Team Fortress 2 continues to have a bot problem but Valve are actually fighting back and the latest update takes another blunt approach to dealing with them.
After a few updates recently aimed at bots, Valve took away a few features from newer accounts like text chat, taking away name changing during games, new in-game options for players to actually turn off text and voice chat and so on. A few days ago another update released that removes all types of voice chat from accounts that cannot use text chat.
It's a very blunt and harsh approach, that has also limited voice commands for newer accounts, presumably to also stop voice commands like calling for a medic from being spammed into games. The knock-on effect is that legitimate players won't be able to use any of these systems either, until they get a TF2 Premium account status by buying something so it's become a free to play game that heavily reduces what people can actually do until they pay something. It's a shame but hopefully Valve will come up with a better solution eventually.
The update also fixes a few bugs, adds a matchmaking badge and time connected to the Report Player dialog, updates the vote kick process to automatically vote Yes for anyone who hasn't already voted if the target for the vote leaves the server and updates the Mute Player dialog to have the same information as the Report Player dialog.
You can play TF2 free on Steam.
In related news: do you miss the classic Team Fortress 2 experience? There's a huge overhaul mod named Team Fortress 2 Classic that's had a massive set of updates to overhaul it. What is it? In their own words:
Team Fortress 2 Classic is a re-imagining of the 2008-2009 era of the original Team Fortress 2, of which is what we consider the "Classic Era", featuring old features that were scrapped and worked upon, or new content such as new weapons and gamemodes. Such gamemodes consist of original core TF2 gamemodes ranging from Capture the Flag to Special Delivery, our own additions such as VIP and Domination, or even the addition for two new teams in several existing modes.
Actually installing takes a while as you need to download Source SDK Base 2013 Multiplayer, then the actual mod from their official website. Working with it on Linux needs a fix additional fixes to get sound working too, it's suggested to look in their Discord until they solve it officially. Download TF2 Classic here.
Unless someone can give a good reason for new accounts not to be restricted like this? The game is still perfectly playable, for hundreds of hours judging by my account, without voice/text chat. Callouts are a little harsh, but again, you can play without them and callouts tend only to be useful in a team that actually functions like a team, and you won't tend to notice their lack until you've decided to commit to the game anyway.
The last time I played TF2 was over a year ago though, so maybe some new, critical functionality is tied to chat/voice. The only time I ever used it was to ask people to ready-up (I only ever played Mann vs Machine). God, I hated the ready-up system... Valve could learn something from Killing Floor here. Too slow? Tough - get out there and die, that'll learn you!
Quoteit's become a free to play game that heavily reduces what people can actually do until they pay something
Now bring back the old server browser and the game might be worth playing again.
Two of them had text disabled. Their accounts were by not stretch of the imagination "new".
Think the new approach might be a bit nuclear.
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