Team Fortress 2 is a topic I can go on for several hours about, much to the dismay of the people I might be talking to. So for the good of everyone on the planet, I have decided to put together Richard's Guide to Team Fortress 2, an essential manual for any Dustbowl-dwelling denizen. It would be easy to just get started on the class breakdowns and go from there, but I'm writing this little prologue (which I now have learned to spell properly) to give some context to everything I'm saying in the hopes that maybe, just maybe, I lure a few more people onto Steam with me.
This is a good breakdown of the different map types, so I'll refer you to that for detailed descriptions. Each class' role can change depending on the map, so it's worth knowing the basics beforehand. Some game types are more popular than others. A round of Gold Rush or Dustbowl will fill servers quick, but when Hydro comes up players will run for the hills. Or at least I will.
Before I get into any details, I want to stress that I'm not writing a manual. If you want to know how much health the Soldier has or the differences between the Pyro's flamethrowers, I'll direct you to the Team Fortress 2 Wiki, which has boatloads of factual information for all your factual needs. Factually. What I'm going to be addressing is how I play the game.
Above all else, the best advice I can give to any new players is to just jump in. Click the button on the start menu, pick a server, and just go. Don't psych yourself out by reading FAQs, or even the rest of this guide. Perhaps after you've gotten your feet wet you'll come back here and find what I've written helpful or at least interesting, but the best thing to do is to get in there and try to figure out a way to play that suits your personality.
For example, my top three classes in terms of time played are Engineer, Medic, and Sniper in that order. When I play games I tend to fall into a support/defensive role, and I think my play style reflects this. For you, it might be different. You might be a Pyro lover who charges in with reckless abandon hoping to leave as much burning debris as possible. Or you might become one of those annoying fuckers that can do anything with the Demoman's stickies. To each their own.
I should also note that I don't play competitively. I'm not part of a clan, and I simply play for fun. Don't get me wrong, I want to win just as badly as the next player, but I just don't have the competitive streak in me for eSports. Team Fortress 2 is simply something I can jump in and have fun with for an hour or three.
Enough self-examination on my part. Team Fortress 2 is a game I love, so I'm going to write a shitload about it. Next I'll be putting up my Scout guide, which is actually my least played class. Incoherent mess? You be the judge.