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Audience: Team Fortress 2

Valve-Community Interactions

  • Butt Monkey: Pyro and Engineer players find themselves frequently getting the short end of the stick. Pyro's weapons have largely been nerfed, for what some in the fanbase considered trivial reasons. After a highly controversial change to melee weapons that exchanged no crits for less damage was pulled back, the only weapon that didn't have the change recalled was the Power Jack, but the Power Jack was given an additional defensive drawback in exchange. The greatly anticipated Meet the Pyro was apparently delayed while Valve focused on making Dota 2 videos. Valve, of course, has trolled the fanbase, claiming they might even make a hundred or more videos, and they plan to continue for quite some time. Though Pyro and Engineer players have received weapons in the 2011 holiday update, laser weapons to make up for the Soldier getting yet another set that thematically didn't make sense with him, Pyro and Engineer still tend to be considered the least likely to get new weapons in a given update. Engie players are regularly shafted in terms of new gear; the Engineer skirts the Game Breaker line so very precariously that any new Engineer weapon has to be rigorously tested so it doesn't throw off the other 8 classes.
    • In addition, the Pyro fans were openly trolled during the Uber Update when the Detonator flare gun from the Public Beta showed up, only to have been nerfed to oblivion during compared to its Beta version. Valve then proceeded to use the announcement to rub the Engineer players's noses in the fact that they got nothing. The Uber Update also came with two Soldier sets, pretty much stealing the show from the class that was supposed to be the star of the update (the Medic).
    • The Pyromania Update, an update meant to revolve around Pyro, came and Pyro got reskins for his default Flamethrower and Fire Axe, The Scorch Shot (A very underwhelming Flare Gun), and yet another Phlogistinator nerf. Meet the Pyro was pretty funny, but it was considerably shorter than Meet the Medic. The light at the end of this tunnel was that the Flamethrower was *finally* buffed.
      • To be clear, ALL of the Pyro's flamethrowers were buffed, and the buff was scaled to keep their damage potential in line with each other. Furthermore, the Scorch Shot has has found a purpose in igniting large crowds in smaller maps, though it's still considered the worst of the Flare Guns when any of the others are better at straight up killing their targets.
    • Medics can often be chastised by their own team over their choice of playstyle. Many players think that Medics should be nothing more than healers who should let the other classes do the fighting, when in reality skilled Medics who contribute to combat directly AND keep the team alive create a much more deadly team to face against.
    • Combine this with the fact that Medics rarely receive updates (the unlocks can be counted on your fingers) and you have a class that is suppressed creatively by both players and creators.
      • To be fair, it's well known that the syringe guns are quite handy in certain situations. Medics are encouraged to ward off attackers as they seek safety, rather than risk a death. More often than not, a Medic who wants to be combat focused rarely heals people, if at all, and is usually a Scrub.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: Valve has taken many countermeasures to cut down on achievement farming, and have punished people who used an idling program for their stuff by either taking away items gained with it, or taking away items period. Inversely, those who didn't use said program received a new hat. There's already an alternate skin for it in response. They set limits on item drops too, prompting cries of VALVE< from idlers.
    • Valve's stance on idling is far more relaxed now, as the drop limits keep idlers honest.
      • And now they've nearly stopped idling entirely, as one needs to check the notification whenever one gets an item in order to be able to obtain any more.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: The team at Valve is very aware of their sizable Yaoi Fangirl and Gaymer fanbase, and many of their recent item updates have reflected this, particularly The Something Special For Someone Special (a wedding ring) and the Triad Trinket, an open shirt gold chain combination which has a pose called "Bear."
  • Shout-Out: Hats and weapons from the unofficial Fancy vs Nasty Update, mentioned once in the TF2 blog and then added in Christmas 2010, have been sorted in the Store under Box of Fancy Hats and Pile of Nasty Weapons.
  • Promoted Fans:
    • The artist that drew this image of the Announcer was eventually hired by Valve as their official comic artist, with the image becoming the Administrator's canon depiction (see Ascended Fanon). The Minttu also counts, as she was asked to draw the "True Meaning" comic after several years of posting Team Fortress 2 fanart online.
    • The unofficial Team Fortress 2 wiki is now the official TF2 wiki, as of June 30, 2010. It is now being hosted entirely on Valve's dime.
    • DrunkenF00l, maker of many sourceOP mods including the Idling program, TF2Item backpack examiner, and many other acts that ended up making Valve angry at his antics (and banned him twice), is now employed by Valve.

Unofficial Community Maps

  • Boss Battle: A slowly developing trend in Achievement maps seems to be making a hidden boss battle activated by either waiting for the timer to trip the introduction, or doing something out of the ordinary. For example.
  • Cool Train / Locomotive Level: The custom Capture the Flag map Convoy takes place on and within two side-by-side missile carriers racing through the desert (based off Unreal Tournament 2004 map AS-Convoy).

Fandom

  • Ascended Fanfic:
    • As mentioned above, a fanart depiction of The Announcer (or, The Administrator) became her canonical appearance.
    • Long before the Engineer Update introduced the Frontier Justice, Nerf NOW!! made a comic about the Engineer going on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge after the destruction of his sentry.
    • A mod entitled Vs Saxton Hale paved the way for a similar mode, fighting the Horseless Headless Horsemann in the Mann Manor map for Halloween 2010.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: There are rather popular images of genderswapped classes. Came to a head with two rather popular models that made the Scout into a female, and another that substituted a female Medic. Fan-made voice packs for both genderswaps are in the works. Also notable are ChemicalAlia's mods, especially her Spy.
    • There are lots of images with this for the Pyro, based on the Pyro's official Ambiguous Gender.
    • Although there has been a debate over the "right" way to genderbend the characters, with some preferring the Nerf NOW!!!!-style pin-ups and others siding with the ChemicalAlia-style, which is dressed more practically for battle and sport the same diverse bodytypes as their male counterparts.
    • And now there is an entire fanmade female team. With unique origins to boot.
  • Boss Battle: THE OCTO-HEAVY
  • Comedy Ghetto: Inverted thanks to Team Fortress 2 being such as a ridiculous game. As such, about 85% of the short films made about it tend to be funny, as do most of the entries to the Saxxies. The Drama shorts thus often get looked down upon, claimed to be full of cliches. This isn't always the case, though; "Story of a Sentry" and "Bad Medicine" are usually regarded as fine dramatic videos.
  • Companion Cube: Asking frequent Engineer players about their sentries can yield some interesting results.
  • Complaining About Things You Haven't Paid For: The updates (small and big alike) Valve makes to TF2 are all free unless you opt to pay for it (To get a new item from the Mann Co. store or play Mann versus Machine in Mann Up mode); this includes EVERY update in the last seven years of the game's release. Still, the stream of complaints never ever stops.
    • Now that TF2 is free-to-play, people are complaining about things they HAVE paid for! Specifically, people thought that going Free to Play was a huge slap in the face to anyone who paid for the game and that they were entitled to a full refund since the game they bought four years ago is now free. Then again, this was coming from /v/, who are generally unhappy paying for anything, especially anything related to video games.
  • Crutch Character:
    • The Heavy and Pyro often get viewed as this for new players. While both classes are actually capable of being used with finesse and skill, they're viewed as "crutch" because their learning curve is much easier than other classes.
    • On the weapons end, items that are viewed as crutch are the Liberty Launcher (A Rocket Launcher with faster rockets but less damage, making it an opposite in skill floor to the Direct Hit), the Backburner and Phlogistinator (viewed as used by just W+M1 Pyros), the Machina (supposedly for Snipers who can't headshot), and the Dead Ringer (viewed as a "get out of jail free" card for bad Spies, though this has decreased since its nerf.)
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Ability to spray images on the environment in a match + Spy class being able to be invisible and backstab enemies + Images of attractive women on the internet = Idea Bulb.
    • This pretty well sums it up.
    • Some sprays even lampshade this phenomenon by showing a sexy woman with large breasts with small text on the breasts reading:
      "Theres a Spy behind you."
  • Dude, Not Funny!: The Company of Heroes hats for Heavy and Medic were accused of being Nazi and Communist hats, and many fans reacted this way as a result. The names and descriptions were quietly changed to WWI hats passed down by the two's great grandfathers as a result (although the game they're tied into is still set in WWII). Unfortunately, a lot of items released for Medic in particular are subject to this kind of response, ranging from innocuous accessories to people in the Workshop deliberately making Holocaust jokes. Case in point: A Christmas priest outfit for Medic. The official item name? The Angel of Death. Wasn't that, y'know, Joseph Mengele's nickname?
    • There was also the description for the "Track Terrorizer" for Scout, which said the Scout tried hitting on high school girls, despite being 23.
  • Fandom Berserk Button: Calling the Medic a Nazi. Even Valve themselves are not fans of this and have confirmed many times that he isn't or ever was one.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: A small subset of fans flatly refuse to accept the official comics and promotional videos as canon, or as anything except promotional material. To them, only the game itself is canon and relevant. This is becoming harder and harder to justify, however, as the comic, trailer, and "Meet The..." plot has slowly creeped more and more into the game itself.
  • Fanwork Only Fans: Until the game became F2P, most of the Yaoi Fangirls making fanart and fanfiction for the game had never even played it, making this a case of Most Gamers Are Male played straight. Also applies on a lesser scale to those who mainly follow TF2 for the GMod videos, like Painis Cupcake or Vagineer. Reasoning on this can be varied, from "I like the universe, but I don't like first-person shooters/video games in general" to No Import For You (a lot of fanwork on Tumblr is from Japan and Korea), to health problems like epilepsy and motion sickness that restrict how much, if any gaming they do.
    • Although unfortunately the girls who do pay and play often get dismissed as "just here for the gay porn" or "just here because you think [insert class here] is hot" if they dare to reveal their gender to the guys, even if the female fans were there before the F2P update or play competitive Highlander.
  • Flamewar: Team Fortress 2 is one of the most popular team-based online shooters ever. Beyond this, there is no aspect of the game that is not subject to actinic flamewars. There is no action Valve can take that will not spark flames on the forums.
  • Gender Flip/Rule63: There exist fan-made models of the characters as female. Some are rather disturbing.
  • Het Is Ew: Surprisingly averted. Scout's Mom, the (until now) only canon female in the Team Fortress universe who is in a romantic relationship with Spy, has enjoyed a comparatively mild degree of bashing for a female of her circumstance in such a male-dominated series, in spite of being a very real impediment to the canonicity of Sniper/Spy, by far the most popular pairing amongst the yaoi fangirls. However, it already looks like Medic's wife (who may or may not even actually exist) may not be so fortunate...
    • Although Makani (the Ascended Fangirl from above) draws her own non-canon fancomics depicting his wife and him in a Bi the Way open relationship, while others shrug her off as The Beard. Or assume that Demo was just trying to taunt Medic, and that she never existed in the first place.
  • In-Universe Marketing: Community artist Fragimus_Max has set up websites for BLU, which has been hacked by RED, causing pages linking to the support page for the vendor, Spytech Industries, a subsidiary of TF Industries.
  • Jerkass Dissonance: Each of the characters are jovial, genial, friendly sorts who you would love to have a beer and a chat with until you remember that they're all psychotic murderers. They are all very much adored by the fanbase. The Heavy is probably the best example, considering how much (and many) people love him.
  • Periphery Demographic/Most Fanfic Writers Are Girls: There is an astonishing amount of homosexual erotica out there for a first-person shooter involving people finding more and more creative ways to blow each other into bloody red chunks. Though perhaps that may be part of the appeal, seeing as the classes are basically a Cast Full of Pretty Boys minus the pretty. Although due to LGBT Fanbase, there are several popular gay male fanfic writers and artists as well.
  • Perverse Sexual Lust: Every single one of the classes has his respectable share of devoted fangirls and fanboys. Even Pyro.
  • Rule 34: There are fan-made model packs depicting all of the classes in the nude. Naturally, you can find them on FPS Banana.
  • Sailor Earth: Team Fortress OCs are typically the (non-existent) "tenth class", the first female member (though most ignore all the possible Values Dissonance), or the idea that uses the canon characters as a template and build original characters on top of them. The most obvious example of the third idea is Cuanta Vida, where even two members of the same class have entirely different personalities. Just look at the WMG page for a few examples made by Tropers.
  • Self-Fanservice: So much. Don't be surprised to find fanart of all the classes depicted as young and sexy (though in the Scout's case, he gets more of the latter due to being the youngest of the bunch). Yes, even the Heavy. As a fangirl favorite, Medic is especially prone to this. And let's not get started on the female versions of most characters.
    • The Pyro gets this in spades since no one knows what his true face looks like (or even if he's either male or female). Expect to find fanart of unmasked Pyro as either a pretty boy or an attractive girl.
    • Some fans decide to backlash against this, and actually make the characters less attractive in fanart than in canon.
  • Serious Business: Miraculously averted with the game itself, which takes a Looney Tunes approach to battle, while the official blog rarely misses an opportunity to poke fun at the fans or the TF2 dev team (especially the dev team, who are made out be a nest of lunatics and weirdos). Sadly enforced to the max by the fans, who will break out into Flamewars at the drop of a hat. Literally. Really. The Nice Hats one can get in this game are obtained through a Randomly Drops system, and are base-breaking. Some players accept them as just cosmetics and ignore them for the sake of gameplay, others insist that hats reveal skill and will ignore any player who lacks a unique hat or is wearing "the nooby" Ghastly Gibus. Demand for cosmetic items can get so high that when a Golden Frying Pan was put up for sale at TF2 Outpost, it was sold for $5,500 U.S. dollars.
  • Ship Tease: Did you think that the comic showing the BLU Soldier and RED Demoman with women was going to stop Yaoi Fangirls from shipping them?
    • Valve also teases Heavy/Medic with the Sniper achievement "Beaux note  and Arrows", which you get by killing a Heavy and his pocket Medic with arrows. There's also the "Gentleman's Ushanka", a flap-eared cap for Medic, meant to match Heavy's "Officer's Ushanka"- the description includes "...let the officer in your life know you'll always be right behind them, with a Medigun at the ready and a matching wardrobe."
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: On a strictly meta sense, as any particular group of people don't necessarily like each other very much even if they're on the same team (why bother, when most people don't play more than a few rounds and you could be autobalanced, multiple times if you're especially unlucky, in any given round?). See also Video Game Cruelty Potential.
  • Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny: Dark Horse Comics asks who would win; Saxton Hale, or Dr McNinja? The winner is...Saxton Hale!
  • Wimpification: All of the classes, really, though Scout probably gets it to the most extreme degree, being both the youngest of the team (though not a teenager, even though he looks like one) and the closest thing the series has to a Bishounen. Obviously underneath that Small Name, Big Ego he's really just a rape and beating-magnet for all the other classes who's completely incapable of defending himself, or a sensitive soul who just needs to be swept off his feet by Sniper or Spy. Spy himself is also a frequent victim in Sniper/Spy works, due to being skinny and French, and it being easier to turn Sniper into a Bastard Boyfriend, his ability to be a perfectly friendly guy be damned. The Heavy/Medic pairing also hammers both with this at the same time, with Heavy turning into a Gentle Giant and Medic turning into a completely unrecognizable cuddlebear.
    VideoGame/Team Fortress 2 Team Fortress 2

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