Gentlemen…

18 05 2009

First the quick news out of the way: Yesterday I completed my four-year journey to become one of the first people to go through WPI’s Interactive Media and Game Design major, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in the discipline. But more importantly (and more relevant to this blog I think), Valve has spent the past few days releasing info on their upcoming update to Team Fortress 2, which will add additional weapons and gear for the Sniper and Spy. Personally I think they’re kinda cool. For the Sniper we get a longbow that pins enemies to walls when it kills them, as well as a shield that protects against one backstab (as well as disabling the spy’s knife temporarily). The spy right now seems to be getting upgrades to his cloaking watch. One which will create a fake corpse when he takes a non-lethal hit and throwing up an instant cloak that lasts for 8 seconds (I am of course guessing that only works once) and one that will recharge energy as long as he remains still.

All I can wonder is if any of these will get banned by people in league play and have people complain of unfairness. The longbow I’m sure people won’t complain about too badly, after all it’s just a weapon that allows snipers to fight in a more interesting manner. The shield I’m also sure might escape people’s complaints, since it makes the sniper slower and only stops one backstab. The watches however…well I don’t know. It seems like people are going to complain about the fake death part, and even moreso about spies being cloaked indefinitely. Personally I don’t see balance being broken in this manner. After all, in TF2, you’re not invincible. Eventually you get killed, and (unless it’s an Arena match) you respawn. Arguably spies need these new toys to deal with Pyros spychecking everything in site (Pryros, by the way, are still the class that’s the nearest to unbalancing the game after their class upgrade). Furthermore the fake death watch only works once from what I understand, and the instant cloak wears off. Furthermore it doesn’t sound like the spy can attack under this new cloak so he’d have to drop it, and a dutiful enemy (or if one isn’t available, a Pyro) will be able to catch him.

All this update is really doing is alerting players that they need to change tactics. Frankly I don’t see a problem with learning new ways to fight someone. After all, this keeps the game from becoming too stale and having a class lose its touch (though arguably Spies are still useful even before this update)

Again I don’t know all the details, but I have faith that Valve knows what they’re doing as always, and that even if this update has some issues, they usually iron them out in a week anyway. Unless it’s the Pyro (seriously, it takes less than 2 seconds to kill a Heavy with the Backburner if you get one from behind and it seems to one-shot every other class, that is a problem.)

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