When Valve announced that team-based shooter "Team Fortress 2" was going the free-to-play route, it opened the game up to a flood of new players. If you never purchased the retail version of the game, this sounded like a pretty darn good deal, but for some veteran "TF2" players, they consider it a real headache. In an attempt to stop less-experienced newcomers from flooding their matches, some server hosts have turned to a new mod that actually kicks out those who received the game gratis.
According to Botchweed.com, a user-created plugin allows server hosts to automatically give the boot to "Team Fortress 2" players who didn't purchase the game prior to its new free-to-play price point. The mod, "Free2BeKicked," was posted on the forums of alliedmods.net, and its active use was confirmed through various Steam forum posts. The use of the plugin has raised the ire of more than a few free-to-play gamers, who've taken to demanding the mod is banned.
While I may not entirely agree with the concept of blocking other players from accessing the game, the reality is that this mod is being used by people who are hosting a server. While the mod doesn't seem particularly fair, or very nice, free-to-play "Team Fortress 2" players still have the ability to access plenty of other servers – including Valve's – to play the game. In addition, there is the very real annoyance now faced by server hosts when permanently banning a player: the ousted person can just create another free account and return.
There's one other way around the plugin: purchase something from the "Team Fortress 2" in-game store. The mod won't kick anyone who has made a purchase in the game, regardless of whether or not you paid for the game itself. So, if you've downloaded the game for free, and are worried about having access to all the game's servers – really, you shouldn't be – now's a great time to buy that snazzy hat.