Here’s a guide I’ve decided to make after playing a few matches and seeing people freak out over very little things or when seeing people try to tell others the exact upgrades to get and then judging their choices. I’ll go over a few common mindsets or thoughts about MvM that are either overrated or underrated.
This is not just a collection of my opinions. It is scientific fact. But I won’t bother trying to explain the science unless you have a PhD in BSenomics. But even then, it’s probably beyond your comprehension level. So enjoy
I’ve seen it enough times, mostly in Two Cities of course, where people freak out if the wave isn’t completed with an A+. In fact, I’d say you don’t even need an A ranking to beat most maps…although it will make it ever so slightly more challenging. The only mission where getting a majority of the money is very very useful is Mannslaughter, since there’s so little available credits in that mission. Even then if the team is good enough, it won’t matter a huge deal.
The truth is MvM is just not that difficult. Two cities is just an exercise of going through the motions. Pubbing with bad players is the only fun nowadays. Seriously, who wants to play with 5 other 100+ tours to bore themselves through the mission? Not me. As long as the money collector gets at least a B you should be fine.
If you’re a scout, never apologize for missing a little bit of dosh. It was probably the soldier’s fault anyway.
On that same note, you can play without a scout in the later waves (like as soon as you get a Credit Refund) of Rottenburg. Try going pyro and having a secondary focus on collecting cash. I’ve done a few A+ as cash pyro. Go spy if you want to, just change it up from the same stale formulaic approach.
I’ve never seen a good team suddenly start sucking just for getting a B rank. Player/Team skill trumps all. If the team is filled with newer players…then the lower rank makes it harder, but still…not by much.
WE NEED A HEAVY
You could say this about any class really and perhaps this is just a commentary on the meta, but I’ll just focus on this particular class for now.
The heavy is nice. He tanks damage, provides a presence up forward to draw aggro while the medic heals him. The fragile classes on the team definitely appreciate the heavy taking the brunt of the aggro off of them. He also has a very high consistant single target DPS up close.
However, you can replace him with plenty of other classes – second soldier, pyro, sniper, even spy in some cases. On a lot of the maps, the bots are so closely grouped together that having a second soldier that can take advantage of splash damage is more effective. The maps you will miss him is on maps with lots of giants where you need someone who can draw giant aggro and put out high DPS. There is a reason why people change to heavy when dealing with the Mecha bosses – not that it’s really necessary.
I must mention that not having a heavy isn’t as advisable in Operation Gear Grinder. Bots don’t die instantly like they do in the Advanced missions, so having that consistant DPS of the heavy is very valuable.
EVERYBODY CHANGE TO PYRO ON LAST WAVE OF HAMLET HOSTILITY
I actually got accused of being useless for not changing off of heavy during the 3 tank wave of HH…even though nobody was even close to my damage.
I don’t think I’ve EVER lost the last wave of Hamlet Hostility…with any team. Quick question: Has anybody? It’s just that easy. There is no need for everyone to change to pyro. Shoot, do it with 5 scouts 1 engineer instead. Heck, do it with 5 heavies 1 engineer just to show that it doesn’t matter.
You should never tell anybody to change for this wave. It’s annoying and boring.
PYRO NEEDS AIRBLAST! AIRBLAST THE BOMB!
Usually spouted by newer players and usually only when the bomb is already at the hatch. Sorry buddy, I’m using the Phlog at the moment. I’ll admit, I used to think that airblast was the bomb diggity.
Airblasting giants into the air messes with your teammates ability to hit said giant. Airblasting the bomb carrier into a reset point can sometimes lead to the major problems when the bomb carrier upgrades to level 3 buffs when left unattended.
Airblasting loads of projectile spam isn’t that easy and in the harder maps usually not as effective.
Airblast isn’t all bad though, Disintegration can still be carried by a good airblasting pyro as you can basically extend the wave as long as you need to slowly pick off all of the bots.
Only airblasting is usually ineffective. Just kill stuff with fire!
Phlog, though nerfed, is still very OP just for the fact that using the Mmmph meter refills your health to full and provides the short defense buff. You can activate Mmmph right in front of giants and still come out the victor.
PLAYING TWO CITIES
I don’t understand the need to play Two Cities all the time. I’ve heard that it "is the most profitable" to play. I never understood that concept. Are people really playing Two Cities over and over in an effort to make a profit? I’d rather wait tables for 2 days at $10/hour and boom I just made around $150. and I only spent 15 hours of my life doing it. ♥♥♥♥, I’ll just buy that Australium some sucker played 400 hours to get.
There’s nothing wrong with playing in hopes of earning your Australiums, but don’t be a drone about it.
The point is you should play to have fun. If you have fun with Two Cities after 400 tours, then that’s fine. If you like pubbing and helping random newbs out, I commend you. But if you’re on your 352nd tour and you’re one of those guys who say "Change to Soldier now or I’ll kick you. Don’t waste my time" then I’m afraid you might have to take back your life from Two Cities.
Usually the most enjoyable experience is from doing something challenging and eventually overcoming that challenge. Whether that be spending 3 hours trying to beat Mannslaughter or joining a Highlander / 6v6 team and competing against other good players.
Which brings me to my next point – tour counts. They are a good way to know who is reliable, yes. But don’t put too much pride into your tour counts. If you want true freedom from MvM pride, do what I did: Delete all of your tour badges. It’s refreshing.
STRICT ADHERENCE TO A WEAPON LOADOUT
True, some weapons are not so good for MvM because it provides no utility or there usually is a direct upgrade to. Example include: Heavy – Tomislav, Medic – Bonesaw, Scout – Pistol, Soldier – Shotgun. If you see a teammate with a weapon loadout that doesn’t seem to make any sense, suggest what they should change to. Try to explain why. But never say "Change to Brass Beast or I’ll kick you". A player’s skill trumps weapon loadout 99% of the time. Then again, this applies because most MvM missions are too easy. If you’re playing Mannslaughter with an obvious idiot…then you might think about getting out the votekick.
Let that pyro play with his Degreaser (then tell him to put his pants back on). Let that engineer use Eureka Effect (after the update, it isn’t the worst thing in the world).
The rant is – just because it’s superior (at least in your mind) doesn’t mean that everyone has to use it. Get out of the cookie-cutter mentality. People enjoy playing with different loadouts for a variety of reasons. It’s not always about "the bottom line" of getting a completion and getting my shiny new gun
The Kritzkreig is nice. Definitely the medigun that I like to use. However, I won’t yell at a medic who chooses to roll with something else. The reason for me is simple: Deploying ubercharges (whether it is kritz, standard, vacc, or quickfix) really doesn’t turn the tide of most waves. The most useful part of the medic is the Projectile Shield and getting it up at the correct times and as much as possible.
Sentry buster running past me? Feeling too lazy to ubersaw it? Yeah, just let it pass, it doesn’t matter in the long run. Having the shield constantly up is more important.
Also, the way I see it, you shouldn’t switch heal targets constantly because you want your team to have constant overheals. Screw that, do it rather so you can build your shield faster and run into the fray to get more damage. Find the engineer, he’s usually good for building half of the shield meter.
PRE-ROUND CRIT STICKIES
With few exceptions, crit stickies laid on the map before a round usually result in MASSIVE OVERKILL of the first things that drop. You could have killed the same things with just normal stickies. I mean if it’s available from your Kritz medic and not too much trouble might as well get it, but it is NOT normally going to make a big difference overall. It helps if you set it for the tank or if you know some troublesome giants are going drop early, but even then I doubt you’d lose a wave if you didn’t have those crit stickies.
The belief that the crit stickies are the greatest thing ever leads people to force medics to use Kritzkreig. I’ve even seen this belief make newbs use crit canteens before a wave to set crit stickies for….normal scouts.
MAXED OUT RESISTANCES ON SCOUT
For sure, maxed out resistances on a newer scout is a good thing. They’re going to need the help when they run into the frontline to grab cash. However, as a scout gets better he doesn’t need to rely on resistances so much. He can start spending more cash on his scattergun. Instead, he’ll rely on his ability to dodge and maneuver around the flanks in order to not draw all of the aggro when picking up cash.
Sometimes when your teammates are dead and all of the bot aggro will be drawn to you, you’ll want those resistances, but again….a non-A+ rank is not the end of the world, feel free to drop back instead….maybe look for a chance to flank behind and get that cash later.
Also, it’s a good challenge for those bored with scout. You shouldn’t be scared to try it because you believe that your ability as scout is judged purely on the credit ranking.
WE NEED A MEDIC!
This is mostly for outside of Two Cities and applies mostly to newer players. The waves are set up differently with not as much spam. Either that or the waves are easy enough that another damage class will allow so much focus fire that most bots are killed early. Not saying that the medic is bad outside of Two Cities, just that there is no need to scream "Wait, somebody go Medic!!!!"
Being a medic is overrated and underrated. It’s overrated by new players that think it’s impossible to survive without a medic. It’s underrated by more experienced players that a medic has no use outside of Two Cities.
I am of the belief (wait, no, scientific fact) that a medic makes Desperation and Cataclysm (of Operation Gear Grinder) way too easy. Medic is not good for Mannslaughter though in my opinion – too many pyro/melee that require some DPS to get rid of.
Also a good medic can elevate a below-average team in Big Rock and help them get through the tough waves. However, the medic cannot just be a static healer. That won’t be good enough. The medic needs to be able to draw all the aggro while the shield is up so that he PREVENTS damage from being done to his allies. This usually requires getting up close while the shield is deployed.
Maxing out overheal isn’t that underrated, but some people kind of ignore that upgrade until later in the game. I think it’s one of the more important medic upgrades after Projectile Shield. A teammate with max overheal who has a good amount of resistances can last quite a long time without the heal beam up his butt, freeing you up to overheal allies in an effort to charge your shield meter faster.
THE DPS OF A SCOUT
The common thought is the scout should milk, mark, and collect cash. But he can also do a lot of single target damage with some meat shots. Don’t be afraid to pull out your scattergun and start blasting some bots. Remember how I said an A+ is overrated? Just layeth the smack down. Milk/Mark a giant and then solo it. The scout has very high tank DPS, always help out with the tank when you have a moment.
Feel like using Crit-A-Cola? That’s fine too.
Milk’s healing ability is great, but is a bit redundant if you have a decent medic on the team. Also, people should be getting at least one point into Health on Kill.
Instead opt for constant mini-crit meat shots.
HEALTH ON KILL
Every damage class should at least get one point in Health On Kill. Seriously, it helps, especially if you’re not the medics main heal target.
USING A PYRO IN TWO CITIES
You can use a pyro in any of the two cities maps, but you should be going for damage output, not just airblasting and support. In particular, Pyros help a lot in Rottenburg.
Rottenburg still has tanks, Pyros make tanks a lot easier. It’s not really that difficult of a class to play, you just need to use corners to your advantage and have good movement – hiding when you’ve drawn too much aggro.
Pyros can take a load off of the scout in collecting money. Phlog pyros (or Backburner) are good for killing the Giant Medics quickly.
I would suggest the pyro to take the soldier’s place on the team, unless you’re playing Bavarian Botbash, then pyro can take the place of the Demoman.
BUYING A DISPOSABLE SENTRY
It’s obviously not one of the first upgrades you should get, but you actually don’t need maxed out metal capacity or swing speed. You can spare $500 to get a disposable sentry. Some people just never ever buy it because it’s considered Taboo.
It’s not that bad. It’s not a game changer by any means, but it contributes. Just place it in a spot where it won’t draw a lot of aggro (usually back and off to the side). It’s good to clean up that lone scout that made it passed the nest.
THE IMPORTANCE OF A SCOUTS ABILITY TO DRAW AGGRO
Sometimes it’s not a good idea to try to tank all of the spam the bots are shooting out. It’s a better idea to dodge it. That’s why a scout who is always in the front lines provides a very important service to his team – he is drawing aggro towards himself and dodging most of the fire. Scouts don’t always have to hide and run to collect cash. Sometimes just being up front to grab bots attention is a good idea.
PRESSING TAB AND READING STATS
Stats don’t matter when everything is going smoothly. But the scoring system is for the most part accurate and all sub-stats tell a story about how a player is doing. Get into the habit of going through stats constantly and getting a baseline of what normal stats look like.
When things go horribly wrong, you can usually tell who the problem child is with a look at the stats.
I don’t understand why people try to blame a high scoring pyro/sniper/spy when there’s CLEARLY a "meta" teammate dragging ass. Seriously, you haven’t noticed that the heavy is sitting in the back trying to be a sniper?
PRACTICING AT LOWER DIFFICULTIES
This is for the players that are new to TF2 and/or new to MvM. It takes a while to get used to MvM mechanics. Just because you want that shiny Australium gun doesn’t mean you should jump directly into Two Cities. Most likely you’re going to be kicked and you can become jaded about playing MvM. It’s great game-mode. It’s filled with ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ – just like the real world.
I started manning up with Oil Spill. Never played a bootcamp server in my life before then. But it was easy, I got used to some of the upgrades. I learned the different classes and the basics. Then I moved to Steel Trap and played that until I was tired of carrying newbs. Then came Mecha and shortly after that the Two Cities update came. I didn’t play Gear Grinder until I was bored with Mecha.
I had about 25 tours in both Oil Spill and Steel trap before I moved up. That’s a bit excessive though, nobody wants to spend $300 on those easy tours.
You don’t have to do that, but you should at least practice some of the easier maps before jumping straight into Two Cities.
Steel Trap missions are a GREAT way to train for newbs. Almost every wave provides you with a different problem, but doesn’t overwhelm you. It seems that some waves were designed SPECIFICALLY so you could practice a certain skillset.
There’s a wave in Decoy where the only threat is Super Scouts. This will help you learn how to deal with Super Scouts properly (Sentry/Body Blocking, Mad Milking, Rocket Specialist, etc)
There’s a wave in Decoy that has a tank, then 3 sets of a Giant Crit Soldier + 3 uber medics. You can be a pyro and practice reflecting the crit rockets back at the giant – killing the 3 uber medics in the process. I used it as spy training myself. The Giant Soldier + 3 Uber medics is seriously the only thing on the map at the time besides the tank. Practice sap+stab for the medics and stab+run+recloak against the Giant.
There’s a wave in Coaltown that has tanks, then just heavies + ubermedics. You can practice being a sniper on this wave. It’s free practice against the groups of heavies+uber medics that drop down, because there is nothing else to kill besides the tank. Last wave of Disk Deletion is a lot of Giants and then Heavy Support. I suggested in my other guide just to play Sniper.
Two Cities is going to present waves that combine all of those problems at once and you need to know how to deal with each one of them, otherwise you’ll be overwhelmed.
If you’re getting kicked out of Two Cities all the time, seriously examine if it’s the team being jerks and not liking your class choice / loadout or if it’s that Two Cities is a bit above your skill level. Nobody likes newer players that blindly think they are great.
Just as a disclaimer: Even though I suggest going against meta set
ups and the same old loadouts, these things are acceptable only if the player’s skill is "up to snuff". You shouldn’t kick a bad player because he is using a "bad loadout" or playing a class you don’t think is necessary…you should kick him because he is a total drag on a struggling team.
Add what you think is overrated/underrated in the comments.
Thanks for reading~