One of the designers for Team Fortress 2 commented recently that critical hits are good because hardcore players enjoy having something to blame their failures on. This is ridiculous for two reasons: “hardcore” players are the exact people who hate criticals and want to be able to turn them off (a server side cvar for no criticals would be easy to include) and his comment is rather insulting to a large section of TF2’s fanbase.
Luck will always play a part in games but criticals are very different from luck as it occurs in Counter-Strike. The distribution of shots in CS is random, but within a very predictable area that experienced players use to score headshots almost every kill. In TF2, while staying alive helps critical chances, criticals occur randomly and cannot be accounted for in playing style. Not to mention staying alive for a long time is probably a sign that you aren’t helping you’re team out very much.
However satisfying criticals are to some people (me included), they can be extremely frustrating as well. There is no reason for Valve to insult fans over an issue whose resolution is simple (and being implemented by modders as we speak).
The comment about “hardcore” players being all about ego may be true in some cases, but what most such players really want is to rely on skill rather than luck. They aren’t looking for excuses. When luck can’t be accounted for in play style it becomes annoying to “hardcore” players. It’s as simple as that.