July 22, 2016 - TF2 Team
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:
- We have been working hard to improve the matchmaking system, greatly reducing queue times and eliminating most causes of errors when attempting to play. On average, queue times are now below ninety seconds for most players. There are still some issues with lower population regions and game modes that we are looking into.
- We have identified and corrected several issues where players weren't being sent to fill empty slots for in-progress matches. There should be far fewer matches where this happens, and we will continue making improvements here.
- Players are now able to specify the maps they would like play on when using matchmaking. However, it is sometimes the case that players joining in-progress matches (aka "late join") end up on maps they did not select. This will be fixed in an upcoming update.
- Abandon penalties have been removed, which means players can come and go as they please.
- Vote-kicking has been added. Players that are kicked retain the experience they've earned to that point, in order to reduce the likelihood of players using the system to grief others.
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:
- We are going to make abandoning penalties much harsher. The current system increases matchmaking ban times based on the number of abandons over a period of time. We are making a change to more quickly move serial abandoners into really long ban times. We will also subtract the maximum number of rank points possible, per abandon. The amount lost will be far higher than what could normally be lost in a completed match.
- In addition, we are investigating several options to offset the impact abandoners have on games that are in-progress. More on that when we have details to share.
Griefing in matchmaking:
- We are working on systems that will give players with high numbers of in-game reports automated cooldowns from matchmaking, to discourage disruptive behavior.
- As a side note, you can report players while in-game by clicking the "Report Player" button - located in the "Play" section on the main menu.
High ping and queue times:
- There are still cases where players can wait longer than we'd like. This is more common in lower population regions and game modes in Casual Mode matchmaking, and the result is that players sometimes end up on a server where their ping is higher than normal.
- One solution we are investigating is allowing matches to start with fewer than 24 players -- in cases where there are not enough available players to form a complete match, or when the players being considered are too far away. The system will instead prefer to start a smaller match more quickly, with a more appropriate ping, filling the remaining slots as more players become available.
Experience and incomplete matches in casual:
- Right now, leaving a casual match results in no experience being earned. We are looking at changing this to avoid penalizing players for having to leave after investing significant amounts of time into a match, while still providing rewards for playing matches to completion.
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.