The Infinite Zenith

Where insights on anime, games, academia and life dare to converge

What if you could only keep your TF2 hats for a week?

I imagine Valve would probably lose their entire customer base if the items we obtained in drops worked on a rental system, but fortunately, the hats I find and craft in Team Fortress 2 aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. The same does not hold true in MicroVolts. Contrasting Team Fortress 2, items give statistical benefits, allowing a player to carry more ammunition, have small health boosts or slightly increased running speed. However, whereas the hats are strictly for aesthetics in Team Fortress 2, they have the small ability of remaining in one’s inventory for as long as the player does not craft, trade or delete it. In MicroVolts, items disappear after seven days, and permanent items can only be had by real-world transactions.

  • The items may not last forever, but screenshots of anime figurines with cool gear will. Most gamers come from a background where the stuff they earn in-game tend to stick with them for a good while. The main benefit of in-game items in MicroVolts are the fact that they give reasonable boosts to performance, in addition to giving one’s character more customisation.

  • The perks from new items can make a slight difference between life and death: the extra ammunition, running speed and health grant players a little more survivability.

  • That said, the main disadvantage for many players in MicroVolts would doubtlessly be the fact that items don’t last forever, and Micropoints are rather difficult to accumulate. For that reason, I opted to buy some stuff and test-drive them for the purposes of discussion.

  • Experimentation shows it is not possible to enter a server with only one active player. Thus, in order to explore maps, one has to join an active server and die a handful of times. Alternatively, opening a password-protected server and having a friend join permits more peaceable exploration.

  • The item system means that players will essentially have to continuously grind for items if they do not wish to yield the stock weapons or gear, or else shell out some cash to get permanent items. That said, the stock weapons are good enough for most anyone: one of my earliest victories was over a guy with decked out gear at level 14.

The items were fun while they lasted, and lent themselves to some reasonable screenshots. That said, I’ll probably hesitate to get any of the permanent items, and will only buy items for demonstration purposes. MicroVolts is nonetheless a shooter at its core, but if superior, skill-negating items can be purchased, the balance in the game shifts towards those with disposable cash. Then again, those players are the same ones who complain when shot down with a stock weapon, and that in itself is amusing in its own right.

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