Insomnia58 Thoughts

so much after the biggest LAN of the year


After Insomnia58, I felt like writing up my thoughts to give me some closure on the event. This post is a bit messy because it’s mostly me just typing what comes to mind, but I hope it all makes sense. Because I’m typing what I’ve thought about before and during the event, I’m probably also missing some important things that I’ll think about later - if there are enough of those, I’ll probably add a part two sometime. Here goes.

Site Redesign

a fresh look


After much pain and suffering, I have finally finished redesigning this blog as it approaches its one-year anniversary. A redesign wasn’t strictly necessary, but I felt like it was a good time to do so once I found this theme.

This new design is a bit more functional than the last one, with options for featuring posts and separate pages for categories and authors now, as well as support for other additions should I decide I need them in the future. This new design is also not as heavily reliant on images as the last one was, which is good since I don’t tend to have many images for my posts.

Hopefully this design will serve the blog well for the future, though I wouldn’t be surprised if I tear it all up again within a year as I’m always searching for the perfect design to use.

TF2 Event Tiers

what distinguishes one event as being better than another


As we wound down the first day of the new year I made the following observation:

About a week ago I also made the observation that based on current information we wouldn’t even hit the amount we did last year, mainly thanks to the loss of one ESEA season. With all this in mind, it brings up the question: how do you separate events in TF2, given that it’s not comparable to other games?

Inconsistent Recognition from Valve

a large divide between Valve's favored contributors and the unknown ones


Recognition from Valve is perhaps one of the more delicate topics in the backroom of competitive TF2. Generally, however, it hasn’t really meant anything except being a little validation for someone making a difference, so there really hasn’t been a reason to complain about it audibly.

Recently, however, it’s had much more of an impact, with Valve now allowing those owning Community or Self-Made items to access the competitive matchmaking beta. This is in addition to the initial passes granted to community representatives late last year for the private beta test, passes granted to friends and family, and passes recently granted to mapmakers. Taken together, it’s a clear indication that that Valve is granting VIPs advanced access to the beta outside of the randomly distributed beta passes. I’m not going to argue against this policy in general, because these people certainly have some claim to deserving an invite for their contributions.

cp_badlands: TF2's de_dust2

the rich history of a competitive TF2 staple

Sam Houston

It would be hard to name a map with more popularity in the Team Fortress 2 competitive community than Badlands. Since its release in 2008, the map quickly became a staple, forming the backdrop to some of the most exciting competitive matches in history. Badlands’ dominance in the competitive scene stretches nearly 8 years, surpassed only by the perennial Granary in longevity. Badlands has been reworked to come in multiple flavors, with arena_badlands and koth_badlands released in 2008 and 2011 respectively. Interestingly, while the cp_badlands is easily the most famous variation, it is a remake of a Team Fortress Classic map, ctf_badlands. Early on its TF2 development, it was designed as a Capture-the-Flag map as well but this idea was quickly replaced with the modern capture point design.