MEDIC! October 19, 2007 5:02 AM   Subscribe

We fragged the hell out of each other last weekend, but the MeFi Team Fortress 2 server has been a ghost town since then. Who wants another go this Saturday and/or Sunday?
posted by absalom to MetaFilter Gatherings at 5:02 AM (66 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Ooh! Oooh! I do!

*makes note to reisntall windows this evening*
posted by Skorgu at 5:22 AM on October 19, 2007

Fuckin' timezones.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:31 AM on October 19, 2007

I'd be up for it. Nights are better for me, after the kid is asleep, but the Sox will be playing Saturday and Sunday nights (Yes, I believe!) so I probably won't be playing TF2.

Then again, if they lose Saturday I'll be ready to play Sunday night. I don't believe that much.

If anybody is up for playing tonight (Friday) around 8:00 or 9:00PM I'd be up for a game then.

What we need is a way to communicate when someone is up for a game. Often Steam will tell me there are 20 people in the group playing on a bunch of random servers. We need a town bell or something to get a game on the MeFi server.
posted by bondcliff at 5:58 AM on October 19, 2007

I'll be playing it all weekend. I'd love to drop in and play.
posted by Meagan at 6:25 AM on October 19, 2007

I'd be down for some Saturday afternoon fragging, but if folks set up a different time on the weekend I'll try to make it regardless.

One thing we may want to do is nominate several more people as Steam Group admins. I'm just plain not there enough, and it seems like neither is Plutor or Stavros particularly.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:31 AM on October 19, 2007

I nominate me!
posted by absalom at 7:04 AM on October 19, 2007

Meeeeeeee! I wanna play! I was fondling yarn last Sat. but I'm free to pwn this time!

What is that? What is that?! What's wrong with your legs? What is THAAAAT?!
posted by cowbellemoo at 7:11 AM on October 19, 2007

What?! I joined the steam group, but had no idea we had our own server. Sweet deal. I'm tentatively available either Saturday or Sunday.
posted by sparkletone at 7:12 AM on October 19, 2007

What is this "fragging" you speak of?
posted by Brittanie at 7:59 AM on October 19, 2007

I have never played Team Fortress 2 (or even 1), but I just bought the Orange Box. If I can figure out what the fuck I'm doing before then, I'd be up for it. I haven't played an FPS online since Unreal Tournament.
posted by danb at 8:31 AM on October 19, 2007

Hell, show up even if it's the first time you load the game. We'll talk you through it, and enjoy the easy kills in the mean time.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:56 AM on October 19, 2007

I want too!! But TF2 has been giving me all sorts of grief to get working. Updated all my drivers, including my motherboard bios ffs! But still ... everytime I join a server the game exits back to windows. No error message, no crash (well ... sometimes I get a bluescreen and the computer restarts) just ... TF2 exits!!!

WTF!?! Portal is doing the same crap. Everything else works ... I just don't get it.
posted by Arbac at 9:40 AM on October 19, 2007

enjoy the easy kills in the mean time.

Newbie Tip No. 1:
Stay in the locker room spawn area until we can establish a turret perimeter to keep cortex at bay.

(let's hope he's not a spy)

Newbie Tip No. 2:
Shoot everything a few times until you've established that it's not a threat to you. Especially the fucker shouting "Medic!" at full health.
posted by cowbellemoo at 9:41 AM on October 19, 2007

Hot damn, I'm jealous of all of you. My computer can barely plow through the first Half Life engine (okay, I'm exaggerating), but TF2 looks so damn sweet, and so damn unrunnable on my PC.
posted by spiderskull at 10:21 AM on October 19, 2007

Noob Tip No. 3:

If you're playing a sniper as a noob, you're probably making your team lose and the baby Jesus cry.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 10:32 AM on October 19, 2007

Noob Tip No. 3: You have too many engineers. No, trust me, you have too many engineers. And one of them is a spy.
posted by tehloki at 10:57 AM on October 19, 2007

So I don't have to wade through the giant thread, how does one get in on the mefi TF2 action?
posted by tehloki at 10:58 AM on October 19, 2007

If you're playing a sniper as a noob, you're probably making your team lose and the baby Jesus cry.

Truth. Handy theorum:

Ts <= XRS
Such that:

Ts is the time you're allowed to spend standing still weilding a non-explosive firearm,
X is the amount of gameplay experience hours you've clocked,
R is your current kill-to-death ratio, and
S is your teams current win/loss or map progress ratio.

Obviously, there's some futzing there, but it comes down to this: if (a) you're not a grizzled, unimpeachable vet, and/or (b) you're not blowing heads off at an impressive rate, and/or (c) your team is getting eaten alive, switch to a class that blows shit up and start blowing some shit up.

Once the above factors are favorable, feel free to take a shift as a nuance class like sniper, but be ready and willing to switch back to a utility class as soon as your team needs it. Nobody likes a sniper who wins the battle and loses the war.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:59 AM on October 19, 2007

For those not "in the know', the password can be found in herrdoktor's profile.
posted by absalom at 11:00 AM on October 19, 2007

Good noob classes are Solder and Heavy. Kill things that aren’t your color.

I’ve tried playing a few times as an engineer and I haven’t yet been able to finish building a sentry before some scoutdouche on meth runs into the room and kills me.
posted by bondcliff at 11:00 AM on October 19, 2007

(All of the above is stated with the understanding that being a sniper is frickin' awesome, to be clear. I'd snipe all day long if I could. BAM! Headshot. BAM! Scout on the ground, briefcase standing still. BAM! Blue sniper thought he could beat me to it: mistaken!)
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:03 AM on October 19, 2007

I also think Medic is a great class for a noob, as well. Find the heavy or soldier who gets lots of points, and latch on like a wonderful reverse parasite. You can watch how they move and kill. It's also a good way to keep from getting lost and learn the maps and hidden places.
posted by absalom at 11:04 AM on October 19, 2007

Cortex: My favoite thing about being a sniper is getting setup-time kills in the railyard. THAT is being a bitch-ass sniper for real. Headshots are my prozac.
posted by absalom at 11:06 AM on October 19, 2007

Railyard is definitely my favorite object lesson in testing one's assumptions about map setup. Everytime someone manages a new flavor of gun-jumping kill, I laugh myself silly.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:26 AM on October 19, 2007

Definitely ditto on the medic as a n00b class. I love that the game rewards you with assist kills for the impossible amount of destruction your heavy unleashes. Awesome.
posted by Skorgu at 11:33 AM on October 19, 2007

You have too many engineers. No, trust me, you have too many engineers. And one of them is a spy.

Hehe! On the control point map where everyone gets backed into that little corner with 4 turrets I have to insist on voice that we just have two pyros running around mashing their mouse button and refueling when they run out.
posted by cowbellemoo at 11:36 AM on October 19, 2007

Headshots are certainly the most satisfying kills, mostly because you know just how close you came to being the victim yourself.

“I’m gonna die. I’m gonna die. I’m gonna die. BAM! Killed ‘em. I didn’t die! Yet.”

I agree about the benefits of being a medic as a noob but it still requires that you figure out how to work the weapons. It doesn’t take long, sure, but most people signing into TF2 for the first time already know what a rocket launcher or chaingun does.

Mefi’s own (and the Mefi TF2 server’s own) Lore Sjöberg has a good article comparing TF2 classes to internet forum jackasses.
posted by bondcliff at 11:51 AM on October 19, 2007

I'm in, provided my better half doesn't have other plans.
posted by shmegegge at 12:20 PM on October 19, 2007

Can't help but notice Lore's article was written *after* he played with the MeFites. . . . Draw your own conclusions.
posted by absalom at 12:43 PM on October 19, 2007

I feel the demoman is under-represented. It's a fairly good class for noobs, because spamming grenades in the general direction of the enemy is a good strategy during assaults.

And on defense, the pile-o-sticky bombs next to the control point is hard to beat (although I love that heavies can shoot them away using physics)
posted by JZig at 1:30 PM on October 19, 2007

Sounds fun. I'm a definite n00b though - does this thing run well under VMWare Fusion on a fast new iMac (it has DirectX 8.1 acceleration support)?
posted by chundo at 1:50 PM on October 19, 2007

Count me in.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 1:53 PM on October 19, 2007

From Lore's article:

“The Blowhard

Some people argue, but the blowhard expounds. Not realizing, or caring, that most people just skim long posts, they go on for paragraphs, bringing in everything from Sun Tzu to Sun Microsystems. If that's you, try the Heavy, a slow, ponderous class with a big gun. You might get to the control point after it's been lost, but at least when you get there you'll be noticed.”

Heh. I've mostly been playing the Heavy. It's the only one that I've been useful to my team while playing.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:57 PM on October 19, 2007

I've seen a few MeFiers out and about in the wilderness of public servers, but have been sad that our server hasn't seen much use since the weekend. Would it be feasible to set up a recurring weekly time to play? Maybe one of the admins could announce it in the Steam group?

For those times when the MeFi server is empty, does anyone here have any other server recommendations? I've been sticking to "Cain's Lair", which has some decent folks... well except the guy who was choking on his own rage and cursing at me last night because I was having Spy cloaking issues when trying to seize the enemy control point. But that type has been in the minority.

I've been playing for a week or so now, and I've been enjoying the game a lot. There's a decent amount of teamwork that happens, but if there was more, I could see the game really clicking. It'd be nice to see people actually using tactics instead of just running in, shooting, dying, respawning and repeating.
posted by picea at 2:04 PM on October 19, 2007

It'd be great to set up a couple of recurring dates. Maybe Saturday afternoon and Wednesday night, or something like that—set times when people can expect to see a few other folks.

I have a few non mefi friends who are solid team players that I can see bringing to a game now and then; that sort of thing would probably help get games together when not enough mefites are available. Invite-only, natch.

Is there a good way to do short-term "let's have a game" announcements that actually go out to people? Should we set up a listserv so that we can drop announcements into genuine email?
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:08 PM on October 19, 2007

Hmm, blue screen of death says "no". And the Boot Camp download has disappeared from Apple's site. Guess I'll have to wait for Leopard to come out.
posted by chundo at 2:14 PM on October 19, 2007

Oh you bastards. I even (re)installed Steam the last time my ATI drivers patched, and I saw that Orange Box winking at me.

Can someone tell me if the TF2 engine has anything, anything at all in common with the HL/HL2 engine? The reason I ask this is, well, I'm a big pus... err.. something about Valve's engine makes me phsyically ill within a few minutes of experiencing it. Maybe it's the footstep bouncing, but I was able to Q3A all day long, and I'd sure love to give another team FPS a try, especially if it gives me a chance to shoot some of you ^_~, but I'm gonna be a sad clown if I install the bastard and it's all HL2 lookin'.

The Portal demo is what scared me, it looked pretty much like that engine.

Haven't found a TF2 demo yet..
posted by cavalier at 2:32 PM on October 19, 2007

It's the HL2 engine, alright, but TF2 has a very different graphical feel than HL2 or Portal—they've done a tremendous job of giving it a light, quasi-cell-shaded cartoonish feel.

Hard to know what details of the gameplay experience are and aren't a factor in your gut reaction, but it sure doesn't feel like the same game.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:45 PM on October 19, 2007

Hey, cavalier, I think I got motion sickness from playing Portal and HL2, but I've experienced no problems with TF2. There's a lot less detail in the models and less jumping around (unless you're a Scout).
posted by picea at 2:50 PM on October 19, 2007

Kisses to both of you!

Is TF:Classic any similiar? I realized I had that on my Steam account so I'm downloading that now.

picea, yeah, it stinks, I think Portal would be a wicked idea to play, but again.. even the video of the thing has my stomach going whirrroooooooo.
posted by cavalier at 3:01 PM on October 19, 2007

TF2 is basically a swanky, latter-day edition of TFC; you'll find the older one resembles the newer one but with less polish and verve, basically. I played the crap out of it back in the day, but it doesn't seem to have aged all that well, and TF2 is kind of a revelation as a result.

Certainly worth kicking around in if you're curious, though.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:04 PM on October 19, 2007

Cavalier, the HL2 engine made me really sick as well. It got better when I messed with the POV setting a bit, but even still it would still make me sick when I played it for a long period of time. It's worse when there's nothing really happening and I'm just walking around.

Even Portal has made me a bit queasy, though I've also only played it this week while fighting a stomach bug.

So far so good with TF2 though. I think the constant action, combined with the lowered realism, makes it easier.
posted by bondcliff at 3:46 PM on October 19, 2007

FPS games typically make me queasy. TF2 will if I use the graphical settings recommended for my system but lowering it down a notch further makes things work beautifully. Also turn down your mouse sensitivity in the beginning. That gets a lot of people.
posted by hindmost at 4:33 PM on October 19, 2007

The reason I ask this is, well, I'm a big pus... err.. something about Valve's engine makes me phsyically ill within a few minutes of experiencing it.

The problem for most people is default FOV (field of view) is 70 degrees for the game. Valve helpfully added a slider in the Options dialogue to change it (you always could in the console or .cfg files). Try setting it to 90 and you should be good to go.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:38 PM on October 19, 2007

All I'm saying is that I've resumed my procyberathletic workout regiment and have been consuming my old standby of textured vegetable protein and Boost supplements, so you guys better be ready for absolute pwnage.

And if you're doubting the utility of such an exercise routine, go to and search for "cyberathlete workout hand muscle hypertrophy better lover."
posted by herrdoktor at 7:34 PM on October 19, 2007

Drunk. In the wrong state. On the wrong computer. Tomorrow'll be the same, and Sunday I'll be on an aeroplane. Sorry. Yell medic once for me.
posted by Plutor at 7:39 PM on October 19, 2007

It's Saturday afternoon here, and I'm totally up for some high-ping killin', but nobody's home. *cries*
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:47 PM on October 19, 2007

What really bugs me about all this is that, after a probably lucky showing last Saturday, I'm going to lose my edge over folks who have actually played a bit and warmed up and be a complete shitter next time we get together.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:50 PM on October 19, 2007

The server's really hoppin' right now. I guess it's just a matter of getting critical mass together?
posted by muckster at 9:37 PM on October 19, 2007

Thanks for the plug, folks!

Random thought: Might be fun to have a bit of time set aside for everyone to play a class they're not that good at. Could be mightily amusing, plus it's a chance for those of us who aren't crack shots or master strategists to take a round as a sniper or spy without being too much of an embarrassment to our team.
posted by L. Fitzgerald Sjoberg at 9:57 PM on October 19, 2007

Had fun again tonight, hope I didn't annoy anyone with my IMs. Hopefuly tomorrow afternoon/evening we might look for each other.
posted by absalom at 10:45 PM on October 19, 2007

Good times on Friday, all. Whoo. I had scout fever and the only cure was a grenade to the breadbasket.
posted by picea at 10:47 PM on October 19, 2007

Don't worry cortex, I'll always suck worse than you.

That session just now was great, but man I was just plain sucking. Not sure how long I can milk the whole '200+ ping' thing when my once-133t skillz are such crap.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:51 PM on October 19, 2007

Cool! Otherwise I was just gonna pop in Sat afternoon around the same time and see if anybody was on.

I'm up for a regular weekly session at that time, or whatever time/day is more convenient for more people. Sounds like fun. todd lokken winters720
posted by First Post at 2:50 AM on October 20, 2007

Wow, I am totally in for some n00b slaughtering.
posted by Mach5 at 5:41 AM on October 20, 2007

Ooh, thanks stavros! I'm going to re-download HL2 and give it a try. I'd be very excited if that solved the issue for me, because Portal from a puzzle perspective looked pretty neat!

Now if only Valve will let me reneg on my purchase and grant me the orange box instead of TF2... hmmm...... :p
posted by cavalier at 5:47 AM on October 20, 2007

A link to this comment would probably have been wise to include in this post, heh.
posted by tehloki at 8:23 AM on October 20, 2007

posted by cortex (staff) at 11:00 AM on October 20, 2007

Well, that was absurdly fun and surprisingly playable given my 150+ transatlantic ping.
posted by Olli at 4:09 PM on October 20, 2007

Excellent game, guys! I had a lot of fun despite being slaughtered like the newbie I was. I had a ping of about 120-180, which was generally fine.
posted by adrianhon at 4:16 PM on October 20, 2007

Olli isn't allowed to play Scout any more unless he's on my team.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:22 PM on October 20, 2007

Sigh. Once again, I miss. But next time, Gadget... Next time...
posted by sparkletone at 9:50 PM on October 20, 2007

BTW Cortex, I agree that we should have some email list or way to announce game times to people.
posted by adrianhon at 4:50 AM on October 21, 2007

I threw up an ad hoc "LET'S KILL EACHOTHER WOO" Event announcement on the Steam group, about five minutes after 2 Eastern; did that catch people's attention at all? Is that useful as an event reminder?
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:16 AM on October 21, 2007

It's OK, but I have to boot into Windows especially for TF2, so I generally don't have Steam running. Not sure whether this is common, but a more old-fashioned announcement system would be cool as well.
posted by adrianhon at 8:19 AM on October 21, 2007

Is that useful as an event reminder?

It helped me, or rather would have helped me if going to see Digitalism and staying up after till about 7am hadn't caused me to sleep until 6 in the evening.

Mmm, delicious nocturnality.
posted by sparkletone at 2:43 PM on October 21, 2007

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