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Old 02-07-2010, 05:25 PM   #1
Bridget
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THE PYRO. NEEDS MORE DEPTH.

This thread is about giving the Pyro a little more depth than his linear "run at people and burn the hell out of them" standard of play. The intention is for the Pyro to be an offensive class, so keep that in mind. Here are some reasons as to why I think the class is not very sufficient:

The Pyro is a very straight-forward class, and I mean that in the worst way possible. He is reliant heavily on falling into a situational advantage instead of merely adapting to the situations he finds himself in, mostly because his weapons are absolutely useless outside the special situation he has to seek out. He has no depth.

His primary weapon is the flamethrower. It's not at all fun to use the flamethrower nor is it ideal to have to run in a suicidal manner at an enemy while holding down the first mouse button to deal any damage. Even in this situation, you can't maximize the damage or better it. It's very linear. Deal damage until the enemy drops or until you die from having to play your class in a stupid way.

Let's compare this weapon to the Engineer's railgun. It has a magnitude of uses for varying situations. If the Engy finds himself unable to address a risk directly, he can bounce the railgun off the wall and try to hit his mark in a different manner. He can deal huge damage at a slow rate of fire or deal moderate damage in quick bursts. The weapon can be used to give the Engy a movement boost, and it also is used in producing cells for building.

What can the flamethrower do? There's only one way to deal damage, for one situation, and it's not fun at all for the person getting burnt and the Pyro who has to play in a stupid manner (run at threat, expose self to fire, etc) to get anything out of the experience. Besides the jetpack (why does the Pyro need mobility?) the flamethrower is useless.

What about his incendiary cannon? It's great for harassing the enemy with the lingering flames, but its arc, the slow rate of fire, and the weak damage make it an inefficient ranged weapon. What does that leave the Pyro with? A pitiful single shotgun as his primary weapon at range. Those playing this class make a choice: 1) Run at enemies with the flames going and hope for the best or 2) Rough it out at range with two lame weapons until an advantage pops up.

The Pyro needs to be able to deal damage in multiple ways and at multiple ranges. These damage outputs need to be entertaining and fun to use while being effective. The class needs to be able to, like other classes, adapt to any situation that he finds himself in, instead of merely hanging about until the one particular situation where he can do something comes up.

Sorry for not explaining my distaste fully. I am tired and getting beat up by a mild case of writer's block. I've been writing this for an hour now, trying to get to the point. I don't want it to sound like a weak argument or miss out on anything important or something like blahahahblahblah. You get the point. Pyro is boring, he has no depth, he has no role, no job, no alternate way to be played, and the only way to play him encourages you to play like an idiot and yeah.
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Old 02-07-2010, 06:41 PM   #2
Eon Seig
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You may not realize this, but the FF Pyro is actually the closest that the class has ever come to having real depth and skill. The only good thing about the TF2 Pyro is the compression blast, which allows him to reflect projectiles.

The Pyro needs mobility for one reason: gaining advantages. A Pyro without mobility and movement ability is not a good offensive unit. What good is he if he can't catch up to his targets? The best way to kill with the flamethrower is to open with the IC and then jump over people's heads with the jetpack push. Then you float over them, blinding them with fire, and confusing the hell outta them. Then just drop an Incendiary Grenade on top of them and that equals a win. This is highly effective at killing HWGuys, the Pyro's #1 enemy at point blank range. It isn't so good against Soldiers, who usually win before the Pyro gets into range. The flamethrower is a weapon that requires maneuvering to be effective, but some classes can limit that maneuverability.

And why would you compare the flamethrower to the railgun? They are completely opposite weapons. The Railgun is like the Engineer's own personal sniper rifle. If you want good comparisons, compare the Assault Cannon or the RPG to the flamethrower. They are more similar in terms of range effectiveness, and the Assault Cannon is essentially a flamethrower that throws bullets.

Let's look at the good things about the Pyro, which should be maintained in the event that any changes are made to his depth or playstyle.
  • 3rd fastest class (Pyro Push)
  • 3rd most heavily armored class
  • One of the most vertically mobile classes. (Jetpack+frag jumps)
  • Class with the highest air control.
  • Highest maneuverability in close range engagements.





Beyond this, let's ask a simple question. Does the Pyro have more or less depth than the Soldier, the class which is most similar to him? No one ever complains about Soldier. Everyone always thinks he has one of the highest skill ceilings in the game with the most versatility. What does he do?

Get close. Fire rockets. Bounce people around. Use splash if they are around corners. Use shotgun when low on rockets. Rocket jump. GET L33T H4XX0R AIRSHOTS!

Stuff like that.

What does Pyro do?

Get close. Shoot rockets and spam fire. Outmaneuver enemies with jetpack tricks. Drop Incendiary Grenades for lvl 3 burn. Use shotgun when out of effective range. Pyro Jump.

When you compare, the Pyro is basically a Soldier with more range limitations, more movement options, and a damage over time.

Last edited by Eon Seig; 02-07-2010 at 07:01 PM.
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Old 02-07-2010, 06:58 PM   #3
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I think FF has done a great job enhancing the Pyro, making it a more interesting and somewhat more formidable class. The flamethrower 'jetpack' provides some useful mobility, and the fire damage stacking is a great mechanic that rewards combined attack and tenacity. There is a small, but healthy level of complaint about the Pyro being overpowered, in fact.

I think there are a few tweaks that could be made to make Pyro more fun:

- IC damage up very slightly
- IC jump push increased slightly, but not as strong as a rocket
- Napalm grenade needs maybe one or two more fire sub-sprites, and to do more damage, especially to sentrys. One well placed napalm should take out a sentry if left to burn out. I seem to hop over/through napalm flames without damage often - it should have a more effective area-denial ability.

You mainly discuss the flamethrower, and I tend to agree that it could be improved. My thought is to make it more of a 'napalm gun', where the fire stream is more like a water-hose stream of liquid/fire than a gaseous blast (as now.) I would add some additional range (maybe a 'build up pressure' mechanism via alt-fire? maybe this shoots a 'glob' of sticky napalm?) and add a stacking action, so that if you just twitch the stream across an opponent there is light instant and lingering damage, but if you 'soak' the player for some time there is lots of instant damage and an increased burn rate. I would maybe slow the stream down slightly so the effect is like trying to hit someone with a waterhose: if they are far away, they can easily dodge but you can still hit; at close range, hitting is much easier.

I think it would also be cool if the flame thrower's liquid fire could stick to the floor/walls and continue to burn for a short time, providing some area-denial effect.

I suspect that the current FF engine may not be conducive to 'liquidy' effects like all this however.
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Old 02-07-2010, 07:24 PM   #4
Bridget
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I guess my intention with this thread is to come up with a model for the Pyro that has him playing at some efficient level at both close range and medium and with some sincerity. Right now, the Pyro's means of attack usually means doing all that really drastic jet packing and flaming and dancing and flying about to avoid getting hit.

It doesn't seem ideal. Ideally, the Pyro should be able to stand on the ground and fight back like the other classes; without all the erratic behavior. The way Pyros fight now seems to have been inspired by how limited the Pyro's weapons are. You have to make them work by doing really bizarre things like flamepacking and flying over people's heads while spamming grenades.

You know how a Medic fights? He throws in a little movement, tosses a few grenades, lets off a few shotgun blasts. That isn't how I remember Pyro playing — with some standard. It just seems so desperate.

Last edited by Bridget; 02-07-2010 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 02-07-2010, 07:55 PM   #5
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Old 02-07-2010, 08:22 PM   #6
Eon Seig
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Some things will probably have to be changed about the flamethrower. There are two options I see that will change its effectiveness.

#1: Give it the ability to reflect projectiles, ergo the TF2 Pyro. The ability in TF2 does not really reflect anything. It erases projectiles that it hits and then copies them, sending an identical projectile going in whatever direction that the flamethrower is aiming. Most people will hate that idea.

#2: Remove the right-click quickswitch, make the default "last weapon" into the IC. Replace right-click with a "focus stream". This compresses the flame into a tight stream that extends about 200% farther than the default flame. However, this consumes more ammo per second and has a much thinner cone. This will require target leading. The reward will be more range and better damage at farther ranges due to a more compressed stream. It would be worse for groups and close range. In order to ensure it is only good for mid-range, the focus stream has a significantly lower number of fire particles (I assume it uses particles) until the stream passes the normal flamethrower range.
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Old 02-07-2010, 10:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eon Seig View Post
Some things will probably have to be changed about the flamethrower. There are two options I see that will change its effectiveness.

#1: Give it the ability to reflect projectiles, ergo the TF2 Pyro. The ability in TF2 does not really reflect anything. It erases projectiles that it hits and then copies them, sending an identical projectile going in whatever direction that the flamethrower is aiming. Most people will hate that idea.

#2: Remove the right-click quickswitch, make the default "last weapon" into the IC. Replace right-click with a "focus stream". This compresses the flame into a tight stream that extends about 200% farther than the default flame. However, this consumes more ammo per second and has a much thinner cone. This will require target leading. The reward will be more range and better damage at farther ranges due to a more compressed stream. It would be worse for groups and close range. In order to ensure it is only good for mid-range, the focus stream has a significantly lower number of fire particles (I assume it uses particles) until the stream passes the normal flamethrower range.
+1
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