Through the use of time machines, sexual favors and some pretty strong alcohol I have managed to get a peek at the best thing to happen to online multiplayer team based games since... Well, Team Fortress 2.
The things I do for you people.
How to add a server:
Before you start TF2, right click Steam in your toolbar and click on Servers. Go to the Favorites tab, click Add a Server, and type in the IP. Next time you launch TF2, go to the Favorites tab and select one of the servers that has people in it, type in the password (wang), and you should be good to go. Also make sure "Show map list" is unchecked in the bottom left. It makes finding servers stupid as hell.
(War Never Changes)
Penny Arcade Arena Donate!
New server! 12-a-side all-arena public server with PA adminship. HLstatsX enabled.
Server IP: 220.127.116.11:27015
New server! Mixed map rotation.
Server IP: 18.104.22.168:27015
Hyperbolic Drama Chamber Donate!
Normal server with SourceMod.
Server IP: 22.214.171.124:27015
JonXP's server Donate!
Regular vanilla server. No plugins whatsoever.
Server IP: tf2.finalmeasure.com
House of Non-Conformity Donate!
Custom map server.
Server IP: 126.96.36.199:27015
Download the Map Pack.
Extract to: Steam\steamapps\<your account>\team fortress 2\tf\maps
Cold Salmon and Hatred (aka Zot)'s
House of Zot
"no serious business allowed"
Server IP: 188.8.131.52:27015
There is no real PA TF2 Steam Group. The HoNC has a Honc Night group
that occasionally announces a custom map night, but that's about it. To get involved and meet people post here and add the servers to your favorites and hop on.
A lot of newcomers join in on occasion and ask a lot of questions, and rightfully so. Hopefully, this section can help address some of the more commonly asked questions.
Okay, I'm convinced Engineer! I want to buy this game! Does it matter whether if I buy it for the PC, or the Xbox-
Hold it right there partner! Just get it for the PC. No contest, no debate. Hell, even if you have the Orange box on the 360, you might as well spend the 20 bucks to get it on the PC, or wait for a 50% weekend which always seem to come around update time. The fact of the matter is Valve for the most part only supports the PC version. There are all sorts of fancy new maps and weapons and user build content on it, while the 360 and PS3 have... well... some bug fixes... Also, most of the community is on the PC version, and the versions do not communicate with each other.
Oh, alright, I've never played TF2 or TF1. Hmm... I've never even played a first person shooter before. Am I still going to be able to have fun or am I just way out of my league.
Like I said before, this game has all sorts of classes for all sorts of folks, so even if you're the kind of person who has never had to aim a projectile weapon before, you can always pick up a class where that's not so important, like Medic, Pyro, Heavy, or Engineer. The learning curve for this here game is pretty forgiving, with a few exceptions (*coughspycough*), so don't be afraid and just give it a shot. You will get sniped and backstabbed and blown up a lot the first times you play, but you won't be sitting out for long when you do.
Well that's good to know. I hear you guys talking a lot about your competent PA servers, and badmouthing these public servers. Should I just... Play in pubs until I get better and join you guys, or what?
Most of the folk here are good natured. I would recommend just jumping into a PA server, letting the folks there know you're new, and if anyone gives you a hard time just let Engineer know and I'll come down on them so hard it'll make them wish they didn't have an ass hole. The number one rule here is don't be a dick you see. And the fact of the matter is we talk poorly of pubs because there is often very poor communication and strategy there, so you may just end up having a more frustrating time in the end.
Alright, you've convinced me. How do I join this steam group? How do I get into your servers? What's the password?
Well, if you want to join the steam group, just ask. But it's largely useless. I would recommend just adding the servers listed above to your favorites. And... The password is wang
. It's right where the servers are listed. In bright green letters. "wang"
Okay, okay, so... What class do you think I should start off with?
Engine- *cough* excuse me, I'm a little biased. You'll get a lot of different kinds of answers to that question, and the only true answer is to try them all. You're not going to be locked into it till you get to level 80 or whatever (There isn't any leveling by the way). Just try each one out for a little bit, give them a spin, or if something sounds interesting to you, give that a good solid spin. Although personally, I would recommend either Soldier or Medic. Soldier was designed specifically by Valve to be a pretty straight forward class that anyone can pick up. Shoot guns at man. I recommend Medic though because their job is to heal other folks and follow them around, so you'll get a chance to follow some people who know what they're doing and learn from observing. You'll also learn a lot about self preservation considering everyone will target you. Like I said before, let people know you're new so there can be a backup medic if the team starts getting frustrated with the doctoring going on.
Alright! I've decided to play them all! Um... Where's the instruction manual for this game? How do I get good with everything?
There ain't no manual for this here game, sorry. But the next best thing is TF2Wiki
. It's not always accurate with their damage values and such, but it's still a great resource for learning gameplay mechanics and common strategies. And always feel welcome to ask here! I'm sure somebody would be more than happy to help yah.
Well then, I think I'm set! Anything else I need?
Besides a functioning computer and a good set of eyes and fingers, I reckon a good headset will do you good. This is a team work game with a lot of strategy, and naturally communication is key. Sometimes the voice commands just aren't enough, and sometimes people just don't listen to them at all, on account of all the spam. Damn messenger boy won't shut up about needing teleporters.
And of course typing is just not fast enough and can lead to an unpleasant headshot or backstab. A cheap 10 buck headset should do you fine, and then we'll get to make fun of your accent and learn to recognize you better! It's how you get known more in the community!
Oh, and you might want to turn on "Quickswap" in the options. That way you don't have to select what weapon you want to use twice to start using it. But that's only if you like. The headset is much more important.
I've been playing for a while, and the game just told me I found a Cloak and Dagger. What's this? Why do the guns have levels? Am I going to get raped by guys with level 100 rocket launchers?
Valve has been sneaking in new guns for people to play with, and these weapons are supposed to be side grades (The levels don't mean anything). Some positives in exchange for some negatives. There are some exceptions that are simply flat out better or flat out worse, but usually not enough to change the flow of the game. All the classes except for Soldier, Demo, and Me (Goddammit) have new tools at their disposal, and you can get them by either accomplishing a number of achievements (Look for the milestones under your achievements) or just randomly from playing the game! You can be idling in spectator in a server with one man just sitting there and just happen to find this crap! Hope that answers your question.
Yeah, that certainly explains a lot. So, how come my pictures are coming out in this weird TGA format. What the fuck?
There are programs out there to convert it for you, but I reckon you should just type this into your console.
bind f5 jpeg
If you use a different key to take pictures then you'll want to use that key.
Huh!? What is this? Console? Is this cheating?
No no no no! It's called scripting. To access your console, go into your advanced options and turn on the developer's console. Then you just press "`" default to pull it up. If you want to know more about scripting you oughta visit the section on it in the TF2Wiki
. Although it may not be cheating, there is a line you can cross that many folk here consider cheap. For some it's using any scripts at all, but for most, it's when you're trying to get the game to rocket jump for you or rapidly fire your pistol for you. Basically when you start taking control away from the player. Stuff like binds to quickly build or disguise are common, and aren't looked down upon so much. And everyone likes to have "kill" or "explode" bound to something so they can end their misery when things look bleak.
Thanks for all your help Engineer! Um... Where is everyone?
Most of these fellas are on the east coast of the Americas, so peak gaming time is around when they all get off work to around when the people on the west coast go to sleep. So... I would say usually around 4:00pm ET to about 1:00am ET? Hey boys! Get on the servers!