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I had already decided before this year even started that I would get it from GOG, and knew that there was a high likelihood that Steam would have exclusives like this. Lately, it seems like every other game has whored itself out to TF2 promotions. Even Plants vs Zombies had one, despite being out for two years, to celebrate it's anniversary.

Shogun 2 seemed just odd. I like both Total War and Team Fortress 2, but it doesn't really seem like something that would have an especially large amount of overlap. Same with Mount & Blade, I was pretty shocked when they did a promotion, it just seemed absurd. I'm expecting a Hearts of Iron, Railworks, and Garshasp promotion any day now...


I can understand The Witcher 2 having a TF2 promotion. If they didn't have stuff like achievements and hats, people on their own forums could simply advise people to come to GOG as it's clearly a better deal. Even with the promotions, I doubt it'd do much to sway even the most hard-core TF2 loving Australian, though I doubt the number of people who swear by Steam down-under compares to the number of people who swear at them.


Sadly, there are people who will literally buy a game for the items, whether they get around to playing it or not is another matter. The TF2 items are a good promotion for people who would either buy it on Steam or not buy it at all. Being "good enough for TF2" (which hardly seems like an elite few these days...) can be the very thing that makes them actually take notice of the game.

It still feels a little like they've whored themselves out here, TF2 itself being a game where attention to detail (Demoman drinking from pain train, no taunts for nearly every new weapon) has become second to, you know, having infinite opportunities to spend money and advertising other games, with one of the most ridiculous promotions yet (Geralt's hair on the scout? A sword that's a boston basher reskin? Three wolf moon references, because somebody thought that was clever?), one might think that the game needs gimmicks like this in order to sell and it comes across as being a little tacky.

CD Projekt RED still gets money for selling it on Steam. Steam has a ridiculously large userbase, and perhaps you might argue that they're not the most intelligent and overall pleasant individuals to be around, but they include people that will buy shit with hats, pay $10 more and perhaps deliberately ignore a drm-free option as they'd rather have the game on their Steam list, and people who simply don't know about, care about, or trust other digital download stores.

I think GOG has the best deal in town. If I didn't, I wouldn't have bought it from them. I didn't want the physical edition, I can live without the usual Steam goods, there were numerous reasons I wanted it from GOG. If you think Steam has the best deal and you want that stuff, go ahead. The extras, a drm-free digital copy, a complementary Beyond Good and Evil, supporting GOG and it's sister company, and supporting drm-free were worth more to me than what everybody else was offering.

I wouldn't mind having the promotional goods, seeing as I like both TF2 and The Witcher, and own both TF2 and TW2, but perhaps they'll be craftable later. Besides, I barely even play TF2 these days.
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Foxhack: Really, CD Projekt? Really? REALLY?
Really, guys? Really? REALLY?

I mean, seriously, I *love* TF2. And while I wouldn't consider buying a game from Steam just for those items, I know that quite a few people do. And I am perfectly fine with that. Also, as has already been said, Shogun 2 had a TF2 promo as well. *And* it is a great game. So, as far as TF2 promotions are concerned, I can put your mind to rest: it will *not* affect TW2's quality in any way ;)
Speaking of Shogun 2, while I've got it a got deal cheaper than via Steam directly, I could still activate it and download it via Steam (and, interestingly, was also able to download the limited edition bonus through Steam although it has never actually been for sale there). The terrible, cruel and incredibly unjust downside: I didn't get the promo items for TF2.
Actually, wait a minute... I must admit I still can't see the downside here...
-> Those items are still obtainable in-game, so, if anything, it'd cost me a little trading to get the items that I was interested in. Plus, the fact of those promo items being offered for Steam customers did *not* in any way affect my experience playing Shogun 2. On the contrary, I was glad I got the limited edition, not the Steam version, because that edition's bonus clan has turned out to be my favourite =]
But I digress...

Now, if someone does purchase the game through Steam because of that promotion... how exactly should this upset me or make me doubt the game's quality? If they want to, let them. Why not? All the more turnover for CD Projekt. If they (or we) don't want to... well, it's not like there were no alternatives to buying the game on Steam :D

The one thing I cannot get my head around though, is how obsessed some people tend to get about those bloody items. Hell, does anyone remember this TF2 promotion with Telltale's Sam & Max? There was a hat called "Max's severed head" which, admittedly, looks pretty neat. *So* neat, actually, that people have paid more than a hundred dollars for this hat on eBay after the promotion had ended. That's right, Ladies and Gentlemen, people pay more than twice the price of TW2 for a hat (not a weapon, not a game - a HAT) that has no benefits except having your player model wear the severed head of a cartoon lagomorph on its head o.0
I suppose if Valve had known how popular this thing was going to be, they would've offered it in their own store :D
Other hats, called "unusuals", come with a nice particle effect - which, apparently is worth hundreds of dollars (allegedly, more than a thousand dollars in some cases) to some people... I mean, it's their money, and they are, of course, entitled to do whatever they please with it, but... WHAT THE HELL?

P.S.: For those unfamiliar with Team Fortress 2, those hats are in-game items, not actual hats ;)
Post edited May 14, 2011 by ChilledKroete
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LordKuruku: Being "good enough for TF2" (which hardly seems like an elite few these days...) can be the very thing that makes them actually take notice of the game.
Actually uh, I think I read an interview that said that Valve will let anyone make promo items for TF2, as long as -the game developer- makes them.

Quality control? What's that? Ugh.
Post edited May 14, 2011 by Foxhack
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LordKuruku: Being "good enough for TF2" (which hardly seems like an elite few these days...) can be the very thing that makes them actually take notice of the game.
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Foxhack: Actually uh, I think I read an interview that said that Valve will let anyone make promo items for TF2, as long as -the game developer- makes them.

Quality control? What's that? Ugh.
I've heard the very same. No doubt it's true.

TF2 started as a cool game (...and me being an avid fan of QWTF and TFC, I was interested from the get-go, and sold with The Orange Box), it became in many ways better and a few ways worse, and these days it's become little more than a marketing tool, but there's still a good game with a large community. Unfortunately, a lot of the additions lately have been pretty awful (100 melee weapons for the demoman, the loch-n-load, weapon reskins, the cash shop, relentless promotions, and too many community weapons that have some uninspired attributes pasted onto them), complicated by the fact that I've already invested a few hundred hours into the game and have mostly lost interest.

I loved the game, and it's still pretty much the same game it ever was, but if it ever had a soul, it's been stripped away and I think it's going down the shitter. I still have more fun with it than the few other FPS games I play online, but even the blog updates have been garbage lately, and Valve seems to see it as less of a game and more of a financial asset, and it shows.

Quality control I think is something they'll remember soon enough. They've pretty much added taunts you have to pay for in Portal 2, as well as hats, and this is a one-to-two player game. Why? Because most people aren't nearly dumb enough to buy them (but not nearly insulted enough to ignore the game as a whole), while as long as just one person on earth is willing to actually blow money on this crap, they only benefit from it. I'm sure they've had several hundred suckers at least.

They're testing the waters to see what works, and so far none of it has obliterated their reputation to the point of being a liability, so the foreseeable future of Valve involves coming up with the most effortless ways of getting people to pay, preferably without them feeling like their paying. Some people justify buying stuff like the polycount pack as "giving back to Valve for so many free updates". It's probably safe to assume these people have Valve's complete catalog. Crates are a gamble, and the classic "it's the price of a lunch" helps ease these people into paying $2.50 to unlock an equalizer, a can of paint, or a hat, since the only other thing you can do with the flood of crates is delete them.

I have at least two pages of crates, and a full page of crates stored on one of my idling accounts (I bought four for $10 during a sale once, they were going to be gifts but my friends weren't interested, and later they added trading which made it even more useful), I haven't bothered to part with them in the hopes that one day they have some actual use.

Crates are one of the dumbest things they've done yet, but since you can just delete them and it's still the same game, most people seem less than annoyed at the fact that they're pretty much nagging you through item drops.
Post edited May 14, 2011 by LordKuruku
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mushy101: This is nothing but a sound business decision. Whatever hate for steam the GoG community harbors, it's clear that's not the case for the people who make the game. It's not cheap making a game like TW2, so CD projeckt is only leveraging to it's benefits what options it has. This is yet another, harmless, way of maximizing profit. Whilst the devs love making games, they also realize the importance of making money back on what they developed.

Whatever sales it gets from this, it can put right back into GoG and developing further, big budget DRM free games. We all win,unless meaningless TF2 items mean so much to you.
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keeveek: Plus, promoting a game on the BIGGEST digital games shop is just an smart idea...
Pretty much, telling them to ignore such a big opportunity is nonsense.
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LordKuruku: I think GOG has the best deal in town. If I didn't, I wouldn't have bought it from them. I didn't want the physical edition, I can live without the usual Steam goods, there were numerous reasons I wanted it from GOG. If you think Steam has the best deal and you want that stuff, go ahead. The extras, a drm-free digital copy, a complementary Beyond Good and Evil, supporting GOG and it's sister company, and supporting drm-free were worth more to me than what everybody else was offering.
I can see how this makes sense for the people on gog. But for the average Steam user, most those benefits simply might not apply.

Just taking a look at myself,
The extra's, nice, but never something I'd buy a game for and probably look at once. Complementary old game of 5 games (I'd do that, definitely, but I can see how a lot of people wouldn't care).

Supporting Gog, it's sister company, and DRM-Free.

That part, I doubt many steam users will care about. And if anything, Witcher 2 itself is undermining in my opinion. Here they had the chance to do their *own* game exactly like they dd the rest of the site. 100% Drm free and same price worldwide. And instead it's the first game ever on here that has both regional pricing and a form of DRM. (Yes, even though they will give a fully patched version somewhere down the line (possibly years) for now it's DRM-ed with a CD-key for patching (including 16:10 support))

Sure, we can circumvent it by lying about our whereabouts (EU-> US), but that's not the point. They did regional pricing, despite the previous philosphy. They did a form of DRM, despite their previous philosophy.

Do I care about either of those? Not really. (well the regional pricing a bit I guess). However, I don't agree The Witcher 2 is the right way to support it. Nor do I think it has set a good precedent. If anything this has basically given any company the right to say 'If you don't even do it for your own game, why would we?'

I fully comprehend the reasons behind it, I fully comprehend why it would be horrible for CDP as a company to do it the original gog way with zero protection. Economically, for a new game, it wouldn't make sense. But if you want to support gog, for what it stands for, and for 100% drm free, then buy anything else on the catalog. By buying Witcher 2 you're doing the opposite imo, and supporting the wrong direction for gog.

Disclaimer: very devil's advocate here btw, I love this place, i love what it's doing, I love easy access to the classic games, I love how they take the effort to have them nice and compatible. However I do not believe in the viability of it's philosophy in the long term, and the cracks start showing with what the Witcher 2 just introduced, *in my opinion*

Personally I think Gog has shown to developers that old games still sell digitally, and the longer it keeps running the more developers will start taking it upon themselves to spend the extra few bucks to publish them under their own strength, spreading them to all the digital retailers, removing the need for Gog for them and removing a reason for them to support gog's DRM-free. Either Gog will adapt and follow suit in some way, or it will diminish. (That's my personal prediction. I hope it's not true, but at the same time I think this is far more likely to happen than the 100% drm free is to spread around the digital retailers)
Post edited May 15, 2011 by Pheace