Team Fortress 2
Why the pyro is not overpowered
I’ve wanted to write about this for a while now, so this post is going to be pretty substantial, and it may keep getting bigger as I add more of your reasons to the original posting. I main pyro, I’ve been playing for about 4 or 5 years, and I started playing the pyro because I had a bad computer. It’s safe to say that I have spent a vast majority of my time (on TF2) playing as the pyro mostly because his weapons are still useable when you have painfully low fps. I only have just recently (thank to Chris’s Dx9 config) been able to play scout and sniper to any degree. The hour I installed the config I got called pro by some random guy in a valve server (while playing scout, my class with the least hours), and I realized just how bad the pyro was. I still love the little arsonist to pieces and it’s still my main, but the level of difference between how well I do as pyro vs how well I do with scout has really opened my eyes to the situation. I wanted to write this initially because of my friends, some scud posters and just random people on servers who always said so many painfully wrong things about the pyro. Now I want to write this because I know just how wrong they are, and it makes me a little bit mad.

The accusations:
[CENTER]The pyro can do too much dps.[/center]
This is one of the stupidest accusations anyone can make because it is not backed up by factual data. If you are going to talk about something as big and important as dps you need to have a comparison and realize the mitigating factors. The pyro can only do damage at point blank range with his primary weapon, and his shotgun is not powerful enough to take on the role of ranged damage (at least not against the 4 power classes). Even in the pyro’s only effective range, he still barely out-damages the majority of the classes. For example:
Scout does 160 dps at point blank, or about 200 damage in 2 shots.
Soldier does 137.5 dps at point blank, or about 220 damage in 2 shots.
Pyro does 170.5 dps with stock, or a little under/over 200 with degreaser axtinguisher (although after the first swing it changes).
Demoman does 183.3 dps at point blank, or about 220 damage in 2 shots.
Heavy does 520 dps at point blank. (Good God!), 67.6 for the first unwound second.
Engineer does 136 dps at point blank, or about 170 in 2 shots
Medic does a sad 110 dps at point blank. (mini-crit flamethrower my [color="#FF66FF"]♥[/color][color="#FF66FF"]♥[/color][color="#FF66FF"]♥[/color])
Sniper is irrelevant to the point.
Spy does painfully low 98.27 dps at point blank.

An important thing to note is that the point blank range of other classes is not the same point blank as pyro, point blank for pyro is touching his opponent, point blank for everyone else is closer to 7 feet away (long range for a flamethrower). More important than the calculated dps is that before the pyro can get into point blank range all the classes will have already entered their own point blank ranges, thus making the 2-shot damage values more accurate to an in game experience.
[CENTER]The axtinguisher is impossible to dodge[/center]
No. Hitscan is impossible to dodge. A stock speed pyro (which is what you are actually dodging) is very easy to get away from.
[CENTER]Airblast makes it impossible to fight back[/center]
WHY?!?! It does not remove your ability to press mouse 1, and it only fully removes your mobility if you are airblasted into a corner (something that should only happen if the pyro manages to sneak up on you). Also, airblasting temporarily removes the pyro’s ability to deal damage to you.
[CENTER]Airblast is cheap[/center]Airblast is the most accurate player maneuvering ability in the game, but it is not the best pma. Rocket launchers are capable of juggling players at medium range while doing around 40 damage a hit, stickies can launch players huge distances from medium range while doing about 40 damage each. It is the most accurate, but it is not cheap when compared to the power classes that can already do huge amounts of damage from well outside of pyro’s range while juggling people.
[CENTER]The pyro should not have the ability to one-shot 7 out of 9 classes in the game[/center]
Usually this is stated as 8 out of 9 classes, but you can’t one shot a pyro with the axtinguisher so… We already talked about the dps of the pyro in comparison to all the other classes and if you were paying attention you would have seen that a fair few classes can 2 shot 8 out of 9 classes, from farther away, with less personal risk. :mad:
[CENTER]The pyro is easy[/center]
This one is just stupid, I want to go over some of the other reasons why this is stupid later so now we’ll just focus on the most obvious reason. In order for the pyro to inflict maximum dps (as examined above) the player must press a minimum of 3 buttons (assuming no outside interference) In order for all other classes to achieve maximum dps they need to press a maximum of 1 button.

The problems:
Some of the biggest reasons that the pyro is not overpowered are not even present in the accusations. The first thing we need to understand is that the pyro does not have a very definable goal as a class. It can do a large number of tasks and is very good at helping out support classes and spy checking. But these are not the things that pyro is accused at being op for, he is accused mostly because of his combat abilities. The pyro has two things that define him in combat, point blank damage and flanking. As I’ve explained before, the pyro is not actually that good at point blank damage. As I’m going to explain, the pyro is perhaps worse at flanking than he is at close quarters combat. All the classes have a unique ability to themselves, the pyro is the best at damage over time; be it inflicting it or being immune to it; he is the champion of indirect assault. This is why the pyro is so bad at flanking; his unique attributes do not help him at all and often hinder him. Soldiers, Scouts, Demomen, Medics and spies all have either more advanced maneuvering or more speed than the pyro. Heavies and engineers are about as difficult to flank with as the pyro but obtain more benefit from the action (huge amount of health and damage, and teleporters respectively). The pyro himself has stock speed, medium health, low ranged combat abilities and a primary weapon that tells everyone where you are (pyro lights a scout on fire, scout runs back to team and healing while screaming bloody murder and lit up like a Christmas tree, some power classes go in the direction that the scout came from and murder the pyro). Even after flanking you still have limited abilities. With the stock flamethrower you’ll just get murdered the second you start to light people on fire; the backburner has terrible back crit registration and is very good at telling people to turn around after killing just a few people; and the deflax requires either that your opponent not notice you until you get into melee range or that they be near a wall and don’t notice you until you get almost into Airblast range.

I plan on adding a section about why Airblast isn’t as useful as everyone thinks it is and how many counters the pyro has here, I’ll do it later.


The main purpose of this is so that you have somewhere to send the inconvincible pyro haters that might be able to change their mind and make them see reason.

this is directly copy pasted from spuf, so the format might be off?
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Showing 1-15 of 53 comments
ShenanAgain Feb 18, 2014 @ 4:09pm 
Oh, hey, here I was going to comment in your other thread that this would be more appropriate for SCUD when you decide to post here.

And I was going to be snarktastic and everything. Man.
The Smart Patrol (Banned) Feb 18, 2014 @ 4:14pm 
People have posted stuff like this people, sadly, no one's going to read and care and will continue ♥♥♥♥♥ing how the Pyro "iz so op"
Sir Bosco of Styx Feb 18, 2014 @ 4:16pm 
The most hilarious thing is a pyro trying to axtinguish a chargin targe.
Chair Feb 18, 2014 @ 4:19pm 
Feel free to quote the following whenever necessary:

[Why the Pyro isn't OP by 22nd Sentry Gentleman]

If you have a short attention span, feel free to jump down to the TL;DR.
It's marked in blue.

The Pyro has the shortest combat range of all classes.

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=231294817
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=231294952
[Depiction of a Flamethrower's range while W+M1ing]

  • The Pyro's effective range doesn't go beyond the range of the airblast's hitbox, his maximum combat presence is limited to his Shotgun's reach.
  • The Flaregun is arguably not exactly extending that reach in comparison to the Shotgun, as it fires easy-to-dodge arcing projectiles without splash range that even a Heavy can sidestep past close range, carrying only 30 base damage and with a minimal attack intervall of 2 seconds [1][wiki.teamfortress.com]. True, it crits burning targets, however that would mean that said target either is [or very recently was] in flame range, pretty much nullifying the entire 'long range' argument, or the target being as predictable [or static] in their movement to get hit by a flare twice in a row. And even so, that's 90 damage every two seconds - an average 50 damage/second, which, in plain numbers, is laughable if compared to most weapons, including the Shotgun it replaces.

The Pyro arguably has the second worst mobility of all classes.
    True, 100% walkspeed doesn't sound too bad on-paper, but in practice, it's Sniper-mobility without a Sniper's range to boot - or Engineer-mobility without staying-power, or Spy-mobility with neither stealth-tools at hand nor Spy-like rewards for an ambush (i.e. the victim's instant death).
    Considering what other classes of similarily short effective range have at their disposal to help them get to close range - think Scout or Spy - Sniper speed alone eventually is sub-par.
  • By default, the Pyro has no means of advanced mobility. He is the only offensive class to be restricted to running.
  • By default, there aren't but three classes that run at a pace that a Pyro can catch up with [2][wiki.teamfortress.com]:
    • The Soldier, who mobility-wise more than makes up for his sub-par walking-speed with rocketjumps.
    • The Demoman, who still features 93% of the Pyro's walking-speed, and stickyjumps or shield-charges [as well as pipe jumps].
    • The Heavy, who in a direct combat situation basically is the Pyro's hardest counter. Yet, he's the only class that the Pyro can unconditionally catch up with.
  • Any unlock granting the Pyro extra mobility is sacrificing some of the impact he could have once he is within range
    • The Detonator, whilst granting mini-rocketjumps, only packs a burst damage of 41 on a burning target; that's not even half of what the Shotgun or the Flaregun are capable of, not even speaking of the self-damage.
    • Running the Powerjack boosts your out-of-combat mobility, but at the same time prevents you from carrying combat-wise superior choices like the Backscratcher (or the Axtinguisher), not to mention the vulnerability.

The Pyro has the second least primary damage output of all classes.
    Only Medic primaries are strictly worse at killing something in a direct fight. One could argue about the Sniper Rifle, but yeah, that's neither exactly a direct-combat-weapon, nor is assuming that the Flamethrower killed stuff faster than a Sniperrifle in anywhere close to what's the case in practice.
  • The Flamethrower optimally does 153.5 damage/sec [3][wiki.teamfortress.com][4][wiki.teamfortress.com]. For comparison, the default Shotgun put in the exact same situation does 180 damage in less than 1 second, thanks to the initial burst [5][wiki.teamfortress.com]. As stated above, the only primary weapon in the game with worse specs in that regard are the Medic's Syringeguns.
  • The Flamethrower does its damage in stream form, it has practically no burst damage at all. What this means is that while, say, the Spy's Revolver does 60 instant damage at point blank the Flamethrower needs ~0,4 seconds before the same amount is reached[6][wiki.teamfortress.com].
  • Side-note: Crits and minicrits done by flamethrowers are the only ones in the game to be subject to negative modification by damage fall-off [7][wiki.teamfortress.com].
[/list]

In the majority of all cases, afterburn is no big deal.
    Left alone the damage-output isn't impressive, it's almost easier to counter than it is to apply.
  • 6 damage per sec [4 with the Degreaser], for 10 seconds max. Even under the best possible circumstances that's less damage total than 1 non-critical melee swing does [8][wiki.teamfortress.com][9][wiki.teamfortress.com] - except that a melee swing is instant, and afterburn leaves you 10 full seconds to react to it, and migitate the damage.
  • Afterburn is completely nullified by contact with
    • Medikits
    • Water
    • Dispensers and carts
    • Medics
    • An airblast (or Manmelter) of an allied Pyro
    • Allied Jarate-Snipers
    • Allied Mad Milk-Scouts
    • Thrown Sandviches / Steaks
    • Passive resistances and stuff that can be used on-self [Targe, Bonk...]
    • Additionally, various sources of self-healing exist that further migitate afterburn's impact [Concheror, Black Box...]
    [10][wiki.teamfortress.com].
  • Beyond its arguably negligible damage, afterburn has notable negative effects on 2 classes in particular:
    • The Spy, simply because the visual effect gives away his position,
    • and the Sniper, since the damage makes him flinch, throwing off his aim.
    However: Both of them have widely used unlocks to douse fire - the Deadringer still is the most-equipped form of cloak, and Jarate and Spy-Cicle remain the most used non-stock items for their respective slots[11][tf2stats.net] - plus, there's also a few more situational counter-items like the Cozy Camper or the Conniver's Kunai.

Welp.

TL;DR:

As explained above, the Pyro already is
  • tied for the least ranged class in the game,
  • tied for the second least mobile class in the game,
  • featuring the least burst-damage primary weapon,
  • and the least primary damage/time-output besides syringes or W+M1 Snipers
as a base-line.
And while unlocks can partially patch up either of these aspects, eventually they don't allow the Pyro to surpass other combat classes even in the area that they buff, while they also gimp the Pyro's other capabilities.

Plain facts.

Practically the only thing the class has speaking in its favor is the airblast; it's basically the one thing that makes the Pyro viable.
Last edited by Chair; Apr 13, 2015 @ 12:41am
Originally posted by UbelEngel:
The most hilarious thing is a pyro trying to axtinguish a chargin targe.

Light, bounce, light again and Axe. Not impossible, but way harder.
Ultimate Pheer Feb 18, 2014 @ 5:07pm 
Originally posted by 100% Recycled Awesome:
Originally posted by UbelEngel:
The most hilarious thing is a pyro trying to axtinguish a chargin targe.

Light, bounce, light again and Axe. Not impossible, but way harder.

The targe nullifies afterburn effects.

Literally, one of its effects is, outright, "Immune to the effects of afterburn."

So, no, Targe demos cannot be axtinguished.

Originally posted by 20 Sentry Fox:
TL;DR:
Least ranged class in the game,
second least mobile class in the game,
featuring the least burst-damage primary weapon,
that also has the second least primary damage-per-time-output in the game save syringes,
and while unlocks might patch up either of these aspects,
even their competences don't allow the Pyro to surpass other combat classes' in the area that they buff,
while they are simultanously gimping the Pyro's already meager elsewhere capabilities.
Facts.

Nice to know that people call the class OP when it has been mathematically proven to be the weakest in the game. Shame, because I legitimately like it the best. If they doubled the damage afterburn dealt per second, and its duration, would that help? At all?
Littlekiraneko Feb 18, 2014 @ 5:10pm 
Originally posted by 100% Recycled Awesome:
Originally posted by UbelEngel:
The most hilarious thing is a pyro trying to axtinguish a chargin targe.

Light, bounce, light again and Axe. Not impossible, but way harder.
I would just shotgun the ♥♥♥♥♥
Littlekiraneko Feb 18, 2014 @ 5:10pm 
Originally posted by 100% Recycled Awesome:
Originally posted by UbelEngel:
The most hilarious thing is a pyro trying to axtinguish a chargin targe.

Light, bounce, light again and Axe. Not impossible, but way harder.
I would just shotgun the ♥♥♥♥♥
Littlekiraneko Feb 18, 2014 @ 5:10pm 
Originally posted by 100% Recycled Awesome:
Originally posted by UbelEngel:
The most hilarious thing is a pyro trying to axtinguish a chargin targe.

Light, bounce, light again and Axe. Not impossible, but way harder.
I would just shotgun the ♥♥♥♥♥
Littlekiraneko Feb 18, 2014 @ 5:10pm 
Originally posted by 100% Recycled Awesome:
Originally posted by UbelEngel:
The most hilarious thing is a pyro trying to axtinguish a chargin targe.

Light, bounce, light again and Axe. Not impossible, but way harder.
I would just shotgun the ♥♥♥♥♥
♥ PandaCat ♥ Feb 18, 2014 @ 5:27pm 
I mostly die to pyros after I already defeat them, imo afterburn is overpowered and should end when you kill the pyro that puts it on you.
Ultimate Pheer Feb 18, 2014 @ 5:31pm 
Originally posted by Vanellope von Schweetz:
I mostly die to pyros after I already defeat them, imo afterburn is overpowered and should end when you kill the pyro that puts it on you.

Interesting. How long does it take for the afterburn to kill you, usually?

Because I rarely get kills with it.

Mostly because a skilled medic is capable of rendering it completely irrelevant.
Last edited by Ultimate Pheer; Feb 18, 2014 @ 5:31pm
Smugleaf Feb 18, 2014 @ 5:35pm 
Originally posted by Ultimate Pheer:
The targe nullifies afterburn effects.

Literally, one of its effects is, outright, "Immune to the effects of afterburn."

So, no, Targe demos cannot be axtinguished.

If the immunity to afterburn works the same way as it does for the pyro, the demoman could still get axtinguished. I've heard how it's possible to use the Axtinguisher on pyros if you're using the Degreaser and fast enough, so you should be able to use the Axtinguisher on the demoman with the Targe equipped unless it works differently. If you set a pyro on fire, there is a brief period of time where the pyro can get hit by weapons that crit on burning enemies, so the demoman should be able to get hit by an Axtinguisher hit.


Originally posted by Vanellope von Schweetz:
I mostly die to pyros after I already defeat them, imo afterburn is overpowered and should end when you kill the pyro that puts it on you.

Afterburn isn't that powerful considering all of the unlocks that have been added that can remove or reduce the threat of afterburn.
Last edited by Smugleaf; Feb 18, 2014 @ 5:36pm
gre (Banned) Feb 18, 2014 @ 5:36pm 
3long didn't read

pyro can be 1shotted by a market gardener
/thread
♥ PandaCat ♥ Feb 18, 2014 @ 5:38pm 
Originally posted by Ultimate Pheer:
Originally posted by Vanellope von Schweetz:
I mostly die to pyros after I already defeat them, imo afterburn is overpowered and should end when you kill the pyro that puts it on you.

Interesting. How long does it take for the afterburn to kill you, usually?

Because I rarely get kills with it.

Mostly because a skilled medic is capable of rendering it completely irrelevant.

a few seconds normally and when I play theres never any medics. pyros, snipers or scouts able to extinguish it because they all ignore me.
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Date Posted: Feb 18, 2014 @ 4:07pm
Posts: 53