11 votes

Team Fortress 2 community peacefully protests bot problem with #SaveTF2 campaign, Valve responds

10 comments

  1. Codo_Sapien
    Link
    Background For those who don't keep up with Team Fortress 2, the game has been experiencing issues with bot accounts infesting the official Valve servers. This has been going on since 2019 -...

    Background

    For those who don't keep up with Team Fortress 2, the game has been experiencing issues with bot accounts infesting the official Valve servers. This has been going on since 2019 - auto-aiming Sniper bots frequently overrun servers.

    Valve has made some attempts to resolve the issue, but the bot plague has persisted for nearly three years. The community has been critical of Valve's handling of the problem - even though the game is 14 years old, it still has a player count that keeps it on the top Steam games by current player count .

    #SaveTF2

    Several prominent members of the TF2 community organized a campaign to communicate their frustrations surrounding the issue via the #SaveTF2 hashtag. The intent was to peacefully protest the state of the TF2 experience by letting Valve know how important the game still is to the community.

    The campaign organizers coordinated the campaign to take place on May 26, asking fans to use the hashtag on social media to share what the game means to them.

    Best of all, Valve replied! They posted this tweet acknowledging the campaign and briefly reiterated that they are working to improve things.

    My thoughts

    While I don't have a huge online presence, I have been playing TF2 for well over a decade. I have put a ton of hours into this game, and while I know things can't last forever, it's been a sad state of affairs for the last 2.5 to 3 years when I occaisionally fired up the game.

    TF2 still means a lot to me, and it's heartening to see that the community at large can get together and orchestrate this kind of positive approach to communicating criticism instead of resorting to negative means.

    Valve making one tweet doesn't mean that the game gets better overnight, but it's literally the first post on the official account in 2 years - that means something! I don't know what, but something!

    12 votes
  2. [9]
    spacecowboy
    Link
    TF2 became unplayable for me and I switched to Overwatch. Even if Valve fixed the bot problem I don't think I would come back. Overwatch has a system of player endorsements which I feel helps with...

    TF2 became unplayable for me and I switched to Overwatch. Even if Valve fixed the bot problem I don't think I would come back.

    Overwatch has a system of player endorsements which I feel helps with toxicity and could have helped with bots.

    3 votes
    1. [3]
      hhh
      Link Parent
      my experiences with overwatch must be very different than yours as I felt like it was the most toxic playerbase I've experienced other than Dota's

      my experiences with overwatch must be very different than yours as I felt like it was the most toxic playerbase I've experienced other than Dota's

      12 votes
      1. inwardpath
        Link Parent
        I agree. It's one the reasons I stopped playing OW and eventually almost all competitive games. Rocket League is the only exception to that rule.

        I agree. It's one the reasons I stopped playing OW and eventually almost all competitive games. Rocket League is the only exception to that rule.

        4 votes
      2. Pun
        Link Parent
        Agreed. I played since near launch for a few years, and the endorsement system seemed to do nothing. Players would randomly endorse each other for the extra 75xp per match. I'd argue, that even...

        Agreed. I played since near launch for a few years, and the endorsement system seemed to do nothing. Players would randomly endorse each other for the extra 75xp per match.

        I'd argue, that even the medal system in place of a scoreboard also ironically contributed to a weird Dunning-Kruger type toxicity, since the players would only see their own contribution. This would lead to classic shouting matches of DPS heroes "having three golds", not realising that everyone else on the team has those same three golds, too, and that they were actually underperforming.

        I have limited experience with TF2, but it felt much more relaxed. Blizzard tried way too hard to make OW into an esports thing, which in turn soured the casual experience. It was well known that quick play turned to a cesspool between competitive seasons, when the hardcore players had nowhere else to go.

        4 votes
    2. [2]
      lou
      Link Parent
      Overwatch felt like a game in which I'd have to be actually good in order to have any fun. In TF2 I was happy as a mediocre medic. Haven't played in years though.

      Overwatch felt like a game in which I'd have to be actually good in order to have any fun. In TF2 I was happy as a mediocre medic. Haven't played in years though.

      6 votes
      1. Codo_Sapien
        Link Parent
        This was also my thoughts on playing OW. I'd have to "git gud", and I am already just fine on TF2, thank you very much.

        This was also my thoughts on playing OW. I'd have to "git gud", and I am already just fine on TF2, thank you very much.

        2 votes
    3. [3]
      Codo_Sapien
      Link Parent
      Overwatch was definitely a major shift in the player base, to be sure. When it came out, I didn't feel like I could justify buying and playing it enough because of life responsibilities - I simply...

      Overwatch was definitely a major shift in the player base, to be sure. When it came out, I didn't feel like I could justify buying and playing it enough because of life responsibilities - I simply had too much going on at the time.

      I agree with you - TF2 could use quality-of-life updates like player endorsements. I've also seen requests to update the in-game custom server browser, which is something I'd agree with too.

      TF2 is still comfort food for me, so I hope it gets the TLC it deserves. I know it won't be around forever, but the state it's in is pretty painful given that it's supported by a AAA company.

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        hhh
        Link Parent
        i think this is the opposite of what it needs. this is sort of thinking is what drove valve to kill the old quickplay in meet your match. just doing things because other games were doing it...

        TF2 could use quality-of-life updates like player endorsements

        i think this is the opposite of what it needs. this is sort of thinking is what drove valve to kill the old quickplay in meet your match. just doing things because other games were doing it without considering if they would improve anything. everything seems like it's designed to be engaging instead of fun to the point where even niceness is gamified with endorsements. it's like battlepasses. they try and hook you past when you would want to play to have fun.

        this was a little rambly apologies

        1 vote
        1. Codo_Sapien
          Link Parent
          Sure, that's a fair point too. Meet Your Match definitely triggered a "meh, sure" response from me, so it may not really be that impactful for TF2. To be perfectly honest, my best memories on TF2...

          Sure, that's a fair point too. Meet Your Match definitely triggered a "meh, sure" response from me, so it may not really be that impactful for TF2.

          To be perfectly honest, my best memories on TF2 pretty much always came from a community server. That "pure Internet" kind of creativity that you'd see in custom maps, like Mario Kart, Trainsawlaser, or My World. Player endorsements don't really matter out there.

          That also goes for chat. I'll have to admit, I'm extremely jealous of the friendship stories I've heard of where TF2 was the catalyst. When I play on a Valve server, I barely chat with anyone anymore. Though that could be due to competing technologies like Discord chat, so I don't hold that against Valve-hosted experiences.

          4 votes