Wiretap
Astute  [developer] May 20, 2013 @ 1:45pm
"Wiretap" Stats
Welcome to the discussion page for the Spy knife-replacement, the "Wiretap". Here I will go into greater detail about the stats I came up with for this weapon. Feel free to cheer/jeer this, or add your own ideas to the pile.


Wiretap

Level 45 Knife

Scramble: Upon a successful backstab against a target, you cannot be targeted by enemy structures or robots for 3 seconds
Cannot attack with melee while scrambling


You could say that this is both a conservative or aggressive Spy knife depending on your perspective. It is conservative in that you sacrifice repeated instant kills for one guaranteed kill without automated retribution. On the other end, it advocates an aggressive Spy, as he can kill an Engineer without fear of being gunned down by a sentry. That said, the lack of repeating backstabs could be a very crippling debuff, as every second a Spy squanders after an initial backstab could mean his remaining enemies could detect him and tear him apart. It really depends on your play style, and all the 3 seconds gives you is some means of escape, or a little breathing room when performing a sap and stab.


Scramble: Upon a successful backstab against a target, you cannot be targeted by enemy structures or robots for 3 seconds
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For each backstab, the Spy is granted immunity to auto-lockon. This covers both sentries built by Engineers, and robots in MvM. When the backstab is performed, the Spy enters "scramble mode", which is represented by a static effect, and is visible both to the Spy and everyone around him. The Spy can attack Engineers far easier than normal. However, chain-stabs become futile with this weapon. As such, this attribute is purely situational. You would probably put it away when the enemy has larger groups, clustered hallways, or the lack of enemy sentries. You would wield this weapon when facing very clever Engineers, or large clusters of Engineers. It also has some applications in MvM, favoring attacking larger robots that would normally floor the Spy if they target him.


Cannot attack with melee while scrambling
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Essentially, in order to balance this effect, we need some sort of harsh penalty. Otherwise, the Spy would have free rain to attack anyone with impunity while sentries are present. In MvM, he would be nigh invincible and undetectable. After performing a backstab, and entering scramble mode, the weapon locks itself down, preventing it from being used. It would perform a scramble animation, with the knife portion lowered to indicate it cannot be used. You would, however, be able to switch to another weapon. As such, you can cloak, disguise, use your revolver, and sap while scrambling. You simply lose your ability to instant kill.
Showing 1-15 of 23 comments
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Creaturegames May 20, 2013 @ 1:56pm 
These are great stats. Hey Valve, you should listen to this guy! Also, I have a description idea to add to this. "The classic Wiretap. A great idea for spying on important targets or listening to your friends to figure out what they got you for your birthday. But who has the time to set it all up? By that time, you might get killed by guards or your friends would return your gifts. With this great device, finding information would be an ease! And some unneeded trifles would vanish along the way. "
Last edited by Creaturegames; May 20, 2013 @ 2:04pm
jonathannerded May 20, 2013 @ 3:25pm 
This seems to be a unique and good item, along with unique stats. Now, about Valve accepting it...
K. Appa the Rappa May 20, 2013 @ 4:17pm 
This is a really good idea. Just stick it into a back and start tapping.
Spyderr May 21, 2013 @ 11:02am 
The stats seem pretty too situational, both in PvP and in MvM.
pUrE May 21, 2013 @ 12:25pm 
Originally posted by Spyder:
The stats seem pretty too situational, both in PvP and in MvM.

Yeah perhaps it should be slightly more global in aim. Also the size is way too big as it is right now, it takes up 4x the size of a normal knife on the screen 0___o

Very nice concept, but needs slight refining
ARTrex007 May 21, 2013 @ 3:53pm 
it's good idea but i think that this stats will fit this weapon better

+ Alternative fire: allows you to place radar on wall or ceiling u are looking up to 3 meters away/ activate previously placed radars

+ Any enemy or structure that is located up to 10 meters from radar are visible to your team also in diffrent colors depended from classes:
a) attack classes are red for blue team and blue for red team
b) defensive classes are yellow for blue team and green for red team
c) support classes are brown for blue team and pink for red team
d) structures and other things (like stickybombs) are white for both teams

+ radar lasts 1 minute 30 seconds also:
a) radar is totally invisible in first 30 seconds
b) from 30 to 60 seconds is transparent (like cloaked spy after being hit)
c) last 30 seconds radar is totally visible

+ radars stay even when spy is dead

- radar survive 100 dmg points from shooting weapons or 2 hits from melee weapons (3 for baseball bat and knife and 1 hit from this weapons itself)

- after placing radar(s) u can't cloak until u activate them

- radars need to be activated with alternative attack after placing that will destroy your disguise and prevent from cloaking or disguising for 3 seconds and also will make middle noise

- when u activate 1 radar, second cannot be placed until it depleds

- max 2 radars can be placed at one time and if 2 are placed above statistics are shared by 2 also:
a) they are invisible only for 10 seconds
b) they are transparent only for 10 seconds)

- after spy is dead radar(s) become instantly visible

+ after backstabing: places instantly radar to nearest wall or ceiling and instantly activate it but:
a) radar lasts only 30 seconds
b) range decreases from 10 to 6 meters
c) radar is invisible for 10 second and is transparent only for 5 seconds

- after placing 4 radars u need to visit spawn location to refresh them

- u can't cloak when holding this weapon

- when u are cloaked and 3 second after decloak u can't choose this weapon

- -25% fire rate when not backstabing


Labraxadores May 22, 2013 @ 11:43am 
Sounds like a good idea, but I'd suggest to add some tweaking; right now, I see this weapon as simply too situational. Let me explain:

As a Spy main, I can say that I'd still take Stock, Conniver's Kunai or Big Earner over this weapon in MvM. Why? Simply because I can take out my Dead Ringer instead of relying on this weapon to save me. You previously mentioned the Spy going againts bigger and badder targets: I suppose you mean either Giants or these clusters of Heavies/Sollies/Demos. But, assuming they're Giants, I'd still take another knife, because I can throw in at least two or three other backstabs with upgraded attack speed, and deal lots of damage in less time. Assuming they're clusters of bots, I'd still take another knife, because more often than not robots aren't looking at me, but shooting at my teammates, and thus leaving them opened for some stabs. It would also be a terrible penalty for Spies who like to sap and kill big enemy squads: it would considerably mitigate, if not vanish completely, the effectiveness of said tactic.

Now, onto PvP:

From my rather limited experience of playing in a competitive-ish server I can freely say that Spies don't usually take out Sentries alone. They throw in a sap n'stab once teammates push in and the Engie is busy. Or even seconds before the push, so while the Engie tries to knock the sapper off the Spy's team pushes. Thus, I'd not really find the Wiretap's perk overly useful. Chainstabs are very important in many situations, I can't count the times I stabbed the Medic and circled the Heavy to sidestab in some seconds. Or stabbed the Demo on the flanks before tricking the Scout running to me into exposing his side.

Another thing is the Dead Ringer. It also basically does the same thing this knife does, only in a more effective (it cloaks its user) and versatile manner. I understand that the DR has a much longer recharge time, but still.

You would say that there are Spies who don't run the DR full time (like me, I prefer Stock), and I would agree, but for those who do the Wiretap wouldn't really be very useful.

In short, this would be near useless, if not completely, in MvM, and underpowered in PvP.

That's why I'd suggest for the scrambling time to be halved. It would make the downside less drastic.


I'm going to comment on your next items too, they look very interesting.
Air Striker Phoenix -Manniac- May 25, 2013 @ 2:11am 
Three seconds of no backstab is essentially three seconds of the Spy being half as effective as normal; not very practical, except in severe situations. My suggestion would be to also allow a backstab to not break disguise, or be a Silent Killer; in either sitaution, the enemy team is not made aware of his arrival. The Scramble visuals would be enough to counterbalance this.
[Drably] Monotony May 25, 2013 @ 6:39pm 
Great ideas, hope this makes it into the game!
Astute  [developer] May 25, 2013 @ 9:50pm 
@Labraxadores, You make a fair number of good points. A good sidegrade is something that simply does not perform in all situations. The aim of this knife is to provide the Spy the ability to make a kill even under extremely difficult situations.

The knife, in its essence, promises a period of 3 seconds that you will not be violently destroyed by a sentry. Spying can generally become a very haphazard existance. Gaining these 3 seconds of breathing time can give you more time to regroup or reposition, and takes some of the "random chance" out of your job as a counter to the Engineer.

It has more uses in payload and CTF, where sentries are generally frequent and dug in. Against a lone Engineer, the advantage of this knife is much less apparent, as any normal knife could do the job. However, when facing multiple Engineers, or very dense pockets of defenders, the ability to kill without the sentry stepping in is quite valuable. In fact, you could use it to take out targets that stick close to sentries(such as Pyros or Medics), that would hamper your team's ability to move on said sentry. In fact, stabbing Engineers out from behind their sentries and NOT sapping that sentry(A soldier or demoman might already be in position to destroy it) may give you a lot more time to wreck havoc before you are detected.
Upward's last point comes to mind for this. Also consider the last point on Goldrush with 3 Engineers setup on different levels.

It has limited uses in MvM. Essentially, you would most likely use this knife when picking off high value targets that would normally assist larger bots. Bot Medics at the most, as you wouldn't trigger retaliation from their heal target. That said, there are plenty of items you would avoid for MvM. The only way this knife might become valuable in MvM is in the upgrades. Upgrading the knife to give you more scramble time, but more frequent stabs would make you practically invisible(rather than literally, hah), but would still afford some decent DPS.

As for the Dead Ringer, it is far more powerful than the majority of Spy unlocks, and can generally trump quite a few of the Spy's playstyles with it's sheer power.

The Dead Ringer grants upwards of 8-10 seconds of 90% resistance(nigh-invincibility) at the moment you take any damage. It can be recharged continously with metal, or infinitely, depending on the map. It is far from a balanced item. Some Spies proficient with it can ascend to god-hood with such an item. Something none of the other classes can achieve with such efficiency.

All that said, I agree with the scrambling time change, though I cannot say what time that would be. It would have to be worked out in testing.
Last edited by Astute; May 25, 2013 @ 9:50pm
Labraxadores May 26, 2013 @ 8:44am 
Agreed, a sidegrade shouldn't really be a completely versatile weapon; that is Stock's job. But I still think that this weapon, while having its own niche, may still be considered underpowered.

If there's a lone Engie, I can take him out just fine by using whatever other loadout which isn's Saharan Spy without a disguise on.

If there's an Engie nest, I'd only be able to cause minimal damage and die while waiting for an Uber, as the Engies would just zerg rush me.

If there's an Engie with his teammates watching his back, I may as well suicide rush and sap it while my team closes in.

In MvM, I could sap these Medibots and rely on my teammates to keep the Giant busy, or suicide rush it. But I'd still use any other knife, because I can quickly sap and kill groups of Heavies; with the Wiretap, it would simply take more time.


Also, sorry if I'm off topic, but since I doubt that with all this ASCII spam you would notice it in the comments, I'm going to ask there: do you plan to release this, or any other of the items in this set, as skins?
Last edited by Labraxadores; May 26, 2013 @ 10:23am
Skrillex May 26, 2013 @ 10:12am 
+ When succesfully backstabbed sentrys in the area turn against the engineer for 3 secounds
- Gets blood on your suit
- Makes quite a mess
Astute  [developer] May 26, 2013 @ 10:34am 
@Labraxadores, Yeah, the large thumbs up are nice and all, but they tend to clutter the comment section. It's a shame that there isn't a collapse option for comments, perhaps automatically on those that are more than 2 lines.

As for the skins, No, I will not be releasing any skins for any of my workshop items. It's simply a personal rule of mine.
Labraxadores May 26, 2013 @ 10:48am 
Mmkay. Thanks for the discussion.
TWEF May 26, 2013 @ 4:08pm 
Originally posted by ARTrex007_PL:
it's good idea but i think that this stats will fit this weapon better

+ Alternative fire: allows you to place radar on wall or ceiling u are looking up to 3 meters away/ activate previously placed radars

+ Any enemy or structure that is located up to 10 meters from radar are visible to your team also in diffrent colors depended from classes:
a) attack classes are red for blue team and blue for red team
b) defensive classes are yellow for blue team and green for red team
c) support classes are brown for blue team and pink for red team
d) structures and other things (like stickybombs) are white for both teams

+ radar lasts 1 minute 30 seconds also:
a) radar is totally invisible in first 30 seconds
b) from 30 to 60 seconds is transparent (like cloaked spy after being hit)
c) last 30 seconds radar is totally visible

+ radars stay even when spy is dead

- radar survive 100 dmg points from shooting weapons or 2 hits from melee weapons (3 for baseball bat and knife and 1 hit from this weapons itself)

- after placing radar(s) u can't cloak until u activate them

- radars need to be activated with alternative attack after placing that will destroy your disguise and prevent from cloaking or disguising for 3 seconds and also will make middle noise

- when u activate 1 radar, second cannot be placed until it depleds

- max 2 radars can be placed at one time and if 2 are placed above statistics are shared by 2 also:
a) they are invisible only for 10 seconds
b) they are transparent only for 10 seconds)

- after spy is dead radar(s) become instantly visible

+ after backstabing: places instantly radar to nearest wall or ceiling and instantly activate it but:
a) radar lasts only 30 seconds
b) range decreases from 10 to 6 meters
c) radar is invisible for 10 second and is transparent only for 5 seconds

- after placing 4 radars u need to visit spawn location to refresh them

- u can't cloak when holding this weapon

- when u are cloaked and 3 second after decloak u can't choose this weapon

- -25% fire rate when not backstabing


That sounds like a great idea too, but that would be good for another weapon. I may think about designing, and modeling it if anyone else would do the programing and scripting.
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