The Team Fortress 2 blog deliberately buried the lede in its post yesterday, following 84 words of trivial nonsense with "Oh, also: Crafting." As in, yes, a weapon-making system will be coming to Team Fortress 2. Also: Saxton Hale.
"EVERYTHING in your inventory now contributes towards something you actually WANT, and can build YOURSELF!" Valve declares. "If you're super clever, you'll even be able to craft new items before others can earn them the old fashioned way."
The blog post links over directly to it; it can also be found by flipping through this newspaper portal. Which of course includes the funnies, and that means another manful episode of Saxton Hale. More on that in a bit.
Regarding crafting, players will get weapon blueprints (recipes listing items needed to build other weapons), some of them immediately, others will have to be earned or figured out by the players. So, no more swearing over which item was the most useless in your loadout. Just smelt it down to raw parts, follow the blueprint, and voila.
Now, regarding Mr. Hale. On page 5 of his comic, People have discovered a magic secret pagethat points to a page full of some more vintage comic-book spoof ads. Some readers have suggested that it might hint at future weapons and items. And no, I'm not talking about the bazooka used to murder Fred Astaire.
To get to the page, click on the words "poor monkey" here. Then you'll see that fake company Mann Co. is offering some commemorative plates honoring fake monkey astronaut "Poopy Joe," but its what they choose to depict that is so conspicuously intriguing.
• The PICKAXE Poopy Joe would have used to PIERCE the VAULT OF HEAVEN itself!
• The GIANT SWORD Poopy Joe would have used to fight off Soviet monkeynaut Vladimir Bananas! How do you like the taste of AMERICAN STEEL, comrade?
• The tiny BUGLE we gave him to blow on in case he got in trouble, so that we could launch ANOTHER MONKEY INTO SPACE to help him!
• If you order now, we'll include a bonus plate showing the EXPLOSION of his capsule. Try to imagine it reflected in the TEAR-STAINED EYE OF AN EAGLE!
So, three of these would have offensive purposes, and I'd guess a bugle could provide a kind of team buff effect. Again, this is nothing but speculation. The big news here is crafting. That definitely provides new items.
Also, note the rest of the ads on that page. Please do not staple a $US550,000 check to a postcard addressed to Box 857 Saratoga N.J. Not only will you not, in fact, own Florida (man enough or no), you will probably not get any cool Mann Co. swag this time, because there is no such place as Saratoga, N.J. Your mail will be returned as undeliverable, provided someone doesn't cash the check first.
Weekend Update [TF2 Blog, thanks to all who sent this in]