Posted on July 18, 2013, Ian Miles Cheong Valve Ends Team Fortress 2 Idling For Items With Latest Update
One of the biggest draws to Team Fortress 2 is its itemization, which allows players to collect hats, weapons, and an assortment of vanity items simply by playing the game. One of the easiest ways to get these items is—instead of playing the game, that is—is to sit on servers designed for idling. By sitting on these servers overnight, players can accumulate a wide assortment of items without actually having to play the game. This puts players who do this at a significant advantage over those who don’t, and it seems unfair to people who actually spend time playing the game.
Valve is well aware of the problem, and has since put an end to the practice with the introduction of its latest update. As posted on the Team Fortress 2 blog, the update will pause item drops whenever a player idles and resumes once they become active once more. Effectively, this makes idling redundant.
The publisher makes it clear that players will not be banned for idling, nor will they be penalized for doing so, but they certainly won’t be able to make a profit by simply sitting around doing nothing.
However, Valve cautions that players who use external software to attain items can and will be banned. “You may be banned if you use external programs to circumvent idle detection,” the post warns.