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Broken Base / Team Fortress 2

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With how long Team Fortress 2 has been around, and with how many updates it received, it shouldn't be surprising that the fanbase can get pretty divisive about how the things are changing.

  • One of the earliest examples was Valve removing Friendly Fire. This really hurt the Spy class, as it took spy-checking, formerly something that took a modicum of skill and attention, and turned it into "shoot every player you see no matter what". On the other hand, it became far harder to intentionally kill your teammates.
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  • Another prominent example is whether or not class limits should be enforced in the entire game. Many people desperately wish for a way to enforce class diversity in their teams, while others say arbitrary limits would take the fun out of the game.
  • Fans are very divided on whether or not it's okay to kill enemy players while MONOCULUS! is present. Since the control point can't be captured while MONOCULUS! is around, most people opt to fight MONOCULUS! before continuing with the game, but some players use this as an opportunity to kill everyone else instead. Those who support the latter claim it's for tactical purposes (since the portals MONOCULUS! creates grant a temporary speed boost, health boost, invincibility, and critical hits), but there are some people who just enjoy killing unsuspecting players.
    • Merasmus kicks this up a notch. He has over one hundred thousand HP, meaning that both sides absolutely must work together to bring him down. The problem: while most players tend to try and cooperate in an attempt to bring him down, one guy slaughtering the other team is all it takes to prevent Merasmus' defeat. Even if everybody cooperates, you'll always wind up having that one guy who kills anybody trying to get to the end of the island. This infuriates many players, even those that were on the guy's team. Some servers easily sidestepped this problem by turning off the ability for the players to attack one another while Merasmus is active.
      • Since Scream Fortress VII, this has become a non-issue, at least on Valve servers. When MONOCULUS! or Merasmus spawn, a temporary truce is called between both teams, preventing players from damaging each other until the boss is dead. This was done to alleviate the issue of griefing and so people with specific contracts (or "Merasmissions") had a chance at actually defeating MONOCULUS!. This doesn't apply to the Halloween Payload maps, only King of the Hill ones, presumably because only one boss is exclusive to a Payload map, and there's no reward for defeating it.
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  • The 2013 Summer Event fixed maps, added two new ones, added several new hats and items from the Steam Workshop, and nerfed and buffed several overused and underused weapons. The news that the Dead Ringer was going to be nerfed caused a huge uproar amongst Spy players. Then, three of the Polycount sets were deleted, and the rest were nerfed. Lots of set users were angered, while the other half rejoiced. But the change that caused this the most was the Escape Plan nerf.
  • Scream Fortress 2013 featured the addition of several hats within the game, most of which no one had a problem with... except for one. Enter the Magical Mercenary hat, an obvious Shout-Out to My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, which is already a base-breaking subject of its own. The hat being untradeable for the first several days (a way of countering Trade For Money accounts) added to the anger, as a lot of people were mostly fine with the hat being in the game, but they didn't want it. When it was also revealed that there would be new voice lines for each class if they had it equipped, it got even worse, as many felt it was rather symbolic of Valve going overboard to make one reference to a divisive fandom.
  • The Love & War update introduced 5 new, well-received weapons, an excellent short... and nerfed the Stickybomb Launcher, the Heavy's miniguns, and the Pyro's Axtinguisher. Demoman and Pyro mains weren't happy, to say the least. On top of that, the SL nerf stirred up the competitive scene, forcing a change of strategy in 6v6, which used to rely on sticky Demos as a main push force. Its nerf was undone after a few days, but with a promise by Valve that they'd possibly nerf it again in a hopefully less ill-received way. However, it proceeded to break the base further, as the people who rejoiced were now the ones vowing to quit the game.
    • Also from the Love & War Update came the Conga Taunt. It was very uncommon to not see a whole group of players from both sides ignoring the objective, and just conga-ing. This divided the fanbase between the 'serious' players who think that the game is Ruined Forever, and the 'casual' players who see the game as a fun time-waster.
      • Although nowadays this isn't as big of a problem it was, given that the novelty of the new taunts have since worn off.
  • Starting with 15th October 2014, all Valve servers have the sv_pure variable set to 1. This forces most custom files added to the game to not work properly. The base has already broken into two groups: on one end, we have purists and "Stop Having Fun" Guys who say it's going to be harder to cheat under those circumstances; on the other, casuals, modders, and pure haters who think that Valve just killed off the modding community, that it doesn't stop most cheating anyway, and that sv_pure 1 causes a lot of problems, such as bogging down the game even for players who don't use mods, and making the game sound like this for those who use them. (Warning: Turn your volume down.) Understandably, sv_pure 1 exists to stop Texture hacks/wall hacks and changing the sounds of weapons firing to make them quieter (generally speaking...there's too many blacklisted variables to list here). Annoying? Yes. Reasonable? Debatable.
  • Smissmas 2014 had a mixed reception. Some were enthusiastic about it, saying it restored their faith in Valve after the bare-bones End of the Line Update, since it put in new weapons, gave much-needed rebalancing to others, and introduced the new game mode Mannpower. Others said it made them distrust Valve even further, since the new game mode was in beta and was extremely imbalanced, making it seem as though Valve didn't bother to polish their own game and called a beta an update.
  • Writer Jay Pinkerton saying he sees Pauling as a lesbian upset a lot of people, but made a lot of others extremely happy. It started off with a fan informing Pinkerton he didn't want to see Pauling with anyone, because "she's mine". Pinkerton responded that she was gay, and he wasn't sure she'd survive the comic. Fans of Scout x Pauling (or any Pauling x Male Character pairing) were crushed, especially since the ship seemed to be leading somewhere after "Expiration Date". People who hated Scout x Pauling were reveling in the Ship Sinking, and some were relieved to finally see Word of Gay on someone in the cast. There were also accusations of making her gay just to continue Scout's status as a Butt-Monkey, and not because the writers genuinely believed the cast needed a gay character, and thus reducing her homosexuality to a joke. The fact that none of the female characters have really gotten along with Pauling (or haven't interacted with her at all) doesn't help either. Compounding this is the fact that the rest of the TF2 team not only don't officially endorse Jay's confirmation, they disagree among themselves on just what Pauling's orientation is, with responses ranging from openly asexual, supporting the Scout x Pauling ship, and more.
  • Weapon rebalances were also included in the Gun Mettle update. Although many of the changes have been met with neutral or positive response, some changes (primarily those regarding the Loch 'n' Load and Mini Sentries) have fans decrying it as the worst update thus far.
    • And then there was the Kazotsky Kick, which essentially repeated what the Conga did. However, this taunt was better-received.
    • The update introduced grades to the items. Some hate this feature because they say it's essentially Valve deciding the values of items instead of the community, while some like grades because they can look at the case and see how well their chances of getting a certain item are. Others still say that grades shouldn't be applied to cosmetics, and all cosmetic cases should have all contents have an equal chance of being in an individual case.
  • Snowplow, having finally been added with the Gun Mettle update, has gotten mixed receptions. Some say it's really a good map, while others say that it's So Okay, It's Average. There are people who complain about how the map too heavily favors defending Engineers, and some who say the map creators were right about it being "too confusing".
  • The Steam Workshop, after the Gun Mettle update, experienced a surge in stock weapon skins. While some fans think that quite a few of them are very aesthetically pleasing, others think that the skins were clogging up the workshop and stifling the creation of new weapons.
  • Hats. A handful of fans hate hats for undermining the 1960s spy movie parody theme and flanderizing TF2 into "that wacky game where people have hat addictions", and that Valve's being greedy by selling virtual cosmetics. Many others argue against it, saying that hats create a satisfying form of self-expression via cosmetics, and that hats are what make most of TF2’s revenue and are why Valve continues to update the game for over ten years after release.
    • Two cosmetics added to the game a fair time after the Gun Mettle update, the Potassium Bonnet (a banana hat) and the Captain Cardbeard Cutthroat (a cardboard beard and pirate hat), have some fans who really like them for their silliness, but others are upset at Valve having inconsistencies regarding cosmetics that can only be worn during Halloween or Full Moons, with some being mundane, yet silly, but being restricted nonetheless.
  • On a completely different note, the game lore (as of TF Comics #5). Some people enjoy it being a complete Crazy Awesome clusterfuck, some preferred when the story was an Affectionate Parody of James Bond and other spy dramas.
  • One of the new features to be added to the game was the ability to pick up the weapons players had dropped for your class to use. While many, many players have welcomed this feature with open arms, due to the fact they can now take weapons for a test run without hassle and that it can be used to get otherwise unobtainable weapons, others are... less happy about it.
  • Before Halloween 2015, Valve announced that the cosmetics introduced in that update wouldn't be restricted. When the announcement dropped, fans got to debating; should Valve evaluate certain costume parts that look mundane by themselves (Kriegsmachine 9000, Rugged Respirator, etc.) and lift the resrictions on them, or should all restricted cosmetics have their restrictions lifted?
  • Does the game need new weapons (especially for Medic, who has so few unlockables), or do the weapons already in the game need to be balanced first? Those who want more weapons cite that an entire class has been denied new weapons for 4 years (Medic) as well as an entire loadout slot (Melee), while those against it think introducing more weapons to the mix would make balancing an even bigger mess. With new weapons being promised for Pyro's (and Heavy's, eventually) class pack, this debate has gotten rather heated.
  • The community made "Invasion" update caused this even before its release. There were hints that the weapons included in the update would only be reskins, which brought about arguing about whether or not the game needed new weapons. By the time it actually released, it had been delayed numerous times, with reasons being the webpage being incomplete, contributors disagreeing over revenue division, and a map being fine-tuned. Some fans like the new "Player Destruction" gamemode, as it was essentially a deathmatch mode, but others say that it's ruined by Engineers. And others are disappointed about one of the maps being a reskinned 2Fort. (Although everyone agrees that 2Fort Invasion's Scenery Gorn is gorgeous.)
    • The update shipped with a relatively small amount of content, with 16 cosmetics and 1 taunt. Some were satisfied with what they got, while others attacked the update for putting a paywall behind crate drops, of all things, as well as the items having the Gun Mettle grades tacked on.
    • Then there was the fact that players who decided to buy the pass rarely receive the crate (sorry, case) drop. Some say that they could at least get something for coughing up two dollars to unlock the drops, while others say that buying the pass was for supporting the makers of the update, and that buying the pass doesn't entitle one to the new cases.
  • The split between the two main leagues of Competitive TF2, SixesNote  and HighlanderNote . People who play Sixes criticize Highlander for being too hectic and having too many players per team to be a serious game, and that the forced 9 classes lead to less counterplay and more repetitive matches. On the other hand, people who play Highlander will point out how Sixes does not incorporate a large chunk of the game's content (4 of 9 classes are used most of the time and more weapons are banned) and that the 5CP gamemode (which is the primary gametype in 6s) is terribly flawed or uninteresting in comparison to the asymmetric maps featured in Highlander. Some have tried to find a middle-ground between the two formats by experimenting with a format called "Prolander"note , but as of yet none have ever caught on.
    • The lack of support for Highlander in the official Competitive Matchmaking gamemode further compounds this.
  • As with all FPSs that reach such age, the game now has a raging divide on what constitutes valid tactics on popular maps (namely 2Fort, a CTF map that's effectively the game's de_Dust2). Many involve everyone's favorite base-breaker: the Demoman. This is especially true in regards to where it's legitimate to plant stickybombs: to many players, planting them outside spawn point doors, under health kits, and around blind corners are all acts of camping, while others will argue that it's the intended purpose of the weapon. Special mention goes to a Medic/Heavy duo holing up in the enemy team's hay room (where the door from the primary spawn point is) and camping freshly respawned players. While racking up high scores and legitimately stalling a huge chunk of the opposing team, some players feel it's a dirty tactic and will declare a win empty if they got it by spawn-camping. In some cases, Medics who disagree with the tactic will leave their Heavy to die if he tries to camp the spawn for a long while.
  • Some argue over whether the Domination system was a good idea. In theory, it's meant to encourage individual competition and add a more personal feel to the people you're fighting. But some say that, in practice, this idea is undermined by the ability of people to get Dominations and Revenges through assists instead of actual kills (which is rationalized by others in that, if those were only able to be gotten by kills, then Medics wouldn't be able to get as many). Critics argue that the Domination system only serves to make the one getting dominated angry and/or solely focus on the player dominating them, harming their performance to their team, and want the system to be removed entirely or at least be given the option to turn it off. Others in support of the system say that, if one gets angry from playing games so easily, then they shouldn't be playing a multiplayer game.
  • Scream Fortress 2015 was, of course, on the receiving end of mixed reception. Some fans liked that the cosmetics weren't Halloween restricted, but others didn't like that so few cosmetics were included, that no previous Halloween-only cosmetics had their restrictions lifted, or that the Gun Mettle grades were again tacked to the items.
    • The Truce mechanic added to the MONOCULUS! and Merasmus battles received much praise, as those focusing on killing the boss won't be punished for trying to get the achievements and items for the fights, but some feel that this had been long overdue. Some also wish the truce lasted until everyone got a chance to get the post-fight items (Bombinomicon and Skull Island Topper), but the critics of that argue that players would hate to have the fight over the control point delayed for an unnecessarily long time.
      • As well, the truce prevents damage to Engineer buildings, but, until a patch in early November 2016 addressed this, didn't prevent Spies from sapping them. And once a building was sapped, the sapper couldn't be removed. When the truce mechanic came up, one would expect some debates over whether the ability to sap during truces was justified, as Engineers could set up a Level 3 Sentry in front of enemy spawn, while others argue that sapping Spies could have been griefers themselves and rob everyone of the valuable firepower of a sentry against these bosses. Thankfully, a patch that was released shortly after Scream Fortress VIII launched fixed both these problems by updating the truce period so that Spies are unable to use their sappers, and so that players aren't affected by the truce when inside their spawn rooms, allowing them to fight their way out if needed.
    • Then there was Mannpower being brought out of beta. Some were happy, but others didn't like that Valve had added new powerups and other features, therefore defeating the purpose of it being an open beta. And there are those who are angry that Mannpower, which hadn't even been around for a year, got brought out of beta, and yet Asteroid and Cactus Canyon haven't been touched for more than a year.
  • The TF2 Team announced a Steam Workshop contest for Batman-themed items in a promotion for Batman: Arkham Knight. Quite a few were thrilled, because, well, it was Batman they were talking about, but others didn't like that the TF2 Team said that no weapons would get in, because Batman doesn't kill people. The fans against that rule were angry because it automatically ruled out the Batarang or any of Batman's other potentially lethal gadgets, as well as any weapons used by Batman's enemies, who actually do kill people. The fans angry about the "no weapons" rule even took to citing several occasions in the comics where Batman did kill others.
  • The Gun Mettle/Tough Break Festivizer, a tool that allowed one to make any decorated weapon festive. A suitable festive system for the year, and giving the players the ability to further customize their loadouts, or an excuse for having not implemented proper festives, such as the requested Direct Hit or Engineer PDAs?
  • The Competitive Matchmaking beta is definitely causing some ruckus. People are split over whether or not it should have weapon and/or class restrictions like those seen in many unofficial competitive leagues. As well, there are people denouncing the ranking system as a Scrappy Mechanic due to how hard it is to get points toward the next rank and yet so easy to lose those points, and wishing for it to get retooled into something more along the lines of Dota 2. And some fans aren't quite comfortable with the rank names.
    • And there's the fact that, in competitive matches, graphics settings are locked to high settings, which causes some people to be unable to play due to framerate issues. Some people defend this, citing that Valve is gathering data to help optimize the game, while detractors point out that there's no proof of that happening, and find the graphics settings lock to be an arbitrary restriction.
    • Anyone who wants to play Competitive Matchmaking must have a phone with Steam Mobile Authenticator enabled on their account to play. One side of the fanbase hates this, since it means they also need a phone to play competitive in addition to the relatively low quality of the mobile app for Steam. The other side defends it, saying that it'll help stop smurfs and cheaters from using alt accounts in competitive.
      • When the Meet your Match update was released with competitive coming out of beta, the people who were against the Autheticator have been quelled slightly, as a phone is no longer the sole way to play competitive — a new Competitive Matchmaking Pass can be bought for ten dollars and allows the account to play competitive without the Authenticator (which was granted automatically to players who purchased the game before it went free to play), though people are still complaining that they need to pay money for it.
  • Since the Hat With No Name became a multi-class item for not only Soldier, but for Engineer, Demoman and Sniper, more and more cosmetics are being updated to be multi- or all-class. This has lead to a debate on whether or not most existing cosmetics should be multi-class, some like the idea, while others disagree, saying that doing so drives up hat prices and some cosmetics simply don't fit with other classes.
  • The updates ever since Gun Mettle in general. Some players absolutely love the way Team Fortress 2 has been changing, while others have begun comparing Team Fortress 2 to the Counter Strike franchise (especially Counter Strike: Global Offensive). It doesn't help that CS:GO has begun using the "cases and keys" system Team Fortress 2 has (even though Team Fortress 2 is an Allegedly Free Game while CS:GO costs $15 on Steam), and Team Fortress 2 has begun to have alternate skins for the stock weapons in place of new weapons.
  • Added in the Meet Your Match update is Viewmodel Minmode, which lowers the location of your weapon on the screen to provide more visual clarity. Is it a better-looking replacement for transparent or invisible viewmodels? Or should Valve just have allowed transparent and invisible viewmodels onto Competitive servers?
  • The "Pyro vs Heavy War" in Meet Your Match caused a schism between players who felt strongly towards either one of the classes receiving new weapons and balance changes sooner than later, but a third camp absolutely despises the idea that balance changes are essentially being held hostage behind a popularity contest, and feel like the TF2 team deliberately withheld requested balance changes (i.e. the restoration of the Puff-n-Sting or the reversion of Heavy's minigun accuracy and damage rampup nerf) to justify this event.
    • Players who choose either Team Heavy and Team Pyro heavily defend their choices. Team Heavy argues that the eponymous class has very little, if any, variation in general playstyle, and wish for new weapons, while Team Pyro players usually retort that, while Heavy is rather boring to play, his mechanics actually work as intended, and cite the desire for buffs and bugfixes as their reason for voting Pyro.
      • As the "Pyro vs Heavy War" was won 56% to 44% in Pyro's favor, it seems that Pyro's title of a Base-Breaking Character gave them a slight edge over Heavy. Now what's left is to wait and see if the update actually fixes the Pyro.
  • When Scream Fortress VIII launched, Merasmissions often didn't work, and when they did, progress usually wasn't saved after rounds ended. Some saw this as a justified issue as Halloween wasn't on the top of the devs' priority list, and were willing to wait a few days, while others were angry that the main attraction was broken, despite being almost completely copy-pasted from last year's event.
  • An entire map fell victim to this, in the form of plr_hightower. There appears to be some unspoken pact that, if you're on that map, you're not supposed to play the objective, essentially turning the game into an endless deathmatch. Players that do push the cart for any length of time often find themselves votekicked off the server without warning (so if you're not in on this pact, tough luck!). Some players argue that it's not such a big deal since Hightower is a map that's already prone to stalemates, while others who want to play the game as intended have largely started blacklisting the map for this sole reason.
    • Since this pact seems to have carried over to the map's Halloween counterpart, Helltower, God help you if you weren't fortunate enough to get the Fancy Spellbook back when the map first debuted. Getting the spellbook is difficult enough as it is, since it involves surviving a deathmatch in a Lethal Lava Land, with no respawning if you die, and all players get random spells at the beginning of the match (so you could end up with something useless like the High Jump spell while someone on the other team can sic freaking MONOCULUS! on you). Add in the frustration of searching endlessly for the rare Helltower server that doesn't enact the "no capture" rule, and the Fancy Spellbook might as well be lost for those who didn't get it early on.
  • On the subject of base-breaking maps, we have the infamous 2Fort. Competitive players absolutely despise this map with a flaming passion and often will waste little time going on a rant about all its flawsnote  but, more often than not, most of the things that competitive players hate about this map tend to be the same things that casual players love about this map, with many treating it as an RDM map like Hightower or specifically joining to mess around with 'taunt parties' or be friendly to the enemy team and not play the object at all.
    • In fact, such sentiment tends to extend to all Capture the Flag maps, since stalemates are extremely common and matches tend to go on for hours at a time, while teaching newer players to default to the "negative" parts of their class and generally teach bad skills for literally any other game mode.note  Again, however, because of the low skill ceiling CtF maps usually have and how rounds go on forever allow for a lot of RDM, it's easily the most popular game mode in TF2 for casuals.
  • Friendlies are also a pretty hot topic in the community. To clarify: friendlying is when players just walk around the map and socialize with other players without attempting to do any objectives, even if they're being shot at or killed. People against friendlies say that it's essentially a form of griefing, not doing anything to help their allies and wasting a spot on the team list. People for friendlies say that they should be allowed to play however they'd like, and that they're not directly interfering with anybody else's game. Anti-friendlies will point out that, if you want to friendly, you should keep it to community servers or dedicated "Silly" servers, which aren't as serious as Valve pubs. Pro-friendlies retort with the fact that community servers tend to have annoying ads, a 10-minute download time for mods, or low playercounts, and that they should be free to be friendly wherever they want. And as of late, friendlies have gone out of their way to obstruct CTF matches by capturing the intelligence and refusing to cap it in order to artificially lengthen the match, and any player that tries to play the objective tends to get votekicked for being a "fun-hating tryhard". The argument goes on without an endpoint in sight.
  • Fans have debated about who did Saxton Hale's voice better; Dreux Ferrano Jr in the fan-made Vs. Saxton Hale game mode, or JB Blanc in the official Jungle Inferno animated short?
  • Was the Jungle Inferno update a good update? Detractors point out how the update should have done far more with it taking over a year to releasenote . Others counter this with the fact that the TFTeam has less than five dedicated programmers, and massive-scale updates like the Uber Update just cannot be expected anymore, so they should be happy that this update was this good to start with.
    • Several weapons were nerfed, and naturally, fans of each weapon were highly annoyed and took to complaining on forums, while those who saw the nerfed weapons as overpowered (especially the Dead Ringer and Dangershield) welcomed the changes. However, pretty much everyone is happy for changes like the reverting of the Righteous Bison and the Claidheamh Mor to their original stats, as well as the Demoman's bottles and the Pyro's Neon Annihilator once again breaking on critical hit.
    • Was the on-release Dragon's Fury balanced? People who say no point out how this weapon allows Pyros to melt down large groups of enemies with it's rapid shot speed and terrifying damage per hit, all achieved mostly by holding down M1 with no reload on this weapon. Others counter that this takes skill to do because of the single-shot twitch aiming (not unlike a Scout), and that the high damage reward is necessary for the drawbacks of the weaponnote .
    • Was it a smart idea to have a single-class update? On one hand, for a few days after the update hit, servers became full of Pyros with upwards of 9 of them on either team being common. On the other, Pyro is arguably the class that needed a rework the most.
  • Random Critical Hits in Valve servers has been a topic of heated debate since release. Some players consider them to be a fun part of the chaotic nature of pubs that keeps the game unpredictable and prevent stalemates, and that they should only be disabled in competitive games. Others consider them a Scrappy Mechanic that damages weapon balance, takes away from the skill factor and fun of fights, and isn't necessary to prevent stalemates since Ubercharge exists. Another common argument about them is how they impact newer players: Those in favor feel they give new players a chance to get kills against veterans, keeping them from simply giving up. Those against them argue that they are more likely to just confuse new players, that there's plenty of comparably skilled players for them to fight as they improve their skill, and that crit chance increasing with damage done makes veterans more likely to benefit anyway.

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