282: All That's Shiny is Gold

Murray Chu

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Feb 9, 2009
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All That's Shiny is Gold

Jonathan "WingspanTT" Tran earned the envy of many Team Fortress 2 players when he lucked into one of the game's rare Golden Wrenches, but he realized the best thing he could possibly do was destroy it.

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Aptspire

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only on TF2. On a MMO, once in a lifetime drop are usually bought and sold quite dearly :p
(i.e.: special event ships in Eve)
 

coldfrog

Can you feel around inside?
Dec 22, 2008
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Ah, if only they knew the fun of the World of Warcraft Black Qiraji Battle Tank. One per server please! I must admit, though, that it would have never occurred to me to raise money for it. Then again, it would have never occurred to me to destroy it to begin with. However, I'd've gladly thrown my wrench into the pot if I A: had been playing the game at the time (I actually have owned the game almost since the beginning, but I play on and off) and B: actually had one.
 

WaysideMaze

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Apr 25, 2010
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What a great story. Shame that more awareness couldn't have been raised , but $31,000 is a great result. Congrats to WingspanTT for all the effort he put in.
 

Celtic_Kerr

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INteresting story. I do admit that "The next person to craft an item after THIS time gets one" since they should have just made the server give out one randomly every 2 hours.

The way valve did it, you can spend your whole time crafting everything possible only to have some dude craft a millisecond later and get the wrench...

I digress

It's interesting to see that people were willing to donate $31,000 to see 14 wrenches destroyed
 

Murray Chu

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Murray Chu said:
All That's Shiny is Gold

Jonathan "WingspanTT" Tran earned the envy of many Team Fortress 2 players when he lucked into one of the game's rare Golden Wrenches, but he realized the best thing he could possibly do was destroy it.

Read Full Article
Fascinating article Mr Chu. Reminds me of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
 

findler

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Jun 19, 2009
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Great story, I don't play TF2 so I never would have heard of this unless it was reported. Imagine the kind of money you could raise if you brought a similar fundraiser to WoW...
 

annoyinglizardvoice

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Apr 29, 2009
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Nice work on earning the cash for charity.
I do however think it's a bit naff that there's such a fuss (such as the outrage of players who didn't manage to get them) over these items when they're purely cosmetic.
 

Deminobody

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Nov 18, 2009
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Stuff like this helps refuel my faith in the gamer community. I think this is one of the best things that could have been done in this circumstance!
 

Grufflenark

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Ah yes I remember this, great that you gathered money for charity. Golden Wrenches is more of a plague than lucky item anyways, since they make you a great target for hackers. Also like 10 of the Golden Wrench owners got VAC banned.
I really wonder why everyone cares so much about COSMETIC items, but if it wasn't for that care you would never have raised 31k$$ for charity ;P
 

Valagetti

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Aug 20, 2010
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Wow I thought TF2 was quite casual, compared to other FPS online shooters. The first time I played it was yesterdaay didn't think much of it. But Valve n' all their glory should realise that this shit would happen. I mean,I'm betting that all of the complants are from 9 year old teabaggers that shouldn't be even playing the game.
 

WiNGSPANTT

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Hey everyone, I made an account to thank Murray for writing this article and to extend my thanks to the TF2 community for their support, especially everyone who donated money and/or Golden Wrenches.

I would also like to clarify that I don't hate virtual items; I just hate ridiculous unfair distribution of those items and I hate people throwing hissy fits over cosmetic skins.

This is normally the part where I thank Artemis for her bounty and/or plug my web site, but instead I'll just say....

Cheers, and don't be surprised if I can get a few more wrenches into the fire next August.
 

Calderon0311

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Cheers to WiNG and the rest of the Wrench Donors! I've remember following the charity drive during the early part when it was just Wing and 3 others. It was an amazing show of support at first, but started to dwindle early sadly until what seemed as a grass-roots effort finally got tons more steam added back to it.

And that was BEFORE the official TF2 blog updated with what I consider one of the most heartfelt posts ever. ( http://www.teamfortress.com/post.php?id=4151&p=2 ) If the event succeeded in something at least, it was in getting the TF2 Team to acknowledge, promote, and show a level of humility to all their players.

It honestly felt like the first Desert Bus, just a wave of donations and support starting coming in right after that post! From 7 to 13 Wrenches gone, up for donation with all kinds of support. I've always loved the TF2 Community in general, but this explained why the most. :)
 

aldowyn

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Mar 1, 2010
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Huh, look, a celebrity! At least on this particular thread on this particular site at this particular time.


Anyway... yeah, that's pretty amazing. Collectibles are collectibles, after all, and people do go nuts over them. In my opinion, the story isn't about deleting the wrench. That is just a side issue that happened to be the catalyst for something greater, the charity event.

Personally, that system doesn't seem THAT bad - it's at least better than the first xxxx people to do this, but it could have been improved easily by simply making it a percent chance after a certain time. There, now they won't be found all at once and the people making stuff all the time will still have better chances to get it.
 

Jodan

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poor valve no good deed goes unpunished
sorry guys life aint fair
 

The Random One

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Wow, where did that last paragraph come from? Did it get lost from another article?

Seriously though, it's great that he did it. I had heard about but didn't know the details, and had assumed he was like 'I'll destroy the rare item because I CAN! LAUGH, MINIONS!' but he was like 'lame item, shrug. I wanted a hat. I'll destroy it k?' which is much more agreeable.

How people flip their shit over these things, and go on and on about how it's 'unfair', amuses me in a morbid way. Hey buddy, people are starving to death. That's way more unfair ain't it? Go help them instead.
 

NewYork_Comedian

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Its kind of sad that people would go batshit over this. Id expect this from a crowd of angry chimpanzee when theres only one female chimp to fuck left. Or rather, the Halo and Call of Duty communities.

In all seriousness, this is just sad. Who are these raving fanboys why do they care more about a shiny stick to beat people with than raising thousands of dollars to sick children? Honestly... but as for WING, he stuck with his goal to help charity and children despite the amount of retarded backlash telling him not to. Kudos to him, im not sure if i want to cheer him for accomplishing this or faceplam myself for the amount of crap thats in the video game community we live [or rather, play] in. I guess for my own personal gain ill go with the former.
 

insanelich

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Sep 3, 2008
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WiNGSPANTT said:
Hey everyone, I made an account to thank Murray for writing this article and to extend my thanks to the TF2 community for their support, especially everyone who donated money and/or Golden Wrenches.

I would also like to clarify that I don't hate virtual items; I just hate ridiculous unfair distribution of those items and I hate people throwing hissy fits over cosmetic skins.

This is normally the part where I thank Artemis for her bounty and/or plug my web site, but instead I'll just say....

Cheers, and don't be surprised if I can get a few more wrenches into the fire next August.
Now would you STOP TROLLING CONSTANTLY.

TopTierTrolls.

(Though, to be fair, I haven't seen you ingame in months. Maybe once over Halloween Event. And you don't exactly have to advertise your site anymore.)
 

Polock

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Habardee said:
Old news. http://www.unwinnable.com/2010/08/30/the-wrench-revoultion-jon-winspantt-tran
This isn't news. It is an article.
 

Grand_Marquis

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He should be proud. 14/100 volunteered to get involved with his charity benefit - that's exactly 4% higher than the average expected level of participation from a public audience.
 

The Cheezy One

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Dec 13, 2008
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Man, that guy is amazing.
We should have badge destroying charity events on the Escapist! I would give quite a bit to see someone destroy a Neo badge!
 

EmzOLV

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WaysideMaze said:
What a great story. Shame that more awareness couldn't have been raised , but $31,000 is a great result. Congrats to WingspanTT for all the effort he put in.
This - exactly.
That's a really good figure to raise and although the article raises how prized some of these things are, I'm just impressed with the amount of money raised for a good cause. Kudos to WingspanTT :)
 

WiNGSPANTT

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Hey guys thanks for all the kind words.

And yeah, to anyone who was following the story before the TF2 official blog post, wow did that make a difference. Basically when the blog post happened, we had about $6,000 in donations, and it was winding down. I was thinking we would hit about 7.5k

24 hours after the blog post we had $19,000 raised!!! Pretty hard to believe. In my own mind I had always secretly hoped we could raise 31,000, since it was Wrench #31 to be deleted on the 31st. I don't know if it was luck or if people were specifically trying to push it to 31k that got it there, but awesome nonetheless.
 

The Youth Counselor

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It's great story but I was surprised and although the point of story was to show how gamers can give up something so precious for themselves to help something greater selfless, I was surprised that being about "The Golden Wrench" there was no mention of Drunken F00l-gate. [http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1346549&page=4] Drunken F00l was a celebrated modder who made many contributions to the TF2 community. Among his contributions he made the SourceOP Plugin [http://www.sourceop.com/] (Adds many features and crosses assets between Source games), the TF2 Backpack Examiner [http://www.tf2items.com/id/df] (A website where players can examine another's backpack and trade), and many tutorials. He was so revered that he started having a personal relationship with VALVe, who flew him up plenty of times.

Then he got on VALVe's badside when he created a program that would bypass TF2 and make it appear that players were playing TF2 when they were idle. (Then items were given for time you spent in game.)

Drunken F00l also later found out either through his own calculations or from a VALVe source that consistently crafting didn't help your chances at getting the wrench but instead they were drops that were pre-determined in time and location. He also either figured out or were told the times and locations.

So he got himself the wrench and spread the word on when and where to pick them up [http://www.youtube.com/user/dftfc#p/a/u/0/qGL8kCgnLEo]. All those who got the wrench due to his advice including himself had their items stripped and were banned. The community is still divided over this to this day, and there is a movement to free Drunkenf00l and his disciples.
 

cefm

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If we were talking about an item that gave a competitive advantage then I could understand it. But something utterly useless? Damn, these people need to get lives.
 

Echo136

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Feb 22, 2010
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TF2 is full of whiny little brats that arent happy unless they get their Unusual Hats (but it cant be flies, heaven forbid). The game is becoming pretty stupid in my opinion.
 

bitcrasher

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That is an inspired idea. Kudos to WingspanTT for his generosity and for showing the world that these items are just pixels. In the end, they mean nothing. $31,000 for sick kids to have the chance to do some TF2 damage on their very own systems, now THAT is something to be proud of right there. Cheers to all who donated. "You done good." Heh.
 

Binerexis

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WiNGSPANTT said:
And so began the great hat purge.
Purging hats may lead to death threats/shit in your mailbox. Destroy wrenches is one thing but hats? I see many people dying...
 

dududf

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It's kinda sad that I heard about this article from the TopTactics website prior to the Escapist, considering I'm rarely on there and I'm always on here.
 

Hooded.Gamer

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Nov 28, 2010
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That's a great story! I don't know why people would complain about such an act of charity, even though such complaint made much of the act a success.
 

Jfswift

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Nov 2, 2009
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Haha, nice. I think that's pretty funny. Some people lost their grip on reality and go crazy over online items. I don't care if all the wrenches get destroyed. :p
 

AsianMafiaSin

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I'm surprised that most TF2 people hadn't known about this. I mean, they did post about this on the teamfortress.com blog and did give them so kudos for it.
 

Murray Chu

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Feb 9, 2009
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NewYork_Comedian said:
In all seriousness, this is just sad. Who are these raving fanboys why do they care more about a shiny stick to beat people with than raising thousands of dollars to sick children?
Fuck humanity; give me my shiny stick!
 

Murray Chu

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Feb 9, 2009
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What I found badass is that he decided to destroy it as a critcism of (pseudo) materialism before even getting the idea to turn it into a charity fund-raising device.

Doing it for money ruins the philosophical purity of the act and just turns it into a stunt, but I daresay it was worth it.
 

Notthatbright

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The Youth Counselor said:
It's great story but I was surprised and although the point of story was to show how gamers can give up something so precious for themselves to help something greater selfless, I was surprised that being about "The Golden Wrench" there was no mention of Drunken F00l-gate. [http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1346549&page=4] Drunken F00l was a celebrated modder who made many contributions to the TF2 community. Among his contributions he made the SourceOP Plugin [http://www.sourceop.com/] (Adds many features and crosses assets between Source games), the TF2 Backpack Examiner [http://www.tf2items.com/id/df] (A website where players can examine another's backpack and trade), and many tutorials. He was so revered that he started having a personal relationship with VALVe, who flew him up plenty of times.

Then he got on VALVe's badside when he created a program that would bypass TF2 and make it appear that players were playing TF2 when they were idle. (Then items were given for time you spent in game.)

Drunken F00l also later found out either through his own calculations or from a VALVe source that consistently crafting didn't help your chances at getting the wrench but instead they were drops that were pre-determined in time and location. He also either figured out or were told the times and locations.

So he got himself the wrench and spread the word on when and where to pick them up [http://www.youtube.com/user/dftfc#p/a/u/0/qGL8kCgnLEo]. All those who got the wrench due to his advice including himself had their items stripped and were banned. The community is still divided over this to this day, and there is a movement to free Drunkenf00l and his disciples.

Sucks for .. no wait, it doesn't suck at all. Good for the people giving up their wrenches, and Good for the banning. Some of us had to spend months playing to get back the amount of stuff we scrapped just to have a chance at that Wrench. This guy comes along and games the system out of a ton of wrenches.

So really, Fark valve. That's the real bastard in all of this.
 

Dirty Apple

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Valagetti said:
Wow I thought TF2 was quite casual, compared to other FPS online shooters. [...] all of the complants [were probably] from 9 year old teabaggers that shouldn't be even playing the game.
Just gonna correct some misconceptions. First, casual players don't last very long in TF2. Most servers are very competitive, and the classes are all situation sentitive. If you just wanna run around and kill stuff, you'll be out-matched. Second, I have never, ever, seen a teabagger in TF2. Not to say that there aren't plenty of trolls and pricks in the game, just that the game is so frenetic, that actually trying to get to a player and kneel will just get you fragged.

O.T. Those golden wrenches aren't tradeable, otherwise they'd be the equivalent of winning the lottery. Actually doing something good with it instead of it just sitting in his inventory makes for a great touch.
 

The Youth Counselor

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Notthatbright said:
The Youth Counselor said:
It's great story but I was surprised and although the point of story was to show how gamers can give up something so precious for themselves to help something greater selfless, I was surprised that being about "The Golden Wrench" there was no mention of Drunken F00l-gate. [http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1346549&page=4] Drunken F00l was a celebrated modder who made many contributions to the TF2 community. Among his contributions he made the SourceOP Plugin [http://www.sourceop.com/] (Adds many features and crosses assets between Source games), the TF2 Backpack Examiner [http://www.tf2items.com/id/df] (A website where players can examine another's backpack and trade), and many tutorials. He was so revered that he started having a personal relationship with VALVe, who flew him up plenty of times.

Then he got on VALVe's badside when he created a program that would bypass TF2 and make it appear that players were playing TF2 when they were idle. (Then items were given for time you spent in game.)

Drunken F00l also later found out either through his own calculations or from a VALVe source that consistently crafting didn't help your chances at getting the wrench but instead they were drops that were pre-determined in time and location. He also either figured out or were told the times and locations.

So he got himself the wrench and spread the word on when and where to pick them up [http://www.youtube.com/user/dftfc#p/a/u/0/qGL8kCgnLEo]. All those who got the wrench due to his advice including himself had their items stripped and were banned. The community is still divided over this to this day, and there is a movement to free Drunkenf00l and his disciples.

Sucks for .. no wait, it doesn't suck at all. Good for the people giving up their wrenches, and Good for the banning. Some of us had to spend months playing to get back the amount of stuff we scrapped just to have a chance at that Wrench. This guy comes along and games the system out of a ton of wrenches.

So really, Fark valve. That's the real bastard in all of this.
But all that stuff you scrapped gave you no advantage to get a wrench.
 

Notthatbright

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Apr 13, 2010
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The Youth Counselor said:
Notthatbright said:
The Youth Counselor said:
It's great story but I was surprised and although the point of story was to show how gamers can give up something so precious for themselves to help something greater selfless, I was surprised that being about "The Golden Wrench" there was no mention of Drunken F00l-gate. [http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1346549&page=4] Drunken F00l was a celebrated modder who made many contributions to the TF2 community. Among his contributions he made the SourceOP Plugin [http://www.sourceop.com/] (Adds many features and crosses assets between Source games), the TF2 Backpack Examiner [http://www.tf2items.com/id/df] (A website where players can examine another's backpack and trade), and many tutorials. He was so revered that he started having a personal relationship with VALVe, who flew him up plenty of times.

Then he got on VALVe's badside when he created a program that would bypass TF2 and make it appear that players were playing TF2 when they were idle. (Then items were given for time you spent in game.)

Drunken F00l also later found out either through his own calculations or from a VALVe source that consistently crafting didn't help your chances at getting the wrench but instead they were drops that were pre-determined in time and location. He also either figured out or were told the times and locations.

So he got himself the wrench and spread the word on when and where to pick them up [http://www.youtube.com/user/dftfc#p/a/u/0/qGL8kCgnLEo]. All those who got the wrench due to his advice including himself had their items stripped and were banned. The community is still divided over this to this day, and there is a movement to free Drunkenf00l and his disciples.

Sucks for .. no wait, it doesn't suck at all. Good for the people giving up their wrenches, and Good for the banning. Some of us had to spend months playing to get back the amount of stuff we scrapped just to have a chance at that Wrench. This guy comes along and games the system out of a ton of wrenches.

So really, Fark valve. That's the real bastard in all of this.
But all that stuff you scrapped gave you no advantage to get a wrench.
"Players were informed that every time a craft was made, there was a chance of a Golden Wrench being awarded. "

Smelting weapons into scrap = Crafting
Combining Metal = Crafting

Not crafting at the right time? .. Nothing.