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A quick ask on the history of Tf2 trading and it's economy


Paluthyst
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Hello,


I am conducting a project on the history of the TF2 economy. If anyone is interested in voicing what they think are good representations of major turning points or their personal experiences in the economy are I would greatly appreciate it.
Since I am not very familiar with the whole history myself I would appreciate it if some people would take the time to give me a brief outline that I can conduct my own research from.


Many thanks,
Paluthyst

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keys surpassing 5 refined which was the start of the refined inflation

scrap.tf introduction

when trading went past 8 items allowed per trade

earbuds and max's heads becoming currencies and the later fall of earbuds

steam support no longer restoring scammed items

unusual taunts going from ultra-rare high value items to trash in the span of a month

the fall of tf2outpost and tf2warehouse, among other trading sites from the pre-gunmettle years

gifted tags becoming removeable

the rise of personal trading bots

steamguard mobile app introduction and escrow

killstreak kits introduction

the crate depression

gun mettle and the introduction of CSGO-style rarities and skins

 

all relevant and good points in the timeline of the TF2 economy to research and discuss.

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1 hour ago, Slam said:

keys surpassing 5 refined which was the start of the refined inflation

scrap.tf introduction

when trading went past 8 items allowed per trade

earbuds and max's heads becoming currencies and the later fall of earbuds

steam support no longer restoring scammed items

unusual taunts going from ultra-rare high value items to trash in the span of a month

the fall of tf2outpost and tf2warehouse, among other trading sites from the pre-gunmettle years

gifted tags becoming removeable

the rise of personal trading bots

steamguard mobile app introduction and escrow

killstreak kits introduction

the crate depression

gun mettle and the introduction of CSGO-style rarities and skins

 

all relevant and good points in the timeline of the TF2 economy to research and discuss.

The one I'm honestly so salty about is unusual taunts becoming trash, I wasn't trading at the time but I honestly wish valve never added unusualifiers to the game, I wish unusual taunts just remained high value because they're such a cool concept.

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The death of the god tier 1st gen hats is a good one to cover. Believe it was the introduction of the multi-class crate that caused items such as the Scorching KE to fall.

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17 minutes ago, Kolt said:

The death of the god tier 1st gen hats is a good one to cover. Believe it was the introduction of the multi-class crate that caused items such as the Scorching KE to fall.

Not so much the death of them as it was the decline of them in favor of old god tier hweens.

 

 

Don't forget the skins --> war paints transition btw.

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Other things not yet mentioned I can think of:

 

When TF2 became f2p, as removing that $20 barrier speed up the rate of inflation massively.

The introduction of the SCM, as well as the crash in value some items experienced when they became marketable

When CS:GO implemented the 7-day trade hold on their items, causing many traders to use tf2 items as liquid currency instead

Gift Wrap no longer being able to be used on untradeable items

 

 

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Also forgot spells, the key with that being that they were meant to be temporary and not permanent, so one has to wonder how many more spelled items and how many more god tier spell combos on top tier hats there would be if we knew they would be permanent.

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The Hype for Meet the Pyro, the rise and fall of the Burning KE, Quick rise in the price of limited items (ex. sparkle luger used to be 400 keys), HOUWARS being only able to be traded via gift wrap and ALL the scams that went with it. 

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These are scam related but still affected trading that I think are notable:

cc fraud / money laundering with EOTL keys somewhere in 2017. Someone paid almost double a realistic market value for your items in EOTL keys in order to clean them. A lot of these keys were later deleted

fake games on steam creating lookalike high tier items including golden pans. Happened a couple times. First time was in 2018. More info on reddit and the backpacktf discord #announcements 

  

24 minutes ago, Slam said:

Also forgot spells, the key with that being that they were meant to be temporary and not permanent, so one has to wonder how many more spelled items and how many more god tier spell combos on top tier hats there would be if we knew they would be permanent.

Slight correction, the spell bottles were meant to be temporary during the 2012/13/14 halloween events and didn't make a return in 2015 (more info here)

 

 

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the rise of halloween effects in the last 2 - 3 years

 

when i started trading you could buy all class arcana hats for ~200

 

gl with that today

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6 hours ago, Slam said:

keys surpassing 5 refined which was the start of the refined inflation

scrap.tf introduction

when trading went past 8 items allowed per trade

earbuds and max's heads becoming currencies and the later fall of earbuds

steam support no longer restoring scammed items

unusual taunts going from ultra-rare high value items to trash in the span of a month

the fall of tf2outpost and tf2warehouse, among other trading sites from the pre-gunmettle years

gifted tags becoming removeable

the rise of personal trading bots

steamguard mobile app introduction and escrow

killstreak kits introduction

the crate depression

gun mettle and the introduction of CSGO-style rarities and skins

 

all relevant and good points in the timeline of the TF2 economy to research and discuss.

Curious, what makes 5 ref the start?

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The retiring of the last Salvaged/Reserved crate in circulation and the addition of the pallet of crates (+the removal of said pallets dropping cases).

 

Salvaged crates really did make it so anyone could go from rags to riches much more than any attempt at trying to scrap to unusual. Most of the Salvaged crates ranged from 5-30+ keys back in the day while Reserved crates were ~2. If you dropped a salvaged crate, it was as if you dropped a low tier unusual. Now your best bet is holding onto cases and hoping that they become 3+ keys in ~3-5 years.

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15 hours ago, Paluthyst said:

Hello,


I am conducting a project on the history of the TF2 economy. If anyone is interested in voicing what they think are good representations of major turning points or their personal experiences in the economy are I would greatly appreciate it.
Since I am not very familiar with the whole history myself I would appreciate it if some people would take the time to give me a brief outline that I can conduct my own research from.


Many thanks,
Paluthyst

Definitely adding to this topic, 100%;

 

I like your profile picture.

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 Thanks everyone for your input!

The suggestions and starting points for my own research everyone gave me really helps

I am not very big into trading so it was interesting to see all the factors that raised or lowered prices of items.

 

I was very interested in this topic and hoped to do my project on this but unfortunately the topic I was going for wasn't accepted by my professor.

Regardless, I appreciate everyone who has commented on this topic and I wish you all the best.

Thank you,
Paluthyst

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18 hours ago, Vrakos Anthrakir said:

Curious, what makes 5 ref the start?

 

Can't entirely remember when the real "inflation" began, I'm just guessing around 5 ref because I remember keys being stable at 4.66-5.33 for a really long time before the true inflation began.

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The rise of the steam community market. That was a fun time.

 

... Except for everyone that had invested in bill's hats or earbuds. 

 

Even after the market had been open for about half a year, I was able to pick up a GBH dread knot for nearly the same price that people were listing Massed flies & Aces high, because people just took their fresh unboxes, saw "starting at $x,y" and quickly sold it to buy games or something. 

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3 hours ago, Birb said:

CSGO dev team getting its grummy hands onto tf2 during gun mettle, giving us the shit show know as warpaints and warpaint cases. 

If you want more info add https://steamcommunity.com/profiles/76561198035991719

War paints are a great move imo

Sure you won't get the whole 'designed specifically for that one weapon' thing some of the old skins but tf2 doesn't quite work like csgo - in cs there's no different classes, so if guy with $5 inventory unboxes a nice AK odds are he's going to use it. If guy with $5 tf2 inventory unboxes a nice knife but doesn't play spy he's a bit disappointed because it's something 'good' but not useful to him. War paints give you the freedom to take your nice skin and turn it into something you'll actually use. Plus it always bummed me out having some really sick skins that are only on a handful of weapons (such as shot/torqued to hell, boneyard, rainbow) when they could very easily have been remade as a warpaint by now. 
And from a trading perspective I love how hard all the variations makes it for bots to dominate the market - nice to have something where being human is still relevant.

 

I wouldn't mind seeing some more weapon specific skins for the sake of those one-offs where it wouldn't work as a war paint (mr cuddles minigun for example) but since they introduced war paints it makes much more sense to keep going with them as the standard.

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