The Case For Mann Versus Mann

Posted by Fripplebubby (1027 posts) -

The Case For Mann Vs. Mann

Why Mann Versus Machine delivers, but is only a distraction

Team Fortress 2 is, by a half-decade after launch, a resilient and very popular multiplayer shooter that has shocked conventional wisdom by refreshing itself again and again. The newest update was larger than most before it, but instead of offering a new way for players strategize against each other, it offers an entirely new gamemode that pits players against bots.

As a seasoned TF2 player (I have clocked 749 hours according to Steam at the time of writing), the update didn’t provide an alternate gameplay mode that I’ll feel like coming back to again and again. I've played all the maps, even enjoyed them well enough, and I was beaten handily in the “Iron Will” mode despite my best efforts. I’ve tried all the classes, I’ve seen all the content there is to see (until the community whips something crazy up. Here’s hoping).

MvM was hailed as a new dawn for TF2, a mode that would bring new players to the game and old players back for many more hours. In a sense, it has definitely attracted players, but mainly by sheer weight of hype. The new mode isn’t bad in any way, and it isn’t seriously broken (at least as of now-- opening day/week was another story). The update delivered on every promise.

But for me, it lacks what keeps me coming back to TF2. While there could hypothetically be more teamwork in MvM, in my experience there is much less than in actual competitive CP/Payload/etc. because instead of facing off against a dynamic, equally matched team of human rivals, you only have to strategize against predictable, limited, path-following robots. It’s not like this is any surprise, of course, but when most people hear that there are both co-op and competitive modes in a multiplayer game, they assume the co-op mode has more cooperating. Not so.

MvM certainly doesn’t break the Mann versus Mann scene, however. Normal-ass TF2 is, in my opinion, better than ever. Breaking into the game now is still viable and fun. MvM doesn’t add a new dimension to the game, but the old dimension is still my favorite multiplayer game of all time.

#1 Posted by Fripplebubby (1027 posts) -

The Case For Mann Vs. Mann

Why Mann Versus Machine delivers, but is only a distraction

Team Fortress 2 is, by a half-decade after launch, a resilient and very popular multiplayer shooter that has shocked conventional wisdom by refreshing itself again and again. The newest update was larger than most before it, but instead of offering a new way for players strategize against each other, it offers an entirely new gamemode that pits players against bots.

As a seasoned TF2 player (I have clocked 749 hours according to Steam at the time of writing), the update didn’t provide an alternate gameplay mode that I’ll feel like coming back to again and again. I've played all the maps, even enjoyed them well enough, and I was beaten handily in the “Iron Will” mode despite my best efforts. I’ve tried all the classes, I’ve seen all the content there is to see (until the community whips something crazy up. Here’s hoping).

MvM was hailed as a new dawn for TF2, a mode that would bring new players to the game and old players back for many more hours. In a sense, it has definitely attracted players, but mainly by sheer weight of hype. The new mode isn’t bad in any way, and it isn’t seriously broken (at least as of now-- opening day/week was another story). The update delivered on every promise.

But for me, it lacks what keeps me coming back to TF2. While there could hypothetically be more teamwork in MvM, in my experience there is much less than in actual competitive CP/Payload/etc. because instead of facing off against a dynamic, equally matched team of human rivals, you only have to strategize against predictable, limited, path-following robots. It’s not like this is any surprise, of course, but when most people hear that there are both co-op and competitive modes in a multiplayer game, they assume the co-op mode has more cooperating. Not so.

MvM certainly doesn’t break the Mann versus Mann scene, however. Normal-ass TF2 is, in my opinion, better than ever. Breaking into the game now is still viable and fun. MvM doesn’t add a new dimension to the game, but the old dimension is still my favorite multiplayer game of all time.

#2 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -

There does not need to be a case for this. Some people LOVE Horde mode. And its a good way to get practice for some classes.  
 
It gives a quirky game a new mode to play. *Also steam clock is kinda messed up* An it sounds like you just do not like Horde mode. So dont play. 

#3 Posted by Undeadpool (4958 posts) -

Yeah, since one mode isn't really replacing the other, I don't get why a case needs to be made for either...

#4 Posted by 49th (2783 posts) -

I agree that I probably won't play MvM much once everything gets back to normal, but I'm still glad I have the option to go back to it for when I get bored of playing the regular game. Co-Op modes are often supplemental to the main game, and I think it's great that TF2 has made something completely different. Anyway, have you been playing the advanced difficulty missions? Feels like a lot more team work is needed in those.

I'm excited for the inevitable updates to MvM too, they have RED robot models in the game already so people are thinking the next round of maps will be focused on BLU team attacking the robot bases. I think that could be pretty cool.

#5 Posted by Fripplebubby (1027 posts) -

@The_Laughing_Man: Some people do love Horde mode, but I feel like most of the things that are good about MvM (the different classes, the weapons, the cooperation) are also present in classic TF2 (it's weird to call it classic TF2 with there being a TF Classic, I guess) but even better, because they are used on an equal playing field. The Steam clock does seem a bit liberal, but I have played for many, many hours either way.

And I like horde mode well enough, as I stated. Please don't oversimplify my statements.

@Undeadpool: Sure, normal TF2 isn't going anywhere with MvM around, but I feel like new players could be confused and see the choices as: a) You play MvM and have fun or b) you play normal TF2 and get whooped on. I'm just trying to point out that MvM is by no means the "TF2 Fun Mode", in my opinion.

@49th: Myself and 5 other competent TF2 players beat our heads against Iron Will mode for several hours. The difficulty is there, but it seems like a very different kind of difficulty than traditional multiplayer. MvM updates will no doubt add more complexity, and I'll play it a bunch more then.

#6 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -
@Fripplebubby said:

@The_Laughing_Man: Some people do love Horde mode, but I feel like most of the things that are good about MvM (the different classes, the weapons, the cooperation) are also present in classic TF2 (it's weird to call it classic TF2 with there being a TF Classic, I guess) but even better, because they are used on an equal playing field. The Steam clock does seem a bit liberal, but I have played for many, many hours either way.

And I like horde mode well enough, as I stated. Please don't oversimplify my statements.

@Undeadpool: Sure, normal TF2 isn't going anywhere with MvM around, but I feel like new players could be confused and see the choices as: a) You play MvM and have fun or b) you play normal TF2 and get whooped on. I'm just trying to point out that MvM is by no means the "TF2 Fun Mode", in my opinion.

@49th: Myself and 5 other competent TF2 players beat our heads against Iron Will mode for several hours. The difficulty is there, but it seems like a very different kind of difficulty than traditional multiplayer. MvM updates will no doubt add more complexity, and I'll play it a bunch more then.

Its something different and people seem to enjoy it. No one is forcing you to play. And yes when it comes down to simple terms its just good old horde mode. 
#7 Posted by Undeadpool (4958 posts) -

@Fripplebubby said:

@The_Laughing_Man: Some people do love Horde mode, but I feel like most of the things that are good about MvM (the different classes, the weapons, the cooperation) are also present in classic TF2 (it's weird to call it classic TF2 with there being a TF Classic, I guess) but even better, because they are used on an equal playing field. The Steam clock does seem a bit liberal, but I have played for many, many hours either way.

And I like horde mode well enough, as I stated. Please don't oversimplify my statements.

@Undeadpool: Sure, normal TF2 isn't going anywhere with MvM around, but I feel like new players could be confused and see the choices as: a) You play MvM and have fun or b) you play normal TF2 and get whooped on. I'm just trying to point out that MvM is by no means the "TF2 Fun Mode", in my opinion.

@49th: Myself and 5 other competent TF2 players beat our heads against Iron Will mode for several hours. The difficulty is there, but it seems like a very different kind of difficulty than traditional multiplayer. MvM updates will no doubt add more complexity, and I'll play it a bunch more then.

The issue then becomes: how can I become good at PVP? Even WITH a mentor, after five years, I feel like what Jeff said on the Podcast holds true: all this effort and it would amount to me being "bad" at TF2. The MvM at least brings in new players like me who wouldn't even consider it because of the insane barrier of entry.

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