Valve did a pretty weird thing with the Alien: Isolation promos, what with those stat-changing qualifiers that relied on Halloween-restricted cosmetics. It was certainly a cool idea, I guess, not that I really got the chance to try them out. I didn’t pre-order the game and they didn’t become tradeable until people had long stopped wearing them.

I’m honestly not even sure if it was fair of Valve to release them as promos. They were stat-changing promos, and Valve traditionally doesn’t do that since people (like me) who actually want to try the things out would appreciate a realistic chance of being able to do so without having to buy them at market value. Of course, usually Valve avoids non-dropping stat-changing promos because of various reasons that all seem to find ways to shoehorn the term “pay-to-win” in there somewhere, but these promos aren’t P2W by any definition; its users aren’t even playing the same game.  In what world do scouts fight pyros with their melee? And when do pyros rely on flame damage to kill scouts?

Here they are for reference, in case you somehow forgot they existed.
Here they are for reference, in case you somehow forgot they existed.

I’m not even sure what the stats were hoping to do, to be honest. Let’s say two players decide to have a duel with the new item sets. Who actually has the advantage? Well, the scout of course because his mobility and scattergun-of-choice will wreck any of Pyro’s close-range stuff, but let’s assume he sticks to melee only in the spirit of the duel. Also that Pyro sticks to the Napalmer for the same reason. Now I guess it’s like kinda a fair fight…because it’s overly restrictive and neither of them can use their weapon correctly? Does the Wrap Assassin/Sandman ball deal extra damage? Even if not, just pegging the Pyronaut with those while dancing around out of range during recharge would probably become the optimal strategy. I just can’t think of a way to make this work.

Part of the problem is that I don’t know how much extra damage it deals. Seriously, just because it’s a weird mini-game Valve thinks its okay to just slap “increased damage taken from other set”? Does that mean a single puff immediately incinerates the scout? Can the scout basically backstab from any range? My friends who had the sets and tried it out have informed me that it’s not that severe; the general consensus seemed to be that both of them dealt more damage to each other, but by some inspecific amount. So that really helps me.

I just really want to understand them, and I don’t think I’ll get to because it’s not a full moon, I still don’t own them  and I doubt I’ll be finding anyone who also has the sets and would like to playtest the TF2 equivalent of a pillow fight. As it is, turns out everyone forgot about them almost immediately, not to anyone’s surprise. Fake stats are hardly better than no stats and we were smackdab in the middle of an epically long drought of meaningful content. At least rd_asteroid proves TF2 In Space can be awesome; have you seen all the stealth art upgrades that map has gotten over the weeks?