Saturday, April 3, 2010

Why Won't You Heal Me, DanShive?!

Something I've been wanting to do since snagging a headset (you know, the headset that isn't good enough for the videos I want to make), I've been wanting to play Team Fortress 2 again. It just seemed like there was something missing when I could only communicate via keyboard. When you're also using the keyboard to move and shoot, that makes communicating with teammates something of an issue.

First off, I STILL don't know if anyone could hear what the crap I was saying. I fiddled with the settings and did some tests, but I still simply don't know. Between the sounds of battle and other people on their headsets, I don't know if I didn't hear any acknowledgments of what I was saying because I was missing them, because people couldn't hear me, or because they muted me on account of my headset making me sound like nails on a chalkboard. So from a purely "testing the headset" perspective, I feel like I didn't accomplish much.

As for the actual play experience, well... it kind of sucked. I was playing Arena simply because it was easy to find games for it, and I was playing as a Medic as that's how I can be most useful in Arena (in pretty much anything else, I'm best utilized as an Engineer). I was quickly reminded of one of the major communication flaws in that game, and that is simply having no idea who is talking to me.

Okay, yeah, I know what their screen name is. It flashes in the lower right corner and I can recognize different voices. The problem is that the voice is associated with one of several other teammates, which is anywhere between 7 and 15 people most of the time with several of them playing as the same character class and switching classes between rounds (and even during rounds if not playing Arena). When someone asks me via their headset to heal them over others for the sake of strategy, and all they say is "Dan Shive, heal me!", odds are I don't know who the crap they are, where they are, or if they're right about being a priority, unless they're right there by me.

I should probably look into adjusting the settings. I currently have to look right at someone to see their name; maybe I can set them to constantly float above their heads, at least for teammates? I don't know. What would help, however, if instead of a "voice" icon next to the name of someone who is talking, Valve had it set up so an icon of the class they're playing as appeared. If I could instantly know that the guy who was talking was the soldier with the top hat, it would make communication one heck of a lot easier.


  1. it would also help if there was a visual indication on the player himself that he is talking....

    unless there is, and I don't know about it.

  2. @Japa: There is a visual indication; a speaker icon appears over the player model while talking. It's even visible on cloaked spies.

  3. I REALLY need to play with you some time. I can NEVER find a good Engie to dispenser camp with. (Sometimes, people have yelled about me stealing there kills in a TEAMWORK BASED GAME WHERE KILLS MEAN NOTHING.) But enough about that.

  4. You need to be online on Steam more often so I can actually say "Hey Dan, up for a game?"

  5. Darn, it ate my comment.
    Try playing smaller games, like 6v6. A good matchmaking service is tf2lobby. It's more competitive, but in 6v6, your actions rally matter. It;s not like 12v12, where you can be playing great, but because the teams are stacked, you lose.
    Also, tell them to use the "E" key to call for medic, it puts a marker on you hud so you can find them.

  6. What's your steam Id?
    Spend much of my life on tf2 and egs

  7. Gonna guess it's danshive or dantheshive?