I’m a Team Fortress 2 Free-to-Play Noob

So the other day I was playing Team Fortress 2, and someone accused me of being a “free-to-play noob”. I was chided as being one of the newbie players who only recently got into the game because it became free-to-play, despite my owning and playing the game since 2007.

But let me back up a little bit. I was playing Team Fortress 2 the other day, and having a less than stellar round. Some people on my team, who had been playing on the server before I got there, were using their microphones to play the game. These players were being too vocal, to the point that I couldn’t concentrate on the game because of all the “mic spam”. Being annoyed at my repeated effort and lack of results, coupled with the inane chirps and squeals of the mic spam, I did what any right-minded online gamer would do: I told them to “shut the fuck up”.

Bear in mind, I merely typed this phrase into the game’s chat; most of the time, these messages are either not read by those they are directed at, since that person is too busy playing the game, or it is swept off the screen quickly by in-game announcements. My message was immediately recognized by the person who I considered to be the primary offender, however.

What was seconds before only friendly banter and playful chatting suddenly became a shrill torrent of insults, disagreeing with my command and demanding that I “shut the fuck up” myself. The tone of voice degenerated into what I could only describe as “ghetto”. It’s funny how quickly someone’s world can come crashing down at the slightest bit of confrontation.

So we argued a bit more, me click-clacking away at my keyboard, and the annoying mic spammer answering my few messages with an elevating level of shrieking. Another player said I should get banned.

Then, the original mic spammer decided that the best way she could deal with me was to call me out as a “free-to-play nub”.

A little bit of history, before I continue: back in 2007, Team Fortress 2 used to come as a standalone inclusion in the Orange Box, with Half-Life 2. After that, it became possible to buy the game separately. Finally, as of June of 2011, the game became “free-to-play”, meaning anyone could download the game and play with everyone else. Since then, the newest, greatest community-spawned insult is to call someone a “free-to-play noob”, meaning they stink at the game because they’ve only recently begun playing, since the game was made free.

Obviously, I do not fall into this category, and I stated that plainly. Ms. Mic Spam backed off rather quickly after this, and was quite quiet after. And rightfully so, since most of my characters in Team Fortress 2 are outfitted with either The Proof of Purchase hat, my Primeval Warrior pin, or both. These items show that I bought the game back when it was still for sale, and that I have been playing since September 18, 2007, respectively. They are not tradable, and anyone who has them is very obviously not a Team Fortress 2 free-to-play inductee.

So what’s the lesson here, other than that I like to have petty arguments with stupid people while I am playing games?

Simply this: if you’re going to be an asshole and toss around the “free-to-play noob”  insult liberally every time you disagree with someone in Team Fortress 2, make sure you know what the hell you’re talking about first. It’s not hard to check out people’s loadouts first. Unless of course, you’re some kind of noob.

Also, if you want to chat with people constantly, start up a private Steam voice chat conversation, or use Xbox Live, Skype, Ventrilo, TeamSpeak, or some other chat client. You can even play games while you’re doing it. Just leave everyone else out of the conversation, because I assure you, we’re not interested.


  1. Knuked - Over a year ago

    Simply put, people are idiots. It just doesn’t matter what you play these days, the idiots are abundant. Playing TF2 in particular, I also started playing in 2007-2008. Back then the player base was pretty mature and very team oriented. I loved it and became a frequent player, I even went as far as creating a clan and I got my own server. The downfall of all that started about a year later. All of sudden TF2 took off and in came the ass hats. They would play their music over the mic, talk all kinds of shit, and it became a job banning them and dealing with their friends etc.

    I quit TF2 because it wasn’t fun anymore. I still play here and there and can you imagine that all the nonsense is still there. Basically I’m done after an hour or so. I’m also an avid WoW player and believe me, they have taken over there as well. Moral of the story … adapt or quit. Sometimes you have to be a douche to quell the douches. Kudos to you for shutting them up.

  2. Dangerous Dave - Over a year ago

    I’m a little surprised at your reaction. When I first started playing TF2, which wasn’t all that long ago, say a year or so, the first thing I did was disable voice chat, both in and out. Problem solved.

    1. Dangerous Dave - Over a year ago

      Wow, I totally NakedPaulToasted that sentance… 4 commas!

    2. Martin - Over a year ago

      Haha, I thought I was the only one who noticed NPT’s comma problem. Funny stuff.

      But anyway, no – like Knuked, I do actually enjoy using the mic to play, even when I’m not playing with people I know, to help encourage teamwork and let my team know about what’s going on. Even if nobody else uses their mic, or most of the other players are just there for fun, it’s surprisingly helpful.

      Just yesterday I was playing a CTF map, for instance, and the game was tied at 2 to 2, with only one capture left for either team to win. My team had been lax on defenses, so I was down by the intel, helping guard it (I think I was playing Heavy at the time). Our engie’s were running in and out, constantly banging on their sentries to keep them repaired and full of ammo, and enemies were constantly testing our defenses with rockets and grenades.

      After a moment’s pause, an engie ran back into the intel room and before I could even get a round fired off (using my Strange Natascha, which has a slow spin-up time), this engie turned out to be a spy and had sapped all of the equipment in the room. With perfect timing, a scout swooped in, grabbed the intel, and ran back out again before anyone even noticed what was happening. We lost the game a minute later.

      I don’t think the other team could have accomplished that kind of timing without using their mics.

      Maybe that’s a level of play that you don’t want to worry about, and I can totally understand that, but me… I can’t play without my mic sometimes. Not every time, mind you – sometimes I just want to relax and get in a few kills. But very often I feel like I have less control over the game if I don’t at least have my mic on, and mounted on my ear.

      There’s still actually a lot of cool, mature people out there playing TF2 who use their mics… just gotta find the few good servers where they play.

  3. Knuked - Over a year ago

    Quite solved? That doesn’t work for me, I like to communicate with the team. You are a far more effective player if you don’t have to stop to type “Spy in the base!”. It’s far better to use the voice, so when you have these idiots spamming, it becomes a headache.

    I hear what you’re saying and I’m glad it works for some people. I guess it depends on how into the game you want to get :)

  4. cicada marionette-genesis - Over a year ago

    This article solely exists for the purpose of giving justification to embarrassing acts on a video game. Really, what does proving your supposed superiority over others because of arbitrary goals in a video game do at all? All it proves to me is you are extremely unsure of yourself and you need others to support your faltering ego. Your insecurities shine through here and I hope you realize using heavy-handed rhetoric won’t fool everyone.

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