TF2 Servers with "Premium Accounts"

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I've recently been noticing just how many servers there are that have premium accounts associated with them. I can understand that server owners need a way to pay the bills for servers, but some of the premium account features are just ridiculous. The first time I noticed a server had premium accounts associated with it was when I thought a player was hacking; He was able to fly and I'm pretty sure there's no legit way for that to happen.

Ever since then, I've been blacklisting any server I go on that has a premium account feature associated with it.

Am I going mad or am I not the only 1 that hates these sorts of servers? I wouldn't mind if they simply gave access to cosmetic stuff, like being able to play as a bot (just a reskin of the class they're actually playing) or immunity from being kicked for other players to join or something, but a lot of the time they have stuff that gives you an advantage. In 1 case I was killed by a sniper, and the kill cam zoomed in on him and he was half invisible; I'd have had no way to spot him without seriously having to pay attention.

Tl;dr: Has anyone else stumbled across these and been annoyed by them?

It's annoying I guess but it's their server so they can do whatever the hell they want with it, that being said a notice that gameplay has been changed to benefit certain players would be nice

I hear there are ones that let Engineers build multiple sentry guns, dispensers and teleporters with the teleporters being invincible. Sounds pretty horrible, to be honest. I've been fortunate enough not to encounter one of those, or any ones resembling the one in the screenshot, as of yet.

I've played on a few servers that give immunity to you if you lose a round (during the 15 second humiliation), granted that you've paid for it. Even something as small as that annoys me. I imagine anything more would instantly go on blacklist.

It's been going on for a long time with TF2. What really should happen is that Valve requires that a server doesn't imbalance the game in such ways for it to be rolled on the quickstart. The existence of such servers isn't a problem (I enjoy playing on the x10 servers), but it shouldn't be what you get when you ask for a normal games.

What I do is that I open the server list, arrange it by name, and block all of the Saigns and NighTeam servers that are conveniently lined up (there was a 3rd on, I can't remember right now).

The players there are awful anyway, that's why they pay for such rubbish.

I instantly blacklist any and all servers like this that I run across. It's the very definition of "pay to win" and flies in the face of TF2's gameplay philosophy.

I don't mind if servers utilize relatively unobtrusive methods of generating revenue, like displaying an ad at the MOTD screen or displaying their URL at the bottom of the screen. Even those can go too far though, like those damn Pinion ads that prevent you from joining the game for 30 seconds (or even worse, popping up in the middle of gameplay) or splashing the URL across the center of the screen. Servers that give "premium accounts" special gameplay-altering bonuses deserve to wither and die for promoting such disgusting practices.

I went on a server once that gave players a premium trial. People would join, activate the trial and own everybody, and then as soon as the trial was over they'd leave.

Needless to say I never went back there.

Find a different server? There are plenty that don't do that. We have donations on our servers, but all they do is give you a guaranteed spot (like you won't be auto-kicked if an admin or other donator wants in, and you can use console commands to force into the server even if its full) and autobalance immunity.

frobalt:
Tl;dr: Has anyone else stumbled across these and been annoyed by them?

DustyDrB:
Find a different server? There are plenty that don't do that.

And that's why the Escapist TF2 servers stay stock in regards to gameplay. I think the only advantage is linking your Steam account to your Esc profile, so there's some priority on joins but that's about it.

The only adjustment to the rules I would even bother implementing would be a balancer in that if one side is totally dominating the other, you'd start getting a bounty system going where killing someone who has say, 3+ dominations, would result in a temporary buff banner effect for the killer's team (i.e. brought down a high value target, morale boost).

But yeah, I hate the donate/pay to win mentality for a game based around skill and teamwork. It's nice for goofing off days, but not locked for paying people only.

Would be nice to get more traffic on the Esc TF2 servers though. (hint-hint) ;)

DustyDrB:
Find a different server? There are plenty that don't do that.

That's what I do, but I find it irritating that I've loaded up a game just to have to exit, blacklist and find another, only for it to happen again.

It's happening so much I started to wonder if it's becoming the norm or something.

I've played on some that have "fun" or adminitration-lite features for premium members. Such as their votes counting for double for any map change, being invulnerable during the "defeat shame", a 24 man server would always be 22/24 unless two premium members joined, or being the last choice in any auto team-balance decision.

Essentially you paid to enable you to play on the server more often than others and you were not subjected to unfortunate non-gameplay related issues.

The ones that give paying members PRACTICAL advantages in combat are simply not worth playing on.

frobalt:
It's happening so much I started to wonder if it's becoming the norm or something.

Seriously, help us advertise and populate the Esc TF2 server, and you won't have that problem. Both Kross and I are around to handle requests pretty quickly (faster to grab us on IRC though).

Abomination:
I've played on some that have "fun" or adminitration-lite features for premium members. Such as their votes counting for double for any map change, being invulnerable during the "defeat shame", a 24 man server would always be 22/24 unless two premium members joined, or being the last choice in any auto team-balance decision.

Those bonuses I don't mind (except the immortal Humiliation, I love that part both being the winner and loosing, Equalizer Taunt FTW!)

But the servers The OP brings up I avoid like the plague.

It's their server, let them do whatever they want with it. If people don't like it they are free to leave, it's not like anything is forcing them to play with the people who cheat, nor are these servers the only ones available. There are literally thousands of servers to choose from, it's not difficult to find one that doesn't have any of these features.

I didn't even know people do this. I paid for a server once but all it did was boot non-paying players to make room for the paying ones to join.

But at this point, TF2 is such a joke to me I just can't be bothered to care.

I dunno about annoying. Like yeah they exist but if i get annoyed by something i can easily avoid, then i'd be a bit of an idiot.

And it's their server they can do whatever they want.

Paying servers have always had this problem, I just thought TF2 would be one of the few games that wouldn't do this underhanded tactic, I hear that Battlefield 3 had a huge problem recently too.

Its been a staple of PC gaming for a few years, even Soldier of Fortune had servers where the admin were allowed to run scripts but everyone else wasn't, was funny watching the same guys get annihilated at Lan events since scripts aren't allowed at tourneys.

And I thought the non auto balance (read: "Clan Team Stacker") was annoying. I get that some servers out there need to pay the bills, but this sort of crap is just low. On the brightside, you can at least black list servers, and anybody can have a server. People also do some legitimately silly and fun server mods that keeps the game fresh. I don't know if you guys remember this (was mid/late 90s), but Mega Team Fortress (a server mod of Quake TF) was an absolute nut house blast to play on, and there were a host of other enjoyable server mods out there that made the game FUN if anything for messing around value.

You compare this to EA's Battlefield 3 rented servers where it is still tightly controlled BF3 with no mods allowed, but the server admins can basically be Admin-Nazis without fear of getting in trouble from breaking EA's own rules. "No shotguns! No M320! No Sniper Rifles! No M16! No stealing vehicles! You can only get 10 kills in a row before you get admin killed!" I remember the good old days when mods meant "Desert Combat" or "Crazy Happy Fun low gravity all rocket launchers!" and not "Herr Rule Nazi's Third Reich Metreo 24/7 No Fun Allowed Server".

The premium bonuses I usually see are reserved slots and cosmetic bonuses, like being able to wear Halloween items at any time. I suggest looking at the bonuses before blacklisting.

If a server allows its premium members to cheat, then I might as well leave and let the cheaters enjoy each other.

Valve, if I recall, doesn't differentiate between servers running official rules and custom ones, in their browser by default. Hence, you see these servers in TF2, and Surf servers in CSS. You just avoid them. Stick to ones on the official rules.

On other games, I've seen better premium servers, usually that clan members (Usually paying), have priority access to the server, and often moderator privileges.

mezorin:
And I thought the non auto balance (read: "Clan Team Stacker") was annoying. I get that some servers out there need to pay the bills, but this sort of crap is just low. On the brightside, you can at least black list servers, and anybody can have a server. People also do some legitimately silly and fun server mods that keeps the game fresh. I don't know if you guys remember this (was mid/late 90s), but Mega Team Fortress (a server mod of Quake TF) was an absolute nut house blast to play on, and there were a host of other enjoyable server mods out there that made the game FUN if anything for messing around value.

You compare this to EA's Battlefield 3 rented servers where it is still tightly controlled BF3 with no mods allowed, but the server admins can basically be Admin-Nazis without fear of getting in trouble from breaking EA's own rules. "No shotguns! No M320! No Sniper Rifles! No M16! No stealing vehicles! You can only get 10 kills in a row before you get admin killed!" I remember the good old days when mods meant "Desert Combat" or "Crazy Happy Fun low gravity all rocket launchers!" and not "Herr Rule Nazi's Third Reich Metreo 24/7 No Fun Allowed Server".

Worst part of those is that BF3 tries to use a global ranking system, including score per minute, which should indicate playing the objective and team play.

Some servers set themselves up as "Capture Only, No Kill". If you kill, admin scripts will kick you. So people just drive around capturing and score boosting. And EA/DICE don't shut down these boosting servers. It's ridiculous. You can't compete with those guys by playing legitimately, so the ranking system is ruined.

Good work DICE. *facepalm*

Bob_F_It:

The players there are awful anyway, that's why they pay for such rubbish.

From what I've heard a big chunk of those 'players' aren't even players to begin with (and from my experience I tend to believe that). Those servers are pretty much a scam - they lure people in with a supposed 'community', sell them power and let them live some illusion of good gameplay...

With this I mean Saigns, Skial and such. My regular server has also a donor-feature: You can't be killed at the end of a round if your team lost.

ThriKreen:

frobalt:
It's happening so much I started to wonder if it's becoming the norm or something.

Seriously, help us advertise and populate the Esc TF2 server, and you won't have that problem. Both Kross and I are around to handle requests pretty quickly (faster to grab us on IRC though).

I'm confused a little bit here: What is it I'd be requesting?

I'll have a look at the Escapist server next time I'm in-game though.

Dirty Hipsters:
It's their server, let them do whatever they want with it. If people don't like it they are free to leave, it's not like anything is forcing them to play with the people who cheat, nor are these servers the only ones available. There are literally thousands of servers to choose from, it's not difficult to find one that doesn't have any of these features.

Maybe so, but there should be some form of tag to let people know that it's a pay-to-win server. After all, people might think like I did and assume that people that have a premium account are cheating. My first annoyance with it was some guy on KOTH on Harvest that ran around as the Horseless Headless Horseman ganking everyone on my team. He'd stand just outside our spawn and bonk everyone that came out. What was annoying about it is that his melee attack made us 'scared' so we couldn't fight back and my huntsman was unable to do headshots despite obviously hitting his head.

I s'pose at least most of them advertise it to you when you enter the server.

You can search by tags, and blacklist servers. Very handy, that.

NightmareExpress:
I hear there are ones that let Engineers build multiple sentry guns, dispensers and teleporters with the teleporters being invincible.

It's true, I've found one or two servers with premium accounts offering the above. Needless to say, playing on these servers is about the least fun you can have on the game.

These are the types of players who require a leveling system in FPS games so they can gain an advantage over the majority of other players.

TF2 is a game that is designed to put everyone on equal ground. Even the weapons you unlock generally have negative bonuses associated with them and don't simply give you positive stats. Having paid services that allow you to automatically win is just dumb.

I am okay with these ONLY if they have no gameplay benefits. Like, if it's all cosmetic (Such as applying any unusual effect you want onto a hat while in that map), or slot reservation/autokick avoidance, then I'm cool with it. But the one in that screenshot...I was filled with SO much disgust when I saw "50hp on each kill". I avoid those servers like the plauge.

I just blacklist any server where donators get an advantage, it's silly and I'd prefer if there weren't any servers like that, but honestly it's not all that many servers and blacklisting them is fairly easy, so not a big deal.

My usual routine in TF2 connect to random server play for abit...

Okay wtf... notice a crit rocket 'homing' around the map onto me >_>... really? a crit homing rocket launched by the guy i was dominating... okay fuck this d/c re-connect to a different server hopefully no premium advantage bullshit :/.

I got no issues with people having premium servers IF the advantage of being premium IS ONLY COSMETIC no bullshit i win rockets or multiple sentrys : / that's just lame.

I should REALLLLLY look into joining the ESC TF2 servers >_> i'll add them to favorites once my PC is alive again.

Rossmallo:
I am okay with these ONLY if they have no gameplay benefits. Like, if it's all cosmetic (Such as applying any unusual effect you want onto a hat while in that map), or slot reservation/autokick avoidance, then I'm cool with it. But the one in that screenshot...I was filled with SO much disgust when I saw "50hp on each kill". I avoid those servers like the plauge.

This particular one is just ridiculous. I've just checked out their full list of premium features as well, and it's like being in god-mode for any class you could play.

Which wouldn't be so bad, if it were a server mod that everyone was able to use, regardless of premium features (Ok, I wouldn't play in it myself, but at least everyone would have equal footing and it would just be a crazy server) but these ones are so drastic that you're just setting yourself up to fail if you play on them.

I actually remember playing a few rounds on the server in the screenshot some time ago. It's a mess - demomen spamming with infinite grenades, snipers with spy detectors, medics with almost instant uber-charges, etc.

At least it was fun watching half the server go into rage mode when I asked how is it fun to p2w.

I don't mind stuff like slot reservation or auto-balance immunity, but servers like these go straight into my blacklist.

frobalt:
I'm confused a little bit here: What is it I'd be requesting?

I'll have a look at the Escapist server next time I'm in-game though.

Any server requests, maps, features, game nights. It's pretty empty most days, so if you can't find a regular TF2 server to frequent, start helping us get more people onto it and make it a new home to play on.

So we can all stop complaining about a lack of a decent non-pay to win server and wasting time trying to find a new one, there's one right here waiting to be used! Three of them even, one for EU, N.America East Coast, and N.America West Coast.

Yeah, I hate it too. I don't want to be at either an advantage or disadvantage.

So if I got a premium account I could mod the weapons and crap the way I want?

No? Why bother then >>

I played on one premium server a few years back, the people with premium had huge amounts of health and did more damage.

It was fun when I imagined it as a kind of boss battle, it was even more fun watching some of them rage after losing to someone 1v1.

Wait? How many damn servers do you guys play on? Some of you mention black listing server after server? What's that about?

Just find a bunch you like and keep to them. I've been playing on the same 3 servers since 2007. No intention of going elsewhere.

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