6v6 play in TF2: success at last, I’ve played a game!
In my last post, I mentioned that UKCS were holding 6v6 mixes for players new to the format, led by Pledge from VanillaTF2. So far I’d missed every one. Well, last Saturday I finally managed to be on-line at the right time and, at last, I had a go at playing 6v6.
I played Demoman of course. The first map we played was cp_gullywash, a map I like and know reasonably well. The second was cp_snakewater, a map that I haven’t played as much, and for some incomprehensible reason had got confused with cp_indulge, another map I haven’t played much but remembered better and had enjoyed playing. This meant I kept expecting things that weren’t there because I was on different map and getting all disorientated. So pro.
Cp_gullywash proved reasonably successful. To my surprise I didn’t find the basic skill level much higher than I was used to (I often play on higher skilled servers), though much work on rollouts is required. What I really noticed was the added teamwork and communication, and how it needed to be got right. In 6v6, the Demoman is the main damage dealer. I’ve always known that I play quite a defensive Demoman, not too bad at area control and trapping using stickies, but not so good at pushing and damage output. I’ve found it hard to focus on this in public play since, in order to play more agressively unless you have good aim and gamesense, it helps if you have medic back-up to keep you healed as you push and some support and for this, communication helps.
So, I found myself starting to push but then holding back, expecting to be low on health. I wasn’t used to having a medic healing me. I remember tanking in LoTRO, I’d often have a minstrel (healer) focussing on me. I learnt how much damage I could take and how far I could go, I need to get a feel for this as a Demoman. I wasn’t used to working with people either; having scouts there to support me and co-ordinating with the soldiers, so I kept playing as if it was just me. However, I could really see how 6v6 worked and I enjoyed it.
Cp_snakewater was a bit of a disaster. As I said, right from the off I was confused, and then I just kept getting lost. I was told that I needed to be more aggressive pushing last; true since at that time I was still trying to find my way past mid. Oh well.
And then, later in the week, came another opportunity, this time with the WDG community. There were four of us newbies plus two of the experienced 6v6 players. We played cp_gullywash again, but this time it was less successful. I felt that co-ordination was where we fell down, Dodgy and Leftism did their best but it must have been like herding cats. Learning how to work in a team after such a long time mainly solo playing on pub servers is different but it’s fun.
All in all so far, I think Highlander is a less frustrating pub (no teams comprising three snipers, 3 engies, four pyros and no medic) and 6v6 seems like TF2, the concentrated version. Both make playing your chosen class more fun, though it’s also true that I’ve experienced this on pub servers with well-balanced, equally skilled teams, but games like that are hard to find.