Tag Archives: TF2

#525 Questions raised by Valve’s new Paid Mods

The PC gaming side of the internet had an explosion yesterday with the with Valve’s announcement of their launching of the paid player generated mods for Skyrim, with the Fallout and future games in mind. The internet is not happy about this business move from Valve and Steam, and rightfully so.

Mods has been a staple to one of the best arguments for choosing PC gaming over console gaming, on top of the over all better hardware and software systems that PCs has over the consoles; the backwards compatibility to play any game from your childhood to the most recent AAA title that launched last weeks, the community mods scene were always the third corner to the trifecta of PC gaming, breathing countless additional hours of game play back into those year old games. Skyrim and Fallout are almost synonymous with their mods, from their graphical improvements to the novelty mods, people like myself will buy the game for the mods instead of the main game.

steam paid mod

But Valve’s asking the community to start pumping out paid content, by installing a forcing a new market into the Steam Workshop seems….greedy at best and evil at worst.

This one move might cause serious repercussions within the greater gaming world. We might see mods artists who do this for free, or because it is a passion project, be pressured to monetized by Steam and by the market to get recognized. Also we now open up a can of worms within the modding scene about money, because money always complicates everything,and questions that are now raised that were never asked until yesterday.

First there was the reveal that Valve/Steam takes a 75% cut of all paid mod’s profits and there is a $100 payout limit so only time that a paid modder can cash out all their earnings is when they make $100, or to put it the other way, when their mod programs grossed $400 or more in the market place.

steam 75

Why is Valve taking 75% off the transaction? Valve mentioned that it is going to be split between Valve, for hosting the program on their servers and the game company of the vanilla game but what is the spit between companies? Why is the cut so high?

With the fact that Steam now has a premium mods that are behind a paywall, will we now start to see Steam start to phase out or DRM lock games to only use steam approved/bought mods? The biggest competition to valve right now is NexusMods which has thousands and thousands of mods available for free, and the easiest way to stop that competition, to gain maximum profits, would be to ban those third party mods from the games the Valve hosts.

How will steam make sure that these mods actually work with the main game? This is now a product sold by steam and now there is some responsibility of product assurance because unlike proper DLC, which is made and QA’d by the same team that made the game, mods are community made and they might be coding something that breaks something deep within the game’s engine. How will Steam handle the complaints from the paying community when a published mod does not work, or worst when a the game patches with an update and waves and waves becomes obsolete?

The funny thing is that I, and we the gaming community, would not be demanding these questions if Valve did not make this one move to build a paywall but these questions. but these type of questions needs answers in order to build trust for this new market. I guess, in hindsight, we saw the prototype to paid mods back with community made hats and cosmetic items sold in the marketplace in TF2 and Dota 2 respectfully, but this entire paid mod program looks like crowd sourced microtransactions for single player games, which is something I would see from EA.

oh yes, I just went there

oh yes, I just went there


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#472 Where are you Steam Sales?

As predicted, the yearly Steam Winter sales has hit the servers and as the norm most of the PC games in Valve’s store catalog went on sale at incredible prices.

I am a tad sad that not ALL of the games on my list are discounted

I am a tad sad that not ALL of the games on my list are discounted

As of writing, we are four days into the two week extravaganza and not to sound disingenuous because I appreciate what GabeN and the rest of the Steam Team has done to get all these game developers to discount these games a such steep prices all at the same time. But I feel like, for me, the magic from the sales are gone, the anticipation I felt when I refresh the store page at exactly 1pm is no longer there.

I do not know why, I have bought a few games titles this past week but something is missing, I am not going as crazy with the sales as I previously remembered . I am trying to remember the past sales with non-rose colored glasses, but I do remember that I had felt some suspense with each new day.

I might be feeling this way because I have already gone through this song and dance a few times before. For example I already bought most of the games featured in the Featured Deals as I looked through the Daily Deals, Flash Sales, and community voted sales the “In library” tag attached to most of list

And the few other games that I want to buy have "early access" tags on them,and I have a personal policy against buys games that are not completed yet.

And the few other games that I want to buy have “early access” tags on them,and I have a personal policy against buys games that are not completed yet.

I already have all the “Staple Steam” games, I have Portal 1 and 2, The Half Life series, Super Meat Boy, all the other must haves and all the best games of my favorite genera currently tied to my Steam account, so I see them again on sale this time around I just view that game as a blank space. It is the inevitable result of going through and buying all the games that looked interesting to me the last time around and currently there are recent AAA games that I have interested in buying now, Aliens Isolation and Skyrim might look like a nice stocking stuffers for some gamers but I only gave them a passing glance because I know I would not enjoy playing them.

I have a creeping suspicion that the slightly lackluster emotions I have for this year’s Winter Sales is because I have experience so many of these steam sales that I started this Winter Sales event as a veteran, with experienced gamer eyes (Be MOP #436). It is probability the same reason why Christmas as an adult is not as exciting compared to the Christmases you experienced as a child.

I want to know if I am alone in this way of thinking, are there other games out there that feel the same way about this year’s of steam sales. If so leave a comment down below and with your comment please include how long you have been in Steam and how many Steam Sales you have went through.


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#470 Dusting off my Steam Wishlist for the Harsh Winter Sales

A little birdy told the internet that the 2014 Steam Winter Sales will be starting this Thursday, and that means that soon all the good little boys and girls around the world will open their Steam clients at 1pm EST to find all of their favorite games on sale at ridiculous prices for the next few weeks. With that I need to brush off my steam wishlist to start my pre-steam sale celebration.

For a while now I have been using my wishlist as a quick cheat sheet of the interested games use it to easily check if the game is on a daily or flash sale. Since I first heard the news that the Great Winter Sales would be upon us soon, I have went through the Steam Catalog and started added games that will hopefully go on sales during this year’s winter sales.

This chart: know it. love it

This chart: know it. love it

I still have Fallout 3 on the wishlist and Deadrising 2 from my missed opportunity from the last -few- seasonal sales, along with a few Indie platformers like, Electronic Super Joy and Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures.

Recently I have added OVERKILL’s PAYDAY 2,and Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People from TellTale. Strong Bad’s game is on my wishlist because I have been wanting to stroll down pre-YouTube internet memory lane for quite a while now and HomeStar Runner’s cast of character will hhopefullybe the means to scratching that itch

I have also added METAL GEAR RISING: REVENGEANCE and The Legend of Korra to my wishlist because after playing through both Bayonetta games I have officially hopped on the Platinum * Games hype train. Even though I am not never played any Metal Gear game or watched the Avatar cartoon series beyond Book One I have complete faith in Platinum’s ability to draw me into the game and ramp up the excitement with each passing Boss fight.

Between those P* games and Wonderful 101, a game that will be waiting for me under the Christmas tree for me, I will be all set with action-fighting games for a while. 

Between those P* games and Wonderful 101, a game that will be waiting for me under the Christmas tree for me, I will be all set with action-fighting games for a long while.

Between that I have also been using the new Steam Curator feature for suggestions and added the indie games like 1001 Spikes and Divekick, two games I have seen given much praise from the Curators, various Youtube stars and news outlets.

But I am also curious on what games you are waiting to waiting guy to buy from the Steam Winter Sale, leave a comment down below on the titles you hope to pick up and play during this Winter Season. I am interested in seeing what you all are waiting to buy.


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#469 The B.M.O.C Christmas Story

I have noticed that the past month or two I have been more or less writing almost exclusively about Nintendo and their products. You guys can all blame it on the fact that one game company started bringing out amazing games since the middle of October with Mario Kart 8’s DLC and ending up with the suprube Super Smash Bros.

But because of my little Nintendo kick it has resulted in me neglecting the rest of the videogame world, from PC game news to the other consoles, and basically everything else. Well that ends today.

It is the middle of December, I am full of Christmas spirit, and I want to tell you guys one of my favorite Team Fortress 2 seasonal story that I have been meaning to share for a while.

 

Oh yes, this hat.

Oh yes, this hat.

 

Flash back to 2011, my steam account was about nine months old, TF2 was experiencing its third month after going free to play, and this very blog just celebrated it’s first month or two going live. Between all of that, Steam’s now-famous winter sales had just started and my younger brother was freaking out.

Back then my brother was a TF2 hard core hat trader, collecting and trading up those cosmetic items was his bread and butter for his main source of games and I believe it was his first time experiencing the joy of the fabled winter steam sales. In contrast was not fully-in to the idea of steam service that the time, blame it on my being young and naive, having only a few game bought through the service, I was instead to focus on Blizzard’s World of Warcraft and blogging about those adventures.

Out of all the goodies that Steam offered during the 2011 Winter Sales, one thing that caught my brother’s stock broker eye was the quite rare TF2 Santa Hat called, B.M.O.C. A Santa hat that you could only obtain by crafting away seven pieces of digital coal you received throughout the weeks of sale, for either the hat or coupons for other games from their Great Gift Pile.

Steam-Winter-Holiday-Sale-Has-Big-Discounts-New-Contests-Huge-Prizes-2

During the 2011 Winter Steam Sales my brother was glued to his computer trying to maximize his coal collecting for everyday, crafting the seven packs every chance he got. While on the other hand tried collecting it a few times, voluntary crafting it once, received a coupon for a game, and decided I was done with the promotion.

As the promotional sales ended, my brother was getting desperate to get that elusive Santa hat getting to the point where he was harassing me to download TF2, a game I had no interest at the time, and complete the easiest objectives to complete the seven coal pack to craft away for one more chance to get one hat. It must have been a Christmas miracle, because that second batch of crafted coal rewarded me the extremely rare, B.M.O.C hat. It goes without saying that my brother was ecstatic, he was finally so close to capturing that digital White Whale.

Once we realized what I had, I did what any big brother would do in that situation, I refused to trade it to him, constantly holding the one thing he could not get over his head. My younger brother kept pestering me for a trade over the years until he got a proper job and dropped his aggressive hat trading hobby.

To this day I still have the Holiday hat in my inventory, refusing to trade it to anyone, not to online traders or my own family members, because in the marketplace the is the rule it is the seller that places a value of an object, and after the story I told you guys and the adventures I had to get this one TF2 hat, it had made the the B.M.O.C priceless to me. Because of that I have sworn to never trade it away, not to my brother who wanted it back then nor to my other younger brother who has just now picked up the Steam trading hobby for his source of games and entertainment.


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#445 The Bittersweet Birthday Gift

As I mentioned about three weeks ago, the beginning of the month was also my birthday, and today I want to talk about a gifts one of my brother gave me. As I mentioned before at the start of the month I was gifted a pre-order ticket of The Binding of Isaac Rebirth, one of my most anticipated sequel/remake of one of my favorite and most played Steam game on Steam.

steam boi re

It is not just me who loves the game,The Binding of Isaac is full of family fun, because I, and two of my brothers religiously play the game. Because of that my brothers and I have had many conversations about our own personal adventures through the game with the odd combination of items the RNG loot room gave us and getting hyped about what could possibly be added to the next installment.
Bless my brother’s heart, he knew I was going to get The Binding of Isaac the moment the game went live, and I know what he did was with good intention, but no good deed goes unpunished. because in giving me one of the games I have on my wish list he has ended up preordered a game.

I wrote about my policy with pre-ordering games here in Be MOP #272, but just as a one paragraph recap:
Preorders are one of the few things I do not like with the videogame world, I have wrote before but I see no reason to preorder a game anymore, because if it is a major game it has enough marketing and research behind it to ensure that every major videogame outlet has more than enough physical copies of the game at launch. The idea of pre-ordering something through a digital service, like Steam XBL/PSN, and the such is even more pointless because those services have an unlimited amount of resources to hand out the day of launch and for all the days after that. Now Pre Ordering has changed from making sure that the consumer has the desired limited supply product to a tool for the gaming companies to add the most amount of profit of a game before it is even released, which all adds to the mess of things within the AAA gaming economy.

I swear this is world's best technique for persuade steam users to preorder any game

I swear this is world’s best technique for persuade steam users to preorder any game

Because of my policy, and seeing how bad preording can get with some game companies, I have sworn off of pre ordering any games from any gaming device, no matter how much I like the game or how excited I am for it’s release. The kicker is my brother knows of stance because I have spent multiple times ranting and debating him about the issue of preorders, using the Binding of Isaac, a game that I am currently has a countdown timer on my phone, as example on how determined I am to stick to my principles about not preordering a game.

So imagine the bittersweet moment I felt when I received the notification when my brother, the same brother that I have had extensive conversations with about policies and politics in videogames, went ahead and made a preorder purchase of my favorite game for me, thus encouraging the growth and the practice of preordering in the industry. I still love him and I still can not get too mad, because of him I am now qualified to unlock the special Binding of Isaac hat in Team Fortress 2

Hey I said I was against preorder bonuses for TF2, I did not say I wanted them

Hey I said I was against preorder and preordering bonuses, I did not say I did not want them


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#412 Games from my Backlog Reflection

As I realized in my last blog post, my monthly “games from my backlog’ project quietly and unexpectedly reached it’s one year anniversary.

This entire project was something that was born after realizing how many games that I had in my library just collecting dust after I canceled my World of Warcraft subscription and just realizing my slight addiction to Team fortress 2 and various other time sinks(as talked about in Be MOP #360)  and this was a way to knock out some game titles that I have been meaning to play or that i gathered along the way by dedicating a each month a few games to play for my limited free game play time.

A series you can catch up with by reading all installments right now: Be MOP #258, #268, #281, #294, #307, #320, #334, #346, #359, #372, #385, #398, and #411.

Between that start of this little project I have removed about 30 games from my backlog, on top of a whole bunch of other games I played on the side.

Look how organized everything is, that habit does not reflex my organization of physical collections

Look how organized everything is, that habit does not reflex my organization of physical collections

 

Since, setting this up and forcing myself to games I might never have picked up by myself, I have found some favorite new titles and genres , They Bleed Pixels, Cloudberry Kingdom (and opening the floodgates to any pixel perfect and indie platformer), the Walking Dead series, Deadpool and Dust: an Elysian Tail. Basically any other game that I have dedicated a full blog post to or mentioned in future posts during or after the initial month.

Some of the games I picked were non-starters for me, like  Serious Sam 3 (motion sickness Be MOP #352) Borderlands 2 (lack of players on hand to play the game with co-op), & Gotham City Impostors, Final Fantasy VII, and the first Assassin’s Creed (lack of drive to boot up or play through the game).

Contrary to popular belief – or what this project’s mission might have been at the beginning-  its not about completing or even beating theses games it was about working through the mammoth amount of games I have trying out new games, dusting off some that I bought ages ago and just now playing, and trying new types of games after years of playing just one or two games exclusively from Highschool through College.

I am going to continue this project for the future because it is fun and pushing through and playing games I would never have thought to pick up I believe I am a better well rounded gamer because of it .

and studying for my blogging and streaming patterns it looks like I can not stop partaking in projects that has no dedicated end mark

and studying for my blogging and streaming patterns it looks like I can not stop partaking in projects that has no dedicated end mark

 


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#397 The Post-Steam Summer Sale Damage Report

It is over, it’s finally over, the Steam Summer sales have ended, the virtual summer camp have closed their doors and everyone has gone home, back to normal gaming life with at least something special and a possibly a lighter wallet for some at the end of the week.

...and people like me have walked away with a shiny award for helping out my Team Red

…and people like me also walked away with a shiny award for helping out my Team Red

 

While we are all readjusting to the idea of a full priced game, I thought I would take this time to go through my haul and catalog exactly what games I bought and show how much USD I paid versus how much I would have paid if they were not on sale:

 

Tiny Brains: 1.99/9.99

Rush Bros.: .99/9.99

Walking Dead Season 2: 6.24/24.99

Risk of Rain: 4.99/9.99

DuckTales: Remastered : 4.99/14.99

Battleblock Theater (2 pack) : 6.24/24.99

The Wolf Among Us: 8.49/24.99

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes: 4.99/19.99

LEGO Batman 2: 4.99/19.99

Spec Ops: The Line 5.99/29.99

Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons: 2.99/14.99

Dark Souls: 4.99/19.99

Resident Evil 4: 11.99/19.99

Reus: 2.49/9.99

Transistor Soundtrack Pack: 22.50/29.99

 

Now if I did my math correctly I ended up spending $114.06 on 15 new games over the course of one week. If you are my mother that might seem like a lot but for the cost of $114.06 I received the gaming value equivalent of about $284.85 which is on average, 40% off everything that I was going to eventually buy anyways

On top of the incredible deal, it was also worth it because now I have a replenished and updated gaming library with games I want to play, rather than reluctantly playing games that I have ended up owning as consolation prizes from Humble Bundles. Something you will see  me talk more about in Wednesday’s blog post.

 


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Be MOP focuses on the world of videogames with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the gaming industry. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

 

Disclosure: I am apart of the Streamer Partnership Program for Turbine’s A.R.T.S/MOBA, Infinite Crisis, which is a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.

This blog post was written without approval, consent, or knowledge from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment or any of it’s subsidiaries

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