Has Team Fortress 2 been improved by its updates?

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Update Night is a fortnightly column in which Rich McCormick revisits games to find out whether they’ve been changed for better or worse.

This is RPS, so let’s get literary. Team Fortress 2 is the game version of the Picture of Dorian Gray — but in reverse.

Back in 2007, Valve put its near-perfect multiplayer creation on both console and PC. The two versions of Team Fortress 2 started out the same, with the same nine cartoonish classes, weapons, and maps, but ended up with very different lives. On console, TF2 never saw the sun. It was shut away on Xbox Live and PSN, ignored in updates and shunned by players. On PC, however, it made a deal to live a life of liberty, to go out into the world and grow. The game sprouted a community and became popular, spawning update after update after update.

Like the unaging Gray, the blemish-free vanilla version continued to exist, trapped in amber on PlayStation 3s and Xbox 360s that have — like the story’s titular picture — now been hidden away in attics. It’s still there, if you know where to find it, but nobody bothers to. Meanwhile, the gnarled, twisted, changed version walks the internet, scaring past friends with his vastly different visage and new free-to-play form.

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Except, you know, where Dorian Gray had a manky rotten skull face, Team Fortress 2 has new weapons, crates, keys, modes, and — of course — hats. Valve added hats upon hats upon hats (literally, in some cases), over the past decade, until the original game feels like a distant memory. Valve’s most recent updates have pulled the game even further into the modern day, introducing matchmaking in both competitive and casual flavours. Competitive matchmaking is locked behind a paywall — remember that this is now a free-to-play game — but casual matchmaking generally makes getting into a match easy and reliable. That’s not always the case, though. TF2 now straddles the gap between the olden days anything-goes of an early-2000s server browser and the slicker, smoother, far-less-customisable experience commonplace in modern shooters. One in 10 of the servers I joined would strip my weapons and enforce hand-to-hand combat, or offer me a suite of game-breaking power-ups, or pass me a grapple gun and let me shoot around the stage like Spider-Man.

These weren’t always negative experiences, and sometimes brought back fond memories of wacky Counter-Strike servers running de_rats or gameshow mutators. But it got annoying on the fourth or fifth attempt, when all I wanted to do was try one of TF2’s new community-created maps using the weapons I was meant to be using. Fortunately, the server browser’s still there in the game, tucked away under matchmaking options for when you find a preferred server home and never want to let it go.

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For a lot of players who dropped off TF2 after its 2011 peak, the biggest change will be the number of new weapons for each class. The result of this hefty collection is that TF2 can feel closer to Dota 2 — its apparent usurper in Valve’s affections — in that new and returning players need to learn the form and function of hundreds of items. This opens the door to boundless creativity in item builds, but can also feel frustrating, especially when you’re killed by guns you’ve never seen before. I was menaced by Soldiers and Spies, in particular, skill classes controlled by skilled players who’d stuck with the game for a decade. One devastatingly competent Spy sowed total chaos during one of my games, lining up my entire team and chomping straight through them, using the Your Eternal Reward knife to instantly disguise as his latest victim. Conceptually, I know how best to stop a Spy, but in the midst of a 12-on-12 firefight, this specific bastard reigned supreme.

The kind of chaos the Spy thrives in has been dialed up for nu-TF2. Vanilla Team Fortress 2 was founded on concepts of silhouettes and ease of recognition: players could immediately identify what was coming for them, and how best to counterbalance it. Add in hundreds of guns, items, and hats, and those silhouettes have been well and truly blurred, making it trickier to know the right play in the right situation.

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There are still only nine characters, but there aren’t just nine classes any more. The Pyro started as an ambusher, but I outfitted my muffled killer as a protector, giving him the Homewrecker hammer to knock Spy sappers off teammates’ buildings, and the Manmelter pistol to put out flaming friends. The Demoman can be a defensive powerhouse or an offensive line-wrecker, depending on whether you give him sticky bombs or a super-sized sword. The Spy has become even more intricate, an array of watches, revolvers, and knives allowing players to become careful planners or panicked stabbers. The Heavy is still a markedly heavy man, but items both old and new let him decouple from his Medic partner and work as anything from snapshot semi-sniper to suppressing fire spray-and-prayer.

That’s true in casual matchmaking, anyway, where most of my opponents seemed to use a wide range of reskinned, renamed, or otherwise fancified weapons just because they had them in their inventory. On the competitive side of the fence, however, on both servers and Twitch streams, players are more likely to default into specific builds. Stepping outside of these builds can lead to punishment, either in game terms as you’re stomped by organised crews running the right builds, or derided by your teammates for using such a stupid loadout.

Valve has made attempts to curb this behaviour and keep all weapons viable. The developer’s latest update includes nerfs to items like the Sniper’s crocodile-skin shield, which had become a de facto selection for its health boosts to the class, and tweaks to the Soldier’s BASE Jumper parachute to stop players having too easy a time raining rockets from above. But the pressure to know and conform to this metagame kept me leaning back toward the casual matchmaking lists, where I could observe and understand how some of the newest weapons worked.

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This, I should note, comes from the perspective of someone who played TF2 from launch. 10 years is a long time for Valve to build up an impressive catalogue of weaponry, but if you’ve dug back into the game more recently, you may be more disappointed with its newest features. The most recent meaningful addition to the classes’ arsenal came in 2014, with the introduction of the Panic Attack shotgun and two new variants to the Demoman’s grenade and sticky bomb launcher.

The three years since have instead been filled with a barrage of cosmetic items, in the form of taunts, reskinned variants of existing weapons, and of course, hats. Those weapon skins were introduced a few months after the game went free-to-play in 2015, alongside a Campaign system that players could pay for entry to, and earn rare items through. Campaigns added a layer of direction to TF2’s unstructured team combat, but have been deployed sparsely, leaving months between their activation. Valve has recently promised a more open development process in the future, but compare the situation to that of TF2’s main competitor — Overwatch — and the older shooter suddenly feels a little neglected.

Fortunately, TF2 can still lean on its community to breathe some new life into its decade-old form. New maps enter the rotation reasonably often, and their creators are supported by purchases of stamps, sold on the official TF2 store. The free-to-play aspects of the game don’t typically feel too egregious, either. Weapons still drop in game, and I found a number of duplicates during my hours of play, but players can opt to bypass the whims of the drop lords and just buy every class weapon outright with real money. These can be bought in cheapo bundles, ranging from £1.52 for all of the Medic’s functionally different tools, to £4.59 for every one of the Soldier’s guns and items. I splurged on the Sniper’s full pack, getting my hands on the gun that splashed enemies with piss in the process, and was happy with the price of entry.

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The same can’t be said for the crafting system, which requires ludicrous investment before paying out in sweet, sweet hats. Even when I unsentimentally culled the majority of my backpack items, smelting down toys I had earned — and cherished — as a younger man, I still found myself several chunks of scrap metal short of a hat. A single hat. It’s much easier just to go and buy a new one from the shop for a few quid: a decision that feels forced by restrictive crafting mechanics and a slow drop rate.

I’m a sucker, though, so I ended up doing just that. A few hours after I returned to TF2, I treated myself to a Demoman helmet, all the while thinking how weird it was that the game that helped define the present-day cosmetics economy of free-to-play shooters felt a little unfair.

But it’s what’s underneath the hat that matters. And, like Dorian Gray’s gribbly face, although TF2’s skin has changed, the bone structure remains largely the same. New items can make the classes incredibly situational in their use, or powerful in their application, but there’s still that underlying web of relationships between them. Spies still backstab Snipers; Pyros still expose Spies; Heavies still mow down Pyros, and Scouts still annoy the shit out of everyone. And underneath it all, there’s still 2Fort, and it still gets heavy rotation on the casual matchmaking servers.

It’s still 2007’s 2Fort, and it’s much the same game that plays out across its barricades in 2017. It’s hard to say which of the two visions of TF2 is better — old and twisted or young and unblemished — but while both have suffered in comparison with more recent shooters like Overwatch, modern TF2 is still wildly enjoyable at its best.

46 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Godwhacker says:

    I gave up a few (four?) years ago after the hat fatigue got to me, and whilst I can still regognise the game now it’s a world away from how it was even then. They’ve just kept adding to it and updating it- which is absolutely brilliant- but I very much long for the early days without the hurricane of shit flying around the screen.

    I don’t want to get too down on Valve for turning into basically DOTA 2 company as there are a lot of people that enjoy that game (even if I find it utterly incomprehensible), but I wish the company that gave us this and Left 4 Dead and Portal would turn up occasionally outside the odd VR demo.

    The developer commentary is still there I hope? Best way to get a sense of the contrast between then and now.

    • LouiseHolt says:

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  2. Halk says:

    It’s really not the game that was in my Orange Box anymore. It turned into a bloated monstrosity. I only dusted it off once a year for Scream Fortress, but they stopped doing that event years ago. Guess it was too much work when just pumping in more microtransactions rakes in more money.

    So to answer the question:
    Yes, updates made the game better until like 2010. After that it went downhill fast.

    • Coming Second says:

      I’m glad they made Scream Fortress into a Best Of/Community Event a couple of years ago, tbh. They were clearly running out of inspiration for it, with the last Valve-created event being the frustrating and senseless Doomsday/bumper cars thing.

      In comparison, one of the maps released last year for Halloween was a community-made effort where you had to collect souls in order to activate a hell mouth in the middle of the map, with a mechanic similar to that underpinning Watergate. It was really fun and well-thought-out, even if it didn’t have Nolan North spewing lines every ten seconds.

      • Zorgulon says:

        The community really did keep this game afloat towards the end. Before the recent dearth of updates, 2015’s Invasion update was some of the best content in ages, far better than Valve’s own CS:Go-inspired gun costumes.

        I know there’s a Jungle community update in the works, as well as WW2-themed Frontline update. If Valve had been bothered, those would have been excellent additions to the game.

        Cosmetics aren’t the issue, if they’re well-designed and fit in with a theme. But it’s much more palatable when they arrive with new maps and gameplay content.

  3. rodan32 says:

    I guess I’m just too old to keep up with all the change. After all the class-based updates, it got to be too much. There were some fun twists, like PyroVision, I guess, but’s it’s gotten too darn silly. It’s ridiculous enough that if Valve offered a plain old vanilla TF2, promised never to add new weapons or hats, and charged me $10, I’d probably just pay my money and play again.

    • Premium User Badge

      samsharp99 says:

      Agreed! It would be great to go back and play some ‘vanilla’ TF2. There was lots of good content added over the years, but I think it all got a bit overwhelming.

    • dontnormally says:

      fucking seriously. though i already paid, so there’s that.

    • April March says:

      I’ve seen many vanilla servers. I’ve never seen a full one, though.

  4. Vandelay says:

    Remember the days when we were all anticipating the release of the much speculated 10th class? Many thought it a ridiculous idea given the fine balance the game already had. Perhaps Valve just thought they would mess with those guys by adding hundreds of classes instead.

    Your mentions of the modded servers is actually the main reason I ended up drifting away from the game, around about the time they were just finishing off the class specific updates and were about to go really nuts with the hundreds of weapons. It just became impossible to play a game of TF2 that didn’t have weird voting options or radio plugins or low gravity or any other numerous tweaks to the game that someone thought would be fun.

    It is nice that the game allows people to do that, but I always longed for an option to just play the game the way it was meant to be played. Funnily enough, people often would say to anyone suggesting this that then no one would play on the modded servers… yeah, because most of them are bad!

    Of course, now the way the game is meant to be played is basically how the modded servers were before. I recall the last attempt to play a couple of years ago was just filled with people spamming chat for hat trades and people forming conga-lines.

  5. noom says:

    After ten years and nearly 5000 hours, I’m still playing. Casual’s kind of a joke to experienced players. Don’t get me wrong, I still play it, but these days I generally just feel a bit guilty about how easily I can dominate the flow of the game. In-game competitive is also kind of a wash if you’re into the actual comp scene (i.e. etf2l & UGC).

    Honestly, while TF2 isn’t dead yet, my feeling is that it’s definitely on the way out. Fewer teams signing up to competitive each season and places like tf2 centre are a lot less busy these days. I’m finally playing in high/plat HL this season, but after that I’m definitely considering hanging up my many hats.

  6. SminkyBazzA says:

    Is TFC still a thing? I enjoyed that… /oldman

    • vorador says:

      I remember when Team Fortress was not followed by the word Classic.

      And when people stopped playing Starcraft because there was a hot new mod for Half-Life named “Counter Strike”

      And everybody played fucking de_dust2 over and over and over and over.

      All those moments will be lost, like empty servers in the web.

      • Gurrah says:

        The abomination that is dust2 was not around when that hot new Mod for Half-Life called “Counter Strike” drained Starcraft of its playerbase. People were playing beautiful maps like backalley, docks, militia and the occasional game of dust. The dust2-only servers started plaguing the game much later.

  7. mcgiants says:

    So, I realize that the crafting system IN tf2 is bonkers broken and agree with the criticism, but if you love TF2, I am happy to report that OUTSIDE tf2, each non-cosmetic weapon is worth the same. IE, you can trade any of your duplicates for a weapon you don’t have, or trade a scrap for two weapons you don’t have. There’s lots of sites out there that facilitate this trading.
    ~Sidenote: this info was true at least 2 years ago, but I have no reason to assume it no longer holds.

  8. Premium User Badge

    Mungrul says:

    Is it still possible for community servers to run vanilla TF2? No hats, no different loadouts, just pure TF2?
    I gave up on the game when they started introducing all that stuff.

    Mind you, I was one of the mad few who played and loved Q3F. Stag for life!

    • Premium User Badge

      Grizzly says:

      Such servers do exist.

      • Premium User Badge

        MajorLag says:

        From my experience looking for such in the past: good luck finding them with anyone actually playing on them when you want to play.

  9. JustAchaP says:

    Need a Team Fortress 2 Classic or something.

  10. nimbulan says:

    The game continually got better (barring the spy update) until they added hats. It started going downhill and crashed hard when the Mann Co store opened and the game just turned into a chaotic mess of a money farm. The Mann v. Machine mode was pretty good but nowhere near enough to save the sad excuse for a game it is now.

  11. liquidsoap89 says:

    TF2 has become probably the most casual competitive shooter out there, and I absolutely love it for that. I’ve played it on and off since release, usually jumping in whenever a big update was released, and it’s always been the most respectful game in terms of my patience and my time. If I want to try out all the wacky new stuff that’s added, I’ll jump in to a matchmaking server for whatever event’s out, or if I want that feeling of comfort or nostalgia, I’ll jump in to a 24/7 2fort server/a classic payload map. The weapons drop quickly, and crafting for weapons that you want doesn’t feel cheap. Yea hats are expensive, but I have no problem with something that’s purely cosmetic being where the real grind is. The stuff that actually effects the gameplay comes quickly enough to not be an issue.

    I kind of think that the wackiness of the later updates has helped the game’s personality. It’s now the game where a Scottish man with one eye can run around gibbing people with an axe. The craziness is now its defining feature, and it’s a feature I think is lacking from a lot of games.

    Also, Mann vs Machine was fantastic. It’s one of the only co-op games I’ve played where proper builds or skill on their own aren’t enough to win. Everyone needs to bring their A game, and it’s incredibly satisfying when you’ve beaten your head against a wall for 45 minutes before you FINALLY succeed.

  12. SaintAn says:

    They downgraded the graphics so they could add paid mods. So no.

  13. Catweasel says:

    Their matchmaking crap they added for casual play doesn’t -work- for me, 10 minute waits to play tf2, I can’t drop into games my friends are playing, nor them into mine, 6 player limit for queueing, forget it man.

    • Aetylus says:

      Ditto. I’m not a serious FPSer… quite the opposite. I don’t want to play a game start to finish to decide if I win or lose. I just want to run around and shoot stuff. Once I couldn’t just pop into and out of game whenever I felt like it, TF2 became too non-casual for me.

  14. LuNatic says:

    TF2 was amazing right up until the point they changed introduced the eyelander(the demoman sword). It wasn’t the first new weapon introduced, but earlier weapons were carefully balanced to maintain class roles. Eyelander threw balance and common sense right out the window, and things went steadily downhill from there.

    I think a pre-eyelander TF2 would still hold up favorably today, but the current mutated abomination? No thank you.

  15. Paranoid says:

    The only reason I stopped playing was because they stopped adding new weapons and content. Almost all of the ‘new’ stuff is really cool, and I really can’t think of anything profoundly unbalanced if you know the counters.

    It seems like most people are simply upset they had to relearn the game, which had increased substantially in complexity, when they returned after a break.

    • Jumper Cables says:

      Most serious players I’ve seen almost exclusively use stock weapons. It seems like most players using newer weapons introduced in updates are just crippling themselves, so I don’t really think the newer weapons mess with the balance.

      • Zorgulon says:

        Yeah, the stock weapons are usually the best load out, and certainly what a beginner should start with. With some exceptions where (particularly melee weapons) the unlockable is a straight upgrade, Valve did a reasonably good job of making reasonably balanced unlockables. The best examples have completely different strengths and weaknesses to what they replace, like the shotgun/flaregun for Pyro, mediguns and spy watches. Of course many of the later additions are pretty much just gimmicky or complete trash…

        Modern TF2 is a lot of things, but pay-to-win it is not.

  16. Kollega says:

    So, if we judge by both the article and the comments underneath, people are finally getting sick of how Valve ruined TF2. And it’s good that this truth is finally getting recognition. Sigh… I was playing way back in 2008, when “Valve has ruined TF2” was only said in jest. So one can’t say that my opinion is uninformed. And I generally hold (and for six or seven years have held) the similar opinion to the ones expressed – that the addition of hats in Sniper vs. Spy update was the first warning bell, the WAR! update and Engineer update kind of foreshadowed the further shittiness with the ridiculous backstory, more hats, and making Demoman into a Swordsman, and after the Mann-Conomy update, it was basically not worth bothering anymore.

    But what some people tend to ignore, and the reason I threw in the towel around the first-ever Australian Christmas update (besides the then-untenable download sizes for the stuff I wouldn’t get to use), is the sheer ruination of the game’s lore and setting. Originally, it was a spy-fi influenced Norman Rockwell painting, featuring a cartoonish open-secret war hidden behind the facade of a mid-20th-century Americana, and featured all the great stuff to really add up the atmosphere: wonderful hand-painted textures and skyboxes alongside some really magnificent lighting model trickery, the clear and crisp character silhouettes mentioned in the article, amazing character design work, great aesthetic design for the levels… it was basically the multiplayer version of No-One Lives Forever, or an FPS version of Evil Genius. It was, for the lack of a better term, nuanced. Or maybe even sophisticated. And I was always a fan of this sort of setting, so TF2 seemed like a godsend. I had big dreams when I was my younger self, too. I thought of the new possibilities – woodland and city maps, frozen maps with all the characters automatically wearing winter clothing, a real spy-fi storyline where we’d find out who the Pyro is and who the Spy is working for, missions centered around TF2verse equivalents of the Cuban Missile Crisis, Roswell incident, and Watergate tapes, more “cinematic” missions like a Payload map where you bomb a missile launch facility by literally pushing the bomb cart into a canyon where the fuel tanks were built, and who knows what else. And instead, we got “unusuals”, weaponized candy canes, gamble-crates, and “Team Fortress 2 Comics” where Soldier for some reason got a literal dark mage for a roommate and the Sniper’s “origin story” was a whole plot ripoff of Superman’s origins, with little in the way of actual funny too. And that is… ugh. I mean… just… ugh.

    But hey. At least we’ve got Evil Genius 2 on the way now. Maybe it’ll offer the same amount of style, given that original TF2 was similar to the original Evil Genius in its style and setting. And as for first-person shooters… nowadays I just play that other TF2. It’s much more fair with additional purchases, is set in a wink-and-a-nod military science fiction setting, features a wonderful campaign with remarkably likeable characters, the wall-running movement and gunplay are so enjoyable that even when you’re consistently outmatched, the game can still be fun, and it has giant stompy robots to drive around. What’s not to like?

  17. bill says:

    I bought this, and then before I actually got a chance to play it it went F2P… and then went crazy with all the hats and updates.

    I’d still quite like to try it (I bought it because it seemed fun and accessible) but it now seems intimidating and inaccessible.. so I’ve never tried it.

    • April March says:

      It’s not as accessible as it was, but it’s way more accessible than a lot of things out there. Start on an official server and play as a medic; this will let you learn how a battle flows while still being useful.

  18. Shinan says:

    I literally uninstalled this a couple of weeks ago. I used to jump in every now and then (a couple of times a year) and it had been on my hard-drive basically since I bought the orange box (though different hard-drives, different computers).

    I used to have a couple of servers favourited where there were always people and it was always good for a bit of casual fun. But those disappeared and then there came the matchmaking thing which just doesn’t feel as fun to just jump in and screw around for a bit.

    I guess I just finally gave up on it. Of course I always tend to play around christmastime so I will probably temporarily reinstall it for that.

  19. DThor says:

    It’s pretty astounding that a game this old, multiplayer-only no less, still evokes great lengthy posts, arguments, complaints and in-my-day rambles on this scale. I took something like a seven year break from it, fired it up one night and 30 minutes later it was like no time had passed at all. I’m in the middle of another 7 year break at the moment, I have little doubt 2-fort is humming along.
    I’m not a hat collector.

  20. dystome says:

    Neither the original game nor the current monstrosity compare to how great it was somewhere in the middle.

    The individual class updates that Valve had designed to improve the flow and balance of the game all did so successfully. After those were all in but before the Mann-Conomy update it was the best multiplayer FPS I’ve ever played.

  21. DEspresso says:

    The only thing left to be added is this little thought:

    Had TF2 not taken the gamble to switch to the cartoony form, how fast would it have been forgotten? The competition at that time (BF 2, BF2142, Arma2 surely some COD/MOH)..

  22. Dilapinated says:

    God, you gave me a “Wait I can’t be that old?!” panic there.

    TF2 went F2P in 2011, not 2015 as the article states. ^^;

  23. Zorgulon says:

    I think there’s a little rose-tinting that goes into harking back to the “near perfection” of the original release. While it remains the strong core of what is still an excellent game, the first few years of updates added things that the game would now feel incomplete without. The Pyro’s airblast, numerous balance changes, and moveable and more upgradeable Engineer constructions certainly improved the game. And while it’s easy to focus on the more spurious additions to the game’s arsenal, unlockables like the Kritzkrieg, Flare Gun and Dead Ringer were ingenious new features that expanded the core mechanics of the game.

    Not to mention maps like Badlands, Badwater Basin and the competitive-focused Process and Gullywash far surpass the original roster, of which only Granary really compares*. Indeed, Payload didn’t exist at all until the Gold Rush update and it’s impossible to conceive of TF2 now without this mode.

    A lot of additions were messily implemented, and a lot of the cosmetic items are downright hideous, but the answer to the question in the headline is a massive yes. I wouldn’t go back to 2007’s TF2 if you paid me.

    This obviously doesn’t excuse the bungled Matchmaking launch or the continued radio silence (despite Valve hilariously claiming, as they have often done before, that they would be more communicative) in the run-up to the mythical Pyro Update 2.0.

    * 2Fort is and always has been a horrendous map.

  24. TychoCelchuuu says:

    For me, one of the greatest losses for TF2 is one of the things Kollega mentioned: the aesthetic. When it came out, it was one of the most beautiful games ever made. I amassed a pretty large screenshots folder because the game looked so fantastic. Reading about all the work that went into the lighting to emulate Leyendecker and Rockwell was neat, and of course the design was top-notch, from the focus on recognizable silhouettes to the more staid take on the NOLF sort of setting.

    And then they ruined it by adding all sorts of stuff that doesn’t mesh at all. I’ve heard they also made the graphics worse when it went free to play. So now that’s all gone.

    Gameplay-wise, I’m with LuNatic. The Eyelander marked the shift away from a pretty tight class based shooter to… madness. Madness isn’t a terrible thing, but I like what we had before.

    • weiserthanyou says:

      Graphics haven’t changed too much, they’ve mostly just been altered so they run well on more computers.

  25. zeep says:

    It was more fun to me without all the crap and hats Valve added. After a fun few years i gave up playing even though i loved the underlying game. All the sillyness and visual crap they kept adding was too much icing on a cake.
    I would also pay for a clean TF2 vanilla game.

  26. weiserthanyou says:

    TF2 went free in mid-2011, with the Uber Update, not 2015/Gun Mettle.

  27. April March says:

    It was fun right until [about three updates after I started playing]. But once we hit [about four updates after that] it went downhill fast.

    I don’t even play any more, and curiously it’s because of one of the things Rich liked: the ease of joining official Valve servers means that there are very few modded servers. And I’m not one who enjoys crazy stuff like mario_kart or whatever it’s called, but small things like shorter respawn times, more players on the server and smaller map selections are greatly missed. Then again, I played it for a very very long time, and while it’s one of the few games I can feel I’m not bad at, it’s certainly not one I’m good at. I’m glad to let it rest while I play other stuff – I feel it’ll be there for a long time if I want to go back.

    Now, the fact that we’ll likely never get a final episode of the comic – that’s true sorrow.

    • Zorgulon says:

      Yeah, the comics were pretty much the best thing about TF2 lately. While I sympathise with Kollega’s fantasy of a tight spy fiction, that was never what TF2 was going to be beyond its original artstyle. The (wonderful) Meet the Team shorts were always pushing towards a more comical edge. The comic series were even called “Loose Canon”, and basically occupy a parallel universe at this stage. They’re amusing and not at all to be taken seriously.

  28. Some Lombax says:

    TF2 went free to play back in 2011 thats 4 years before Gun Mettle.
    Also why would you ever craft hats? Thats a massive waste of metal you could just use to buy the hat from someone for cheaper.

  29. MrFhitSace says:

    Hate to sound like I’m shilling but there have been some attempts to get back to a simpler time with TF2. Saw one featured on moddb and figured I put it’s name out there. It’s a sourcemod called TF2 vintage that’s trying to roll back the clock to the eve before mannconomy rolled out. Playable with some minor bugs and the guys behind it seem really nice.