October 25, 2016
I have opted to play more Team Fortress 2 (TF2) and less Robocraft. It is a great trade. I enjoy almost all my time on Team Fortress 2, whereas when I’m losing on Robocraft, it is really a disheartening time.
In TF2, my favorite Mann Vs. Machine maps are now definitely Rottenburg (perfect flavor, if a short fight path) and Decoy (classic and balanced slightly in favor of the human team). I prefer to fight on the easiest difficulties. In Boot Camp (free) mode, I can’t really find enough good players to handle the tougher difficulties, and I myself am not good enough to carry a team to victory. I’m rather average. My skill stopped increasing at about hour 150 or so. I’m at about hour 600 or 700 now.
I continue to sign into Robocraft daily, just to get the daily loot box and play one more round, hoping in vain to get a special, advanced weapon, only to get disappointed every time. That’s OK. It’s over quickly, and then I go on Team Fortress 2.
For regular Team vs. Team action in TF2, I think my favorite map is the Attack Vs. Defense “Mountain Lab”. It’s got so much flavor from feeling like a real place. The attackers start out in a boathouse, where you supposedly find that the attacking team has apparently crashed a speedboat over a nearby waterfall, and into the boathouse, with the landing dock chained off. They then fight through a small courtyard, past a pair of nearly-empty warehouses (which are typically filled with heavy fighting before the first point is captured), leading to a first capture point next to a truck. While the point is uncaptured, the defensive team has access to a doorway above and behind the first capture point, to rain down fire on any attackers that try to capture the point, while being vulnerable to attacking snipers.
Once the first point is captured, the attacking team can go through or over a covered tunnel, past a truck and a garage, to the second capture point in a kind of warehouse across from the mountain lab’s courtyard. This is typically heavily defended, with the garage and tunnel being valuable chokepoints for the defenders. Even if these chokepoints are overrun, the defenders can still rain down fire on attackers who are trying to capture the second point from the mountain lab main entrance. The mountain lab courtyard is a big chokepoint and battleground for both the second and third capture point.
After the second point is captured, the attackers must push forward toward the lab entrance. They have a choice of either pushing into the lobby, or taking a ramp up to the second floor. If they push into the lobby, they have a choice of going left, for a direct, heavily-defended route to the third and final point. If they choose to go right, there is a more round-about path toward the final point. However, the right route has an additional chokepoint leading to the generator room, which houses the final point. The left route, on the other hand, is one big but short chokepoint. On the other hand, if the attacker runs to the second floor, they must clear the balcony storage area, which has a couple of hiding points, and then pass through a chokepoint hallway up to a second floor storage room, which has a chokepoint portal to the catwalk above the final point. Also, this storage room has a little-used secondary exit, which leads through a lengthy, generally easily-defended path back down to a first-floor back door to the generator room. The generator room, being the last point and last stand for the defending team, is generally host to the most vicious fighting. The attackers are continually trying to break the defensive line and take the generator, while the defenders are repeatedly spawning in a protected control room directly adjacent to the generator room. It’s almost always exciting.
The Scream Fortress map “Mann Manor” is a fun conversion of this map to a halloween setting, where the Mountain Lab becomes a broken-down haunted mansion. It’s great, especially if there are random visits from the Horseless Headless Horseman at the capture points. Skillful players can use the explosive jack-o-lanterns placed around the map to detonate opposing players. You will see players regularly pre-detonate these items before they pass, to oppose explosive surprises. Fortune favors the prepared.