Let’s face it, we’re still in a giant content drought. Literally nothing has happened to TF2 that’s even worth talking about. That’s why you’ve seen so much non-TF2 stuff here lately. It’s why people like Star_ are moving away and making videos about other things. While competitive TF2 is still there, it’s not really going anywhere special. Modding and SFM communities still exist, but there’s little else going on. Smaller TF2 communities are lagging behind, while larger ones like Reddit and SCUD are filled with nothing more than memes, chatter and balance for the lowest common denominator.
It’s reached a point where there’s barely even new hats or taunts. Nothing is going on. It’s all dead ends. The lack of content is real.
But that’s not the problem.
Team Fortress 2 has not been healthy lately. Alright, there’s always been bugs, every game has bugs. That’s fine. But for a game that’s active and still somewhat bringing in money, a game that is known for having a publisher or developer that’s supposed to care, you’d think that TF2 had gone and taken a dump in front of Valve’s eyes, the way it’s been treated lately. Bugs are all over the place. Random floating cosmetics and detached unusual effects, people getting random crashes and overflows, being unable to find servers, the dreaded hold-every-weapon-at-once bug. All unfixed.
That’s not to say that no bug is ever removed. Recently, the 3-punch-hold-crits Gunslinger bug was fixed. The Gunslinger though has been out for a veeeeeeeeeeery long time. It’s taken nearly five years to fix that bug. Even newer weapons suffer from the same issue – the BASE Jumper allowed people to easily avoid sentries by crouching in mid air and moving in then out of their range. The bug had existed before, but the BASE Jumper magnified it. It took a good 9 months or so to fix that bug. How about the Reserve Shooter screwing up everyone who presses SPACE occasionally? That’s still an issue. On top of gameplay bugs, there’s cosmetic bugs too. A lot of weapons don’t glow when crit-boosted, a major problem when it comes to clarity. Then there’s the balance changes.
Yes, balance, always a tricky subject. But it shouldn’t be. There are plenty of smart and skilled players who will tell you that the new Loch N Load is too powerful. Same with the Baby Face’s Blaster. While people may disagree on just how annoying Puff and Stinging was for Pyros, everyone knew it was the fault of the Degreaser, not the Axtinguisher, which got nerfed into uselessness, leaving Pyros with only two genuinely good (albeit powercreeped) melee weapons and still only one good flamethrower. The community may not agree on HOW to nerf things, but it’s a piece of cake to see WHAT needs nerfing. Or buffing. You don’t even need to do anything drastic, just reduce any percentages by 5-10% at a time and see what happens. Don’t say you don’t have the data. You do. And you have a community to speak to as well.
Speaking of data and communities, that’s another thing. The community used to want new content. Things like a map workshop. Or competitive matchmaking. Or an easier way to get traffic to servers other than Valve’s own ones. Or better training. Sometimes Valve DO do what we want, but they never seem to get it right. Generally, the things we want never happen. But occasionally, they do, and it comes off as half-assed or unfinished and when the community points out these flaws, nothing happens. Look at the map workshop for a recent example. TF2 is an OLD game now. Other games had workshops WAY before TF2 did. To replace the lack of a workshop, websites like TF2maps and Gamebanana stepped in to fill the void. They do a fine job. Now we’ve got this broken mess of a workshop and all it does is interfere with the community’s efforts.
It’s all such a mess. And it’s all avoidable.
A lot of us would be fine if there were no more new weapons and no new cosmetics. Call the game content complete and leave it to die. Or update it as if it was a new game. Don’t leave us sitting here in silence while you tinker around and break things.