The upcoming Demoman and Soldier updates to Team Fortress 2 will add a crafting system into the mix. Apparently, blueprints (i.e. "recipes") will be available in some fashion that will show you how to combine items together to create new items. This is a bizarre addition to this game. With this announcement, players are already complaining that Team Fortress 2 is devolving into a role-playing game. To be fair, however, the lines between game genres is blurring over time. Borderlands is a great example of a first-person-shooter mixed with traditional role-playing-game elements.
I'm going to give Valve the benefit of the doubt with this upcoming update, though I agree this is a odd direction to take this game. Knowing Valve, however, I won't be surprised if this change turns out to be a great addition to an already great game.