Halloween updates are generally fairly predictable. New map, random gifts, possibly a crate, fun new gimmick and some creepy costumes. You’re almost guaranteed that Pyro will get a cool monster-like outfit, or he’ll become a ghost or something like that. Either way, Pyro almost always gets the best Halloween costumes. Sniper generally has to make do with a Vampire Hunter look and Medic gets the “crazy evil Dr Frankenstein” as always. It’s either that or being an Egyptian Pharaoh. Engineer generally gets fuck all in the Halloween department, apart from being a really annoying fly boy that only works if you have the full set.
Either way, the majority of the time, each class still looks like their class, generally in a mask or something. The bulldog Scout? You can see Scout’s head. Pharaoh Medic? Just a fancy coat and a silly head piece. Most of it is just a head and a second accessory if you’re lucky.
But with the arrival of the Xenomorph Scout set, I think we’ve got the opportunity to expand further, as well as get more zany cosmetics outside of Halloween. The Xenomorph set is really actually very cool, despite not coming with facial flexes or some sort of voice changing thing when the whole set is worn together. It’s basically a Xenomorph in Scout’s clothing. And it looks pretty good. Again, Halloween restricted, but still.
My point is, why don’t we have more really class-altering stuff? I mean, it’s Halloween, pretty much anything and everything goes. Apart from poop on your head. Or pieces of rock embedded in your forehead. Or A cartoon-y crying face layered on top of your own. The Flygineer is the perfect example of an awesome Halloween cosmetic. It gives Engineer awesome feet, a pair of wings, a new head AND the whole set worn together has a special effect. The best Halloween sets are the sets that have some sort of extra effect that make said class even more terrifying. Heck, the reason the bird heads were so popular is because they have something extra on top of being a hat. Extra voicelines AND facial flexes.
The lovely people who submit stuff to the Workshop believe this stuff. One of the best cosmetic sets in there is a Teenage Mutant Ninja Engineer set. Another novel idea was Medic turning into a Mister Hyde sort of monster whenever he used his Ubercharge. And there’s always that huge collection of Pyro-changing things we get every year.
There’s also another issue. Some items are just too mundane to be Halloween things, especially compared to non-restricted cosmetics. How comes Soldier’s Samurai set is restricted when Demoman can be a Samurai whenever he wants? It’s an inconsistency that just annoys people. How comes we can’t have poop on our heads when we can have cleavers and apples on our heads?
I’ll be honest, I’ve kinda gone around in a big circle.
The real point to all this? Halloween is only once a year. You can only wear your special Halloween items for one twelfth of the year. It’s not a long time at all. And while all these cosmetics are nice, 99% of Halloween items are plain old cosmetics that spend an entire year sitting unused in one’s backpack, hardly worn even if it is actually a full moon.
So Valve, if you’re going to give us restricted Halloween items, make sure they’re amazing. Really over the top. Utterly insane. Give us a reason to want to switch our loadouts on those scant days of the year on which we can wear as we please.
And don’t screw over all the wonderful people who made perfectly acceptable items then restricting them. That’s just cruel.