The new competitive mode could have been the best thing to happen to Team Fortress 2 in a long time, and I honestly think it still can become something really great. Unfortunately, competitive mode is nearly pointless right now due to the amount of players who ragequit in the middle of a match, invalidating the results. The developers at Valve have tried some solutions to this, most recently implementing a rank progress loss against players who abandon a match. It’s not working.
Out of the last 5 games where I’ve been winning in TF2, 4 of them have gotten abandoned. Trying to rank up is excruciatingly painful. I managed to get up to Rank 2 (Troublemaker) just a single time before being swiftly relegated back to Fresh Meat. If the trend of abandonment is going to continue — and it certainly seems like it will regardless of any punishment short of a long-term ban — then some changes need to be made.
Here’s what I am proposing:
- Give players rank progress based off of rounds won or lost, not complete games. You can give a bonus for winning a game, but there’s no reason that a player should receive no experience whatsoever after a match gets abandoned 10 minutes into the second round. Round-based rank progress would greatly decrease the anger among players who are constantly receiving nothing after playing what otherwise could be considered a successful game.
- REMOVE PAYLOAD FROM COMPETITIVE. The last match I played was payload on Swiftwater. If the team pushing first realizes that the time they’re putting up is atrocious, they abandon. Every. Freaking. Time. The worst part of this is that you can’t get any experience at all, and even the implementation of my first point wouldn’t fix the problem in payload matches. It just needs to go.
- Give players a small experience bonus for completing a defeat. This one might not make sense at first, but I think there could be a positive psychological effect from giving losing players even the smallest of reductions on their experience drop after a loss. Fewer people will abandon thirty seconds before a loss if they get to keep a bit more of their rank progress.
- Revoke the premium account status of repeat offenders. There needs to be a substantial maximum punishment to dissuade ragequitters, and I think revoking premium status or seizing Competitive Matchmaking Passes. This ought to be a last resort, a measure to be enforced after warnings and bans fail.