Polycount nerfing poorly executed.
On the event update, July 10's "move these weapons up!" have had some okay buffs and nerfs and excellent additions, but those are outside of the polycount's share of the fair.
I would agree with nerfing the polycount sets in under one condition, but it seems that the new generation of the TF team went full develo-nope on how they tried to balance these weapons.
They had completely removed the original bonuses from the sets, and instead gave them all "calling cards", and one was granted a useless taunt effect, due to the knife in the saharan spy set your enternal reward's nature.
The original set bonuses have been moved to the weapons in each specific set.
All with their own reasons.
The reason for moving the set bonuses into one weapon, is because
(1)Players required full knowledge on the other players that equipped the sets
(2)Players becoming constricted in weapon choice, feeling "underpowered" without the set bonus.
Anyways, I can answer to all of these questions with ease, and how the update should've and would've been.
For the TF team that worked on the July 10 update, you treat the set bonuses as if they were "extra weapons" weapons. The set bonuses were rewards for using a full set instead.
The Players would have to keep collecting weapons and convert them to metal, like they do anyways. Getting all of the polycount sets without paying any money at all (again) hasn't been a big problem for me, however this is now the new generation of the polycount sets, where prices are cheaper. None of the hats I paid for went above 1.66 refined. Howver, this reason you gave the community feels like you neglect the drop system,
that is still in the game.
You have made some weapons in the polycount sets worthless and meaningless when someone tries to use any of the full sets. Only two sets were over-exagerated with buffs, while the rest were composed of poor reworking choices. One poor choice you made, is not buffing the sydney sleeper to deal headshots, since headshot immunity is gone.
The old set back then with the Croc-a-Style set was balanced, where you gain extra health when people attempt to body-shot you, a kukri that would crit when it normally minicrits, and a sniper rifle that drowns enemy players in jarate. The downsides of the set back then would be the in-ability to perform headshots, and becoming vulnerable to fire. The benefit of using the full set back then, would give you "headshot immunity". Since the Sydney sleeper was great in the set for assisting the team by dousing the enemies in jarate for 8 seconds, where the Croc-a-Style Sniper, or as I'd like to call it, "The Sniperdile" can make perfect chain shots for the enemies to be under the effects of mini crits, and let your team mates pluck them off while you keep shooting jarate at other enemies to be plucked away. He will not have to worry about the other snipers that chose to attack him, while he is supporting his team. However, the Sniperdile must watch out for pyros spamming their flare guns. The sniper class is great in supportment of long-range combat, and the pyro class is great at repression and stressfulness for the enemy team with his weapons of selection.
Now, the sydney sleeper and the bushwaka are not worth using with the DDS, because of it's bullet resistance.
Now for the victimized Saharan Spy set, where the TF team tried nothing to have a weapon relate to the old stats. They just gave the l'Etranger 40% longer cloak duration, and thats it. Bam. Someone tried buffing the l'Etranger by giving it +20% cloak on hit, keeping -20% damage. The Saharan Spy set's bonus downside "0.5 longer cloak blink time" isn't even there.
You also made some weapons that are a bit better than others.
The Battalion's backup has 50% sentry resistance when rage is deployed, and that means everyone near you has that kind of resistance power. This is really unfair for the defense team on payload servers, because everyone pushing the cart will get that kind of power when the rage is active, and shall have no problem. 50% sentry resistance is a bit too much, and yet this would've made the old tank buster's set bonus better. Because there is little difference in combatting level 3 sentries with or without the old loadout's bonus.
Now, for the ridiculas offender of the buff, the Special Delivary set. The set's primary recieved stats (again) which are +20% healing bonus while active, and higher vulnerability to knockback.
The knockback vulnerability is supposed to be a downside of the weapon.
I believe that this is now the Pomson 6000 for scout, because of how brokenly unbalanced it is.
Where the weapon has 4 pellets in 1 clip, a smaller clip size, and this time the new pomson 6000 called the "Shortstop" has a minor damage penalty in comparison to stock, but here are it's upsides.
Faster reloading speed
Alot more accurate
Faster rate of fire
20% healing bonus while deployed
Knockback vulnerability, which is a free jail-free card.
So why is knockback vulnerability an upside in my eyes and the eyes of others?
Because, this enables you to escape everything
from axtinguesher pyros, to soldiers. You can even do your double jump right before you hit the ground to avoid falling damage, and avoid dangerous map hazards.
If others see the knockback vulnerability as a downside, lets remember that the TF community frowns upon all movement impairing weapons, or when they are beneficial.
What would I have done to make everything better for "nerfing" the polycount sets?
I'd start by decreasing the required refined metals to 3 or 2 to craft a set specific hat to avoid the community's "pay2win" arguement on the polycount sets.
Re-write the Sniperdile's "Headshot immunity" to "Headshot survivability" to help players understand what that really means. Would not change set's bonus statistics in anyway.
Buff the Tank Buster set from 20% sentry resistance, to 50%. When one person is resistant, it isn't too much of a big deal.
Buff the "old" battalions backup to build rage through healing to create synergy with the Black Box, which should not be built through medic's healing, engineer's healing, or resupply cabinet. Let the Black Box gain the extra health from attacking enemies
These are for balancing, as the Tank Buster set deserved a buff, and people often mistaken "Headshot immunity" with the mythical "god mode against headshots". At least, from what I have heard. Give the 0.5 cloak blink time to the Dead Ringer, so during the cloak from that, Bumping into enemies will still give you cloak blink time.
Finally, a nerf for all of the polycount sets, is to give the player an identafiable skin when the set is active on the wearer. An example is to have the sniperdile set have a team colored crocadile vest instead of his usual vest, and a blank baseball shirt for the special delivary set, that has identafiable team colors so players will not have trouble telling what team the scout is on. It should work like those souls from last year's halloween.
This is for solving the "Players require full knowledge" problem for the sets. If that TF team made different textures for each calling cards and models for the calling cards, simple
re-textures should be alot faster than having to make an additional model.
One more nerf that will make the item sets the complete set of "Pay to Win".
Make the hats achievement milestone weapons while using a specific weapon in a set.
The milestone achievement name should be named after the sets.
Croc-a-Style, Tank Buster, Gas Jockey, Special Delivary, Saharan Spy, and so on so forth.
For all of the hats before the update, "Vintage" or "Genuine" qualities will be applied to them.
Genuines will be the dirty set hats, and Vintages will be the clean set hats.
/end of critical review with constructive suggestions.
tank buster set should be buffed by letting pre-july 10 battalion backup build rage through healing (not be medics or engineers), increase set sentry resistance from 20% to 50%,
black box would get heals from hitting engineer buildings, change lable "headshot immunity" to "headshot survivability" because it has been mistaken that sniperdiles have god mode against headshots, give anyone wearing a set an identafiable skin so you can tell if the person has a set bonus, saharan spy set gives dead ringer cloak blink time.
make hats achievement milestone items. all pre-existing hats that are dirty will be genuine, and the clean set hats will be vintage.