I Understand, I Really Do…

Right now, people are angry. For the first time in, well, ever, the majority of players in the Team Fortress 2 community, at least the ones with access to any sort of tool of discussion, are united with the same thought in mind. That thought is “Man, EotL was a rather lame update.” For now, I am going to ignore the various promises and stuff that were thrown up. Let’s just leave that.

Now, normally I am a optimistic, middle-of-the-road person. My complaints are generally justified, as is whatever it is I am agreeing with. I’m not normally someone who jumps on the bandwagon, I’m the sort of person who gets knocked over by the bandwagon, then watches helplessly as a piece of rope from the back and twists around my leg, dragging me along behind it. This time though, I am clinging on the back of the bandwagon, hoping to try and, I dunno, control it? Channel that anger maybe? I don’t know. I completely understand why a lot of people are so angry.

In fact, some people are so angry that they’ve given up on TF2 all together. Maxillaws, one of the resident really really good players of SPUF, is one of these people that is burning bridges and jumping ship. He went and sold all his stuff, trading it for CS:GO items, because he believes that any time and money he spends on CS:GO will be put to better use than it will in TF2.

Personally, I think maybe burning all your bridges is too much. A lot of the anger is too much, especially since a LOT of it is directed at the wrong people. Players are venting their anger in all sorts of places, particularly on SPUF, r/tf2 and the other TF2 communities. Okay, it’s really funny what someone wrote on the EotL wiki article, but that’s not exactly the place to voice your complaints. There isn’t really anywhere to voice your complaints, since communities and emails alike are often ignored. Most people’s faith lies in the future and no one knows whether the future will be good or bad.

On the flip side, there’s a lot of people who are saying “yeah, this update wasn’t great, but it’s free content, why you whining?”. You know what else is free? A kick in the bollocks, but no one wants one of those, right? Not unless you really don’t want kids or want to have blurple nuts. There’s also a further reason: this update technically isn’t free at all. You’re free to pick up some random ducks and you’re free to find a bunch of End of the Line crates, but if you want wear at any of the new cosmetics or get yourself some decent statistics on how many ducks you’ve found, you’ve got to cough up some money. For keys, the money goes straight to the team who made the hats and the video. With the Duck Journal, no one seems to be sure, but Valve will probably get a cut of that. Until the crate items become craftable, the majority of the update is locked away behind a pay wall. Thankfully, the video itself, the best part of the update, is on Youtube and can be watched by anyone.

Another argument I’ve seen is “this update doesn’t affect the game, why are you complaining? Just ignore it!”. You’re right, cosmetics don’t affect the game, but they do constantly increase the file size of TF2. You can’t really ignore cosmetics though unless you get yourself a No Hat Mod or something, since everyone wears this stuff. There’s also the ducks. They’re part of the game, whether you want to play or not. At least the Carnival of Carnage only existed on sd_Doomsday. But to go even further, official maps have been plastered with in-game advertising of EotL. Payload carts have been converted into the bombs seen in the video. There’s even that hideous Pyro graffiti painted in front of the building on First Point in Badwater.

There’s a final argument that I’ve seen too. “This update may be bad, but the next one will be better!” Really? Will it really be better? I don’t know, I can’t see into the future. But this year’s updates have paled compared to previous years. Most of them have been what EotL said it wouldn’t be: a crate, some hats and maybe a weapon or two if you’re lucky, alongside some sort of out-of-game media. Multi-day updates are gone. Double drop weeks are gone. ARGS are gone. It’s just hats and more hats, and I understand if people feel that it’s only going to continue like this in 2015.

The problem is, EotL was supposed to be a bright, shiny update that showcased that the community can do more than make hats and videos. The damn thing was in production for over a year. I completely understand why people are angry and are complaining. Yes, some people take it too far, but some people always take it too far, because people are like that. Will future updates be better? We don’t know, but that shouldn’t stop people from letting everything slip yet again. If you don’t complain, then you give others the idea that you’ll tolerate any old crap.

This was a breaking point. I pray I’m not going to have to sit and watch everything destroy itself.

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