Team Fortress 2 has 9 classes, who each have their own respective skill set. By limiting those classes and throwing those in the battlefield, we have found the perfect competitive format to test your skills as a player and as a team.
You can only have the following line up of classes:
Typical Highlander Scoreboard If you're more of a visual person, I've found a great cast that shows a close Highlander Payload game:
Most important rules
As said above, Highlander is really strict when it comes down to the classes. Only one person per class per team, no more, (and hopefully) no less.
Weapons: Not all the weapons are allowed, nor are all hats and miscellaneous items. The reason behind this is that some weapons can be exploited, spoil the fun element or ruin the competitive element of a match, or a hat/misc is annoying for the entire server. The current list of banned items for the official Highlander game-mode is: All-Class:
The dangershield gives a sniper protection against headshots, slowing down higher level play. The bazaar bargain is banned due to a bug where a sniper can miss shots but still have faster charge up time.
The enforcer and diamondback are currently banned since they're voted powerful. The red-tape recorder has a bunch of bugs related to it.
Recording official matches: I can not stress this enough: in most leagues you have to record your official matches! Not doing so could potentially give your team huge warnings or even lose the match if you're not careful.
The other option is to manually record with the following console command:
When you're done with the match, either leave the server or type the word stop in the console.
The specific rules for each game mode are:
Stopwatch (Payload) Maximum amount of rounds: 2
5CP (5 control point maps) Time limit: 30 Win difference: 5
Capture The Flag: Time limit:20 Win limit: 7
King of The Hill: Win limit: 3
Class specific calls
In a regular Highlander match, each player should hear some specific calls. This will improve their ability to push or retreat without too many casualties. We've gathered some important ones, which hopefully will help you as much as it helped us.
Where is the combo (heavy + medic)
If the opponent pushes in, this information is of the utmost importance
Where is the sniper? Call out the location of the sniper, and where he's aiming at! Please don't let your medic die.
Where was the spy, where is he heading to? If there's a spy right behind someone, a call should be formatted like the following [Player who is about to get stabbed] Spy [disguised as class] [Location relative to your team mate.] Bulow, Spy Pyro to your left (alternative: Bulow, Spy pyro at 9)
Where are the stickies, or have they been detonated? If you have the possibility to get rid of the stickies without kiling your team mates, inform them and proceed with the destruction of the spiked explosive balls.
Which medigun does the enemy Medic have equipped? At the start of each round, your spy will call a certain set of weapons, if the enemy medic dies during the round and changes up his medigun, it would change the course of the match if it's spotted before the can build up a charge.
Any weak classes? Any 'heavy weak' call is usually useless, make sure you call out their health numbers you see when that person kills you. The only exceptions are calling out pipe hits (±100 damage) or headshots (150+ damage) that didn't finish the enemy off.
Roles and calls:
Pyro Should have a feeling for spies, should know when the enemy spy is around the combo / important classes.
Demoman Should respond to calls, if a combo is going to walk choke, he needs to pay extra attention to his sticky trap.
Heavy The heavy is the big meaty part of the combo. He should call out where the opposing combo is and should be on edge, looking for any potential threat to his German healing buddy.
Engineer The engineer needs to communicate when any of his teleporters is being camped, as well as tell the team if his sentry is down, or when he's falling back to build a new mechanic fortress.
Medic Needs to know the opponent's uber percentage. Calls his own uber percentage regularly. Needs to call out when he's switching medi gun, as well as pushes (if the medic is the designated main caller).
Sniper Needs to know where the sniper, spy and of course, the enemy medic are.
Spy Should have a certain set of calls that he needs to make at the beginning of a round:
On EVERY map: Which medigun does the enemy Medic have equipped? Which wrench is being used by the engineer? (level 3 sentry vs. mini sentry) Which rocket launcher does the soldier use? (Direct Hit vs sentry etc.)
On payload & defense on a/d maps: Which sticky launcher + melee does the demoman have? (suicidal caber jumping demos)
As a spy, you'll be behind enemy lines, so those calls are the easiest for the spy to make. When you see the medic, always mention his health if it's under max, and of course, call his uber percentage.
Remember the video from before? yeah, the sniper from ItsAllGood recorded it, as well as their calls. Watch and learn:
Let's get started!
Now that you're prepared yourself with the basics to play Highlander matches, it's time to start.
Make sure you download Mumble, a free, open, voice communication program that's used in competitive gaming. You can grab the latest version here.[mumble.sourceforge.net]
Currently there are 2 ways to play Highlander pickups or lobbies.
http://www.tf2center.com/ The first one is the up and coming TF2Center, a site created by my friend MasterNoob. They have dedicated a lot of time in it and is pretty straight forward in it's use.
This spreadsheet is a pretty old one, but still really active. The instructions on how to register for it are listed on the right hand side. Please follow the rules on the sheet and don't ruin someone's scrim or mix.
Make sure you have a correct (and up to date) HUD. The standard HUD doesn't show health numbers, so I would advise you to check the http://huds.tf
After that, when you've got a good grasp of the highlander format, and you're confident, you can try the real Highlander Experience™.
For the players that don't know ETF2L, a little introduction:
Originally posted by ETF2L:
World's largest TF2 League! We're a free to join Team Fortress 2 league based in Europe and are supporting both 6v6 and Highlander formats with the biggest tournaments in the world for competitive Team Fortress 2.
ETF2L is one of the three professional bodies Valve co-operates with, handing out various medals to participants
ETF2L uses the Steam Sign in system, which links your Steam account to the statistics on the site. Players without an account will see: In the top right hand corner of the site. Clicking it will redirect you to the sign up page (or logging in if you've already created an account).
New players will be prompted to add extra information to their account:
Entering your username and your email address will give us the ability to send you mails concerning matches (comments and proposals). That way you will never miss default dates, even if you forget about them.
Making a team / Joining a team.
The recruitment section:
ETF2L has a section of the site dedicated to helping players and teams find each other.
Making a team! Well, now that you've seen the competition, there's time to create your own team (if you'd like, joining teams is right after this section!)
Head to your dashboard (or this link)[etf2l.org] and click on Register Team After creating a team, you can add details and players to it, and sign up when a competition or cup opens up! (season announcements will be posted on the ETF2L main page).
Joining a team! Whelp, you don't like leading a team you say?
No problem, we've got you covered buddy.
After your browse through the recruitment section, you're bound to find a team that suits your needs (and vice versa) and they'll probably be inclined to invite you.
If you've done everything correctly in the previous chapter, you'll see an e-mail from us in your inbox, which will link you to the invitations page. It will look exactly like this: After joining, you will be unable to play an official match for 24 hours (to prevent players jumping from one team to another).
After that: you're all set to play in the ETF2L![etf2l.org]
The possibility exists that there is a problem in your official match that you aren't prepared for. When that happens, I advise you to go to the ETF2L support page [etf2l.org], wait for the webchat to load, and type in !admin in the IRC channel that you've been redirected to.
If you find any inconsistency in this guide, you can contact me (kKaltUu) on IRC, steam or even firstname.lastname@example.org !