Back on May 26th, an online protest was hosted by the gamers of the prominent Team Fortress 2 (TF2 for short) community. The protest was held because of the developers, Valve, being negligent on a game that’s been around since 2007. It’s old for today’s standard, but still a treasured title amongst gaming and internet culture as a whole. The game’s quality has dipped a lot over time, from bugs and texture glitches to being overrun by bots, cheaters and hackers, making the game essentially unplayable due to constant and rampant cheating and risking your own safety via DDoS attacks. So what exactly has Valve done in the aftermath? I love TF2 and got to see everything unravel myself, and I’ve kept tabs on the progress being made on Valve’s part.
The hashtag #SaveTF2 was number one on trending on various platforms like Reddit and Twitter. The voice actor in the game for the character Medic, Robin Atkin Downes, even spoke out on Twitter saying he’ll be in touch with the people in Valve to see what they can do. Valve hasn’t done a major update in years, or released any more issues of their comic series. Because of how ridiculous fans have been waiting, it’s become somewhat of a meme.
If you check the main platform for TF2, popular PC market and community hub Steam (which is made and owned by Valve, the original developers), you can see the update logs for the game. In the past two months, there have been significant security updates made to the VAC (Valve Anti Cheat) system that filters out players using hacking programs and bots being made by programmers to ruin the game experience. Several weapons have been fixed too–from reload animations to damage debuffs, the game has been a lot more enjoyable and a lot more friendly since I last played it in May. Now, it feels…well, like a game again!
A lot of the voice actors for TF2, such as previously mentioned Downes, and also Ellen McLain, the game announcer, and John Patrick Lowrie, the Sniper, have been really active with the community. From quoting memes to collaborating with TF2 YouTubers, it’s been a really wholesome time.
I’m glad TF2 is getting the attention and love it deserves. It deserves to be revered as one of gaming’s greatest class-based FPS shooters, not limping around, slowly dying.
By Ezan Charo, Junior, ChiArts