The importance of being idle: the weird and wonderful world of Team Fortress 2 idle servers

Craig Pearson at

Valve's recent Team Fortress 2 update took a specific shot at a section of the community known as idlers. Idlers play the game to not play it: they join servers and just stand there, hoping to grab an item via the game's item drop system. After years of this, Valve have decided you must click on the item to have it deposited in your backpack, meaning that people who have to be at their PC to benefit*. That's fair enough; Valve really don't want people not playing their game for profit. But I am worried that it'll mean that Idle servers become a thing of the past, because they can be amazing maps to visit and even play on.

An idle map needs only these things: a spawn point for each team, and a room in the middle with a game element. These maps are designed to kill players over and over again. Some say it's to make sure player stats aren't skewed with ultra-long lives, others claim it's to stop servers from kicking players. Beyond that, anything goes. Balance and lines of sight are no concern. Instead the designers fill the space with ingenious traps and strange assault courses designed to make achievement farming easier.