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Old 01-15-2012, 03:50 PM   #1
Blue Warrior
 
 
 
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Knocking some sense into this Phlogistinator bull****

A lot of people are only seeing one side of the argument on phlogistinator's state of balance, so I think the record needs to be set straight.

The phlogistinator is overpowered. In low-skill environments.

It's also underpowered. In high-skill environments.

It's a crutch weapon, and subsequently it has a broken skill curve. TF2 already had plenty of these, such as the liberty launcher, the old OLD natascha (pre-118), and perhaps the dead ringer as well. The phlogistinator takes it to a new level.

Why is this?

First consider the high-skill environment. You have no airblast and no ranged ability outside of occasional flare shots. To keep you from killing anybody, all somebody has to do is juggle you, deny area with sentries, or shoot you down before you get into close range.

"Well, that's not too bad, I can still stock up on some flame damage before being able to push the enemy team back with some crits." The problem with this meter is that in order to charge it up substantially, you have to get into close range and stay in there for a few seconds, which is extremely risky and can be avoided if the enemy players are smart. The pyro does have a few afterburn-causing long range secondaries, but they don't build up the damage nearly as quickly as your flamethrower, and at that range you can also be in some danger due to your difficulty keeping up in the damage race out in the open.

While it's debatably not completely unusable in such an environment, the opportunities where you can build up the meter enough to gain crits are far and few between there, and the odds of using those crits productively are even fewer.

Now consider there are no good soldiers or demomen, one sentry if any, and very little enemy awareness. In other words, your typical Valve server. Now the phlogistinator is devastating. People are literally handing you charge, and because your flamethrower is easier to aim than other weapons, you have a naturally decent survivability rate, and once you gain those crits, you can destroy entire groups and still be able to keep your finger on the M1 for ten seconds or so and try to charge it up again quickly. And this is so easy to do too, because you have good ground speed and practically no ammo restrictions, then you get the instant health refill whenever you're in a bind, so you can streak amazingly without putting any real effort into it.



You could consider this "balanced" by the fact that it's good in one environment and bad in another, but is it really good for the game to have weapons exist purely for the sake of destroying games full of new players, when the weapon itself doesn't really open up any new gameplay styles and isn't even applicable the farther up you go? Is pubstomping a positive game mechanic that should be encouraged?

This is literally the old backburner reincarnated, and it perfectly demonstrates everything that is disliked about W+M1: it is easy to do, very effective against low-level players, completely useless against good players, and practically the ceiling for this weapon's usage, meaning there's no room for improvement.
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Old 01-15-2012, 03:52 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Warrior View Post

This is literally the old backburner reincarnated, and it perfectly demonstrates everything that is disliked about W+M1: it is easy to do, very effective against low-level players, completely useless against good players, and practically the ceiling for this weapon's usage, meaning there's no room for improvement.
5this

FROEVER
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Old 01-15-2012, 03:53 PM   #3
Gata
 
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Well said.

+rep.
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Old 01-15-2012, 03:53 PM   #4
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If it needs any change (I'm not entirely convinced, but in the spirit of compromise) I'd say raise the damage needed to charge to around 250-300 and then add a gimped airblast or something like the Backburner has.

So the Backburner is a pure ambush weapon, the Phlog is a tactical power-up weapon and the Stock/Degreaser are the combo weapons.

Maybe instead of airblast the Phlog could gain some minor AOE buff for your team?
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Old 01-15-2012, 04:00 PM   #5
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I already made a solution addressing the issues I stated. This would encourage hit 'n' run instead of W+M1, and it would also leverage on long-ranged weaponry, making the weapon a little more accessible in a higher-skilled environment. The buffs during taunt could also be nerfed as well.

AOE flame buff for allies is an idea I've liked for a while, the boost could certainly be changed to that as well.
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Old 01-15-2012, 04:04 PM   #6
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^ I like that idea. Makes the Third Degree a viable weapon too.

I suppose it could be Crits on primary, and then a Buff Banner effect to nearby allies and your other weapons. Makes Pyro even more of a team player than he is now, and isn't nearly as eye gougingly difficult to charge or detrimental to your own survival as the BB is to the Soldier.

Last edited by Rynjin: 01-16-2012 at 01:06 AM.
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Old 01-15-2012, 04:06 PM   #7
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Haha, nothing can make the third degree viable. It is for strumming amazing riffs only.
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Old 01-15-2012, 04:06 PM   #8
Gata
 
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Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
^ I like that idea. Makes the Third Degree a viable weapon too.

I suppose it could be Crits on primary, and then a Buff Banner effect to nearby allies and your other weapons. Makes Pyro even more of a team player than he is now, and isn't nearly as eye gougingly difficult to charge or detrimental to your own survival a sthe BB is to the Soldier.
This.

Would the damage be compounded if, while on MMPH, you were to flaregun someone who was already on fire?
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Old 01-15-2012, 04:08 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Gata View Post
This.

Would the damage be compounded if, while on MMPH, you were to flaregun someone who was already on fire?
Crit damage overrides minicrit damage I believe. So Flare gun would Minicrit on the first shot and then do a FULL crit on the second. Still a potent combo.

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Haha, nothing can make the third degree viable. It is for strumming amazing riffs only.
Well think on it, at least. That's a 120 damage hit on a minicrit isn't it? So if you hit a Medic twice it would now kill everything up to a Demo/Pyro by the second hit, and cripple a Soldier.
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Old 01-15-2012, 04:14 PM   #10
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You could also just use your phlogistinator, which pierces through multiple targets and does insane amounts of damage during the boost.
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Old 01-15-2012, 04:15 PM   #11
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You could also just use your phlogistinator, which pierces through multiple targets and does insane amounts of damage during the boost.
True, true.
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Old 01-15-2012, 04:35 PM   #12
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Something I wonder, maybe I'm just un-observant, but does the phlogistinator have any tell to warn players that the Mmmph! meeter is full before the pyro armed with one goes full cupcakes with it? Something obvious like when a medic has an ubercharge built up? because that would probably be useful if there isn't.
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Old 01-15-2012, 04:53 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Spy-bait View Post
Something I wonder, maybe I'm just un-observant, but does the phlogistinator have any tell to warn players that the Mmmph! meeter is full before the pyro armed with one goes full cupcakes with it? Something obvious like when a medic has an ubercharge built up? because that would probably be useful if there isn't.
that's exactly what the 2 second taunt is for
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Old 01-15-2012, 04:55 PM   #14
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My vote goes on:
1. nerfing the afterburn damage on Phlogistinator. May be it should be even less than Degreaser, so people will be forced to use their melee to kill or flare gun (or Volcano Fragment) to fill Mmmph.
2. Alternative to the first, Mmmph damage requirement should be increased, more than 221 dmg.
3. making the reflected backburner projectiles to deal full crit damage instead of mini-crits.

Last edited by naksiloth: 01-15-2012 at 04:58 PM.
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Old 01-15-2012, 04:59 PM   #15
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Now consider there are no good soldiers or demomen, six to seven sentries, and very little enemy awareness. In other words, your typical Valve server. Now the phlogistinator is bleh.
There are never enough Engineers in a Valve server.
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