“By the pricking of my thumb,

Something wicked this way comes” – William Shakespeare, MacBeth

Gentleman Jon — In what will be the last article of this kind because TF2 is now dead I’m taking a quick look at the immediate impact of the new sticky damage ramp up effect on the EU TF2 rules set. It’s only been a few days but there are some trends appearing on the pickup site logs. The data runs from the 18th to today (20th) from the tf2pickup site logs. This makes a good representation of the great unwashed proletariat TF2 competitive scene that applies to the most players, as opposed to the Olympian heights of the Premiership mix.

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There’s a trend of declining damage per minute, from a little over 350pm to about 275pm which represents about 20% of demo damage disappearing.

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Kills shows a similar trend, going from about 0.8 to 0.7, which is a loss of around 10-15% kill rate. However one things has shown an upward trend.

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Yes, EU Demomen can rejoice in a shorter life expectancy, they’re now about 10% more likely to die.

If we look at the extreme right of these demo graphs to the most recent games we can see a reversal in these emerging trends. This may have something to do with higher end competitive players being involved on Demo in these games, or we may be seeing players adapting to a new style with heavier use of pipes or the Loose Cannon. Only time will tell.

So which classes are getting the benefit of the Demos new weakness?

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Soldier damage rates are up, from around 290 to 325. A modest increase but an extra 10% damage each is not to be sniffed at.

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Soldier kill rates have also increased from 0.8 per minute to nearly 1 per minute. The new found freedom from sticky spam is certainly giving them a new lease of life, but these changes seem somewhat minor and stats show that soldier death rates remain static.

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The scout however, is now a scattergun spamming damage machine. From a touch over 150 dpm to around 225, nearly a 40% increase. It seems that where the Demoman’s damage leaks out of the game the scout’s leaks in.

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But it means nothing for frags. Scout kill rate remains almost completely static, showing a slight upward trend. Have a load of demo players moved over to scout and can’t break old habits? Maybe, it seems the soldiers are picking up the frags while the scouts are able to spam more brazenly with no meaningful sticky damage to fear.

None of the utility classes have received a sudden boost in usage so it seems players are still willing to struggle on with the demo for now.

So I’ve heard and read much theory crafting over how this should affect the pace of the game. To measure this I’ve looked at rounds per minute achieved by teams in tf2pickup matches.

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It seems that the game has actually become slightly more stalemate prone and fewer rounds are scored per minute, but this is probably unfair and the general trend is excessively influenced by the spike early on in the graph. Generally speaking I think the number of rounds scored in a match is largely unchanged with maybe a very slight trend downwards.

“What’s done cannot be undone.” – William Shakespeare, MacBeth

It does seem that the legacy of banning unlocks that are inferior to the stock is now causing serious problems to players looking to redefine the class’s role, and the lack of options is fuelling the controversial promod support.

In addition international teams are getting valuable pre-i52 practice time practising new strategies with unlocks that will surely be available in Europe soon. Let’s hope the world championship is not decided by something like this.

Finally for all Demomen who’ve spent 7ish years mastering the class I think we need to look to Shakespeare to sum things up

“Life … is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.” – William Shakespeare, MacBeth

 Bonus conspiracy theory

After reading Warhuryeah’s comment here, did a certain TF2 voice actor use his influence at Valve to finally put the Demoman (or one particular Demoman) in his place?