As seemingly the norm with the short articles I write, they start with an anecdote then use an example and close with a final thought. So, let’s not delay. The other night, I had a most wonderful hour and a half playing MvM with Medic and her friends. Although there were a few problems setting up, once we got everyone there the game started. Because it was Medic’s birthday we were doing medic only. Logically, we couldn’t do many hard waves like this so we started off by doing decoy. So, first round, six medics versus what 40 scouts(?). Pretty difficult without many AoE weapons or high dps capabilities, but thanks to the shields we swept them up… on the third try. And so the waves continued. I went with a mostly shield-based upgrade path (maxing out overheal expert, healing mastery and the shield) mostly so I could prevent rogue enemies slipping by. I don’t think we failed a wave after our first win. At the end of the game we had all done alright. You can clearly see which of us were more healing-orientated and which ones were more damage orientate. Surprisingly, my 16,000 damage came mostly from shields with about 1000 from crossbow or melee attacks. OK, anecdote over.
The point of that story was to say that, even in a group with five people I don’t know, I had a great time. We made a few jokes, messed around as medics and then medics and snipers and then medics and demomen. Now, with matchmaking coming… Soon™ it looks like more and more frequently we’re going to need to make friends with five people we didn’t know prior to the occasion. Unless you’re one of the people who can always take along five friends with you this is just a certainty. Unfortunately, because tf2 is free you’re probably going to find lots of the coined “Weekend Warriors”. People who aren’t entirely very good at the game. But it’s not as bad as it seems, if there’s a bunch of them on your team there might be a bunch of them on the enemy team. This is where problems arise, you have your team of five randoms and four of them are weekend warriors against a whole team of premade friends. While there’s no problem with premade teams, friends are friends they shouldn’t be forced not to play with each other. The only logical thing to do would be to match premade teams with other premade teams. That way, my team of randoms and… (although I don’t like to define people with this word, even though it’s perfectly valid) newbies are matched with other teams of randoms and newbies.
So, final thought time, I believe (and I’m sure many will agree with me) that fighting premade teams with your randoms is not fun. Fighting randoms with your premade teams is easy. Also, I apologise for the wall of text, there wasn’t really anywhere to break it up.
TL:DR: Play with your friends and things’ll stay the same. Play with new people and you’ll make new friends.