By zanshin 2 Comments
The new Team Fortress Halloween event has started, and it is mediocre. Not to deride it, but it lacks the thrill the previous years events had, while providing a much more fair experience for all players.
Honestly, Merasmus is the most even boss created yet. He doesn't have the instant kill powers the Horseless Headless Horseman had (which was rather frustrating), he has a number of attack methods, keeping players on their toes. Merasmus does have a lot of hit points, meaning that only a concentrated team effort can defeat him. This also give in to the only short coming of this event. Player killers can take advantage of other players being focused on Merasmus and get some easy kills. It is baffling as to why some players can enjoy doing so. Unfortunately, some players just cannot understand that team fortress is a team game. Unless you are working towards the goals of your team, you are a liability to your team.
Year round, there are a number of servers that run various user created mode of game play, some of which have been integrated into this years event and map. First is the Wheel of Fate, which operates quite similarly to Roll the Dice, except that the outcome effects all players. Also, none of the unpleasant and annoying effects usually included in rtd are present. Second mode is Prop Hunt. In this case, Merasmus disappears and several "props" (items of furniture, rocks, targets and such) appear. Merasmus is disguised as one of these props, and players have to attack the correct one for Merasmus to reveal himself. While this mode is quite fun, it can take quite a while to find him, eating up time needed to defeat him. That being said, the objects that appear are quite large and oddly placed, so it making it rather obvious which objects do not belong. It would have been interesting if smaller, less obviously placed objects were used, making the hunt that much more challenging, but also taking quite a bit more time.
Valve has completely eliminated the problems that existed last year with the presents, and people stealing and killing over the presents. Last year that was quite a problem with people abusing admin power to steal the present, mostly by using no-clip, or others non-admins who would shoot another player in the back, or airblast such a player away from the present, in order to take it for themselves. Now present spawn only visible and collectible by individual players, so no stealing can take place. While this system is the fairest possible system, it takes away the challenge, and limits the amount of presents an individual can collect in any given amount of time.
Lakeside is actually a map that has been around for while, but the cosmetic changes make it virtually unidentifiable from it's original incarnation with an Egyptian theme, though the Egyptian version seemed much large. In fact, the map has a large area where Merasmus doesn't spawn, meaning if you are killed in a battle with him, it takes most classes quite a while to get back into the fight. This is a serious problem, as Merasmus's time on the map is very short, making it the biggest obstacle to killing him.
Also, Skull Island makes a return from last years game mode, which seems to indicate a lack of creativity.
All in all, a good experience, with a little less excitement than last year, but also minimizing crying.