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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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Alice O'Connor

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