Nitpicking the Pyro Update

by Steve Bowler on July 4, 2008 · 2 comments

in design,nitpicking

Now that I’ve had awhile to play with the Pyro update, which is a very cool update to the class, I have to say there’s still a few things which bug me about the class/update:

  1. The Backburner isn’t easily identifiable. It looks almost just like the regular/default flamethrower. I kept losing to other Pyros before I unlocked it because I would engage them one on one and then realize after dying that they had more HP than I did. If I could have seen this going into the fight I would have chosen a different strategy. In a game that touts itself on easily identifiable silhouettes (characters and weapons), this is a fail point.
  2. The Flare Gun (while cool) seems like a step backward from the shotgun. Hands down, the shotgun can deliver more damage per second than the flare gun can. The extended range of the flare-gun and its Damage Over Time effects are mitigated by the fact that it is a slow-moving projectile (i.e. difficult to hit targets at its intended range), flies in an arc, and is painfully slow to reload. The last three points alone defines most grenades/rockets. And yet my shotgun replacement does a very small DOT amount? This doesn’t make any sense play-balance-wise to me. Was it meant to merely be a Sniper nuisance?
  3. The Pyro still suffers from netcode more than any other class. I will clearly have an enemy in flames on my screen, and yet they do not catch fire. I have read on the twiki that I am supposed to lead my targets in order to compensate for the netcode. I don’t have to do this with any other weapon. Please, please, please, if you’re going to fix anything regarding the Pyro in another patch, please find a way to make it work so if a guy is standing in my fire cone on my screen I am actually dealing damage to him plz k thx.
  4. The Air Push, while possibly the greatest update in the TF2 universe so far, uses my available ammo (and a lot of it at that), yet has no chance to deal crits. It’s no deal-breaker, but if I’m going to spend ammo that would be going towards crit chances for damage(or supposed crit guarantees in the case of the Backburner), I’d appreciate if that same ammo had a chance to do a critical push. The rocket’s/stickie’s crits will push someone extra far, I’d appreciate it if the Pyro’s push had the same chances. Just sayin’.
  5. Backburner Crits. I’m not sure really what’s going on here. I used to get dropped like a hot rock by the Backburner. It was dealing crits when the other guy was clearly standing in front or on the side of me. I had heard a rumor that TF2 only divides the player’s hit volumes into “front” and “back,” each one getting 180 of the possible 360 degrees of impact possibility. This (combined with the less than desireable netcode) would explain why spies can backstab someone when they’re only looking at their side (they’re just one degree inside of the back 180 which would be mid left/right arm). But then when I finally unlocked the Backburner, I noticed not only was I not getting critted from the front/sides anymore, but I could only score the guaranteed back crits on someone if I was standing immediately at their backside, and not if I was more than 20 degrees off center. Did the backfacing code get updated? I kinda feel cheated out of the easy kills. I mean, I’m glad it’s fixed, but I’d just like to know exactly where the “back crit” cone is, so I know what to expect when I light someone up.
  6. The Freezer Burn achievement (seems to) rely on someone else taking a picture of me while I’m taunting after I’ve killed someone. If this is in fact the case, you’ve guaranteed that people are going to need to hit up achievement servers in order to get this one. I’ve taunted about three times for each different weapon after killing someone, and I don’t even have 1/3 (one of three taunts) for the achievement. Booooooooooooooooooooooo. [Update: I’m just not doing the taunt fast enough, evidently]

Okay, so there’s more than a “few” there. I thought this was going to be a quick post, too. Oh well, it wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t complaining at length about something I was enjoying.

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