You know, last time I spoke about this, I bitched and whined about how my brother always unboxes the best shit ever. Sister also did unboxing and got… stuff. It actually kinda got me thinking about things.
There’s a huge number of crates around. I’m pretty certain we’ve sailed past the 100 crates mark. The Gun Mettle cases, the Invasion ones, the Gargoyle Cases, they’ve surely put us past 100, right? Unless you’re going to be pedantic and say they’re cases, not crates. If you still need a key to open them, they’re still essentially crates. But the majority of these crates are retired.
You can count on one hand the number of genuinely valuable crates. It’s mostly just the Salvaged Crates, as they contain the super rare strange weapons. No crates are safe from becoming worthless. While there is ALWAYS a rush to find a crate and sell it early, within a few days, any crate will quickly be worth nothing. Not even the Gun Mettle crates were capable of holding on to their price past the first two weeks of their appearance.
It also takes an incredibly short amount of time for the contents of these crates to settle themselves down. The most popular items are almost always the most expensive. But originally what would be the most expensive and what was destined to be scrap fodder was decided by the community. With the introduction of Gun Mettle, Valve had forced us along by arbitrarily setting the rarity of everything in a crate, not just one or two items and the constant 0.5% chance of unusuals. That’s not to say that the Graylien cosmetic wouldn’t have ended up being the most worthless item, but it feels cruel to the community contributors for Valve to essentially say to them “we’re making this artificially common, and thus unwanted.”
No matter what though, these new cases do have one good thing. Trade ups. The ability to get a bunch of ‘failed’ unboxes and convert them into one slightly better unbox means there is still some value in unwanted items. Not by much though. It makes me wonder how trade ups would have affected old crates. Probably not very well, because most of the items in these crates were weapons, tools or hats.
But even with trade ups and all that, there’s simply nothing in old crates to keep them interesting. The ONLY reason anyone opens an old, non-salvaged crate is in a vain attempt to unbox an unusual. And everyone knows the chances of that happening to you is stupidly slim. People want big, sparkly, shiny things! That’s why the Gun Mettle cases, even with their $6 entry fee to even obtain them, sold for so much. It wasn’t just the fact that people were scrambling to make their money back (although that’s always the case). It’s the fact that you could get awesome fancy weapons, and even unusuals for your weapons, a rather old but permanently suggested idea.
Bluntly put, if it’s new and sparkly, people want it. If it’s not and it’s common, people will use it as crafting fodder. And because Valve needs the sparkly things to be uncommon to make us all gamble away to get them, we still buy into all of this, very few of us actually managing to get ‘rich’, or at the very least, unusual.
Really though, this was all just a bad excuse to complain about my brother’s luck. He managed to unbox a Strange Batsaber, worth €100. All I get are lemons. And good sugar-free lemonade is a pain in the ass to make.
Also happy 19th birthday, sister.