Pyro Pyro Pyro


In a bit, Valve, will be revealing the Pyro update here – 7pm GMT, if that holds. But the men of the press were able to look at it earlier here. We were among those pen-wielding men and then wrote this news up as quickly as possible. Except one of the men of the press leaked the link early, the 7pm thing went out the window and Gillen has to swiftly alter Walker’s beautiful prose to make the post vaguely work. Oh no! Our wives!

The bit you want to know: they have tweaked the flamethrower. Hit alt-fire and the regular Pyro weapon will send forth a blast of compressed air, capable of knocking enemies away, and deflecting enemy projectiles. Oh, and a Flare Gun, the Backburner, and the previously mentioned Axtinguisher. Much more below.


Valve give some thoughts on the role of the flamethrower’s new ability:

“It’s a highly versatile tool, allowing Pyros to get away from nearby enemies after igniting them, to kill enemy soldiers with their own rockets, or to separate enemy Medics from their healing targets. In particular, it allows a skilled Pyro to contain an enemy invulnerability push, and even to separate the Medic completely if the surrounding terrain supports it.”

This will be fascinating. The Pyro is now a far more tactical tool in any battle. And invulnerability suddenly got a bit less invulnerable. Expect to see a lot of pissed off Medics in the next couple of weeks. But onto those new weapons.

The Flare Gun

The first thing you’ll unlock, and cunningly sneaked into Meet The Sniper yesterday, the Flare Gun replaces the shotgun. It’s the means by which a Pyro can set someone on fire from a distance, but only if their aim is good enough. Valve point out it’s particularly useful on Snipers and Engineers who are trying to stay away from the fray.

The Backburner

Next is the Backburner. It’s an ambush flamethrower, losing the newly added alt-fire compression blast, but guaranteeing critical hits when used from behind. Missus. And by some mystical property – perhaps the Pyro covers her face because she’s entirely made of fire or something – it heals the Pyro for fifty as well.

The Axtinguisher

The final unlockable, the Axtinguisher, is a critical hit machine, guaranteeing a heftyy blow when your opponent’s on fire. But it’s lame-o when they’re not. Valve suggest Pyros work in pairs to use this effectively, one setting people on fire, the other chopping them up with an axe. Ahhh, videogames.

Best title: OMGWTFBBQ.

Of course, to get all these you’ll need to unlock them. And that’s where the 35 new achievements come in. Just look at these names: Dance Dance Immolation, Next Of Kindling, and best of all, OMGWTFBBQ. Head to the Pyro’s page for details on all of them.

Valve respect

The two player-made maps included in the pack are given pride of place at the top of the update information. Congratulations to Arttu “skdr” Mäki for his CP_Fastlane, and to Bill Johnston for CTF_Turbine, being picked as Valve’s two favourites. It would seem a fairly big deal for Valve to rate your map design.

Fire devil.

In conclusion? Well, you do that bit. What are your conclusions? Absolutely certain that the entire game is now ruined, imbalanced, and likely to cause all players to get genital warts? Delighted that one of the perceived weaker classes is now endowed with some fairly essential tactical abilities? Or sure that this is the second coming of videogaming, and will heal all war?


  1. The_B says:

    But the men of the press were able to look at it earlier here. We were among those men of the Press and then wrote this to the news as quickly as possible. Except one of the men of the press can’t read and leaked the link early, so Gillen has to swiftly alter Walker’s beautiful prose to make the post vaguely work. Oh no! Our wives!

    Wait, then you leaked it again yourselves?
    FFS Guys! :P

  2. Kieron Gillen says:

    We’ve been given permission to Valve to go for it. The link’s out there, y’know. You can’t unleak the apple.


  3. Therlun says:

    Holy crap, the new alt fire alone would be a huge buff to the Pyro, but the two new ranged weapons add even more!

    The achievements also seem a BIT less stupid. While some still wont happen in normal play there arent that many that encourage stupid play.

    See you in two weeks then, when the servers are playable again :P

  4. Nuyan says:

    Awesome! Hilarious achievements as well.

  5. Kast says:

    More options than just, you know, burning things and being mildly annoying. Got to be good. And those achievements look like they’re going to be enjoyable to achieve and the kind of thing that will just happen without you working at it.

  6. The_B says:

    Kieron: Ah, fair enough. I only say as I may or may not have been involved toward informing the leaker of their leak.

    In my head I was singing: “there’s a hole in your bucket, dear Mnnffh mnnnfhhh, dear mmnnfffhh mnnfhh”

  7. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    Compressed air jumping?

    Personally I’m not too keen on the flare gun, I’d rather stick with the shotty for finishing off flaming foes (although I’ll at least give it a try). The Backburner and the Axtinguisher both sound awesome though.

    Also, from OMGWTFBBQ can we take it that the hadouken now does damage? Because that would be pure awesome if true.

  8. cyrenic says:

    BarbeQueQ was my favorite achievement name.

    The achievements look like a lot of fun, but some of them just scream “Farm me!”. Especially for some of that new weapon hotness. Hopefully the farming doesn’t get out of hand.

    The knockback attack seems brilliant. So far the TF2 team has been doing an awesome job of nerfing/buffing classes, IMO. Blizzard could learn a lot from them :P.

  9. Flubb says:

    Would be nice if it was actually possible to get the achievements without blatent fixing them. The medic ones ticked me off, because while it’s my 3rd most played class, I hit about 16 achievements before I got to the point where I’d have to enlist a clan somewhere to help. Lacking any buddies on Steam, I’m denied at least 3 achievements, and good luck finding a heavy willing to punch people to death whilst ubered.

    These look a tad easier and more friendly, but seriously, I’ve got 60 hours on spy, and never once have sat around flicking cigarettes (to my knowledge at least), unless it’s a standard animation.

  10. Mike says:

    This will get me back into team fortress 2 – although yeah I might have to wait a couple of weeks to avoid the sudden rush. Still, it might be quite interesting to experience everyone being a pyro.

  11. sigma83 says:

    Flubb: It’s the disguise kit taunt.

  12. MisterBritish says:

    Happily I don’t play pyro that often, or some of those achievements would really piss me off. Valve; random funny achievements are great, as long as you don’t have to rely on anyone else. People farming achievements means you have failed.

  13. Lu-Tze says:

    I’m also wondering about the possibility of Air Compression jumping, which is something Pyro’s sorely need to be a true crazy “not where you expect” attack class. Regardless though, i’m going to enjoy sitting on the Spire in Badlands blasting off everyone who attempts to climb it or hit me with grenades.

    I think the Backburner might be slightly overpowered, as the ability to do crits ALL THE TIME (ok only from the back but still) makes the Pyro a damage dealing beast.

    But yeah, for me the most interesting thing is the most unannounced. OMGWTFBBQ’s logo implies the Hadouken now does damage… Are we talking instakill here? Either way it’s going to be an absolute HOOT sneaking up behind Snipers and then blasting them with a taunt. Most Embarrassing Death Ever.

  14. Seniath says:

    Yay, new stuff! They (the achievements) sound slightly more do-able than the medic ones. An awful lot less chance and relying on team members. Let the burning commence (tomorrow).

  15. sigma83 says:

    According to the TF2 wiki, it had always done 1 damage.

  16. frymaster says:

    to be fair, if a large proportion of the medic’s achievements hadn’t relied on at least ONE other person they’d be Doing It Wrong :P

  17. phuzz says:

    I might have to get into this farming game. I must have spent a good few hours playing a medic since the last pack, and I don’t think I’ve got a single achievement, let alone any unlocks.

    Shame, I could cause a lot of mischief with that BackBurner :)

  18. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    More details from Tom Francis’s PCG write-up:

    One thing he can’t do is blast-jump. Designer Robin Walker says they experimented with this, but found it wasn’t as fun as it sounded. They tried relegating it to an unlockable weapon, but then players got confused about what the air-blast could and couldn’t do.

    But soft! There is yet another cool change in this update. Unlike the poor Medic, who had to earn every single one of his often absurd, counter-productive achievements to receive his ultimate unlockable weapon, the Pyro only needs 15, 20 and 25 respectively for his new toys. Since there are thirty-five to choose from, this means people can leave the silly ones alone if they don’t fancy grinding them.

    Hopefully Valve will retroactively correct the Medic achievements in a similar fashion so I can finally get my hands on the uber-saw.

  19. RichPowers says:

    Mixed feelings about the Backburner (love the name!). On the one hand, if a pyro catches you from behind, you’re already screwed, especially since the game is fairly generous with rewarding random crits already. The spy should gain some competition in the “sneaking behind enemy lines, entering a narrow tunnel, and killing multiple enemies from behind” category.

    In any event, the Backburner will give new credence to the offense engineer. A well-placed sentry can cover the advancing team’s rear, denying pyros the opportunity to execute a deadly chain of crit kills from behind.

  20. mbanana says:

    Any word on the Pyro’s gender, or when the vid will be coming out?

  21. Meat Circus says:

    Valve suggest Pyros work in pairs to use this effectively, one setting people on fire, the other chopping them up with an axe.

    My new favourite sentence.

  22. Rosti says:

    “…the Pyro only needs 15, 20 and 25 respectively for his new toys…”

    That is undoubtedly A Very Good Thing. Well done Valve for realising that fun and functional can co-exist.

    On the new Pyro abilities, I like how many options the player will have. Should I ambush my opponents, or have a defensive utility? Do I take the option of long range effect at the expense of a ranged method of finishing targets? Or should I just axe people?

    Yeah, the last one.

  23. matte_k says:

    About time, love the alt fire idea, going to be so useful in a firefight (pun fully intended). Bit of a pain in the arse though, because I usually play as Pyro and now the next two weeks i’m going to see nothing BUT Pyro’s everywhere. Might be time to get to work on the Medic achievements instead…

  24. Nick says:

    God I hope they don’t make the pyro a female just because of all this stupid obession that seems to have grown up around it. It sounds like a man, unless it’s a woman with a really deep voice. And no breasts. Everyone else in the game is a man, token female would be more insulting than no female, surely?

  25. TychoCelchuuu says:

    I love everything about this update except for how I’m not going to get the last two pyro weapons because I don’t want to grind a bunch of stupid achievments. I already feel like a gimp with the medic because I lack an ubersaw; now I’ll feel like a gimp with the medic and the pyro. Someday, when every class has been updated, I’ll feel useless to my team because I won’t be able to use any of these cool new weapons :(

  26. Fumarole says:

    “Valve suggest Pyros work in pairs to use this effectively, one setting people on fire, the other chopping them up with an axe. Ahhh, videogames.”

    This is why I love RPS.

  27. Rob says:

    If anything could incite me to play as Pyro, this is it. Looks like great fun, I’ll definitely be giving it a go.

  28. derFeef says:

    Oh Pyro I want to marry you. If it puts out you are a woman, great. If you are a man… well… I will do my best to fulfil your dreams.

  29. MacBeth says:

    Pyro stuff is all made of win, even if it doesn’t have some kind of spray-now-set-fire-to-it later liquid weapon that I was hoping for. Good to see that many of the achievements support my favourite chaos-assault pyro tactics involving disrupting enemy build-up.

    The most surprising, and slightly disappointing, thing is the inclusion of Turbine, if it’s unchanged from its most recent public version. It’s a decent fun map but it doesn’t have the visual sophistication and sheer quality I would hope for…

    …And I’m not just saying that because I think my maps look better, because I haven’t finished and released one yet! (though they do IMO)

  30. Nero says:

    As the Pyro being my second most played character I’m very excited for these new stuff. The new alt-fire sounds very awesome indeed. Also, now you don’t have to rely on anyone else to get the achievements (like you had to with the Medic ones). Bring it!

  31. Dave says:

    I hope the compressed air gun can shove burning Scouts off of Cap C in Badlands. Bwahahaha.

  32. Andrew says:

    They got the achievements and unlockables right this time–I think only the hadouken achievement will really require farming, the rest will fall to either luck or time playing. It’s great that you don’t need them all for the unlockables and I echo the request that they lower the medic unlockable requirements, too.

    I laughed out loud at the pyro achievements and the new weapons look great!! Kickass work, Valve!

  33. Theory says:

    Squeeee! :D

  34. Noc says:

    My theory:

    At launch, after a little bit of tweaking, TF2 was balanced to a fine point – for single characters. The unlocks seem to be following something of a trend, and my guess is that once all of them are out the game will be perfectly balanced again . . . but for pairs.

    Which, considering the name of the thing, is something I approve of.

  35. Corion says:

    About the Pyro’s sex/gender:
    It’s been suggested that the Pyro is a male, and that the purse is there to indicate that he’s flaming.

  36. Rayonic says:


    I think you “flick cigarettes” when you’re choosing a disguise.

  37. monchberter says:

    Are all some of the ‘grinding’ achievements going to take into account already accumulated stats like they did with Herr Doktor?

  38. CrashT says:

    “Kill an enemy with a taunt.” WTF?

  39. cyrenic says:


    People on the TF2 forums are speculating the “kill x number of enemies” and the “destroy 50 engineer buildings” will take accumulated stats into account, because those are the stats that are currently tracked. The “deal 1 million fire damage” achievement probably won’t consider previous stats because fire damage supposedly isn’t tracked right now, only total damage. All speculation right now, we’ll see for sure tomorrow :D.

  40. yns88 says:

    I’m still irritated that they’re forcing everyone to grind for achievements; it goes against what makes FPS games fun, and it fills every server with horribly unbalanced teams. At least the achievements aren’t completely retarded this time around, though. Even though I enjoyed playing medic, I didn’t bother getting anything past the first unlock just because it was all so tedious.

    It’s good to see the generic shotgun and useless axe go away, though. I had totally anticipated a physics-affected mid-range weapon that sets enemies on fire…

    As for the backburner, that’s how any good pyro should be playing anyway, so I’m actually kind of worried about it being overpowered. I’m not too worried about the regular flamethrower’s added power making the pyro strong against soldiers, though; it would only be useful at mid-long range, and soldiers usually kill pyros from point-blank range (anything else is just easy to dodge). Plus the pyro’s usually too busy flaming away when he gets blown to pieces — I doubt one would have the time to redirect the rocket in that circumstance. So I think soldiers still have the edge on pyros. Heavies, on the other hand, are even weaker against pyros now since it’s so easy to circle around and get the heavy in the back.

  41. Insider says:

    The pyro is actually two midgets.

  42. Razor says:

    I cannot wait to see a video on Youtube of someone hitting the OMGWTFBBQ achievement =)

  43. Quirk says:

    Turbine isn’t as pretty as many other maps, but its layout is superb – for me, it’s the best CTF map by a long way. In 2Forts, being an offensive scout once the sentries have gone up is relatively useless – the open area in the middle offers no scope for anything but face-to-face confrontation. Turbine’s open space has available health and lots of obstables to hide behind, so a canny scout can bounce from side to side of it running up behind people and blasting them. The little health cubbyholes conceal spies effectively, and snipers at the entrance to the int tunnel, difficult to counter-snipe, find themselves providing the team a useful service instead of just playing the sniper vs sniper game so common on 2Forts. Offensive engineers can take over the open space, too, until smart ubering breaks them down or a spy nips through to the int room and forces the dominant team to turn inwards chasing their intel. Turbine rewards a much more varied array of classes and play styles than any other map I’ve played, and I’m glad to see it get the recognition it deserves.

  44. therighttoarmbears says:

    Confession time. I went to the achievement box servers to get my last two medic upgrades. Not that I am a big fan of self-directed horn-tooting, but I am a pretty good medic who tends to top the scoreboards, but I was totally stuck at around 22 achievements. Even with my 50 hours of play as medic. I didn’t feel like idiotically needling scouts for weeks on end. People on the pubs are neither terribly interested nor skilled enough to help you get a bunch of those. Some were just brutally hard (the ubi concordia one? punching scads of people with a heavy?). So I found a farm server, and 4 hours later had them all. And now I can absolutely punish the other team and develop lots more play styles and just generally get a rush all over again from playing my favorite class. Is that so bad? And for those of you who would quit TF2 because you can’t get some of the achievements and that makes you feel inferior: play more. Get good with the classes and a fair number will come. And when you hit the wall, get boosted over ;). Or, then again, accuse me of being a sell-out. Whatev.

  45. Trousers says:

    I love how you snuck in calling the pyro a she

    edit: or maybe it was a “her”, WHATEVA

  46. Erlam says:

    I’m kinda sad that I won’t be one of the only Pyro players on a server now. However, the Pyro really needed a lot of these changes.

  47. mgl says:

    Not that I care overmuch whether Pyro is he or she, but I always figured the “purse” as a toiletry bag, like you use for carrying soap and shaving kit, etc. on trips or to the gym. It’s the right size and shape, and they’re often covered in flowers. And I think the “female Pyro” meme is so well-known now that I’d be disappointed if it turns out to be correct. I’d rather be surprised by what Valve comes up with.

    But I do look forward to all the Pyros on the servers tonight. Maybe I’ll finally get that mass Axe v. Axe duel I’ve been dreaming of.

  48. Al3xand3r says:

    Well whatever they come up with it has to still be either male or female and the latter is probably more original as every other character is male…

    I don’t think he/she will be made of fire though, else what’s the point of that suit :P

    Also, we may very well never find out (unless they said they would reveal such?) anyway, a humouristic meet the pyro video can easily not show what’s under the mask and be all the more hilarious showing him/her trying to eat or drink something through the mask or whatever such antics (done with actual humour unlike my description)…

  49. Kyle says:

    I think if tf2 were the only game to come out in my lifetime, I would still play it till I die. It never gets old.

  50. unclejoe says:

    I sure hope they get the soldier glitch fixed for the “dead heat” award. i don’t know how many times I have been killed by a soldier I am frying by a rocket at his feet and he gets the kill and a suicide, while I get nothing.