Team Fortress 2 has a LOT of game modes, not all of them successful. Territory Control, Arena, Special Delivery, Medieval, all rather tired and ignored, lacking in maps or players or both, while King of the Hill, Capture the Flag and Attack/Defense flourish. 5CP and Payload play along, trailing behind slightly. The most popular servers around have always been 24/7 Dustbowl or Teufort or something like that. Why? Because we all really like deathmatching.
That’s the one thing Team Fortress 2 has never really had – a pure killing game mode. While every single game mode requires you to kill your enemies to control, attack or defend an objective, killing has always been a side-effect, something that gets in the way of your job of securing that control point or briefcase.
Alright, alright, we have Arena, but Arena doesn’t cut it. The rounds are either blazing fast or drag on because someone’s managed to build a level 3 sentry somewhere and no one can get onto the control point to capture. There’s also the weird rule where you can no longer play because there’s someone else waiting and you’ve just lost 3 rounds in a row – even if you haven’t and just got team switched at the last moment. The biggest issue though is the perma-death. You can’t correct your mistakes. And if you’re the first person dead, you’ll have a long wait.
We can’t have pure deathmatching though. No all-out slaughter or anything. Team Fortress 2 just isn’t designed for that. Our beloved nine classes have far too many strengths and weaknesses between them. Some people can look after themselves and kill everyone (Scout, Soldier, Demoman), others just sit in a corner and look after themselves, turtling away (Heavy, Engineer). The others are reliant on team mates, unless they’re exceptionally better than everyone else. And even then, the carry classes can’t do everything on their own, they have weaknesses too.
So if we’re going to have any sort of killing game mode, it needs to be a team game. First team to X number of kills maybe. But that’s why other game modes are so good. If you’re crap at this game and can’t kill anyone, you can at the very least try and push the cart or bodyblock the capture of a control point. Then again, people don’t think that way, they want to kill people.
Alright, so maybe a team deatchmatch game mode would help people actually finish games of Teufort, Dustbowl or Orange. But we’re going to need some ultra strict rules to make sure that things go smoothly. The biggest thing is making sure that any maps used in this game mode are completely non-spawn-camp-able. In a game mode where the most kills wins, having one team being spawncamped means no one is having fun. Not even the spawn-camping team, since all the kills end up in the hands of whoever has a sentry or a sticky bomb launcher. We’d also need some rather strict class limits, otherwise the winner would always be whoever has the most Heavies, Demomen and Engineers. There’s also the matter of how many kills will win a team a game, as well as team numbers and the size of a map, not to mention respawn times.
The question is, would anyone play it? I honestly doubt it. It’d have that new-game smell for a moment, like all new game modes, but I don’t think people could genuinely leave the safe confines of Teufort or Dustbowl. Because although everyone loves the mindless slaughter, perhaps some of it is genuinely an attempt to capture 3 times or to successfully capture all three areas.