"Cheaters never prosper" is one of those annoyingly meaningless phrases that's more like an exhalation of fetid air than an actual opinion. Haven't these people heard of SimCity's Shift+FUND? And cheaters have been prospering for years in TF2, where idling players have been gathering up weapons, items and hats without needing to play the game. That particular avenue of prosperity has just been blocked off, though, as Valve have finally put a system in place to reward only active players.
Announced on their blog last night, the new system pauses item drops for anyone not playing the game. Valve describe active as someone who:
- Is connected to a VAC secured server.
- Is responding to in-game drop notifications while not utilizing external programs to do so.
- Is running only one instance of the game.
- Is not in textmode.
As long as you meet these requirements, you'll still be earning items - subject to the regular cap rates. Valve say that idlers aren't in danger of VAC bans, having items removed or being penalised in any other way - just that their drops will be suspended until they resume active play.
For more specifics, visit the Team Fortress 2 blog .