Look, Casual Mode is still not any better.

Discussion in 'News Watch' started by Reporter, Nov 20, 2016.

  1. Reporter

    Reporter Administrator

    Look, Casual Mode is still not any better.
    Casual mode is still nowhere near a substitute for what we had before. I’m aware that there have been many changes since the disastrous launch four months ago, but it’s still a mess. Let me explain:

    I stopped playing TF2 actively last July because both casual and competitive were borderline unplayable. About a week ago, I loaded up the game again and decided I’d see where we stood after all the of the patches to casual mode that we had gotten since then (I’ve been following /r/tf2 and had hoped that Scream Fortress would bring me back, but not only was a copy and paste from last year, it was a copy and paste from last year that didn’t even work).

    I wanted to play ctf_2fort as it was one of my favorite maps to play on quickplay, so I selected it as my one map. Now, just to put this out there, at any time 24/7 I could easily and instantly join a nearly full Virginia ctf_2fort Valve server using quickplay. I also live in Atlanta (this is important for reasons that will be obvious in just a moment). I hop in the queue with only ctf_2fort selected and derp around on Reddit and such while I wait the obligatory five to ten minutes to match in.

    I connect to the server finally, and as I usually do when I join ctf games I go Scout to start with so I can run in their base quickly and see what kind of a defense they have so I can plot out what I should actually do. I start running and jump across the rooftops and a soldier pops out onto the battlements. I try to shoot at him several times with my scattergun and I don’t seem to hit him. He kills me easily and I wait to respawn (respawn times are also quite a bit longer on casual servers as opposed to the old Valve servers for whatever reason). I started to feel like something was a bit off, but I assumed it was just me not having played for so long.

    I respawn and go in through the sewers this time. I encounter an adventurous engie who gets into a firefight with me. I seem to hit him several times, but then he kills me and I notice that he took very little damage from me, despite me seeming to hit him point blank several times. Something’s not quite right here. I hit tab and look at the corner of the scoreboard:

    “Valve Matchmaking Server (Luxemberg)”

    I’m pulling a ping in the 130s.


    (I’d also like to note that I didn’t even have the highest ping on that particular server. That award goes to “[FR] Darkcrisis” with his high score of 996. [Several other people also had ping ranging from the low-hundreds to the mid-two hundreds.](https://i.redd.it/5s30halxeoyx.jpg))

    Since it’s obvious my hitscan weapons are gonna be useless here, I decide to grab engie and try and help my team’s defense. Amazingly, we have just one engie, and he’s the incompetent F2P kind who keeps throwing down his sentries in stupid places and getting taken down fairly easily. I head down into the intel room and build up in the corner as I usually did on 2fort. I get a level three sentry and dispenser up pretty quickly and head upstairs to try and sneak a teleporter into their sewers. At this point, I notice that the enemy team seems to be getting carried by just a few players. I glance at the ranks on the scoreboard and I notice that their side seems to have more higher ranked players than we do. I know that casual mode isn’t supposed to consider people’s ranks, but with autobalance having been removed entirely, a dumb matchmaking system results in some very unfair games, especially if a large amount of people on one team disconnect from a server at the same time.

    And that brings me to the final thing, the straw that broke the camel’s back: there’s still no round timer in casual ctf. As anyone who has ever played 2fort knows, games can get *incredibly* stalematey and often simply result in a timeout with the winner being the one with more successful intel captures. But there’s no round timer in casual. A ctf game can literally go on forever. When I realized that, I just gave up and closed the game because there really wasn’t any point in trying to play the game (I also got rather pissed off when I died for the umpteenth time because my shotgun couldn’t hit anything).

    Since I know I’m gonna get the usual responses, let me go ahead and deal with these off the bat:

    > You’re supposed to select more maps to be able to find a server with better ping! It encourages you to play more gamemodes!

    Sure, maybe that does get me into a server with better ping. But I used to be able to easily get on a quickplay Valve Virginia ctf server and play the map I wanted with guaranteed good ping rather than letting the matchmaker decide for me. If I wanted to play a random gamemode, there was a button for that, as well. However you look at it, casual is a downgrade from quickplay.

    > Why don’t you just play on community servers?

    Every single one of my favorited community servers has basically nobody playing on them after MyM released. Sure, I could go get on Skial or one of Uncle Dane’s servers but those don’t provide the true “Valve server” feel that I used to get. Since most of them have regular playerbases, you end up with the same people most of the time instead of getting to play with the often hilarious characters you encounter in Valve servers, who collectively have given me some of my favorite memories in gaming (along with the crazy people on that one server with the powertripping admins and the crazy twelve-year-olds, but alas it’s empty now, too).

    > Why don’t you play competitive?

    I’m not even going to bother responding. Competitive mode is an unplayable mess that shows no signs of Valve trying to improve it or listening to community advice whatsoever (citation: ctf_turbine). It doesn’t even have rank calibration, for crying out loud!

    Overall, casual is a complete downgrade from what we had before no matter how many hotfixes it gets, and that single game provided me with more that enough evidence to prove that. It’s pretty obvious based on the timing of all of this and the fact that it was completely unrequested by the community that it was added because Valve was feeling triggered by Overwatch. Granted, it’s entirely possible that’s not true and the argument over whether it is or it isn’t has been had before, but, in the same way some of the new things in Pokemon Sun and Moon feel like Game Freak is trying to mimic the success of Yo-kai Watch, it’s hard not to see where that idea is coming from.

    Either way, unless Valve brings back quickplay, I don’t really see myself picking up TF2 again anytime soon. It simply doesn’t provide the experience I used to play it for and the experience it’s now trying to give is (at least in my opinion) already given much better by CS:GO and Overwatch. I love TF2 and would really like to be able to play it again (heck, my friends were just talking about how much they miss Mann vs. Machine), but its current state is just ridiculous.

    Author: Nathan2055

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