Steam Wallet, TF2 Store open

October 1, 2010 -

Steam Wallet, Steam's new in-game currency solution, is now live and the first game to support it is Team Fortress 2. Team Fortress 2 players can jump into the Team Fortress 2 Mann Co. Store within the game and make purchases. Steam Wallet users can add money in denominations of $5, $10, $25, $50, or $100 dollars using PayPal and most major credit cards.

Here is more from the announcement:

"With Steam Wallet, you can add value to your Steam account using any of the payment methods supported by Steam. Funds in your Steam Wallet may then be used to buy any item available in the Steam store on an in-game store. You can load up your Steam Wallet ahead of time, or wait until checkout. Also, different payment methods can be combined to make a single purchase.

Once you've added funds to your wallet, that money will be used by default for subsequent Steam store purchases. But if you'd prefer to reserve your wallet balance for in-game purchases of Mad Milk, Holy Mackerel and Bushwackas, no problem -- simply select another payment method during checkout. Your wallet funds will be there the next time you're ready to shop at Mann Co., or any other in-game store."

Source: Steam

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Re: Steam Wallet, TF2 Store open

Without knowing exactly how long "a bit" is in your case, I direct you to this blog post where they rolled out the most recent drop system.  They say "an hour a day" in there, but I'd say three hours a week will land you enough stuff to get by.  And in your extreme-casual sense, the idle server is still a valid option.

I think you're missing the forest for the trees, though.  Until now, every single update to TF2 has been completely free.  A new player can buy the game right now for twenty bucks and get access to the exact same content (maps, gametypes, and the ability to equip any new item or hat the second they get it without "leveling up" or whatever) as a veteran.  If anything, we've been milking the money out of them by continuing to enjoy all this free entertainment and replay value.  What did you think you were paying for?  The same items on every class, on the same six maps, from the day it was released until the heat death of the universe?  I guess you could try to find some super-vanilla server for that.  And yeah, fair play, I was thinking there was some league out there that was still casual about its matches for some reason.  Whoops!

The point is, I don't know from casual, but as someone who's been in and out of TF2 for the better part of a year now, I'd say the changes have mostly been for the better.  I don't think Valve is the evil money-hoarding gang of hypnotists you're making them out to be.

(And I guess that's a no on the free hats, then...)

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Fangamer

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Fangamer

Re: Steam Wallet, TF2 Store open

That blog post does make me feel a little better about the situation in general, even if I'm still personally opposed to this whole drop setup.  It does sound like the new system accomodates semi-regular casual players though, which is a good thing.

When you ask whether I want to play the same 6 maps with the same set of items, I've actually got a split answer.  I don't object to new maps and new game modes.  Those are purely additions and generally for the better.  But the problem with new items is that they represent changes -- even existing gameplay gets changed by them.

And I'd offer you free hats, but I don't think I've got any.  The only one I can recall seeing way back when I checked was the free no cheating halo.  I only played the drop system-based version a little bit before I completely gave up in disgust.  Prior to that, I was periodically working my way through class-based achievements for the unlocks and having some fun.

Oh well.  At the end of the day, I guess this is one of those "you can't please everyone" deals.  I can understand other people enjoying addictive, Diablo-style random drops even if I personally loathe such a thing.  Still, I'll continue to be sore about the fact that they stuck in the stuff I hated well after I bought the game.

Re: Steam Wallet, TF2 Store open

What a screwjob.

I bought a simple, casual FPS a while back named TF2.  One nice thing about casual FPSes is that, other than skill, nothing persists when once the round is over.  There's no grinding like in Diablo.  There's no camping spawns for days.

But Valve's stolen that.  First, they added achievement-based items.  That wasn't what I signed up for, but those were at least fun.  There was a sense of accomplishment -- set a goal, figure out which in-game actions would complete the achievements necessary to get the items, and execute.  Requirements were generally low enough that even a casual player could still make some progress.

Then they switched to a pure endurance system: Hang around long enough and things will eventually drop.  No finesse, no real goal, just put in the hours.  Kind of like being a night watchman -- being rewarded for being present and awake with not much to really do.  This took the addictive yet soulless gameplay of something like Diablo and made it even worse.  This was the point where I truly felt Valve had cheated me out of the money I had spent on TF2.

Now that they're adding microtransactions as an alternative, it's like they're rubbing salt in the wound.  They screwed up a nice, casual FPS that I'd already bought, and now they want me to continue forking over money in order to keep up.  What a load of crap.

Screw you, Valve.

Re: Steam Wallet, TF2 Store open

There was a discrepancy when idlers could get the upper hand simply by virtue of being able to stay connected to achievement servers all night, but they've fixed that by revamping the drops into a less-random "queue" system.  You get more drops if you haven't been playing recently, you're guaranteed a certain number of drops every week no matter what, and once you get everything that's coming to you it stops until the next refresh.

Frankly, there's so many ways to get the items now, I fail to see how you can't successfully latch onto at least one of them.  Got a lot of patience?  Wait for what you want to drop, or just take a bunch of other drops and craft what you want.  A lot of money?  Buy up what you need.  A lot of friends?  Keep them abreast of your wishlist (I intend to change my profile name to "SB needs a fez" this evening) and see if you can get a trade.  And that's to say nothing of potential combinations: with just a little disposable income, you could buy a Mann Co. key and trade something to a penniless friend for a crate they can't open.

And even if you're the unluckiest sucker ever and get nothing but Holy Mackerels for fifty drops, and you have no friends because you only play on pub servers and you're too curmudgeonly to try to meet people, and you can't buy the items because there's no way to transfer the gold bullion you keep in socks under your mattress into your Steam Wallet... it's not as though the new weapons are even technically better than the defaults!  If you look at the descriptions, every last piece of equipment has some sort of limitation built in to offset its augmentations.  Heck, in some cases (Jarate comes to mind) the very fact that you have to replace your original gear is its own drawback.

But if all of the above still isn't enough to convince you that TF2 is still the fun, casual, mildly self-effacing online shooter that it was when the Orange Box first came out, maybe you should join a competitive league.  As I understand it, they ban most of the unlockable weapons, not to mention random crits and damage spread.  That makes things nice and even, so you won't "fall behind" by not having the latest Canine Catapult that shoots a dog which has bees in its mouth and when it barks the bees sting the other guy.  (Which, again, is offset by the limitation that the dogs are kinda mangy and can't run very fast, so most players still prefer the default Budgie Bazooka.)

tl;dr If you're gonna stop playing, can I have your hats? :D

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Fangamer

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Fangamer

Re: Steam Wallet, TF2 Store open

"But if all of the above still isn't enough to convince you that TF2 is still the fun, casual, mildly self-effacing online shooter that it was when the Orange Box first came out, maybe you should join a competitive league."

The problem is that competitive and casual are completely at odds.  If I don't want to play TF2 regularly enough to get drops, I don't see why joining a league -- with regular practices and matches -- would be a preferable alternative.

A big part of my issue with TF2 is that when I say casual, I mean it in the infrequent sense.  I pop into TF2 from time to time, play for a bit, and then leave.  The problem is that each time I pop in, it seems like Valve's moved the game further and further away from what I paid for in a misguided and evil quest to milk every single dollar out of the game by Diabloizing it and then mixing in microtransactions.

Re: Steam Wallet, TF2 Store open

Ummm, no one is required to use the online store, the newer items are part of the usual drop system.

Re: Steam Wallet, TF2 Store open

I think you must have just skimmed what I wrote.  As I said, the drop system's a big part of the problem.

Re: Steam Wallet, TF2 Store open

lol. I smashed a sentry with a fish.

 

Re: Steam Wallet, TF2 Store open

Neat. Some are already trashing it though.

And there isn't much need to buy the items as I got the Powerjack, one of Pyros new toys, as a drop. At least one can't trade bought items.

 
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