Mann vs. Machine
Mann vs. Machine is a co-op game mode released in The Mann vs. Machine Update. In this game mode, a team of up to six players attempts to prevent a horde of AI-controlled robots from escorting a bomb to a drop-point located in a Mann Co. facility. During the game, players can purchase upgrades for their weapons and various abilities (resistances, movement speed, regeneration, etc.) using currency obtained by killing the robots, called credits. All purchased upgrades will last for the duration of the game, or until the player resets their abilities at an Upgrade Station. If a player leaves the game for any reason their upgrades will be retained, providing they reconnect, as well as any credits the player has spent and/or has remaining.
Mann vs. Machine mode currently has five separate difficulty levels: Normal, Intermediate, Advanced, Expert, and Nightmare.
|The Sound of Medicine|
AI-controlled robots will attack the defending team in waves. The player's objective is to try to prevent the robots from successfully delivering a bomb to the player's base (somewhat similar to Payload). Each robot destroyed provides the players with credits, in the form of dropped "cash" piles of various sizes. When a player collects one of these "cash" piles, the resulting credits are divided equally amongst all players. At any time during the match, players may upgrade their weapons at an Upgrade Station inside their base using these credits. Players may also upgrade abilities for their current class. All upgrades for weapons and abilities are kept, even while switching to a different class (though classes can not be switched during a wave), but the purchased abilities and weapon upgrades are only available for the class that they were purchased for. Optionally, players may "refund" their credits between waves in order to change to different weapons, classes, or to optimize for a specific wave.
If the players lose against the robots, the game will restart from the beginning of the round that the players lost, until the players complete the round successfully. This can occur as many times as are necessary. Players may also vote to restart the map entirely.
Most of the robot horde is made up of plain robotic versions of the nine player classes, typically using basic or mediocre weaponry. However, there are also a number of special robots with unique abilities and/or weaponry.
While a robot carries a bomb, it loses half of its speed. However, the bomb-carrying robot gradually receives various buff effects, causing them to grow more dangerous and harder to kill. 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|
|Defensive buff, shared with all nearby robots||5|
|45 health regenerated per second||15|
|Unlimited critical hits||15|
Giant robots cannot receive these buffs, nor do they lose speed while carrying a bomb.
Abilities and Upgrades
Players may use their accumulated credits at an Upgrade Station for the purchase of personal abilities for themselves, or for upgrades to their equipped weapons.
Players may also opt to fill their Power Up Canteen (if they have one equipped) with charges of a special buff effect—such as personal ÜberCharge, a five-second critical hit boost, ammunition refills, or the ability to teleport back to the spawn point. Engineer players may purchase a Canteen effect charge which allow for an instant, simultaneous upgrade for all of their buildings.
Players may purchase up to three uses of these effects at a time. Note that effects cannot be mixed-and-matched; players may only purchase multiple charges of the same effect. Purchasing a separate effect charge switches the canteen over to that effect.
For the sake of identification, all human players are placed on RED team (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.
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 60 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.
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. Note that typing
cl_mvm_wave_status_visible_during_wave 1 into the console makes some of this information visible at all times, which can be very useful for players trying to learn a new wave.
During pre-wave intervals, Engineers are able to instantly place level 3 buildings and Medics have a notably faster ÜberCharge fill rate.
Once the wave begins, the top HUD will change to show a strength gauge depicting the quantity of pre-set enemies left. Robots will begin spawning into the battlefield in groups. Until the robots are in areas that are accessible by players, attacking one will do nothing but cause it to glow as if it was ÜberCharged. During the wave, information about certain enemies may appear in the top HUD, much of which will also be announced by the Administrator. Note that Snipers are not announced by the Administrator, and are instead called out by the players via automatic voice responses. These responses may also announce the presence of Tanks and Sentry Busters on the field as well.
- Sentry Buster - Sentry Busters are large, bipedal pressure mines that will run, stop, and self-destruct near Sentry Guns. If an Engineer is moving their Sentry Gun, the Sentry Buster will chase them. These enemies only appear in response to effective Sentry Guns built by an Engineer on the defending team and will spawn more often if there are multiple effective Sentry Guns. A common strategy is for the Engineer to pick up their Sentry and run away from other players on the map and touch the Sentry Buster. This will cause the Sentry Buster to stop and then explode. Another common strategy is for the Engineer to sacrifice their Sentry Gun, by allowing the Sentry Buster to destroy it in a safe location. This will stop the Sentry Busters from spawning for a period of time.
- Tank - Heavily armored tanks will enter the field from specific entry points. These do not attack players directly, but will move implacably towards the bomb hatch until they are either 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 in preset locations near the bomb, while two rarer versions with half of the health will enter normally. Upon reaching a predetermined nest area, the Robot Engineer commences building a Teleporter, which acts as a forward spawn point for the robots, and a Sentry Gun to defend it.
After each successful wave, the defenders will be evaluated based on how well credits were collected, with a credit rating ranging from F to A+. If all the credits are collected (the A+ grade), the defenders will earn a $100 bonus. If under $50 credits are not collected, the defenders will instead receive a $50 bonus. If over $50 of credits are not collected, the defenders receive no bonus at all.
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.
Introduced in the October 17, 2012 Patch, rules regarding players "abandoning" games have been created. 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 none of these criteria are met, it is safe to disconnect a game without being considered "abandoning" the game.
If they meet all of the criteria repeatedly, however, the player will temporarily be placed in a low-priority match-making queue. This results in a significantly longer wait when trying to find a 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 or without a penalty, depending on the criteria. However, if the player leaves by other means (such as changing server via the 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 they 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 restart Team Fortress 2 and 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. 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 idle whilst in a match, then it will be counted as quitting intentionally and therefore will incur a penalty. If a player is vote-kicked from a server, they will not be considered as leaving intentionally and will not incur a penalty.
Mann vs. Machine maps carry the mvm_ prefix.
- RED versions of all of the robots (besides the Tank and Sentry Buster) can be found in the game files.
- Tan/skin colors were originally going to be used for the robots. (also in game files)
- The robot mothership was originally going to have a humming sound, but was ultimately scrapped.
- Expired cash would have originally made a sound, but was ultimately scrapped.
- 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_reloadschemein the console or pressing .)
- Occasionally in a listen server, and after changing to a custom mission, the robots may begin attacking before you start the wave. This only happens the first time you change to the mission in a given session.
- When killed by a dead robot, such as by afterburn, or when removing a destroyed Spy Bot's Sapper, the kill feed may show that the robot has moved to spectator mode. This is due to an internal routine that reassigns robot players for the next attack.
- The Wave Summary sometime displays incorrect numbers of Uber Medics for certain waves.
- Sometimes after a wave is complete, the Administrator will continue to issue warnings about the bomb's progress. This does not affect gameplay in any way.
- When a new Tank appears on the map just after another Tank is destroyed, the Administrator may issue an incorrect warning about the Tank's progress.
- Giant robots have been known to die upon falling from a decent height, regardless of health remaining.
- Robots 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.
- Rarely, you can get your screen whited-out by a Sentry Buster's explosion without being affected. This can happen by being somewhere under it, without being able to see it. This can happen often on MVM_Decoy in the middle building when going towards the middle of the stairs, or below the roof while jumping, provided there is a Sentry Buster on the roof.
- It is possible for the Administrator to announce that a mission has failed when it has not. This can happen when destroying the bomb carrier as it is about to drop into the bomb hole. The bomb hatch will be destroyed, but the game considers the bomb undeployed. In this case, the following bomb carriers will never make it to the hatch as it will continue to kill anything that steps on it.
- Sometimes, when a Mann Up mission is finished, the loot screen shows up empty. This can be fixed by entering
hud_reloadschemein the console.
- There are 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 detonate. This does not show in the kill feed, and the Sentry Buster icon at the top of the screen will remain.
- Certain sounds will become stuck in a loop if a wave is failed while they are playing. A notable example of this is the sentry buster ticking sound. This can be easily fixed by typing
snd_restartinto the console.
- Rarely, before the round, the bomb will appear in the spawn points for the robots for all maps with no robot carrying it. An extremely rare case of this is the bomb being teleported to the hatch at the start of the round.
- Rarely (although occasionally in listen servers), most of the robots' voice lines may not be robotized at all. For example, the death cry of an Engineer Bot or the laugh of a Sentry Buster.
- Robot Spies' voices will not be robotized when heard from a distance (this excludes the laugh that is constantly heard when they are present on the map).
- Rarely, near the last third of the sixth wave on MVM_Bigrock, if one or more players leave and are matched back onto the server, the spawn rate of the robots will drastically decrease, and many robots will not spawn at all. If a special class (Spies, Snipers) is active when this occurs, they will spawn in groups of two at a speed of about once per thirty seconds. When this occurs, friendly Sentry Guns will attempt to target players, though they will not do any damage. The only known method to overcome this bug is to restart the game entirely.
- Sometimes on Mann Up servers, a glitch will occur where players are unable to join the server. The only way to fix this is for every player to leave the server.
- Rarely, a Demoknight Bot will become glitched, causing only his sword to be visible. This robot can not be killed by any means. The only option is to let the robots deploy the bomb to restart the round. If players choose to vote to restart the round, there is a small chance that the resulting restart will cause all robots to spawn at a slower rate. Although this may make the round easier to win, it will increase the amount of time it will take to win the wave (all waves are affected) to over 10 minutes per wave.
- Very rarely, a robot may appear as a giant when it shouldn't be, or vice versa. Sometimes, the giant may still have the health of the smaller counterpart, or it may have the health that the giant version would have.
- Rarely, if an Engineer Bot's Teleporter is not destroyed by the time the wave ends, the Teleporter will not self-destruct and continue spawning robots when the next wave begins.
- Occasionally, if a Giant Robot is destroyed with the Medic's Projectile Shield, it will create a normal sized robot ragdoll with a head proportional size to the giant.
- This can also happen with any weapons that would cause ragdolls to normally be vaporized, such as the Cow Mangler 5000.
- If a player is inspected during setup or mid-game, upgrades may be lost. If occurring during setup, money spent on the lost upgrades will be refunded. If occurring mid-game, however, there will be no refund on lost upgrades.
- This happens most often with building upgrade canteens.
- Rarely, robots may stop spawning, causing the wave to be unbeatable. This can only be fixed by restarting the map.
- Sometimes, when playing two Mann Up missions in one play session, the second mission completion loot screen may show the loot screen from the previous mission and the notification for "Found Items" won't show up. Items will still be obtained after updating your backpack.
- Rarely, a human ragdoll will appear rather than a robotic one.
- Very rarely, a RED Demoman's projectiles may appear to be blue instead of red when fired. Damage to enemy robots is unaffected.
- If a player is set to be votekicked and leaves the game before the voting is finished, the player is recognized as Banned from the server if the vote was successful.
- There's a popular method of gaining 'infinite' refunds by either joining Spectator and then picking random when selecting a team OR by going into the team selection screen and then pressing "1". These methods can only work if the refund credit was earned already.
- Rarely, in Mannhattan, stray radio waves will appear in midair, even if no robots are under them, when a robot successfully captures a point.
- Rarely, the gate before Gate A in Mannhattan will appear to be still open even though the gate closing sound plays and there are no robots passing through it before it closes. The same situation may apply to Gate A when Gate B is captured.
- If a player suicides or is killed on top of the wooden tank barrier in Rottenburg, the reanimator will disappear underneath it and cannot be used by a Medic, regardless if the barrier is destroyed or not.
- If the "Change mission" vote is successful while the round is about to begin, the next round (after the game restarts and spawns everyone to the first wave of the new mission) will have the wave start instantly, without giving the players a chance to ready themselves.
- Additionally, the Announcer does not say that the mission is about to begin, and no music plays.
- Entering a round that is in progress during the set-up phase, will cause the Announcer to not say anything and no music will play. The rest of the waves will play normally, however.
- Deploying a Mini-Sentry during the setup phase causes the Mini-Sentry to retain 50% of its health after construction. This happens because the Mini-Sentry begins with 50% health when deployed, and regenerates health back to 100%.
- If you spawn bots through the console, it will add maximum bots on each team.
- Doing this causes BLU Humans with robot voices and RED Bots spawning in the carrier. The Wave will likely progress slower because there are too many bots spawned.
- Rarely, in Mannhattan, it is possible for there to be no bomb, regardless of spawning bots. It is likely this is caused by the bomb being trapped behind the spawn gate. This can be fixed by killing all the robots that are outside of their spawn area.
- Mann vs. Machine uses a separate set of "Best Moments" and thus keeps track of a separate performance report. These will appear after the usual set of "Best Moments" as a client connects to a server.
- Normal achievements cannot be obtained while playing this game mode. The only achievements obtainable in Mann vs. Machine are the Mann vs. Machievements.
- Optionally, players can utilize .pop files to create custom waves of robots, either for practice or to create entire new missions.