I posted this on our TF2 Community Steam Group:
Now usually I’m not into petitions, but a recent policy change by Valve impacts our community. So I have decided to pass this along to everyone so they know whats happened, and can maybe help change this policy.
Valve in their recent updates made entities that are ‘parented’ to a player invisible. You may be wondering how this effects you. If you’ve ever been on the Newbs servers (which I assume you have been since you’re in this group) you know that we have ‘extra’ hats that you can wear while on the servers. Some of these are just fun items to see someone have. Examples of these are our traffic cone, the pale rider, and devil horns hats. The way these work is we parent the entity (which has the model we want to show) to the player entitity, then as you run around people see you ‘wearing’ a hat or a cape or whatever we decide to attach to you. With this recent change this no longer will work – the item will be invisible.
All we want is the ability to parent items to the player – I frankly don’t care if they let us use the ‘real’ hats or not, but I would like to be able to put cones on peoples heads or put funny hats on people when its their birthday.
Please be civil if you decide to leave a comment after signing, I don’t know if Valve will even give a crap about this petition or not, but I do know if its full of idiotic comments it will mean even less to them.
That said, lets look at some possible reasons why they may have made a change like this. I can think of three different possible reasons why Valve suddenly took away our ability to parent an item to a player (well technically you can still do it, its just invisible).
1) Support costs – Everytime someone lodges a complaint with tech support, or emails Robin or any of the other developers complaining about idlers or server ops, or how unfair people having caps is it costs valuable time, and this spent time has a price associated with it. If the current staff can not at least read all of the emails sent each day then they need to add more staff (or decrease services). This is even worse if the people that are programming or creating content are getting bogged down by emails. Maybe servers using TF2 Equipment Manager were generating a lot of hate mail and they decided to try to decrease the butthurt email.
2) Punishment / Justice – Just as people who idled were punished for gaming the system, people who installed a hats plugin were gaming the system. So smack them in the head and level the playing field.
3) Money grab – If you control the supply of hats, the hats have value. And as with all things with a value, you can charge people money for them – and the more exclusive they are (or appear) the more you (typically) can charge.
So is the Free Ride of TF2 content coming to an end? I would not be surprised if the crackdown on idling (which was more of a limiting of how many items you can find per week) was in preperation for ‘for purchase’ hats or weapons. I really hope I’m wrong and this is actually about #2, justice is cool – hell overzealous developer would be fine by me too :) I don’t want anyone to think I’m against Valve making money, I want them to make money, I spend more money than I like to think about each month just because I like TF2 a lot. Heck I buy games I don’t even plan on playing just so that I can test things or add support for them in HLstatsX:CE. Just please don’t ruin my almost ready to be released birthday celebration plugin because you’re afraid you might not make money off of selling me hats.
As I’ve told a lot of the people I’ve talked with on this subject, I don’t care if valve wants to keep the ‘official’ hats to themselves, thats fine by me – but let me put a traffic cone or bunny ears on or any of the other bajillion hats that the community has made.
PS. oh yeah, heres a thread about the selling hats idea – Steampowered.com – sell hats once again, I’m down for them selling hats, hell I might buy them all if they do – but please don’t limit our ability to do cool things. Oh also, thanks for the after the fact exception for prophunt – but really, would TF2 prophunt ever have happened if there was this restriction? Nope.