The Best of the Steam Workshop
For weeks now, the TF2 Community has been sitting with their eyes glued to their computer monitors, waiting for the update that would bring them Meet the Pyro. Several hints towards something big have been added to the game over the past few updates, teasing us like that one kid that used to say he had all sorts of cool stuff that you could never see. Well, now that Valve has taken a collective vacation to Hawaii, the TF2 community knows that this week is not the week they will see this update, and is left to just kinda sit around feeling sorry for themselves. Being far too pompous and egotistical to do such a thing, I got off my ass and made my OWN update.
A while back, Valve opened the Steam Workshop so that players could submit content and mods to certain games available on Steam. So far, this has meant a place for hopeful modelers to upload their items for use in Team Fortress 2, with a small segment set off to the side for nude mods for Skyrim and Garry’s Mod. My friend Vinny and I have taken some time away from our intimate anime pornography binging sessions to scour the depths of the Team Fortress Workshop, wading our way through the countless MS Paint drawings by Russian kids and stolen Gamebanana mods to bring you an extensive list of our most-wanted items from the Steam Workshop to be used in Team Fortress 2.
We wanted to start things off by introducing you all to something you might not be aware of, the Community Item Update Collections, organized by Ned_Ballad of Facepunch. The first collection contains all of the updates and fixes submitted to the Workshop by item contributors who already have items in-game. The Last Breath’s extensive clipping issues, the Airborne Armament’s odd visual issues when equipped by the Pyro, and many other visual bugs are fixed by the items in this pack. The second pack contains “unofficial” fixes and updates to items that need fixing, created by members of the Team Fortress community. Implementation of both of these packs would greatly improve TF2, and make it a much more “finished” product. Before anything else, we hope to see these two packs brought in-game.
With the fix pack mention out of the way, now the real fun begins! Kicking off our magical journey of optimism, Vinny and I both jumped at the idea of these items being in-game. We aren’t big fans of the Barbie Fashion Parade aspect of TF2, but we both adore these hats. Very well-made, not extraordinarily flashy or extravagant, simple, conservative, and classy, these hats would offer players the opportunity to customize their characters without needing to dress themselves up as clowns.
The Public Enemy pack by Elbagast is an excellent-looking set that, again, manages to keep things conservative and subtle. In addition to the set’s visual appeal, it also brings to the table a replacement Scattergun and a replacement Pistol, which are two things we haven’t seen much of in TF2. In a world of Force-a-Nature-style weapons and fizzy beverages, these two weapons would be welcome additions to TF2.
Following off of the previous point of there not being enough Scattergun-style weapons, we move on to the Killa Kan. The Kan keeps within TF2’s original art style and has a nice balance between not being incredibly dull and not being overly flashy. This weapon would make a fine addition to TF2.
This one was Vinny’s choice. The models are very well-made and would bring a nice bit of variety to the Scout’s drink collection. Despite my dislike for the whole idea of passive weapons as opposed to things you can shoot people with, I wouldn’t mind seeing these things implemented, even if the orange bottle does not read “Potato Orange” as I originally thought.
If there’s one thing the Workshop isn’t lacking, it’s cosmetic Scout shirts. This one stands out, however, by managing to step away from the oddly consistent flaw that the other shirts have: the ugliness that results from attempting to add sleeves to a model that didn’t originally have them. The Jogger’s Jacket manages to avoid this issue and it looks damned fine as a result.
Listen up dudes, if you want to be the radnasiest boarder in this piece, you needs to get your mits on this mondo cool swag. All the cool dudes and dudettes be flipping and kicking madnasty on this grody shit, and now you can too, dogg. Get the votes up in the air like a badical rudebrazen kickflip and let this mother sail to the top like tomorrow ain’t even a thing, man.
The Soldier has enough items. MOVING ALONG.
In a world of really damn stupid looking “oh so random” Pyro items like the Birdcage or the Madame Dixie, what the Pyro really needs is a set of badass looking weapons and cosmetics to make players actually respect him/her/it as a character. This set is downright awesome looking, and we both felt that it was overlooked in favor of sillier items when it was included in the Night of the Living Update fan-project.
The Firkin Flamer has always been a favorite of Vinny’s, and its inclusion in the Advanced Weaponizer mod earned it a special place in my heart too. Its inventive design and high potential make it a must-have for the both of us.
I’ve been following the development of this item for a while, and even used an early version of it as a skin for my Flare Gun. The idea of using the Flare Gun’s animations for a break-action shotgun is an absolutely genius one, and the Support Specialist in me hopes that this item gets in soon.
Rounding off the Pyro items, we both agreed that this item would be best for implementation. This item was intended as a complementary item for the Flamboyant Flamenco, which made it in to the final game. There really is no reason for this item to not be in-game, and hopefully it can be included at some point in the future like some kind of sappy sunset reunion of a long-separated pair of siblings or lovers.
The task of finding good items for the Engineer was an admittedly difficult one. When Valve said that they can’t seem to find any interesting Engineer items, by the end of our little journey here we discovered exactly what they meant. Most Engineer items on the workshop are either incredibly dull or incredibly gimmicky, with very few that find the right balance between flashy and subtle. Fortunately, Sexy Robot’s “Maintenance Essentials” is one of the few that finds this balance, and does so incredibly well. Sexy Robot respects the art style and the Engineer’s character, and the set shines for it.
I’ll admit, going into this I wasn’t incredibly keen on giving the Demoman any items at all, seeing as he’s been almost as much of a hog as the Soldier. It wasn’t until my friend pointed out to me that it wasn’t the Demoman being the hog, but the Swordsman subclass. After that, I got my head out of my ass and we both got to tracking down some good exploding things for the Demo.
This first set is made by BANG!, the creator of the #1 Fan Scout set. Vinny criticized this set for looking a little too “modern,” and I can see where he was coming from with that. However, I still love this set for its fact that every single item in the set is designed to explode. It comes with a grenade launcher, a blast shield with a landmine strapped to it, and a bottle of Nitroglycerine. Every single item in this pack goes boom, and that’s something that the game’s resident explosives enthusiast needs.
This one was one of Vinny’s picks. I never much cared for the design of the thing, but I have to admit that it does look very nice and it fits with the art style well. Vinny was adamant that I put it in the list, and it seems to be fairly popular in the workshop, so maybe I’ve just got my head up my ass again.
Another one of Vinny’s picks, and one I’m more keen to agree with. It’s a very simple yet very exceptional grenade launcher that even comes with its own set of custom pipes! In addition to that, it doesn’t look like it would have the same technical issues that the Loch n’ Load has been suffering with for well over a year now, and that’s always a plus. As the comments section of the item so eloquently put it, “it does not suck.”
This is something that Vinny got pretty sore at me for including, but I am very quick to disregard his opinion when I don’t agree with him. The Ritzy Rebel is a primarily cosmetic set for the Demoman that also adds a cane/sword melee weapon. Plus, it was made by Ronin and Psyke, one of the best creative duos in the workshop. If anyone deserves more items in the game, it’s those two. Dudes need to get their Self-Made sparkle on.
The Chef Heavy set, or as it was known during the Polycount contest, the “Cooking Papa” set has had a place in my heart for a long while. I’ve always loved this set for being simultaneously really funny and well-made, not something you see too often. The set was the most popular Heavy set during the Polycount contest, but has unfortunately faded in to obscurity since then. Hopefully this article will help to being some attention back to this set, and maybe in the future we can all run around with egg beater shaped Miniguns and munch on giant cookies in the battlefield.
One of Vinny’s picks, and one that was too funny to not include. This teeny-tiny gun seems like it would be a nice departure from the usual sort of Heavy secondary weapons, and really fun weapon to use. Still, while we both would love to see this in-game, we know that we probably shouldn’t hold our breath.
This portable Bofors cannon is seriously just a badass gun, and a concept that has been floating around the Internet for a long time. The model is incredible, the concept is wicked, and some long-range defensive capability seems like just the sort of thing the Heavy needs.
The Goalkeeper is a bit of an odd case. It was originally commissioned by Valve to be included in the Uber Update for the Heavy, as a sort of anti-projectile weapons. For some strange reason, though, the weapon was never included. LaroLaro has since uploaded the weapons to the workshop for all of us to see what we were missing, and the end result is just fantastic. Even if it doesn’t get its original anti-projectile stats, I’d love to see this beauty of a weapon implemented in to the game.
I realize that I’m going down the silly road for the Heavy, but the Queen fan in me simply can’t let this go unmentioned. If this item got in-game, I would quickly drop my combo of my Vintage Officer’s Ushanka and my Security Shades in favor of looking like Freddie goddamn Mercury.
Similarly to the Engineer, the Medic items in the Workshop seem to all be on either the “incredibly dull” or the “over-designed and gimmicky” sides of the spectrum. The Enlightenment Pack by Nappy da Wise is certainly an exception. The set finds and excellent balance between keeping things fresh and interesting and keeping things from being too flamboyant and over-detailed. Not to mention that the primary weapon of the set is a damn needle-firing shotgun, which is completely unlike anything the Medic currently has. The goggles/chinstrap combo cosmetic isn’t anything to sneeze at, either. In addition to all that, the items don’t have bird shit all over them, a trend that “Meet the Medic” seems to have unfortunately started.
The Kritzkrieg Backpack is an item not intended to be a cosmetic or an independent weapon, but rather an addition to an existing weapon. The Kritzkrieg was one of the first items added to TF2, back when Valve was still planning on updating the console version with the weapons. As a result of this, the Kritzkrieg has a very low-resolution texture that has not aged well at all. Neodement and Pie_Tony worked very hard to bring us a set of improvements for this poorly-aged item that deserves a little love.
The Comrade’s Gift is a fun little hat that highlights the friendship between Heavy and Medic players. Vinny wasn’t much for this item, but with the Officer’s Ushanka being my favorite hat and the Medic being my favorite class, my bias got the better of me.
The Urban Professional set is just that, a very professional Sniper set that doesn’t rely on any sort of gimmick to make itself look good. By not resorting to any sort of flashy gimmick or joke, the set is stands out as one of the better Sniper sets in the Workshop.
Like the Chef Heavy set, the Outback Hunter has been a long-time favorite of mine from the time before “Mannconomy” wasn’t even a thing and the Polycount Update was a mythical coming of so many long-awaited weapons for the Engineer and the Medic. The Outback Hunter’s unique quality that made it stand out for me was its double-barreled Sniper Rifle and the potential that could have risen from it. In addition to that, the set comes with a SMG secondary, something the Sniper has yet to obtain, and a very manly mustache to tie up the package. It’s not the most popular set in the workshop, but it’s one of my favorites.
The Compensator is another relatively old item, and another one of my favorites. It seems like it would be just the sort of ridiculous thing that the Sniper needs. I’m not usually one to make up weapon stats and properties, but the idea of this weapon sending you flying backwards whenever you shot it sounds downright hilarious to me, and something I’d love to see in-game.
Special tip of the hat goes to AyesDef’s Stylish Spy set, which will unfortunately not make its way in to the game completely due to Valve flagging the Stylish Spy suit itself as being incompatible with TF2. The reasoning for this is that it would require an additional bodygroup, which could reduce performance on lower-end machines. This was done for several of the most popular items in the workshop, a development that left a bad taste in the mouths of item creators and TF2 fans alike. One week later, Valve added a bodygroup for the Pyro for a promotional item.
The rest of the set, however, is still compatible and still fantastically made. Hopefully Valve will implement the other items, even if they don’t implement the actual item that everyone wanted.
Created in light of the recent addition of a “Sapper” slot to the TF2 Loadout screen, the Timely Demise is a creative concept that is bursting with potential. One quick look at the item’s comment section (which is not highly recommended) shows a huge support for the item being in-game, as well as several ideas as to how the item could work. If the item does end up in-game, it will certainly be something pretty revolutionary.
The [redacted] Man is one of my favorite cosmetic items in the Workshop. Absolutely brilliant as well as being incredibly funny, I can only hope to see this item in-game at some point in the game’s future.
Last, but certainly not least, the Lounge Lizard is one of the many Spy chest items created in the wake of the implementation of the Rogue’s Col Roule. Fitting of the Spy’s lady-killing personality, the Lounge Lizard is an absolutely hilarious Spy item, and one that would make me consider dropping my Doctor Whoa bowtie.
Well, readers, it’s up to you now. Anybody with a Steam account can go vote for these items to be included in Team Fortress 2. If you agree with our picks, then please do go support these items. If you think we glanced over certain items or if you disagree with some of our picks, leave a comment below and spark some discussion!