It hasn’t been a great year for Team Fortress 2. Not a bad year either, but definitely not a great year. Not even a good one, to be honest. And with SPUF currently not working very well, I’m not exactly a happy little Medic. Actually, I’m a sad little Medic who’s considering going and getting a beer right now. I don’t even drink. I have hated 2015, for many reasons. But this article’s about 2015 and TF2, not my life.
The first half of the year was devoid of life. Nothing at all of interest happened until half way through the year, with the announcement of the Gun Mettle update. To which everyone screamed that it was a copy of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. I don’t blame them. The system was almost completely copied and pasted from CS:GO into Team Fortress 2, and they were charging $6 for the majority of it. At least the balance changes and maps were free. Engineers got the nerfs they finally deserved, Spies finally got some buffs, Heavies didn’t get anything really good and Medics lost the Vaccinator.
The Invasion update wasn’t great either. It was an End of the Line update with slightly less hype and some of the worst voice acting to bless this game. The contract that came with it did nothing but count kills (assists and points were added in later) and it only gave you access to crates with a rather upsettingly small amount of cosmetics in them, despite the HUGE number of items in the workshop. But for $2, people didn’t mind, it was a community thing and we got some nice maps out of it, including a better version of 2fort. Nothing was lost, but nothing significant was gained either.
Halloween wasn’t too bad, certainly better than Carnival of Doom, which lost its appeal after the third 20 minute elimination bumper cart mini game. Unfortunately, it was mainly only better because it was a rehash of all the previous Halloween events, and yet again used the contract system from Gun Mettle to, um, give us crap we kinda already had, but in uncraftable and untradable form. We only got 19 new cosmetics, almost all of them going to Scout, Pyro, Sniper and Engineer. They’re all wearable all year round, but would it have been that hard to make sure every class got one item? On top of this, the one thing people DID want to return, the fancy spooky paints from Eyeaduct, never came back at all. Best part? cp_Sinshine, although its non-Halloween counterpart, cp_Sunshine, never got in.
Then came Tough Break, our Smissmas update. While it FINALLY brought some good news and cosmetics for Medics, it completely and utterly fucked over Demoknights and anyone who used the Loose Cannon, as well as giving Engineers another small (but deserved) kick, as well as further lowering what little skill ceiling Pyro had. It also came with more copying and pasting, as the Tough Break update was kinda the same as the Gun Mettle update – contracts, skins, cases, community maps and all-over-the-place balance changes. The new festivizer item, only usable on painted/decorated weapons, was a small breath of fresh air among the meh selection of maps.
Overall, nothing has really happened, apart from Valve adding a old but new way to make more money off us. Mannpower was a stupid flop, Pass Time has a dumb name and isn’t even made by Valve and the rest of the game has put up with quickly-forgotten community maps and balance changes in somewhat random directions. Outside of the game, Valve have been making it harder and harder for people to trade without Valve interrupting in some way, and there’s been very little going on with the comics too.
There have been small victories though. Random damage spread was removed and is now gathering dust in the depths of the console. And matchmaking has proved to actually be a thing that exists, no longer being some sort of rumour. Will it save us all in 2016? I don’t know.
So let’s raise a glass to 2015. It’s not been a fun ride.