Guns & Medals: Team Fortress 2 Takes Tips From CS:GO

Guns! Guns! Guns!

I am fascinated by how Valve apply lessons from one game to another, building on ideas or outright copying bits from one game to another. Team Fortress 2 [official site] fed Counter-Strike: Global Offensive with ideas of cosmetic customisation bits, CS: GO built on them and tied them into its Operations, and now those expanded ideas are returning to TF2.

Today will see the launch of the Gun Mettle Campaign in TF2. For $6, players will get challenges offering the reward of new weapon skins and mores. The update will also bring new maps and big balance tweaks and more that’ll be free. Also, NEW COMIC!

Let’s talk about that free stuff for a bit. Valve have made a new map, Powerhouse, which is a three-point CP mode map. Three new community-created maps are coming too. The gameplay changes are interesting.

As the changelog explains, when dying players drop their equipped weapon, if you’re the same class you can pick it up and use it until you die. Clearly there’s a touch of monetisation in there, in that Valve hope you might like it enough to buy one for yourself, but it’s certainly an interesting change. You’ll also find a squillion balance tweaks and small changes.

Back to Gunmettle. The campaign will run for three months, with each week bringing you two ‘contracts’. These class-based contracts will give you points for challenges like backstabbing people, killing people with airblasted projectiles, and so on. Each completed contract earns you a weapon or weapon case from the campaign-exclusive set.

Like CS:GO’s weapons, these come in tiers of rarity, getting scruffier and scrappier as you go down. These skins look hideous to me, but hey, so do CS:GO’s and those can still go for big bucks. People irrationally value rarity. There’s a chance you’ll find a strange weapon with a visible ‘Stat Module’ counting its kills, too. And you get a virtual commemorative coin to track your murders.

The update will launch later today.


  1. Megarlin says:

    Welp, time to either quit the game or sell my organs.

  2. Tinotoin says:

    Things like this make me WANT to like TF2, but then I reinstall and try again then give up and uninstall – I really don’t know what it is about it I just don’t like.

    Maybe I’m just a dumb meat-head.

    • Cenarl says:

      Did you try all the classes and gametypes? I haven’t played TF2 in years but it could easily be one of my desert island games, assuming the desert island has internet and a nice ping. The only thing I didn’t like about it, is some nights you just seemed to get steam rolled no matter what team you end up on.

      But yeah I could go back to my engineer+pyro and play payload maps and always have fun

      • Tinotoin says:

        Yeah tried them all multiple times – it just never clicked for me. Oh well, back to cribbage it is!

  3. Senethro says:

    Valve are merciless.

  4. VonTed says:

    I’m in!

  5. Kollega says:

    And of course, there are going to be even more boxes that you can only open by paying real money for it.

    Hey, Valve! How about you forget about filling Gaben’s money pool for a moment, knock it off with milking your playerbase with endless cosmetic items – a single one of which tends to cost at the minimum as much as six buns of bread or three kilos of potatoes cost in my country – and actually give the players some of this stuff FOR FREE, with no strings attached?

    The entire reason I abandoned TF2 was because of Valve’s attempts to “monetize” and “gamify” it. I could put up with them wrecking the art style, but when they turned the game into a vehicle for selling an endless variety of overpriced virtual knickknacks, I called it quits, and rightly so.

    Also, the new comic is a poorly-disguised insult in the style of Banksy auctioning off a piece titled “I Can’t Believe You Morons Buy This Shit”, and the snapshot of the Heavy’s new taunt reminds me of the Hitler salute. But now I’m just being petty, because this used to be my favourite game before it got “monetized” and “gamified”.

    • Senethro says:

      Can’t u just play the free game for free tho instead of being salty u don’t have the things that are merely cosmetic?

      • Kollega says:

        I’m going to pretend that you won’t just disregard all my points, and say that unless you play for thousands of hours, you pretty much have to buy weapons because of how prohibitively expensive crafting them is. I’ve only ever managed to craft one weapon, and only ever got one hat dropped to me, despite playing the game for 200+ hours. Never have I felt that TF2’s drop system was “fair” for anyone, other than the people who ONLY play TF2.

        And considering how the game these days is much, MUCH more about trading worthless cosmetic tat than actually blowing things up, and how the gameplay was bloated in the name of selling more weapons, I honestly can’t see myself enjoying the gameplay either. Most likely, if I just want to jump in for an evening of pub play, I’m gonna end up on a server where half the players are trading hats, and the other half are pissing around as Spies and Snipers.

        • RedNick says:

          You should get an item drop on average every 50 mins (for up to 10hrs per week) link to

          • Kollega says:

            And half of those will be useless junk from before the Mann-Conomy Update.

            Okay, okay, in fairness, if I returned to TF2 now after uninstalling it in December 2010, I would probably get all the new stuff in due time. Which is to say, one or two hundred hours. But that is not the point. The point, and the reason I am being so extremely petty, is that TF2 is pay-to-enjoy. There’s no getting around that fact. And what I miss are the times when I could just jump in and play without having to put up with all the “revenue-enhancing devices”.

        • Mr. Anderson says:

          While it’s true that Valve tries to monetize TF2 (and almost all their other games for that matter) as much as possible I don’t think that this should keep you from enjoying the game.
          If you need/want some new weapons just use sites like and trade your weapons or scrap for other weapons. And if you don’t care about cosmetics like hats, etc than don’t buy them as they are not needed in any way to enjoy the game.
          Also you might have more fun if you don’t play on official Valve servers. Just search for good community servers (skial, hampshire heavies, etc.).

          • Kollega says:

            I appreciate your attempt to help me and give advice, but sadly, I doubt I’ll ever be able to enjoy TF2 as it is. The whole metagame nonsense where there’s twenty different kind of items and over half are pay-only, with people more interested in the latest hats than proper teamwork, and the sheer bloat of all the weapons and cosmetics (90% of which, according to Sturgeon’s law, are not exactly award-worthy) just feel like a spit in my soul, considering how deeply I loved the original less-is-more direction of TF2. It feels like Valve designed the best multiplayer shooter ever, and then deliberately turned it into a mockery of itself. So that’s the main reason why I despise Valve’s practice of “monetizing” and “gamifying” TF2 (along with everything else they make) up the wazoo.

            And as you might have inferred from the original post, I live in a formerly-second-now-third-world country (Kazakhstan), so playing on decent European servers might be… problematic ping-wise. I mainly used to play on Russian community servers, and I don’t even know if any of those are still active.

            Still, thanks for trying to help, I guess. Maybe we’ll get Evil Genius 2 some day, and then I can just play that and shut up about the destruction of TF2’s art style and design. Unless, of course, Evil Genius 2 also turns out to be a microtransaction-based play-every-day gamble-crate pile of solid organic waste.

          • Rise / Run says:

            I’d also add that if you play a reasonable amount, you’ll probably have friends you play with. My mates and I regularly pass around the newest shinies to try out. I don’t think any of us have spent anything on cosmetics, though we _have_ sold our unwanted cosmetics to buy other games…

    • Juan Carlo says:

      The bigger concern is that Valve used to be one of the most innovative game developers in the industry. But these days it seems they have focused all of their time and energy on finding innovative ways to milk their existing properties through microtransactions. Which is kind of sad, given how great they used to be. But steam market makes them so much money it probably no longer makes sense to them to go through the work of creating a new game or game property.

      Next thing they will probably do is Source 3 “Left 4 Dead,” which will be exactly the same as L4D2, only with crate drops, hats, and skins, before going through the cycle of updating all their existing properties with source 3.

      I can’t wait for Portal 3, when Valve will decide to hoist its development entirely on to fans, allowing a legion of 15 year old boys to do all the work for them, while taking 75% of the cut.

  6. airtekh says:

    Of vastly more interest to me than the weapons skins is the massive laundry list of balance changes, with some longstanding OP weapons getting nerfed and a bunch of rarely used weapons getting buffs.

    Highlights for me are the removal of random damage spread, meaning you get a more consistent chance of killing enemies with shotguns and the like. Buffs to the spy’s invisibliity and sapping ability while simultaneously nerfing the Dead Ringer. Also, the Engineer gets a huge buff to moving buildings and an increase in construction speed when hitting with a wrench, whilst repairing is nerfed. The Heavy’s minigun also got buffed when facing a sentry.

    Those alone are enough for me to boot up TF2 and check out the changes – new maps are just gravy.

    • MrFinnishDude says:

      Yeah, but that also means one has to rethink their strategies. Farewell to being a weapon stat chess-master, greetings to new experiences.

  7. Jalan says:

    I don’t know whether to be amused that the changelog link leads to posts tagged for CS:GO here on RPS or if I should be mildly confused.

    Anyway, at long last – the CS:GO peanut butter has finally collided with the TF2 chocolate.

  8. Hideous says:

    Time to play TF2 tonight then. Gotta show off my Horace hat, of course.

  9. Banks says:

    I sold the genuine hoorace hat for 18 quid. Twice.

    Can’t hate on this.

  10. soundofsatellites says:

    One gazillion dollars rocket launcher; can’t rocketjump

  11. Jalan says:

    I bought the pass. I don’t know why. I hate multiplayer. Playing just to finish off the three contracts doled out to me reminded me greatly of why I hate it (of particular note was the fascinating intellectual back and forth from both red and blue team members concerning a sniper on red who needed to tell everyone he killed how “rekt” they were and the blue team members he was killing chiming in and telling him how childish he was and how they were all above “dem memes” now that they were “grown up”, and another little gem where, while playing a Payload map, a particularly chatty upset blue team member decided to berate and undermine his team because they were consistently on the losing end to red (“It sure would be nice if you all just worked as a team, maybe we’d win then”, “Overpowered critical shots from rockets sure are skill based and not random at all”/etc.) and just continued to be an obnoxious twit the entire time I was on the server playing). If this is any indicator as to the minefield of crap that CS:GO players have to tolerate on a daily basis then I’m glad I never got into that game, at all.