Stop what you’re doing right now and read this.
Right now, I’m struggling to contain my excitement, because this is really really huge.
Competitive Team Fortress 2’s main problem is that while Valve have been more than happy to put medals in the game, and put blog posts us about the scene they have never shown any interest in actively supporting or creating anything. Many a community leader have tried to engage the TF Team, presented them with plans, ideas, and possible ways to grow Competitive TF2 and till now all requests have fallen on deaf ears.
That is till now.
If you’ve read the first post of the topic (which you have by now right?!), you’ll see that Valve are proposing to create a Highlander Style lobby system with weapon ban picks. They want to move away from banning weapons completely to a system where they can note which weapons are consistently not picked and see if they can tweak them to become viable. This is fantastic news for the competitive community as we’ve been waiting for Valve to take a more active role in the competitive aspect of it.
One word of advice is not to read the comments in that topic, the forum is a predominantly for players who enjoy the 6v6 format of the game and are understandably feeling snubbed by this new development. So there’s a lot of upset players, and they’re saying some things which are totally counterproductive. Ignore that, because this development is great for the whole scene. It makes zero sense that Valve would focus on a format that is so far removed from what casual play is like to champion their competitive aspect of the game. Highlander is the obvious choice.
Big Toe says it best:
It’s easy for us as sixes players to feel entitled to royalty treatment for the thousands of dollars we have spent in-game and for those of us at the top of the game to look down at Valve’s effort to promote competitive play because it does not match up to our expectations of what Blizzard or Riot Games do for their competitive communities. I respectfully suggest we taste a slice of humble pie and look at what’s being attempted here.
From a business perspective, 6s TF2 carries far less weight than Highlander because it relies on a well-established metagame in terms of loadouts and general strategy that appears stagnant as compared to the variety of the individual and teamplay in highlander. I must say that I agree with Robin’s assessment of the game today from a business perspective.
While this may not be the voice of the Valve competitive community, are we the ones fielding (and paying) developers? Does most of Valve’s revenue come from the competitive 6s community? We look at SC2 and DOTA and want to be paid $200,000 for winning a LAN, sure. But we don’t realize how low-value competitive 6s are in terms of drawing in revenue. That can be changed, but unless we come up with a workable idea of how to do it, It’s not a decision I would back.
I took another look at what’s being done here and I see the beginning of something that could benefit TF2 for many years to come. After all the years of complaining that Valve does not support competitive TF2, it is not appropriate that we, the custodians of competitive TF2, whine like spoilt children when the first step to supporting competitive TF2 is taken.
I think eXtine and Salamancer’s effort is admirable and Valve’s decision to back competitive TF2 in the form of Highlander is a landmark that deserves our support. While it may not be the Utopia scenario, I think it is a first step, and a big one to making a mutually beneficial competitive scene that hopefully can be nurtured to do justice to the game we love and play.
What happens now? Theory crafting. We all try and work out a way to make this idea a reality. We apparently have till Saturday, but I think we’re going to need more time.
But till then, it’s exciting no?