Mann Up mode for Mann VS Machine is a scam. There, I said it. It’s a scam. A pretty expensive one, although not as expensive a scam as keys are. Particularly for early crates with just weapons and hats in, those crates were the scammiest of scams unless you got an unusual hat. But anyway, yes, Mann Up is not good, if you want to win some fun prizes.
The first problem is simple. You have to complete a tour of anywhere between 3 and 6 missions to be able to have a chance at winning a good prize, like an Australium Rocket Launcher or a Professional Killstreak kit. That’s at minimum €2.70 for a chance at some good loot, with Mann Up tickets being €0.90 each. That’s also an amazing €5.40 for a chance at a good price if you do the tours with 6 missions. So if you want to be economical, you need to do the Two Cities tour, with 4 missions and the best loot.
When you do a single mission and finish it, you will get a reward and your Mann Up ticket will be consumed. That reward normally consists of a bunch of scrap used in making Killstreak Kits and a common weapon that you could have received as a random drop. If it’s your first time doing missions on a specific tour, you’ll get a badge for that, otherwise the number of missions done on your badge will simply go up by one.
You don’t really get enough robot parts to even build much of anything. You’d be lucky to get all the parts for one Killstreak Kit, so, just like Steam Trading Cards, you’ll probably have to trade or buy the bits you need.
Apart from the scrap, you could have gotten that by playing normal Mann VS Machine.
In fact, you can play all of the Mann Up missions in normal Mann VS Machine. They’re all there for you to play and practice. The missions are genuinely pretty good and balanced. They’ll destroy a bad team but a good team won’t have too much of a problem. There’s a bit of variety as well, and a lot less of “just a bunch of default Scouts” that you get in the regular missions. Engineer bots are also interesting.
They’re all doable though. And they’re not that hard really as long as everyone pulls their weight and prioritizes correctly. It feels good when you win and sad when you lose, but you never feel like you were cheated, skill and gameplay-wise, like what happens with some community-made missions.
Really though, you’re not paying for a challenge, you’re playing to get loot. You’re playing and paying for a chance to win the TF2 lottery.
Then there’s surplus tickets. These are the scammiest part of Mann Up. By a long shot. You pay €1.70 so that you and your squad get one extra weapon each. I say weapon because as far as I’m aware, it’s always a weapon. Sure, there’s a chance you could get a hat or something, but you won’t. Basically, you’re paying €1.70 so you can get either something you can turn into scrap or maybe something you can sell for 3 cents on the Steam Market if you get a robot part.
That’s it. That’s almost as bad as buying a Phlogistinator from the Mann Co. Store. Almost.
The idea of having a premium version of Mann Up mode IS a good idea, especially since it does deter people who don’t know what they’re doing (unless they’re people who got free Mann Up tickets a while back) but is it really worth spending €0.90 just to play one mission of Mann VS Machine with people who might know what they’re doing? There’s no way to even make close to your money’s worth unless you’re lucky enough to get a Professional Killstreak kit for a good weapon, or are insanely lucky to get the good Robokiller items or an Australium weapon.
But that’s rare as fuck.