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The Almighty Buck Games

Micro-Transactions Coming To Team Fortress 2 Via Steam Wallet 161

Posted by Soulskill
from the how-many-hats-can-you-get-for-a-dollar dept.
whoop writes "Valve has announced that Team Fortress 2 will be getting a new Mann Co. Store to buy trinkets with real money through a service called Steam Wallet. TF2 is the first game to use this new Steam Wallet, but the money can be spent on anything in Steam, including full games. This would open them up to featuring gift cards, micro-transaction games, and more." PC Gamer has an interview with Valve's Robin Walker about why they're doing this. Walker says everything they're selling will still be obtainable by playing the game, other than a few cosmetic items.
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Micro-Transactions Coming To Team Fortress 2 Via Steam Wallet

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  • Price (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DarkXale (1771414) on Friday October 01, 2010 @03:23AM (#33756568)
    And its some 50€ for the full package of new items. I know what I'm -not- buying.
    • Re:Price (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Jojoba86 (1496883) on Friday October 01, 2010 @03:25AM (#33756580)
      It's simply amazing that they thought charging more for items than the game itself could make sense.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mejogid (1575619)
        Why? All the items that count can be earned by playing well/regularly - these micro-transactions are exactly that: single, small transactions to buy the odd item that you haven't got yet and can't be bothered to wait around for.
        • No, there's new items... that are purchase only and can't be traded.

          The model is ok, it's better than trying to charge monthly fees AND have a micro-transaction store... looking at you Cryptic you fucks.

          • Re:Price (Score:4, Insightful)

            by imakemusic (1164993) on Friday October 01, 2010 @05:42AM (#33757054)

            I haven't looked into it but apparently these items will be purely cosmetic. They'll probably just be things to identify the player as someone who has used the service in the same way that white Apple earbuds became available when you play TF2 on a Mac.

            • by tibman (623933)

              I was looking at the store last night and most of the items have "abilities". The soldier for example can get an Anti-Sentry rocket launcher and a backpack that causes nearby mates to take 35% less damage.

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by VGPowerlord (621254)

                I was looking at the store last night and most of the items have "abilities". The soldier for example can get an Anti-Sentry rocket launcher and a backpack that causes nearby mates to take 35% less damage.

                Those items can be crafted (Direct Hit + Reclaimed Metal = Black Box rocket launcher, Buff Banner + Reclaimed Metal = Battalion's Backup backpack) and drop from the random drop system.

                The hats for the set bonus are what hurt, as there's no way of crafting a specific hat,

      • It's simply amazing that they thought charging more for items than the game itself could make sense.

        Farmville.

      • That was a common initial reaction but think of it this way: All the DLC so far has been free, and some of us have only had to pay a one time charge of $20 for three years of one of the best games of all time (well some of us think so). So this is a way for some of us to say "thank you" to Valve for all the free updates.

        I won't be getting the $50 thing but I might buy a few lesser-priced things like the trial rocket launcher and maybe a key or two.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by delinear (991444)
      I wouldn't have an issue with micro-transactions if they were, well, micro. Back when these ideas were first being touted it seemed like we'd be talking pennies to buy, and that the profit would come from the cheap distribution model coupled with high volumes of sales (partly driven by the incredibly low price). Instead what we usually see is a few pounds per transaction which, while still hardly wallet-busting, very quickly adds up to the point where, if you buy the game and all the extras, you can easily
      • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

        I wouldn't have an issue with micro-transactions if they were, well, micro.

        I agree.

        But I think ultimately the success or failure of these "micro-transaction" systems depends more on how good the underlying game is than anything else. Need for Speed World won't work because the game sucks, not because of the micro-transaction system. If a Burnout Paradise 2 came out with a microtransaction system, I'd pay a few bucks for certain in-game items (well, maybe a buck or two). But there are not that many games

        • Re:Price (Score:5, Interesting)

          by HaZardman27 (1521119) on Friday October 01, 2010 @08:45AM (#33758048)

          So I guess the best way to make money with a game is to make a good game. I'm pretty surprised at how little quality there's been in games the past year

          This doesn't really apply here, since TF2 has been out for about 3 years now and is a very high quality game. What people are failing to mention here is that some of the items being sold are made by the players. The designer of these items will also be getting paid every time someone purchases his/her item.

        • by cgenman (325138)

          Burnout Paradise came out with basically a microtransaction system. Unfortunately, they didn't seem to make enough to sustain the process, as they moved on after releasing their initial batch of content.

          TF2 is a really high quality game, that they've been selling for less than the cost of a Starbucks run. They have made hundreds of updates to the game over the years, yet they haven't complicated the experience to the point where it is no longer fun. I'm just getting back into it on a new laptop, and it i

  • Well I guess I will not be playing TF2 again. Despite the 'it's optional defence' some of the items will give advantages. You can still get them all randomly, so it's a choice of grind or pay up. I think I'll do neither.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by rsmith-mac (639075)

      Agreed. "You can get it through grinding" is usually a cop-out for microtransaction systems, and it's no different here. The new item sets (which confer a bonus for having the complete set) make this especially silly - the odds of obtaining all of the items directly through the game's anemic drop rate are virtually nil, and crafting doesn't make this a lot better because you need to melt down dozens of items (including already extremely rare hats) when the results of crafting are a random class/slot weapon.

      • The items aren't obtainable through skill, just through sitting there. Most games that offer things either in game or via a store, you have to work to get the in game version. Like say in DDO you want an item to respecialize your character. You can purchase it in their store or get it in game. To get it in game you have to run various quests, which get you items that you combine to what you need. So you don't just sit logged in hoping for the things you need to show up. If you are skilled, you can get it fa

        • by ink (4325)

          TF2 already is like the Blizzard system. In WoW you can pay to re-spec, so it does allow you pay to make yourself stronger. Valve killed idle dropping in the fall 2009 update, which included the Cheater's Lament. You must now play in order to get drops. I had every single game changing item after about 80 hours of play. It's not an onerous task, if you enjoy the game and play it off and on. Personally, I am not planning on buying any of the cosmetic items -- and this doesn't penalize me in the slighte

      • by ShakaUVM (157947)

        >>as it used to be the best non-military multiplayer FPS on the market.

        Right after the original Team Fortress, which was superior in every way except graphics.

        (Or, cough, CustomTF.)

        • by TheLink (130905)
          I used to play customtf a lot... Even though I often had 700ms ping. One of my fav classes was medic pyro with speed+bunny hop jumps.

          The autoaim cheats got annoying though. You know they are cheating when they can snipe you when you run and jump off a ledge, but keep missing you when you stand right in front of them and jiggle left and right very quickly- not actually moving from the spot, just jiggling :).

          I found it mildly interesting that the autoaimer didn't have an averaging or manual option... Either t
      • Honestly, though, I was under the impression that the Polycount Pack ($50, includes all 5 sets including hats) were for people like me who have played the game for hundreds of hours and are still playing the game. I've clocked somewhere over 800 hours of actual play time for a game that I essentially spent $10 on. I'm willing to pay another $50 to Valve, no problem.

        But don't expect me to buy individual items, those are WAY too expensive. Up to $17 for a hat? Pssh, I'll simply see if people want to trade

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by hibiki_r (649814)

        First, all the items other than the hats and the GRU are easily craftable, today. the GRU has a 50% chance recipe. So most of us have been able to get the most of the items we wanted in a matter of minutes, without paying a dime. We'll be able to get the rest in a couple of weeks worth of item drops.

        Now, the hats were an issue, because the chances of hat drops are extremely low, so getting the rare hat that completes a functional set is very difficult. There's been enough complaining about it that Robin has

    • Re:Final nail (Score:4, Insightful)

      by rainmouse (1784278) on Friday October 01, 2010 @05:28AM (#33757012)

      Well I guess I will not be playing TF2 again. Despite the 'it's optional defence' some of the items will give advantages. You can still get them all randomly, so it's a choice of grind or pay up. I think I'll do neither.

      It's amazing how angry people can get over the idea of paying for new content. In my opinion this is a much better model than releasing expansions that prevent others playing with the majority population without purchasing it. I recently reinstalled the game and to be sure, everyone has weird hats etc but I cannot say I found any noticeable disadvantage in having none of these gimmicks, my scores are middling same as they were a year or more ago when I last played it and I'm grateful to be able to still play with everyone without having to fork out 10 or 20 for the new maps and gear etc.

      • by Aceticon (140883)

        It's amazing how angry people can get over the idea of paying for new content. In my opinion this is a much better model than releasing expansions that prevent others playing with the majority population without purchasing it. I recently reinstalled the game and to be sure, everyone has weird hats etc but I cannot say I found any noticeable disadvantage in having none of these gimmicks, my scores are middling same as they were a year or more ago when I last played it and I'm grateful to be able to still pla

      • by tibman (623933)

        These items don't give an advantage either.. they are better at one thing and worse at another. The items appear balanced in power but unbalanced in ability.

      • by hibiki_r (649814)

        Some items are almost straight upgrades, but they are relatively easy to obtain without paying for them: Take the degreaser, almost strictly superior to the regular flamethrower for an experienced pyro, or the GRU, which brings a major improvement while just replacing the heavy's default weapon, which very few people would even use when playing even semi-seriously.

        Once they make the hats that are part of a set craftable, we'll be in good shape.

  • A Well-Executed Plan (Score:2, Interesting)

    by keatonguy (1001680)

    I'm going to jump in early on this one. If you actually read the fucking article, nothing being put up for sale is only available through sale. Everything can still be found and crafted the old-fashioned way, with the same drop rates and the same recepies. This merely gives people who don't like grind a means to skip over it. Furthermore, they've ousted my most hated aspect of microtransactions, Game Co. Funny Money, allowing you to put money in as money, not as points, which you can then use on anything on

    • by Jojoba86 (1496883) on Friday October 01, 2010 @03:37AM (#33756614)
      You may be understimating just how long the grinding will take. 200 hours to get a random hat, of which there are 5, sound good to you? That's a lot of play time to get the one you want.
      • ... if you want a hat *now*, go and buy a damn hat. If you're not prepared to buy it, do without.

        • by Jojoba86 (1496883)
          But the appeal of games is they're not like real life. A game that emulated real life would be pretty boring (see also: The Sims).
          • You're right, The Sims hasn't been any kind of success, and there isn't any large following of that series either because of it. Nobody likes that shit! Other games that simulate "real life" activities fail just as horribly- Nobody plays, say, Madden, or Skate, because you can play football or go skateboarding in real life!

            ...We done here?
          • A game that emulated real life would be pretty boring (see also: The Sims).

            Yet The Sims was one of the best selling games of all time.

          • But the appeal of games is they're not like real life. A game that emulated real life would be pretty boring (see also: The Sims).

            Are you accusing Team Fortress 2 of being too lifelike?

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I think that's the point. A lot of people will do without. They'll just go ahead and do without the whole game, in fact.

        • by migla (1099771)

          And that's what would suck about it: Just like in real life, the rich obnoxious bastard will be the one that can flaunt their fancy hats in the face of those who can't afford all those hats.

        • by vux984 (928602) on Friday October 01, 2010 @04:20AM (#33756772)

          If I wanted to make real world spending decisions about new hats I'd go to the mall. I even get a real hat.
          I don't need to buy a game for the privilege of experiencing spending money 'just like real life' on things that don't even exist or belong to me after 'buying' them.

          Further, if just like real life was a good reason to implement something than team fortress 2 would have you lose a limb in the first firefight and then spend six to 12 months teaching your avatar to walk with a prosthetic and try to build a new life far away from combat.

          Games are about providing enjoyment and entertainment. If you want to argue that spending real money on in game hats is somehow more fun than other methods of getting in game hats then feel free to make that case. But falling back on 'its just like real life' is completely specious.

      • by delinear (991444)
        Okay, so assuming they abandoned the micro-payment system, how is that any better when you still have to grind that 200 hours for a hat (and by the way, I've seriously been away from this game for too long - people are grinding hats now?). The alternative is they just give everyone everything for free the second it's available, but that would be just as dull as grinding, at least with the proposed system, people who play a lot will probably feel a sense of pride in earning the hat, but everyone else can sti
      • by ink (4325)

        Bullshit. I have 240 hours of play in TF2 over the past 3 years, and I have several hats. I've even gotten duplicates and crafted them together to make other hats.

      • by hibiki_r (649814)

        Robin claims they'll add recipes for the set hats, which are the only ones that aren't purely cosmetic. If the recipes are anywhere near those for making a random hat, you'll be able to get said hats in 20-30 hours, which is nowhere near as bad as you describe.

        Until they add said recipes, it's rather outrageous, but valve tends to release a quick update or two right after every major pack, so I'd be surprised if it took more than two weeks. Meanwhile, just hoard random items

      • You may be understimating just how long the grinding will take. 200 hours to get a random hat, of which there are 5, sound good to you? That's a lot of play time to get the one you want.

        Unless I am mistaken you can trade them with other players. Besides if you are playing 200 hours a the game just to get a specific hat instead of just playing the game to have fun with your mates then perhaps your looking at it wrong. It's more just rare icing on the cake that overly greedy players can choose to fork out with real money for instead.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      I'm going to jump in early on this one. If you actually read the fucking article, nothing being put up for sale is only available through sale.

      FTFA:

      Robin Walker: Almost everything. There are a really small number of cosmetic items that you can’t find.

      What's that about reading the article?

      Not that I care about cosmetic stuff.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Djehuty3 (1371395)
        And those few items you can't find are the preorder bonuses, like Bills Hat - given out for preordering L4D2.
    • by Psaakyrn (838406)
      I'm going to jump in early on this one. If you actually read the fucking article, "Walker says everything they're selling will still be obtainable by playing the game, other than a few cosmetic items."
    • This merely gives people who don't like grind a means to skip over it.

      I believe the term you are looking for is called "cheating", even though the cheating is legitimised because you've parted with some money in order to cheat.

      Sorry, but if you're not prepared to grind at a game to become better at it, then the game is not entertaining enough for you (a perfectly legitimate reason) - in which case go play a game that is more entertaining for you.

      People cheat at games for *TWO* reasons only - winning lots of

      • by delinear (991444)
        That's a very narrow view of the world. Some people have jobs and families and committments outside of gaming - that doesn't mean they don't enjoy grinding as much as the next gamer, but realising it takes 200 hours for an item to drop on average and you get to play maybe three or four hours a week while your friends play that every day makes it hard to keep up. That doesn't mean they wouldn't rather be playing the game or that they have giant egos - if anything I'd say the elitist people who believe you on
  • by RyanFenton (230700) on Friday October 01, 2010 @03:38AM (#33756616)

    Steam is proud to announce a patch for GNU and Microsoft Visual Studio compiler sets, which enables the new 'ifmo' command in most programming environments.

    The 'ifmo' statement is a traditional if statement, with one extra parameter, for the amount of money you want to be paid to make a given state true.

    The 'ifmo' statement coordinates with the Steam framework in most OS environments to manage a list of opportunities the user has to pay for events to happen.

    'ifmo' should be compatible with most common languages, from FORTRAN, to Visual Basic, to C/C++, to common scripting languages like Python.

    'you get mo with ifmo!'

    Ryan Fenton

  • Steam wallet (Score:2, Interesting)

    by RogueyWon (735973)

    I like the Steam wallet idea as a general principle, provided they develop it properly; gift-cards, in particular, have been a glaring omission from Steam for quite some time and I'd love to see them introduced. Yes, you can buy games as gifts for other steam users, but there's a relatively high barrier to doing so - you need to make an account, set up your payment details in it, mess around with the friends list etc. This means that unlike, say, Xbox Live, where you can just walk into a shop to buy a gift-

  • When I logged into TF2 today it tried to sell me a hat for $4.95, the full game is selling for $10 right now. Though even if the game was $60 I can't justify $5 for an in-game hat that gives some minor advantage. I wonder how much it costs to buy everything?
    • by Magada (741361)

      Too much. But that's not the issue here. The issue is that you cannot opt out of this whole bullshit. You get wasted if you don't have the money or time to plow into these things. I want no upgrades, damn it! I used to love how the classes in TF2 were so well balanced and no-one got a free lunch. That all went out the window with the introduction of items.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by D J Horn (1561451)

        You get wasted without new items? I think you're just projecting your dying on whatever appears to be a likely suspect.

        Yeah there's a lot of new stuff compared to vanilla TF2, but variety doesn't mean imbalance. Its all about playstyle and taste. Lots of people still use the old gear.

        Does everyone use the kritzkrieg instead of the ubercharge? Not even close.
        Does everyone use the huntsman bow instead of the sniper rifle? Definitely not.
        Does everyone use the direct hit instead of the old rocket launcher? Yeah

  • Quick Question (Score:2, Interesting)

    by sammysheep (537812)
    Are these items merely cosmetic (a la some blizzard promos) or do they actually confer advantage? If the latter, I could see this going in the direction of games like Magic the Gathering, where having more money IRL means you have a better chance of buying better cards and therefore winning. I'd hate to see an FPS video game go in that direction, since it's a very different genre than a collector's trading card game..
    • Q: Will I have to spend money to remain competitive?
      A: No. Any items affecting gameplay, and even most purely cosmetic items, will still be obtainable simply by playing the game.

    • by will_die (586523)
      No they are advanced weapons, bonus, etc that you can get from playing the game for a while.
      With the age of the game this is a smart idea. It allows new players to spend some money and get items that will keep with equal with older players.
      • Very few of the unlockable/craftable/buyable items are universally considered a direct upgrade on what they replace, and of those that are almost all of them are unlockable by achievements (wangler, equaliser, axtinguisher, etc). The achievement milestones are easy to get, and the achievements required are designed to make sure you know how to play the game (While there are some uberskill and grind ones in there, you don't need those to unlock items).

        The only item I have seen consistently equipped that's no

        • The only item I have seen consistently equipped that's not achievement based is the Sniper's Tribalman's Shiv. It's not a huge upgrade but you will need a couple of random drops to craft it.

          I have a Shiv, but I don't use it. It's just not worth it, as in the few instances a Sniper is meleeing with someone, the decreased damage in favor of bleed is useful against exactly one class: Spy.

          Having said that, there's a new Sniper melee weapon that causes you to take +20% fire damage, but when you'd mini-crit, it

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Therilith (1306561)
      All of the weapons you can buy can be acquired (relatively) easily by playing.
      However, they also introduced "item sets" which require a certain combination of weapons and a hat (a previously cosmetic-only item) to complete.
      Hats are very rare in-game (even more so if you need one particular hat to complete a set) which used to be fine since they never did anything until now.
  • by D J Horn (1561451) on Friday October 01, 2010 @04:04AM (#33756718)

    I wasn't sure what to expect when I saw the post this morning, I'm not a fan of microtransactions in games, as I've never seen it executed in a way that didn't punish players into using it.

    But I read all about it, and then checked it out for myself. It actually seems like this system was built with a fair dose of common sense, something I've come to expect from Valve.

    First and foremost is the fact that all the items are still attainable in game. But wait, did they make them really rare drops or difficult to craft in order to push people toward purchasing? Nope, they're still the same as they've always been. Easily crafted by anyone who plays much at all.

    But hold on, these systems always have stupid virtual currency that you can only buy in chunks that don't match the item costs. You want an item that costs 3500 neato-points but you can only buy points in chunks of 2000! Oh, Valve's system uses real currency tied to your steam account, that you can use anywhere on steam. That actually makes sense.

    Surely there is a catch though. These new items must be overpowered and imbalanced to make them worth buying, right? That's what most games do (cough BF Heroes cough) but it doesn't really work when people can still get the items without buying them. And it turns out the stats are all in line with the way Valve has always added new items to TF2. They all have their ups and downs and are more a matter of playstyle and taste than outright better/worse. There are still plenty of people who used the old original items simply because that's what they're best with.

    BUT HOLD ON, WE'VE FOUND THE EVIL PLOT! Most item's are community made, Valve is profiting off content they don't even have to make themselves!! Oh nevermind, community designers are given a cut of any sales their item makes, which is probably the coolest thing about the whole system. As someone who's mapped and modded Source as a hobby over the years, and having friends who actually made items in this very update, I think it is absolutely awesome that they're getting money out of something they'd normally love to do just for fun.

    This is is precisely the microtransaction system I would expect from Valve. I have no problems with it and I have yet to read any legitimate arguments against it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Chowderbags (847952)

      Easily crafted by anyone who plays much at all.

      They've increased the number of items it takes to do your crafting. Also, item sets require hats, which you'll be lucky to get one for every couple hundred hours of playing (so for someone who doesn't spend all day in their basement, a couple months, and good luck getting the hat you actually want). So yes, while it's theoretically possible to get all the various sets through sheer grinding, you would probably never keep up with it if they start releasing new items/sets every couple months, and to me that's

    • Actually most of the community that I've met seems to view this as a way to limit price gouging in online auctions. If you can buy that rare hat that you've always wanted for $3 from the store there's no way someone is going to be able to charge more than that for an item on Ebay like you see with WoW stuff. There seems to be a lot of online moaning about this, but the reaction from 99% of people (that I've played with) in game seems positive.
  • Ya sorry Valve (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Friday October 01, 2010 @04:21AM (#33756774)

    I'm not at all opposed to the idea of micro transactions. On the contrary, I like the idea when done right. Mass Effect 2 does a great job. They released a good game, well worth the money. However they've continued to develop for it and you can get new content. They just released an addon for $10. It adds a good bit of new, unique, gameplay. They spent a good deal of work developing it, new visuals, new voice tracks, etc. It is a worthwhile upgrade for the money, if you enjoy the game.

    Well the TF2 stuff has two big problems:

    1) The TF2 engine is a POS. Seriously, that game has all kinds of problems, owing to the age of its engine. If I am going to spend money for DLC, it'll be on a newer game that runs well on my system. I'm not saying it doesn't render frame fast, its older graphics insure that happens. However it stutters often because it doesn't handle streaming well, it takes forever to load content, its interface has a number of problems, etc. Sorry, but compare that to say Bad Company 2 and there is no comparison. I'm just not really interested in putting money in to a game that isn't well updated for my system.

    2) More importantly, they have to get the fuck out of here with those prices. $5 for a gun? $18 for a hat? What the fuck is that shit? For the price of one hat I could get the new ME2 DLC and still have enough left over for one of their older DLCs ($7 each) or a few weapons packs if I really wanted (which are $2 for a pack with multiple items). They are completely off their rocker if they think it is worth that kind of money.

    Really, if they need cash, I'd rather they just produce Team Fortress 3. TF2 is showing its age (though it still ought to behave better, I think Source is also showing its age in general) and maybe it isn't feasible to completely rework the engine. That's fine, do a new TF game with new engine, graphics, maps, etc, and sell it at a new game price. I've no problem with that, it is about 3 years old and I'm ok with the idea that for non-subscription games you have to periodically pay for an update. I also know it is easier to rework things in a new game than to continually modify an existing one.

    However I'm not giving them nearly $20 to have a hat. Sorry.

    • by sahonen (680948)
      I've never run into any of the problems you talked about with the engine. In fact it's my opinion that the Source engine is the best modern engine for multiplayer gaming. Unreal Engine has very bad input latency (unacceptable for a first person shooter engine on PC), and Source's netcode beats the pants off of anything else out there. Not to mention the fact that I can play TF2 on hardware costing half as much as what I need to play any of the other modern shooters.
    • by N1AK (864906)

      On the contrary, I like the idea when done right. Mass Effect 2 does a great job.

      A game that comes with an achievement you can't get without buying DLC? (The Thief character). Personally I was very disappointed by this, otherwise I had no issue with its DLC.

  • I wonder how long until I have to pay real $800 for my kevlar in CS:S....
    I guess even at 1/1000th of the price this could get interesting as in the long run if you're decent you get more money then you spend in CS:S...

    Perhaps they could balance it out a little and allow people to play with real money?

  • Microtrans are destroying the gaming industry. People don't want to be nickle and dimed to death... and they also don't want to play against other players that paid $20 to get items that are going to make harder to kill. Why can't companies just sell me the god damned game and leave me alone anymore?
    • The simple answer is that selling something as an ongoing service makes a lot more money over a longer period of time than selling to you once.

      Personally, I don't get the whole microtrans stuff anyway. I do use Steam, I'm a big fan of all the Valve games, but I own the boxed copies of all the games I play on Steam. I've bought no downloadable "Steam-only" games because I don't get what it is I'm supposed to be paying for.

      I have bought a few applications online, plus a few games from Good Old Games [gog.com] because,

      • by delinear (991444)

        I guess it's a case of "each to his own" but I'm not prepared to put that much faith in games companies that I truly believe the add-ons they want to sell me are just that, rather than stuff they deliberately left out of the original game to sell to me later on.

        ME2 and DA:O were two prime examples. The first DLC for both was obviously built at the same time as the core game and just detached for separate release, to the extent that ME:2 has a "space" on the character select screen in the basic game for a character who is only available with DLC, while DA:O has a DLC character standing right in your camp trying to sell you a mission. I have to say I bought both and enjoyed them and don't regret the purchases, but yes, pretty cynical move on the developer's part.

    • by delinear (991444)
      I keep hearing the argument that people don't want to be nickle and dimed to death. The gaming industry is an open market. If one developer is nickle and diming and people don't like it then other developers will fill the void and steal their customers. The very fact that this isn't yet happening and that people seem to be sticking with the games/systems where they're nickel and dimed would suggest that, actually, people are comfortable with the idea - or, at the very least, that it doesn't annoy them enoug
  • there's been a lot of us asking for steam cards for a long time, this is good progress imho.

    Granted, I stopped playing tf2 like a year ago. I can see community mods being offered for micro-transactions.

    Unfortunately this is the end of free community modding. But it's a step forward for PC gaming. It's an evolution. It will bring more talent and games back to PC gaming.

  • First off I should preface this by saying that I love Valve and hate microtransactions.

    That being said there are some "devil in the detail" points which leave a nastier-than-normal taste in the mouth.

    For starters - the item set hats (that you need to get the set bonus) aren't craftable. They (apparently) drop but with the number of items in game currently and the already very rare percentage chance to get a hat the idea that you could complete an item set by getting the hat via an item drop is about as unr

  • $20 for a hat isn't micro. That's all I have to say.
  • by drumcat (1659893)
    This is just the old "pump quarters" deal. Arcade in your home. You sure you like it?
  • Observations, in rough order of significance.

    1.) The default weapons are some of the most powerful, flexible weapons in the game. Rocket launcher, minigun, scattergun, butterfly knife, sticky bombs, medigun (etc.) are all core to game play, and you'll never be at an item-based disadvantage playing with a stock loadout. The new items (all the way back to the medic update), range from situational to strict downgrades. The only real mistake was version-1 backburner, when it gave 50 health, and that only las
  • I really like this choice for one big reason: it segments the market well. In general you have to major categories of people : people with lots of time but little extra money and people with extra money but not much extra time. This update helps to let those two groups play the game equally. I have friends who are in college and lots of free time. They have logged hundreds of hours in the game, usually at least an hour a day. They have tons of hats and all the items. I only have enough time to play a

  • A much better use for this technology would enable you to Tip the server host and the authors of any current mods running on the system. Sure, right now you can pretty much do it through paypal, but it's time consuming.

    If the game gave me a way to 'tip' my current server, and that tip was appropriately split between the server host and the mods he runs based on back end points ( like shares in a film ), we'd end up with a new economic model for mod/map/hosting development.

    It could reach a whole new level if

  • by John Pfeiffer (454131) on Friday October 01, 2010 @04:27PM (#33765274) Homepage

    Want to know WHY I'm not bothered by this? Because the achievement-whoring douchebags will probably just buy the items they want and get back to ACTUALLY PLAYING instead of burdening their teams with their ineffective half-assed play while they try and grind new HATS. And anything that lets Valve make more money off of the kind of people I detest is good for Valve, me, and the gaming ecosystem in-general.

    I have some faith that Valve won't misuse this idea. Honestly, letting people buy the items if they want to benefits everyone. I don't really think they're going to do something like, say, start charging for molotovs in Left4Dead. Maybe they should charge for ragequitting. Let people buy $0.50 'get out of game free' cards, as it were, to keep them from getting a negative reputation for quitting in the middle of games! ;P

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