May 10th – 17th

Remember when last week I expressed disbelief that Valve cranked out so many patches the week after so many big updates? Well, apparently Valve waits two weeks to take some time off, because this is the week where not much happened. In fact, in TF2’s eight years of existence, only four of those years had updates during this week.

2010 saw the inclusion of a few tweaks to the new crafting system. The gunboats were flagged as a Soldier secondary, and the crafting requirements for tokens was reduced to only two items of the same class. This made tokens actually worth crafting at the time because there were so few results to choose from; for example, a Medic secondary was guaranteed to be a Kritzkrieg.

2011 saw the ability added to remove crafting numbers from items on May 10, an ability I don’t think a single person has exercised. Two days later backpacks gained a buggy “Show in backpack order” button that nowadays has been heavily expanded to allow sorting by class, loadout slot, etc. Models for the “Three-Rune Blade,” “Hero’s Tail,” and “Sign of the Wolf’s School” were added to the materials GCF, getting a lot of people excited when they thought Scout would get an awesome sword melee. Then they got a Boston Basher reskin instead.

May 10 2012 added the Front Runner, which was briefly something of a fad but I never see anyone wear it anymore. The Mann Co. Store package was added, obtained by purchasing more than 20 dollars at a time from the Mann Co. Store. Before this, the reward was an uncraftable weapon, which 99% is a bullcrap reward but also had a chance of being the Vita-Saw, Sharpened Volcano Fragment or Sun-on-a-Stick, which were not normally sold in the store and therefore otherwise unobtainable in uncraftable form. May 17th saw the release of the Sneaky Spats of Sneaking, which at the time topped my list of “most pointless and difficult-to-see cosmetics in the game”, but nowadays are part of my personal favorite Spy set. New crates contained rereleases of the strange Rocket Launcher and Stickybomb Launcher, crashing not only their market value but also those of every other stock reskin as traders realized that future releases were only a matter of time. Also, in an undocumented change gift-wrapped strange items now came with a warning that trading said item will still result in the strange counter resetting. This warning was actually false but I think the niche market of Hale’s Own-to-go providers got the hint and closed shop before it was too late.

May 17, 2013 was an historic day in TF2 history, as it brought forth the first entirely community-created update, Robotic Boogaloo. All the robo-hats that everyone suspected would be the big reveal turned out to indeed be the big reveal and Valve began a pastime of making event crates contain unique unusual effects and turn into rare drops rather than cease dropping altogether. Though I’m not sure if this doesn’t fall under the purview of “days Valve took off”, because it was entirely community-created, was it not?

Technically, there was also an update on May 15, 2014 that fixed the bug where the Red-Tape Recorder could superheal buildings to insane amounts, but come on, how many times has Valve supposedly fixed that glitch by now?

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