team-fortress2-hatOut of the blue, Valve posted an announcement stating that during the next few days people who were using external idling TF2 applications to grab the randomly dropped items will see their items vanquishing since the developer has a “zero tolerance policy for external applications used to manipulate the persistent item system”. Even more, people who will use such external applications starting today risk getting ALL their items due to the new policy created for Team Fortress 2.

As you can imagine, this announcement got most of the players mad, even though Valve said: “We realize there is a high level of demand for items, and we’re still working on systems to allow you to find them in new ways (via Trading, and crafting duplicates into desired items). However, we need to draw the line at running external applications.”

Posts on the official Team Fortress 2 boards criticize this decision and since there are basically no real reasons to attack it (cheating is cheating, even if the game kind of pushes you to go for such techniques due to the lack of item offerings), the players generally complain about Valve’s numbers. According to the developer, just 4.5% of the players will be affected by this measure but it seems that the numbers are actually a lot bigger. AS IF THAT MATTERS – even if 99% of the users of a game would cheat, it still wouldn’t mean that the developers shouldn’t do something about this!

Even more, since Valve decided to award a Team Fortress 2 halo hat (purely cosmetic item) to those who never used idling programs to expand the inventory, has apparently upset the players even more and “mob” gangs are being created, with people aiming at the halos first or even refusing to work with the halo hat owners. Which is a further proof of utter stupidity and lack of fair play. But it happens in life all the time so we shouldn’t be surprised.

The only thing Valve could be criticized for is adopting this measure so sudden, without a prior warning. I think that most of the users of such idling programs would have stopped using them if Valve first posted a message announcing that it is against the rules to use them, and only after a few days hit those who were still using them. Don’t you that would’ve been the “fairer” way to do it?