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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Crate unboxing values

Every once in a while we see sites and tools in the TF2 community that we think are cool.  The Crate Unboxing spreadsheet is one of them.  It gives actual values (in scrap) of the average unboxed item and even factors in the cost of the key to unbox.  Very nice.

As of today (it gets updated once per week) the best crates to unbox look to be Salvaged Crate #30 (which is a no-brainer) and crates #13 and 14.  Also the current crate #37 is near the top of the realized value but that is more a function of it being new.  The coveted #19 crate is also up there.

Overall a smart little tool.  Link here.  FAQ is here.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

PSA: steam phishing sites

We've known people to be burned by these sites.  No matter how obvious a scam entering your email username and password may seem like, there will be people who fall for it.  When a site looks like the one you trust it's sometimes easy to be fooled.  That said, always check the URL before putting in your steam information.  This goes for logging into Steam, signing into your bank accounts, email websites, whatever.

Here's the latest one making the front page on Reddit.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

New update released...

Team Fortress 2

  • Added the Alladin's Private Reserve for the Demo
  • Fixed a bug where the Medic would lose his healing target's speed when deploying his √úberCharge while using the Quick-Fix
  • Fixed a bug that would cause some Team Spirit painted hats to show as black-painted in the Steam Community
  • Localized the team goal strings for cp_steel and pl_frontier
  • Added missing level_data strings to kill_eater_score_type elements in the GetSchema WebAPI response
  • Updated pl_frontier with author-submitted fixes:
    • small prop adjustments
    • several unsewn/gappy displacements fixed up
    • func_push altered below final capture point
  • Undocumented changes:[1] Updated all localization files

TF2 on a laptop

It probably is a pipe-dream to get Team Fortress 2 on a smartphone (and a pain to play so its better left that way) but TF2 on a laptop is an everyday occurrence now.  The specs that came out for the Half-Life 2 engine are easy to beat with almost all current notebooks and laptops.  After all, the HL2 specs were written when the resource-hog Windows Vista was still Microsoft's pinnacle OS.  But now there's a mature Windows 7 and Direct X far beyond the version 9 that TF2 makes use of.  Hardware-wise any Intel i3-i7 processors have more than enough horsepower.  AMD processors we haven't tested but anything made within the last year or two is probably more than adequate.  Touchpads are unusable in our experience, as our Dell test laptop couldn't even take commands simultaneously from the keyboard and pad.  We recommend a mini wireless laptop mouse (Logitech and Microsoft make adequate ones).  Standard graphics on our Latitude were more than adequate as well, same with HP middle-of-the-road laptops.

PC World has a new article on desktop replacement laptops here.  Good read and recommendations.   Cnet is another favorite of ours, and they have their own guide here.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Ellis' Cap value change effect

An interesting idea just came to us.  As Valve just had basically a huge giveaway to the TF2 community.  When they made Ellis' Cap craftable, the ensuing trading frenzy and price inflation gave back quite a bit to everyone who had one of these formerly useless hats in their backpack.

As of today, TF2Stats.net has approximately 74,019 backpacks with Ellis' Cap.  That is not a perfect # of course.  There are likely more Ellis' Caps out there due to hoarding and Valve only gives Tf2stats.net a portion of the total outstanding backpacks.  But it's the best # we have so let's go with it.

Prior to the update, Ellis was worth a scrap or two maximum.  At today's current price of refined metal, around $0.55 each.  2 scrap are valued at 0.22 refined.  Once they were changed to craftable they jumped to between a refined and 1.33 refined in value.  Let's say 1.22 refined to keep it simple.  That's 1 refined in value for 74,000 (at least) Ellis' Caps.  Thus, Valve gave back over $40,000 to the community.  Thanks Gabe!

edit: thanks Wolverine and BaconCat for catching our math error!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

PC Gaming: stronger than ever

The game we all have in common here is Team Fortress 2 of course.  Most of us play it on a PC (some on a Mac or console) but the overwhelming majority use a PC be that a desktop, laptop or a notebook.  We care about video cards, processors, cooling, memory and good monitors.  The mouse and keyboard is something I wish I could use on my own Xbox, rather than the slower and less natural controller.  Here is a great article with a good chart that shows that PC gaming is not dead.  In fact it is anything but.

New Poll: tell us your favorite Badge/Pin

We were bored here at TF2 Spreadsheet HQ and wanted to come up with a new poll.  We're always curious about those little badges and pins that keep coming out steadily.  We're mainly curious which one people like the most so tell us!  There's a new one of course, the Bolgan Family Crest however it hasn't been unlocked for trading so we didn't include it.

There's the requisite snark answer too, we'll let you guess which one it is.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Notes on site upgrade

Okay everyone, hopefully you've had a chance to play with the new spreadsheet UI.  We took our time to try and make it work correctly and address a lot of the concerns that you have let us know about.  Here is a list of the new functionality and how to use it.
  1. Show entries selector - the most obvious change is that the spreadsheet is shorter and defaults to 25 items.  You can change this to a different # or all items.  To do this, simply click the drop-down box and choose how many items you want.  We will keep the 3 most traded items on top and the default view as you requested (earbuds, bills, and keys).  From now on we will also add new items to the top of the list.
  2. Search box - any text in the sheet is searchable, including notes sections.
  3. Column sorting - the most requested feature.  In either ascending or descending order, click on the up/down arrow to the right of each column header.
    • Multi-column capability - by clicking on one column's arrow, hold down the Shift key and click on another.  For example, you can sort all the items by quality and then by their value in refined.  First click an arrow in the quality column, then hold shift and click on an arrow in the refined est. column. 
Other changes you may notice:
  • Change of "scrap" to "0.11".  This was not only done to keep the columns thinner but to also let sorting by the "refined est." column work better.   You will also notice that this column works in order of buds/bills/keys.  Thanks to our super-smart programmer for that.
  • Change in item qualities and some color coding.  We are trying to be more in-line with Valve's standards of color coding and item qualities.  At the same time we want it to be easy to differentiate between items that are of limited and unlimited nature.  Hopefully we've found a good solution now.
  • Usability on mobile/tablet devices, steam in-game - we tested this on both ipad/ipod and android tablets as well as while in game with the "shift-tab" option.  While not everything (ex: tooltips on tablets) works, the sheet is usable now on these other platforms better than before.
  • To everyone who requested we share the actual spreadsheet with them, there is a reason we don't.  The sheet itself is very slow because of the number of items and complexity of the formatting.  It would be even worse with everyone accessing it directly.   Having it as a published document makes it very speedy.
Although it may not seem like much it wasn't easy to reverse-engineer things after the sheet had been built for over a year.  This is not the end of the upgrading as we will tweak things as we get more feedback.  Thanks to all of you for your testing things for us and telling us when we screw up (praise is ok too!).  Happy trading!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

SOPA Strike

While we try not to get political here at the spreadsheet, there are occasions like this we feel that a cause is good enough to throw some support to.  SOPA is overreaching anti-copyright infringement legislation being proposed here in the United States.  It was drafted and financed by the industry it is supposed to protect, always a bad idea.  Here is how you can find out more and help the cause to stop this from becoming law.

http://sopastrike.com/

If you are from another county outside the US, carry on.  Just your American friends being a little crazy.  That is all.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New TF2 update

Team Fortress 2

Undocumented changes

Notes

  1. Warsworn Helmet, Bolgan and Bolgan Family Crest.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Upgrade is on its way

We are going to be upgrading the site tonight (Monday, Jan. 16th) sometime.  If things look screwy don't panic, we should have it running and a full-length post on the changes made and how to use the new features.  Hope you all are ready, we certainly are.  New logo coming too!

Ok people.  We are live!  A lot of work has gone into this and we want to send a collective thanks to Eric!  Instructions and explanations to follow but the spreadsheet is much more functional and usable thanks to a lot of hard work

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

New update released...

Team Fortress 2
- Fixed Cp_Foundry not ending the map in the middle of a round when mp_timelimit is hit
- Fixed the Spy saying 'Prego' for one of his 'Thanks!' lines
- Fixed incorrect player animations for the Buff Banner and the Battalion's Backup
- Fixed some cases where strange Ullapool Cabers and wrenches would fail to correctly count kills
- Improvements for client stability
- Updated the localization files
- Crafting changes:
- Added crafting recipes for weapons introduced during the holiday update
- When selecting items for use in crafting, the items selected will show their quality in addition to the item name
- Ellis's Cap can now be used as a crafting reagent (Admin: these are now craftable)
- Item changes
- Added The Lucky Shot helmet
- Added The Killer Exclusive to the Mann Co. store
- Added Mask of the Shaman to the item drop list
- Fixed particle display problems for items with multiple effects
- Fixed the Dr. Whoa paint not drawing correctly for the Blue team
- Updated the Desert Marauder and the Villain's Veil so they can be equipped together
- Updated the Fancy Dress Uniform and the Kringle Collection so they can be equipped together
- The Bombinomicon no longer shakes the screen and has a delay before the explosion so that Snipers, Spies, and others can get better feedback on the actual cause of death
- The Bazaar Bargain functionality has changed: only one stored head is lost on a miss or a bodyshot and no heads are gained when missing while crit-boosted

New crate # 37 also apparently (strange items and hats)
"The Bazaar Bargain"
"The Big Earner"
"The Blutsauger"
"The Liberty Launcher"

"Cosa Nostra Cap"
"Private Eye"

Spreadsheet upgrade on its way

A lot has been happening loyal traders!  We've been working with our developer to bring a more useful UI experience to the spreadsheet and like what we see so far.  Multi-column sorting, custom search results, and more!  We are excited to get the prototype live but have to wait a wee bit longer until some of the finishing touches have been added.  Stay tuned.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

How to interpret prices

We see that some misinterpret the sheet and want to make sure it is very clear what the prices mean.  Prices are in refined metal, unless noted.  When an item trades in keys or buds typically we will reflect that on the sheet.  Most importantly: prices are averages and never absolute.  If a price says "3 +/-" that means it could be 2.66 refined or 3.33 refined is the range we see as an average price.  Could that mean it trades for 2 ref?  Not likely and you are likely to do a transaction closer to the range stated...although that could involve time.  If the price says "2 - 3" that means on average prices are between 2 and 3 refined.  Could that item trade for 1.88 refined?  Certainly.  Would it trade for 1.33 refined?  Not likely a good deal for a seller and you could take more time to find a transaction closer to the range stated.

Someone who wants an item will likely pay a price in the area of what is on the sheet.  Traders who are only looking for profit will offer lower and/or try to sell higher.  Prices are not infallible and the sheet is briefly behind the market as changes in prices inevitably happen.  When trading and someone tells you something that is different than what you believe or is on the sheet, get several opinions.  If you think something is off, tell us.

Monday, January 2, 2012

How many keys for buds? Lawd!

So the price of Bill's Hat and Earbuds are changing by the hour apparently.  As they continue to change hands at higher and higher prices, we will continue to change the average price on the sheet.  Don't get angry at us we are only the messenger.  There is no one set price but as always sellers will try to get as much as they can and buyers want them on the cheap.  Of course there are rumors...one going around is that someone deleted 50 or so.  Well, sorry to burst your bubble but someone would have to delete hundreds or thousands of either to effect the price.  The price jumps are simply due to more people wanting earbuds and bill's hats.  Maybe it's the coming armageddon?  Who knows!  That is all.