The History of Team Fortress 2

The good old days of Team Fortress 2
and what it is today

Ah, October 10th 2007, what a fine day it was. Not only did Valve release 3 games, no, they released 3 mind-blowing games! There was Half Life Episode 2, Portal and last but not least a game that till today keeps getting more and more fans. I am talking about, and you guessed it,

Team Fortress 2.

For all of you who never heard of Team Fortress 2, also referred to as TF2, Team Fortress 2 is a multi player game where two teams, Team RED and Team BLU, fight each other on several maps and each with a different objective. The player also gets to choose which team he or she wants to play in and can then choose between the 9 classes which class he or she wants to play. Will it be the slow but strong Heavy-Weapons-Guy? Or should it rather be the very fast Scout? The choice is completely yours.

Back then TF2 didn’t have so much content as it does today, yet it was much more fun. It had 9 classes, each with their standard equipment. You could choose between a handful of maps and game modes, all of them were, and still are, a lot of fun. Everyone was happy with the game they bought and the 50 bucks they’ve spent. But then something happened: Valve announced the very first class-update! Class-updates are updates where the classes get new items. The first class to get new stuff was the Medic. He got a variety of new weapons and achievements, but the standard equipment was still better, and none of the players actually cared about the update anyway.

A few weeks, or maybe even months, pass without class-updates. Then the next day: Valve announces the next class-update! If I remember it right, it was for the Heavy-Weapons-Guy (also known as Heavy). That was a more or less hyped update, since people liked the Heavy more than the Medic. And he got neat weapons too: A new minigun, boxing-gloves… it was awesome. Valve also added a new game-mode called Goldrush. Everyone loved the update and started to think about what comes next.

More months passed, maybe even a few years, more and more updates were released for a game that used to be neat, but now… well, what’s with TF2 now? It still can be great, that I don’t doubt, but it is “overupdated” with stuff. Yes, there is no word that I don’t need to make up that can explain what TF2 is today. “Overupdated?” , you may ask. Yes. Valve added so many new “collectibles” , as everyone calls them nowadays, that people forgot what TF2 was actually about. It’s not about capturing the flag anymore or taking over points, right now it’s all about who got more hats. Yes, hats. In TF2 you can either make yourself hats and weapons, which requires a lot of different stuff, or you find it…. randomly.

To be honest with you people, that was OK for me a few minutes back, that was before I have read about the Mann-Conomy update, the first update that you have to pay for! Don’t get me wrong, I understand why Valve wants to sell stuff, that’s how economy works, and they have provided their fans with huge updates for free. All I’m trying to say is that in my opinion they have ruined the game by adding way to much stuff. Some people may like the updates and probably disagree with what I am writing here, but I know how TF2 used to be: A fine little game that makes me a little bit nostalgic when I think about it.

  1. While I see your point and do agree with some of your arguments, I disagree with your opinion on the Mann-Conomy Update on the last post.

    I’m sure a lot of people, like you, feel this is Valve “selling out”, but I personally think it’s one of their smartest moves, and one of the best for the community.
    They didn’t sell out – from what I’ve gathered, you’ll still get items from random item drops, like usual, including the new ones. You simply have the option of buying them instead of waiting for them to randomly appear, now. Have you considered that the “hat-obsession” you talked about will essentially lose steam (no pun intended) and get irrelevant due to the fact that, now, hats won’t be rare anymore? Anyone with a couple of spare *insert preferred currency here* can buy what was once something supposedly “prestigious”. I imagine people who spent weeks, or even months, of their life just trying to get a decorative item in a videgame might be going crazy right now, but people like you and me, who only care about the fun of the gameplay, don’t really have any issue whatsoever. It’s great that Valve has learned how to make some money and at the same time keep up with their awesome free-content policiy. Thumbs up, Valve!
    Even better is the fact that the players who’ve actually put some effort into creating free items for others to use in-game can now get some money from it. Popular items might even get them big sums of money, so they also have an incentive to come up with exciting stuff. It’s a win-win for the community, and just shows how dedicated Valve is to the players.

    I do understand your opinion on the class updates, though. I really enjoyed some of them – especially the Sniper/Spy Update -, but I feel it overcomplicates the game and somewhat unbalances it. Then again, I’d forgotten the game existed a long time ago if it hadn’t been for the content Valve comes up with, and, again, it’s completely free, so I can’t complain.
    Valve is my favorite videogame company, and I think I just showed you why.

    • SargentGunney
    • October 1st, 2010

    That “nostalgia” comes with a price. People would eventually stop playing. That’s the cold harsh truth. Each update kept people playing, but also got NEW players into the game. Each update increased the fan base. You can hate it for being overupdated, but it had a purpose.

    Not all people liked the medic update?

    Depends. Most of the stuff the medic got, this also goes for the REST of the classes, is good in different situations. The Kritzkrieg is good in spots were invulnerabily will just not do, but a shear amount of Damage will win the day.

    Not sure about you, but till this day, I use the The Blutsaugher. It may not have a 5.56 round in it, but that needle hurts. And it gives me some HP every time I hit an enemy.

    The hats? You can’t blame the game for that, you have to blame the community. Valve made a few for the hell of it, and people kept asking for more. Remember those posts in the TF2 blog, when they made of the hats?
    The story about that guy Mike, and the comic with the unfinished maps? They were poking fun at all the people who bragged about the size of their di-… hats. The humar failed, in the way that it made people want them even more. Not to mention that if you bought a certain game you got got one.

    As for charging money… It’s not “how economy works”, but more that VALVE is a company. Something that many people don’t want to understand. They have to make a profit. But the thing is, they do it differently. Look for example at EA games, or how greedy Activision got with Modern Warfare 2.

    In a way, we can’t blame Valve for charging money. Not sure if you read the forums, but in the last 4 or so updates, there would always be someone who would say “I’d pay for this update” or something similar. An it wasn’t just one or 2. There were plenty (I guess that could be the word), and the people who said “I agree”. Do the math.

    By the way, the people that made the Poly pack? They also get some money from this.

    • Actually, that comic you mentioned wasn’t done by Valve. Just a FYI.

  2. By the way, I was just re-reading, and you got a lot of facts wrong. Goldrush originally came with the Medic update – actually, it was called “the Gold Rush Update” -, and the second update was the Pyro’s, my personal second favorite. The Gold Rush Update was pretty popular, too, although there were too many Medics trying to farm achievements when it hit.

    Still, even if it wasn’t quite the “history of Team Fortress 2” the title promises, this article was pretty interesting.

    • Looshkin
    • October 2nd, 2010

    Ah, TF2, brilliant, hilarious, bloody, vicious, fun.

    As a devout member of the church of Looshkin, naturaly, I devote most of my TF2 time to playing the Pyro. The pyro update was “meh” in my opinion, but the “Backburner” is my weapon of choice these days, and it’s always fun burning down fleeing spies and single-manning heavy-doctor teams.

    But that doesn’t mean I’m a one trick pony in the class department, as I’m competant with nearly all the classes available (except the spy, for some reason, being sneaky doesn’t come naturally to me), and despite the length of time I’ve spent playing as the Pyro, my highest kill/death ratios are with the sniper.

    With the achievements, hats, weapons and junk, I don’t really care. If I get something, nice, if I don’t, I couldn’t care less. They are bonus’s, and people who spend their game time trying to farm for scrap metal to craft a hat(!) are insane, but it’s no different to when I farm a dungeon in WoW for a specific item. People play how they want to.

    TF2 is a brilliant game, and although I won’t be buying the latest update, it doesn’t mean I’m going to run crying to the Steam forums with a bag of QQ, like the morons who demanded that Left 4 Dead 2 should have been free. I think Valve have done a fantastic job, and they should keep it up until the sad day when TF2 becomes unprofitable and they stop updates.

    Until that day, I’ll done my fireman chief’s hat, grab my backburner, and play a merry tune on my axstinguisher.

    ~ Looshkin, your lord and master.

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