I am honestly already sick of decorated weapons. We’re only on our fourth campaign, our second campaign to give us skins for our weapons and somehow I am already sick of them. We’ve had a huge amount of variety, a bunch of weapons, a lot of new content, but despite Valve’s pushing of them, I’m still not a fan of them. Why is this?
Well the first reason for me personally is that I’m a cheap bastard. I don’t really want to pay €6 to get things that I’d be doing in TF2 anyway, with weapons I already use. Contracts encourage playing regularly, but they also encourage farming and grinding. You’re not playing TF2 because you WANT to play TF2, you’re playing because you NEED to fulfill this contract and hopefully you’ll get a good weapon out of it, although most of the time you won’t. On top of that, the chance of even getting a strange decorated weapon is very small, and you HAVE (again with the capital letters) to buy keys to unlock crates if you want one. The cheap person in me says that I should save myself €6 and trade for stranges, or even better, not care about it and just go out and kill people. That’s just me though.
There’s cheapness in other ways. Decorated weapons are stock weapons with fancy textures on them. Apart from the fancy coloured text and patterns, they are no different from the unique weapons a brand new player gets when they start the game for the first time. When I say fancy colours, some of those colours can be a bit off. Red is a bit close to Collector’s red. Blue is a bit close to Vintage blue. That’s more of a peeve than anything else. Still, these are stock weapons. Nothing more. Not even reskins, like the Batsaber or the Frying Pan.
I did mention fancy patterns though. Which is not really true. A lot of the textures are actually rather… off. Especially the Teufort collection, which consists of textures from the map 2fort. Brick textures, wood textures, floor textures. And the texture from the big taking-over-the-world war rooms, as seen from the intel room. Some of those are okay, but others just look weird. I have no idea who thought a wooden Revolver would be at all valuable, hence why the damn thing is Civilian (i.e. lowest) grade.
Some of the textures don’t appear to be textures at all, just colours. Going back to the Teufort collection, the Team Sprayer SMG and the Civic Duty Shotgun just seem to be plain colours. The Civil Servant Medi Gun looks like a Medi Gun designed for people who love the Rocket Jumper, in its plain orange and white bits and the Smalltown Bringdown looks eerily similar to a Rocket Jumper when on RED. They’re clearly not, but no one has time to do double-takes when they’re busy pushing the cart into a swarm of sentries. The only style which gets away with this is the Coffin Nail style from the Gentlemann’s collection. Why? Because those emblems really make the weapon. The Coffin Nail Sticky Bomb Launcher is legitimately sexy.
Speaking of coffin nails, thank heavens that Valve went back to some somewhat normally named weapons. Alright, the Coffin Nail series doesn’t look like any sort of coffin nail I’ve seen, but at least each weapon is named after what it is. The first four collections all had stupid names. What the fuck is a Thunderbolt? Sounds like an Engineer weapon, when in fact it’s a Sniper Rifle. Liquid Asset sounds like a Medi Gun, it’s a Stocky Bomb Launcher. Since this is going to be a continuing trend, maybe Valve will get the dumb names out of the way early on.
Then there is the exclusiveness of decorated weapons. They’re the only weapons available in unusual form, and only the ones from crates can be unusual. Or strange, as I mentioned earlier. And rather than getting festive weapons in 2015’s Smissmas, we ended up with a festivizer which only worked on decorated weapons. Seems a bit pointless when the weapon is already decorated and we already have quite a few stock festive weapons. We ended up with only one new festive in the end, the Pistol, which at least people wanted.
They’ll have to do more than that though. They’ll need more and more textures. And while they’re less weighty than hats (which have models and textures and LODs and stuff), textures are easy to make. So why are some of the decorated skins so damn ugly? Heck, why are MOST of them so ugly? Look at the Wooden Revolver or the Lighning Rod Shotgun. Who would want those really? The majority of these skins, even the ones from crates, end up on the Steam Market Place, practically worthless. There’s no point trading up as you need 10 of the same colour, and trading is pointless because it takes forever to get anything done, whether you’re verified on mobile or not. Even if you get a good grade of weapon, it might still look awful. The High Roller Medi Gun is a prime example.
That brings me to my most personal point. All the Medi Guns suck. All of them. The ONLY one that looks alright is the Coffin Nail one. I wouldn’t buy one unless it was super duper cheap. Doesn’t come in Strange form either. I think the whole class got shafted on this one, and Heavy isn’t much better.
Really though, they’re just stock weapons. I’ll just ignore them, no matter how much Valve keeps on pushing them.