Following Valve’s latest TF2 update, I thought I’d go on a bit of a coffee fuelled ramble about what this means to me, and to the game.
Back when I first started playing Team Fortress, I remember really wanting the Scout miscellaneous item the Bonk Boy. At this time I didn’t really know about trading, and so the only option open to me was crafting. I literally hoarded my scrap metal, which slowly turned into reclaimed, and eventually I had four refined metal and a spare Atomizer to craft into a Bonk Boy. I’ve still got that mask to this day – it’s a little bit special to me because of the naivety, and the time and effort that went into crafting it – but yesterday, following Valve’s announcement that Strangifiers were being made marketable, I picked up one and strangified my Bonk Boy.
What I’m really writing about today, apart from that little misty-eyed trip down memory lane, is the recently implanted Strange miscellaneous items and what this could do for the game. It seems that Valve are increasingly keen to offer up Strange variants of everything – we’ve had a Strange Fan ‘O War, of all things, and now with the Chemistry Sets it looks like we’ll be given the option to make more of our miscellaneous items Strange. I, personally, think that this is a good thing – to be quite frank I like my items tracking their usage. Maybe it’s because my game ‘education’ or ‘childhood’ or whatever you call it was very much characterised by progressive games – by which I mean games with a set story mode or unlock progression – and Stranges are the closest I can get to this in Team Fortress 2, barring Mann Up mode of course. To me, it’s a way of ‘progress’ – and, since I don’t personally farm them (no disrespect to people who do, I just prefer mine to accurately reflect my gameplay), aiming for each level becomes a milestone marker that shows progress.
Back on topic, I do think it’s a good thing that Valve are still showing their support for TF2 – this latest range of Strange miscs isn’t community created, and shows that Valve themselves are still willing to support the game themselves rather than just with community updates. It’s another little thing that’s showing that TF2 is continuing to develop and grow as a game, and I’m really happy to see the game that I love still thriving.
Now, if you’ll excuse me I’m off to play a bit of Upward and get my Strange Bonk Boy off ‘Second Hand’ and onto ‘Odious’!