You’ll probably have noticed that, while the rest of the TF2 community is going mad for matchmaking, here at the Daily SPUF, we’ve been rather quiet about it. Really, we should have been all over competitive matchmaking like a rash, what with being a TF2 blog and all, but there’s reasons why we’ve not been that keen, the main reason being that not a whole lot is actually going on with the beta.
Yes, I know, we’ve had patch notes every few days. Which is a good thing because some bugs are being fixed. But there’s no actual changes. The matchmaking system is still the same. The leaving system is still the same. The drawing cocks all over the winning team at the end of a match is still the same. The being matched with randoms against a team is still there. It’s mostly untouched apart from fixing bugs and stopping exploits, so there’s not really much to talk about.
As to why I personally haven’t been playing much? Apart from my increasing disinterest in the game of TF2 in general, I’m not really a fan of going in and doing something competitive alone. You see, I’m actually a very, very competitive person who really, really hates losing. So I keep myself happy by not playing things where your rank and skill are a genuine thing I should be worrying about and that will certainly cause me to stress out. This is doubly hampered by me being a Medic main. It’s impossible for me to carry a team as a Medic, and I’m not proficient enough at other classes to be able to carry as them. That and I’m a nervous little person.
But another big thing that puts me off is that, just like CS:GO and Dota 2, there seems to be no mechanism in place to make sure that teams of 6 are matched against other teams of 6, or at least putting pairs against them or something. To be fair, it is impossible to make sure that full teams are always put against full teams and to make sure that solo players are always against solo players, but randoms vs teams of friends should be a rarity. With 6 players per team rather than the normal 5 you get in a lot of other games, you actually have a lot more wriggle room. It’s easier to match a team of six against two teams of three, or three teams of two, or a team of four and a team of two, or a team of five and a solo player, so team stacks should be even less of an occurrence. But it seems like there’s nothing doing anything like that at all, the system just throws 12 people into a match regardless of who they are.
The only redeeming factor here is that TF2 matches are generally really short, being first to two wins. So if you get stomped, you can quickly queue up again and pray you don’t get matched against another team of 3+ players. A team stack in Dota 2 or CS:GO can go on for much, much longer, even if it is a complete stomp.
Of course, there IS one way of beating this, and that’s by playing as a team of six yourself. But if you’re going to do that, you might as well just play in community competitive.