I’ve gotten some pretty funny comments about my Loadout cosmetics (or lack thereof) since my Loadout article went live. Some were wondering how I could justify spending $55 on in-game cosmetics, since unlike in TF2 I couldn’t possibly have prior backpack wealth to rely on. Am I one of those rich senator’s sons who can frivolously drop wads of cash like spy does in his newest taunt?

Well, actually I sold almost my entire TF2 backpack to afford that birthday suit in¬†Loadout, and I’m still selling most of what remains. So now I get to be nude in two different games.

My new Scout cosmetic loadout. The loss of most tradable stuff in my inventory has given me a refreshing challenge to color-code what I've got left.
My new Scout cosmetic loadout. The loss of most tradeable stuff in my inventory has given me a refreshing challenge to color-code what I’ve got left, when I’m not just naked.

It’s kinda freeing in a way. Certainly it almost makes TF2 feel like a completely separate game. For once I’m free of the unrelenting draw of strange weapons. I’ve tried out Scout weapons that aren’t the Flying Guillotine/Sandman, and am quite surprised by how much more versatile the pistol is. I’ve finally given the stock rocket launcher a chance instead of my Sever Clearing Black Box with Buildings Destroyed, and only now do I realize just why that fourth rocket is worth it. I’m trying and falling in love with some of the new weapons from the Love & War update. Dozens of new opportunities in the forms of unlocks that I ignored are opening up to me, and I’m not constantly beset upon by that nagging feeling that I could be leveling up my strange X right now.

Furthermore, I have a level of anonymity that I’d never really appreciated. I can get away with things as cosmetic-free scout that I know I wouldn’t have before as Milkman/White Fast Learner/Ball-Kicking Boots (Yes, I painted a white shirt white.) Soldiers shoot their rockets right at my flamethrower like they want to help me practice airblasting. On sd_doomsday, I could normally only caber the snipers on the catwalks twice or thrice before they learned not to go there, lest they behold my Bubbling Scotch Bonnet/White Professor’s Pineapple/Grey Parrot visage again. Then for some reason when it’s a cosmetic-free Demoman doing the exact same thing, they stick around indefinitely. It’s uncanny.

The caber itself wasn't exactly subtle either.
The caber itself wasn’t exactly subtle either.

It was quite hard convincing myself to trade away all my darling items. So hard it’s actually rather embarrassing, the value I’d placed on the dusty corners of my backpack that I didn’t even play with. Why should I cherish my strange jarate nicknamed “Pirelli’s Miracle Elixir” when Sniper is my second-least played class? For what reason did I carry around a Barely-Melted Capacitor still? I don’t know. But now that they’re all gone, it’s a lot less painful than I thought it would be.

And my final reason I’m very pleased with this new direction; the return of some old friends to my loadouts. My crafted Flying Guillotine that I used for years waiting for a strange to come out. My achievement Iron Curtain, the best Heavy minigun model in TF2. My Huntsman gifted from user “Me is Win” back in 2012, who went his own way in real life and I’ve never learned where he ended up. Vintages and Genuines are suddenly attractive options if I really want to show some love for an unlock, and when I get that adorable new bread sapper I’ll hardly have to pay a thing for the unique version.

Of course, a few items are being spared the reaper, like my birds Giddeon and Archimedes. But ultimately, even with most of my backpack gone I just feel satisfied that I was able to work through a long and calculated trading process and afford my new birthday suit. There’s satisfaction in saving up for something and earning it through good old-fashioned hard work.

And then of course Loadout put Spacebux on sale 48 hours after I bought it and I could have saved $35. Oh well.