Valve is bringing a huge pile of changes to Team Fortress 2 in an upcoming update, including overhauls to a number of weapons – and nerf to the Dead Ringer.
Valve has chosen to rebalance “dozens” of weapons and items in order to help players on both the winning and losing sides feel their skill is being rewarded – that you lost because the other person is better, not because their chosen boomstick is “cheap”.
Writing on the free-to-play shooter’s blog Valve highlighted the Soldier’s banner items as an example. The Buff Banner provides an offensive buff and is by far the most popular, while The Battalion’s Backup is used by less than 15% of all players.
Looking at the item’s stats, Valve found that its usefulness was limited because most players die before triggering its bonus, which is charged by receiving damage. To make itmore useful, valve’s going to change it to it charges when you deal damage instead, and also so it protects the player while in use.
It’s not all buffs, though; Valve is going to nerf the Dead Ringer, by far and away the most popular item for the Spy. The Dead Ringer allows spies to fake their own death; after the update, any damage the Spy takes after his fake death (say the enemy keeps spraying bullets a little longer than necessary) will reduce the length of time he or she can remain cloaked, giving the opponent time to catch up and deliver a smacking.
These are just two examples, with plenty of others in the wings for update day. But there is one major change to items in general – the somewhat confusing and quite constraining set bonuses will be rejigged. Vlave won’t be deleting bonuses, because many players have worked hard to collect sets, but will be moving the gameplay bonuses to specific items rather than the whole set, and granting new bonuses that don’t relate to gameplay.
This TF2 update is going to be enormous, so Valve is letting information out in short bursts rather than simply dumping and enormous pile of patch notes on you. Yesterday we learned the update brings two new maps and fixes exploits in many others.