Valve Revise Team Fortress 2’s Casual Matchmaking

Valve launched matchmaking for Team Fortress 2 [official site] on Thursday but its reception wasn’t wholly positive. As well as introducing 6v6 competitive ranked matchmaking, the Meet Your Match Update replaced TF2’s casual ‘quickplay’ with 12v12 unranked matchmaking – and that second mode has frustrated some. Its problems included long waiting times and limited options, but Valve are working on those and more. Over the weekend they acknowledged these complaints and launched the first update aimed at correcting some of casual matchmaking’s problems.

“Short version: We hear you,” Valve said on Friday.

Later that evening they launched an update which removed the penalties for leaving casual matchmade rounds and let players look for matches in only one specific mode (before they had to look in two). This solves two big problems with casual matchmaking: people might be stuck with modes they didn’t want to play, and would be punished with lower matchmaking priority if they left a match. For a mode meant to be casual, neither of those was much fun.

As for other problems, Valve are working on more fixes and features for casual matchmaking. They’ll be adding more options, such as map selection, and yes they are fixing the long waits:

“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.”

Casual matchmaking has replaced TF2’s casual ‘quickplay’ option, which lets folks select a few options then be quickly shoved onto a server with a matching game going. Casual matchmaking, however, is proper 12v12 matchmaking which puts together teams and does a full game from the start. Given the problems casual matchmaking launched with, it replacing something which did work is a bit of a bummer. TF2 still has a server browser so people can manually find a server which meets their needs but quickplay was certainly easier. Hopefully casual matchmaking will be up to scratch soon.

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8 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Zorgulon says:

    There’s apparently a bug with the matchmaking at the moment which is responsible for the overlong queue times. A side effect of this, and the removal of penalties for leaving, is that now you often find a team in a Casual game loses a player or two, starts inevitably losing, leading to mass quitting, and hugely imbalanced numbers. With no autobalance, and problems finding any substitutions, Casual mathcmaking can be a bit frustrating at the moment.

    I have to say though, that when it works, and people don’t quit, it’s fine. Games seem much more focussed around the objective than before!

  2. Frank says:

    For me, this change to casual has a few big downsides:

    * I can’t go through my server history and choose a Valve server based on player count and map (as I usually did before), since they can only be joined by MM now.

    * We have to MM again after every match. Even if MM weren’t slow, this would be annoying.

    * Valve shut down their rd_asteroid beta servers.

  3. GWOP says:

    I guess it’s a good place to post Errant Signal’s new video on how Overwatch and TF2 took different approaches to courting their respective communities.

    link to youtu.be

    • Premium User Badge

      Dez says:

      Thanks for including this. This video provides an interesting perspective I hadn’t thought about before.

    • Vorrin says:

      yes ,good place to post that indeed, thank you.

    • Premium User Badge

      Zorgulon says:

      Thanks for sharing that. It pretty effectively sums up my view. Overwatch is great, but part of me still longs for the communities of TF2’s height. That seems a very long time ago now, which it was, I guess.

  4. Phasma Felis says:

    What really annoys me about this is that this would have been a perfect opportunity for players who care about matchmaking to use it, and players who want a more casual (as opposed to “casual”) experience to move to public servers…except that Valve gutted the public server scene years ago when they made Quickplay default to Valve official servers, so there aren’t any good ones left.

    • vcab100 says:

      Try the “Gibbers Guild” servers. I try to make them a nice/normal place to play.