Team Fortress Free to Play: what a tizz!
So, Team Fortress 2 has been F2P for almost 2 weeks and it’s caused much excitement.
The Steam Forums exploded for a while, I think it’s starting to simmer down now. Premium players were outraged at the lower quality, noobish players suddenly invading their game, the F2P were indignant at the snobish behaviour of the Premium player. Many threads were created over the plugin to kick f2p players. Accusations of racism were flung. Someone (a premium player) demanded a boycott of servers using it, others were in strong support; no-one seemed to be able to find servers actually implementing it apart from a few trade servers, of limited use to f2pers anyway since they don’t have full trading rights.
The Competitive community remained cheerful, in the EU at least, and took on a slightly mad, evangelical bent. F2p potentially meant more people to drag into comp play and into the community, as players or spectators.
And yes, f2p did mean more players. A good thing as players are the lifeblood of any mulitplayer game.
But I can see the point of those who were less certain. Foolishness had been said about the character of f2pers (hackers, not caring, rude, not listening), but really, in my experience, they have been no different in skill or attitude of any new player, good or bad. What has been the problem is the number. Normally, you’d get perhaps one, maybe two new players on a server. Overall, the game would not be affected. After f2p, the majority of players might be new and gameplay would suffer. It’s suffered on my community clan server. But it’ll be a short-term thing. These players will either move on, or remain in the game and improve. What a lot of servers have done, mine included, is to increase the number of admins to monitor gameplay and behaviour.
And it has been interesting playing alongside the newcomers. They love playing Spy and Sniper (using sub-machine guns). One time I was a Demoman on a team where almost everyone was Spy or Sniper, with a couple of scouts. We lost badly.