Valve just dropped a small patch for Team Fortress 2, the first update since it addressed the "Save TF2" campaign that saw fans making as much noise as possible over the game's ever-growing bot problem.
Does this patch directly address any of the bot issues? Not exactly, but it does fix some very old bugs that have been quietly simmering in the background. Some have been knocking around for almost a decade, like laggy animations on Halloween bosses and skeletons. That should be all patched up now, plus exploits like using cheats on secure servers and players being able to teleport back to spawn by changing loadouts while touching the enemy's spawn gate.
The Spy's also had a bit of a cleanup, fixing an issue where he'd be holding his own weapon while disguised as another class. Dead Ringer has been fixed too and should now actually do a good job of bamboozling people.
While there's no mention of specific patches to counter bots, a couple of changes have fans hopeful that it'll be easier to deal with them. The voting system has had a refresh and now allows both teams to have a vote kick running simultaneously. It should make kicking bots a lot swifter, with the addition of a global vote being able to run at the same time as a kick vote. The ability to change name mid-match has already been removed, which some bots appeared to be using to change to the same names as innocent players on the team.
It seems weird for the first patch to be fixing a bunch of old-ass bugs, but fans are hopeful that this is a step in the right direction towards major changes. "We won a battle but not the war. We can't be content with just another bandaid solution," one Reddit user said. Another said that "most of these are QoL improvements that help get rid of the bots faster." Whether it'll actually work is another story but, for now, Valve seems happy to keep the game's fanbase on tenterhooks.