No, not a golden parachute. Though now that I’ve made the connection somebody will probably make a SPUF thread wailing “Could this be a sign Valve’s gonna retire TF2???”
Well, they’re probably wrong, because this new blog post is pretty awesome and hinting at future content. Valve takes a bit of time to talk about some weapon ideas that were scrapped, and leaves us with a teaser regarding a potential new Soldier secondary in the works. I don’t personally understand why everyone is leaping on the assumption that it’s literally just a parachute with obvious parachute stats (slower falling speed, no fall damage) because when’s the last time a new TF2 weapon has been that obvious? Let’s save the Reserve Shooter doom-saying until the weapon stats are actually known, guys.
For reasons I’m not exactly sure of, some incredibly loud SPUFers have taken this new blog post with nothing sort of abject vitriol, and have been bandying around ever-changing lists of certain disliked weapons as ‘evidence’ that Valve is completely disingenuous with their balancing philosophy. Putting aside that most of the weapons they’re complaining about were added years ago by employees who probably don’t even work on the game anymore, they also tend to take quotes and completely misunderstand what they mean. Everyone who has highlighted the quote “We’ve found that TF2 works best when classes and players support each other, making up for weaknesses and combining into new strengths, rather than giving any one class more and more tools to solve all potential problems” and then show the Short Circuit, Gunslinger and Razorback as counterpoints are either unaware or ignoring the fact that none of these weapons allow the equipping player to solve ‘all potential problems’. Short Circuit ain’t doing anything to help against 7/9 classes. I’m not saying these weapons are balanced, but their flaws are different from the ones Valve is espousing against in their blog post (except Wrangler. Wrangler truly does counter 9/9 classes better than its stock counterpart. Screw that weapon.)
Others have criticized Valve for even bothering to playtest ideas they thought wouldn’t work, like the facestab knife mentioned in the blog post. As someone who has designed content for other people’s tabletop and MMO role-playing games, I can say that their attitude is not a healthy one for designing new content in a preexisting system. Physically testing bad ideas can help you figure out the exact elements that are wrong with them, in ways that theorycrafting never could. This in turn lets you avoid those mistakes with future, less obviously obtuse weapon concepts. And it certainly can never hurt to give weird ideas a shot; things might surprise you.
So in short, I enjoyed this peek into Valve’s mind, and without making any assumptions I look forward to what new content Valve adds to TF2.