Team Fortress 2 Tweaks the Drop System

Items in Team Fortress 2 will drop more frequently under changes Valve just rolled out, ones that the publisher hopes will discourage standing around idly in the game waiting for them to happen.

The old system would determine, at random intervals, if you would experience an item drop. Now it determines at random when the next drop will occur. Subtle difference but "you're guaranteed to find items at fairly regular intervals," according to Erik Johnson on the official Team Fortress 2 blog. "The bulk of drop complaints we've received in the past have been from players having unlucky streaks, where they didn't find any items for weeks. That won't be possible now."

In addition to that change, Valve promises that they've significantly increased the rate at which drops occur. Further, they capped the amount of playtime per week in which you'll see item drops. Logging playtime beyond that won't equal more opportunities at item drops. "The amount varies, but if you play an hour or so a day you're good," Johnson said. "Some of your unused time will rollover to the following week, so if you're an intermittent player you'll also be fine."

That means that idling, whether done through a scripting program or server or just the old fashioned standing around way, won't get you any closer to the goodies. But bully for Valve for increasing the frequency of item drops, which is a proactive step that provides incentive for playing, as opposed to ramming in some disincentive for cheating. Two different things, and they get the difference.

Thanks for Standin Still, Wanker
[Team Fortress 2 Blog]