So I got online last night and immediately noticed that Steam said that Ryan and Bruce were both online & playing Team Fortress 2. It had been quite a while since I'd played Team Fortress 2 so I decided to fire it up. I'd seen a lot of talk about TF2 on the game blogs recently and I didn't really know why. After a bit of research I now know that its because of a major content patch (and Sniper class refresh) that they've recently released.
After joining the same game Ryan was in, I quickly realized that since TF2 runs on the Halflife 2 Engine, my new gaming PC I built a month or so back runs it brilliantly. The second thing I noticed were achievements and achievement that I'd earned displayed as 0. Apparently the last time I'd played TF2, achievements didn't exist yet within the gameand now they've implemented a system in which you can unlock new weapons and items within the game the longer you play. In fact, this recent content patch changed this unlocking system from an achievement-based grind to a system in which every 20-30 minutes of play, you have a good change at randomly unlocking an item. Due to past problems with players all playing a certain class (in order to unlock a new item for that class) it's now COMPLETELY randomized when you unlock something to encourage a diversity of classes within any given game. This, for instance, encourages me to play an Engineer but allows me to randomly unlock a sniper item. Again - I have no control over what gets unlocked. It's random. There is no way to control what gets unlocked, therefore, there is no reason for me to play a class I'm not super fond of, just to unlock the items for that class.
I like this.
This new system of unlocking items does have it's critics though. Some players have complained that since they had unlocked many items before this system was put in place via the old achievement based unlock system, that now under the new system they're starting to randomly unlock items that they've already unlocked. In order words, it gets progressively more difficult to get items you haven't gotten yet unless you get lucky. I can see how this could probably be a problem but it doesn't concern me as much for now as practically anything I might unlock, I do not yet have. Short sighted? Probably..... but I'll bitch about that bridge when I get to it. For now I'm happy that I've rediscovered a game that I already own and therefore, do not have to pay for in order to enjoy it.