As I covered a few days ago, Valve recently added “strange cosmetics” to TF2. Fair enough, Valve is doing weird things all the time with their TF2. But I’m curious as to why they chose the method, style, and selection they did, and today I plan to write about my theories regarding this recent update.
Theory 1: The economist is involved somehow. A bit of an overarching suspicion, but ever since Valve announced that they were hiring Yanis Varoufakis to be the on-call TF2 economy analyzer, SPUF has found it necessary to question his involvement in every moderately-interesting update, and this time I’m inclined to agree. Because…
Theory 2: The chosen cosmetics cover every available spectrum of comparison. The complete list of current cosmetic strangifiers are as follows:
Bonk Boy – Comes in Unusual quality, otherwise middling-popularity misc.
Fancy Dress Uniform – Generally unpopular misc.
Sight for Sore Eyes – Very popular misc.
Bird-Man of Aberdeen – Moderately popular misc.
Toss-Proof Towel – Unpopular misc.
Teddy Roosebelt – Moderately popular misc.
Archimedes – Comes in Genuine quality, Very popular misc.
Villain’s Veil – Comes in unusual, extremely popular misc. in its own right
Camera Beard – Comes in Vintage quality, unpopular misc.
All-Father – Wearable by 2 classes, popular misc.
Merc’s Pride Scarf – Comes in Genuine quality, multi-class, moderately popular misc.
RoBro 3000 – Only obtainable through Mann Vs. Machine, popular all-class misc.
Summer Shades – Limited edition misc, for that reason extremely popular.
Do you notice the incredible amount of variety in this selection? Popular items, unpopular items, limited editions, unusuals, genuines, vintages…It’s like they wanted a smorgasbord of every possible category of TF2 cosmetic in the mix.
I believe this was to see how the strangifiers affect every type of item. Will Genuine Archimedes become even more valuable than unique-quality Archimedes? Do trash cosmetics like camera beards go up in value more than popular cosmetics like Teddy Roosebelt? How will this affect non-strange unusual Villain’s Veils? How many people actually craft god-tier stranges to get these strangifiers?
Theory 3: This is an attempt to see just how much people will pay for counters. I’m not gonna lie, strange cosmetics are kinda pointless. They won’t be showing up in a killcam, and points are probably the least relevant thing imaginable in TF2. Hopefully some strange parts come out soon with more relevant stuff like “control points captured” and “flags captured” (like I’ve asked for before), but for the time being anybody who crafts for strangifiers isn’t doing it for the initial reason for strange weapons; showing off your kill counts to people and identifying your proficiency with certain weapons (I know that both aspects are easily faked, but that doesn’t change that they were two of the initial selling points as spoken by Valve.)
So those are the things the came to my mind. One that isn’t even a theory; Valve is finally taking the TF2 economy seriously, and plans to find ways to balance it out, or in some way make it better for them. Whatever happens in the next few months, it should be interesting.