TF2 Pyro Pack Almost Ready

By John Walker on June 7th, 2008 at 10:38 am.

And MY axtinguisher!

Good news for Pyro fans (apart from those who fear change, but love forums) – Valve are almost ready to release the next big Team Fortress 2 update. Which of course brings with it the new Meet The Sniper movie, as we oh-so exclusively revealed last week.

This includes the introduction of a new unlockable weapon for the Pyro, the Axtinguisher. (Best name ever?) Dishing out half-damage when used alone, if used to chop a player you’ve already set on fire (it’s funny how innocent this seems in the context of the game) it guarantees a critical hit. Valve say,

“We’ve almost completely wrapped up the next big release for Team Fortress 2, which will focus on the Pyro class, along with the Meet the Sniper movie. We’ve spent time looking at how the recent Medic release went, and have rolled feedback from that release into the new item designs for the Pyro and into the design of the achievements required to unlock those items.”

Then there’s the much more ambiguous, almost sinister declaration,

“Along with all of the new content, we’re also going to be making some significant changes to the Pyro class for everyone, regardless of whether they have unlocked any new items.”

What could this mean? Further changes to the range of the flame thrower? An option to remove the mask and show that the Pyro is a girl, as we’ve always suspected? It’s a mystery.

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52 Comments »

  1. MisterBritish says:

    Hurrah! ‘Significant Changes’ might mean pyro won’t be languishing at the bottom of my ‘time played’ chart.

    Do you have any idea on the supersecret release date?

  2. Kast says:

    Hmm, yes, this might get me back in the game.

  3. np says:

    I hope all this class pimping doesn’t start to funk up the game balance.

  4. Vollgassen says:

    i love playing pyro as it is. hoping that this won’t change it TOO much

  5. Fazer says:

    Don’t worry, np, it’s Valve. Most time there is spent on balancing every weapon and skill of characters. They haven’t failed me so far.

  6. Wurzel says:

    Yay pyro changes! I hope the Axtinguisher isn’t the 100% acheivements one, cause it looks pretty awesome. As Pyro is my most played class, this sounds like pretty good news (although teams suffer a lot more when too many people are playing Pyro, compared to when too many people are playing Medic).

  7. matte_k says:

    What a fantastic birthday gift, reading this. More ways to burn heathens and sow chaos into the enemy ranks…One very happy flamethrower enthusiast here-hope the “significant changes” don’t hobble the class though. But the medic upgrade went ok, so, high hopes…

  8. Seniath says:

    I must admit, I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, yay Pyro love. On the other hand, as Wurzel points out, teams will be full of flavour of the month players, boo!

  9. Kast says:

    Now would be an excellent time to go back and watch Ignis Solus all over again…

    So that’s what I’m gonna do.

  10. Naurgul says:

    Why so much hate for the “flavour of the month players”? I think one day we’ll all be nostalgic of this. We’ll be all like “Remember when the pyro unlockables were released and the game was almost literally on fire? Good times, good times.” These achievement hunters, annoying as they may be, create some kind of temporary diversity on the gameplay. In the long run, we’ll come to appreciate this, at least that’s what it seems like to me.

  11. Nick says:

    it’ll make it hard to get setting people on fire achievements if everyone is a pyro.. as they only burn for 1 tick.

  12. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    Could be that they’re changing how the Pyro registers a hit with the flamethrower, I seem to recall much bitching that it only damages in a straight line ahead of the Pyro rather than in a cone-shaped volume as the spread of the flame would suggest. Can’t say it really bothered me though, as the Pyro is an awesome class as it is.

    Quite like the idea of the Axtinguisher, makes the Pyro a bit more viable when ambushing the heavier classes.

  13. Legandir says:

    Well i guess its almost time to give tf2 a break for a month. I can’t wait for valve to finish the updates so that everyone just plays normally. Although if they keep up the requirement of getting achievments, i dont know if tf2 will have anyone left playing it by then

  14. Dinger says:

    In a game where every class has a distinct voice, and a smarmy attitude, where we can describe in one word every character (medic=evil, scout=prick, heavy=moron, and so on), the pyro only speaks second-hand (“I am on fire” “It burns!”).

    I make no bones. The pyro is at the top of my time played list. I have higher scores in just about everything else though.
    I love axe-kills, almost as much as the bone saw. I do wonder how many often it occurs that a guy is on fire, and a regular axe-blow won’t kill him.

    We’ll see what the other tweaks are. What’s happened, I feel, is that the as players have become familiar with the Pyro’s capability’s, they’ve feared less.

  15. Jay says:

    *sigh*

    Just when I started getting good with the spy. Never mind, I do enjoy playing Pyro sometimes, on the rare occasion I’d prefer to defend but not be engineer

  16. sigma83 says:

    The pyro wins my Favorite Personality, hands down, and is darn fun to play too. Although it requires serious intelligence in order to be most effective.

  17. monchberter says:

    Pyro is the most intrinsically humourous character by far, and i love playing pyro WELL and it can be a game winner if you’re linked with a decent doc.

    I’m happy! :)

  18. Mike says:

    Is the axe the only unlockable, then?

  19. darthpugwash says:

    Hopefully this pack will buff the Pyro a little, as he could use a little extra punch when going up against Soldiers and Heavies.

  20. Junior says:

    Wait, so it scores a crit if someone is on fire, not necessarily set on fire by you?

    Hello twin pyro teams!

  21. Jonathan says:

    No worried spies here?
    As a medic I think the next week will be plenty busy.

  22. Pyro apologist says:

    The pyro is excellent as it is. People are bad with the pyro because they don’t know how to use him. It’s an excellent choice in some circumstances. I’m afraid the tweak will fuck up the game balance. If they depower him, it will be pretty frigging useless. If they overpower him it will be ridiculous.

    The pyro is ok as it is. The new weapon sound killer anyway.

  23. Lunaran says:

    All the predictions and theorycrafting about what the new unlockables will be has been misguided all this time. “The pyro could really use X” or “The pyro had Y in TFC they’ll probably bring that back.”

    Clearly, they’re basing the unlocks on awful puns. This is the key.

  24. Rosti says:

    Awful puns and win, Luraran. At least, that’s what the Axe suggests.

  25. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    @ Lunaran: Well Tom Francis, of PCG fame no less, half predicted it in his extensive unlockables run-down. Worth a look if only for the MS Paint daubings accompanying the piece.

  26. AciD says:

    “Along with all of the new content, we’re also going to be making some significant changes to the Pyro class for everyone, regardless of whether they have unlocked any new items.”
    I think they are talikg about points for ignite ^^

  27. Blindpsychic says:

    The entire network of TF2 servers will be crashing so hard with 12 v 12 pyro teams. I’ve seen it happen.

  28. itsallcrap says:

    Well yes, clearly this will result in far too many people playing as Pyro, but I intend to cope with this in exactly the same way I dealt with everyone playing as Medic – by going Soldier and getting my highest scores ever.

  29. Faust says:

    I hope they just slightly increase his run speed… I think that would make it much more enjoyable to be pyro, as at the moment I get repeatedly frustrated that I ambush someone and they run away a little too quickly for me to follow it up with more flames or a shotgun blast to the back.

  30. Forceflow says:

    More taunts, I say.

  31. Jonathan says:

    Reply to Lunaran

    Speaking of god awful puns. Whose going to own up to this sites headline?

  32. Saflo says:

    My money’s on Walker.

  33. John Walker says:

    Holds head up high in pride.

  34. terry says:

    This change is pretty good, imo. It will make the pyro key to hold tunnel choke points, much as the demoman currently does.

    That said, I am increasingly wary of this bonus unlockable shenanigans.

  35. Erlam says:

    “The pyro is excellent as it is. People are bad with the pyro because they don’t know how to use him. It’s an excellent choice in some circumstances.”

    What’s ‘the way to use him’? Sit in an ambush position? Well, Demo’s better for that (or hell, heavy.) Chaos? Again, demoman I’d wager, or a spy in your midst.

    As it stands, the Pyro simply excels at nothing. It’s not a bad class, it just isn’t as good as every other class. I think “The pyro is at the top of my time played list. I have higher scores in just about everything else though.” sums it up well.

  36. Dinger says:

    Here’s my compelled response: the pyro is beautiful. Yes, when they made demoman charges fuze IMP-DLY instead of straight Delay, it kiled a lot of the Pyro’s fear. But we knoww the pyro’s all about suppression. Set a bunch o’ dudes on fire, and they won’t be covering the cap.

  37. RichPowers says:

    Even in TFC, the pyro is the red-headed stepchild no one loves. I blame this on the game engine’s inability to model a flame thrower or handle hit detection. Crinkle paper flames certainly don’t help either. Thankfully the flame cannon gives him a minor role as harasser/suppressor in certain maps.

    In TF2, he’s (she?) is simply outclassed. The medic and scout are damn good at close range. Demo is best for ambushes. Don’t get me wrong, I love playing the pyro from time to time, but if I’m serious about winning and helping the team, I’ll often pick a more useful class. The pyro is still best with a medic, flanking the enemy’s base and wrecking havoc behind the lines. Doing that on stage 3 Dustbowl is a guaranteed win.

    Unlocks should be highly specialized. That was accomplished with the Critzkrieg, but the Blutsauger is too powerful at close range, making it so much better than the default needler.

  38. Jonathan says:

    Whats with all the pyro hate?

    Theres nothing that can throw back a rush like a pyro jumping out behind the group. Their only weakness is that the victims survive long enough to kill the pyro. But they die a few seconds later or have to go running back to their base to hit the medicine cabinet. Then there’s their, bastard, spy hunting credentials not to mention they’re one of the fastest classes coming in just after the soldier and spy. As a guy who plays as a heavy and a sniper I have a very love hate relationship. As a sniper they’re a guardian angel crouching behind you, spraying you and the dispenser with their toasty affection keeping those, bastard, spies out of arms reach. As a heavy? They always, without exception, set my medic on fire just as I enter the enemy base. Always.

  39. Nick says:

    I love being a pyro.. especially the satisfaction you get from forcing enemy medics to blow their ubers before they can get into a position to do much damage. One of the pyro’s best abilities is that, even though it almost always ends in death.

  40. mgl says:

    1. My fondest TF2 fantasy is of two teams of 12 Pyros facing each other in an axes-only duel across the 2Fort bridge…

    1a. I greatly enjoyed the short-lived Mostly Medic Matches resulting from the recent upgrades. Syringes everywhere!

    2. I love Pyro, and s/he remains my most-played class, but I have lately been seduced by the awesome k/d ratio of the Demoman.

    3. I have noticed recently that more Pyros are switching to axe for Pyro v. Pyro duels, which is tons of fun.

    4. That is all.

  41. Saflo says:

    His power is causing trouble*. This trait can be very useful – sending the other team fleeing in panic mid-capture, say, or flushing engineers out of a new hidey-hole, but more often than not he’ll get the bump without having done much of anything. I find him comparable to the spy for this reason. They’re both high-risk classes that require you to keep moving and directly engage the enemy (no hanging back and flinging rockets or grenades), but true success with either can be critical to winning the round. This is apparently still a point of contention, but in my experience, nobody clears a capture point like a pyro.

    All the technical junk aside, he is the funniest and easily the most endearing character, and I cannot imagine the game without him. The flamethrower is also one of the most satisfying FPS weapons I’ve ever used.

    *click my name for a helpful visual aid

  42. Aftershock says:

    This will basically render the spy almost useless until the pyro rush dies down after a couple of weeks.

    I hope the pyro gets upped health, is faster, and generally better and holding choke points than the demoman.

  43. Crispy says:

    Why so much hate for the “flavour of the month players”? I think one day we’ll all be nostalgic of this. We’ll be all like “Remember when the pyro unlockables were released and the game was almost literally on fire? Good times, good times.” These achievement hunters, annoying as they may be, create some kind of temporary diversity on the gameplay. In the long run, we’ll come to appreciate this, at least that’s what it seems like to me.

    I will never look back at these achievements with fond nostalgia unless Valve stop making them so easy to farm and so unattainable for TF2′s target audience: the people who drop in every week for 30 minutes, the casual players. Why should they be denied access to content and not be able to play on a level footing with everyone else?

    Imo the unlocks should auto-unlock after you have owned the game for 365 days or something. I don’t want to play multiplayer games where I can’t try out all of the weapons and abilities.

  44. Y3k-Bug says:

    @Crispy
    According to the update note from Valve on Friday, they are also changing the way the achievement system works for the Pyro update, so it sounds as though they are taking alot of your considerations to heart.

  45. Radiant says:

    I want an underachievement award.
    Where it rewards you for your complete ambivalence to the whole achievement system.
    Wtf ever happened to just being cool with a high score?

  46. The right to arm bears says:

    The pyro does need some sort of upgrade. I am a medic at heart, and there was a time that the pyro was truly my bane a disproportionate amount of the time. But that was before the Blutslaughter. Now a single unassisted pyro can’t really push me back the way they used to, because it is simple to backpedal while killing them, and use the health boost to stay alive. That is not a complaint, merely an observation that it is probably time to evolve and make us all more strategically fit.

  47. Nick says:

    yeah the blutsauger is a pyros bane, have to run away and use the shotgun.

  48. Sam says:

    @Y3k-Bug

    Well, sort of. The overhaul of the achievements seems to be more “we’ll make them so you don’t have to do silly things” than “we’ll make them accessible to casual players” – the original 10 million heal point target for the Medic Pack isn’t a Silly Thing, but it certainly wouldn’t have been attainable to casuals. (Even with 1 million points as the target, I’m only just half-way there, and medic is my second most played class – but, I’m a casual player, so…)

  49. Lu-Tze says:

    Pyro doesn’t feature on my Personal Records at all despite being my third most played class, but that’s mostly because playing him is an exercise is fun (not that the stats are shabby, 14 Kills in one life is no joke, and he’s the only class where i’ve been dominating the ENTIRE other team at once)

    As long as the weapon unlocks emphasise the fun (like this Axe replacement does… although the fact it isn’t a Gibson Flying V with Hot Rod flames on it disappoints…) then i’m all for it. The guy who totally called this, I hope they are listening to because i’d love a Flamethrower jetpack.