Hat Trick, Part 1: The Goal

Team Fortress 2’s Mann-Conomy Update did strange things to the game. Not the day-to-day bit of the game – the assualting fortresses as a team bit – but the part of the game that revolves around the acquisition of hats. Ever since hats were introduced they’ve been sought after, despite TF2 being a first-person shooter and players rarely seeing their heads. The Mann-Conomy update lets players outright purchase hats and other items which is fine – or not fine depending on your view of microtransactions – but not very interesting. What is interesting is the patch also allows players to trade with each other.

This is the sort of thing I find fascinating and God knows if there’s one thing this blog is crying out for it’s some goddam hard-hitting undercover investigative reporting. Still, after a couple of minor trades, I was still no closer to understanding how the system worked. Not the Valve created trading system, you understand – that’s simple – but the player created de facto economy. Every in-game item is being assigned what seems to the outsider to be an arbitrary value marking its worth in relation to everything else. For instance, apparantly there are good hats and bad hats. Up until now I’d always thought there were hats I liked and hats I didn’t. Sometimes my naivety shocks even myself.

After a brief conversation with a friend about how inpenetrable the system seemed, an idea presented itself: find an item to work towards and chart the process of obtaining it. I’ve never been that fussed about hats because the game never bloody gives me any and so it seemed like a waste of time caring. Even so, when tasked with choosing one, it was immediately obvious which to get. The Towering Pillar of Hats.

It’s three motherfucking hats on top of each other.

My starting position is – to put it mildly – weak. I’m not trading any weapons or hats I don’t have duplicates of. Weapons actually do stuff, making them useful, and hats… well I only have one hat and I’ll be fucked if I’m getting rid of that for some mad quest for stacked headwear. This leaves my tradable items at a minimum.

Clearly I need to arm myself with some knowledge. I’m going to have to get all David Dickinson up on this motherfucker.

In the next part: Starting small.


1 Response to “Hat Trick, Part 1: The Goal”

  1. 1 Issi
    04/12/2010 at 03:36

    excellent choice of hat. Not just because it has 3 times the superiority of an ordinary hat, but also because only plebs can express themselves fully with a single hat.

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