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I think there's no doubt this is great for Valve.

But as a player who dearly misses vanilla TF2, how is Valve going to combat the influx of greifers and hackers? What stops someone from running TF2 in a VM and continually making new accounts?

I wish there was a way to bring back TF2 as it originally was (no hats, no gimmicks). But I guess the transition to gaming as a service was inevitable. Valve has been going in that direction for a long time.

I hope they do make a proper Half-Life 3.

I haven't tried it, but I think you can mod out hats. You can certainly host a server which restricts players to only the original weapons, and I wouldn't be surprised if someone's already done that.

There's nothing stopping anyone from running their own dedicated server and blacklisting all the non-standard weapons. In fact, a lot of the competitive communities do exactly that.

Ironically, you can probably get the purest TF2 experience today on its least-preferred platform, the PS3. I don't think that version was ever updated with even the earliest tweaks.

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