Team Fortress 2 Changes New Matchmaking Mode in Wake of Complaints

Casual mode no longer penalizes you for leaving.


Last week marked the release of a major update for Team Fortress 2, the nine-year-old-and-still-going-strong FPS. A number of complaints have cropped up, however, and now Valve is taking steps to address the feedback.

Among other things, the update added support for matchmaking, introducing new Casual and Competitive modes. The launch was far from smooth for Casual mode--it could take incredibly long to get into matches, and some of the design decisions around it were perplexing. For instance, for a mode ostensibly meant to be played casually, it was strangely restrictive, punishing players for leaving early and limiting the ability to play the mode of your choice.

In a blog post, Valve addressed many of the concerns that have been raised--some of which it's already resolved through a patch released over the weekend.

First, the update removed the penalty players suffered for leaving a Casual mode match before it was complete. Previously, the match counted as a loss and prevented players from joining another game for 10 minutes. "Your feedback has convinced us that it is more important for players to be able to come and go as they please," Valve explained.

It also made it possible to choose the mode you want to play. Initially, you could opt out of certain modes, but were unable to pick the one you were interested in. You still can't choose the map you want to play, but that option is on the way.

"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," it said. "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."

As for the long waits to get into matches, Valve says this is the result of a bug that it's looking to resolve. It also clarified that your level won't impact the matches you get into in Casual mode; matchmaking doesn't take this into account, as it's purely a cosmetic showcase.

"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," Valve concluded. "We are not always as talkative as we perhaps should be, but we are listening."

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