Originally I wanted nothing to do with the new decorated weapons. I knew they’d make Valve another fortune of microtransaction money, but you don’t have to be Warren Buffet to realize that. I just thought they looked unanimously stupid, especially when the majority looked like someone plastered wrapping paper on them. Plus the rest of TF2 doesn’t have that scratched scuffed appearance, for the most part the buildings are clean and the weapons will have bright red bloodstains at worse. I’m sure it worked for CS:GO but just wholecloth porting the concept over without alterations seemed as phoned-in as the strange weapons in Dota 2.

But then I grossly overpaid for one whose owner was begging the server to buy it from him, and I couldn’t help but feel a little sympathetic for it. The animations are cool, I hope they give them to the stock weapons.

Plus it's dual-class, so I get two!
Plus it’s dual-class, so I get twice as many angles to view it from!

And while originally I thought they all look bad, it turns out the right unusual effect can make a truly amazing weapon. Here are two that genuinely caught my eye:

I know this belongs to a SPUFer, please let me know who so I can credit them!
Thanks caldoran for locating Hammock, the owner of this shotgun!
This Medigun belongs to MissVTheLoser
This Medigun belongs to MissVTheLoser. Whatever unusual effect these both have, it better be top-tier. 

So what’s next for decorated weapons? Presumably more series with new ones; they have to be laughably easy to make, what with the patterns literally just being texture squares with (unless Factory New) an extra layer of randomized scratches and maybe a blood splotch. Stickers are another safe bet, what with their success in CS:GO, letting people further customize their decorated weapons. I bet stickers will only be applicable to decorated weapons, just you wait. Also if we could get an “Inspect in game…” button that would let us model any weapon on the Steam Community Market, that would be cool too, if only for people like me who want to take screenshots of badass weapons they’ll never own. (Update: Valve added one!)

I also suspect that Valve’s going to take the cartoony looseness of TF2’s world to advance the concept even further than CS:GO could. After all, by bringing unusual effects into the picture they technically have already done so, and since TF2 is a smorgasbord of silliness with a history of “anything goes” for weapon unlocks Valve could do all sorts of crazy things to customize weapons without worrying about tone. Now that the cat’s out of the bag, there’s not much Valve can’t do.