Advanced Lobbies 2.0
Behold our latest service!
- Higher-level, mumble-required lobbies for 6v6/HL game modes
- Team balancing based on Credit, stats and competitive experience
- Stronger moderation of games
- Entry requirements - either some competitive experience or within the top 20% on tf2playerrankings.com
- Initial, free 3 month testing phase for selected players ("semi-closed beta"). Paid service after that.
How was the idea born?
Over the last few years we have noticed that there is a difference in expectations from players. While some players find a Lobby relaxing to try new things out or simply mess around, others want to improve their game by playing and give it their 100%. One year ago we put out a survey to try and gather the opinions of our users, and we would like to thank the ~4000 users that responded. Of note:
- 84% claim to play seriously, with only 3% not playing seriously at all
- 85% would join mumble required lobbies, with ~50% of those preferring them
- Almost everyone is willing to play with new players in some way, but 38% would prefer to play with more experienced players
- ~50% would be willing to pay a small amount for the services described above
With all this in mind, we want to address the following issues in order to improve game play:
- Prevent stacked games (3-0 / 5-0 rolls)
- Prevent rage quits, and punish those that do
- Raise the skill floor of the players
These things combined lead to the concept of Advanced Lobbies as described above. We at TF2Center want to provide an environment where players can improve individually, improve their team play and have fun at the same time. We want to do away with the "it's just a Lobby" mentality.
A semi-closed beta? Ooh, can I play?
We have pre-compiled a list of players that we consider to have a basic understanding of the competitive game, based on their league experience or recorded stats. The minimum requirements for Advanced Lobbies are listed below. Players must meet at least one of the skill requirements:
- ETF2L open (upper bracket)
- UGC steel
- Top 20% of players from tf2playerrankings.com
- Exemplary behavior on TF2Center (bans will be taken into account)
Great, I'm in! Can I play classes other than my main?
As long as you have one star
For example, if you're played as a heavy main in ETF2L div 2 and your stats show that you're reasonable on scout, the system will combine your experience as a div 2 player and your current scout rank to come out with a class ranking. The higher your league level or skill level (via stats), the more likely you are to be able play different classes. The system will also take into account if you don't have any league experience and judge more strongly on your class stats. You should prove your skill level by playing regular Lobbies; ~10 Lobbies should be enough to give you an initial rank.
I don't meet the requirements, but I'm good?! Can I play?
Not right away we're afraid. We're looking into adding a system of invite and accountability, where a friend can invite you to play but is also held responsible if you break the rules, but no promises!
However, you may manually apply on our forums. You should know that we will process donators first ;-)
So why is it a paid service?
We've seen that this results in a stronger level of commitment from players, which is one of the core aims of Advanced Lobbies. We also really want to be doing more for the community and some of our plans require money. The money raised from Advanced Lobbies, plus any donations, will go towards:
- Sponsoring other community projects
- Sponsoring leagues
- Sponsoring teams
- Hosting tournaments such as the Archimedes Cup
- Hosting smaller events, such as the recent TF2C Mods vs Players, but with some prizes for the players
Are there any discounts?
There will be, yes. We can't go into details yet, but anyone that helps out during our testing phase will likely receive discounts!
What about donators?
Advanced Lobbies access will also be rolled into our existing donation perks, so donators need not worry about any fees ;-)