What with the recent Jungle Inferno update, I really owe you all a few Team Fortress 2 articles. After all, that was what the Daily SPUF was founded on. Weapons, cosmetics, play styles and more. Of course, that all died down when Team Fortress stopped getting any significant updates, but now that Jungle Inferno is here, alongside a slew of community maps and balance changes (many of which don’t see that awful), I just can’t bring myself to play.
Seriously. I’ve been sitting here for ten minutes, staring at that desktop shortcut. I’ve had a look, examined the new menu and things like that. But I still haven’t opened up TF2 to actually play TF2. I haven’t played anything aside from a bot match and one easy game of Mann VS Machine. Both times I had redo all my settings because for some reason all my old config files no longer work, meaning my old crouch jump and my Medic Radar are both gone forever.
I’ve been trying to work out why this is. A big part of it is that I don’t have any local friends to play with. Team Fortress 2 is hell at high ping, and the only friend I have playing regularly is all the way over there in Canada. I’ve grown weary of bad connections screwing things up, I don’t want that to spoil what might be a perfectly good update.
There’s also the issue that Team Fortress 2 just plain runs bad on my computer, and on a lot of computers. While that Pixar-esque art style helps cover up the older graphics, even when you’ve got everything set to low, it’s just not nice. I have a computer that can run modded Skyrim on high settings. I run Warframe on high too (although with things like motion blur and colour correction turned off because they hurt my eyes). So why the hell am I struggling to run a ten year old game on the lowest settings I can manage? It makes no sense.
On top of that, I’ve been spoiled by PvE games. Most of the games I’ve been playing lately are either co-op games where you fight against hordes of enemies (mainly Warframe, with a hint of Saints Row and a tiny pinch of other games I’ve tried) or single player games like Skyrim. I haven’t had to fight other people in a long time, and I think I’ve grown complacent because of it. I don’t want to shoot other human beings, I want to work together to defeat a common enemy. I also want to be able to double jump, roll and sprint as any character. Damn you, Warframe.
Thing is, PvP stresses me out. I don’t want that. I don’t want the frustration of being dominated by a team of angry Pyros, in a server where everyone is a Pyro. I don’t need to have to fail constantly because my team doesn’t know that Medics can’t defend themselves. I’ve always just wanted to help people so they can get the kills, but I often can’t do that in a TF2 match. If anything, the stress is worse now because I know I’m rusty and that I’m going to struggle even more.
There’s a bigger problem though. I started playing TF2 in 2010. I was around for the best part of 2011 and 2012, only trailing off in 2016 when I realised we weren’t going to get updates while we used to. That’s a long time to be playing one game. Especially when I worry that Jungle Inferno might just be a one-off update. This might be it for another year and a half. This might be the last real update ever. The TF2 community might be sated now, but that worry and stress of whether there will be a next update is… terrifying.
What if this is the end and we don’t know it?
And I think my fears are justified. We waited a year and a half for a pretty basic update, the sort that used to be pretty common before 2013. The update’s out, just before Scream Fortress, and guess what! In the year and a half it took to produce the Jungle Inferno update, the TF2 team didn’t even have time to do a Scream Fortress 9 update! They just repeated what they did with Scream Fortress 8, but with no new maps at all.
Part of me wonders why I should care, when Valve doesn’t care. Sure, the TF2 team, how ever few of them there are, probably cares a bit about the game, but Valve couldn’t give two fucks as long as people keep on buying crates and keys.
In the mean time, since there’s a complete and utter lack of a Scream Fortress IX update page, I decided to make my own…