Ah, hats. What’s not to love about them? They rest on your head, make you look better, and can be traded away for even more hats. They’re also one of the most prominent features of TF2, being a staple of the game and one of the things most associated with it. Ever since the Sniper vs Spy update, more and more hats have been added to this game, along with other customization options.
With over two hundred cosmetic items in the game, one would think that Team Fortress would be Valve’s best game for anyone who wishes to have the perfect custom experience. However, this is not the case, as TF2’s cousin, DOTA 2, another game published by Valve, has many customization features similar to that of everyone’s favorite hat-based shooter.
Although Dota is mostly known for its competitive elements and status as an esport, its customization is very much superior to that of Team Fortress 2. Be it having more accessibility, more customization, or better prices, Dota’s example can be used to add or modiy features to enhance the hat simulation experience.
1. Make all items marketable.
When a player without much experience in trading wants to buy a hat in TF2, it can be very difficult for them unless they wish to pay ludicrously high prices in the official store. Finding a trade website, navigating your way through the many high prices to find a good deal, and knowing what all the currencies needed are is very daunting to a newer player. Although Dota has trading, it is much simpler for new users to get their hats, this being through the Steam Marketplace. Nearly all tradeable items in Dota can be obtained for a relatively low price in the Marketplace, while TF2 has much higher prices for a limited amount of items.
2. Add something similar to Kinetic Gems.
Kinetic Gems are weapon/item modifiers that can be added to an item to grant the wearer new animations, particle effects, or poses. Think something like the Gourd Grenades effect, where all explosions are replaced by pumpkin explosions. This would be similar to that, with the main difference being:
1. They would be able to be used year-round, without requiring a full moon or Eternaween.
2. They would change more than explosions and footprints. Think things like new Medigun beam effects, flamethrower particles, rocket trails, altered taunts, or even just new loadout screen poses.
3. They’d be removable. Kinetic Gems can be removed from items and placed into new ones, unlike Halloween spells.
3. Add announcer packs.
Does anyone remember that Halloween event with the bumper cars? You know, that one that everyone apparently hated, with sd_doomsday as its base? That had a custom Merasmus announcer pack. Now, imagine a new slot with announcer packs that you could insert. You could hear the Scout count down the seconds until your game starts, have Saxton Hale yelling that the point is being captured, or have Mrs. Pauling tell you that the enemy capped your intelligence. The main problem here is this: Would this fit into the TF lore? My answer to this question is yes. Announcer packs could be explained in many ways, with my personal main idea being that all announcements are pre-made recordings from the Administrator. Of course, this could be different, as I’m sure those who know more would be able to have a much better explanation.
4. Change the crates.
In Dota 2, items are found after a game is won, with crates not being in the drop system. Instead of this, pre-unlocked crates can be directly purchased from the store, with keys being traded in these unlocked crates. While this was used during the aforementioned Halloween event, Valve went back to their old ways, causing crates to continue dropping and filling up the backpacks of the players. If this change were to happen, all previous crates would be removed, and most likely the newly added crates would be able to unbox any unusual. This new crate system would also stop duplicates, preventing users from the disappointment of unboxing three Strange Jarates in a row.