In response to “Storming the Fortress” from The Escapist Forum: TF2 is still one of my favorite games. I usually change games like I change underwear (seriously, every day), but I can always come back and enjoy a few hours of TF2. It’s one of the only team games I’ve ever seen that manages a good balance between teams and classes. There’s a class to suit anyone’s play style and they can always be helpful to the team. Some people will argue that certain classes require more or less “skill”, but I find that all classes require skill, just different skills.
I find the unlocks interesting, though I don’t think they’ve made a major difference in holding my interest (though each new unlock set certainly piques my interest). The new game modes and maps certainly help. I absolutely love payload maps and also find the arena modes enjoyable at times. Even just the small adjustments to classes (like the Pyro’s air blast and the engineer’s multi-level teleporters and dispensers) has a large effect on class play and strategy, keeping the game fluid and interesting. I have to say, a new class or game mode would certainly draw more of my attention back to this game.
Unlike most people, I play a wide range of classes. Pyro and Engineer tend to be my favorite, though Demoman is coming up. Medic and Heavy are close behind, though I usually choose them as strategic measures (such as when my 12 man team doesn’t have a single medic). I’m not great with Soldier or Sniper, but I can manage, and I’m abysmal with Scout or Spy.
All in all, TF2 is easily one of the top games I’ve ever played and has kept my attention for the longest. It’s just plain out fun!
In response to “Mod & Blade” from The Escapist Forum: Finally, some recognition for this masterpiece!
I picked it up around version 0.707 (something like that :S) and I haven’t been able to put it down since. It easily stands up to “bigger, better” games like Oblivion and Neverwinter Nights. The flexibility of the game is indeed it’s greatest aspect, and I can’t recommend Mount and Blade enough!
I bought into the Beta when it was about $12 and change (the version number escapes me). Since then, I’ve been overjoyed by the community that supports Mount & Blade and overwhelmed by the number of mods that cropped up in response to this game, even though it was an indie game with less than major publicity. The game necessitated an extra hard-drive, solely because there were so many modifications to download and install. Perhaps this is why their joining with Paradox seems to fit so well, as that is a publisher which encourages people to mod their games in much the same way TaleWorlds does.
Thanks for your article, which chronicles what I think is the best story that comes out of M&B, the modding community. Gamers haven’t seen this kind of response to a game since Half-Life (and HL2) were put out. I think it is the mark of truly great games that they not only entertain, but also inspire people to improve those games by adding and altering them, and by allowing people to do so.
In response to “Make Your Own Fun” from The Escapist Forum: I remember my friends and I would always make up games to play in our other games. Some of my favorites mostly include turning multiplayer versus modes into co-op modes. We would play one of the battle maps in the original Mario Kart and fire off green shells, then work together to keep track of them and avoid getting hit. We also both loved doing the Katarina map in Star Fox 64 as co-op.
The thing I find odd is that these rocket jumpers and online inventors are often labeled as griefers. I just recently picked up Phantasy Star Universe and already hear constant complaints about the players who hang out in the game’s main lobby and just chat or dance or play dice games. Yet I just see these people who are enjoying an online game without playing the game portion.
I’ll never understand speed runs. I just don’t see the sense of accomplishment accounting for restarting a game again and again every time a minor nudge of the joystick costs you a few seconds. Yet, I’m sure a lot of people don’t understand the joys I described of green shell hunting. So, yes, I agree inventing games within games takes all kinds of people.
AWESOME! I thought I’m the only idiot on the server, when I started the Feng Shui lunacy in our server in CS: Source. When I started playing, I noticed that I can still move stuff with the E-key, like in HL2. The metaphorical lightbulb switched on above my head, I took all the movable objects in the vicinity, and barricaded off entriways and doors as much I could. This was most annoying on the smaller maps, like cs_office, or cs_assault, where I usually barricade off the entrances to the hostages, so the CT-s can’t get in without shoving the stuff out of the way first, giving me enough time to pick them off one-by-one with shotgun 😀 I have a little signature move on cs_italy, when I play as T, I always put the armoire in the window of the little house with the hostages in it. “It is good Feng Shui, now we are sure to win! XD”
I started calling my little retarded minigame as Feng Shui, and how “it messes up the Chi of the other team” and stuff like that. To my big surprise, my idiocy spawned many followers, stacking furniture and whatnot into doorways and windows in the name of Feng Shui, trying to “destroy the Chi of the enemy”. I have now a little cult of Feng Shui followers on the server 😀 It sometimes detrimental to the game itself, because when the entire T team is off to get more junk to build a fortress into the doorways, build a huge sculpture on an empty space or just shove all the junk on the map into one pile, and not to kill the CT-s… there is something seriously wrong with that 😀 But it’s amazingly fun and entertaining. It beats shooting each other in silence, round after round, map after map. Brings some color into the otherwise boring game. Sometimes we even forget we suppose to shoot at each other, and the two teams building idiotic contraptions together, round after round. But when someone fires a shot… all hell breaks loose 😀
In response to “Story Time with Agent 47” from The Escapist Forum: If you have not had the chance to read the GalCivII AARs that Tom Francis did, you should avail yourself of them, and see if they still seem like fan-fiction. While this may not be a true delineation, in my head I mark the difference that fan-fiction merely takes place in a universe recognizable as related to a given fictional setting. For the items discussed in this article, the GalCivII stuff in particular, everything discussed actually took place in the game, and the writer is merely adding context (of what was going on in the player’s mind, of what could theoretically have been driving the opponent’s mind if they weren’t just algorithms.)
Because you mentioned Dwarf Fortress, I was reminded of this awesome thing I had read somewhere where different people had managed a fortress for a generation then passed it along, but for the LIFE of me, I couldn’t remember where or what it was. Thankfully, MooseHowl brought it up anyway. The Saga of Boatmurdered is hilarious, and yet it all takes place in-game.
On that note, Concerned seems to edge more to fan-fiction to me, much in the way of The Reclaimer or Red vs. Blue, despite how closely tied it is to the main storyline of the canon HL2.
Nice read, I had no idea this genre was getting this popular. You can find a ton of great stuff like RPS’s Planetside essay or Tim Stone’s recreation of a flight across the Atlantic that are in the same vein. What always distinguishes these essays from the fan fiction, in my mind, is that often people will approach the game with an agenda. Arbitrarily discussing a game is one thing, talking about what happens when you try to play the game as someone evil or a pacifist is quite another.