8,997,957 points as a Spy in on the Xbox 360 version of Team Fortress 2 is listed as my record for most damage caused in a single life before being killed. Contrast this with my other selected stats: 63 points for destruction (as a Heavy), 27 points (as a Sniper) and you can see that there is a problem. I got this ridiculously high score because Team Fortress 2 has been hacked and Valve and Microsoft seem to be doing little about it. While the PC version has been getting a lot of love in the form of updates and balancing tweaks from its publisher, we in console land are getting the cold shoulder.
I have been playing TF2 for over 15 months, and just about two months ago I started playing again after a long hiatus. What I found were hacked games, fun at first, but now just annoying, and it gets worse because after I play one of these games, my console becomes “infected” with the hack as well. Sometimes you don’t even know you’re playing a hacked map until it’s too late, like when I got my nine million point kill and if I decide to host a game afterward, I will be carrying on this altered version of the game as well as infecting the console of all those who join my server. Turning my Xbox off and restarting remedies this, but I shouldn’t have to do this to begin with.
I play console games because of my perceived notion that I won’t have to deal with this type of thing when I play online. This has been going on for a few months and Microsoft and Valve doesn’t seem to care about it or the XBL TF2 community. We’re 94,648 players strong, if the leaderboard count is to be believed, a tiny fraction of the Halo and Gears of War communities sure, but let me tell you, compared to those two groups, we’re the Algonquin Round Table of Xbox Live. Valve keeps dangling a carrot in front us with all these updates and fixes, promising that Xbox will get them too. I’ve been reading about that for over a year, the most recent being early December of last year.
Honestly, I don’t care about the weapons updates, I think TF2 is perfectly fun as it is, that’s why I keep coming back to it, but the new weapons would be nice. I do care about the incessant hacking that’s bringing down the game and ruining the fun for the rest of us. Sure at first it was kind of cool, but now I suspect that hacking is being abused to affect the leaderboard. My score is 95, I’m ranked 9626th, and the top player has 4095 along with four others. I don’t see how this is possible without hacking the game; these numbers are not realistic and need to be looked at. Please, anyone at Valve or Microsoft if you are reading this: FIX THE HACKING PROBLEM IN TEAM FORTRESS 2. Because you do it for Halo all the time Microsoft, and Valve, you do it for PC.