the in-game item system, it needed to get the players used to the RuneScape Gold idea of paying for them. "This wasn't a change we made lightly, but it was something we had to do to get our game into the free-to-play business model," Ludwig said."They had never paid for an item in TF2 at any point in the past, and we weren't sure how willing they'd be to pay now."Ludwig outlined the players' possible objections to the item store, the first of which was TF2 turning into a "pay-to-win" game: "We dealt
the pay to win concern in a few ways. The first was to make items involve tradeoffs, so there's no clear winner between two items. But by far the biggest thing we did to change this perception was to make all the items that change the game free. You can get them from item drops, or from the crafting system. It might be a little easier to buy them in the store, but you can get them without paying. The only items we sell exclusive to the Buy RS Gold store are cosmetic or items optional to gameplay."
also hated the idea of getting nickel-and-dimed with intermediary virtual currencies, like a point system. "Players actually object pretty strongly to the idea that they'll have to take their money and buy a block of some virtual currency, when they only want to spend a fraction of that on the item they want," Ludwig said, "TF2 uses the Steam Wallet, which supports all currencies you can normally use on Steam, and lets you load it to the exact amount you want to use. It's now used by 22
on Steam."Valve's audience concern extended into the actual free-to-play transition, as well; it needed to make sure that players who paid for the game didn't feel ripped off. "One thing we did was to give paid players a hat called 'Proof of Purchase'. We also made a distinction between paid and free accounts; smaller backpack sizes, and fewer crates. What we didn't include was any restriction on how you could play the game itself," Ludwig said.Fortunately for Valve, its four-year efforts at http://www.rsgole.com/