Team Fortress 2 got another substantial update (opens in new tab) on July 7, less than a month after Valve’s most recent attempt (opens in new tab) to address the game’s bot problem. The patch consists of bug fixes alongside some new server settings, listed in full at the bottom of this article.
The more granular server options are certainly nice. The processing time limiter in particular seems like it could help with malicious users. Otherwise, a large amount of bug fixes is always welcome, and it seems to be helping community morale to see Valve take a more active role in the game again. The nearly 800-comment thread for the update is mostly positive, even if there are a few jokes about how minute some of the tweaks are.
Amazon Prime Day deals: see all the best early offers right here.
Team Fortress 2 is one of Steam’s top ten games by concurrents; its daily peak when I checked was over 130,000. For years, the game’s been in somewhat of a maintenance mode, with few new content updates, and at the same time there was an uptick in malicious bots joining servers and griefing players with machine-perfect aim. It’s not clear why this problem developed in TF2 of all games, but anecdotally, I can confirm it has been a big annoyance, even if it doesn’t exactly render the game unplayable.
A boisterous fan campaign seems to have had its intended effect of bringing Valve’s attention back on TF2 (opens in new tab), with the company directly acknowledging those efforts and putting out more substantial updates than anything we’ve seen in recent years. It remains to be seen how sustained this newfound support will be, and whether it will adequately address the game’s problems and satisfy its enthusiastic community.
Here are the full patch notes:
Several fixes to address exploits and stability issues
Added a game server setting, “net_chan_limit_msec”, which allows server operators to limit amount of processing time the game server can spend on processing packets for each client per tick. Clients that send packets causing server CPU processing time to exceed configured number of milliseconds will be kicked from the game server.
Added a game server setting, “net_chan_stats_dump” which, when enabled, will dump statistics of each network channel when that network channel is closed. Statistics include messages, bandwidth, and CPU processing time breakdown.
Added a game server setting, “tf_fall_damage_disablespread”, to disable random fall damage (default: 0)
Fixed not being able to adjust the offset for a cosmetic item’s Unusual effect
Fixed some players seeing [unknown] for their player name
Fixed broken transparency on cosmetics
Fixed lag compensation when melee-ing teammates
Fixed not being able to hit a player’s hitbox if it extends outside the player’s bounding box during an animation
Fixed jiggle bones rendering in the loadout and item previews
Fixed the Iron Bomber’s projectile collision size not matching other projectile collision sizes
Fixed ConVar buttons flickering after being clicked to toggle the value
Fixed The Shortstop shove showing as self-inflicted damage
Fixed Mini-Sentry guns not triggering damage alerts in the HUD
Fixed net_disconnect_reason affecting disconnect messages on the client
Fixed Medi Gun charges expiring too early if a server forces add_uber_time
Fixed network edicts being used for server-side-only entities
Updated mat_picmip to allow values below -1
Updated/Added some tournament medals
Updated the localization files
Updated Mann vs. Machine
Fixed not being able to kick Spectators
Fixed bots not displaying the correct names
Fixed the loading screen backgrounds on Valve servers
Fixed Übercharge charge rate and duration upgrade not working for the Vaccinator
Updated Arena mode
Fixed players being able to late-join the game
Fixed players on team Unassigned being able to kill other players
As seen on PCgamer