User:Arrran Weeviling/MVM 2.0/Special Load (game mode)

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This article is about the game mode. For other uses, please see Special Load (disambiguation).
The bomb hatch at Coal Town
Gray Mann has built an unstoppable automaton army with a single purpose: to destroy all things Mann Co. Luckily for you, the majority of this robot legion is equipped with basic weaponry that could never level an entire building. Unluckily, they also have access to giant bombs, which they’d drag through hell if it meant dropping one in a Mann Co. bombhole. And it’s up to you to stop them.
Mann vs. Machine publicity blurb

Mann vs. Machine is a co-op game mode released in the update of the same name. In Mann vs. Machine, a team up to six players attempts to prevent a horde of AI-controlled robots from carrying a bomb to their base. Players can purchase upgrades for their weapons using in-game currency, called credits. All purchased upgrades will last for the duration of the game. If a player leaves during the game for any reason, providing they reconnect, their upgrades will be retained.

The only achievements obtainable in Mann vs. Machine are the Mann vs. Machievements.

Mann vs. Machine uses a separate set of "Best Moments" and thus keeps track of a separate performance report.

The game mode currently has five difficulties: Normal, Intermediate, Advanced, Expert, and Nightmare.

Videos

Trailer Instructional Film

Mechanics

The team is attacked by a horde of AI-controlled robots, and must try to prevent the robots from successfully delivering a bomb to the players' base (as in Payload). Each robot destroyed provides the players with credits (when one player collects a money pile, it is divided equally amongst the players). Between waves of robots, the players have the chance to upgrade their weapons at an Upgrade Station inside the base using this money. They may also upgrade abilities for their current class. The upgraded abilities are kept, even while switching to a different class, but the purchased abilities are only available for the class that they were purchased for.

Robots

Main article: Robots

Most of the robot horde is made up of plain robotic versions of all nine classes, including basic or mediocre weaponry. However, there are also a number of special robots with unique abilities.

While a robot carries a bomb, it loses half of its speed. However, the bomb-carrying robot receives buffs, which increase over time. A HUD graphic displays the amount of time until the next buff. Buffs are activated by the bomb carrier via taunting, setting off an accompanying audio cue. These buffs are divided into three stages, which stack together:

Stages Upgrades Time Interval <br\>(Seconds)
Bomb carrier defense.png
First stage
Defensive buff, shared with all nearby robots 5
Bomb carrier health.png
Second stage
45 health regenerated per second 15
Bomb carrier crits.png
Final stage
Full crits all the time 15

Giant robots cannot receive the buffs nor lose speed when carrying the bomb.

Abilities and Upgrades

Main article: Upgrade Station
See also: Credits
A sample weapon upgrade menu for the Grenade Launcher.

Players may use their accumulated credits at an Upgrade Station to fill their Canteens with a buff—such as personal ÜberCharge, a five-second critical hit boost, or ammunition refill—or an ability such as rapid building upgrades for Engineers or the ability to teleport back to the spawn point. All of these Canteens each provide up to three uses and must be filled with the same buff.

Players may also purchase personal abilities for themselves or for upgraded weapons.

Leaderboard class scout.png Scout
  • Upgraded Mad Milk slows affected enemies.
  • All Scouts have the following innate skills:
    • Extra-large cash collection radius.
    • Health boosts from collected cash.
    • Instant respawns.
Leaderboard class soldier.png Soldier
  • Upgraded Buff Banner can empower entire team.
  • Upgraded Rocket Launcher to increase damage, firing speed, reload speed and projectile speed.
Leaderboard class pyro.png Pyro
  • Upgraded airblast pushes targets further.
  • Use airblasts to separate Medic robots from their targets and push bomb-carrying robots into mineshafts.
  • Upgraded Flare Gun becomes a lethal long range weapon.
Leaderboard class demoman.png Demoman
  • Use a Critical Hit Boost canteen to lay deadly sticky traps.
  • Use damage-upgraded Sticky Bomb clusters to instantly destroy all but the strongest targets.
Leaderboard class heavy.png Heavy
  • Upgraded rounds pass through multiple targets.
  • Upgraded Minigun can shoot down projectiles.
  • Upgraded Heavy can generate rage, causing rounds to knock back enemies.
Leaderboard class engineer.png Engineer
  • Upgraded Engineer can build a second, disposable Mini-Sentry.
  • Use a Critical Hit Boost canteen to temporarily boost Sentry Gun to three times its firing speed.
  • Remember: The Wrangler excels against long-range targets.
Leaderboard class medic.png Medic
  • Upgraded Medi Gun or Kritzkrieg boosts overheal amount and duration.
  • Upgraded Medic can increase ÜberCharge build rate and lengthen deploy duration.
  • Upgraded Medic can share his Canteen effects with heal target.
Leaderboard class sniper.png Sniper
  • Upgraded Jarate slows affected enemies.
  • Upgraded Sniper Rifle rounds and Huntsman arrows pass through multiple targets.
  • Combine Jarate and bleed effect on rounds and arrows to take down larger enemies.
  • Upgraded Sniper Rifle and Huntsman cause explosive headshots.
Leaderboard class spy.png Spy
  • Upgraded Sapper can disable groups of regular robots and slow Giants.
  • Spies' disguises fool all robot enemies; robots may detect a nearby backstab, and will always detect a Spy who is on fire.
  • Upgraded Knife can penetrate armor, allowing increasing effectiveness against Giants.

Gameplay

For the sake of identification, all human players are dressed as RED and identified as team DEFENDERS while all robots use BLU colors in their visual effects and in the kill feed. Games are played in waves, each containing a pre-set number of enemies. Various support classes also spawn in periodically until the wave is over.

Before each wave begins, Defenders are shown relevant information in the top HUD, such as the enemies the next wave will contain, the current wave and the number of waves for that mission. Pre-set enemies have a number under each icon to indicate how many will be present in the wave, while support classes are listed to the right-hand side. A flashing blue icon means that the enemy or enemies will always fire critical hits. During pre-wave intervals, Engineers are able to instantly place level 3 buildings and Medics have an notably faster ÜberCharge fill rate.

When at least three players enter a Mann vs. Machine server, the option to ready up is enabled. Once one player declares they are ready, a 150-second countdown clock begins. As more players ready up, the countdown clock reduces to a minimum of 30 seconds until all players are ready. When all players are ready, the countdown reduces to 10 seconds. When the countdown ends, the wave begins. Players joining the server during the countdown will not increase the time.

When the wave begins, the top HUD will change to show a strength gauge to depict the quantity of pre-set enemies left. Robots will begin spawning in the battlefield in groups. Until they are on platforms that are accessible by players, attacking a robot will do nothing but cause them to glow as if they were ÜberCharged. During the wave, information about certain enemies may appear in the top HUD and will be announced by the Administrator.

  • Sentry Buster - Sentry Busters are large, bipedal stickybombs that will run, stop and self-destruct near Sentry Guns. If an Engineer is moving their Sentry Gun, the Sentry Buster will chase them until they stop. These enemies only appear in response to effective sentryguns built by an Engineer on the defending team and will spawn more often if there are multiple effective Sentry Guns.
  • Tank - Heavily-armored tanks will enter the field from specific entry points. They won't attack but will move implacably towards the bomb hatch until they are destroyed or reach their destination. They may crush any unfortunate player or robot that gets stuck between them and a wall. Tanks do not need to carry or retrieve the main bomb, as each one contains its own.
  • Sniper - Sniper Robots spawn like regular robots, but will mostly try to snipe players from higher platforms instead of running with the horde. All Sniper Robots except those carrying the Huntsman are unable to headshot.
  • Spy - Unlike other robots, Spy Robots may spawn anywhere where players aren't looking in the field by use of their cloaking. They can disguise as friendly players, backstab players, and can sap Engineer buildings. The Announcer will call out the number of Spy Robots remaining after each successive one is killed.
  • Engineer - Engineer Robots can enter in two ways - one, more common variation of the robot will teleport into the map near the bomb, while two rarer versions with half of the health will enter normally. Upon reaching a pre-determined nest area, the Robot Engineer commences building a Teleporter, which can be used by all robots excluding Giant Robots and the bomb carrier, and a Sentry Gun uses to defend the camp.

After each successful wave, the defenders will be evaluated based on how well money was collected (with a credit rating ranging from F to A+). If all the piles of money are collected (the A+ grade), the team will earn a $100 bonus. Once a mission is completed, the defenders will be given a final evaluation, and the server will load the next Mann vs. Machine map after an interval of 20 seconds.

Abandoning

File:2013-03-02 00001.jpg
An example of the matchmaking screen when the penalty is applied

Introduced in the October 17, 2012 Patch, rules regarding players "abandoning" games have been implied. A player is considered to have "abandoned" a game if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • Leave a game while playing a Mann Up game on an official server; and
  • Have not played through a single wave to completion or failure; and
  • There are 5 or more players currently connected to the server (including the player).

If they meet all of the criteria repeatedly, the player will temporarily be placed in a low-priority queue, resulting in a significantly longer wait upon matchmaking.

Otherwise, it is safe to disconnect a game without being considered "abandoning" the game.

If a player presses the disconnect button, the player will receive a message telling them whether it is safe to leave. The player will either abandon the game with a penalty or without depending on the occasion. However, if the player leaves by other means (such as changing server via console or the in-game Steam HUD), they will not receive a message and may get a penalty without being notified.

If a player loses their connection while in-game, the spot will be reserved for the player and will have 3 minutes to rejoin. If the player does not rejoin after the time is up, the player will have been counted as leaving the server intentionally. If the game has crashed or the player loses their Internet connection, then the player can then restart Team Fortress 2 and the player will be given a prompt to reclaim their spot in the match. This prompt will inform the player of the penalties they will get if they decline the spot. If the player fails to rejoin within the three minutes and they fill out the criteria listed above, then it will count the player as having abandoned the match.

If a player is kicked for being idling whilst in a match, then it will be counted as quitting intentionally and therefore will incur a penalty. If a player is votekicked from a server, they will not be considered as leaving intentionally and will not incur a penalty.

Strategy

Main article: Community Mann vs. Machine strategy

Maps

Main article: List of maps

Mann vs. Machine maps carry the mvm_ prefix.

Name Picture File name
Big Rock Mvm bigrock.png mvm_bigrock
Coal Town Poster Coal Town.png mvm_coaltown
Coaltown Event Mvm coaltown event.jpg mvm_coaltown_event
Decoy Decoy.png mvm_decoy
Mannworks Poster Mannworks.png mvm_mannworks

Related achievements

Main article: Mann vs. Machievements

Update history

August 15, 2012 Patch
  • Added Mann vs. Machine.
  • Added maps: Coal Town, Decoy, and Mannworks.

August 17, 2012 Patch

  • Fixed a client crash related to Mann vs. Machine stats.
  • Fixed a crash related to server plug-ins spawning a Tank before the game is ready.
  • Updated the dedicated server to exit when attempting to start a Mann vs. Machine map with less than 32 maxplayers.
  • Fixed mp_timelimit causing Mann vs. Machine mode to not reset properly when the defenders lose.
  • Fixed the Mann vs. Machine wave loss/victory dialog buttons not being clickable sometimes.
  • Fixed the Mann vs. Machine victory dialog getting stuck on the screen.
  • Fixed the Mann vs. Machine wave summary dialog showing up at the beginning of the first wave.
  • Fixed the disconnect reason not being localized properly for Mann vs. Machine mode.
  • Fixed player glow colors not based on player health in some community mods outside of Mann vs. Machine mode.
  • Removed console spew related to missing movement warnings.
  • Updated the matchmaking ConVar tf_mm_strict.

August 21, 2012 Patch

  • Fixed matchmaking sending players to out-of-date servers.
  • Fixed the server browser showing an incorrect player count in MvM games.
  • Fixed MvM intro video not playing on some Macs.
  • Fixed the sound precache string table being nearly full in non-MvM games.
    • This was causing the "error writing string table baseline" and "failed reading message net_SetConVar" errors.

August 23, 2012 Patch

  • Added a command "player_ready_toggle" for players to ready-up.
    • Can be bound to any key in the Keyboard tab of the Options dialog.
  • Fixed a few MvM sounds not being precached properly.
  • Added Taskbar Window Flash and Drum Roll sound on successful match making for Windows users.
    • Sound will play even if the game is minimized.
  • Added difficulty text "Normal" and "Advanced" to the MvM scoreboard when playing official Valve missions.
  • Fixed UI Bugs related to the MvM splash screens (Wave Loss and Victory).
  • Server browser will now show MvM mission name in the "map" column. (E.g. "mvm_mannworks_advanced").
  • Fixed a crash when spawning the tank in non-MvM games. Added SetHealth, SetMaxHealth, AddHealth, and RemoveHealth inputs to the tank entity

September 10, 2012 Patch

  • Fixed an issue in the Server Browser where replay bots would add to the player count.
  • Fixed a bug that would sometimes cause the bomb to get positioned incorrectly when dropped.
  • Added safeguards to prevent bots from getting stuck in certain cases.
  • Fixed Steel Gauntlet robots failing to destroy mini-Sentry Guns on slopes.
  • Fixed the party leader’s mission completions showing in the game lobby instead of your own.

September 21, 2012 Patch

  • Matchmaking search criteria supports selecting multiple missions.
  • Matchmaking will prevent late joining into the a server near the end of the last wave.
  • Added the tour number to the information on the scoreboard.
  • Fixed a false positive for the achievement "Clockwork Carnage".
  • Added a new command "bot_hurt".
    • Parameters -name [bot name], -team [red/blue/all], -damage [amount].

September 27, 2012 Patch

  • Fixed a bug where players could only buy 1 upgrade at a time from the Upgrade Station.
  • Fixed a bug where the Victory dialog would sometimes show during incorrect times.

October 9, 2012 Patch

  • Added two tours of duty, each with unique loot:
  • If a player connects to a MvM game through matchmaking and loses their connection, their spot will be held for a brief duration and they will be given a chance to reconnect.
  • After victory on a Mann Up server, the players will be put into a lobby together.
  • Improved matchmaking searching status screen.
  • Balance changes:
    • Explosive Headshots
      • Damage is now 150 regardless of upgrade level.
      • Damage is done in one tick instead of the previous six.
      • Added a slowing effect based on upgrade level (50%-80% slow, 2-4 second duration).
      • Radius still scales with upgrade level (unchanged).
    • Marked For Death duration reduced to 7 seconds from 15 seconds when the target is a giant robot.
    • Reduced the "effect bar recharge rate increased" upgrade from 20% increments with an 80% cap to 15% increments with a 60% cap.

October 17, 2012 Patch

  • Added a penalty system to deter players from repeatedly abandoning Mann Up games.
  • Corrected the respawn time for the Mannslaughter mission.
  • Updated MissionCycle behavior. Servers will always cycle to a mission listed in the MissionCycle file.

October 26, 2012 Patch (Spectral Halloween Special)

  • Added map: Coaltown Event.

October 27, 2012 Patch

  • Fixed a Linux dedicated server crash related to Mann vs. Machine mode.

November 16, 2012 Patch

  • Fixed a dedicated server memory leak when running Mann vs. Machine mode.
  • Fixed an Mann vs. Machine exploit that allowed permanent ubercharge/critboost effects on non-Mann-Up servers.

November 29, 2012 Patch

  • Fixed Mann vs. Machine popfiles not properly resetting on changelevel.

December 20, 2012 Patch

  • Added a tour of duty with unique loot:
    • Operation Mecha Engine, with 3 advanced skill missions.
    • Map mvm_bigrock.
    • Engineer Botkiller items.
  • Added Engineer robot.

December 21, 2012 Patch

  • Added "Benign infiltration" to the Mann Vs. Machine mission-cycle file for servers.
  • Fixed a Dead Ringer Spy exploit in Mann Vs. Machine mode.
  • Fixed a lighting issue in mvm_bigrock.

January 8, 2013 Patch

  • Fixed clients being able to issue mp_tournament_restart, tournament_readystate, and tournament_teamname commands.
  • Fixed an exploit that allowed players to stun a mini-boss.
  • Updated mvm_bigrock with some new func_nobuild areas.

January 16, 2013 Patch

  • Fixed spectator bots picking up the bomb in Mann Vs. Machine.

February 1, 2013 Patch

  • Fixed a bug with item sets incorrectly applying their bonus when using Mann Vs. Machine upgrades of the same type.

February 22, 2013 Patch

  • Fixed giant robots sometimes getting stuck in Mann Vs. Machine.

March 19, 2013 Patch

  • Fixed the boss health bar sometimes disappearing.
  • Fixed the uber Medics in Wave 4 of the Broken Parts mission charging at the incorrect rate.

March 27, 2013 Patch

  • Fixed Engineer bots in Mann Vs. Machine building disposable Sentry Guns that upgrade into tiny, red, level 3 Sentry Guns.

April 3, 2013 Patch

  • Fixed a bug in Mann Vs. Machine related to carrying buildings and using the "Upgrade Buildings" canteen.

Unused content

  • RED versions of all of the robots can be found in the game files.

Bugs

  • Sometimes a menu such as team, class, or upgrade choice will freeze on screen, forcing the player to refresh the HUD. (This can be accomplished by typing hud_reloadscheme in the console or pressing TAB.)
  • When killed by a dead bot, such as from afterburn, or when removing a destroyed Spy bot's Sapper, the kill feed may show that the bot has moved to spectator mode. This is due to the internal routine that reassigns bot players for the next attack.
  • Sometimes after the wave is complete, the Administrator will continue to issue warnings about the bomb's progress. This does not impede progress in any way.
  • Bots will occasionally become stuck when jumping down into the map from their spawn. On rarer occasions this will cause the bot to Immediately die upon touching the ground.
  • Giant bots have been known to die upon falling from a decent height, regardless of health remaining.
  • Bots that are destroyed while speaking and players who are killed while using Mann vs. Machine-related responses will continue speaking after their destruction/death. Tank Robots that are destroyed as they stop to deploy the bomb will continue to play the buzz and ding sound sequence.
  • It is possible for the Administrator to announce the team has failed the mission when they haven't, by destroying the bomb carrier as it is about to disappear into the bomb hole. The bomb hatch will be destroyed, but the game considers the bomb undeployed. In this case, the real bomb will never make it to the hatch as it will continue to kill anything that steps in to it.
  • Hitting the F4 key will still toggle ready-up even if the ready-up command was set to another key.
  • A rare bug that crashes the game can occur seemingly randomly. The game will freeze and go black, and the desktop will show. Reopening the game after the crash will not restore backpack items; in order to do so one must restart Steam and validate Steam files.
  • Sometimes, when the map is finished, the loot screen shows up empty. This situation becomes recurrent for the player affected.
  • There is a small number of Sentry Gun placements that are immune to Sentry Busters. If the target sentry is in one of these areas, the Sentry Buster will spawn, and without jumping down or exiting spawn, they will blow up. This does not show in the kill feed, and the Sentry Buster icon at the top of the screen will remain.
  • Rarely the round will not be failed once the bomb has been deployed, instead leaving a hole that results in death/destruction for players/robots, this also results in making the round impossible to fail, aside from tanks.
  • Rarely, before the round the bomb will appear at the top of the hill with no bot carrying it.
  • Rarely, most of the robots' voice lines may not be roboticized at all.

External links