Now with the April Fools blog post out of the way I figured I’d take the time to explain what we’re currently working on now that PAX and Easter are over.
Lately we’ve been studying the balance of other games even more. Competitive classics like Halo and Counterstrike, but also modern staples of the esports scene like Starcraft 2, Black Ops and Heroes of Newerth.
There are two key things we’ve noticed about these games:
a) They are faster
b) They are more difficult
This confirmed our suspicions about TF2 and reassures us the many complaints from players we get are all true. Once this realization hit us we immediately implemented the following changes:
Reload must be pressed again for each shot in the clip
Reverted Pistol change – M1 can no longer be held down to keep firing
Fire rate depends on how fast you can click
These are inspired by Starcraft’s “macro” mechanics and further help differentiate the best players from the less experienced. They add no extra strategic thinking requirements as our research has shown all competitive gameplay should have minimal metagame considerations in favor of raw mechanical skill.
When random crits are turned off, all weapons have a 100% chance to crit
Simple, straightforward change. Not only does this get rid of the hated inherent randomness but it also speeds up the game and rewards players for hitting enemies at farther distances where their hitboxes are smaller and move faster.
Trying to detonate stickies as Demoman before they are armed resets their arm time
Trying to airblast before the cooldown is over fully resets the cooldown
Trying to headshot before rifle is fully charged does no damage and resets charge
Emphasizes timing skills and punishes the rampant spamming of buttons. We’ll add this behavior to all the other similar weapons in the future.
Explosions do no splash damage unless it would hit multiple enemies
Splash damage cannot kill
Skillful usage of splash damage is rewarded, relying on it when you’re too bad to score direct hits is punished appropriately.
This is only our first batch of changes we hope will finally make Team Fortress 2 just like the other truly competitive esports. Tell us what you think!