Stolen Pixels: A Hat for Every Head

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I agree, at first I thought this was about TF 2 hats but I was wrong. Also I want a space sphere!!

I have a Portal 2 hat. It gave it to me for completing one of the achievements though. So there you go, a free hat in Portal 2. All the whiners can shut it now, right? Please? Maybe...?

I find this whole thing amusing. Mostly because 'Worth' isn't objective. Something is only 'worth' what people are willing to pay for it. For them, the hats are worthless so they wont pay for them. For others, they might pay $20 to have Chell's rack sprayed onto their robot chassis. Who knows.

Similar to how I don't believe the console version of Portal 2 is worth 90-110 dollars in Australia. So I'll wait until they reduce the price, or it goes on Ebay for something that I do believe its worth. Though I do wonder how many people are annoyed because the 'DLC' hats are something that can't be filthy pirated at this time.

While I'm tempted to say "Stout Shako for 2 Refined", I'll hold my tongue.

Valve are walking a very precarious tightrope at the moment between WoW-style drones and DCUO's discoverable styles. Anyone whose ever played Champions Online, The Sims or City of Heroes/Villains knows how important style can be to immersion, especially self-immersion - but paying for it?

It was more viable as, as Shamus says, long-term gaming. (Tell me any WoW player that wouldn't chuck a month's subscription on a TF2 hat for their avatar) Making this a standard policy though? That's dangerous; as it will actually damage immersion.

Have no fear, little sphere,
Said GLaDOS in the Hat.
'These Things are
good Things.'
And she gave them a pat.

SpaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaace.

I have no idea why people got so caught up in the whole day 1 dlc thing. It's like being angry that you can buy a shirt sticker (shirts are expensive) from a recently released game.

I always found people who used that argument funny. They're also usually (in America) the ones that talk about how great the free market is and how welfare is wrong and something else cause I just stop listening.

http://www.spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaccee.com/

I want one of those cores :3

If you have certain hats in TF2 you get those in Portal 2 aswell, and you get hat for completing main story, no idea if you get one for beating coop aswell though.

This is the first I've heard of this, probably because I've avoiding Portal 2 spoilers like Glenn Beck avoids rational thought. So apparently Portal 2 hats are not Valve's crowning achievement.

If it was this insignificant and this close to release, it could have been put into the game as unlocks for doing stuff.

"For Portal 2 to work the way Team Fortress does, there would need to be a steady supply of new maps coming out."

This is why I strongly suspect that Valve is going to do something like either release new free co-op content for Portal 2 or release a level editor for the community to do so. These kinds of stores are basically the way Valve funds their constant giving away of extra content (like all the TF2 updates).

Eldiran:
"For Portal 2 to work the way Team Fortress does, there would need to be a steady supply of new maps coming out."

This is why I strongly suspect that Valve is going to do something like either release new free co-op content for Portal 2 or release a level editor for the community to do so. These kinds of stores are basically the way Valve funds their constant giving away of extra content (like all the TF2 updates).

my guess is the level editor will come in, and then it will be like a little big planet.

in which case yeah i would like the hats and gestures, but valve, could you please make it a little less than a meal to buy a texture

Shamus, I think you are being deliberatly obtuse on the issue.

The issue is that DLC has been getting out of control, with companies releasing things like alternate character skins and costumes as additional paid-for DLC. Things that should already be in the game, especially if the content is availible on day #1. The only reason why these additions are NOT part of the game, is because the company figures it can make more money by selling them as a DLC.

Ask yourself if DLC didn't exist, would Valve, Capcom, or other companies doing things like this have tried to ship out and sell this content as a seperate disk based add on? No, they wouldn't have. It would have just been in the game, as alternative costumes usually were.

The point is that people who are upset over this don't like being gouged, and the game industry looking for literally every angle they can to make a buck off of people. Increasingly, anything that can be held back from a game and sold seperatly will be.

You might not have an issue with this, scream about entitled-feeling morons, and everything else, but that doesn't change that a lot of people don't like it, and want their games to be self-contained, with only meaningful add ons and expansions being released for additonal payment.

While I can't speak for you, I'll also point out that a lot of the defenses of what Valve is doing is because it's Valve. You'll notice not many people have come running to Capcom's defense over what is pretty much the same exact issue, with them selling recolors and alternate costumes for characters in games like "Street Fighter".

It's fine to respecfully disagree with people, but to mock, misrepresent, and call them idiots? I'm sorry I can't really get behind that. What's more, think about how this is going to make you look if you at some point decide "okay, well DLC is going to far here" and people can point a finger at your passionate defense of Valve and ask "well, what makes it less ridiculous for Valve to do, as opposed to this other company?".

Now, I know people will probably get on my case yet again for saying this, but really I don't think Valve was effectively "Metabombed" for this, since trolls aren't that powerful on their own. While some people might be unpleasant in the way they express their dislike of trivial DLC, simply it's very existance being annoying to them, I don't think that is a reason to totally dismiss their position.

To be honest, I think DLC and microtransactions are out of control, I have for a very long time. I have no idea on how one would go about articulating a law to regulate it, but even as someone who doesn't want the goverment involved in business any more than absolutly nessicary, I really think digital transactions need to have more standards applied to them, especially when connected to other products. 10-15 years ago when digital downloads were just a whisper on the wind, people would have thought what we are seeing now is the height of ridiculous, paranoid technophobia, after all the gaming industry would "never be that greedy". Leave the door open too long, and I can almost guarantee eventually we'll see people angling to not only put games online and supported by microtransactions, but have people pay by the minute or hour like the days of things like Q-Link. It will be worked in gradually if it goes there (or I should say returns there) but guaranteed, unless someone slams on the brakes things are just going to get worse. What seems insane today, is oftentimes the sad reality of tomorrow when it comes to money making schemes. Heck, people will say "pay by the hour" is dead, but at the same time they thought the same thing about interactive movies, and look at Heavy Rain, their return is heralded as some kind of new and revolutionary thing.

It's not space sphere! He's the Space Core!
You should respect him! He's the best at Space!

I can imagine we'll see a fair few more co-op rooms.

I think hats are stupid and pointless full stop. I don't want them for free, i don't want them existing - period. It's stupid, trivial "DLC" that makes Valve to be a lot more money-grubbing than it used to be when it was still an indie studio. I know, i know. No-one's forcing me to get any hats, or any DLC, or anything from Mann. Co or the portal merchandise. But as Therumancer said, it's the very existence of such trivial content that people are willing to pay for that gets my blood boiling. Part of me can't help but wonder if people have more money than sense, or don't realise what they're getting (or not) in these micro transactions. Some items from Mann Co cost as high as... what was it? $20? Something like that? It's almost as disgusting as that Smurfberry fiasco, $100 or so for a bucket of the stupid things.

The problem with complaining about DLC is that a lot of people seem to act like it's not optional. The only thing compelling them to purchase it is their own sense of entitlement, yet it's somehow the fault of the people who made more stuff for them to enjoy. One idiot over at Kotaku said something about Valve "raping [our] wallets".

http://kotaku.com/#!5793543/the-people-are-panning-portal-2?comment=38496992:38496992

It costs $85. Really only an option if you like having your wallet raped.

Particularly hilarious is the bit where he says it's extraneous, but somehow not an "extra".

@Therumancer I agree that DLC culture is starting to get out of control. But the argument that because it was "available" on the first day somehow makes it wrong for it to be PDLC is ridiculous. It wasn't intended to be part of the core game, it is not a barrier to anyones enjoyment of the core experience, it is in fact entirely extraneous.

I look at things like this as either a donation to an organization with a reward provided (i.e. NPR) or a voluntary stupidity tax on the need to have the shiniest and biggest E-peen. Either way there is no major or even minor impact on anyones ability to enjoy the core game and if it wasn't there you would never notice it missing. At that to me is the big point.

It's not some jackass NPC pimping DLC in an immersion breaking way, which pisses me off. It's not restricting what you can use or play in game unless you pay more, that's bullshit. It's not giving cheaty items to people for buying it in a limited amount of time, that 's also bullshit. And It most certainly isn't selling game balance for IRL money, that's... I have no words. This is about the ability to play digital dress up in a game where if you are sitting still long enough to actually notice the e-bling you are doing it wrong. So yeah, I have to honestly say I can't understand why people are upset.

Bored with space.

Wanna go to Eaaaaaarth?!

I think part of the problem is this - it used to be that things like alternate outfits and the such were cool extras that developers put in their games as a matter of course before the days of DLC.

Now we get nickle and dimed if we want any kind of cool extras. Its really kind of irritating. I don't mind being asked to pay for new game content like maybe a new mission or level or whatever. But when its something that adds nothing to gameplay and is just a cool bit of extra for you to mess around with ...

I mean take Blazblue: Continuum Shift - They charge you for what are essentially palette swaps for characters as DLC.

Compare this to say its spiritual predecessor Guilty Gear - one of the various incarnations of it (can't remember which off the top of my head) gave you an editor where you could make your own custom character palettes as part of the game.

You see what I mean?
We're getting nickle and dimed for things that we used to expect would be part of the game. We're being given less and being expected to pay more for it. Obviously not everyone is doing it, but the practice is becoming more and more prevalent and I'm really not understanding why people shouldn't be angered by it.

Mmm, a fair point, just becuase aesthetic microtransactions have worked well for Valve in one game, does not equate their success in another...

Therumancer:
Things that should already be in the game

It SHOULD? Why SHOULD it be already in the game?

Therumancer:
It would have just been in the game, as alternative costumes usually were.

Would it? It would just as likely (more so, looking at Portal 1) just NOT been in the game AT ALL.

I don't see the problem with separating actual content from useless fluff, so those of us who don't want to pay for such stupid crap DON'T HAVE TO.

Therumancer:
and the game industry looking for literally every angle they can to make a buck off of people.

To be fair, those who aren't look to make a buck aren't really in business anymore.

But the old model was there you put a minimum amount of fluff to please the people who love that stupid crap and then charge EVERYONE for it.

Valve's current model is that thsoe of us who DON'T care about what our in game avatars look like DON'T PAY A DIME. Those of us who DO care, have a huge and extensive store worth of crap to pick from and the possibility of even more to come. Win/win.

Therumancer:
While I can't speak for you, I'll also point out that a lot of the defenses of what Valve is doing is because it's Valve. You'll notice not many people have come running to Capcom's defense over what is pretty much the same exact issue, with them selling recolors and alternate costumes for characters in games like "Street Fighter".

I can't speak for him either, but were I to guess, his lack of comments on Street Fighter IV probably stem from his not playing Street Fighter IV.

Therumancer:
It's fine to respecfully disagree with people, but to mock, misrepresent, and call them idiots?

I'm willing to go off on a limb and say it's possible to prove that it's idiotic.

Had this game been released for the SAME PRICE, without any fluff added and without a store NO ONE WOULD HAVE COMPLAINED.

Had this game been released for an extra ten dollars and had a pallet change (not even new skins) NO ONE WOULD HAVE COMPLAINED.

Hell, if your post is to be believed, if they had released the game for 50 bucks WITH the fluff, then charged 20 dollars for the co op campaign, you would have PREFERRED it.

But because Valve had the AUDACITY to charge for stupid, pointless, useless content only the people who WANT said stupid, pointless, useless content everyone is up at arms about it.

Me? I'm just glad I'M not being charged for some damned hats and mustaches.

Therumancer:
It's fine to respecfully disagree with people, but to mock, misrepresent, and call them idiots? I'm sorry I can't really get behind that. What's more, think about how this is going to make you look if you at some point decide "okay, well DLC is going to far here" and people can point a finger at your passionate defense of Valve and ask "well, what makes it less ridiculous for Valve to do, as opposed to this other company?".

That question has been raised, and is being discussed.

The people he's mocking aren't the ones who think DLC is out of control, it's the people who say that it's worthless, yet simultaneously claim it costs too much. Those are mutually opposing viewpoints, and a sign of an entitlist philosophy.

To be honest, I think DLC and microtransactions are out of control, I have for a very long time.

I don't think this is a very good example. If the game is considered a complete, fulfilling experience, why does the value go down in people's eyes if they find out it's more to it they can't have, no matter how optional(as all DLC is)? It's a rhetorical question: they think they deserve the content for free. They don't.

I have no idea on how one would go about articulating a law to regulate it, but even as someone who doesn't want the goverment involved in business any more than absolutly nessicary, I really think digital transactions need to have more standards applied to them, especially when connected to other products.

I disagree. It'd be like regulating those Deluxe Special Ultra Platinum Backflipping Ninja Edition DVDs. Games are an entertainment product, not something to waste a small fortune in taxpayer money legislating. If you think DLC isn't worth it, don't buy it. Write letters. Don't just complain on some forum.

10-15 years ago when digital downloads were just a whisper on the wind, people would have thought what we are seeing now is the height of ridiculous, paranoid technophobia, after all the gaming industry would "never be that greedy". Leave the door open too long, and I can almost guarantee eventually we'll see people angling to not only put games online and supported by microtransactions, but have people pay by the minute or hour like the days of things like Q-Link. It will be worked in gradually if it goes there (or I should say returns there) but guaranteed, unless someone slams on the brakes things are just going to get worse. What seems insane today, is oftentimes the sad reality of tomorrow when it comes to money making schemes.

This is called a "Slippery Slope" fallacy. "Allowing X will eventually lead to Y, and Y is bad, so X should be outlawed."

Heck, people will say "pay by the hour" is dead, but at the same time they thought the same thing about interactive movies, and look at Heavy Rain, their return is heralded as some kind of new and revolutionary thing.

Heavy Rain was incredibly polarizing. Critics liked it, and players either liked it or declared it a glorified Quick-Time Event. There was a lot of discussion on the matter. I'm not sure how you missed it.

There are two groups of people. "Rich" people with a relatively unlimited supply of disposable income. "Poor" people with a limited supply.

Though the game price is $X the "Rich" people are willing and able to spend $X+$Y on that game. The poor people are only able to spend $X. $Y is called consumer surplus.

Capturing the consumer surplus is done through market segmentation where practically the same product is offered for different prices with the higher priced version receiving amenities not available to the lower priced version.

This is similar to airlines offering coach, business, and first class tickets. All of them give you a ride to the destination. First class offers more room and the ability to get on and off first.

The reason there is a backlash is because poor are resentful of rich people. They hate being reminded that someone has the ability to spend more money even if it on something that has no practical value.

Things like cosmetic DLC let the rich people get to show off how rich they are and the poor people don't like it.

The Deadpool:

Therumancer:
Things that should already be in the game

It SHOULD? Why SHOULD it be already in the game?

Because they want it.

Therumancer:
It would have just been in the game, as alternative costumes usually were.

Would it? It would just as likely (more so, looking at Portal 1) just NOT been in the game AT ALL.

I don't see the problem with separating actual content from useless fluff, so those of us who don't want to pay for such stupid crap DON'T HAVE TO.

Therumancer:
and the game industry looking for literally every angle they can to make a buck off of people.

To be fair, those who aren't look to make a buck aren't really in business anymore.

I like how people tend to vilify businesses for trying to make money.

But the old model was there you put a minimum amount of fluff to please the people who love that stupid crap and then charge EVERYONE for it.

Valve's current model is that thsoe of us who DON'T care about what our in game avatars look like DON'T PAY A DIME. Those of us who DO care, have a huge and extensive store worth of crap to pick from and the possibility of even more to come. Win/win.

Hit the nail on the head.

I can't speak for him either, but were I to guess, his lack of comments on Street Fighter IV probably stem from his not playing Street Fighter IV.

From what I've seen on 20sided, Shamus is mostly a PC gamer.

I'm willing to bet you'll see that steady stream of new maps pretty soon; in fact I'll be surprised if they don't open it up to community submission somehow, considering Valve's record with community content in the past. While I agree that Portal 2 hats wont be anywhere near as successful as they are in TF2, I wouldn't write them off quite as much as you have here.

Those "self entitled" (as the phrase du-jour) whiners need to suck a lemon.

@ The Deadpool and JohnWood I find that you make some good points and the issue of DLC or not is one that we could have a long and vicious argument over... (wait we are having that right now aren't we). But to me the big issue isn't being addressed.

@Therumancer to be clear I think that you have a kernel of truth in what you say but I'm going to defend the not at all ad-hominem usage of the term 'idiots' here for a second. (This also gets to the heart of *MY* problem with this whole kerfuffle.)

Pejoratives about intelligence have been flying around like crazy in this argument, as in most net 'discussions'. However most if not all of these were words before they were insults. And, this is the important part, it is in fact idiotic to torpedo the reputation and marketability of something that is objectively amazing over something so very very petty and irrelevant as optional digital hats. Portal 2 without the silly little hat store would be amazing, the individual aspects of Portal 2 are on average pretty amazing, the effort and love Valve (and the voice actors) clearly poured into it is rare in my experience (and dare i say Amazing). I won't claim that it has no flaws, I won't go so far as to say it's a 10 (though seeing as how no game has had me spontaneously orgasm though game play no game is), but i will say unequivocably that it is not a 4.7 out of 10. and that kind of petty juvenile sniping is not only idiotic, it's vicious and could drive away future attention to something that is, if not art, a gem in the cesspool of AAA games available these days.

Obviously Valve is planning DLC and whatnot to make people want to get hats more. Possibly even Portal hats to trade to TF2?

Therumancer:

Ask yourself if DLC didn't exist, would Valve, Capcom, or other companies doing things like this have tried to ship out and sell this content as a seperate disk based add on? No, they wouldn't have. It would have just been in the game, as alternative costumes usually were.

The point is that people who are upset over this don't like being gouged, and the game industry looking for literally every angle they can to make a buck off of people. Increasingly, anything that can be held back from a game and sold seperatly will be.

Actually a valid point, but you really can't put that genie back in the bottle.

I am not a TF2 player, but the sheer volume of extra content being sold as DLC would certainly not exist if the microtransaction model didn't exist.

I think that over time this will be a good thing -- note that MMOs are going free-to-play and making even more money with microtransactions. I am curious when we'll see someone experiment with this in the AAA realm.

Therumancer:

While I can't speak for you, I'll also point out that a lot of the defenses of what Valve is doing is because it's Valve. You'll notice not many people have come running to Capcom's defense over what is pretty much the same exact issue, with them selling recolors and alternate costumes for characters in games like "Street Fighter".

Valve gets more latitude in some quarters because they're Valve. Just as Blizzard gets a pass on late releases because they're Blizzard. To be honest I don't know if I quite feel the same way about Blizzard as I used to, but nothing valve has done really damages their reputation.

The Portal2 ARG encouraged a lot of people to buy the potato sack, but the people who completed the golden potato challenge ended up with a very nice, unannounced prize. So Valve doesn't get the same default assumption of being evil that might extend to other publishers.

Therumancer:

It's fine to respecfully disagree with people, but to mock, misrepresent, and call them idiots? I'm sorry I can't really get behind that. What's more, think about how this is going to make you look if you at some point decide "okay, well DLC is going to far here" and people can point a finger at your passionate defense of Valve and ask "well, what makes it less ridiculous for Valve to do, as opposed to this other company?".

I don't think Shamus meant to call everyone on your side of the fence an idiot. Just the idiots. I can't see into another person's heart, but I haven't really seen Shamus show that kind of over-generalization and malice. His comic is intended to be funny, and if he presented all sides of the issue rather than zooming in on this one aspect of the review-bomb crowd, the comic would not be funny. If you want to see a more open discussion of the issue which takes the time to respect the opinions of those involved, see his experienced point column here on the escapist, and the thread over on shamusyoung.com concerning the same. http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=11445

Therumancer:

To be honest, I think DLC and microtransactions are out of control, I have for a very long time. I have no idea on how one would go about articulating a law to regulate it, but even as someone who doesn't want the goverment involved in business any more than absolutly nessicary, I really think digital transactions need to have more standards applied to them, especially when connected to other products.

The important thing to remember is that these are totally optional items that are not necessary to fully enjoy a game, which is itself a luxury item.

Regulation is something that one could argue should apply to things like food and shelter, which are necessities. And water and power, which are necessities over which providers will generally have a natural monopoly. Not for silly hats that aren't needed to fully enjoy a game.

Also, Valve needs to sell me a space core, and a turret. Please?? http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/7.279925-This-Talking-Plush-Portal-Turret-Doesnt-Hate-You

The_root_of_all_evil:
While I'm tempted to say "Stout Shako for 2 Refined", I'll hold my tongue.

Valve are walking a very precarious tightrope at the moment between WoW-style drones and DCUO's discoverable styles. Anyone whose ever played Champions Online, The Sims or City of Heroes/Villains knows how important style can be to immersion, especially self-immersion - but paying for it?

It was more viable as, as Shamus says, long-term gaming. (Tell me any WoW player that wouldn't chuck a month's subscription on a TF2 hat for their avatar) Making this a standard policy though? That's dangerous; as it will actually damage immersion.

most of the game is in first person mode. you cant even see the stuff you got on unless you gesture or something.
you might as well pretend you have a hat on. its not like you would notice it aint there.

To me the only problem I have with crap like this is I am an older gamer...been gaming since long before DLC was around, or you could say mods were DLC in the day but they were free. So to someone like me I remember older games which use to have crap like that already in the game as an unlockable for doing something special or difficult. Hell back then mappacks were also free addons like with Unreal Tournament. However since the introduction the the DLC format they have found that they can usually charge extra for stuff that use to be free in the old days, and some companies realize that they can event get most idiot consumers to pay for worthless stuff because now a days most consumers have been raised in this DLC culture and don't remember that things use to be different.

But that is just from my point of view and is why I don't purchase DLC unless it fits in my idea of an expansion pack like the old days. And even games that seem to rely heavily on DLC I will just never purchase (and no I don't Pirate them either, I just don't play them at all). Though you know...*shrug*...to each their own, if you want to buy something that most modders can easily add for free then go for it.

GIVE ME FREE HATS OR GIVE ME DEATH

The punchline should have been 'There's no space here for it.'

The main gripe i have with Valve's DLC is not that its there, but that they said that they would never use DLCs because apparently all of them are only made to nickel and dime the customer, despite many excellent DLCs having been made. So when they make DLC content, they not only go back on their (frankly arrogant) statements, but they come out with weak-sauce DLCs such as 5$ hats.

Seriously, they could not have fucked this up more.

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