥♥. Why is everybody moving so fast? Why the hell did I die from this grenade, it was like 10 feet away from me? The hell, Medic, HEAL ME, WHERE ARE YOU GOING?!
Even respawns are confusing – you spawn not fully supplied, there are 3-4 different types of pickups instead of one resupply closet, etc. This structure of respawns, though, is a perfect example of how (and, in what ways) TFC and TF2 are different. So, basically, today I’m going to analyze respawns. How should you behave and why should you do that. I’m far from being the best in TFC, so the advice is going to pretty general.
Let’s take a look at the 2Fort’s “spire” respawn (despite the map being crappy overall even in 1999). This is a classic one, with all the pickups being there. Its structure is often found in many custom maps, including competitive ones. There are 4 things you can replenish in this little room – health (which is depicted via medical cross on your HUD), armor (an armored stickman), ammo and grenades. You’ve got a separate pickup for each one of these. Little medkits replenish health, armor is used for… well, armoring, and small green backpacks resupply your ammo. There are only one of these backpacks that can replenish the divine power of TFC – grenades. Mostly, it stands out in some highly visible place and it respawns MUCH, MUCH slower than the normal backpack. Now let’s say we’ve activated some fancy Australium powered machines, and now we’ve got a bunch of mercenaries.
You spawn with halved armor and a very little amount of ammo/metal. It differs from gamemode to gamemode and from map to map, but since it’s the classic structure, always keep it in mind. The obvious thing is to pick up some green backpacks and flee into the battle, but the thing is you MUST think about dividing these small resources between half-equipped mercenaries fairly. What are the priorities?
– Leave grenades for the flag-capturers. The flag-capturing classes are Scout, Medic, and, at some degree, Spy. Scouts can invade the base, get the flag, make a wave into the defenders’ faces, SEDUCE HIM, and get back to the base in a blink of an eye. The thing is that Medics do this slower, but much more consistently and reliably, and they also can heal, so Scouts are mostly used either in early game, or for the last game-winning cap. Spies are distraction experts and they have, literally, a million ways of dealing with Sentry Guns. Why should I leave grenades for these already powerful mercenaries? Well, first off, they’re going to be in the enemy’s territory. In case of a classic map structure, they can’t get grenades there. No way. Even if they use grenades wisely, they’ll be slowed down after the first cap, so they can replenish their explosives, since it takes freaking 30 seconds for the grenade-backpack to resupply. 30! It’s worth a whole flag run! Also, if you’re not a flag-capturer, it means that you either stay in your base (Engineer) or you bear a powerful enough, sometimes explosive, primary weapon (HWGuy, Soldier, Demoman). The second reason is that these classes get a lot of their utility from grenades. Scouts’ and Medics’ mobility heavily relies on Conc-Grenades, either to increase the effectiveness of a bunny-hop or to do single long conc-jumps. Frag Grenades are a very important self-defense tool for Medics, and the Spies use them to deal with sentry nests, since throwing them doesn’t drop your disguise. Hallucination Grenades and Caltrops are somewhat secondary, but they’re certainly useful. Of course, if you’re turtling, you may have to have more MIRVs or Nail Grenades, but, most of the time, lead this rule.
– ALWAYS PRESS X. Well, not always. Only upon getting a normal ammo-containing backpack. And if you’re not an Engie. There’re four types of ammo in TFC: nails, bullets, explosives and cells. Nailguns and Tranquilizer Gun use nails, all the Rocket and Grenade Launchers use explosives, Flamethrower and Engineer’s metal supply use cells and all the other weapons use bullets. Backpacks contain every type of ammo. Pressing X drops the same backpack, but only with the unneeded ammo inside of it. Thus, there’s, basically, no extensive etiquette, just ALWAYS PRESS X and all of your teammates will get the ammo they need. The backpacks also respawn quite fast, only after 5 seconds. There are still some details to consider, though.
First off, heavy classes (Soldier, Demoman, HWGuy) mostly spawn with very little ammo reserve, so make sure they’re going to get ammo first. The second thing is to respect the Engineer and also leave him some ammo. It happens rarely, however, that the Engie takes backpacks for his metal. Only if some bloody dip♥♥♥♥ has taken the ARMOR from him!
– On the subject of Armor. Armor is a big thing in TFC and it deserves a separate article, so here I’ll briefly talk about the very basics and according etiquette.
How does it work in general? It resists some damage, and, in exchange for that, it’s partially destroyed by the said damage. There are three types of armor – the light one (absorbs 30% of attacks and is worn by Scout and Sniper), the medium one (absorbs 60% of attacks, 50% for the Engineer, and is worn by Medic, Demo, Scout, Pyro, Spy and, obviously, Engie) and the heavy one (absorbs an astonishing 80% percent of attacks, it’s worn by Soldier and HWGuy). Engineer has some interesting relationships with it – he gets a LOT of metal from it, he can replenish his allies’ armor via hitting them with his Wrench and he needs to put his own armor into dispensers, so they can replenish the one worn by the teammates. Considering these facts you can get the general idea of which classes should get the armor first. The priority leans towards Engineers and attacking classes. The hardhats should build their stuff quickly and they can make this backup redundant when the game has only started. The second ones either have a lighter armor and still need to go through some tough defense or they’re going to get a lot of direct and self-damage. The least priority is given to the poor defenders, since they are pretty bulky and they can afford them some Valve-fan cosplay – waiting for the armor to respawn. When waiting in respawn or near the flag, always remember that Engineers can repair their teammates’ bulletproof clothes and don’t be afraid of asking them to do that.
Bear in mind that these rules are sometimes lightly applied to the regular green backpacks, because many maps (mostly, community and post-2000 ones) don’t contain Armor as a separate pickup, and you get it from the backpacks with some health added into the mix.
Also, there’s a VERY important rule that touches the armor subject. The way disabled friendly fire works in TFC still allows friendly players to damage their fellows’ armor. That means that crowbarring each other in spawn, as if you were in your congaing “grenadeless for babiz” TF2, is STRONGLY prohibited!
– Little tiny Medkits. They don’t heal you a lot, you respawn pretty much instantly, even ineffecient Medic heals faster, so what’s the fuss possibly with them? You quickly realize, how wrong you were, when being slowed down by an extremely easy legshot from an enemy Sniper, being concussed, when on defense or suddenly realizing that you, while being a coward and overhealing everyone in the base, has had your health regeneration lost (well, if you’re playing like a TF2 Medic in TFC, you’re going to die pretty fast anyway, but, eh, whatever). So, the medkits are important for the defenders under certain effects and Medics. The defenders lack two things – the said Medics and any reliable identification of what disease their allies have, so they must know how to use medkits effectively. Firstly, bulkier classes (Soldiers, HWGuys) should leave medkits for their lighter colleagues (Engineers and Demos), since these medpacks, unlike in TF2, heal for a certain amount of health points, not a percentage of the class’s health; thus, it’ll take one-two of them to fully heal your helmet-wearing comrades. Secondly, you must use strong communication to know whenever your teammates are hallucinating or concussed, and pay attention to any slowed down ally so they can get the curing medpack first. Don’t be shy to write about your disease in the voice chat. Thirdly, follow your TF2 rule and leave medkits to Medics. Their adrenalising/overhealing and health regen use medkits as a fuel, and sometimes they can’t be healed from a flag-cap, since they’re retreating, or they’re also put under some whammy effect. Their medkit, though, heals and cures everything the medkit can, much faster, so leaving these is very beneficial both to you and the Medic.
Also, remember, that the infection applied by Medics IS NOT CURED by medkit-pickups! It can be cured ONLY by a friendly Medic!
So, the wall of text is over. This was my first article ever written in English, and, for the sake of “the first try” it mostly consisted of general advice and citations, and not some extensive gameplay analysis. Oh, trust me, the next ones will be a little bit closer to the standard, don’t be afraid, fellow SPUFers. This article, however, is so big for the second reason of being very un-SPUFish, thus, concentrated on actually (I hope) helpful gameplay-wise tips, and since TFC is very different from TF2 in terms of pickups, from all point of view, the guide should be pretty large. Although you, dear readers, being the intellectuals of gaming community, may have asked yourself many times during the read, “Why the hell is everything so fucked up in TFC?”. I’m going to answer this answer fully in some of my future articles. Untill then, goodbye. Go play some TFC, damn you.