Inverting the stats on TF2 weapons

Hot_on_your_heelsSomething that’s always been a fun pipe dream is taking the generic blue and red text of a random weapon in Team Fortress 2 and flipping all the negatives to positives. Not all weapons work in this manner—some are overpowered or underpowered or just don’t make sense. I’m going to attempt to collect the best of the best.

50% slower firing speed
Firing pulls you and your target closer
20% fewer bullets per shot
10% damage bonus
66% increased clip size

So with this, we’ve run into a shotgun that wastes nearly a full second in between successive shots, fires only 8 pellets per shot, and deals less damage overall (about 92 damage on a meatshot versus 105 for the stock), but loads ten shells at once and has a magical bullet vacuum effect. Such a weapon would promote staying power in a fight—ten shells is an awful lot—and even strategy as you try and summon only enemies you can kill without bringing them too close for comfort.

Baby Face’s Blaster
40% less accurate
On hit: removes boost
Run at half speed at maximum boost
30% damage increase
35% faster move speed
Boost builds on jump

Okay. A difficult one to think about. You move 35% faster right off the bat. That’s crazy fast. You also have a flat 30% damage increase, jacking a meatshot to 136 damage. You pay for this incredible increase in power and speed with horrid accuracy, though—meatshots are all you’re going to get. Also, the more you jump, the slower you move, bringing you all the way down to just below Demoman speed—but you can remedy this by hitting enemies. It’s just stupid enough to work.

15% damage penalty
60% increased clip size

Surely too much. You’re cutting damage down to twelve or thirteen versus the normal fifteen, and you’re packing nineteen shots in a magazine now. Even with base damage at twelve, you’re looking at a damage output of 228 damage versus the Pistol’s hypothetically perfect 180. That’s a bit of an increase.

Pretty Boy’s Pocket Pistol
15 lower maximum health
Doubles falling damage
25% faster firing speed
50% fire damage resistance

Where the original Pocket Pistol increased a Scout’s general survivability in exchange for slightly slower damage output and a lone weakness to Pyros, this version decreases a Scout’s general survivability in exchange for slightly faster damage output (about .4 seconds faster for a full magazine) and a hardcore resistance to Pyros. Against some serious Pyro spam, this might be worth taking, but fifteen health is quite a bit.

Candy Cane
On death: A small health pack is dropped
25% explosive resistance on wearer

This one is a simple switch, but it’s certainly intriguing. Scouts, normally quick victims of direct rockets, Direct Hit rockets, and grenades, are now slightly more able to tiptoe through the spam. Hell, the health pack they drop on death can go just as easily to either team!

Removes double jump
30% faster firing speed
20% damage increase against players

This smells like an old Sandman, though don’t ruin it in your head just with that connotation. A lack of double jumps means the crafty dodging Scout will lose his battles with rockets and spam, but will win more head-on melee contests or even initiate fights with melee—with 42 damage every .35 seconds, you’re looking at 120 damage a second on this thing.

Direct Hit
25% damage  penalty
80% slower projectile speed
Mini-crits grounded targets
70% increased explosion radius

Sure, the rocket now travels at 220 Hammer units per second now—which for the record is slower than even a Heavy—and only deal 70ish damage on a direct hit, but that’s ramped right back up to the default 90 damage on a mini-crit, and explosions are 70% larger. That’s massive, for those of you keeping score at home. Truly a spam cannon, intended for strange crowd control and chunks of guaranteed damage, as mini-crits don’t suffer from damage falloff.

Black Box
On hit: Lose 15 health
25% increased clip size

Straight and to the point. Trade five rockets for the need for a Medic up your behind. Good for Sentry pushes or encouraging risky Equalizer / Escape Plan play.

Liberty Launcher
40% slower projectile speed
25% increased clip size

With rockets that still outrun a Baby Face’s Blaster Scout as the only penalty for such a large upside, this leans widely toward overpowered. It may even be a straight upgrade against Pyros trying to reflect the same projectile speed they’ve been used to for years.

Cow Mangler 5000
50% fewer ammo carried
10% damage increase
5% faster reload time
20% increased damage against buildings

I tried to ignore some of the massive texts. I wasn’t sure how to invert the alt-fire statistic reasonably and both the “No random crits” and “Cannot be crit boosted” lines simply vanish. Still. We wind up with a rocket launcher dealing 100 base damage (plus potential ramp-up) and reloading .15 seconds faster from empty. It also winds up dealing 119 damage to buildings on a direct hit, more than the Direct Hit itself does. Carrying only 8 rockets in reserve, however, kills most roaming possibilities, but makes this a defensive machine or a Payload wonder, depending on the team you’re on.

Reserve Shooter
15% slower weapon switch speed
Mini-crits grounded targets for 3 seconds after switch
50% increased clip size

Shit, with nine bullets, you might as well use this as your primary weapon, and push the rocket launcher to a secondary for area denial. 15% isn’t that much.

Pain Train
Wearer cannot capture points
10% bullet resistance on wearer

Let’s presume for a second that the bullet resistance only functions on maps with valid things  to be captured—Payload and Control Point and perhaps even CTF or Special Delivery—and we’ve got an interesting weapon. 10% again isn’t much, but it adds up. It means that a Soldier can survive two Scattergun meatshots unhealed, though you won’t see any last-second pushes from him.

Cannot be crit-boosted
No random critical hits
50% reduced airblast cost

In an attempt to revert the statistics of the Backburner, I didn’t want to literally turn them around—in this case, I just inverted the  idea of them to try and come up with some weapon. You lose all critical ability, which potentially hampers you, but you get airblasts for only 20 ammunition consumed. Which is probably worth it 7 or 8 times out of ten. There still isn’t a good airblast-only flamethrower, much to the chagrin of leafblower Pyros everywhere.

65% slower weapon switch
25% burn damage increase
10% damage increase

The opposite of weapon heckling, the new Degreaser Pyro takes more than one full second to switch weapons. He does however gain the ability to deal 75 damage through afterburn (7.5 damage per second), a nontrivial increase over the base 60, and deals 10% more damage overall. A piece of W+M1 work if ever there was one, and without even a gimped airblast this just increases the demand for a passive Pyro secondary weapon.

75 health lost on kill
20% melee damage resistance while active

Don’t kill things with it, just wield it in a firefight if you’re concerned about a wild and crazy melee Demoman.

Back Scratcher
25% damage penalty
50% fewer health from health packs
75% increased health from healers

A Pyro walking around with this weapon is looking at 18, 44, and 88 health for small, medium, and large health packs. That’s pretty major. It does, however, push pro-Medic gameplay incredibly high. A Quick-Fix Medic might not benefit much, but certainly any Medic trying to keep their team alive in battle will appreciate topping off a Pyro much more quickly, and the Pyro will appreciate his new tankier role too. An interesting idea.

20% damage penalty
25% projectile speed penalty
50% increased clip size
Grenades explode on surfaces
25% self-damage reduction

Gliding grenades, dealing about 80 damage on a direct hit, but you’ve got six and they blow up when they hit the ground. This is essentially giving the Demoman a six-shot arcing rocket launcher. Which isn’t all bad. With reduced self-damage and six shots, though, it would become awfully easy to maneuver without requiring skillful sticky jumping. Taking away the clip size bonus on a hypothetical new weapon might have merit.

Persian Persuader
50% decrease in shield recharge rate
All health collected becomes ammo

Never run out of grenades again!

On hit: 100% chance to speed up target
25% damage increase
30% faster spin up time

Depending on how the stats are tweaked on this one, this could be interesting, particularly if you conveniently ignore the spin up increase (which was already broken to hell and back on the old versions of the Tomislav). Sure, you deal more damage, but if you’re shooting an enemy around a corner, they’ve got a really good reason to run away from you. It shines in general play, sure, but if the speed increase were great enough it almost unintuitively would be better in open spaces rather than close quarters, where the Heavy normally dominates.

Brass Beast
20% damage penalty
50% faster spin up time
60% increased move speed while deployed

We’ve already talked to heck and back about move speed. More accurately, I’ve only mentioned it in the Natascha segment, but  again, let’s ignore that for the consequence of a quick Heavy, speeding around when revved but with a damage decrease. Personally, I’m against increasing the speed of the Heavy in any way—and you can’t tell me that the GRU aren’t still competitively overpowered, even with the nerf. But if you kill his damage output, what is he but a stranger Pyro? It’s a thought.

10% slower spin up time
Loud killer: Victims scream when hit and killed
20% faster firing speed

20% faster firing speed is nothing to sneeze at. And it only takes a 10% reduction in firing speed and a stat that really probably exists anyway. Still, firing speed increases is something that hasn’t been toyed with on a minigun yet.

Huo-Long Heater
Lights self on fire when deployed
Ammo consumed at 1/6 the normal rate

So glue yourself to a Medic, like many Heavies do, and just keep shooting. It doesn’t benefit in a defensive situation and is actually just distracting, but if you can keep your health up, you never have to worry about ammo packs.

Family Business
33% clip size reduction
15% damage increase

A four-shot shotgun that can deal just over 100 damage at point-blank range, making it similar to a Scattergun. Honestly, this was the weapon that the Family Business should have been: it emphasizes risky burst damage, something a Heavy must be good at, in exchange for increased mobility, something the Heavy isn’t very good at (minus the GRU and that has its own drawbacks). Perhaps my favorite reversed weapon.

Warrior’s Spirit
30% damage decrease
20 increased max health

Straight upgrade. You would have to essentially remove the Heavy’s melee slot for a max health upgrade to make any sense—although this wouldn’t be a horrible idea at more competitive levels, where removing a Heavy’s mobility or tanking abilities in the GRU or Fists of Steel is bad.

Fists of Steel
40% damage vulnerability to ranged sources while active
20% faster weapon switch speed
100% damage resistance to melee sources while active

What a strange-o weapon this becomes. Invincibility in melee fights! Presumably this would not affect critical hits or would carry some similar modifier so as to continue to enable backstabs in particular. However, should you get in a melee fight, all it takes is a stray rocket (or the Scout that’s chasing you to pull out his Scattergun again) for you to be a very dead Heavy. I really like this as a concept, though the weapon switch speed might benefit pulling out a Sandwich too much for its own good.

Eviction Notice
50% slower firing speed
60% damage increase

You’re only swinging every 1.6 seconds. That’s pretty huge. It’s actually faster to switch weapons and swing again, if I have the math right. And you’re dealing 104 damage on a swing, which is great if you land the first hit! but punishes your damage over time if you miss. Honestly I’m not entirely against this one either. With some tweaks (perhaps once you switch to the Eviction Notice, you can’t switch weapons for some certain amount of time), this could be valid.

30% slower construction rate
25% damage increase

Like the Southern Hospitality, but with an actual penalty! Underpowered and probably unnecessary, but lord knows there are plenty of deserving weapon models floating around, even for mediocre stat ideas.

On hit: -3 health
2 additional health gained per second on wearer

I hope you don’t ever need to fight back.

Crusader’s Crossbow
40% slower reload time
Fires special bolts that heal teammates and deal damage based inversely on distance traveled
May headshot
75% increased maximum primary ammo on user

An interesting alternative. Firing 40% more slowly is huge. Healing 150 damage at point-blank is reasonably interesting, though, especially if the crossbows ever got the Pyro’s Flare Gun-style reload (where you can switch away during the reload). A quick Medic could then heal-heckle his teammates. Headshots would presumably just triple offensive damage and not reloading, though either would be somewhat interesting for a particularly twitchy Medic. As much as I don’t want to encourage battle Medic-ing, it adds a layer of depth for healing and provides some risky but rewarding close-range combat options for the stranded Medic.

10% damage increase
Movement speed decreases when active, up to a 10% reduction

11 damage a needle instead of 10, so 110 damage a second or so, up from 100. That’s piddly. Almost as piddly as the default Overdose’s damage penalty. The speed reduction really only ever serves to work against the Medic, too. Something more severe would have to be worked with for this to be reasonable: something like +30% damage but -5% or 10% movement speed.

Mini-crits whenever it would normally crit
20% fire resistance on wearer

Minor downside for minor upside. Why the hell not.

25% damage increase when health is greater than 50% maximum
25% damage decrease when health is less than 50% maximum

So, like the Shahanshah now, except now you’re more screwed in last-ditch situations and have a mild advantage in full-health Spy finds. Probably not a big deal.

15 less cloak on hit
20% damage increase

A competent Spy revolver was something that was attempted with the Enforcer, though the downside didn’t match the upside. It still doesn’t, really. This might better match it: sure, you can kill motherfuckers if you’ve got steady aim, but you will, not, escape. Not even the jankety Dead Ringer will save you. And that’s something I think everyone can support.

Big Earner
30% reduction in cloak on kill
25 increased maximum health on wearer

This one I kind of like, too. A Spy gains a bit more general-purpose health, to use at his leisure, but takes a serious hit to his cloak meter on kills. Were the detriment 30% of his remaining cloak be subtracted, it might be a bit more reasonable: with a full cloak meter, sure, you’re still looking at a 30% reduction, but even with three-fourths of a bar you’re looking at an end result of 53% of a cloak meter instead of 45%, and that number only gets better.

That’s it! That’s all I’ve got. The support classes in particular were difficult to invent ideas for just because of the nature of their weapons and roles. I do think that the reversed Baby Face’s Blaster, Pretty Boy’s Pocket Pistol, Black Box, Cow Mangler, Pain Train, Backburner, Back Scratcher, Natascha, Family Business, Fists of Steel, Eviction Notice, Crusader’s Crossbow, L’Etranger, and Big Earner are all very very deserving of some thought.

At the very least, if not the letter of the reversal, then the spirit.