26
Dec
10

Hat Trick, Part 3: To Arms!

Previously on Hat Trick: “I want a TF2 hat, crates are shit, trading servers are inefficient.”

After what seemed like far too much effort, I’d finally got rid of all my crates for various weapons and, bizarrely, a can of paint. It was time to start amassing metal. Metal is the basic currency of Team Fortress 2 trading and, with enough of it, you can buy almost anything. Metal is obtained by the in-game crafting system, and breaks down as follows:

  • 2 Weapons of the same class can be crafted into 1 Scrap Metal
  • 3 Scrap Metals can be crafted into 1 Reclaimed Metal
  • 3 Reclaimed Metals can be crafted into 1 Refined Metal

In order to trade for a hat I would need a number of refined metals, the equivalent of 18 weapons each. Despite the number of weapons I’d received in crate trades, and some more I’d found through simply playing the game, I didn’t have enough. Luckily, like some Del Boy of Team Fortress 2, I had a plan.

First though I needed to get rid of that paint can.

Items

Paint lets you change the colour of hats. The cans were added as part of the Mann-Conomy update presumably to give people more customisation options that are the bread and butter of all micro-transaction schemes everywhere. Also added were Name Tags – which let you rename a weapon – and Description Tags – which let you re-describe a weapon. None of them have any effect on the game, they’re just bonuses if you can think of something to do with them. The only item that has a real in-game application is the Duelling Minigame, which challenges a player of your choosing on your current server to a duel and tracks the number times each player kills the other throughout that match. I’ve only tried a duel once, when another player challenged me for seemingly no reason, and they’re a pretty fun addition – essentially providing the same focus as when you’re attempting revenge on a player dominating you.

Anyway, predictably there are wild variations in the price of paints – some trading for a substantial amount for no discernible reason. Not my purple however, so I picked what seemed like the basic item rate – 1 Reclaimed Metal – and, eventually, managed to sell it.

Now to get rid of those weapons.

Weapons

As I mentioned, you can use two weapons from the same class to craft a scrap metal. Using basic maths this means that each weapon is worth 0.5 scrap metals. As such I thought I was being really fucking cheeky when I decided to advertise my weapons for trading at the cost of 1 Scrap or – and here’s the ludicrous part – 2 Weapons each. Apparently though, ripping people off like this is absolutely fine because on the first attempt 5 or 6 people got in touch immediately to get hold of my weapons. Here’s a guy giving me two of his weapons for one of mine:

Thanks guy!

I was roughly getting a 50/50 split of scrap metal and weapons which meant that not only was I building towards the refined metals I’d need for my hat but also any weapons I traded away were immediately replaced by people giving me two more – which I would immediately list as available to trade for scrap/weapons. Essentially I was making free money, if money were virtual metal with very little applications in an FPS.

And so, before long, I had used the scrap to craft two shiny pieces of refined metal, without having to craft a single weapon and even ending up with more weapons than I’d started with. It was time to get my hat.

Next time: Getting my hat!

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