Sometimes it’s hard to remember, but Valve really does love their community. Really, they do. They’ve given us all sorts of things completely for free that most other companies would never consider even developing without selling it; Source Filmmaker, Alien Swarm and the Steam Workshop being particularly large examples. When we get mad at Valve for seemingly ‘forgetting’ about us, we have to remember that they’ve already gone way above and beyond the call of duty for the gadzillions of free updates they’ve pumped out for so many of their games. All right, Jeeves, I’m done with the soapbox. You can take it now.

I got in this mood because the First Community Contribution Update was on March 19, 2010, and it brought the first user-created content into the game for a proper release. In addition to some classic hats (like the Troublemaker’s Tossle Cap and Physician’s Procedure Mask) and weapons (like the Pain Train and the Homewrecker), it also created the Self-Made item quality, possibly the most respected item quality of all. The next day they made these new items craftable, as well as finally restoring the Camera Beard to the drop system. Before this, a glitch had caused Camera Beards to drop at the rate of weapons, to the point that they were given a unique recipe to smelt into scrap and even today vintage Camera Beards outnumber unique ones.

On March 21st 2011, Valve updated the Half-Zatoichi so it could be sheathed after touching a resupply cabinet, and updated the Hero’s Hachimaki to be tradeable. If these two Japanese-themed tweaks seem like a coincidence, it was probably just on Valve’s mind because the very next day they released the Japan Charity Bundle, designed to raise profits for the relief efforts for the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. Two new Japanese-themed hats, a Japanese-themed noisemaker, and then for some reason a third Japanese-themed hat that was sold separately from the bundle but still went to the cause. Perhaps it was a grouping error or something.

And I got a lotta trivia to spout about on this last date, so let’s get cracking! Article ain’t over yet!

On March 19, 2013:

  • TF2 becomes the very first game playable on the Oculus Rift. I make a pact with myself that I will play TF2 in virtual-reality at least once before I die.
  • The Eureka Effect got its killicon back, something it lost during an update that had nothing to do with the Eureka Effect.
  • The Neon Annihilator gains a physics model, meaning it no longer sticks up straight after the Pyro dies. Part of the community is surprised that was even a bug.
  • The Big Earner can no longer accept the recent Long-Distance Kills strange parts. This is the second oddity among Big Earner parts, the first is that it’s the only knife that can accept Critical Kills.
  • The unused ‘tobor_a’ item quality gets removed. As Mann vs. Machine had been out for over a year, tobor_a’s status as unused test code was well-known and nobody lamented its passing.

And finally, Valve addresses an error on the woefully underpowered Manmelter. Since its release, its stats had claimed that its projectiles could not be deflected, which would go with its anti-Pyro design. Valve solved this problem by removing that piece of text instead of adding that functionality to the weapon. Alas.

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