I need to vent on this. For those of you who do pay attention to tf2, you'll probably know that a few days back this got posted. http://tf2.com/post.php?id=4608&p=1 It's pretty much a plug for a game by Telltale, and they're all buddy buddy with valve or something, which is entirely fine. If they like the game, and maybe they do, who knows. However, if you read the post you'll notice it's definitely not just a plug. It's a blatant advertisement, and your motivation to buy this game is more tf2 items. And you know what? It worked, flawlessly. Before the blog post I saw maybe one or two people purchase this, and surprise surprise, the same night I fire up tf2 and play with some buddies, only to see others already sporting their atrocious new hat. The real kicker though, is that this looks more and more like a quick game thrown together. In fact, if the steam store page, and Telltale store page are any indication, the game brings absolutely nothing new to the age old game of poker. Forgive my ignorance, but I don't see anything different about this. In fact, the game is not even comparable to say, online poker (yo king whatup) as it lacks multiplayer entirely. So now it's on par with Windows Poker (Which comes for free with Windows Vista Ultimate) So really all they're advertising here is playing computer poker, with random "Icons" of something or another. Personally, aside from the heavy, I have no fucking clue who any of these characters are. We've seen this before, and it's nothing new. http://www.teamfortress.com/post.php?id=3045 http://www.teamfortress.com/post.php?id=3698 http://www.teamfortress.com/post.php?id=4441&p=1 Valve butchering the art style of one of their flagship games with more useless cosmetics which violate the art style in ways I'd really rather not even talk about (it's just that gross). For those of you who play the game you'll also know that recently the polypack update was also shipped. http://www.teamfortress.com/post.php?id=4410&p=1 This added an ingame store, which is fueled on micro transactions, where players can buy weapons, and hats (for a ridiculous price), along with, and this is absolutely brilliant, what is effectively a lottery, where players have a chance of finding an "Unusual" hat. Which is just a stock hat if they purchase a key from the store, with an irritating and distracting particle effect. The Mann co Store was a humongous success. http://www.igameradio.com/2010/10/22/mann-co-store-pays-big-bucks-to-tf2-community/ (Kotaku source too) http://kotaku.com/5669981/making-team-fortress-2-hats-turns-out-to-be-very-profitable So after 2 weeks of sales, these people who got 25% of the profits walked away with an amazing amount of cash. A big part of the polypack sets is that they incorporate "Set Bonuses" if they're all worn by the player at once. Almost all of which make absolutely no sense in the game (Health leaching rocket launcher \ Milk that gives people who hit soaked enemies 75% of the damage they do back as health, etc), a lot of which are blatantly overpowered too. This adds up to roughly 150K USD per set going to valve. These weapons, no matter all the flawed arguments being thrown around, are pay to win, or at least, pay for an advantage. People who try to justify this with people being able to craft them, and get them through item drops seem to be missing out on the fact that these are not instant, and in fact take a pretty long time. I have yet to get all the polypack items, let alone the hats, through random drops. If this doesn't strike you as foul then I don't know what will. (If you want to play blind man, go walk with the shepherd) Every time I pick up tf2, there's always someone trading, someone begging for items, or hats. It's not fun, it resembles an MMO, which is a genre I don't find particularly appealing either. Fun facts : About 1/5th of tf2 servers with players in them at time of posting are idle servers. So a significant chunk of the player base is playing the game, by not playing it. The Black box is a disgusting looking weapon, and is the only addition that I feel actually has a worse visual impact than it does on gameplay. Flawed arguments : People seem to claim to me, and others I see on various forums that this constant trading is just a fad, or that the game would have gone stale if it hadn't received these kinds of updates. First off, hats and item drops were added over a year ago, and they have yet to become any less of an obsession. Don't believe me? Go play the game, go look at SPUF, or any other big tf2 community, and try to not find a trading thread, or thread about items.