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Yoyoness

Refined Sink Idea: Restore Feature Fee

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Yoyoness

Just throwing this idea out there, not sure if anyone has mentioned it before. What if the TF team implemented a fee on using the restore feature for items (the thing for removing paints, killstreaks, decals, custom names, etc.) of some amount of refined (maybe 3)? I don't know how often it would be used in comparison to the other refined sinks people have proposed, but it doesn't involve setting up a completely new system, meaning it could probably be more easily implemented with the limited size of the TF team. Thoughts?

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Keks

im not the best when it comes to TF2’s economy, but rhat would reduce the price of ka kits, decals, etc. Also, valve works on money, not metal

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Gabe

This would put a microscopic dent in the whole refined metal hyperinflation situation and would be VERY annoying to any player who isn't into trading and therefore has no real reason to have refined in his inventory. Valve needs to do something though. 

 

My solution (hot take alert) 

 

-Make a refined metal shop that's basically a mann co. store clone but you pay with ref

 

-Have exclusive items there you cant get anywhere else (strange Bill's hats, collectors earbuds chemistry sets, or just take stuff from the steam workshop) 

 

-keep said exclusive items very limited (after 1000 are bought the item is retired)

 

-maybe make the items tradeable/marketable to give players more incentive to buy

 

If Valve did this keys would go back to being 10 ref in a matter of weeks guaranteed. Unfortunately no one calling the shots on the TF team seems to know how to economy.

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Beaser

Pretty much any refined sink ideas are just garbage, just let the economy get rid of refined once it is so useless

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Speedwagon

A ref shop isn't an idea I've heard of before and it sounds like it could work if valve did it right. Exclusive items are all but necessary, but keeping them in limited amounts would just allow somebody to buy a majority of them and then put them on trading sites for whatever ridiculous price they want. You would have to not have a limit on how many can be bought (although you could make them available for a limited time). I don't get your reasoning on making them tradeable or marketable either, because if people don't deem an item worth the price in ref you could have people selling the item for lower than how much it is in the official shop (like how weapons are now in the Mann. co store), which would make the official source useless if only to act as a price ceiling.

 

Also, Beaser, what exactly would take the place of refined? We'd still need a currency to be used for items worth less then a key. It's awfully pessimistic to just say every idea is trash and get rid of refined while not providing an alternative.

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Yoyoness
1 hour ago, Gabe said:

This would put a microscopic dent in the whole refined metal hyperinflation situation and would be VERY annoying to any player who isn't into trading and therefore has no real reason to have refined in his inventory. Valve needs to do something though. 

 

My solution (hot take alert) 

 

-Make a refined metal shop that's basically a mann co. store clone but you pay with ref

 

-Have exclusive items there you cant get anywhere else (strange Bill's hats, collectors earbuds chemistry sets, or just take stuff from the steam workshop) 

 

-keep said exclusive items very limited (after 1000 are bought the item is retired)

 

-maybe make the items tradeable/marketable to give players more incentive to buy

 

If Valve did this keys would go back to being 10 ref in a matter of weeks guaranteed. Unfortunately no one calling the shots on the TF team seems to know how to economy.

I think it's less that the TF team doesn't know and more that they care more about improving the actual gameplay. Also, I never wanted to restore items before I traded. I didn't know the feature existed until I started trading, so I don't think it's that much of an issue for players who don't trade.

 

Also there's no way those items in the ref shop can be tradable or marketable, or we'll be dealing with this same problem some time down the road.

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Scott Bakula

All adding a fee like that would do is make people resort to trading to get around it.

 

If they really wanted to make a decent refined sink without creating something new, we'd see another wave of chemistry kits/bread boxes or another Golden Wrench-style event.

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SubZeroDestruction

Personally, I don't think a shop or any type of "Exclusive" items would solve anything, especially since there needs to be something in place to delay the amount of ref being made in the first place.

Exclusive items solve nothing unless they can't be traded (since they would be instantly inflated in supply, and become worthless in trying to obtain after enough have been made, where the value is cheaper to buy from someone)

Basically, another Bread-Box would possibly work short-term, but there's so much ref that it is unlikely to keep a high value long enough to keep crafting as to remove more ref.

 

My current thoughts on a sink (as well as any other ideas) only work if a delay on ref creation is made.

 

It follows as such;

 

  • Tie ALL weapon drops to weekly contracts.
  • 1 Contract per day, with any random weapon drop upon completion*
  • This means a premium & non premium users can get 7 weapon drops a week by just doing contracts, rather then waiting X amount of random time**
  • However, premium users still have an extra 7 drops that they could possibly get by just playing if they don't feel like doing contracts***
  • Crate/Case drops would still be separate drops*
  • This would almost completely stop bot farms, since a bot would not be able to complete a contract****

 

 

 

Following this is my current idea of one type of sink that could work short term, and possibly long term (but not as effectively)

 

We currently only have Civ grade stat-clocks, so since there is no other way to obtain higher clocks, add a crafting system for them.

  • Add a way to craft 1 Civ Clock for X amount of ref
  • Require 10 (or some other amount) Civ clocks to make the next grade up
  • Repeat these steps for each grade higher until Elite

The main two issues people will bring against this are

  • It will heavily devalue high tier Strange Skins. I personally argue that the value put into making an Elite Clock (or any clock aside from Civ) would not be drastic enough to lower all current S-FN Elite grades by a  large margin, let alone the fact you still have to unbox a Non-Strange Elite in the first place, with a wear worth using the clock on. Even current S-WW Elites wouldn't be hurt that much. However, I could see something like the FN Bogtrotter become worth less then the current 80~ key estimate depending on if there are more non strange FN variants out in the wild. (I could be heavily wrong though on the whole value deflation)
  • Not many people will actually use it, especially those who don't use skins/care. I don't disagree, but I also think that there are a large amount of users who would love to make their FN Assassin skin Strange, or their Merc grade skin, etc. Maybe not enough to overwhelmingly decrease the ref amount, but possibly start to make some form of dent compared to hat crafting.

 

 

 

Again, even this idea has flaws, and would probably have unforeseen consequences, but the only way I believe a sink will work is if it adds a way to get rid of ref, while also creating an item that has to be used itself, as to not become inflated and in-turn worthless to spend said ref on.

 

 

Notes:

* you could also possibly tie the rest of the loot-table as well, such as taunts, paints, hats, etc. or just leave the other drops as is

** this gives more incentive to play daily, however, this also means you would get less items per day compared to how you could get 3 weapon drops in 1 day

*** there could maybe be a system that lets a user choose to get every contract (or X amount of contracts) in a single day, instead of waiting each day

**** if the contracts did not reward points just based on getting a single score point, then this would almost certainly stop bots. However, if you can just finish a contract by getting a total of 100 score points, then they could still just farm.

 

 

(Even these ideas have issues or could be exploited by bad parties. This is the main reason why a solution is almost never going to happen, as it would have to be nearly perfect to be worth the time put into making it. The TF team have so many other issues to deal with, let alone the fact most people would get pissy if an update just revolved around trying to fix/help the ref issue occured)

 

Edit: I'm open to criticism/suggestions/etc. regarding my two ideas, and general debate of the topic itself.

However, I personally haven't seen many ideas/solutions that really hit the core of the ref issue, while also attempting to solve the issue of creation as well. If someone has made possible solutions that actually might solve the issues, I'd love to hear them.

Edited by SubZeroDestruction
quick addendum

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Rakin!

Bring back something like a HOUWAR back with 'tiers' of hats that people can pump more and more ref into to level it up to something badass. Have a hundred 'tiers' with an increasing amount of ref to craft the next 'tier'. Probably untradable, mostly a status symbol like the Dueler, Gifting Mann, Philateler. 

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SubZeroDestruction
28 minutes ago, Rakin! said:

Bring back something like a HOUWAR back with 'tiers' of hats that people can pump more and more ref into to level it up to something badass. Have a hundred 'tiers' with an increasing amount of ref to craft the next 'tier'. Probably untradable, mostly a status symbol like the Dueler, Gifting Mann, Philateler. 

 

Something like that could be interesting.

The thing is though, unless it's given to every user as "tier 0/1" or is easy to obtain such as crafting it in some form or as an achievement item, then I don't know if it'd work out since making it complicated to get in the first place would undermine it as a possible ref sink.

Even then, it would need to actually look "decent" or easily show off the fact you've pumped a ton of ref into it, for people to actually use it. Having a description or name that says
(for a bad example: Name - "The Crafting Man of Crafting Land", Desc - "X Ref has been imbued into this hat") wouldn't really be enough, since some people might have death screens turned off, or skip them entirely, and just generally isn't that big of a "showoff."

 

Maybe having the hat have different visual forms such as the Chess hat would work.

Maybe giving it a special unusual effect after hitting a certain amount (or a few different effects based on milestones, but the effects would be simple like the map stamp one)

Maybe increasing the amount of.. Something like ref that is "on" the hat.

 

Not sure, but the idea isn't completely horrible if done right.

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Snailiad

moar golden wrench-esque events that arent dominated by corrupt valve employees

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Yoyoness
9 hours ago, Scott Bakula said:

All adding a fee like that would do is make people resort to trading to get around it.

 

If they really wanted to make a decent refined sink without creating something new, we'd see another wave of chemistry kits/bread boxes or another Golden Wrench-style event.

3 ref to remove an attribute from an item is way more worth it than selling your item to try and get a very specific version that may or may not exist. Though maybe I'm assuming people will have more common sense than they actually will. Also there are many people who sell objectors who constantly need to remove decals, so they would have to use this (which would increase the price of objectors with decals, but hey, they already sell for twice as much as they cost to craft anyway).

 

8 hours ago, Rakin! said:

Bring back something like a HOUWAR back with 'tiers' of hats that people can pump more and more ref into to level it up to something badass. Have a hundred 'tiers' with an increasing amount of ref to craft the next 'tier'. Probably untradable, mostly a status symbol like the Dueler, Gifting Mann, Philateler. 

I really like this idea. It isn't overly complex like a store of exclusive items. Definitely has to be untradable, though.

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sfpt

why do you even want a ref sink. at some point it will sort itself out after nobody uses ref anymore. daily reminder ref is not an official currency and valve does not acknowledge it as such. same for keys. these items are just what the community has decided to be currency. it's not valve's job to fix these problems. it's ours.

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Yoyoness
7 minutes ago, sfpt said:

why do you even want a ref sink. at some point it will sort itself out after nobody uses ref anymore. daily reminder ref is not an official currency and valve does not acknowledge it as such. same for keys. these items are just what the community has decided to be currency. it's not valve's job to fix these problems. it's ours.

Then what do you propose as an alternative sub-currency, or how do you propose to fix the inflation of ref? If you're going to make such claims, at least provide an alternative solution.

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Yoyoness
1 minute ago, RED265 said:

Can I state first there is already a ref sink, crafting 3 ref for a craft hat....

But there's no incentive because it's basically a guaranteed loss in profit. Also it would inflate the price of random craft hats more if we all used it. That's why a ref sink that provides a service (like what I proposed, or something like a paint transfer tool (that is untradable)), or something like an untradable hat that can be leveled up to different tiers. These ideas don't shift the inflation of ref to other items in the economy.

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Speedwagon

I'd also like to mention that back in 2017 uncle Dane (or some other YouTuber, I don't remember exactly) went to valve and Jill told them that the team was considering a ref sink, however they were taking their time to make sure that it would be perfect and not be abused. Valve does care about refined and although they may not say it officially they consider it important enough to want to fix this.

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Uncle Dang

There are already plenty of alternative "currencies" with high volume, actual use cases, and decent, stable value such as Civilian Grade Stat Clocks, rare cases, Name/Description Tags, Festivizers, paints, Tour of Duty Tickets, and so on. If ref loses *most of* (it can't lose all of it for reason below) usability for exchange, trading will likely just shift to swapping items between keys and these other semi-stable "currencies" (that still have plenty of fluctuation to profit from).

 

Also, there already is a ref sink (but it's a minor one on its own) in the form of token-crafted weapons like the Sharp Dresser and AWPer Hand; people like these weapons a lot and will continue to be willing to buy them: therefore ref always has value. It's still lame though that this is the only intrinsic thing holding up the value of ref (other than that 3 ref craft recipe but that just ties it to willingness to pay for craft hats).

 

It'd be nice to have another use for ref, but realistically it won't be something that substitutes or competes with stuff that can be bought from the store (if anything, it will be something that encourages more consumption). This idea won't really do that, since it heavily discourages modifying your items, since they will be harder to trade (especially skins that you slap killstreaks or festivizers on: they will become virtually unsellable due to the specificity and the cost to remove the mods).

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🔥Master Throne Crimson🔥

Oh no, another one of these.

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Yoyoness
1 hour ago, Uncle Dang said:

There are already plenty of alternative "currencies" with high volume, actual use cases, and decent, stable value such as Civilian Grade Stat Clocks, rare cases, Name/Description Tags, Festivizers, paints, Tour of Duty Tickets, and so on. If ref loses *most of* (it can't lose all of it for reason below) usability for exchange, trading will likely just shift to swapping items between keys and these other semi-stable "currencies" (that still have plenty of fluctuation to profit from).

 

Also, there already is a ref sink (but it's a minor one on its own) in the form of token-crafted weapons like the Sharp Dresser and AWPer Hand; people like these weapons a lot and will continue to be willing to buy them: therefore ref always has value. It's still lame though that this is the only intrinsic thing holding up the value of ref (other than that 3 ref craft recipe but that just ties it to willingness to pay for craft hats).

 

It'd be nice to have another use for ref, but realistically it won't be something that substitutes or competes with stuff that can be bought from the store (if anything, it will be something that encourages more consumption). This idea won't really do that, since it heavily discourages modifying your items, since they will be harder to trade (especially skins that you slap killstreaks or festivizers on: they will become virtually unsellable due to the specificity and the cost to remove the mods).

Fair point, thanks for your input.

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sfpt
22 hours ago, Yoyoness said:

Then what do you propose as an alternative sub-currency, or how do you propose to fix the inflation of ref? If you're going to make such claims, at least provide an alternative solution.

I don't know what you mean. Why do we need a new alternative sub-currency to be decided here and now? My point is is that the best solution will arise at the point when people stop using ref in droves. It is not necessary to "fix the inflation" of ref, nor is it necessary to propose a new major sub-currency right now. It will sort itself out as needs change. That's how economy works

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RED265
On 7/15/2019 at 1:06 AM, Yoyoness said:

But there's no incentive because it's basically a guaranteed loss in profit. Also it would inflate the price of random craft hats more if we all used it. That's why a ref sink that provides a service (like what I proposed, or something like a paint transfer tool (that is untradable)), or something like an untradable hat that can be leveled up to different tiers. These ideas don't shift the inflation of ref to other items in the economy.

You know it’s possible to craft stuff such as dead of night, right? If a ref sink is done with sure profit, all it’ll do is lower the prices of the items in the ref sink till it’s below the cost, as supply will outstrip the demand

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slim daddy scrotum

Theoretically, couldn't we just make our own metal sink using bots? Why would we have to wait for Volvo? We could just make bot accounts and program them to craft hats and nothing else; people could donate however much ref they want to these bots to keep the crafting going, and so the market gets flooded with more hats, making them cheaper as a whole and easier to buy, and the price of ref goes up as the supply decreases to meet the much lower demand. We could even implement a system where to use premium features meant for higher-tier traders on sites such as backpack.tf or scrap.tf, you'd have to pay a tax of refined say, every week or every month, even. If we can program bots to accept trade offers, and correct people when they make a pricing mistake on their offer, then couldn't we just program bots to dump ref into craft hats?

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Uncle Dang
1 hour ago, slim daddy scrotum said:

Theoretically, couldn't we just make our own metal sink using bots? Why would we have to wait for Volvo? We could just make bot accounts and program them to craft hats and nothing else; people could donate however much ref they want to these bots to keep the crafting going, and so the market gets flooded with more hats, making them cheaper as a whole and easier to buy, and the price of ref goes up as the supply decreases to meet the much lower demand. We could even implement a system where to use premium features meant for higher-tier traders on sites such as backpack.tf or scrap.tf, you'd have to pay a tax of refined say, every week or every month, even. If we can program bots to accept trade offers, and correct people when they make a pricing mistake on their offer, then couldn't we just program bots to dump ref into craft hats?

Theoretically, yes. Realistically, it's a Prisoner's Dilemma where my best action is to just hoard my metal, regardless of whether everyone else decides to burn theirs. Anyone with profit in mind (who collectively will own the vast majority of the game's metal since it's pretty much only usable as a trading token) won't actually follow through.

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slim daddy scrotum

Theoretically, the bots wouldn't need everybody to donate a crazy amount of ref; if the majority of the TF2 trading community pitches in to give even one ref, that would be taking out a very large chunk of ref out of the current pool. The thing is with this idea, it's not intended to make people "band together" and go against profit, it's just a small and simple donation that doesn't affect them, if they aren't lower-tier traders. And besides, if even that doesn't help that much, implementing a tax on trading websites such as backpack.tf or scrap.tf for higher-tier trading features, such as unusual trading, would make higher-tier traders with ref to spare pitch in, which should noticeably help with the problem.

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