Pre-order Rift, Get… TF2 Weapons?

By Jim Rossignol on February 3rd, 2011 at 9:49 pm.


Unlikely commercial crossover of the month goes to Valve and Trion Worlds, who have set up a deal whereby people who pre-order the forthcoming fantasy MMO Rift will get exclusive melee weapons in Team Fortress 2: a “Sharpened Volcano Fragment” for the pyro and the “Sun-on-a-stick” for the Scout. There’s also a new TF2 achievement being added to the game, called “Riftwalker”, which you can earn to unlock a hat based on a frightening looking head-garment (pictured) that appears in Rift.

Presumably this won’t be the last time we will see creepy hats appear as consumer-incentives in TF2.

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90 Comments »

  1. starclaws says:

    Fuck you valve.

    • jon_hill987 says:

      Because they ruined TF2? It used to be a shooter, now it is some shite about trading hats. And don’t say the shooter is still there, they ruined that with weapons that make no sense for the class, the demoman should use explosives not swords.

    • Bob Loblaw says:

      >Because they ruined TF2?

      No, they didn’t.

      >It used to be a shooter, now it is some shite about trading hats.

      No, it’s not. Seriously, stop playing insta-respawn 2fort on 32 slot servers.
      Where do you people get this shit?

      >And don’t say the shooter is still there, they ruined that with weapons that make no sense for the class, the demoman should use explosives not swords.

      Uh. Don’t use the sword then?

  2. Pantsman says:

    I just don’t get it.

  3. Xercies says:

    Team fortress 2 has gone very downhill since these new items and hats I have to say, I thought it was Ok at first and played it a little but now its just not the same game and its gotten worse.

    • TimA says:

      I wish I didn’t agree, I used to find it a lot of fun. Oh well.

    • anduin1 says:

      I’ve been flamed and hated on for posting the same thing you just wrote here on Kotaku a few weeks ago. People told me that because most of the items are cosmetic that it makes no difference in play style but theres a TON of new weapon items that vary the abilities of each player and some are either very hard to craft or can be bought for real life cash. That might not be a huge imbalance but its enough for me to get turned off of a game I once played daily.

    • gwathdring says:

      But the aesthetic items DON’T change gameplay. OP included hats; if they were included as a matter or chronology, then I can see why you folks would think that even if I like a lot of the changes (not all, though). There are enough items with significant stat and even mechanics changes that the game is simply not the same cartoon shooter it was. So many things have been improved though that I tend to forgive even the weapons I don’t like. Black box, you rotten bastard weapon, you.

    • TomSmizzle says:

      I would argue that the aesthetic items DO affect gameplay.
      Watch the developer commentary videos, and they talk about how important it is that the characters have distinct, easily recognisable silhouettes so that their image can be mentally processed as soon as possible.
      Now, all the silhouettes are tarnished by ridiculous headwear or dumb accessories that are just visually distracting.
      It’s a really complicated game now, where, for me, its strength in the beginning was in its simplicity.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      I’m sorry, do you play Team Fortress 2 on big head mode where the Heavy’s head takes up his entire silhouette? No? Then it’s a non issue. If you’re identifying classes by looking at their heads, you’re not doing it right.

      I really don’t see why every single tiny little update needs complaining. I really don’t. People praise the gods if Blizzard gets a patch out, much less on time…

    • bleeters says:

      I’ve never really bought into the whole “hats dilute the visually distinguishable differences for each class” thing, either. A pyro wearing a silly hat is still immediately obviously not an engineer wearing a silly hat.

      Not that I’m a massive fan of them, mind. What personally bugs me far more (and ultimately caused me to stop playing as well, amongst other reasons) is the means of obtaining them: actual cash payments, or painstaking RNG based grind. Games don’t need more of either, frankly.

    • Xercies says:

      I don’t know i kind of agree with it though, with all the hats and everything its gotten a lot more chaotic and its very hard to distinguish people and classes I find.

    • gwathdring says:

      I agree as far as personal aesthetic enjoyment of the game. But I don’t have trouble identifying classes due to hats and items, especially since most of the new items are pretty damn distinctive (or distinctively held by the character). Movement speed, body shape, and what someone shoots at me tend to be enough of a hint.

  4. skalpadda says:

    That’s a really weird pairing of games.

  5. radomaj says:

    First crossover promotion I can’t agree with at all.

  6. Zwebbie says:

    I’ve always been amazed that no items that were added to Team Fortress 2 after its release were ’50s spy-fi themed ones. You know, like the original game was.

    • bleeters says:

      Camera beard.

    • Phasma Felis says:

      Eh? Most of the “official” items tie in perfectly well with the originals.

      It’s just the exclusives that break theme, which admittedly is problematic, but a lot less than it would be if TF2 wasn’t already ridiculous.

  7. Miker says:

    I’m fine with crossovers, really, and I’ve enjoyed all of the crossovers so far with little reservation, but this is just a bit much.

  8. daphne says:

    I like the idea of weird crossovers like this, I just wish they weren’t so directly tied to people’s bank accounts…

  9. Mr.Hotkeys says:

    oh god these aesthetic items are ruiinnnningg the gammmmmeee

    I, too, cannot understand that Valve uses the money they make off putting promotional items in their game to fund more useful expansions, such as the Polycount pack and the recent Christmas event.

    • dysphemism says:

      This, and thanks. Besides endless and fruitless debates over IP law, complaining about the dilution of TF2 has to be the most tiring thing I read on the RPS comments section. Besides, “war-themed hat simulator” is a bold idea for a game, and I think we should reward developers who break the genre mold.

    • gwathdring says:

      Indeed. I wish they included a more detailed hat simulation. Size is an important aspect of hattness. Also including an elaborate hat-comment system in which characters automatically respond to the aesthetic union, or disunion of hat and man would be nice.

  10. AllenJB says:

    Digital Collectors Edition: Valve Price: £50. Direct 2 Drive Price: £40 (or £32 if you get it this weekend!) Guess where I got my copy.

    I also have to agree with the above. TF2 has become all about the hats (and other gear) and it’s boring. It’s worse than a cash shop MMO.

    • Bob Loblaw says:

      Huh, that’s strange. I still play TF2 on a daily basis and it’s very much about shooting people in their faces on my end.

    • DoucheMullet says:

      I’ve never bought a single item from the TF2 store. I have every single new weapon.

      Stop whining about problems that don’t exist.

    • bit_crusherrr says:

      For about another £5 you can get the physical copy from shopto.net with a 8gb flash drive and mousepad. The extra £5 is worth it for the flash drive alone.

  11. Jambe says:

    I for one enthusiastically endorse and support this and all previous Valve crossovers. The more the merrier.

  12. Teddy Leach says:

    But what’s wrong with my Alien Swarm hat!?

  13. Hunam says:

    Most people complaining probably don’t play TF2 a whole lot I suspect. Why more character customisation options are bad is anyones guess.

    • jon_hill987 says:

      You are quite right, the people complaining probably don’t play TF2.

      They all used to play it though and now don’t because Valve ruined the brilliant art design and added weapons that don’t fit the classes.

  14. Schaulustiger says:

    That strange crossover aside, Rift is in pretty good shape, despite still being in beta. I’d go so far as to say that this is the most polished beta of an MMORPG I have ever played.
    It’s not an overly innovative game, but it takes the best from WoW, Warhammer and Aion and mixes it with nearly limitless character customization. I have not bought an MMO since the dreaded Age Of Conan because I always got bored during beta, but I’m seriously considering a pre-order of Rift.

    There goes my vow to never get into an MMO ever again…

    • The Great Wayne says:

      They’re talking of 80 different traits line combo with the “innovative” class system. Seems pretty big, although I’m sure only a handful of the most powerful will be commonly used. Balancing, it just never ends.

      Even if theme parks haven’t been my stuff since lotro, might be tempted to give this a go. No, it is not for the funny hat… well, not only.

  15. Fede says:

    No, thanks.

  16. The Pink Ninja says:

    I don’t really care although all the news equipment is making it a little tricky to know what I’m dealing with sometimes.

    I still kick ass though.

  17. Mike says:

    Just thought I’d point out that TF2 is still good fun, and has improved overall since launch.

    Cheers.

    • gwathdring says:

      Definitely since launch, and it seems for most players with every update. But I can certainly understand having prefered the game pre-wrangler or some such. The continual polishing of the engine underneath the game though, fixing balance issues, bugs, and so forth is well worth even some of the changes to game dynamics I don’t like. They have really done a fantastic job tightening up the game, which is impressive in the light of how often they change it and add things.

    • MikoSquiz says:

      Agreed!

  18. Shadram says:

    Is that a man wearing a spider hat, or a spider wearing man shoes?

    Also, why do people cry so much every time new hats get added to TF2? I’m not a TF2 player, but as far as I’m aware, it’s just a cosmetic item. Why would this negatively affect anyone playing the game?

    • dragonhunter21 says:

      As a TF2 player, I don’t get it either. Granted, hats are WAY harder to find than they’d ought to be, but getting one for a pre-order? Hey, cool, fancy web-hat. I got a studly gas mask for the Pyro from Killing Floor, I think, so that was totally worth it.

    • Oak says:

      I tend to see more crying about the supposed crying than I do the supposed crying, but that does seem to be the case with most of these things.

      Near as I can tell, the only complaint is an aesthetic one: most of the hats clash violently with the game’s art design, particularly when, say, they’re painted hot pink. In my heart I agree with this, but it hasn’t stopped me from painting my hats hot pink.

    • gwathdring says:

      I guess I can see that. I really loved the aesthetic at release, a major part of why I bought the game. Some of the items and hats don’t match or have enough going on that they clutter up the screen already riddled with bullets, explosions and corpses. But, as mentioned way too long windedly below I don’t think it’s bad. Just non-optimal. Little in-character things like the fedora, the camera beard, the pyro’s glove hat … I love those. They’re nice little silly sprinkles on top of all the other silly bulk of the game. I would wager that if you see more crying about the crying though it’s probably because most people don’t mind all the items and hats, or at least most of the people who feel the need to speak don’t mind the hats and such, and make a point of addressing those with opposing opinions. (Is guilty of being such a windbag).

    • Bhazor says:

      Because not all of them are cosmetic.

    • Bob Loblaw says:

      Every cross-promotion item (read: every item you HAVE to spend money on) is cosmetic.

    • DBG says:

      Guys, really, chill out. The spider/web hat unlock is for RIFT, not for TF2! This promotion does NOT add hats to TF2 and the weapons it adds will be available through crafting when the promotion is over.

  19. dragonhunter21 says:

    Soon, you’ll be able to go out to the grocery, buy a banana, and get a TF2 hat for it.

    (Actually, maybe getting a bananahat wouldn’t be so bad.)

    • The Great Wayne says:

      I’d buy this.

    • The Pink Ninja says:

      More true than you know. I’m sure I heard on the Drunk Tank podcast that you could items for some game from Dr Pepper cans in America.

      This will only increase in future, though I guess it is preferable to in-game product placement.

      *Looks at Chaos Theory while chewing gum*

    • gwathdring says:

      I’m cool with developers making money from indirect advertising. I’d much rather stare at, say, Ellis’s hat from L4D or an item that I know was unlocked through a prepurchase or coke can code or something then a big bulletin board that says “Buy Coke” or “Buy Our Other Multiplayer Game.”

  20. gwathdring says:

    I don’t think hats are ruining the game. At all. They’re zany fun. Not worth buying, to me, but they don’t change gameplay, just add to the madness in the air. I like that TF2 is madcap. That’s always been the point, as far as I can tell. I can understand worries about the items; though a lot of them just add to the madness that makes the game lovable to me, I would have liked it better if the new items had stopped about half way to where they are now. I find it easy to get caught up in how to counter specific effects that keep bugging me since I don’t have my whatsit equipped and half the other team have their whosits which can be mitigated by my whatsit … it detracts from the game at times.

    That said, I don’t think the game is broken or ruined, and I certainly don’t see much of a reason to bemoan this kind of promotion. You don’t need to wear the hats, and as long as the weapons don’t do anything dramatically game changing like the Wrangler, you don’t even need to worry about whether the items were properly beta’d and such.

    (Edited to be at least a tinsy bit less wind-bagish …)

    • DrazharLn says:

      If you edit in some line breaks and structure to this comment someone might read it.

    • cjlr says:

      Madcap, eh?

      Sorry, didn’t read any further than that. I’ll get my coat…

  21. Kryopsis says:

    The only reason this nonsense is not ruining the game is simply because Team Fortress 2 is already ruined.

    • subedii says:

      Yeah! They never should have removed grenades!

      TFC 4 Lyfe!!

  22. Davie says:

    Team Fortress 2 has devolved into Steam Preorder Incentive 2. I’m tired of this nonsense for many reasons, not least of which is the fact that the game’s completely lost the slick Rockwell-esque spytech aesthetic that made it so great just to look at.

  23. Obsecri says:

    KEEP CRYING, BABIES!
    -These weapons will be able to be crafted later on. Think that it’s unfair that other Promo items can’t be crafted? They’re just reskins. THESE are actually new weapons.
    -Every game TF2 has associated themselves with has had some decency, so far. I haven’t actually tried RIFT and I probably wont, but who knows, it might be good.
    -You don’t HAVE to buy anything from Mann Co. Store. They implemented it because people ASKED for it. Same with trading.
    -People can play the game however they want. If they want to trade all day, then they do so. If they want to buy weapons, they spend their money how they want.
    -The hats that DO have effects, like, the sets, are incredibly difficult to get other than buying them or trading them.
    I sort of agree with the spytech-look loss, though. I liked that.
    What am I forgetting?

  24. Nny says:

    Screw all that, I want a hat like this IRL!

  25. Miker says:

    From TF2′s own contribute page:

    “Couple of things to keep in mind when building things in the TF world.

    Theme

    Keeping the visual style consistent is important, in that we don’t want anything out of theme or out of date. TF is a stylized world set some time in the 50′s. Nothing modern, visually hyper-realistic, or overly “cartoony.

    Maintain character personality as much as possible with items. Hats should maintain the character personality of the wearer (heavy ushanka, scout batter’s helmet, etc.)”

    Having read the same design documents on TF2′s aesthetics that everybody has — silhouettes, identifiability, etc. — I have to say that it’s a bit disappointing for Valve to essentially break their own rules.

    • Davie says:

      Agreed. I don’t have any problem with new items, or new hats, or whatever–I take issue with the fact that they detract from the overall feel of the game. I can’t help but think this wouldn’t even be an issue if Valve didn’t own Steam…

    • Kollega says:

      I have to second this… even after you discard all the doubtful problems with balance, character identification, bribing your way to new options, and hats being hard to find, there’s still the fundamental problem of the game not seeming like a spy story illustrated by Norman Rockwell anymore. I really liked that aesthetic; it was fresh, sharp, and all-around awesome. What a shame, Valve… what a shame.

    • gwathdring says:

      That is a bit of a shame … but it seems to work for the current community even if it squeezed out some of the old guard. A lot of players love it and don’t give a damn about aesthetic integrity. It’s too bad, but I can’t really claim they screwed over the fan base without seeing server stats that show a more direct correlation between such content and decreasing popularity of the game. I get the impression that they broke their rules due to customer demand rather than weakness or lack of care, but who knows.

  26. Bujeebus says:

    People say that the hats and such keep the player from seeing what the other class is/is holding. I can instantly tell these things no matter what hat they are using. I know the new items and what they do. I have every new item, and have never spent any money for tf2 (except the 10$ orange box). The game is as balanced as you can expect of a game this complex.

    Too lazy didn’t read:
    TF2 is fine with new items, hats don’t affect gameplay at all (except set hats which I am against). Keep the updates/game crossovers coming.

  27. pupsikaso says:

    If I’ve already preordered from a long time ago, do I still get these? And what’s the procedure to claiming these once the game launches anyway, will I have to link the two accounts somehow?

    • DBG says:

      procedure to claim: tf2 items would get available right off after the purchase, the rift spider/web hat – after completing tf2 achievement you’ll get a code to enter on rift website.

      did you preorder it long time ago from steam?

    • pupsikaso says:

      No, I preordered it on the game’s website. Does that mean I don’t get any items?
      Well whatever, I didn’t preorder it so I can have TF2 items anyway.

    • DBG says:

      If you have some sort of a product key, you can try the “add a product on steam…” thing (it’s in the menu of steam under Games)

  28. Brumisator says:

    *Trying to find a single non-smart-ass comment in this comment thread.*

    *operation Failed* (including this post)

  29. DBG says:

    Also also. Preorder shines are not limited to TF2 cross-promotion. There’s rift stuff too. The post is wrong, Jim. *glare*

  30. zoombapup says:

    As old a game as TF2 is, I can see the reasoning behind trying out the whole microtransaction idea, it seems to have worked well for them too.

    But as I tried to get some people who hadn’t played before interested in the game, it was interesting to note that when they played, they disliked it because “its just a bunch of people talking about trading hats”.

    I think thats my ultimate issue with this. It hasnt changed the combat mechanics in a negative way, but it has marred the experience by making players focus on pointless spamming of trade and duelling etc. If I wanted a game where people spammed the chat about trade items I’d have bought an MMORPG!

    So I think there is something to be said for the distraction the whole store has created. I’ve stopped playing because I got tired of that focus.

    • Matt says:

      You should try playing on servers that aren’t full of knobs sometime. It’s great fun!

  31. Tokamak says:

    I don’t care much about what items change in the gameplay itself, but I do care that it’s changing the mentality of the players. What used to be good fun for the sake of fun has devolved into a mass cult of senseless consumerism.

  32. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Meh, indeed. It seems like game companies are taking a nosedive for the sake of consumerism. I mean, it may work. It may even be neat content (which I doubt). But it sure does leave a bad taste. The bad taste of gaming being hollowed out by people acting like stripminers.

  33. znk666 says:

    ONLY FOR 75 REFINED AND 2 BILLS HATS!YAY SO FUCKIN CHEAP!Another promo item that’ll ruin the trade system currency

  34. itsallcrap says:

    FREE TF2 ITEMS WITH SPECIAL PACKS OF COCO-POPS!

    Really though, it’s not a problem, is it? You can get on perfectly well just using all the default items.

    The only thing I’ve ever bought is crate keys, and then I waited till I had eight crates to unlock so that my purchase was over £15 and I got an extra thing free.

  35. Monchberter says:

    TF2 needs a ‘cl_angryinternetpedant’ command for servers with the following effects:

    * Removal of all hats an items that cannot be tonally placed between 1955 and 1969
    * Paint only comes in Drab Brown and Drab Grey
    * All promotional items removed and burned
    * Saxton Hale and all that silly ghost stuff from halloween erased from TF history
    * The Announcer replaced with ‘Growly Military Man #119′
    * Heavy consumables limited to ‘Can of Spam’
    * Scout consumables replaced by *another* scattergun
    * Jarate removed as ‘too silly’
    * All taunts removed that are not reliant on ‘real world’ physics (Haudouken)
    * The Pyro is a Man. A MAN DAMMIT!!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ol5Dfs7jqFI – Stop that. It’s silly.

    • gwathdring says:

      But I like Saxton Hale! :(

      Generalization is bad. I don’t care for some of the hats and wouldn’t mind seeing them go. Same with a lot of the unlocks.

      I like silliness … I just like simplicity, especially in multiplayer games. It’s fun to play on no-unlock server from time to time. It’s refreshing if for no other reason than variety after playing on normal servers for days on end. When I do, though, I miss a fair number of the weapons … but while I’ve had fun with every unlock I’ve used, I don’t miss most of them. Having inessential silliness is fine. Having things that change gameplay significantly without feeling essential and compelling is another issue.

      But … this game can be surprisingly tactical. And balance depends as much on player habits as on game design. So changing up the game is necessary to keeping play fresh, interesting and unbroken. Sure it’d be nice if the original game could have worked forever. I loved it. But as someone below mentions with respect to spies, players will always find ways to break the game and make mechanics obsolete as they get better and better through practice. Changing the game with things like the wrangler keeps it as fresh as the original, even if it loses some of the specific things I liked. I’m fine if hat obsession comes along for the ride, too.

  36. Swine Flu says:

    I wish They would have saved all the game ruining updates, and just crammed them into a TF3 game instead of fucking up one of the best games of all time. Heavy/Medic combo is overpowered if the two people playing them have any skill whatsoever. They need to nurf the Demoman’s targe shield, 5-6 hits with a rocket and have him still alive is retarded. Nerf the Pyro’s reflect….for crying out loud, the physics aren’t even real. I have shot a rocket at a pyro from a 90 degree angle and had it reflected right at me!! the Air blast didn’t hit me, so how did it send the fucking rocket back at the same angle? Once a pyro air blasted my back as I was firing & he got the reflect …*FROM BEHIND!!!!* I call bullshit on that. Heavy blocks door access to his medic, while eating sandvitch, and no amount of rockets will kill him. He waits for you to reload, and then his *ANYTHING BUT RANDOM* crits kick-in and you die. I have walked out of spawn with full 200 HP and had a heavy kill me in less than a second. No time to move, just instant death. Familiar Fez/Spy update. So, now there is no blood, and if you have the hit indicator (ding sound when you hit an enemy) on it makes no sound when you shoot a obvious spy in disguise. Fucking retarded. I will not buy rift or any thing else from valve until they stop fucking up a good thing.

    • Monchberter says:

      The air blast goes exactly where your cursor is pointed. This isn’t necessarily apparent due to the way the in game characters movement is modelled.

      Airblast works from behind as the rockets actually spawn by the solider’s head, that’s not a problem with the air blast, it’s the most reliable fixed point for a spawn entity (the same goes for demo, pyro etc. You’re effectively a ‘camera with a gun’.

      Targe Demo’s are given explosive resistance exactly so they can be effective in melee combat.

      Heavy / Medic is the backbone of any team and is the perfect summation of the need for teamwork. This has been this way for three years now and is completely intended.

      Spy changes exist as playing Spy well is very difficult and the TF2 community has moved on so much that almost all original Spy behaviours no longer work.

      All your complaints are all standard Solider class complaints, and NO, you can’t kill everything just because you have a high DPS output. This isn’t the Valve forums, now quiet.

    • gwathdring says:

      Well said. :)

      Edit: Reply Fail Redux. This is @ Monch

    • Phasma Felis says:

      “the physics aren’t even real”

      Have you noticed that this is a game about two sinister global organizations that built identical super secret bases under identical fake farms 50 feet away from each other in an otherwise empty desert?

      TF2 is and always has been deeply ridiculous.

  37. Big Murray says:

    Team Fortress 2: Hat Simulator of the Year.

  38. hosndosn says:

    So… ugly. TF2 has no dignity left. The characters are nothing but walking mascots now, like for a fast-food commercial.

    Also, RPS, just a suggestion: Do we really need those announcements be re-posted on the RPS frontpage? An ad for Rift is in TF2. Big deal.

  39. Robin_G says:

    At this point I feel like a father questioning the clothing choices of my young daughter before she goes on a night out. It’s not the end of the world, but it doesn’t stop it from being tacky. I’d just prefer the series “Team Fortress” to be associated with class based shooting rather than item collecting, dressup and “promotions” in the minds of the average gamer.

    Additionally, from a gameplay point of view, more melee weapons? Really? Each class has more melee weapons than anything else now. It’s hardly the best or most consistent part of any online FPS, they barley even get used if you are playing right, why do we need so many close range options?

    • Eukatheude says:

      That way you can add much more of them without risking to unbalance the game too much.
      Also, they ARE useful. Not quite like a COD melee button, but still valuable. Just think of the kukri, the bottle/pan/whatever or the equalizer.

      EDIT: And the fists of steel. They are definitely a nice idea.

  40. Eukatheude says:

    I kind of knew where this was going when they started giving out Max heads: having promotional items to gradually become a standard. Like your weapons would show off which other games you played. Doesn’t sound like a bad idea, does it? However it seems to me that this is getting a bit out of hand. Plus, the whole trading thing is just horrible. Not Valve’s fault at all: basically the players managed to ruin a supposedly good idea (just check out the Steam forums to see what i mean), but i think Valve should do something about this. Say, how about another Bill’s or Max’s giveaway? Or no vintage items anymore?

    (a quick apology for my english, which as you can see is getting way too clumsy. At least if i’m going for a hopefully insightful comment, that is.)