Casual Mode Update

Discussion in 'Team Fortress 2 Talk' started by tf2.com, Jul 8, 2016.

  1. tf2.com

    tf2.com L11: Posh Member

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    It's no secret that Casual Mode has had a rough launch. We wanted to give you an update on what we're doing to address your concerns.


    Short version: We hear you. Later today, we will be shipping a patch to Casual Mode that will remove the penalties for abandoning a game, and allow you to narrow your game mode selections from two modes to a single mode before queuing. Additionally, in the very near future, we will be shipping a more comprehensive Casual Mode patch that will let you select the maps you will be matched into.


    We've provided a more detailed breakdown of Casual Mode's issues and how we are addressing your concerns below.


    First, and most important, queue times. The queue times you are currently experiencing are a bug, not a feature. It is something we are actively working to correct. Several backend issues appeared post-launch that culminated in long wait times. Removing this issue is our highest priority right now.


    Second, abandonment penalties. We had put in a ten-minute cooldown period to encourage players to complete matches. Your feedback has convinced us that it is more important for players to be able to come and go as they please. Today's patch will remove abandonment cooldown penalties from Casual Mode.


    Third, user choice. We'd intended to roll out the number of match options available to players incrementally, so as not to overload the matchmaking system with too many variables on Day One. In retrospect, of all the match options to hold back, map selection should not have been one of them. It is the next feature we are adding to Casual Mode, and you will get it very soon.


    Fourth, Casual Mode levels. Levels are a cosmetic feature that show how much you've played. They can never be lost, and they do not affect matchmaking. We did a poor job of communicating that Casual Mode Levels are in no way similar to Competitive Mode Ranks (which do affect matchmaking, and can be lost).


    Finally, we wanted to note that we value the role the community plays in the development of this game, and do in fact read all the feedback sent to us, as well as through reddit, the forums, streams, and more. We are not always as talkative as we perhaps should be, but we are listening.

    Read on the TF2 Blog...
     
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  2. Nighttime71

    Nighttime71 L2: Junior Member

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    Hopefully this defuses some of the people overreacting.
     
  3. Habber T Mancer

    Habber T Mancer L1: Registered

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    That's much better. Now it just needs to detect my phone number so I can actually play matchmaking! I appreciate valve making a statement this time around.
     
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  4. CriminalBunny

    aa CriminalBunny Lasers are just deadly rainbows

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    I look forward to seeing this in the game.

    Casual Mode doesn't feel very casual right now
     
  5. Turnip

    aa Turnip The 80s Vegetable

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    Wrong word my friend.
    Edit:
    I am in great favor of the swift response from valve, can we hope this is a pattern if we all get really pissed off at once? (phlog had to wait a month)
     
    • Respectfully Disagree Respectfully Disagree x 2
  6. dryerlint

    dryerlint L5: Dapper Member

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    TBH I think this is pretty much it. Once this update rolls out and queue times are back to normal... Casual mode will be very similar to the old Quickplay, community servers will provide the rest, and most of us will be happy.

    Valve actually did it! Absolute madmen!
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  7. Vel0city

    aa Vel0city func_fish

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    Just... Bring back Valve pub servers in the server browser. Narrowing down options in casual mode will only make waiting times longer since you'll be searching with more and more keywords meaning you'll only be matched with people who also search for just those specific keywords, and when you do get put into a server the round will last you for 15 minutes, tops, meaning you have to sit and wait again after that.

    With over 8000 Valve servers in the world it shouldn't be difficult to allocate 1500-2000 of them to pubs like it used to be. They're currently empty for most of the time anyway.
     
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  8. Yrr

    aa Yrr An Actual Deer

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    if they prioritise backfill and add the map-specific option it'll be fine
     
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  9. Jethro

    Jethro MUSty Complainer

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    How about no, so community servers can have a chance of being revived?

    I mean, seriously. Before this update: "Why has Valve forsaken community servers? With Valve servers + quickplay there's no point hosting servers anymore."

    And as soon as they come up with a solution, "OH MY GOD BRING BACK VALVE SERVERS I CAN'T HANDLE IT"
     
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  10. Yrr

    aa Yrr An Actual Deer

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    in fairness to them, because quickplay killed vanilla ones, their main experience of community servers is the crazy ones full of mods and plugins
     
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  11. MaccyF

    aa MaccyF Notoriously Unreliable

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    Agreed, the problem isn't that the Valve servers are gone, its that the community servers haven't picked up the load yet. Hopefully within the next few weeks the number of decent community servers will skyrocket
     
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  12. GroundCode_

    GroundCode_ L1: Registered

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    lol, tf2 should have an update where people join a side, like Heavy v Pyro, but for Quickplay. :p
    #TeamBringBackPubs
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. Vel0city

    aa Vel0city func_fish

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    How difficult would it be to add a little checkbox into the server browser that said something like "Show official servers among the search results". Have it checked off by default, and if people just want to have a no-nonsense vanilla pub they check that box, search for the map/server they want and boom, they're in. That way people can always have their pubs they want, and then search for community servers when they want to enjoy those.
     
  14. Jethro

    Jethro MUSty Complainer

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    Because people would just go to the Valve Servers instead of having to find community servers?
     
  15. killohurtz

    aa killohurtz Distinction in Applied Carving

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    @Vel0city I know it's easy to equate "community server" with "ridiculous plugins" right now given the fact that they were the only type of community server to survive quickplay. But they weren't always like that, and that's not all they can be. Just take a minute to find your cool, sit back, and give vanilla community servers time to resurface.
     
    • Agree Agree x 8
  16. leprecan

    leprecan L2: Junior Member

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    I think with the amount of time between updates a memory hole has emerged where people forget the changes that altered Community servers and Quickplay servers. The Uber Update back in 2011 had Quickplay, and it strangled the player flow for Community servers since an easier option for jumping into games was now available for all the brand new players. The UI was incredibly limited, back at release, you couldn't specify what map you wanted, just gamemode. My experience as an F2P player joining during the Uber Update was that Valve servers in Quickplay were poor quality, so I made the effort to learn how to use the server browser.

    Big Community server chains slowly introduced themselves to the Quickplay ruleset, which was rather lax outside of maintaining Vanilla TF2. They could still compete with Valve servers by sheer size and gaming of Quickplay algorithms via bot playercounts.

    Small community servers were still around, but had to cater to niche groups. Regulars would play at regular times, but any chance of a constant flow of randoms who could become regulars was stifled by Quickplay. With no new blood, many Vanilla community servers shut down or became more niche to retain their playerbase; by appealing to higher skill levels, with altered gamemodes and mods, or custom maps. It wasn't unheard of for Community server chains to still grow, but with an ebb in content they'd often shrink back down.

    Over time, many of the Community servers that qualified for Quickplay were resorting to underhanded advertising tactics through motds and unfair pay to win systems either to stay afloat or just to squeeze every penny out of Quickplay users. Remember the community outcry against Pinion Pot o Gold and its related lock in place ads? Maybe you experienced joining into what appears to be an almost full server through Quickplay only to find bots? Valve only updated the rules for Quickplay at the end of 2013 into the beginning of 2014 to ban HTML ads and falsified player counts using bots. Quickplay was slowly being cleaned up.

    Valve servers began picking up their slack. People were starting to migrate to Valve servers through the browser if they couldn't get onto one through Quickplay. A month or two into 2014, just before the beta maps were added, Valve added options to Quickplay to narrow searches to Valve only, as well as a few other filters like nocrit, nodamagespread and 32 player max. A server selection window was added as well, so instead of just throwing you into a random pl map, you'd get a short list of servers that fit your parameters.

    When people talk about using Quickplay for jumping into games, they generally refer to the period from mid 2014 till now. You could filter for Valve only, a gamemode, get a short list, click and go. Its been 2 whole years since these changes that made Quickplay bearable again. Thats a fair amount of time to get used to the new system. There were a few more UI changes later on to add more optional filters, but for the most part the functionality and rules were unchanged. The playerbase at large has taken a lot of these changes for granted, either because they weren't around to experience them, or just because it isn't fresh in their memory.

    If you want to more effectively use the server browser, I recommend toggling "Include these tags" over to "Do not include these tags" instead. It allows you to clear the browser of much more rubbish just by filling "trade,VSH,allcrit,trading" etc. The results are very sparse even here in Toronto but hopefully that will change soon.

    If anyone has a more complete memory of events and would like to correct my incomplete recollection please do. I had to check patch notes for more than a few of these changes already.
     
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  17. Zed

    aa Zed Certified Most Crunk™

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    I'd say reintroduce a very small amount of Valve pubs to the server browser temporarily to generate interest for new players in using it, as well as making it a lot more visible in the menus.
     
  18. Yrr

    aa Yrr An Actual Deer

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    official community server support would be neato

    clean up the server browser, make it more intuitive and look nicer, get people to actually consider community servers again and pubs as people knew them will be back in no time.
    people are just scared of community servers and the server browser is all
     
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  19. Another Bad Pun

    Server Staff Another Bad Pun over my dead body

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    The best case scenario is that community servers make a resurgence. Most of us miss them. Hopefully Valve will find a way to balance their servers with the community's and this update seems like a step in the right direction (although a pretty shaky step.)
     
  20. Crowbar

    aa Crowbar perfektoberfest

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    Yeah the job was poor. These levels are in the same place on screen, and visually work the same.

    I barely hope TF Team reads this, but I don't want to create another rage-looking post on reddit. What was the purpose of limiting the players in customizing their viewmodels in MM? Basically, people who used higher values are just put at a disadvantage. I, for example, feel comfortable at values between 90-130, and playing with vm fov of 54-70 is terribly awkward. I don't really see any reason behind this decision.