A couple of things that TF2 really needs and still doesn’t have.

This is an old game. Valve have been working on TF2 for bloody years, and they’ve done a pretty good job, even if a lot of their choices make no sense. We whinge and complain about weapons and stuff, but even that sort of thing is rather, well, small. There’s far more things that are more important. “What’s your point, Medic?” I can hear all of you (yes, all three of you) asking. Well, how about we complain about the big things as well as the little things? Like the following stuff, which is in no particular order of significance. They’re all fairly important.

1. A proper loadout system.
The loadout system has always been a finicky little thing but lately it’s just being a bastard. I’m sure it’s happened to everyone, where they find their hats have all been unequipped. Or worse, their taunts have been unequipped. Or even worse, their weapons have reverted to stock. This particular bug has been around for quite a while. There’s also issues like cosmetics that don’t clip being unwearable with one another while hats that totally do clip can now be worn with everything. Looking at you, Max’s Severed Head. On top of that, even for people with normal sized backpacks, the loadout menu and the inventory menu can take forever to load, causing the entire game to lag (and cutting out the funky music) if you’re trying to access your backpack once the game has loaded.

There’s also the management of your inventory. While adding in buttons to go to each page was nice, you removed the arrow buttons that let you flick through pages. People with big or organised inventories find keeping everything in order a pain in the backside since you can’t really move multiple items and the popup for every item gets in the way of placement. On top of the waiting for everything to load, just having items can be a pain.

2. Better management of official Valve servers.
We all know the Valve servers suck. We end up stuck on Valve servers on a regular basis anyway, particularly during new game mode or map releases and during Halloween. I mean, if you really just want a very quick game and just don’t give a fuck, a Valve server will do, but Valve servers overall just don’t cut it. Hackers frolic in them. Steel and Cardboard ranked competitive players grab their pocket Medics and stomp in them. The skill level variations are so terrifying that it’s not common for a team to completely steamroll for hours with votes not going through because not enough people voted. People initiate votekicks to get rid of AFK players then get votekicked themselves. It’s sheer chaos.

What can be done to improve this? For a start, we can throw SMAC on Valve servers. It’s a community made plugin that helps detect hackers. But if you really want proper official servers, you need someone on the scene. Not 24/7, because that would be silly. Community servers play well because they have admins and moderators watching over things. The voting system could also do with a revamp, with a better idea of what a majority is and having automatic and faster systems for kicking AFK players. Oh and enabling replays would be nice.

3. Fixing up Quickplay.
Speaking of Valve servers, Quickplay is another thing that needs fixing. Why? Because all it currently does is funnel players, specifically new ones, into Valve servers or poor quality servers that meet Valve’s default Quickplay rules. It kills off servers that have anything different. It makes things difficult for community servers overall, as the traffic dribbles away into whatever’s easier. Personally, I think adding Quickplay was a bad idea. What we REALLY needed was a cleaning up and optimization of the server browser, so it was easier to filter by map, game mode and location, as well as a handy list of tags for people to use to narrow their searches down even more. We can still have the Valve servers, but then all those community servers would be fine too.

4. Making sure TF2 works properly with multiple processors.
This is still apparently a problem after so long. Team Fortress 2 is a weird game that doesn’t make the most out of computers with multiple processors. It’s not an obvious fix, but it’s something that could and ought to be worked on.

5. Generic optimization.
This doesn’t really need to be said. I don’t think THAT much needs to be done, but since we’re constantly adding new content, particularly hats and particle effects, it couldn’t hurt adding a few more LODs to them or making sure that everything can run smoothly no matter what version of DirectX you use. If I’m honest, I don’t really know what this entails, but since everyone on SPUF mentions it a lot, I felt it should be mentioned here.

6. Bug fixing, gameplay changes and talking to the community more.
Of course, we always need bug fixes and the odd balancing thing and all that. We always do. Lately, you’ve been quite speedy when it comes to fixing select bugs, but there are others that tend to stick around a lot. On balancing terms, we have no idea. The problem is, you very rarely discuss anything with us. You suddenly nerfed the Sticky Launcher without telling us and of course we complained about it. You made this really weird change to Snipers and we’re all baffled. ¬†You wonder why we get all confused and complain-y. But open discussion is a good thing. Some discussion is a good thing. Any sort of discussion is better than randomly making changes.

Of course, this is all pointless. I’ll shut up now.

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