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Serious talk about keys


Happysedits
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So, what's the upsites and downsites of keys being almost 30 ref and not for exmple 10 ref?

 

With 30 ref you can buy 3xmore hats with 1 key than with 10 ref, thats one, are there some other advantages or disadvantages that are maybe more economybased

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The obvious thing is that they are becoming increasingly more difficult to get. While once it would take just a few days for a newer player to get a key (such as when it was 2.33-2.66 ref), it'll take months now (assuming that they are purchasing it with weapons -> scrap from drops and they don't get random hat drops). Along with that, being that keys are the referent object/standard for the economy, weapons and scrap are entirely loosing their value that they once held. This, however, is inevitable; as more people play, obviously more scrap will enter the economy: hence the increase in key price. It's neither good nor bad, it's just inevitable.

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Trading for a key with metal is getting real hard a phone.

 

But a key now gets you a lot of cool stuff now.

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Times have changed, trading interests have shifted, and new items brought up different options for a more narrow community. There's a lot more too it than "keys buy this because ref cant buy this".

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Just to toss in my two bits, I mostly agree with the "It's neither good nor bad, just inevitable" sentiment. It's simple economics (and history) that a finite, but growing supply of currency will experience a severe and increasing loss of value (if you want a real-life example, just google the Weimar Republic of Germany post-WWI hyperinflation). As more items drop, the value of those items goes down. One anomaly to mention are name and description tags. Tags, being one of the few consumable items that people actually use, seem to hold their value marginally better than many other items that one can receive from drops. They aren't fully exempt however, just a little slower at it because the generation to use ratio is a little closer (number dropped per day compared to number used per day). Applied to the tf2 economy and followed to it's logical conclusion, there could conceivably come a day where it takes 100 ref to buy a key (I think it's more likely that the tf2 economy would crash prior to this point however). But notice what every trader with experience tells you: The value of keys in dollars has remained steady at just over $2, give or take depending on the buyer/seller relationship in any given instance (i.e. who approached whom). The background info aside, on to my opinion about this in a good/bad light. One up side is that if you want to spend real $$$ on the game, and don't need fancy stuff, your money now goes a LOT farther than it used to. $2-2.5 could conceivably get you almost a full cosmetic loadout for every class where it used to buy maybe a single class' loadout. One down side is that it's only ever going to get harder for new traders who are unwilling or unable to spend actual money to get into trading. 

 

Anyways, props to you if you made it through my ramble, just spilling some thoughts out of my head cause my brain's too full if you know what I mean.

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Adding to what others have said, metal is useless. That has always been the problem ever since it became a better deal to trade hats you wanted rather than crafting them yourself. Why use 3 ref for an RNG hat you may not even like when you can just get it from another player for 1.33?

 

Remember bread boxes -- or whatever they were called? Those actually gave the demand of metal a bit of a boost and lowered the price of a key a ref or two. We all know that didn't last for too long.

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I wonder -

 

Does having more players retained due to being able to buy more hats with a single key, but ineffective trading at the lower levels (due to bots etc) lead to more money injected into the game (since you can't trade your way up easily)?

 

If so, I'm all for money being injected into the game.

 

To ask an unpopular question - it is clear that low tier trading (ie. regular hats, cheaper stranges etc) is injured by the combination of bots and rising keys/refined - but other than traders, is anyone else injured by the inevitable changing face of the economy?

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"One down side is that it's only ever going to get harder for new traders who are unwilling or unable to spend actual money to get into trading."

 

Hasn't stopped me.. I started a little over a month ago with my backpack being around 15-17 ref and now I have nearly 12 keys in my backpack. (I used the steam community market a LOT which worked in my favor I guess)

 

Also, first post so I don't know if I can quote and just remove the rest of the text I don't need or not :D

 

Edit: I also didn't spend any real world money to get there, only what I sold from the scm.

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"One down side is that it's only ever going to get harder for new traders who are unwilling or unable to spend actual money to get into trading."

 

Hasn't stopped me.. I started a little over a month ago with my backpack being around 15-17 ref and now I have nearly 12 keys in my backpack. (I used the steam community market a LOT which worked in my favor I guess)

 

Edit: I also didn't spend any real world money to get there, only what I sold from the scm.

Well then more power to you for that. But you said it yourself, you used real-world currency in the process, albeit without investing anything out-of-pocket (going with the assumption that the 15-17 ref you've mentioned is from random drops). The thing about real-world currency versus tf2 items is that tf2 items only have value within the niche market that is the tf2 trading community. Last time I checked, keys can't be used to buy your groceries without first finding a tf2 trader willing to fork over real money for your stuff. This complicates things a lot, but for a simple example ask yourself this: when is the last time you found a trader who was advertising their willingness to buy your stuff for cash that didn't also require a discount? (Obviously excluding collectors, those guys are kind of wild cards). But I think I'm a bit off-topic here. The steam market in particular is interesting in that many of the people who use it are folks who don't want to get into trading, don't know that trading is a thing, or don't want to invest the time into trading for the sake of a better deal. So being somewhat careful, you definitely can use such a trend to your advantage when looking to make profit. Of course there's still valve's 15% cut, their equivalent of sales tax, and the inability to directly cash-out steam wallet funds for real money. So I would still stand by it being harder for new traders to get into trading, and implying a generalization is wrong with just a single counter example of yourself (which, in and of itself, could be biased) seems a little bit shaky to me. But I digress; In the end, everyone's going to have their own "how I got into trading" story, some of which will have had an easier time than others.

 

Also, first post so I don't know if I can quote and just remove the rest of the text I don't need or not :D

Also, you can absolutely use a quote and get rid of what you don't need.

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Just to toss in my two bits, I mostly agree with the "It's neither good nor bad, just inevitable" sentiment. It's simple economics (and history) that a finite, but growing supply of currency will experience a severe and increasing loss of value (if you want a real-life example, just google the Weimar Republic of Germany post-WWI hyperinflation). As more items drop, the value of those items goes down. One anomaly to mention are name and description tags. Tags, being one of the few consumable items that people actually use, seem to hold their value marginally better than many other items that one can receive from drops. They aren't fully exempt however, just a little slower at it because the generation to use ratio is a little closer (number dropped per day compared to number used per day). Applied to the tf2 economy and followed to it's logical conclusion, there could conceivably come a day where it takes 100 ref to buy a key (I think it's more likely that the tf2 economy would crash prior to this point however). But notice what every trader with experience tells you: The value of keys in dollars has remained steady at just over $2, give or take depending on the buyer/seller relationship in any given instance (i.e. who approached whom). The background info aside, on to my opinion about this in a good/bad light. One up side is that if you want to spend real $$$ on the game, and don't need fancy stuff, your money now goes a LOT farther than it used to. $2-2.5 could conceivably get you almost a full cosmetic loadout for every class where it used to buy maybe a single class' loadout. One down side is that it's only ever going to get harder for new traders who are unwilling or unable to spend actual money to get into trading. 

 

Anyways, props to you if you made it through my ramble, just spilling some thoughts out of my head cause my brain's too full if you know what I mean.

 

Don't really have anything to add, you hit the nail on the head. Though the hypothetical crash is super interesting to me; it's hard to imagine a scenario for an economic recession/depression within TF2. Simply a really cool concept to think about. 

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Don't really have anything to add, you hit the nail on the head. Though the hypothetical crash is super interesting to me; it's hard to imagine a scenario for an economic recession/depression within TF2. Simply a really cool concept to think about. 

 

Well a depression/recession is usually preceded by panic selling (Like the US stock market in 1929). It's kind of inevitable that it's going to happen eventually, tf2 won't last forever after all. Please don't mistake this for just another "TF2 is dead/dying" comment, it isn't. It's more just a comment on the fact that nothing lasts forever; the amount of time that it does last, however, is basically going to be in the community's hands. When Valve eventually pulls the plug on TF2, it will because the expenses of maintaining it exceed the revenue they receive from things like the steam market; In other words, when it's no-longer profitable. Community servers will still exist for a while beyond this point, but eventually they'll shut down too. That said, my guess as to when this will happen is as good as the next person's, but I'd hazard a guess that it will happen one of two ways: Either Valve will screw an update up so badly there's no going back, or there will be an exponential decay of the player base over time. Here's to hoping that it doesn't happen for another ten years.

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Well a depression/recession is usually preceded by panic selling (Like the US stock market in 1929). It's kind of inevitable that it's going to happen eventually, tf2 won't last forever after all. Please don't mistake this for just another "TF2 is dead/dying" comment, it isn't. It's more just a comment on the fact that nothing lasts forever; the amount of time that it does last, however, is basically going to be in the community's hands. When Valve eventually pulls the plug on TF2, it will because the expenses of maintaining it exceed the revenue they receive from things like the steam market; In other words, when it's no-longer profitable. Community servers will still exist for a while beyond this point, but eventually they'll shut down too. That said, my guess as to when this will happen is as good as the next person's, but I'd hazard a guess that it will happen one of two ways: Either Valve will screw an update up so badly there's no going back, or there will be an exponential decay of the player base over time. Here's to hoping that it doesn't happen for another ten years.

Yeah, I really doubt the latter will happen for awhile, at least until a new version of Team Fortress comes out (Team Fortress 3 anyone). The playerbase is one of the most loyal playerbases of any large game; even when a direct competitor comes out, such as Overwatch, the numbers of TF2 are barely touched (scrap.tf said that analytics from all of the sites they manage didn't have a massive dip like expected).

 

Though I can definitely see the former happening. Valve doesn't have the best relations to community servers already, but thank god we don't experience the same issues that CS:GO does.

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