Yesterday, Valve released a new update for Team Fortress 2 that fixes and tweaks a lot of things, but many players are most excited about the changes to how voting and usernames work, hopeful they’ll make it easier to combat all the annoying bots that continue to plague the multiplayer, class-based shooter.
On June 21, Valve pushed out the new update for Team Fortress 2 on PC via Steam. TF2 first came out way back in 2007, and is one of the company’s most successful and popular games. In recent years it’s also had serious problems with bots, which you’ve probably read about if you’ve been hangin’ around Kotaku. And while this new update won’t fix the overall bot problem, it’s at least giving players more ways to fight back.
Specifically, as noted in the update’s patch notes, Valve is reworking how voting to kick problematic players works. Previously, you could only have one vote going at a time. Now, multiple kick votes, both team-specific and global, can be in process at the same time. Valve also fixed an exploit that let players or bots change their in-game name during a match, which was sometimes used by bots to make it harder to detect who was real and who was a dirty, loathsome AI.
In theory, these changes should allow human players to more quickly and efficiently remove bots, which has Redditors and the like celebrating. However, they could theoretically lead to bot-filled servers being able to kick human players even faster, too. Of course, bot-majority servers suck to play on anyway, so most players just bounce from bot-filled matches instead of sticking around to fight.
Kotaku’s contacted Valve about the new update and asked about any future plans the Half-Life creator has to continue cleaning up TF2.
Team Fortress 2’s active community is understandably fed up with the annoying bot infestation of the last few years. Recently, many players began protesting via email and other methods in an attempt to get Valve’s attention. While some have criticized how the playerbase went about its digital protest, the ongoing clamor did eventually lead to Valve and the TF2 team acknowledging the ongoing bot issue.
While this update is a positive step forward, it will take a lot more than this to squash TF2’s endemic bot issues. Hopefully for the TF2 community’s sake Valve has more updates and remedies in the works.