Earlier today I joined a server I haven't played on in a long time, a 24/7 dustbowl server. While on this server I found 3 items over the period of an hour. This struck me as very strange as ive been playing exclusively on the tf2maps servers for about 2 weeks now, and during the last week ive found one item. 3 over an hour vs 1 over 15-20 hours (a guess based on my total playtime) something was clearly up...or my luck was just really bad then it got good for an hour Later on I remembered a blog update on the teamfortress site: http://www.teamfortress.com/post.php?id=2338 This basically showed how valve was tracking servers and rating them based on how satisfied their players were. They did mention at the end of the post that they did intend to try and use this/ expand on it, but nothing was ever said. This is the criteria listed for rating the servers. Now...think about this for a moment, based on this having a server that is frequently populated (so one or two people don't join and leave from boredom), one that caters to what the majority want to play, and one where people stay connected for long periods of time would be good for points. Earlier on I mentioned that 24/7 dustbowl server, this server is almost always populated, it does precisely what people who go to it want, a game of dustbowl, and its scheduled for hour long rounds (when the map changes). So this server is bound to be rated very highly. And, on this highly rated server I managed to find 3 items in an hour, along with seeing at least 10 other people get items in that same period. Now take a look at the tf2maps servers, they remain empty most of the time, they exclusively run customs, something known (in tf2 anyways) for high disconnect rates. We also, instead of having a fresh group of people every hour or so like most server that can fill themselves, we have the same people there most of the time that would not continue earning server points. Incidentally, as mentioned earlier ive got one item from our servers in the past week, and ive only seen 3-4 other people get items that I can recall. Then, once looking at these examples, think of a third implication, the idle server (don't bitch about idling here). People who join want to sit there for long periods of time. Very few people will join an idle server and leave in under an hour as that defeats the purpose. So while not gaining points rapidly, idle servers will still rise as they will not really be losing points. As it stands this is just a guess of mine, but with my small sample it does serve to explain a lot of things that didn't really make sense. So...anyone that notices anything like this should post so I can see if my examples aren't just fluke.