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The mistakes of quickplay and the value of community servers

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This was really well put. This is the reason that I don't really play in pubs anymore. I really liked having a good community with people to play with at almost anytime during the day. Now that I've quit competitive, there isn't much keeping me playing the game anymore. It would be great to see a small revival of these types of servers.

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With the upcoming changes to server registration, I'm hoping Valve is going to put community servers back into QuickPlay by default. Among the changes coming, Valve can revoke QuickPlay access based on GSLT (and any GSLTs registered via the same Steam account (mobile auth is required to register a GSLT)). This should let Valve kill off the bad servers like they wanted to do with QuickPlay while also allowing Valve to let community servers step back up to THE TF2 experience.



From the hlds thread on the video:

Date: Fri, 17 Jun 2016 23:56:06 +0300
From: ics <>
To: Half-Life dedicated Win32 server mailing list
Subject: Re: [hlds] Where VALVe (and other developers) went wrong - an
        analysis on Quickplay-alike systems
Message-ID: <>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed

I'll just chime in and promise this is worth a read too. Long, but here
we are.

Like i've previously said to those who have been on this list for years,
quickplay change emptied all our servers slowly in a period of over a
year from all players. Regulars including and even if we try to start up
games with regulars, like having some event or simply just going there,
one server stays populated about 2-3 hours and then empties out. Even if
there are regular players playing, they eventually leave. Nobody likes
to play alone or on a near empty server.

While someone now says "then it wasn't very good", thing is that
quickplay is a driving force that community servers do not have in the
same scale as valve servers do. Quickplay has thousands of players
coming and going, while only randomly one of those might get assigned to
community servers. There are always players who want to play and it
assings those players to servers. New player might use server browser if
we are lucky and join community server.

Our servers, used to create value to this game too. They were part of
the games success in long term. My only crime to get this punishment,
was only to run a community server itself with custom maps alongside the
regular official maps. I did not run crap plugins or give players extra
hats and other effects. No extra speed, no instant spawn, no gimmicks
that the bad servers did.

I just ran servers where people could play and have more challenge due
to more seasoned players playing. Teamwork. Something that Valve servers
you don't get and get a chance to enjoy. This is my usual experience
from Valve servers and needless to say, i won't stay long.

Even if the money flow (revenue from passes and sold keys) is steady
from TF2 to Valve, they dont' see that the more seasoned players are not
playing the game much anymore and when those people who play Valve
servers now get bored and more experienced, they don't find the
community server where they could have had fun with friends playing the
game once they have passed the initial stage to more better players.
There is no community feeling. People like to be part of something, to
get higher and have more depth in gaming. They find new ways to play but
it's always more fun if you have friends you know.

The community servers also tied players to play the game in long term.
You had friends playing the game, you played the game too. Right now
several of my friends online are playing overwatch together. They all
used to play TF2 together. But nobody likes empty servers. I suspect
that once their initial "enthusiasm" for overwatch has passed, they
propably go play it alone, and eventually stop because they have
achieved their goals and had their fun. This is where the community
servers usually would come up that would prolong their interests. This
is something that TF2 also no longer have in the scale it might have it.

Our community servers have also spawned real life meetings. First
between admins, then with admins and players, and these days it's a
meetup every year or sometimes even twice. More and more people each
year. I know atleast one couple who met on our servers, and they are
seriously been dating for atleast over a year now. They lived different
parts of the country but met on our server. There are also others i know
that have met. Connecting people like this is something that the Valve
servers won't do.

Trade servers are ever popular, because players find fellow traders and
people who like to show off their stuff for others. You might want to
show off your new unusual hat on a community server to your friends,
surprise them and make them jealous. You find other people who
regularely play on the community servers (like svdl on ours) and have
made items to the game. You would have to ask him but would he have ever
gotten into item making for TF2 without community servers if there would
have been Valve servers since the start?

While he plays on ours and people see him, people go wow and that might
encourage some and get the "hey i could do those too!". You might ask
"what is this map" and someone say "it's that guy on the other team who
did this" and they go "really, how did you do this" and think they could
do that too. I certainly would never had gotten into mapping for TF2, if
i wouldn't have started doing it before on CS Source.

The reason that i got into mapmaking, was that i wanted to make
something for players to play on and enjoy. It was step forward for me,
because i got the basic game handled and i wanted something more. First
it was running servers, then making maps. I never would have stayed in
the path i'm now without community servers. All these experiences are in
danger to get left off now. Granted, there will still be communities,
but not in the scale like they used to be and there will always be
people who make maps but who runs their maps that they do? Certainly,
not Valve servers. It's the community servers again that do this. Valve
ones, maybe later if they are lucky.

It's the people who make the game, who make the gamers play it and
community to keep players playing it. This all works together and while
you now have servers full of players and game is free and new players
join, the older and players who have gotten past the fist phaze, are

Maybe it's time to take a step back, look how long this game (TF2) has
lived and how many years of those the community servers where the only
servers that existed and prolonged the game's lifecycle. I mean come on,
we are all here still willing to work on this matter. I won't quote
trump but make this game great again by actually putting some effort
into community servers.


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