So there's been a few queries, admin requests regarding the Saxton Hale server. It's a fun game mode, but not without it's problems, bugs and balance issues aside, the major issue I see is there's some kind of set of unwritten communal rules that have come into existence for whatever reason.Unwritten rules
1. Capping is bad
2. Taunting can also sometimes be viewed as bad
3. Surviving seems more important than actually attacking/damaging Hale
Now I don't understand the reason behind those viewpoints, embracing them however is definitely a bad idea.1. Capping is bad
Is it viewed as bad because it ends your run as Hale, or in the other cases, Hale didn't chase down and kill you individually? The reason I'd suggest capping should be encouraged is to speed up the game. Whilst it may be fun for Hale and the few spies or scouts he's chasing at the end, it's really really boring for the 20+ people watching and waiting for their turn to play.2. Taunting can also sometimes be viewed as bad
I don't think this is a widely held view or rule, but it seems like it arises because if a player is good at being Hale, taunts make it very easy to win. This is only the case if you are against an unorganised opposition, a couple of pyros, medics, scouts, soldiers, engineers working together well can prevent you from killing anyone by airblasting, air juggling, stunning and ubering. The taunt/stun prevents a good team from forming a solid defensive block that you can't break.3. Surviving seems more important than actually attacking/damaging Hale
Maybe it's some players not understanding how the game mode works, or they just claim they won by being the last one Hale killed but I often see players hiding in hard to reach places and not seeking out Hale or trying to damage him. The thing is, if you don't do enough damage to Hale at the start, then you won't stand a chance at stopping him from capping if he chooses to, which he should be.How the game should be played
There's 3 phases.Phase 1
Hale vs 20 or 30 players. In this part it's the job of the players to deal as much damage to hale as possible, whilst staying alive. Hale has roughly about 1000 hp per player, so if you can deal 1000 damage you've done your job and die happy. Doing 1000 damage isn't too difficult, it's landing about 7 sniper shots, 10 to 20 rockets, a couple of good sticky traps, a backstab or two, a few pistol clips etc. Hale's job is to get the player count down to something manageable and take out key classes or players earlier on whilst avoiding too much damage.Phase 2
When the player count is reduced enough it goes two ways. Either Hale has taken a lot of damage and will have to be more careful, or the players haven't done enough damage and they'll need to be more careful. Either way the game is often decided by this point. Why? If you haven't dealt enough damage, then it's just a matter of time. Either Hale is competent and knows how to use taunt at which point it's just about building up enough rage, catching a player out, repeat until phase 3. Or Hale is incompetent and it's going to take several minutes or more of peppering/damaging him to kill him whilst avoiding the taunt/punches. Both those situations are pretty dull.Phase 3
When the point opens up for capping it's basically signalling the end of that round. If you've done enough damage to Hale, you stand on the point and force him to come to you, hopefully having enough knockback and damage to finish him off before he can just stand on the point and win. If you haven't done enough damage to Hale, then guess what, Hale is going to win because there's no way you can get him off the point. Good luck dealing 19000 damage as 5 scouts.Solutions:
1. Set the point to be capture-able after x minutes (where x is about 4 to 5). This gives an incentive to deal as much damage to Hale as possible early on, because if you don't, then he's just going to be able to walk onto the point and win. This also prevents stalemates where it's Hale vs a few scouts and spies, but the point hasn't opened up yet.
2. Rewarding players for damage/capping. It might be possible to add a damage/cap count which gets converted to queue points. So that way people playing the game as intended get more queue points to actually achieve the objective rather than waste time. This would require a bit of coding and changing of the mod, so it's unlikely to happen soon.
3. Set a max roundtime limit, after which everyone gets slayed/round ends.
4. We could try a different version of the mod (http://wiki.teamfortress.com/wiki/Freak_Fortress_2
So as the game playing public, what are your comments, feedback?