We've all known it was coming for a long while now, but after a lengthy closed beta, Valve is now ready to release the highly anticipated competitive matchmaking mode into Team Fortress 2. As you might expect, the "Meet Your Match" update primarily focused on launching this new game type which enables users to enjoy TF2 in a more structured and balanced 6v6 format. Here's a short trailer!
Like competitive modes in other modern titles, TF2's competitive mode will feature a visible ranking system used to pit players, both playing solo and in teams, against those of equal standing in the hopes of making a fair fight. By participating in matches, players are then given a rank associated with their skill level, from the Rank 1 "Fresh Meat" to Rank 18 "Death Merchant". It's a pretty simple concept really - winning games gives you points while losing games takes them away from you. The mode features numerous other important systems used in the competitive modes of CS:GO and Dota 2, including harsh penalties for those found to be abandoning games and a team ranking system which will look to fairly balance teams regardless of whether all players are the same rank.
With all of these new systems in place, it is interesting to learn Valve will be using some of them to massively update the not-so-competitive "Quickplay" matchmaking system we've all come to accept as the norm over the past few years. Instead of simply being dropped into a match with random players in the middle of a game, using the Quickplay system will now match up players of similar skill for an entire unranked game of 12v12, effectively removing auto-balancing. In addition, a new leveling system will keep track of your profile rank even outside of competitive play, helping show off your accomplishments and experience to others.
To support both of these major new additions, Valve are offial-ising three community-created maps, including "CP_Sunshine" (the normal version of 2015's Sinshine), "CP_Metalworks", and "PL_Swiftwater" (about time, huh?). As you might expect, all three of these maps have stood out in the competitive scene for some time and are already regulars for many high ranking players.
What probably hasn't stood out to high-level players is "PASS Time", a sports-themed mode that pits both teams against each other to see who can score the most points by throwing a bomb-laden ball through various goals. The mode has been worked on almost exclusively by Bad Robot and Escalation Studios without much in the way of intervention by Valve and it's good to finally see it released into TF2 as a new gamemode (even if we believe it could very well go the same way as the unloved Mannpower mode).
Phew, that's a lot of content - but apparently we're only seeing Day 1 of the Meet Your Match update, so come back this evening to learn more about what the latest update to Team Fortress 2 has in store. While you wait, be sure to check out this handy FAQ if you're looking for more details about the upcoming competitive mode.
After over a decade of designing and shipping t-shirts, hats, and toys for many of Valve's beloved franchises, the company recently revealed they would be shutting down their own merchandise store to focus all eyes on a new partnership with long-time partner WeLoveFine. With their own store now closed, the primary place to get your hands on Valve-themed merchandise will be "www.valvestore.welovefine.com", with WeLoveFine themselves seemingly handling all of the paperwork, assets, and distribution.
Given the increasing popularity of third-party sites like WeLoveFine and a shifting focus towards community-created merchandise, this transition makes a lot of sense both for Valve as a business and for all of us as consumers. WeLoveFine should now be able to focus on providing even more merchandise than ever before via a much more modern and responsive website, while hopefully allowing Valve to refocus the effort that was previously being put into managing the Valve Store.
More information about these changes can be found over on a brief introduction by the Valve team over on their WeLoveFine hub, so check it out!
In this week's slightly belated Round-Up, we're investigating a recently discovered reference to Left 4 Dead 3 in a Destinations VR tutorial and running through all the details of the biggest CS:GO gambling scandal to date.
With news of a new TF2 update coming thick and fast, don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel and to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to catch all the latest details! Thanks for watching!
Valve's Tristan Reidford has lightly teased Left 4 Dead 3 in a tutorial for the Destinations Workshop Tools.
The eighth image in the tutorial, titled "08_directory_fun.png," showed a conveniently placed folder called "left4dead3."
From the pessimist's perspective, this was just a mistake, but it's too convenient that the folder viewport was scrolled exactly so that left4dead3 was shown first.
According to Tristan's Valve Developer Wiki contribution history, the image was first uploaded on June 28, and then nearly 24 hours later, after the community had noticed the tease, it was replaced by an obviously Photoshop'd version to remove the Left 4 Dead 3 reference.
The arrival of this year's Steam Summer Sales also brought about several other minor talking points. These include the release of new Immortal Treasures for Dota 2, the start of CS:GO's ESL One Cologne 2016 Pick'Em Challenge, and a behind-the-scenes discussion with Valve engineers about early prototypes for SteamVR and the HTC Vive!
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