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.