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As a game that's gone on for about a decade, Team Fortress 2 has a lot of maps, both official and custom. Even excluding Sturgeon's Law on user-made maps, there are still certain maps or missions that are hated in the community.

Standard Play

  • Some maps that can lean more towards endless stalemates are dreaded by many, but many people also love them for their length, allowing them to just drop in, deathmatch for awhile, and drop out.
    • For some, the Nostalgia Level 2Fort, nicknamed "Turtlefort". The lack of flank routes, the constant sniper wars in the area between bases, and the ease of setting up sentries to guard the intel leads to the map being played for hours on end. Worse still, both escape routes upon grabbing the intelligence intersect just outside each team's spawn rooms, effectively encouraging spawn-camping to succeed.
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    • Turbine is often prone to stalemate much like 2Fort, chiefly due to its lackluster flanking routesnote  and just being rather cramped overall. These issues make the map overly Sentry friendly. For example, when it's not dominated by Sniper wars, the middle area can be shut down easily by a single Sentry, as there are few ways to safely approach them against a well-coordinated team.
    • Hightower. While the emphasis on verticality does make it famous for the many Trolldiers market gardening left right and center, the map itself lasts very, very long. About halfway through the tracks is a hill which the cart must be pushed up. It takes a long while to push up the hill, an Engy probably has a level 3 sentry set up in the building, it's easy to get surrounded, the defending side will usually have the height advantage, and if the cart stops being pushed at all on that hill, it's going back down to the bottom. If that wasn't bad enough, the map essentially tells you to do it a second time - but this time, the cart is going straight up on a platform with very little footing and cover. And it's right outside the defending team's spawn, so be prepared to have to fight off endless hordes of enemies just spamming up onto that platform. Unlike other game modes, the fact that this is Payload Race means there is no time limit, so the map can go on forever without a risk of stalemate and it becomes an impromptu Team Deathmatch. If someone manages to cap on Hightower, it's usually because the match has been going so long that everyone gets tired of deathmatching and the teams mutually agree to let someone cap. Hightower is so infamously stalemate-prone that it's been unofficially adopted as the game's premier deathmatch map, to the point that attempting to cap the objective without the other team's okay is in some cases punishable by votekick.
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  • While Dustbowl earns its ire for having narrow passageways and easily-defended chokepoints seemingly everywhere, it's stage 3 that's the really tough part. The round timer on stage 3 typically lasts 20 minutes. Trying to fight for that long is exhausting for both teams. Later multi-stage maps cap the time limit at 8 or 9 minutes, alleviating this issue a bit.
  • Junction is disliked for its ultra-cramped environment.
  • Hydro was all but abandoned from server rotations within a few months of release. Generally, a round on Hydro ends either in a steamroll or a stalemate, with no middle ground whatsoever. Considering the game only shipped with six maps, ignoring one of them shows just how widespread the negative reaction was. Sad, since the developers enjoyed dreaming up its partial-map-reuse mechanic.
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  • Nucleus has the unfortunate combination of its wide-open arena layout making it noticeably imbalanced (Snipers are particularly overpowered while Engineers are all but useless) and being the most popular KOTH map by a staggering margin, with only Harvest getting anywhere near as much attention. Expect to have a very hard time avoiding it thanks to it consistently winning map switch and map extension votes. Also expect a lot of spawn camping, moreso than any other KOTH map (not helped by most players not realizing that there are, in fact, three exits to the spawn room).
  • By a similar token, Harvest. While not quite as broken as Nucleus, it's still overly sniper-friendly, and far more prone to spawn camping. Once again, Engineers are basically crippled as the layout is unfavorable to dispensers or teleporters, giving advantage instead to the dreaded mini-sentries. It also has the highest number of dedicated KOTH map servers by far, making the search for something different all the more difficult.
  • Halloween maps are a mixture of wackiness... for better or worse. Sometimes the insanity can tip the balance for or against one team too much and can lead to a Curb-Stomp Battle.
    • Ghost Fort draws ire because of its sheer length. Like Eyeaduct before it, Ghost Fort is a King of the Hill Halloween map that is interrupted by the boss showing up. Unlike other KOTH maps, Ghost Fort requires one team to hold the point for seven minutes as opposed to the usual three, so a single round of Ghost Fort lasts longer than 10 minutes. You also get interrupted by MERASMUS! who is guaranteed to stall the round for an extra minute each time he spawns, and as he is defeated by the teams, he can show up in increasing frequency, sometimes mere seconds after the point is capped. This also makes Ghost Fort-related Merasmissions that more tedious since you have to play a round to completion before you can collect your rewards.
    • Helltower, being a Halloween reskin of Hightower, faces the same stalemate problems as Hightower does, but with spells added to the mix. The one solace is that players on Helltower are more willing to play the objective compared to its base counterpart.
    • Hellstone, from Scream Fortress 2015. Playing on defense and trying to bodyblock the cart? Too bad, the cart's carrying a ghost, and now you're spooked and ripe for the attackers to shred you to pieces. For both teams, however, there's the threat of the skeletons from Helltower, as well as the Horseless Headless Horsemann, and up to three MONOCULUS!s (MONOCULI!?) at the last point.
    • Maple Ridge Event, from Scream Fortress 2016. In short, most of the problems with it seem to stem from it being designed as a 4v4 map that doesn't work well in 12 v 12 play. It's not an universal opinion though, as some players appreciate the map itself and the fact that there's no Halloween gimmicks (other than the pumpkins) on it.
    • Precipice is the lesser liked of the two maps we got for Scream Fortress 2019. Unlike the other map, Laughter, there's not a lot of Halloween gimmicks in it which makes it seem boring compared to a lot of other Halloween maps. It's also one of the few A/D Halloween Payload maps, and every point is a massive choke with little or no flank routes. Many a Blu team has been stopped at the first point as the only way through is a single opening easily covered by one or two sentry guns.
  • While most custom maps are well-balanced (since they fix what are perceived to be flaws in some official ones), Orange is anything but. It's a 5CP map, but the control points have excruciatingly long cap times even with four players on them, and the central control point (usually the focal point of 5CP maps) is holed at the top of a tower which requires classes who can't explosive jump to go inside and climb up, and it's easily camped by Engineers. The map itself is bare and ugly, consisting mostly of developer textures and few obstacles blocking Sniper sightlines (the map was abandoned by its creator after releasing it in 2007), and little to no advanced flanking routes. The spawn rooms are atrociously set up: switching classes kills you due to them lacking a proper func_respawn option, you can get into them as the other team note , they don't shift as points are captured like other maps, and you can even build in them, leading to perpetual stalemates and frustration that 2fort and Hightower can only dream of note . For these reasons, people who play the map don't even go after the supposed objective and just deathmatch; ironically, the map has become popular because of how horrible it is, gaining a Rocky Horror-esqe cult following and dozens of remixes, but serious players continue to avoid the map and servers running it.

Mann vs. Machine

Some waves or even missions in Mann vs. Machine tend to give people a hard time, causing some to even Rage Quit. Standout examples include:
  • The third wave of Mannslaughter. It has 12 Super Scouts right at the start of the wave, meaning an impregnable defense is absolutely necessary, and two Tanks show up right after you take care of 6 of them, mixed in with Soldiers and Pyros. Even after that, you still have 8 giant Heavies flanked by 3 Uber Medics each and an infinite amount of Scouts to deal with, meaning that one guy almost always has to stay behind to keep the bomb safe. Plus, a good Demoman or Spy is completely required if a team wants to kill the Medics on the Heavies. And to top it all off, money is scarce near the end of the wave, meaning a team that wasted it's money on Buybacks or Canteens will be underprepared for the next 2 rounds. Considered the worst part is how time consuming the whole thing is, meaning that a team that took 10 minutes to get through the wave, only to lose because of an unattended Scout bot, is highly, highly infuriating.
  • Caliginous Caper. An incredibly long Coaltown mission, with only one wave, 900+ enemies, and 9 tanks. It has a huge mixture of bots, starting from Giant Demoknights, going up to Giant Crit Soldiers backed by Uber Medics, Giant Heavies backed by Giant Medics, and a parade of Tanks with 96 Spies. These are the common stumbling points; should you persevere, the home stretch sends out plenty of crit-boosted bots with raised base damage, so not even a fully upgraded crit resistance will be enough to save you. And because it's all one long wave (albeit divided into distinct "sub-waves" with noticeable lulls in the action between them, essentially structuring it as a regular mission with shorter between-wave upgrade breaks and no checkpoints), losing at any point boots you all the way back to the beginning of the mission. Cue the mass Rage Quit from impatient players. The "666" is quite justified, because this level is Hell. Even worse, there's no reward for beating it.
    • From an objective standpoint, Caliginous Caper is actually not as difficult as many of the other examples here; it's incredibly generous with cash - you get 5000 right off the bat, enough to make your character quite overpowered from the get-go - and has a conspicuous lack of Demonic Spiders like Super Scouts and Steel Gauntlet Heavies. That is, if your team is competent and coordinated. The problem is that it's a Boot Camp-only mission, and your typical Boot Camp team is neither.
  • Bigrock is absolutely gigantic, and that means it takes a very long time to get around. If you don't have teleporters, it's hellish when the robots come in, because it takes about 3 minutes to get from the player spawn point to the robot spawn point. By that time, there's already 50 or so robots headed your way. On top of this, all missions include the Engineer robots, which instantly build level 3 sentries and make teleporters that spawn even more robots. And the missions here are among the hardest in the game. Even the "normal" difficulty mission is comparable to an "advanced" difficulty mission on the other maps. The missions hand you more upgrade cash than usual at the start; expect to make full use of it to stand a chance at progressing.
    • Broken Parts is a massive jump in difficulty compared to the other missions introduced in the Mecha Update. There are crit boosted robots on just about every single round, some of which pack damage bonuses to negate the crit resistance that players pretty much need to buy, along with a titanic supply of giant robots and tanks. It's also notable for it's second-to-last wave, which cranks all the previous aspects Up to Eleven, and has been compared to the aforementioned Wave 666 in terms of difficulty. This wouldn't be so bad if it were among missions with similar difficulty, yet it's considered an advanced mission rather than an expert.
      • Wave 4 of Broken Parts has an army of 100 Spybots, which can easily surround and backstab the players, plus 4 Giant Heavies + Übermedics, Mecha Engineers and Crit-boosted Scoutbots. On top of that, the Spybots may cause severe lag due to the high amount of them changing disguises at the same time. And they spawn in different parts of the map.
  • Day of Wreckening is notorious for its second wave. Good news is only one robot needs to destroyed. Bad news is, that robot is a tank with about 20000 HP, along with an infinite supply of Heavyweight Champs. It's extremely difficult to produce enough damage to destroy the tank yet keep the robots under control. Worse yet, this is an intermediate mission, which is basically the easiest difficulty that one can acquire items for.
  • From the Two Cities operation: Bavarian Botbash's final wave brings a whopping sixteen giant robots to the table, plus a tank, including Heavies and Demomen that dish out infinite crits. And the support consists of annoying Uber Medics plus Quick-Fix Medics that can bring an enemy robot through your defenses very easily, plus endless rounds of Spies and Snipers. For an advanced mission, it's tough, but bearable. However, compare this finale to that of Hamlet Hostility, the other Rottenburg advanced mission, which is... three tanks. Yeah, that's it, and while there are quite a few support classes, enough firepower will put that down very easily so you can focus on them.
  • Players on every Mann-euvers missions often reach a brick wall at wave 3. Why? It's when the Steel Gauntlets first appear. Because this is the normal difficulty mission for regular players, many of them are new and just aren't skilled enough to handle them. This is in addition to the many Demomen robots and the Sniper robots as support.
    • And then comes Wave 5. Not only do you get more Steel Gauntlets and Soldiers instead of Demomen, there are also 3 Major League Scouts. If you get too distracted by the Gauntlets, then those guys are gonna slip past your defenses and carry the bomb for an instant fail.
  • Mannhattan can become this regardless of difficulty. The way the map is set up is that there are also two gates to defend in addition to the bomb, making it into a psuedo-Control Point map where teamwork is absolutely crucial here. And this map has hoards of Goddamned Bats and Demonic Spiders coming at you full force like the Giant Rapid-Fire Soldiers, Super Scouts, and Bowman Snipers, all rife to blow you to smithereens. The warehouse at the beginning has a second spawn point on the balcony above the main open area where teams must be weary of, and unless there's an Engie keeping that area in check, you can easily be overwhelmed by flanking robots coming out at both sides. What's worse is that you must take priority in killing the robots highlighted with yellow lights, as these robots will make straight beelines to the gates. If any of the gates get captured, their spawn point will move closer to your base and they will also gain an additional bomb. Having to fend off robots carrying three bombs from various directions can easily turn the wave into a nightmarish hell, even if the bombs can reset if untouched for long enough.
    • Empire Escalation. Hope you have some time to spare because you will be stuck in wave 4. First, it's a horde of Grenade Spam Crit Demomen coming from both entrances, and the Crit Rapid Fire Soldier with Giant Medics soon follows. It's over? Nope, there's still some Giant Scouts that can screw everything up by carrying the bomb to the hatch because you'll be distracted fighting the Giant Soldiers. It's not as bad as Caliginous Caper, but it's close.
  • Custom missions can really dial the difficulty past what's normally presented, especially when unique robots are factored in.
    • Ultra Uplink has its first wave pit you against a sizeable wave of bots with some Giants peppered in. Not too big of a deal compared to the rest of the Canteen Crasher tour... until you realize you start the mission with no money. Some classes can still manage with their reasonable baseline, but others like the Medic become next to useless without a vital upgrade or two to define their combat role. Unstable Equilibrium has an even greater effect as every credit you get in this opening wave counts.
    • If you enter a custom mission and the wave number reads "Wave 666", you know you're in for a world of pain. Like Caliginous Caper, you start with a fair number of credits, and you're probably going to need all of them to handle a large onslaught of robots. Unlike Caliginous Caper, the custom hell waves will not hold back on siccing Demonic Spiders like Super Scouts or Giant Medics to deliver the bomb when your team is split up, worn out, or when you think you've got a moment's reprieve to upgrade. Oh, and it's very difficult to get contract progress on these missions, since the contract only saves progress on wave completion, meaning it's All or Nothing in that regard. You'll be here for a while.

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