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Just a quick update while we keep working on the Meet Your Match fixes we posted a few weeks ago. We wanted to call out a few noteworthy things shipping with today's update, as well as keep you up to date on some more substantial fixes that are on the way.
We're currently working on a more comprehensive Elo rating system to improve how Competitive Mode ranks are determined that we'll be shipping in the near future. This update will make the rank system more self-correcting and better distribute players based on performance.
In the meantime, though, we've shipped some rank balancing improvements in today's update that will help distribute ranks more evenly in the short-term. Players with high win-loss ratios will now be "fast-tracked" to higher ranks that better reflect performance (without having to grind through unchallenging matches). Additionally, players in the first tier of ranks (1-6) will now be penalized less for match losses, making it easier to gain low ranks at the outset without getting stuck.
Additionally, with today's update, we are rolling out our first matchmaking bans on problem players you've reported. Problem players will receive a six-month ban from Casual and Competitive matchmaking. We've also made it easier for you to report problem players by adding a new feature that lets you report directly from the scoreboard. (See today's update notes for more information.)
We also wanted to touch on upcoming improvements to the Casual Mode experience. A high priority is providing better flow for continuing play at the end of a match. To that end, we're currently putting the finishing touches on two features that many of you have requested: The option to rematch with the same players on the same map at the end of a match, and the ability to re-queue into a new match from the win screens for both Casual Mode and Competitive Mode.
Finally, we are working on issues with the region system that have been causing poor connections for players in certain areas. The next few updates will be integrating TF more tightly with the global server network already used by games like CS:GO and Dota 2 to provide much more reliable connections and the best-possible latency.
Well, it's been a tight race, everybody. Five weeks of ballistic trauma and charred corpses later, we've crowned our glorious king of war: All hail the PYRO. Winning in a 56% to 44% split, Team Pyro has fried, burnt and scorched its way through a smoldering mountain of enemies and into a brand new class pack, featuring new weapons, new cosmetics and rebalances, to be shipped in a future update. Congrats to Team Pyro!
It's time once again to announce this year's Saxxy Awards, and we couldn't be more excited! Last year we shook up the rules a bit by reducing the length of the themed categories (Action, Comedy, Drama) and adding a five-minute Extended category. We were overwhelmed with so many high-quality entries to the Extended category that there were some great entries that didn't get the recognition they deserved. So, if you're working on an entry to the Extended category, it may be worth editing your piece down to three minutes and submitting to one of the themed categories instead. We know it's not easy, but solid editing can make a good submission great!
As always, we can't wait to see the amazing videos you create! Don't forget that all Valve universes are available for use, and SFM shorts that were submitted to the Dota 2 Short Film Contest are also eligible for this year's Saxxy Awards. The submission deadline is November 11th. Remember, you can upload non-final versions up to a week in advance of the final deadline, to guard against last-minute computer failures, internet outages, login problems and so on. Check out the guidelines for details on the rules and deadlines, and get your entries ready!
Thanks for all of your feedback over the last couple weeks. In our previous post, we talked about a number of issues with the Meet Your Match update and what we were doing to address them. Here's a quick recap on what has happened since then:
Next, we would like to give you a quick overview of the things we are working on, and go over some of the issues you raise as needing more attention and work.
Abandons in Competitive Mode:
Griefing in matchmaking:
High ping and queue times:
Experience and incomplete matches in casual:
We are monitoring the game around the clock, and we continue to read all your feedback and suggestions. Thanks again for taking the time to help improve TF.
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.