TF2 was the best free game during 2012, aka the last time 4chan was good, its a nostalgia trip. That being said it is a solid game, no matter how much valve seems to shake the shit it still seems to hold together. It would still have a dedicated playerbase just like every other older Valve game has. I don’t think adding lootboxes and appealing to marketplace autists, poorfags, and hackers just for the sake of keeping playercounts high is good for the health of the game. Lootboxes saved TF2 from death and CSGO from a very early death. That being said, Valve’s older fanbase doesn’t play games anymore. They’re all 30-40 year olds with children. Old source games do still have playerbases, but they mostly consist of third worlders with poor hardware. Think Russians, Africans etc. Same with TF2 also add memespouting redditors and people who don’t actually enjoy the game, only expensive cosmetic items. TF2 is an old source game. They’ve literally had to downgrade the graphics several times to accomodate for older hardware not being able to manage the base game + all the stupid fucking hats and effects added over the years. F2P TF2 was the best era of TF2, and I’m an oldfag. Instead of complaining about how awful things weer back then, I enjoyed it and now I have fond memories to look back on while you’re still a sad, bitter old man. I didn’t enjoy when they opened the floodgates of weapon/accessory loadouts. The class updates started well, you just needed to keep track of a couple of extra options that each class could be bringing at you and recognize how to deal with them.
After that a game that placed visual design informing gameplay as the foundation for the entire game, suddenly threw visual design out the window. Listening to the designer commentary about how much careful thought was put into the maps, characters, and their weapons all to make sure a player could tell at the briefest of glances what was going on, it just makes me sad now.