I need to give cookiemonger a big thank-you when I get home. She’s a big fan of Team Fortress 2 (if not from actually playing it, then in concept) and that keeps the game on my radar, even if I don’t play it. I’m not a big fan of first-person shooters because I’m not a very good sport. I don’t have the skills and I hate to lose, so I just don’t play them. Still, I have TF2 on my mind a lot, particularly in concept.

So, I’m still trying to figure out Smiths, and I’m still trying to figure out how characters interact with terrain, what terrain does, and what resources are (and how they interact with terrain). While reading through the Team Fortress 2 wiki, I suddenly recalled my days of playing Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, and I found the wiki for that game. ET is one of my favorite team-based, cooperative action games. Maybe the.

In Enemy Territory, the objectives take precedence over kills in winning the map. The scoring system between maps is a little wonky because it prioritizes kills over assists and mission objectives (or it did the last time I played it, five or more years ago), but it goes a long way to make sure that engineers have enough to do.

Er, almost too much, in fact. Really, it’s hard to go wrong with the engineer’s ability to construct the special objectives (often watch towers, bridges, gun nests, or passive, bonus-granting command posts), not to mention planting dynamite to destroy other objectives or enemy constructions. They can also plant mines on the field and disarm enemy mines. The main limitation to their power is the team-wide cap on land mines.

There’s a clear use for the other classes — covert ops can steal enemy uniforms, which allow them to open doors to get behind enemy lines, they get silenced weapons, and they get the satchel charge, which can destroy certain minor constructions and can be activated remotely. Oh, and they get the smoke grenade, as if they didn’t have enough cool toys — but they don’t get as much “map” support as the engineer.

The combination of non-combat objectives and cooperative play, not to mention multiple assault points for most maps and heavy support for the engineer, leads to Enemy Territory being just about the only online shooter I’d play … and the fact that it’s been half a decade since the last time I played should tell you how I feel about them in general. When I design competitive multiplayer maps, I look to ET.