You can now buy stuff for real money in Team Fortress 2. First thoughts:
- The world has ended. No further world can be built.
- Oh wait, you can still get everything for free.
- This is fine, so long as they don’t make the free route slower.
- Hey, they made the free route slower!
- Man, now they won’t even want to make a drop system that doesn’t suck – one that lets me work towards what I want, or ever gives me a hat.
- I’m glad crafting the new stuff is pretty easy, though.
- Wait a minute: finding a load of stuff I don’t want, plus easy crafting and trading, wavy-equals working towards what I want?
- Yes – very, very slowly, and with no hope of getting a hat.
So it’s not nearly as bad as it could have been. But I think it’s been mishandled: if the point really is to channel money to community contributors, only sell community items. Add your own when players demand it. And if you don’t want to make non-purchasers feel left out, launch with a few Valve-made weapons unlockable with achievements, and make them the focus.
Because that’s how I feel, as someone who doesn’t want to burn through a lot of cash on this. TF2 isn’t a game for me anymore – the only people who get to play it all are the ones prepared to pay. It’s nice that there’s a lot to unlock, but in practise, even the much lower crafting requirements are way too high for someone like me. It takes seven items I don’t want to make one that I do, and that’s more than I find in a month.
Even after months of play, I won’t have the +25 health that Scouts who pay do. The chances of finding all the items required for a set bonus, particularly the hat, are negligible.
I do really like the Black Box, though – a vampiric rocket launcher with a smaller clip. It limits your aggressive capacity, but suits the calculating way I play Soldier: safe distance, medkit near, Equaliser ready, Buff Banner steadily charging.
The item that’s closest to one of my suggestions, the knife that rapidly steals your victim’s identity, is a total bust. The ability itself is a satisfyingly stylish flourish, but they’ve paired it with a wildly disproportionate drawback: the inability to disguise at will.
That’s such a massive, constant pain in the arse for an advantage that’s really only useful when facing exactly two people, both of whom are looking the wrong way, and even then only if the second of them looks round less than a second but more than half a second after your kill. And doesn’t spy check.
They should have actually stolen my idea, rather than independently coming up with their own that has just enough in common for me to make false accusations about it on my blog. My knife had some trivial drawback that would rarely hinder anyone – it’d sell even better.