On Medics and Machines

Hi everyone, Phovos here. Today, I’d like to discuss Mann VS Machine.

If you ever played Mann VS Machine before the Two Cities update, you might remember how bad playing Medic was. Medics were essentially useless, which was a stark opposite to normal gameplay. The only vaguely effective loadout relied on getting Kritzkrieg Ubers as fast as possible, but even then, people would prefer another Heavy or Demoman instead.

Thankfully, the Two Cities update made it so Medics were actually useful again. The ability to reanimate people and bring them back to life speeds up otherwise quite slow gameplay, and the addition of the Projectile Shield means you’ve got something other than just the map to hide behind when the scary giant crocket Soldiers come. Sharing canteens is pretty awesome as well.

Of course, this shook up the MvM meta quite a bit. People were willing to let Medics play, which is more than can be said for Spies and Snipers. Soldiers also had a bigger role to play with the ability to stun robots on direct hits. But more importantly, we were also given more incentive to play MvM in the form of Killstreak kits. Sadly, they do need quite a bit of grinding to complete, but Killstreak kits have always been a fun, classy way of decorating your weapon without looking over the top.

As well as the gameplay and loot additions, the Two Cities update brought two MvM maps and made Snakewater official. Oh and there was the Golden Frying Pan too. But after the Two Cities update, there were very few other changes or updates for Mann VS Machine. Later changes did help out Snipers with red money that is automatically collected, but that’s… pretty much it. Everything else was minor bugfixes, or nerfing Pyros into airblast bots, because they killed tanks too quickly with the Phlogistinator.

With no new content, Mann VS Machine slowly died. There are still some people grinding for Killstreak kits and Australium weapons, but there’s nothing going on with the game mode itself. It’s to be expected when you stop paying attention to, well, anything. But part of MvM does live on in competitive matchmaking – you see, the whole coop system made for MvM was clearly re-purposed and revamped for creating and joining teams in matchmaking, with a lot of reused assets.

Sadly though, MvM is pretty much dead. There is one final hope for the game mode, in the form of the Iron Gauntlet community update, but considering how previous community updates have gone, I don’t have very high hopes for it.

It’s a shame, because MvM had a lot of potential. It offers a challenging but less stressful change of pace, as well as a ton of ways Valve can continue monetizing it, in the form of loot and new Australium weapons. Oh well. As always, Valve has let a good idea fall by the wayside, because they can’t be bothered to update it any more.

I hope matchmaking doesn’t end up the same way.

This was Phovos of the SPUF of Legend, signing out.


Also known as Doctor Retvik Von Schreibtviel, Medic writes 50% of all the articles on the Daily SPUF. A dedicated Medic main in Team Fortress 2 and an avid speedster in Warframe, Medic has the unique skill of writing 500 words about very little in a very short space of time.

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