core General Head Administrator

The last couple of weeks have been some of the busiest we've seen for ozfortress and its players in some time. Still, there are some things that we want to share with you in regard to updates to our governing rulebook (Global, Sixes, Highlander and Infractions rulesets), plus updates to au.serveme.tf servers.


What ruleset changes are we making?

We'll try to keep this as concise as possible, whilst still giving you everything you need to know regarding all of the changes and any needed clarifications. As we progress further into 2023, we will be working towards significantly overhauling the rulesets in three key areas; readability, clarity and availability. A long-time issue with our ruleset has been finding the specifics of the rule that you need in a pinch, for example, the maximum amount of mercenaries allowed in each team during an official match. As of now, you would need to spend time reading much of that mercenary section of our rulesets to ascertain what the limit is, and this is something we aim to fix where possible. Readability and clarity are key areas that need significant work within each ruleset, which goes in tandem with the messaging around any change we make, as most likely noticed with the match communications infractions in particular.

The end goal for this transformation of our "rulebook" is to make everything you need readily available when you need it. Need to know the limit for something, or want to see an example of how to format a post or what needs to be posted in Match Communications? What about the default times for different things? Eventually, with the "magic" of keywords, better search and just generally better structuring for our rulesets, this should become much easier. There will be significant changes made to our rulesets in larger, but less frequent updates to improve on these key areas, whilst endeavouring to not change the meaning of a rule or clause, as ensuring the rules stay unchanged and unaffected by unintentional wording or structure changes is our top priority with these updates. More critical or time-sensitive updates will be made as needed and not be impacted by this update.


What we've already changed

With data acquired from our four most recent polls, we've made the following changes based on player feedback.

Sixes ruleset changes

Changes specific to Sixes, active in Season 36.

  • Changes that saw testing in A Midsummer Night Sixes Cup 2023:
    • Round Timer set at four minutes: MSNC Sixes featured a new Round Timer value of four minutes, with 38.7% of players wanting to stay at four minutes from now on, with 22.6% indifferent and 29% wanting to return to five minutes. With these results in mind, along with those who showed an interest in going lower than four minutes, we have opted to set the value at four minutes for Season 36 of Sixes. We're interested in configs and plugins used by other leagues in regard to Round Timers, and will be looking to experiment further in the future.
    • Win Limit wins out: With almost fifty percent (reaching 48.4%) of players wanting to stick with Win Limit going forward rather than bringing back Win Difference, we have opted to ditch Win Difference for the foreseeable future. It's always a difficult decision to depart from the tried and true, but we're excited to see which direction everyone wants to head with Round Timer plugins in the future.

Highlander ruleset changes

Changes specific to Highlander, active in Season 3.

  • Changes that saw testing in A Midsummer Night Highlander Cup 2023:
    • Smaller Divisions Sizes: Smaller Divisions didn't get the best test run that we had hoped, and as of writing this post the poll is not far off even, with Smaller Divisions currently in the lead. We will look to test this further this season, with Intermediate making use of "mirrored" Round Robin matches, taking its duration up to six rounds for the regular season. We are very open to feedback on this system at the conclusion of the season, and will be reviewing poll feedback, specifically which division it is coming from to ascertain whether or not this is something players will like to see for the future.
  • Changes made using poll data from Highlander Season 2 Post-Season poll:
    • Playable Match Day change: The playable match days have been changed for Highlander Season 3, now moved to Tuesday to Saturday from Monday to Friday, with 51.4% of players wanting to see Tuesday to Saturday become the default!

Global ruleset changes

Changes that cover Sixes and Highlander, or considered global for all ozfortress competitions. This section has some BEEF, but we have bolded lines just before each change if you just want to glance through at each.

  • Changes from all poll data (Post-Season polls for Sixes/Highlander plus data from MSNC polls for Sixes/Highlander):
    • Alternate Account ban period raised: We've raised the penalty/punishment for the usage of Alternate Accounts within ozfortress from 12 months to 24 months.
      • The usage of Alternate Accounts has increased from when the rule was first implemented, so we feel it is a well-overdue increase.
      • Account Sharing penalties/punishments will remain at 12 months as of now.
    • Mercenary Rule changes: We've made the following changes to our mercenary rules across the board:
      • Lifted the overall season mercenary limit from "Teams can only make use of mercenaries within four matches per season" to unlimited, but teams can only make use of an individual player as a mercenary twice within a season. In essence, this means if your team was to merc LordShidden for two matches, they could not be used as a mercenary again within that season.
        • We've made this change to no longer limit teams' mercenary usage within a season, but also to prevent teams from making use of the same mercenary for an extended period of time.
      • A Sixes team can still only make use of two mercenaries per match, and a Highlander team can only make use of three per match, as it was previously. We felt it was important to clarify there is no change to the amount allowed per team per match.
    • Class Denials/Class Locking for Mercenaries: Mercenary class denials and/or class locking needs to be stated along with the approval of the mercenary in Match Communications.
      • This is so we as administrators know, but also to cover your team on either end of the mercenary equation in the event of a dispute.
      • Added reasonable off-class exceptions to our Mercenary Class Locking rule, meaning any mercenary not specifically locked off a specific class, say Sniper for example, is allowed to off-class to Sniper. Off-classes like this only really apply to Sixes, but the same class-locking concept does apply to Highlander, where a mercenary who is approved to play without specifying which classes they are locked to or from, will be able to play any class they wish - other than any classes they are restricted off within that division. Please note this does not specifically mean we will cater to, or otherwise restrict every player from a division above.
    • 2.3. Out-of-Region Play & Ping Eligibility: We won't discuss every aspect of it here, but we've set a range of 150-210 maximum ping for any out-of-region player that doesn't meet the exceptions or criteria listed here.
    • 6.1.2. Game Mechanic Exploits: We've added/updated this section to make it clear that any sticky trap or building hidden inside of a prop or geometry where its visual collision and physical collision do not match up is considered an exploit. This rule has been an undocumented hang-around rule from back in the UGC era, so we're making sure it is properly documented before punishing for its usage.

Infractions ruleset changes

We've made some adjustments to the Infractions ruleset to make a clearer distinction between League and Behavioural infractions, with the key separations:

  • League infractions: Infractions typically tied to in-game, organisational or sportsmanship player conduct. For example, breaking a Player Restriction limitation, failing to seek approval for a mercenary from the other team's captain/failing to inform them you are in need of a mercenary and using said mercenary in server, etc. League infractions will provide league admins with a better and more consistent way of dealing with in-game/organisational/sportsmanship-based offences.
  • Behavioural infractions: The bulk of the existing Infractions you'll already know - these Infractions are tied to conduct "player-to-player", and governs what content a player puts out in in-game chat, in our Discord, or throughout our community.

Server updates since A Midsummer Night's Cups

There have been quite a few changes to the au.serveme.tf servers since both of the A Midsummer Night's Cups. These changes have been focused on improving server performance and routing.

  • SDR was turned off for all servers after MSNC Sixes and left off for MSNC Highlander, however, we have now turned it back on for servers #10/#11/#12 to test out-of-region player ping as our non-SDR servers (whilst still DDOS protected) have been giving out-of-region players unexpectedly high ping compared to other servers.
    • During ping testing procedures, it became clear that some out-of-region players were experiencing significantly higher than expected ping to au.serveme.tf, so we are working on ascertaining why and believe Valve's SDR may hold a potential fix - we'll continue to investigate and see.
  • Fixed AFK kick booting players too quickly, AFK kick is now off.
  • Updated whitelists; yes now you can have your badges.
  • Fixed some config aliases and whatnot. These can be seen on our Server Configs page.
  • Updated server related guides; Book a Server, Server Configs & Self-managed Servers.

Looking for staff!

We're always looking for anyone who feels like they have something to bring to the team. We're looking for the following:


We're open to feedback

If you feel any of our rulesets are missing something that is needed, or a rule could be clearer, let us know!

It takes a lot of courage to open up about deep and dark feelings that you've been holding onto for a long time. It's important to remember that you are not alone in experiencing these feelings and that it's okay to seek help and support.

If you feel comfortable, you can start by finding a trusted friend, family member, or therapist to talk to about your experiences and feelings. They can provide a safe and non-judgmental space for you to open up and process your emotions.

It's also important to remember that self-reflection and self-compassion are key to healing and moving forward. Take time to acknowledge and appreciate the beauty and worth within yourself, and be gentle with yourself as you navigate through these feelings.

Remember, healing is a process, and it may take time to fully process and move on from these feelings. But know that it is possible and that there is always hope for a brighter future.

infracted