Team Fortress 2

Team Fortress 2

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MvM Gas Passer: A misunderstood feud
By [FP] jh34ghu43gu and 1 collaborators
Yes you, I see you reaching for that dislike button and going to angrily type a blind comment because "How dare you question the best weapon in all of mvm". First of all, rude, second of all this guide is specifically for you and aims to address all the common misconceptions people who have very limited mvm experience make.
Feel free to ask questions once you have read it thx. Or point out my mistakes/post a screenshot of me using gas. You do you.

Also over half this guide is my opinion, other high tours have their own opinions but if you've ever seen me complain about gas then this guide should hopefully let you see my point of view.
What is the gas passer?
For those reading this guide who have never touched mvm or maybe you just need a refresher because you haven't touched it in months, here's the run down of the gas passer in mvm.

For $400 you can buy the "Explode on ignite" upgrade which transforms the rather weak splash of burn damage into a large AOE 350 damage burst. For an additional $250 you can buy a -15% recharge rate, up to 4 for a total of -60% and $1000, which applies to both time and damage needed to refill. Some key points that aren't as obvious:
  • Every official mvm mission starts you with at least $400 meaning this can be upgrades wave 1 of any mission.
  • Damage is required for the gas to explode, if the pyro throws and immediately dies, without any helping fire from a teammate the gas will simply wear off doing no damage. (After 10 seconds or 5 seconds if they are being healed.)
  • Based on personal experience (AKA I cannot find any documentation on this), the gas has the ability to explode twice per throw if the bot stands in it long enough. This usually happens if the gas is thrown and immediately ignited and the bot is still standing in it after 1-2 seconds. Obviously this only effects robots with more than 350 hp such as giants or fist o steel heavies. I believe this to be a bug as if the gas truly explodes on ignite then the remaining gas on the ground should have disappeared in the initial explosion.
  • A robot dropping into a gas cloud from spawn might not be coated if it lands near the edge of the gas as robots are hidden ubered until they touch the ground.
  • The kill icon uses the pyro's primary (unless it's dragon's fury in which case it uses stock) but does not grant health on kill if that upgrade is purchased.
  • Mad milk will grant health for the after burn and explosion.
  • Ammo canteens do not refill the meter.
  • And the recharge rates are as follows:
    Recharge upgrade
    Damage needed
    Time needed
    % filled per second
    Effective damage to fill after thrown*
    Effective minimum time to fill up**
    No recharge rate
    750 dmg
    665 dmg
    638*** dmg
    564 dmg
    525 dmg
    462 dmg
    413*** dmg
    360 dmg
    300 dmg
    258 dmg
    *Damage - 12.5 - (damage/130)*12.5
    This is basically seeing how long it takes to get the damage needed and then factoring in how much you passively get. The more damage upgrades/recharge rate you have the more this becomes negligible but I thought worth including.
    12.5 is the 1 second damage equivalent which is about how long it takes to start firing after thrown
    130 dmg is about the average dps (no upgrades on stock).
    **EDF/130 - How long it will take to fill up gas can with no damage upgrades stock on a single robot/tank (assuming maximum damage from good particle positioning, these would be minimum time needed to get gas if you want to think of it like that). Keep in mind this is 1/2 if you have max damage upgrades or 1/3 if you have crits or 1/6 if you have both. That means a max damage + crit + max recharge can recharge gas in .33 seconds (However switch delays add on about 1.5-2 seconds).
    ***Damage rounded up

Note that all above is *facts* and everything below is *opinion*. Most of this data comes from the wiki with a few local server tests so if you have conflicting info please provide a source in the comments and I will investigate.
Is it op?
So with all that info out there you can probably infer this appears pretty op right? I argue not.

First off, for the price of a mere $400, I do believe this is the most broken upgrade. Sniper's explosive headshot is the most common comparison point people bring up in the gas debate and for $350 you get a slightly smaller range than the gas and only deal 150 damage. Comparing downsides it's clear that gas has more bang for its buck, a slowish recharge rate is pretty good compared to the sniper's need to hit a headshot and make sure the targeted bots are in range (ie medic bots on Mannhattan need about 1 second after dropping before you can kill them with 1 tick EH). Not to mention the gas can deal up to 700 damage if used right in 2 seconds versus a single target taking 450 and the rest a flat 150 (or less for steel fist heavies, gas damage is not effected by the damage reduction so they still take the full 350 or 700).

So for those missions that start with $400, yea pyro might be pretty op for the first wave. But after money is collected, other classes outshine him in so many ways.
Most of these classes outshine gas in a simple way, continuous ranged fire. Gas is a ranged weapon, but it is not continuous and has cooldowns. The pyro has two options to refill gas: damage or time. If going after damage they will have to invest in resistances so they can survive getting close enough to deal damage while staying alive. Alternatively they can pick recharge rate, which based on the previous table, is a far slower option but you're unlikely to die if you're staying away from the bots.

Meanwhile lets look at the demo and sniper, the common "replacement" classes of pyro. Both classes can accomplish (mostly*) continuous damage from medium to long range with the only "cooldown" being reload speed, which is often a high priority upgrade only costing $750 to max. After these upgrades are gained the damage average between the 3 classes becomes about equal barring all else except 2 of them can do it without risking death. And when you consider most resistance upgrades for a wave will cost $900-1350 + $200-400 for health on kill (you will likely die even if you have stacked resistances w/o HoK) then they (sniper/demo) accomplish the same thing for far cheaper.
*Provided ammo is plentiful from a dispenser/ammo box

I would like to make a disclaimer to the high tours that read this and say gas is overpowered for X mission, you are probably right, I am a 2cities main and the money provided in all missions there make pyro terribly under powered compared to what people say.

Ok ok that's all well and good for the early waves but what about late waves with $5000+, I can afford max damage, max recharge, and max resistances now! You sure can buddy, but all the other classes can afford so much more. At this point the heavy out damages you in raw boss DPS, a demo/sniper deals much more damage to the giant robots and medics, soldier out tank damages you while providing a supportive banner for the team. The only thing you can do better than anyone else at this point is moving robots, such as pitting nukes-a-lot. But even then if you were to double heavy with crit canteens you could kill him faster than you would ever be able to pit him so there's not much point in doing that for 1 robot.
Common high tour issues and the misconceptions around them
There are some other issues high tours express and I often see these echo'd elsewhere but often incorrectly and missing the point of these complaints.

1) It steals damage
This is probably the most common one "Oh high tours are big babies and the gas steals their damage." And for some this may be true but for most you are actually stealing something FAR more valuable: damage benefits.

What is a damage benefit? Anything you gain by dealing damage/getting kills. The big 3 are focus meter for sniper, banner rage for soldier, and health on kill for any class that has it and relies on it (mostly heavy/soldier). Also any milk on tiny robots is effectively wasted as it turns into just a big health pack for pyro.

Why does it matter? Health on kill is obvious, if gas wipes a wave of robots before the class that needs hp can get a kill in, then they are left weak for the next wave of robots that is probably dropping in 2 seconds. I normally avoid gas users but I'd say every 3rd game I play with a gas user I end up dying because they stole kills that otherwise would have given me health to live.
For the other effects, focus is the most important thing for a sniper to keep steady in order to maximize damage, scoping out to reload once can mess with flow not to mention the direct damage downgrade from having a slower charge rate. And ofc banners provide a team-wide bonus that can be life or death for teams in some situations.

The point is you are not stealing damage, you are stealing valuable effects that help your team more than wiping 1 mini-wave of bots ever could.

2) It's too easy or makes the game too easy
Another common one and for some other missions this may be true. But in 2cities this is almost certainly not the case. The actual argument for this in my opinion would be "promotes idle game play." You might associate idle as an insult from a certain group but it's a good way to describe play styles in mvm. You can be an idle scout that only collects money, throws milk, and marks giants, or you can be an active scout that helps deal damage/kill tanks while also getting money. For scout the idle game play mindset is "if money is dropped, find it, throw milk at robots when I have it, mark giants when they drop." Gas promotes a similar simple mindset in pyro, "If I have gas and there are robots I should throw it, otherwise I should wm1 to get it back." Sometimes they add airblast in here but often there is not much else; no planning for when gas should be saved for upcoming meds, no positioning to take the least damage, not being mindful of what their airblast is doing and if their splash damage is negatively effecting the team etc...
FAQ by newer people
These are questions I see people with little mvm experience ask about the gas passer and why the common answer from other lower tours is wrong (imo). I've numbered them instead of doing Q: A: so you can more easily reference them in the comments.

1) If high tours just want to get their loot as fast as possible, why don't they want gas if it's so good?

As discussed earlier, it's relatively not that good compared to what a demo/sniper can do. Most of the fastest ways to complete a wave do not involve a pyro or if they do it's purely for tanks and using a detonator to taunt-cancel is much more useful than gas.

2) Explosive headshot/scottish resistance is just as broke as gas passer, why don't they complain about that?

This one is going to depend on who you ask, for most they will say something along the lines of those two classes require active play style which takes more skill than an idle pyro (different phrasing but same jist). Personally I would say that putting in the effort to memorize waves and ideal sticky placements (for demo obviously) has better balance than the click to yeet playstyle of gas. Most people will say sniper is easy, the bots move in a predictable path, but getting proper positioning (as snipers have high priority aggro), as well as knowing where the hitboxes actually are (robot hitboxes are so broke especially on giants and soldiers) also creates a skill gap that prevents any average joe from just dominating on sniper as the gas enables them.

The best example of this I can give comes from playing with cheaters. If I learn someone in my lobby is cheating I will simply go idle and they will end up preforming terribly, if not failing the wave, because while they have perfect aim they lack the game sense that a high tour sniper would have.
I believe there exists a rework that valve can add to gas to raise the skill level up to an acceptable amount where gas would require the same skill as a good sniper/demo needs; removing the double explode bug and lowering the damage to 150 would be a great start as now the pyro can't remove any robot hoard and needs to pick their throw times carefully.

I'm searching threads for questions, the following is a direct quote:
3) "so what if it takes no skill? its still benefitting the team. i dont see anything wrong with that."

See point 1 in the previous section about damage benefit stealing.

4) If gas passer is as good or better than sniper/demo why don't I see more high tours playing him?

I'm friends with high tours who use gas, I personally don't because I see the downside of the damage benefit stealing but I won't hate them for it as long as it's not in my lobbies. We've established he is not better than both in the previous section, so clearly a high tour worth their salt would run the other classes to make the game easier/quicker. Chances are a high tour might run them if they are in a lobby of friends to meme but with randoms it makes more sense to go the path of least resistance.

5) But [youtuber] said it was the best thing ever!!1!

Most youtubers are bad at mvm. I said it. A lot of their experience is with stacked lobbies and they don't care if they lose waves because of the content. Obviously there are exceptions please don't make me out to attacking all tf2 youtubers, it's simply if they suggested gas they probably haven't grinded out the other classes to make a valid comparison.

More if the comments have a common question...
Closing thoughts
While I have problems with the damage benefit stealing the gas passer causes, my primary issue is with people who think it can solve all their problems. Pyro as a class is not that great in mvm during early waves, he is best used as the 3rd cheapest tank dps after sniper/engi until he can get his resistances stacked. By the time this happens he would be better off as soldier/demo/sniper/heavy. Yet thanks to the gas passer many new players hear how great it is and just waltz into advanced missions with no regard to what they will do during cooldown. This often results to wm1 into instant death, after which a clueless medic would follow to revive, and if they succeed, probably die shortly after with the pyro again. The pyro has now dropped the team to 4 players and in waves like HH w1 this usually means everyone dies if they aren't experienced.

In addition, these pyros don't know what to upgrade outside of gas. It's pretty true that "gas users only know gas" and will end up buying the most destructive upgrade in mvm: Airblast force. Nothing comes close the lobby destroying power of an airblast pyro. You thought your dispenser was in a safe spot? That pyro thinks otherwise. Perfect sticky trap? If the pyro didn't get splashed by a rocket while wm1 he sure as hell is going to airblast the bot away from the pile. Sentry buster detting close to the pyro? Better airblast it at the team because my life is more important than 3 others. I have died to my own team more than robots and pyros make up the largest percent of those deaths.

In conclusion; PYRO messes up games more than robots ever could. Gas stealing HoK, banners, and focus just adds onto how much of a non-team player he is and with how easy it seems to new players it invites way more people to play pyro than pre-jungle inferno. A high skill pyro that can recognize all these faults also recognizes that they would be better off as soldier/demo/heavy/sniper and so thus you will almost never see a good pyro. And that's the real reason I hate gas.
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12omlE Dec 13, 2020 @ 2:51pm 
It was a joke bro :steamfacepalm:
[FP] jh34ghu43gu  [author] Dec 13, 2020 @ 11:21am 
Thank you for your opinion <5k robots killed user. I will take this into consideration for my future guides.
12omlE Dec 13, 2020 @ 11:10am 
too long, didnt read, dont care. dislike :steamsalty:
A Pyro? Time to idle! Aug 21, 2020 @ 6:46pm 
I is best pyro. I drink the gas. :BlankStare:
Imperial Sneke Aug 16, 2020 @ 1:24am 
@cabo, boohoo someone can't get their australium
Hammy Aug 16, 2020 @ 12:03am 
Eh i only use it if my teamates are being retarded..
plant Aug 15, 2020 @ 7:15pm 
@cabo imagine threatening people over a game
GAGE Aug 15, 2020 @ 11:24am 
Who cares, it's whack the end.
meatloaf97 Aug 14, 2020 @ 8:12am 
You see this gas passer? Don't use it.
BosoBr0 the ape Aug 14, 2020 @ 6:04am 
personally whenever i play pyro, i use gas passer on waves with medbots and waves with few to no giant bots, and if there's a medic combo coming i save my gas for throwing at them. as well, i always either go phlog or dfury, since phlog is amazing at destroying small bots and tanks, but dfury shreds through giant bots.

i understand why people hate gas passer, which is why i try to not be the problem when using it.