Guest Post (GrantDN): TF2 – Change is Good?

I spent the better half of an hour thinking about Team Fortress 2 in my head, so I figured I’d try to properly describe my thoughts on it and put it up in case anyone has any thoughts or arguments of their own in regards to this stuff.

Team Fortress 2 was a hell of a game when it came out alongside Half-Life 2: Episode 2 and Portal. My overall playtime on that game is close to about 500-600 hours, which is a crazy amount of time to spend on a single game (I don’t stick to a game all that often, only with VERY SELECT games). I loved that game, the gameplay was great, the visuals were cool, the teamwork and variation in tactics you’d discover playing with/against other folks was great.

…Then Valve kept adding shit to the game. Look, I know the argument I’m about to make might seem a bit mad, cause it should always be awesome to see a game get continous support and new content years down the line, but I don’t like what it has done to the general gameplay concept of Team Fortress 2. The first few updates were fine, it felt like they were adding some alternatives to accomodate playstyles, but now it feels like it almost doesn’t matter what class you pick, cause you can change up the playstyle so drastically that any attempt to try and counter certain classes just seems moot.

I don’t mind that TF2 went F2P, that part doesn’t bother me in the slightest, what bothers me is that Valve doesn’t accomodate players who want ”classic” TF2, despite the hypocrisy of that statement (when TF2 came out, Team Fortress Classic players complained about the streamlining of certain mechanics and aspects). I want Valve to just add a mode that is labeled ”Vanilla” or ”Classic”, where NONE of your TF2 items come in. None of the class update stuff, none of the cosmetic stuff. None of it. I’m sure it’s a very complicated thing to work around due to the amount of patching and updates done to TF2 to balance around all of the items, and people who have made the investment to get all these items in TF2 surely don’t want all that stuff scattered to the wind. But here’s a compromise: If Valve can’t implement a ”Vanilla” mode into the base TF2 game client, they should add a ”TF2 Classic” option in the Steam library, for the grumpy cynical people like me who want things to be like they were in the ”good ol’ days” of 2007.

I really liked TF2 when I was into it. I loved it, it was a fantastic team-based FPS game, and I’d gladly spend another 1000 hours of it if I wasn’t so disoriented and plain annoyed by all the changes they’ve made to that formula. Lord knows if any of what I say ends up mattering, but goddamn if I don’t end up spending way too much time thinking about it at times.