Originally Posted by hideinlight
If all cosmetics were free, no one would want them. People would rather play on the official server with hundreds of thousands of players, official support and collect cosmetics NO ONE ELSE has. They like to feel special, thanks to Elitism.
If anyone else tries to make money form hosting a custom server, Valve can just take em down before they grow. Another reason for the average JOE to stick to the original, the fear of having all your progress lost.
Believe me, if the said official servers suck, people will just either quit or play in an unofficial one.
Pirated servers also don't need to give everything away for free, however, they can actually change some game features they think that are unfair. Raging from the drop rate of things to the EXP gain rate and many more (which is the reason I have witnessed a lot of gamers playing pirated Pangya, MU, Line Age 2, Maplestory, Gunbound, Ragnarock and Grand Chase just as examples, which all of these are f2p).
So yes, my main point is that pirating free-to-play
games can happen. Virtually, almost all f2p games have pirate servers going around. It's just a matter of preferences.
If it is a smart thing to do or not is way beyond my argument. All I wanted to say is that it can happen, and that Valve is not afraid of pirates by any means, as seen in many of their interviews.