In a relatively surprising move Team Fortress 2 is revamping the system in which players acquire in-game items.  While I was more than comfortable with initial system in which you acquired items as you completed achievements, the new system does allow a simpler way to acquire hats and other items for classes you might not play. It seems like the new changes are focusing on improving the system even more for casual players. I suppose only time will tell how that will work out with the more hardcore player-base.

Here’s a summary of the changes you can expect in the item system, taken from the Team Fortress Blog:

  • Previously, we rolled randomly at intervals to see if you got an item drop. Now we roll to determine when your next item drop will occur. So you’re guaranteed to find items at fairly regular intervals. The bulk of drop complaints we’ve received in the past have been from players having unlucky streaks, where they didn’t find any items for weeks. That won’t be possible now.
  • We’ve significantly increased the rate at which item drops occur, compared to the previous average interval.
  • There’s now a maximum amount of playtime per week in which you get item drops. Playing beyond that amount won’t find any more items. The amount varies, but if you play an hour or so a day you’re good. Some of your unused time will rollover to the following week, so if you’re an intermittent player you’ll also be fine.

If you’re not specifically interested in the details of the system, here are the net effects:

  • If you’re an idler, you’re going to find fewer items than you were prior to this change. Sorry. On the bright side, there’s less reason to idle, because it won’t earn more than players who are playing regularly.
  • Everyone else will find items more frequently, and with greater regularity.

The biggest issue for me is the cap on the number of items you can earn in a week. Of course, that may not even be an issue, because we don’t know how many items a player will be capped at. Overall though, I think this is a great change since it will hopefully lower the number of idlers in the game.

What do you think about the Team Fortress 2 changes, Ranters? Is this a change for the better or is Valve over-thinking the issue?

Source: Team Fortress Blog