I haven't posted in over 2 years but I need to vent hard. The Meet Your Match update to Team Fortress 2 is just...just awful. It's been out a while now, and there was a big update yesterday but Casual is still awful. Queue times are still measured in many minutes, there's no way to select a specific map, and the worst thing is that they actually made team balance worse! I've given Casual a fair shot (which means I spent more time waiting to play than actually playing!), and in every.single.match I've played, it ends up with a 12 vs. 9 which quickly atrophies into a 12 v 3 which quickly becomes a dead server with a few tryhards on each team going at it. I know, I stuck it out a few times. A lot of hate was directed at the abandonment penalty, which could have worked but not if players are spending 5-10 minutes just to play. Who wants to spend 10 minutes to play a match that's horribly imbalanced and then have to determine whether or not it's worth the abandonment penalty? Basically, Casual is unplayable and they need to bring back pubs.
TF2 needed fixes to team balance mechanisms, no doubt about it. Valve could have looked at what some of the community servers have done to address these issues, like team change blackout times after a scramble to # of players per class. Those alone would have done wonders, and I don't dispute that some incentive was needed to push a PTFO mindset. For example, I just started playing League of Legends (a terrible idea, I know) and it has a strong sense of PTFO. Perhaps too strong, and it is certainly a more straightforward type of objective, but it's there. So I get that having players be focused more on the objective than getting kills would be a good thing, but what we got was a hamfisted attempt to copy Overwatch. It's like they put no thought into how to incentivize players to play the fekkin objective of their own volition rather than trying to force it. Which lends credence to the oft-repeated theory that the TF2 devs don't actually play TF2 nor do they even consult with those who do (except perhaps comp players). Perhaps tying objective completions to things like MvM vouchers or access to competitive or even "community challenges" would have encouraged people to play as a team. Valve tried the stick, not the carrot, and if not for a few Skial servers I wouldn't even play anymore. Even those are extremely limited to the favorites like harvest, hightower, and 2fort. Feel like some nucleus? Nope.