Regarding the spawn camping rule

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Postby Hatchling2 » Sun Apr 19, 2015 2:48 am

For the past few months (perhaps longer) almost all of the time I've spent playing games was in a TFP server. I strongly value my privilege to play TF2 there with the other furs - everyone there is kind, light-hearted, funny and just generally good to be around. I'd have to say that my time in this community has been nothing but enjoyable - with one exception:

I'm starting to find that I don't feel comfortable playing on TFP servers while admins/mods are present. Why? It's too easy to break the spawn camping rule without even realizing it.

I strongly believe that the community would benefit from having this rule removed, or at least enforced on an as-needed basis only. That is, when people are actually complaining about it. Consider these observations I've made so far while playing on the server:

- It is frequently broken while admins are not present.
- When someone breaks the rule, no-one ever complains. The only people I've seen complain when this rule is broken have been admins. (Furthermore, usually an effort to enforce the rule is made specifically when an admin is the victim of the alleged spawn camping.)
- When the rule is broken and an admin is not present, it usually resolves itself within a couple minutes using the game's mechanics alone.
- In cases when spawn camping continues beyond a couple minutes, it is usually due to stacked teams and is resolved when the teams automatically scramble.
- In all cases where an admin enforces the rule, player reactions (whether they be from the accused or otherwise) have been negative.

From this I believe that:
- This is a rule that no-one wants.
- It is redundant. The game was designed with spawn camping in mind and has mechanisms in place that deal with it effectively.
- Using administrative action (kicks, bans, threats thereof, etc.) to resolve an issue with gameplay mechanics is a sorely misguided approach.
- Attempting to enforce this rule ultimately creates a problem where there wasn't one to begin with. It upsets community members, creates conflict and tension, stirs up emotions, and ultimately ruins the generally laid-back, pleasant atmosphere.

The best way to summarize all of this: If it ain't broke, don't fix it. By pulling out your ban hammer and waving it around, you're inevitably going to rile people up. As an admin you must ask yourself if the damage you'll cause by doing so is really worth it, or if generally everyone happier by letting things be as they are.

For most of the day today, I was having a lot of fun. We were all getting along, laughing at the odd funny moment, commenting on one another's dirty sprays - that sort of thing. I wasn't camping the other team's spawn nor did I have any malicious intent of the sort.
But then, there was that one-in-a-thousand situation which calls for action that could be perceived as "spawn camping":
- Perhaps there is that one map where the enemy spawn is basically right next to the objective.
- Perhaps a sniper is standing there at spawn, picking off your friends, and you want to push him back with your flamethrower.
- Perhaps, you want to finish off a medic who is charging up an Ubercharge near spawn, so that he won't kill your friends later.
- Perhaps you're chasing someone, and they retreat into their spawn. But then, his team-mates emerge from spawn and the best way to defend yourself is to attack while they don't expect it.
- Perhaps you are a sniper, who as a means of defending himself, needs to counter-snipe another sniper who has just left spawn.
- Perhaps the only person visible to you happens to have just left spawn.
- Etc.
And it just so happens that in one of these circumstances, an admin is present.

And after all was said and done, I didn't feel comfortable at all being there for much longer. Whether or not the admin in question intended for it, I felt pretty shitty afterwards. Maybe it was the way he handled it, whatever, I don't want to bore you with a sob-story.

But with all that being said - is this rule really worth the damage it causes? Are you really making the game more "enjoyable for everyone" by enforcing this rule so zealously?
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Postby Purplecat » Mon Apr 20, 2015 3:15 pm

Keep in mind that most of the time, the various situations aren't considered spawncamping as they don't involve actually sticking around near the spawn area. Killing someone near the spawn area is fine, it's when you stick around for extended amount of time that it becomes a problem, and the rules do cover a exception for spawns next to objectives (rather if the map is about breaking out of spawn in a siege like the first stage in cp_dustbowl, that's fine). Intent is a huge part of it, if you're standing on the final control point of a map that is close to a spawn, it's not really considered spawncamping even if you're defending yourself from spawning players. But if you're a demo that is stickying up a spawn door...

We had long extended discussions about it in the past which is why the rules are as they currently are. The problems was when a whole team managed to lock down a team into it's spawn rather than focusing on the objectives, and that was inherently unfun. Feel free to contact me on Steam if you feel someone/something is overzealous/unclear about the rule.
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