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Team Fortress 2's Love & War update detailed, let's talk about it

Jun 19 // Patrick Hancock    @therealhancock

FAT ENGINEER

I'll assume everyone has already seen the Team Fortress 2 animated short that Valve put out yesterday and have been very excited to jump back into TF2. Today, the Love & War update has been more detailed, with new weapons and GIGANTIC balance changes.

Let's chat about them, shall we?

New Items

The Back Scatter

  • Scout Primary
  • Minicrits when fired at their back and at close range
  • -34% clip size
  • No random critical hits
  • 20% less accurate

Seems to me like this could be a very risky weapon to use, unless you're excellent at sneaking up from behind. The more I think about it, the more I love this weapon. It rewards great play directly, while punishing bad play. Flanking is always important, and I always favor an up close and personal playstyle. 

The Tide Turner

  • Demoman Shield
  • +25% fire damage resistance on wearer
  • +25% explosive damage resistance on wearer
  • Full turning control while charging
  • Kills while charging refill 100% of your charge meter

This is something I'll really have to get my hands on before fully judging, but it sounds like it has gigantic snowball potential! Combined with the Parachute, this could lead to some tricky Demoman flying around the skies...

The B.A.S.E. Jumper

  • Soldier and Demoman....Parachute?
  • Press JUMP key in the air to deploy.
  • Deployed Parachutes slow your descent.

Umm...what?! This is crazy. I cannot WAIT to see this thing in action. This will make for some easy sniping targets for sure, but combined with The Air Strike for the Soldier, I think things are about to get much more hectic. I'm not really sure I see the use for a Demoman, but I suppose it could lead to some more varied trap locations, or at least make certain traps easier to place. Oh, unless you can shield charge in the skies...that could lead to some ridiculous air-assaults!

The Classic

  • Sniper Rifle
  • Charge and fire shots independent of zoom
  • No headshots when not fully charged
  • -10% damage on body shot

This seems like the opposite of the Back Scatter, as it seems to cater to poor Snipers who don't have map awareness. I can't really see myself using this...ever.

The Air Strike

  • Soldier Rocket Launcher
  • Increased attack sped while blast jumping
  • Clip size increased on kill
  • -25% damage penalty
  • -25% clip size
  • -15% explosion radius

Soldier has turned into an air-bomber. Combined with the Parachute, this thing sounds ridiculous. Accuracy is required because of the drawbacks, making it far from overpowered, and it rewards excellent shots by increasing the clip size on kill. Sounds like a great side-grade for the Soldier on paper, though I can rarely every justify giving up clip size on the Soldier in general.

Patch Notes

  • With The Hitman's Heatmaker, pressing 'reload' now activates focus when it is full

Good change here, removing the requirement to fire in order to activate focus.

  • The Axtinguisher now does mini-crit damage from the front and full crit damage from behind to burning targets

Oh jeez, a HUGE nerf to Pyros that use the Axtinguisher (see: all of them). Knowing this, facing a Pyro who's airblasting you will be a good enough counter to potentially kill them first. It will be interesting to see the preferred loadout for Pyros now, since the Degreaser + Axtinguisher combo was the de facto Pyro loadout. I'm all for this if it brings more diversity tot he Pyro's loadout. If it ends up solidifying a different loadout even more, I'll be a bit more upset.

  • The Bushwacka can no longer randomly crit

Solid change, it seems. I'm more of a Tribalman's Shiv man myself.

  • All mini-guns now have damage and accuracy ramp up after they start firing. Full accuracy and damage is reached 1 second after firing.

Apparently the damage rev-up begins when the Heavy begins spinning up, not only firing, thankfully. A decently-sized nerf to the Heavy Weapons Guy, and a pretty big buff to the faster classes out there!

  • All Demoman stickybombs now have damage ramp up. Full damage is reached 2 seconds after firing.

OH JEEZ. My most time spent playing a class goes to the Demoman, and the removal of air-stickies makes me sad. But it also makes me happy that if I choose a different loadout, like the Meleeman, I won't be sad knowing I'm removing one of the best weapons in the entire game from my loadout. This is a huge nerf to the most-complained about weapon, and it will be interesting to see how Demo players, like myself, evolve.

  • Updated Loch-n-Load reload animation

WHAT YEAR IS IT?! Holy cow they fixed it.

  • Sentry bullets are now affected by damage falloff outside of sentry scan range

Interesting change. One that makes a lot of sense and one that I didn't even know what happening. I guess that shows how much I play Engineer...

  • Sentry bullet damage has been changed so it calculates damage based on the sentry's position, not the Engineer's

Another one I had no idea about. This....makes sense.

What do you think about these changes? Did they go too far? Should we form a Demoman Support Group? Is everyone overreacting? Is this a push towards a more competitive metagame? Did it ruin the metagame? Is this too many questions? Yes.


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Patrick Hancock // Contributor
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Watching and playing competitive games like Dota and StarCraft take up most of his time. His three favorite non-video game things in the world are space, dinosaurs, and puppets. So if there we... full profile | More staff profiles

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