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Micro-Transactions Coming To Team Fortress 2 Via Steam Wallet

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the how-many-hats-can-you-get-for-a-dollar dept.

The Almighty Buck 161

whoop writes "Valve has announced that Team Fortress 2 will be getting a new Mann Co. Store to buy trinkets with real money through a service called Steam Wallet. TF2 is the first game to use this new Steam Wallet, but the money can be spent on anything in Steam, including full games. This would open them up to featuring gift cards, micro-transaction games, and more." PC Gamer has an interview with Valve's Robin Walker about why they're doing this. Walker says everything they're selling will still be obtainable by playing the game, other than a few cosmetic items.

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Well (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33756566)

Orius sucks dick, obv

Price (3, Insightful)

DarkXale (1771414) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756568)

And its some 50€ for the full package of new items. I know what I'm -not- buying.

Re:Price (3, Interesting)

Jojoba86 (1496883) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756580)

It's simply amazing that they thought charging more for items than the game itself could make sense.

Re:Price (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33756596)

It does to the "consumers".

The mindless drones of our time.

Even Predator drones are more discriminate.

Re:Price (2, Insightful)

mejogid (1575619) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756716)

Why? All the items that count can be earned by playing well/regularly - these micro-transactions are exactly that: single, small transactions to buy the odd item that you haven't got yet and can't be bothered to wait around for.

Re:Price (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756866)

No, there's new items... that are purchase only and can't be traded.

The model is ok, it's better than trying to charge monthly fees AND have a micro-transaction store... looking at you Cryptic you fucks.

Re:Price (3, Insightful)

imakemusic (1164993) | more than 3 years ago | (#33757054)

I haven't looked into it but apparently these items will be purely cosmetic. They'll probably just be things to identify the player as someone who has used the service in the same way that white Apple earbuds became available when you play TF2 on a Mac.

Re:Price (1)

tibman (623933) | more than 3 years ago | (#33758168)

I was looking at the store last night and most of the items have "abilities". The soldier for example can get an Anti-Sentry rocket launcher and a backpack that causes nearby mates to take 35% less damage.

Re:Price (2, Interesting)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#33757552)

I wouldn't have an issue with micro-transactions if they were, well, micro. Back when these ideas were first being touted it seemed like we'd be talking pennies to buy, and that the profit would come from the cheap distribution model coupled with high volumes of sales (partly driven by the incredibly low price). Instead what we usually see is a few pounds per transaction which, while still hardly wallet-busting, very quickly adds up to the point where, if you buy the game and all the extras, you can easily double the purchase price of the game alone. I can see where this is a great deal for the seller, but as usual it seems the buyer is getting the raw end.

Re:Price (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#33757780)

I wouldn't have an issue with micro-transactions if they were, well, micro.

I agree.

But I think ultimately the success or failure of these "micro-transaction" systems depends more on how good the underlying game is than anything else. Need for Speed World won't work because the game sucks, not because of the micro-transaction system. If a Burnout Paradise 2 came out with a microtransaction system, I'd pay a few bucks for certain in-game items (well, maybe a buck or two). But there are not that many games for which I would do that.

So far, games with micro-transactions have had a cheap feel to them. They feel like some half-assed browser game and I just don't care to play them. There's not the feel of quality.

So I guess the best way to make money with a game is to make a good game. I'm pretty surprised at how little quality there's been in games the past year. Even the big blockbuster games really weren't grabbers.

Re:Price (5, Interesting)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | more than 3 years ago | (#33758048)

So I guess the best way to make money with a game is to make a good game. I'm pretty surprised at how little quality there's been in games the past year

This doesn't really apply here, since TF2 has been out for about 3 years now and is a very high quality game. What people are failing to mention here is that some of the items being sold are made by the players. The designer of these items will also be getting paid every time someone purchases his/her item.

Final nail (1)

Jojoba86 (1496883) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756586)

Well I guess I will not be playing TF2 again. Despite the 'it's optional defence' some of the items will give advantages. You can still get them all randomly, so it's a choice of grind or pay up. I think I'll do neither.

Re:Final nail (1)

keatonguy (1001680) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756608)

Why have you been playing at all? You've had to grind for items since the first patch, why does including an option to skip over the grind make the grind (which I reiterate, has already existed) intolerable? Have you thought this through, or is it a hyperbolic reaction to a new feature you don't like?

Re:Final nail (1)

Jojoba86 (1496883) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756656)

I liked it most and played it most before any of the grinding! I've tolerated it since then, but with each new patch things seem to be getting more and more towards grind/pay.

Re:Final nail (5, Insightful)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756680)

Exactly! The first most frustrating thing about what Valve has done to the game over the last 3 years is adding the items. The second most frustrating thing is that server admins don't have the power to turn this stuff off. If you could run a "pure" server (to steal a term from Unreal Tournament) where it disables all purchased/unlocked items and makes it behave like the original 2007 game, then the vast majority of the complaints would stop.

As it stands Steam holds the game hostage. There's no way to revert the game - you have to play the latest version as Valve intends it. For the traditional MP FPS crowd, being unable to control the game like this is simply mind-boggling.

Re:Final nail (2, Insightful)

Magada (741361) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756742)

Annoying is more likely. I used to enjoy |TF2 so much, I played in preference to any other fps out there. Not anymore. What's worse, grinding noobs for items in tf2 is even more boring than grinding mobs for items in other games - at least some mobs have interesting behaviors and abilities designed in, while noobs are utterly boring and predictable.

Re:Final nail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33756756)

Go any play Team Fortress Classic or TF2 on the xbox then - before they changed anything!

Re:Final nail (4, Interesting)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 3 years ago | (#33757264)

The second most frustrating thing is that server admins don't have the power to turn this stuff off.

You are full of shit. There are mods that restrict the weapons you can use, and one in particular (Randomizer) even forces specifically chosen weapons on you.

Re:Final nail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33757280)

I don't find this terribly suprising.

Many years ago, before Valve took over the Teamfortress team I was granted permission by the team to use their TF2.5 source code as a basis for a TF clone I was working on for a later version of Quake. After Valve took them over Valve tried to retroactively withdraw permission, and we pointed out the source code was freely available so it was hardly a state secret anyway, and they then tried to go a step further and retroactively declare the license provided with it as invalid.

Valve since the day they took it on have always maintained a stranglehold over TF and have tried their hardest to ensure you play it they way they want you to. It's no coincidence really that I stopped caring about the TF franchise since around the time Valve took it over though. It stopped being good post QWTF anyway, TFC was just a mediocre half assed copy which didn't feel right, and TF2 is a god awful bastardisation of what the original was. I actually preferred Valve's concept of TF2 being completely different gameplay wise to the original QWTF, because at least then it wasn't meant to be a recreation of the original. Despite delaying TF2 by about 10 years, when they finally released it it ended up being a clone of the original minus most the fun, and half the features coupled with some terrible, terrible cartoon theme to it.

It's not that I have a problem with TF2 as a game in itself, I have a problem with the fact it's supposed to live up to the TF name, and I have a problem with the fact Valve are peddling their relatively half arsed versions of Teamfortress off the back of the success of the original.

If TF2 were a film, it'd be one of those god awful sequels that totally destroys the good name of the original and that would've been better off spun off as a completely different IP.

A lot has changed since the Quake days, and not really much of it for the better- customisability of game play experience through server variables and such being one of the big ones.

Re:Final nail (4, Insightful)

Aceticon (140883) | more than 3 years ago | (#33757924)

This can't be true!

<rant>
After all, Valve are the guys that invented an online DRM system and digital download store that screws you but at least lubes you up first (not like the competition's online-DRM which uses no lube). I mean, just look at all posts from defenders of it saying how you can be offline for a while and still play the games or re-download them when you loose them - sure it's not as good as a simple serial number, but at least it's not as bad as living in North Korea ...

I'm sure that they haven't added must-have-pay-with-cash items to a highly competitive, fast-paced kind of game like an online FPS after releasing the game and after loads of people had bought it: that would be sneaky and deceitful, not to mention a lub-less screwing of customers.

This kind of thing is the purvey of Machiaveli-inspired companies like Sony Entertainment, not good guys like Valve.

Right!?

Right!???

Right????

</rant>

A minor off topic nit... (1)

sgtrock (191182) | more than 3 years ago | (#33757978)

If you could run a "pure" server (to steal a term from Unreal Tournament)...

I think this term pre-dates UT by quite some time. I used to run a QuakeWorld server back in the day and I could swear that I had the option of running a 'pure' server for that. I know I was running a Q2 server with that variable enabled.

Re:Final nail (3, Insightful)

Vectormatic (1759674) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756768)

Why have you been playing at all? You've had to grind for items since the first patch, why does including an option to skip over the grind make the grind (which I reiterate, has already existed) intolerable? Have you thought this through, or is it a hyperbolic reaction to a new feature you don't like?

for a casual player who isnt in it for the items, it is somewhat acceptable that people who play for ages have some advantages (better weapons/items). You can somewhat side-step that by not getting into servers with only the best players (they will own you anyway, regardless of any advantages, they just tend to be more skilled/faster), however this pay-per-gun system wrecks the idea of playing among your peers, since the guy you previously were on equal footing with, will have spent a few bucks on the better gun, gaining an advantage, ruining your experience.

Allowing people to buy better weapons in games quickly gives rise to a prisoners dilemma, either you also spend the money (on top of what you paid for the game), or you will have your lunch eaten by the people that do, the only winning move is not to play...

(i had this experience in BF2 years back, the special forces expansion allowed people to use (better) weapons which they unlocked in SF to be used in the regular maps, giving SF-buyers an edge on the normal maps, in the end i ended up buying the expansion, mostly for the sniper rifle... although i did enjoy the maps as well)

Re:Final nail (1)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756808)

Except that BF2's unlocks were almost universally Strictly Better whereas TF2's unlocks are things like a revolver that gives you extra cloak time on hits but does 20% less damage, a rocket launcher that fires faster and more damaging shots at the cost of virtually nonexistence splash damage, and so on.

The items that are broken aren't broken because they're Strictly Better, they're broken because the break the field that class is supposed to be in.

Re:Final nail (1)

Vectormatic (1759674) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756828)

yeah, the only exception being the l85a1 in BF2, the medic unlock, which was a CRAP assault rifle, but did well as a pseudo-sniper.

Re:Final nail (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 3 years ago | (#33757062)

I loved the L85A1, was a great weapon, but you are right, close range it was a pain.

TF2 unlocks are vastly different to the "unlockables" in other games. They are always balanced out. As a soldier, I use the old weapon, same as with demo, scout, heavy, I even use old weapons with medic. It's more about play style than upgrade.

Re:Final nail (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#33757616)

I have to admit, I haven't really played since just before (literally a few days before) the spy upgrades, but back then I thought the upgrades were really well balanaced. They added a new aspect to playing a class without being terribly game-changing, some upgrades actually seemed a little worse than taking the default equipment, but were still fun to use. I wonder how many people will be willing to pay for equipment that doesn't give them a definitive edge, though, and whether this micro-payment system will lead to the end of well balanced upgrades.

TF2 weapons traditionally have tradeoffs (2, Informative)

cycleflight (1811074) | more than 3 years ago | (#33757246)

So far, Valve has been pretty careful to not make a weapon strictly better than anything else available in its loadout slot (the bonesaw/ubersaw being the exception). They always put in some drawback to a weapon that has new abilities. As a result, the proliferation of weaponry has tended to change emphasis on different styles of play vs. making the holder of a particular weapon mightier than anyone without it. There are usually kinks when a weapon gets first released, but once a strict advantage becomes clear, weapon stats usually get changed to alter it.

It's interesting to see the ebb and flow... suddenly you learned everyone in the server who plays soldier is highly accurate (or not) when the Direct Hit came out. You learned who's an ambush scout when the F.A.N. came out. The cruise-control pyros got their own weapon. Scouts got a way to be useful against a sentry nest, but lost their medium range weapon for it. The list goes on and on.

Except for that damn fish. I haven't seen yet, but if the taunt for that isn't Monty Python's "Fish Slapping Dance," I'll be a little disappointed.

Re:TF2 weapons traditionally have tradeoffs (2, Insightful)

derfy (172944) | more than 3 years ago | (#33757610)

No unique fish taunt. :(

Re:Final nail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33757776)

for a casual player who isnt in it for the items, it is somewhat acceptable that people who play for ages have some advantages (better weapons/items).

If I had bought an online RPG (Diablo, etc.) or MMORPG, I'd agree. But I didn't. I bought an FPS without persistent items or microtransactions. I bought a game with no grinding where anything beyond fame and glory disappears when the game ends. Where, as a purely casual player, I can pop in to play from time to time, and the only difference is skill.

But those greedy bastards at Valve have stolen all that.

Re:Final nail (3, Informative)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756650)

Agreed. "You can get it through grinding" is usually a cop-out for microtransaction systems, and it's no different here. The new item sets (which confer a bonus for having the complete set) make this especially silly - the odds of obtaining all of the items directly through the game's anemic drop rate are virtually nil, and crafting doesn't make this a lot better because you need to melt down dozens of items (including already extremely rare hats) when the results of crafting are a random class/slot weapon.

Just to put this in perspective, Valve is charging $20 for any one of the new item sets. Items that can more easily be obtained through achievement unlocks are $0.50. And that's not inappropriately priced - that's a really good representation of just how much grinding is necessary on average to acquire all the parts of a single set. You can't reasonably do it, especially if you're not an unemployed 14 year old (keeping in mind this is an M game).

Ultimately Valve is going to argue that all of this is balanced, but that's not the case. There are already items that are better than other items, and the item sets infer additional bonuses above and beyond that which make the item sets must-haves for most situations. Items never fully replace skill, but after today they sure as hell make it secondary; for equally skilled opponents it's now a pay-2-win game. And that's a shame, as it used to be the best non-military multiplayer FPS on the market.

Also (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756818)

The items aren't obtainable through skill, just through sitting there. Most games that offer things either in game or via a store, you have to work to get the in game version. Like say in DDO you want an item to respecialize your character. You can purchase it in their store or get it in game. To get it in game you have to run various quests, which get you items that you combine to what you need. So you don't just sit logged in hoping for the things you need to show up. If you are skilled, you can get it faster since you can do the quests faster.

With TF2 you just have to be on a server and hope that you randomly get what you want, no skill involved. This also means there will likely be an increase of people who just want to sit on servers and not do anything while they wait for their items, to the detriment of actual players.

Personally I like the Blizzard system, or the system Sony used before EQ2 went free (haven't seen what they do now). The microtransactions/store stuff is only for meta game and cosmetic kinds of things. So in WoW any item that does something, you have to get in game. However you can buy meta game stuff like server transfers, name changes and so on. You can also buy purely cosmetic things like a new mount. Same deal (formerly) with EQ2, you could buy "appearance only" armour that changed how you looked and so on, but you couldn't buy actual powerful items.

I'm ok with that. However I don't like the idea of "You pay to get good stuff in the game." This sucks not only because you have to cope with people trying to make up for lack of skill with money, but also because it is a slippery slope. Way too easy for the developer to start to decide all the best stuff should be for pay only.

Then, as you said, the price is monkey-fuck retarded. $20 for an item set? Hell no. For just under $30 Amazon.com will sell you Bad Company 2, which is a completely new FPS game. No way I'd spend $20 for some items rather than $30 for new items, characters, levels, game design, graphics and so on.

$20 is not "microtransaction" price. That is expansion pack price.

Re:Final nail (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 3 years ago | (#33757250)

>>as it used to be the best non-military multiplayer FPS on the market.

Right after the original Team Fortress, which was superior in every way except graphics.

(Or, cough, CustomTF.)

Re:Final nail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33757564)

On the Steam forums somebody brought up a good point, the reason for this is most likely not that valve wants to make a profit, but they want to prevent others from making a profit with the new item trading. If you look at it that way it's not a bad idea.

Re:Final nail (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 3 years ago | (#33757708)

Honestly, though, I was under the impression that the Polycount Pack ($50, includes all 5 sets including hats) were for people like me who have played the game for hundreds of hours and are still playing the game. I've clocked somewhere over 800 hours of actual play time for a game that I essentially spent $10 on. I'm willing to pay another $50 to Valve, no problem.

But don't expect me to buy individual items, those are WAY too expensive. Up to $17 for a hat? Pssh, I'll simply see if people want to trade for the ones I want (Towering Pillar of Hats, Frenchman's Beret*)

*Solely so I have every Spy hat. I had them all prior to its addition. :/

Re:Final nail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33757722)

Perhaps we're about to see the resurgence of idling servers that the recent drop rate increase was supposed to do away with.

If there's one thing you can count on Valve doing in TF2 with updates, it's giving with one hand while taking with the other. :)

Re:Final nail (3, Insightful)

rainmouse (1784278) | more than 3 years ago | (#33757012)

Well I guess I will not be playing TF2 again. Despite the 'it's optional defence' some of the items will give advantages. You can still get them all randomly, so it's a choice of grind or pay up. I think I'll do neither.

It's amazing how angry people can get over the idea of paying for new content. In my opinion this is a much better model than releasing expansions that prevent others playing with the majority population without purchasing it. I recently reinstalled the game and to be sure, everyone has weird hats etc but I cannot say I found any noticeable disadvantage in having none of these gimmicks, my scores are middling same as they were a year or more ago when I last played it and I'm grateful to be able to still play with everyone without having to fork out 10 or 20 for the new maps and gear etc.

Re:Final nail (1)

Aceticon (140883) | more than 3 years ago | (#33758178)

It's amazing how angry people can get over the idea of paying for new content. In my opinion this is a much better model than releasing expansions that prevent others playing with the majority population without purchasing it. I recently reinstalled the game and to be sure, everyone has weird hats etc but I cannot say I found any noticeable disadvantage in having none of these gimmicks, my scores are middling same as they were a year or more ago when I last played it and I'm grateful to be able to still play with everyone without having to fork out 10 or 20 for the new maps and gear etc.

It would be great if buyers of the game would know about this change to the nature of the game up-front, before buying the base game and it was priced appropriatelly.

That way, those that don't like the idea of an online FPS with must have items bought with real money could avoid the game and those that don't care about it could still get it.

The problem here is that Valve wants to have as many people as possible pay full price for an incomplete game and then again for the extra bits that are essential to play it competitivelly online.

Consider an MMORPG like WoW - you pay for the base game and then additionally you pay extra (in the case of WoW, for time but, for example, for D&D Online you can pay for gear instead if you want). Everybody knows what the deal is, up front and in big letters, and yet millions of people take that deal. Since there is an after buy pay-toplay component the base game is priced appropriatelly.

The difference for Team Fortress 2 is that the game you were sold was a fast paced, competitive, online FPS and then after a while Valve turned it into a pay-to-play game (at least if you want to remain competitive instead of just being cannon fodder for the guys with the paid-for-gear). They unilaterally changed the product after the sale and you have no choice but to take it or stop using it.

Re:Final nail (1)

tibman (623933) | more than 3 years ago | (#33758236)

These items don't give an advantage either.. they are better at one thing and worse at another. The items appear balanced in power but unbalanced in ability.

A Well-Executed Plan (2, Interesting)

keatonguy (1001680) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756602)

I'm going to jump in early on this one. If you actually read the fucking article, nothing being put up for sale is only available through sale. Everything can still be found and crafted the old-fashioned way, with the same drop rates and the same recepies. This merely gives people who don't like grind a means to skip over it. Furthermore, they've ousted my most hated aspect of microtransactions, Game Co. Funny Money, allowing you to put money in as money, not as points, which you can then use on anything on Steam.

This is the best way to build a microtransaction system. Once again, Valve legitimizes a system loathed and reviled rabidly by slashdot posters and the OSS community at large. Bravo, Mr. Newell.

Re:A Well-Executed Plan (3, Insightful)

Jojoba86 (1496883) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756614)

You may be understimating just how long the grinding will take. 200 hours to get a random hat, of which there are 5, sound good to you? That's a lot of play time to get the one you want.

Just like in real life... (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756642)

... if you want a hat *now*, go and buy a damn hat. If you're not prepared to buy it, do without.

Re:Just like in real life... (1)

Jojoba86 (1496883) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756670)

But the appeal of games is they're not like real life. A game that emulated real life would be pretty boring (see also: The Sims).

Re:Just like in real life... (1)

thousandinone (918319) | more than 3 years ago | (#33757838)

You're right, The Sims hasn't been any kind of success, and there isn't any large following of that series either because of it. Nobody likes that shit! Other games that simulate "real life" activities fail just as horribly- Nobody plays, say, Madden, or Skate, because you can play football or go skateboarding in real life!

...We done here?

Re:Just like in real life... (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 3 years ago | (#33757884)

A game that emulated real life would be pretty boring (see also: The Sims).

Yet The Sims was one of the best selling games of all time.

Re:Just like in real life... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33756694)

I think that's the point. A lot of people will do without. They'll just go ahead and do without the whole game, in fact.

Re:Just like in real life... (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756730)

Just like in life! When they can't afford the hat, or don't want to buy the hat, they go and kill themselves.

Oh wait...

Re:Just like in real life... (2)

migla (1099771) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756708)

And that's what would suck about it: Just like in real life, the rich obnoxious bastard will be the one that can flaunt their fancy hats in the face of those who can't afford all those hats.

The difference being... (5, Funny)

NoSleepDemon (1521253) | more than 3 years ago | (#33757488)

... that in TF2, setting fire to the rich obnoxious bastard and tea bagging his smoldering corpse won't earn you 3rd degree burns to your testicles and a life time in jail.

Re:Just like in real life... (3, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756772)

If I wanted to make real world spending decisions about new hats I'd go to the mall. I even get a real hat.
I don't need to buy a game for the privilege of experiencing spending money 'just like real life' on things that don't even exist or belong to me after 'buying' them.

Further, if just like real life was a good reason to implement something than team fortress 2 would have you lose a limb in the first firefight and then spend six to 12 months teaching your avatar to walk with a prosthetic and try to build a new life far away from combat.

Games are about providing enjoyment and entertainment. If you want to argue that spending real money on in game hats is somehow more fun than other methods of getting in game hats then feel free to make that case. But falling back on 'its just like real life' is completely specious.

Re:Just like in real life... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33757560)

If I wanted to make real world spending decisions about new hats I'd go to the mall. I even get a real hat.
I don't need to buy a game for the privilege of experiencing spending money 'just like real life' on things that don't even exist or belong to me after 'buying' them.

Just curious, is there ever a time in real life where you can either choose to buy a hat or just walk around until said hat appears out of the aether for free?

Re:A Well-Executed Plan (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#33757684)

Okay, so assuming they abandoned the micro-payment system, how is that any better when you still have to grind that 200 hours for a hat (and by the way, I've seriously been away from this game for too long - people are grinding hats now?). The alternative is they just give everyone everything for free the second it's available, but that would be just as dull as grinding, at least with the proposed system, people who play a lot will probably feel a sense of pride in earning the hat, but everyone else can still have hat fun (maybe they could leave a price tag on bought items so that non-bought items still earn kudos). Of course, the final alternative is that they just stop releasing new content, but that doesn't seem in anyone's interest.

Re:A Well-Executed Plan (2, Informative)

Undead Waffle (1447615) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756640)

I'm going to jump in early on this one. If you actually read the fucking article, nothing being put up for sale is only available through sale.

FTFA:

Robin Walker: Almost everything. There are a really small number of cosmetic items that you can’t find.

What's that about reading the article?

Not that I care about cosmetic stuff.

Re:A Well-Executed Plan (2, Informative)

Djehuty3 (1371395) | more than 3 years ago | (#33757138)

And those few items you can't find are the preorder bonuses, like Bills Hat - given out for preordering L4D2.

Re:A Well-Executed Plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33756662)

nothing being put up for sale is only available through sale

Welcome to the world of marketing and PR. This is what they usually say in the beginning, in order to decrease customer complaints and outcry. They have to, because these kind of money-sucking stores are looked upon as bad. So they come up with the "but it's only cosmetics and you can get everything without paying anyway".

Never mind that even then, they have to make it harder to get content for everyone, to provide an incentive to pay for as many players as possible.

In a few months the next PR spin will add exclusive items because "customers want them".

As for Funny Money vs. real currency, Steam already treats non-US currencies as Funny Money by converting 1:1 from $ to € and setting arbitrary higher prices.

Re:A Well-Executed Plan (1)

Psaakyrn (838406) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756736)

I'm going to jump in early on this one. If you actually read the fucking article, "Walker says everything they're selling will still be obtainable by playing the game, other than a few cosmetic items."

Re:A Well-Executed Plan (1)

Djehuty3 (1371395) | more than 3 years ago | (#33757144)

And those few items you can't find are the preorder bonuses, like Bills Hat - given out for preordering L4D2, or the Sam and Max hats.

Re:A Well-Executed Plan (1)

Burnhard (1031106) | more than 3 years ago | (#33757204)

I've spent many hours playing that game; actually around 800. When I'm lying on the hospital bed reflecting on my life, I don't know whether I'll be more pissed about having wasted 800 hours of it playing team fortress, or that not once during those 800 hours did I manage to get a pyro brigade helmet

Re:A Well-Executed Plan (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 3 years ago | (#33757364)

This merely gives people who don't like grind a means to skip over it.

I believe the term you are looking for is called "cheating", even though the cheating is legitimised because you've parted with some money in order to cheat.

Sorry, but if you're not prepared to grind at a game to become better at it, then the game is not entertaining enough for you (a perfectly legitimate reason) - in which case go play a game that is more entertaining for you.

People cheat at games for *TWO* reasons only - winning lots of money or to feed their egos at showing everyone else how wonderful they are.

Re:A Well-Executed Plan (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#33757830)

That's a very narrow view of the world. Some people have jobs and families and committments outside of gaming - that doesn't mean they don't enjoy grinding as much as the next gamer, but realising it takes 200 hours for an item to drop on average and you get to play maybe three or four hours a week while your friends play that every day makes it hard to keep up. That doesn't mean they wouldn't rather be playing the game or that they have giant egos - if anything I'd say the elitist people who believe you only have any demonstrable skill if you spend <arbitrary time> grinding out drops are the egotistical ones, since they care so much about losing some illusory advantage.

New compiler statement... (4, Funny)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756616)

Steam is proud to announce a patch for GNU and Microsoft Visual Studio compiler sets, which enables the new 'ifmo' command in most programming environments.

The 'ifmo' statement is a traditional if statement, with one extra parameter, for the amount of money you want to be paid to make a given state true.

The 'ifmo' statement coordinates with the Steam framework in most OS environments to manage a list of opportunities the user has to pay for events to happen.

'ifmo' should be compatible with most common languages, from FORTRAN, to Visual Basic, to C/C++, to common scripting languages like Python.

'you get mo with ifmo!'

Ryan Fenton

Steam wallet (1, Interesting)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756634)

I like the Steam wallet idea as a general principle, provided they develop it properly; gift-cards, in particular, have been a glaring omission from Steam for quite some time and I'd love to see them introduced. Yes, you can buy games as gifts for other steam users, but there's a relatively high barrier to doing so - you need to make an account, set up your payment details in it, mess around with the friends list etc. This means that unlike, say, Xbox Live, where you can just walk into a shop to buy a gift-card, there's no realistic way for non-gamers to give gift-cards to Steam-users. To be honest, given the number of gift cards that circulate every Christmas (not to mention birthdays throughout the year), I'm surprised they've missed out on this particular revenue stream for so long.

But I'm much less sold on the whole micro-payments for in-game content thing. I don't mind DLC as a concept; I've bought a good few pieces for games I'm particularly fond of; the Mass Effect games, Dragon Age, Forza 3 and Lost Odyssey spring to mind. However, these have all tended to be fairly substantial chunks of content that significantly extend the single-player experience. I tend to see these as small expansion packs, and provided they're priced appropriately, I'm happy to buy. The idea of buying plug-in content for a competitive multiplayer game, however, just feels like a bridge too far...

None of the DLC on offer here really seems to add anything new to the game. As they say, it's only really cosmetic stuff that can't be obtained via entirely in-game methods. And I'm sorry, but while cosmetic stuff as DLC has been there from the infancy of the concept (yay horse armour), I'm still not going to part money for that. So what you're really buying is a shortcut. They're mixing the in-game and real-world economies and allowing people willing to spend real money to speed up their progress in the game.

It's very close to the most hilariously awful form of DLC around. You might not have come across this yet, as to date it's been limited to a relatively small number of (mostly Japanese) not very good games. You'll find it in the likes of Cross Edge and Argarest Wars, but also in the odd Western title like Dante's Inferno. I'm talking about the ability to buy, using real money, in-game cash, items and experience points for your single-player game. As in, this is all stuff that's present in the base game, on the disk that you have paid money for, and isn't (generally) even locked away. But if you want to get it without hours of grinding, you've got to pay money. What they're basically saying (and the design of many of the games affected is clearly supposed to support this) is: "We've given you a game here, but if you actually want to enjoy it properly, you've got to give us some more money now. Because if you don't... well... I hope you like running in circles killing rats. Because that's where the next 20 hours of your life will be going".

Re:Steam wallet (1)

whoop (194) | more than 3 years ago | (#33757794)

I think this TF2 implementation is just preparation/proof-of-concept for Steam being able to host games (MMOs, perhaps) that have all kinds of micro-transactions. Valve likely isn't expecting much revenue from your new tin-foil hat for your Heavy. But it is a stroke to publishers that they too can join the Steam family and sell their games with them.

Not exactly micro (1)

FauxReal (653820) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756668)

When I logged into TF2 today it tried to sell me a hat for $4.95, the full game is selling for $10 right now. Though even if the game was $60 I can't justify $5 for an in-game hat that gives some minor advantage. I wonder how much it costs to buy everything?

Re:Not exactly micro (1)

Magada (741361) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756760)

Too much. But that's not the issue here. The issue is that you cannot opt out of this whole bullshit. You get wasted if you don't have the money or time to plow into these things. I want no upgrades, damn it! I used to love how the classes in TF2 were so well balanced and no-one got a free lunch. That all went out the window with the introduction of items.

Re:Not exactly micro (3, Insightful)

D J Horn (1561451) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756800)

You get wasted without new items? I think you're just projecting your dying on whatever appears to be a likely suspect.

Yeah there's a lot of new stuff compared to vanilla TF2, but variety doesn't mean imbalance. Its all about playstyle and taste. Lots of people still use the old gear.

Does everyone use the kritzkrieg instead of the ubercharge? Not even close.
Does everyone use the huntsman bow instead of the sniper rifle? Definitely not.
Does everyone use the direct hit instead of the old rocket launcher? Yeah right, most competitive soldiers don't touch it.

So you hop onto TF2 after not playing for a long time and see a whole bunch of new things, and then die to someone wielding and item you've never seen before. OH THAT MUST BE WHY THEY WERE ABLE TO KILL YOU, if only you had it too you wouldn't have died, right? It's just a convenient excuse.

But sure, TF2 is -somewhat- different now than it was originally, and liking its original form better is perfectly fair. But on the other hand, new content is what keeps most players coming back. You might be one of those guys who still plays counterstrike or quake decades from now, but you'll certainly be the minority. TF2 would be nothing but pleasant memories among me and my friends if it had never gotten new content to periodically bring us back from time to time.

Quick Question (2, Interesting)

sammysheep (537812) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756696)

Are these items merely cosmetic (a la some blizzard promos) or do they actually confer advantage? If the latter, I could see this going in the direction of games like Magic the Gathering, where having more money IRL means you have a better chance of buying better cards and therefore winning. I'd hate to see an FPS video game go in that direction, since it's a very different genre than a collector's trading card game..

TFA is short and informative (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756746)

Q: Will I have to spend money to remain competitive?
A: No. Any items affecting gameplay, and even most purely cosmetic items, will still be obtainable simply by playing the game.

Re:Quick Question (1)

will_die (586523) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756752)

No they are advanced weapons, bonus, etc that you can get from playing the game for a while.
With the age of the game this is a smart idea. It allows new players to spend some money and get items that will keep with equal with older players.

Re:Quick Question (1)

RalphSleigh (899929) | more than 3 years ago | (#33757224)

Very few of the unlockable/craftable/buyable items are universally considered a direct upgrade on what they replace, and of those that are almost all of them are unlockable by achievements (wangler, equaliser, axtinguisher, etc). The achievement milestones are easy to get, and the achievements required are designed to make sure you know how to play the game (While there are some uberskill and grind ones in there, you don't need those to unlock items).

The only item I have seen consistently equipped that's not achievement based is the Sniper's Tribalman's Shiv. It's not a huge upgrade but you will need a couple of random drops to craft it.

Re:Quick Question (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 3 years ago | (#33757740)

The only item I have seen consistently equipped that's not achievement based is the Sniper's Tribalman's Shiv. It's not a huge upgrade but you will need a couple of random drops to craft it.

I have a Shiv, but I don't use it. It's just not worth it, as in the few instances a Sniper is meleeing with someone, the decreased damage in favor of bleed is useful against exactly one class: Spy.

Having said that, there's a new Sniper melee weapon that causes you to take +20% fire damage, but when you'd mini-crit, it will crit instead... useful if you Jarate opponents first.

Re:Quick Question (1)

D J Horn (1561451) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756762)

Are these items merely cosmetic (a la some blizzard promos) or do they actually confer advantage? If the latter, I could see this going in the direction of games like Magic the Gathering, where having more money IRL means you have a better chance of buying better cards and therefore winning. I'd hate to see an FPS video game go in that direction, since it's a very different genre than a collector's trading card game..

A prime example of that would be the free-to-play-but-micro-transaction-based Battlefield Heroes. In there you can buy weapons that are immensely better than their free counterparts. It's a disaster and the main reason that game never got very big.

However in TF2, which has been getting new items added to it for years, new stuff is always -different-, not better. For instance a rocket launcher that shoots faster rockets but has no splash damage. Its a matter of playstyle and taste rather than one being better than the other. All the new stuff is like that.

Besides, it's also all easily crafted without paying anything, so even if some new item was better, you don't have to buy it to get it.

The only things in the store that you can't make yourself are new dyes and name changers used to customize the appearance of other items.

Re:Quick Question (1)

entoke (933113) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756824)

It's not easily crafted, you need hats to make one of the new hat that is needed for a set bonus, getting a hat can take 200 hours of gameplay. That does not fit my definition of easy. Also are not the duel thing only paid for aswell?

Re:Quick Question (1)

D J Horn (1561451) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756914)

True that hats are still not easily crafted, but the issue is gameplay and the set bonuses are trivial at best. Even if you had every item you'd most likely use some mixture of items you like rather than the set, as the bonuses aren't worth carrying not carrying your personal best items.

Even with the new set bonuses, hats are still cosmetic by any standard.

The duel token isn't gameplay related either, and its 5 uses for 99 cents anyway.

Re:Quick Question (2, Informative)

Therilith (1306561) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756832)

All of the weapons you can buy can be acquired (relatively) easily by playing.
However, they also introduced "item sets" which require a certain combination of weapons and a hat (a previously cosmetic-only item) to complete.
Hats are very rare in-game (even more so if you need one particular hat to complete a set) which used to be fine since they never did anything until now.

Microtransactions done right? Figures it's Valve (5, Insightful)

D J Horn (1561451) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756718)

I wasn't sure what to expect when I saw the post this morning, I'm not a fan of microtransactions in games, as I've never seen it executed in a way that didn't punish players into using it.

But I read all about it, and then checked it out for myself. It actually seems like this system was built with a fair dose of common sense, something I've come to expect from Valve.

First and foremost is the fact that all the items are still attainable in game. But wait, did they make them really rare drops or difficult to craft in order to push people toward purchasing? Nope, they're still the same as they've always been. Easily crafted by anyone who plays much at all.

But hold on, these systems always have stupid virtual currency that you can only buy in chunks that don't match the item costs. You want an item that costs 3500 neato-points but you can only buy points in chunks of 2000! Oh, Valve's system uses real currency tied to your steam account, that you can use anywhere on steam. That actually makes sense.

Surely there is a catch though. These new items must be overpowered and imbalanced to make them worth buying, right? That's what most games do (cough BF Heroes cough) but it doesn't really work when people can still get the items without buying them. And it turns out the stats are all in line with the way Valve has always added new items to TF2. They all have their ups and downs and are more a matter of playstyle and taste than outright better/worse. There are still plenty of people who used the old original items simply because that's what they're best with.

BUT HOLD ON, WE'VE FOUND THE EVIL PLOT! Most item's are community made, Valve is profiting off content they don't even have to make themselves!! Oh nevermind, community designers are given a cut of any sales their item makes, which is probably the coolest thing about the whole system. As someone who's mapped and modded Source as a hobby over the years, and having friends who actually made items in this very update, I think it is absolutely awesome that they're getting money out of something they'd normally love to do just for fun.

This is is precisely the microtransaction system I would expect from Valve. I have no problems with it and I have yet to read any legitimate arguments against it.

Re:Microtransactions done right? Figures it's Valv (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33756994)

I love that this got modded troll. Fucking retards....

Ya sorry Valve (2, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756774)

I'm not at all opposed to the idea of micro transactions. On the contrary, I like the idea when done right. Mass Effect 2 does a great job. They released a good game, well worth the money. However they've continued to develop for it and you can get new content. They just released an addon for $10. It adds a good bit of new, unique, gameplay. They spent a good deal of work developing it, new visuals, new voice tracks, etc. It is a worthwhile upgrade for the money, if you enjoy the game.

Well the TF2 stuff has two big problems:

1) The TF2 engine is a POS. Seriously, that game has all kinds of problems, owing to the age of its engine. If I am going to spend money for DLC, it'll be on a newer game that runs well on my system. I'm not saying it doesn't render frame fast, its older graphics insure that happens. However it stutters often because it doesn't handle streaming well, it takes forever to load content, its interface has a number of problems, etc. Sorry, but compare that to say Bad Company 2 and there is no comparison. I'm just not really interested in putting money in to a game that isn't well updated for my system.

2) More importantly, they have to get the fuck out of here with those prices. $5 for a gun? $18 for a hat? What the fuck is that shit? For the price of one hat I could get the new ME2 DLC and still have enough left over for one of their older DLCs ($7 each) or a few weapons packs if I really wanted (which are $2 for a pack with multiple items). They are completely off their rocker if they think it is worth that kind of money.

Really, if they need cash, I'd rather they just produce Team Fortress 3. TF2 is showing its age (though it still ought to behave better, I think Source is also showing its age in general) and maybe it isn't feasible to completely rework the engine. That's fine, do a new TF game with new engine, graphics, maps, etc, and sell it at a new game price. I've no problem with that, it is about 3 years old and I'm ok with the idea that for non-subscription games you have to periodically pay for an update. I also know it is easier to rework things in a new game than to continually modify an existing one.

However I'm not giving them nearly $20 to have a hat. Sorry.

Re:Ya sorry Valve (1)

sahonen (680948) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756888)

I've never run into any of the problems you talked about with the engine. In fact it's my opinion that the Source engine is the best modern engine for multiplayer gaming. Unreal Engine has very bad input latency (unacceptable for a first person shooter engine on PC), and Source's netcode beats the pants off of anything else out there. Not to mention the fact that I can play TF2 on hardware costing half as much as what I need to play any of the other modern shooters.

Re:Ya sorry Valve (1)

N1AK (864906) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756904)

On the contrary, I like the idea when done right. Mass Effect 2 does a great job.

A game that comes with an achievement you can't get without buying DLC? (The Thief character). Personally I was very disappointed by this, otherwise I had no issue with its DLC.

Buy a kevlar for $800? (1)

elh_inny (557966) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756784)

I wonder how long until I have to pay real $800 for my kevlar in CS:S....
I guess even at 1/1000th of the price this could get interesting as in the long run if you're decent you get more money then you spend in CS:S...

Perhaps they could balance it out a little and allow people to play with real money?

trolls everywhere! (1, Troll)

D J Horn (1561451) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756820)

I like how every positive reply has gotten modded troll.

Meanwhile I still haven't read a single valid point by any of the naysayers, here or elsewhere. Most of the time it doesn't even sound like they even -play- TF2.

The only valid points people have brought up are the ones who liked vanilla TF2 better before it had any new content added and wish they could play that old version. That's fair, but completely unrelated to this whole microtransaction deal.

Re:trolls everywhere! (1)

paziek (1329929) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756890)

Yeah, I just bought TF2 (waited for special off) and I'm not bothered by it. Some people would rather spend their time grinding in game, while others prefer to spend their time grinding IRL and just convert some of those drops to the ones in game. Its fair enough for me, especially that the only advantage buying gives is that it requires less grinding IRL than it would in game. I see complaining here just by kids who are too lazy to grind in either way.

Re:trolls everywhere! (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 3 years ago | (#33757308)

I think you and too many other people have lost the concept of what gaming is.

Any game - computer, board, sports, etc. - is supposed to be *FUN WHILE YOU ARE PLAYING IT* with an added bonus of possibly winning it at the end. The *FUN* bit generally happens because you are playing against opponents who are all around the same skill level - throw in one expert at the game & the *FUN* element disappears because the other players have no possibility of winning and the expert gets bored rapidly by trouncing everyone else.

If winning is of primary importance to you, then you can have a lot of *FUN* honing your skills to become better and better at the game as you understand the mechanics more. However, being able to *BUY* an advantage in a game is the equivalent to permissible cheating.

I'm more than happy to grind at a game as long as it's *FUN* to do so and as long as everyone else in that game is doing the same thing. But I don't see what *FUN* I am supposed to get from somebody who comes into the game and trounces me just because he or she has parted with good money to buy cheats.

Personally, I'm all for grinders of similar expertise being on their server, and cheats with their purchases on another.

Re:trolls everywhere! (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 3 years ago | (#33757836)

However, being able to *BUY* an advantage in a game is the equivalent to permissible cheating.

All of the items in TF2 have some sort of tradeoff. The new Spy knife does an instant disguise (of the "blink and you missed it" type), but removes the Spy's disguise kit; once the Spy with the new knife is undisguised, he *has* to backstab someone to redisguise. This makes the Revolvers significantly less useful.

You can get every single weapon in the game through the game's random drop system. The Polycount packs all have weapons that can be crafted, and word on the street is that the other 3 new weapons will have crafting recipes added to the game sometime today.

If you're an existing player, you can craft all the weapons using the game's crafting system... if you were smart, you would have stocked up on extra items knowing that this patch was coming. I personally had enough metal + items to craft 7 of the new weapons already, and they just came out yestsreday.

The hats (and set bonuses that require them) are the part that will piss people off. Some of the set bonuses have no downs, other than being forced to use a particular set of equipment.

For example, the Sniper's set has the set bonus of being immune to headshots. However, the Sydney Sleeper Sniper Rifle can't do headshots, so it's not like it's a free win.

Another example: The Scout's set gives the wearer an extra +25 health. The downside is having a less powerful primary gun (Shortstop), no secondary gun (Mad Milk instead), and being forced to use the fish melee weapon... the fish has no extra stats, so it's just a more humiliating version of the Bat.

Re:trolls everywhere! (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#33758278)

I suppose people who buy better sports equipment are cheating, because real atheltes craft it themselves? Also, if you believe these purchases give a game-altering advantage (and clearly you do, if you thought they were balanced or purely cosmetic then there'd be no "cheating" after all, since cheating implies gaining an unfair advantage) then how does your world view accommodate brand new players? Surely people who have been playing for years and have earned all the equipment through grinding are going to have a massive advantage over new players, and even if the new players spend the next three years catching up, the old players will have six years of grinding at that point - shouldn't the game be fun for those new players too? If being able to buy the equipment creates a level playing field, surely that moves us closer to your ideal of a game where no one player has an unfair advantage, because even players who have full time jobs and can't spend the time "honing their skill" can still jump on and play and have fun. In reality, these upgrades don't really confer any competitive advantage (maybe they will in the future but for now they don't) so it's all moot because someone who buys every piece of equipment can still be thrashed by someone with more skill using a clean vanilla install/account.

Trading worth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33756918)

So what are those 7 refined metals that i've got worth (never felt like making a hat)? What will the backpack full of vintage items be worth?

Re:Trading worth (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 3 years ago | (#33758420)

Even without trading, you can turn 1 refined metal into 3 reclaimed metal. Each of the 12 new non-hat Polycount items require 1 Reclaimed Metal + whatever item it's the most similar to in effect... TF2Items has a list of recipes [tf2items.com] (new items are above the legend near the bottom).

Unfortunately, if you crafted away all your items... sucks to be you. Of course, some people are willing to give away their extra base items if you need them.

Sad Panda (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#33757114)

Microtrans are destroying the gaming industry. People don't want to be nickle and dimed to death... and they also don't want to play against other players that paid $20 to get items that are going to make harder to kill. Why can't companies just sell me the god damned game and leave me alone anymore?

Re:Sad Panda (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 3 years ago | (#33757230)

The simple answer is that selling something as an ongoing service makes a lot more money over a longer period of time than selling to you once.

Personally, I don't get the whole microtrans stuff anyway. I do use Steam, I'm a big fan of all the Valve games, but I own the boxed copies of all the games I play on Steam. I've bought no downloadable "Steam-only" games because I don't get what it is I'm supposed to be paying for.

I have bought a few applications online, plus a few games from Good Old Games [gog.com] because, in both cases, I have them stored on my local hard disk(s) and therefore in my possession to install, use or play whenever I want to.

I have friends who play WoW (I tried it for a month but it didn't grab me) and who pay for all sorts of in-game objects but, again, I don't get that either.

I guess it's a case of "each to his own" but I'm not prepared to put that much faith in games companies that I truly believe the add-ons they want to sell me are just that, rather than stuff they deliberately left out of the original game to sell to me later on.

Re:Sad Panda (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#33758424)

I guess it's a case of "each to his own" but I'm not prepared to put that much faith in games companies that I truly believe the add-ons they want to sell me are just that, rather than stuff they deliberately left out of the original game to sell to me later on.

ME2 and DA:O were two prime examples. The first DLC for both was obviously built at the same time as the core game and just detached for separate release, to the extent that ME:2 has a "space" on the character select screen in the basic game for a character who is only available with DLC, while DA:O has a DLC character standing right in your camp trying to sell you a mission. I have to say I bought both and enjoyed them and don't regret the purchases, but yes, pretty cynical move on the developer's part.

Re:Sad Panda (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#33758344)

I keep hearing the argument that people don't want to be nickle and dimed to death. The gaming industry is an open market. If one developer is nickle and diming and people don't like it then other developers will fill the void and steal their customers. The very fact that this isn't yet happening and that people seem to be sticking with the games/systems where they're nickel and dimed would suggest that, actually, people are comfortable with the idea - or, at the very least, that it doesn't annoy them enough to vote with their Steam Wallets.

These items can still be crafted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33757434)

The items for sale through the store can still be crafted from other items. For instance, you can get the Degreaser by combining a Backburner and Reclaimed metal. When the store says "non-craftable", what they mean by that is that you cannot use a purchased item in crafting, not that the item cannot be crafted. A lot of people are going to get pissed off about their use of the term "non-craftable", but really I think it's to protect people from wasting their money.

So not only do you not have to sit around waiting for items (or "grinding" for them), you also don't have to buy them. You can craft them if you've got the right parts.

YOU FAIL IT. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33757580)

Rcomeo aNd Juliet

translation (1)

Truekaiser (724672) | more than 3 years ago | (#33757652)

while the items are still available through normal means in the game. 'we' as a company have decided to make the process hard enough that most of you will give up in frustration and pay the small amount to get the items. we have realized the american public's lack of basic math skill's, simply addition, and figure we will earn more money this way as the public spends more on the game then if they bought it outright using the old transaction model.

this is a logical progression (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 3 years ago | (#33757710)

there's been a lot of us asking for steam cards for a long time, this is good progress imho.

Granted, I stopped playing tf2 like a year ago. I can see community mods being offered for micro-transactions.

Unfortunately this is the end of free community modding. But it's a step forward for PC gaming. It's an evolution. It will bring more talent and games back to PC gaming.

I don't see how this is a bad thing (1)

Droce (1736948) | more than 3 years ago | (#33757816)

I don't believe how much people are freaking out over this, you can get the items by crafting the simplest things (I already have lots the new items will spare stuff I had in my backpack). You also grossly overestimate how hard it is to get new items, I'm in my third year of university and I manage to find loads of items. Any item with really game-changing qualities will be, as always, easy to get. Not to mention that you can trade for what you want, get 30 rocket launchers? Trade with your friend who has 5 bows or something.

More sinister than it would appear (1)

Durzel (137902) | more than 3 years ago | (#33757874)

First off I should preface this by saying that I love Valve and hate microtransactions.

That being said there are some "devil in the detail" points which leave a nastier-than-normal taste in the mouth.

For starters - the item set hats (that you need to get the set bonus) aren't craftable. They (apparently) drop but with the number of items in game currently and the already very rare percentage chance to get a hat the idea that you could complete an item set by getting the hat via an item drop is about as unrealistic a proposition as relying on winning the lottery to be your income source. In fact, the FAQ makes mention of the fact that you don't have to pay for the set-completing hats, but this is pretty disingenuous in my opinion considering the item drop probabilities involved.

Secondly - bought items are not tradeable. This means that even if someone else did buy the item and for some inexplicable reason was prepared to trade the "item set" hat away, you couldn't get it from them. Right now the only way you will get the set bonuses is by buying the set(s) yourself, with cold hard cash.

What this means in very simple terms is that set bonuses such as "+25 health for Scout", which are a significant advantage in the right hands, is something that will affect the gameplay of those that choose not (or can't afford) to participate.

Microtransactions for alternative (but not necessarily better) weaponry and cosmetic items are one thing, having no other option but to pay to get an ingame discernable advantage is something completely different and not something I ever imagined Valve stooping to.

"Micro"? (1)

Mystery00 (1100379) | more than 3 years ago | (#33758350)

$20 for a hat isn't micro. That's all I have to say.

25 (1)

drumcat (1659893) | more than 3 years ago | (#33758422)

This is just the old "pump quarters" deal. Arcade in your home. You sure you like it?
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