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Valve takes aim at bots and exploits in new Team Fortress 2 update

Fans call it ‘a good start’

BLU Scout, Heavy, and Soldier move a payload in a screenshot from Team Fortress 2 Image: Valve

Valve released a new update for Team Fortress 2 Tuesday, nearly a month after a fan campaign orchestrated by the game’s player base brought several debilitating exploits and glitches to the developer’s attention.

In May, Team Fortress 2 fans took to Reddit, Twitter, and Valve’s headquarters to start a “Save TF2” campaign” to urge Valve to act on the increasing number of bots that have plagued the game in recent years. “Not the fun kind [of bots] from Mann VS Machine,” wrote Reddit user diamondDNF. “Aimbots that insta-kill players, spam slurs and copyrighted music in chat, and vote kick all the human players once a lobby has more bots than humans.”

In response, Valve tweeted from the Team Fortress 2 Twitter account for the first time in over two years to announce that improvements were on the way.

The update addresses several exploits used to harass players, including eliminating the ability to enter cheat codes in the game’s developer console on secure servers, removing the ability to change names midgame, and improving the game’s vote system, as well as other quality of life adjustments. General consensus among TF2 players is that Valve’s latest update is “a good start,” addressing some longstanding bugs, but not enough to solve all of the game’s issues.

“These are some great quality of life changes, especially the double vote kick and not being able to change names during a match,” wrote Reddit user dilbert_gaming. “No more worrying about who is the real player and who is the bot that stole their name.”

Only time will tell if these changes will stem the problem of bots in Team Fortress 2, but the fact that Valve has seen fit to actively address the still-popular 15-year-old game is an encouraging sign.

The list of changes from Valve’s patch notes can be read below.

  • Fixed an exploit related to clearing the in-game text chat
  • Fixed an exploit where players could use sv_cheats on secure servers
  • Fixed an exploit where players could teleport back to their own spawn by changing loadout/class while touching the other team’s No Entry gate
  • Fixed an exploit with the Huntsman in which a player could change loadout to negate the speed debuff when charged
  • Fixed an exploit with the Ap-Sap where players could spam noises
  • Fixed an exploit where dispensers could heal through glass on some maps
  • Fixed an exploit where a Spy could disguise and create an invisible bullet blocking shield at their feet
  • Fixed laggy animations on Halloween bosses, skeletons, ghosts and other ghoul-like beings
  • Fixed the Spy using incorrect disguise weapons when disguising as Soldier, Pyro, Heavy or Engineer with no member of the same class on the opposing team
  • Fixed projectiles sometimes colliding with teammates too early/late
  • Fixed being able to change names during a matchmaking game
  • Fixed some HUD images being blurry when using low texture settings
  • Fixed the Spy’s feigned deaths with the Dead Ringer not showing up in the matchmaking quick team status bar
  • Fixed %killername% and other placeholder names sometimes showing up on the kill cam and stats screen
  • Re-enabled ability for servers to send disconnect reasons to clients
  • Added ConVar net_disconnect_reason to use the disconnect reason sent from the client
  • Removed Headgear option from the Mann Co. Catalog dropdown list
  • Updated vote system
  • Both teams can have a kick vote running at the same time
  • Can have a global vote running at the same time as a kick vote
  • Fixed sometimes not being able to vote on maps at the end of the round
  • Updated the El Fiestibrero to fix a problem with the model
  • Updated/Added some tournament medals
  • Updated the localization files

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