They say that no game is truly ever finished. That’s especially true for online games, which have to constantly adjust on the fly to deal with new players and new strategies years after their initial launch.
Today’s prime example of that is Team Fortress 2, which launched nearly 10 years ago and yesterday received a blog post detailing several significant planned balance changes. They’re not live yet, as the dev team wants to get player feedback on their proposals. And boy howdy, are they getting it.
This is a different approach for TF2, whose blog posts are usually “about changes we’ve already shipped or stuff we’ve tossed onto the smoldering scrap-heap of failed ideas.” This time around, the extensive list will be under full community review before anything is implemented. Valve asks players to keep three things in mind:
This is not the complete list of changes. Some items (and classes) are still being worked on, and are not ready for review.
We’re going a little deeper on some classes this time (e.g. Scout) and not as deep on others (e.g. Demoman)
This is a work-in-progress; items may change prior to release.
If Valve wanted feedback on its list of proposals, it’s getting it. As of this writing, 20 hours after the blog post went live, the Reddit thread discussing the changes has over 1,600 comments. Valve also advises players to send feedback via the contact form on the website.
Briefly perusing through the Reddit post, I find a lot of … acceptance? Or at least no long screeds telling the devs that they’re a bunch of idiots? That’s a good, though rather unexpected, sign, considering the long list of changes. Perhaps the extra commentary on the changes, describing why they’re being considered, is helping players to understand whey they’re being considered. Communication works, yo.