Team Fortress 2's last big update came in December, but now, finally, Valve is about to shake things up again. Much like TF2's biggest inspiration, Blizzard's Overwatch, Valve's undying team shooter is adding a competitive mode. The Meet Your Match update, which will likely launch sometime this week, adds a ranked competitive mode to the game, as well as new quickplay matchmaking with level-ups. There's no word (yet) on how the latter will affect regular pub matches.
As for competitive mode, Valve explained:
Designed as a new challenge for experienced TF2 players, Competitive Mode lets you rank up, track progress, earn medals and record your accomplishments in a results-based competitive experience.
With Competitive Mode, every win (and every loss) counts. You'll be competing against opponents of similar skill level in structured and progressive play. Your match-to-match performance will determine how you rank up (or down). And because you'll be working hard to earn your ranks, we'll be working hard to protect their value.
Valve also said a bunch of stuff about apes and dolphins, if you're into that. I know I am.
Competitive mode will double down on the game's skill-based aspect. This means things like fixed shotgun spreads and no random criticals. The ranks themselves, however, are a far cry from the SRSFACE JAPES NOT ALLOWED attitude often associated with competitive modes:
You won't just be able to download TF2 and hop into competitive mode. In order to access it, you've got to either have your account tied to a phone number and have purchased an item to gain premium account status, OR the phone-less — secluded on a social island bereft of even the most basic amenities like selfies and porn — can purchase a Competitive Access Pass. That will run you $US9.99 ($13), for now.
So, lapsed TF2 players, what do you think? Will this bring you back into the fold?