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Valve update Team Fortress 2 to deal with bots and chat abuse

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Like Valve did recently with CS:GO and Dota 2, they've introduced new options in Team Fortress 2 to help deal with community issues and bots. TF2 has sadly been left on life support for some time now, even though it's one of the longest running shooters available on PC.

In Team Fortress 2, this wasn't just the usual problems of having a big community and having some toxic behaviours. They've been under attack by bots spewing racism, sexist, homophobic and all sorts of varied hate-speech that made TF2 a pretty terrible place. It took Valve a while to do anything, as it had been a problem for multiple months.

Yesterday though, Valve released an update which limits "certain" new accounts from using the chat in official matchmaking and they said work is 'ongoing' to deal with new and free accounts being used for "abusive purposes". They also added in two new options, "Enable text chat" and "Enable voice chat" in Advanced Options to disable them so you can play in peace.

The Report Player menu was also expanded to include more details "so players can make informed decisions about who they're reporting" and they fixed a few other issues.

You can play TF2 free on Steam.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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31 comments
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TheSHEEEP 17 Jun
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Someone made an effort to write a bot slinging insults in chat?
What's the point of that? You aren't even around to witness the meltdowns...

Anyway, lots of games could use a better player reporting feature. I have played quite a few games that didn't have any built-in method of reporting players.
You'd instead have to make videos or screenshots yourself, go to some obscure website, follow multiple support-ticket-steps, ...

Sure, if it is very easy to report someone, you'll get lots of false reports for various reasons, but that's just something you'll have to sift through. If the game is big/successful enough, there shouldn't be a problem in hiring people for that.

Most devs really don't want to deal with problems in their playerbase.


Last edited by TheSHEEEP on 17 June 2020 at 10:36 am UTC
minkiu 17 Jun
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I've zero affiliation with them, but found the experience in creators.tf servers to be really enjoyable, and to be the closest to the "old casual" mode (There is a server time limit for each map, for example), they are Community server so there won't be bots and/or chat abuse.

There's also Happy Trigger Gamers which is mostly Uk focused I believe and the activity on the server fluctuates a lot, but I had really nice games in their servers.

To this day, TF2 is my all time favourite game :)
Vax 17 Jun
If they censor these games, how am I supposed to learn about my new sexual orientation and who is currently having intercourse with my mother?
Eike 17 Jun
Quoting: ThreeEightySixIf they censor these games, how am I supposed to learn about my new sexual orientation and who is currently having intercourse with my mother?

You could ask your mother - about both... :-D
gabber 17 Jun
Spambots are an issue, sure. But that's easy to fix: limit the number of messages one can send and give others a way to block.
Now let me get this straight: You shoot, burn and blow up others. But how dare you call them a nasty word, that's too much. That's "hate-speech" and "toxic".
I would not want this in my pony online, sure. But I _DO_ want it in a game about shooting each other. Bring on the banter, that's part of the game.
Eike 17 Jun
Quoting: gabberNow let me get this straight: You shoot, burn and blow up others. But how dare you call them a nasty word, that's too much. That's "hate-speech" and "toxic".

The one is virtual - a bunch of pixels is killed.
The other is real - an actual person is insulted.

Quoting: gabberI would not want this in my pony online, sure. But I _DO_ want it in a game about shooting each other. Bring on the banter, that's part of the game.

Opinions like this made me stop playing online shooters (this and that I couldn't choose a friendly server anymore but had to use a random one).
Quoting: Eike
Quoting: gabberNow let me get this straight: You shoot, burn and blow up others. But how dare you call them a nasty word, that's too much. That's "hate-speech" and "toxic".

The one is virtual - a bunch of pixels is killed.
The other is real - an actual person is insulted.
It's not even that. I don't think they allow people to talk shit at martial arts tournaments, either, even full contact ones where they're going to beat the stuffing out of each other. You're competing, violently, because everyone involved wants to, but that's no reason not to treat each other with respect. Pro MMA has some trash-talking, which I find vulgar and annoying, but even there you don't see them going "You (sexual orientation) mother****er" yadda yadda yadda. They set limits. There's no reason sportsmanlike conduct shouldn't extend to computer games.

I do wonder about people who feel compelled to do that kind of crap.


Last edited by Purple Library Guy on 17 June 2020 at 8:04 pm UTC
Kimyrielle 17 Jun
Quoting: gabberI would not want this in my pony online, sure. But I _DO_ want it in a game about shooting each other. Bring on the banter, that's part of the game.

That's quite honestly the impression I have of a certain part of the MOBA/Shooter crowd. People who just don't mind insulting and belittling others for fun and to feel a little less pathetic than the person they are in real life. Not everyone playing these games shares your point of view, thankfully. But enough to make me not touch this type of game with the proverbial 10-foot pole.
Patola 18 Jun
Quoting: Purple Library Guy
Quoting: Eike
Quoting: gabberNow let me get this straight: You shoot, burn and blow up others. But how dare you call them a nasty word, that's too much. That's "hate-speech" and "toxic".

The one is virtual - a bunch of pixels is killed.
The other is real - an actual person is insulted.
It's not even that. I don't think they allow people to talk shit at martial arts tournaments, either, even full contact ones where they're going to beat the stuffing out of each other. You're competing, violently, because everyone involved wants to, but that's no reason not to treat each other with respect. Pro MMA has some trash-talking, which I find vulgar and annoying, but even there you don't see them going "You (sexual orientation) mother****er" yadda yadda yadda. They set limits. There's no reason sportsmanlike conduct shouldn't extend to computer games.

I do wonder about people who feel compelled to do that kind of crap.
There are fighting stances where provocation is not only permitted but incentivized, it's part of the game, you have even given a good example with Pro MMA. Words, when not a part of "clear and present danger" like in a threat or shouting fire in a crowded theater, are not violence.
Patola 18 Jun
Quoting: Eike
Quoting: gabberNow let me get this straight: You shoot, burn and blow up others. But how dare you call them a nasty word, that's too much. That's "hate-speech" and "toxic".

The one is virtual - a bunch of pixels is killed.
The other is real - an actual person is insulted.
Ok, your avatar, your representation in a virtual world is shred to pieces in a graphical manner and with sophisticated animations, 3D graphics and sounds, but still words which are as virtual as any graphics are worse? So the words unambiguously affect the person, they could not be "protected" by these nasty words like, you know, not giving a f* about them instead of asking for censorship?
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