This article was brought to you by Puffs, the Number 1 Medic-Calmer. Puffs – pink, round, puffy and opinionated, get yours now!
Alright, a million years later than everyone else, I’ve finally had a go at TF2 matchmaking, during the 6th Stress Test. (Note: this article is a bit late – I held off publishing it due to a week of love and hate) I was finally around when that delightful Stress Test button appeared on my screen, and I was actually in a good enough mood to play. But, coward that I am, I didn’t want to go it alone, so I played two games with Jigglypuff. Both times, I played Medic, with the Quick-Fix, Overdose and the Ubersaw in the first game and the Solemn Vow in the second.
The first game was on Badlands, a good but old map with very long sight lines. Honestly, it wasn’t anything special. Mostly meta classes, with people off-classing a bit. It felt like that one TF2 pick-up game I did about a year ago on my own. Hard to coordinate and I was doing most of the talking. It went really well at first but we couldn’t get the momentum once we captured Spire, and they managed to find a nice combo that we were unable to stop. The second round was a stomp, they knew what they were doing, they kept the ball rolling and didn’t give us time to catch our breath. Wasn’t too bad though, they’d just found our weak spots and we couldn’t react quickly enough.
Communication-wise, I did most of the talking, but there was some chatting.
The second game though, that was silly. And fun. The map was Snakewater, which can be hell if played in a pub. More than just me and Puffs were talking, and we ended up going Medic, Soldier, Heavy, Heavy, Heavy, Heavy. The enemy team somehow failed to make it to mid before us and we quickly steamrolled, my Quick-Fix healing the Heavies meant the enemy couldn’t do enough damage. The second round went similar, although we nearly got backcapped. That time though they countered with Snipers and Scouts, and we grabbed a Scout of our own. We won nicely, with a double Medic/Heavy combo at the end and me capping. I also forgot that the Quick-Fix no longer lets you cap while Ubering.
Overall, it was fun. Some small fixes do need to be made though, because of larger maps in general, there’s no need to have a First Blood call, and the long roll-outs means that the Administrator always says one of the delayed first blood announcements – “First blood, finally!” Also, I’d prefer it if you didn’t get put on the same map twice in a row, I nearly ended up on Badlands again, but someone disconnected. We got a second map but someone abandoned so fast I didn’t even see what it was. Spectating Davjo earlier, he got Foundry three times in a row. That’s not good at all.
The one thing I like most though are the graphics. Aabicus mentioned this before, but I hadn’t seen all of them. The various art and graphics are all amazing. The logo, the layouts, the ominous music as the match starts… It all feels… I don’t know, as it should be. Serious. Proper. A genuinely good-looking experience. It may not be the best actual matchmaking experience, but it’s a splendid thing to watch.
There’s only one thing I genuinely dislike, apart from the lack of KOTH maps – the scribbling at the end. It seems pointless, and makes it fucking hard getting a good screenshot when the game finishes. Plus people scribble crudely drawn cocks everywhere. The end-game screen though is probably what I like most so far.
So yeah, I am genuinely impressed.
Apart from the people leaving later on thing. Abandoners being punished is one thing, but when someone does it right at the end of the match, it’s so lame. If Valve want this to work, you need a better system.
I won’t be playing too much though. Short bursts are good, otherwise you burn yourself out very easily.