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Let's discuss about Spy's balance.
1
#1
0 Frags +

Just a few rules before we start: Please try to stay on topic and PLEASE try to be constructive and friendly to others.

I kind of have a problem with how Spy is balanced right now. That might just be because I'm a crappy steel spy main, but I still think some of my points stand. Let's be honest, our Frenchman today is arguably the worst class in Highlander, and there's a lot of reasons why. I wanna discuss the main problem (at least in my opinion) which is his weapons.

1. Ambassador. Let's start with the big one. I've never really used the Ambassador all that much, even before the nerf, but I think that right now it is downright useless. And I mean it.
Take the best case scenario, for example. You're at close range and you're able to hit a headshot on a constantly moving target. Boom, 102 damage! Seems cool, right? ... Well, if you would've equipped the revolver at close range you would have done more damage with just 2 effortless bodyshots! And remember, this is the best case scenario, so in practically every other occasion the revolver straight up beats it. I think the main reason why this nerf is so bad is that it removed the main purpose of using the weapon which was its capability of high burst damage for a very well aimed shot. The Ambassador was to be run because of it's potential to be an extremely powerful weapon in the hands of the right man, thus setting an even higher skill ceiling. But in almost all cases the spies that used it would only land a few critical shots and not realize they're lowering their DPS by 200%.
You could say "but spy isn't supposed to be sniper! If you want to land headshots just play him instead!" And that's a fair point. But if you are able to hit a tiny constantly moving pixel on the other side of the map I think 102 damage is well deserved.. even if it may be hard to prevent.
my fix? Bring it back to it's original stats or at least buff it so the damage capability is alot higher

2. Dead Ringer. Another spicy one. I can totally understand why the DR was so annoying to deal with, and I understand the nerf.. but I also think they missed the main reason why it's so annoying to try and kill the spy: It's because of the damn speed boost!
Right now it is both notably inferior compared to the invis watch and CaD, but still remains a pain in the arse; which is obviously worse. Although spam was definitely also a problem with the weapon, I think a simple ammo gaining penalty from all sources would do the job just fine.
my fix? Bring back the ability to pick up ammo (along with -30/40% ammo from all sources) and remove the speed boost.

I haven't used the YER very much, so I don't feel like I should talk about it. If anything, it's probably best to just bring back the old stats.
Post your thoughts down below! :)

Just a few rules before we start: Please try to stay on topic and PLEASE try to be constructive and friendly to others.

I kind of have a problem with how Spy is balanced right now. That might just be because I'm a crappy steel spy main, but I still think some of my points stand. Let's be honest, our Frenchman today is arguably the worst class in Highlander, and there's a lot of reasons why. I wanna discuss the main problem (at least in my opinion) which is his weapons.

1. Ambassador. Let's start with the big one. I've never really used the Ambassador all that much, even before the nerf, but I think that right now it is downright useless. And I mean it.
Take the best case scenario, for example. You're at [b]close range[/b] and you're able to hit a headshot on a constantly moving target. Boom, 102 damage! Seems cool, right? ... Well, if you would've equipped the revolver at close range you would have done [b]more[/b] damage with just 2 effortless bodyshots! And remember, this is the best case scenario, so in practically every other occasion the revolver straight up beats it. I think the main reason why this nerf is so bad is that it removed [u]the main purpose of using the weapon[/u] which was its capability of high burst damage for a very well aimed shot. The Ambassador was to be run because of it's [b]potential[/b] to be an extremely powerful weapon in the hands of the right man, thus setting an even higher skill ceiling. But in almost all cases the spies that used it would only land a few critical shots and not realize they're lowering their DPS by 200%.
You could say "but spy isn't supposed to be sniper! If you want to land headshots just play him instead!" And that's a fair point. But if you are able to hit a tiny [i]constantly moving[/i] pixel on the other side of the map I think 102 damage is well deserved.. even if it may be hard to prevent.
my fix? [b]Bring it back to it's original stats or at least buff it so the damage capability is alot higher[/b]

2. Dead Ringer. Another spicy one. I can totally understand why the DR was so annoying to deal with, and I understand the nerf.. but I also think they missed the main reason why it's so annoying to try and kill the spy: It's because of the damn speed boost!
Right now it is both notably inferior compared to the invis watch and CaD, but still remains a pain in the arse; which is obviously worse. Although spam was definitely also a problem with the weapon, I think a simple ammo gaining penalty from all sources would do the job just fine.
my fix? [b]Bring back the ability to pick up ammo (along with -30/40% ammo from all sources) and remove the speed boost. [/b]

I haven't used the YER very much, so I don't feel like I should talk about it. If anything, it's probably best to just bring back the old stats.
Post your thoughts down below! :)
2
#2
30 Frags +

i aint read anything of this but spy isnt good and isnt supposed to be

i aint read anything of this but spy isnt good and isnt supposed to be
3
#3
-14 Frags +

Well, thanks for ignoring my whole post then. :/

Well, thanks for ignoring my whole post then. :/
4
#4
3 Frags +

lets not

lets not
5
#5
-2 Frags +

old ambi was fine (i want it reverted too)

deadringer needs to stay nerfed forever tho

old ambi was fine (i want it reverted too)

deadringer needs to stay nerfed forever tho
6
#6
7 Frags +
creeprootHighlander

Wrong forum buddy

[quote=creeproot]Highlander[/quote]

Wrong forum buddy
7
#7
4 Frags +

@Snack sorry. I'm kinda new to teamfortress.tv

@Snack sorry. I'm kinda new to teamfortress.tv
8
#8
4 Frags +

Tftv is mostly 6s oriented, you'll be a bit hard pressed to find many HL enthusiastic people here. It's beenn a while since I checked r/truetf2 out, but if that sub is still active then it's an excellent place to discuss topics like these.

Tftv is mostly 6s oriented, you'll be a bit hard pressed to find many HL enthusiastic people here. It's beenn a while since I checked r/truetf2 out, but if that sub is still active then it's an excellent place to discuss topics like these.
9
#9
5 Frags +

@Snack Thanks for being genuinely helpful. Will take that in mind in the future.

@Snack Thanks for being genuinely helpful. Will take that in mind in the future.
10
#10
11 Frags +

1. Revert Amby
2. Delete Dead Ringer

http://i0.kym-cdn.com/profiles/icons/big/000/081/701/Picture%2044.png

1. Revert Amby
2. Delete Dead Ringer

[img]http://i0.kym-cdn.com/profiles/icons/big/000/081/701/Picture%2044.png[/img]
11
#11
9 Frags +

There are 9 classes in the game, some of which are the best all-around, meanwhile the rest are more situational. If you enjoy playing an awful class, do so to the fullest, but accept that it's a bad class and that won't change. Balancing items or classes in TF2 and understanding the game mechanics isn't part of the daily diet of Valve's TF2 team, so I wouldn't hold my hopes too high if I was you.

There are 9 classes in the game, some of which are the best all-around, meanwhile the rest are more situational. If you enjoy playing an awful class, do so to the fullest, but accept that it's a bad class and that won't change. Balancing items or classes in TF2 and understanding the game mechanics isn't part of the daily diet of Valve's TF2 team, so I wouldn't hold my hopes too high if I was you.
12
#12
-5 Frags +

i've made the (poorly received) argument before that a sniper nerf and spy buff would have a positive impact on 6's, because a failed spy pick often results in a spies death and an opportunity to push, whereas a failed sniper pick generally leads to countersniping and gridlock. that being said OP is way off base i think, amby nerf is kinda dumb granted but its a band aid of a weapon that only existed to artificially prop up a class thats not capable of killing good players with its basic skill set well enough, and dead ringer is (imo) just a fundamentally flawed weapon concept.

also i am totally a proponent of the generalists and specialists argument, but there is a difference between a class being a specialist and a class being almost universally a less flexible and less capable version of another class (i.e. spy vs sniper)

i've made the (poorly received) argument before that a sniper nerf and spy buff would have a positive impact on 6's, because a failed spy pick often results in a spies death and an opportunity to push, whereas a failed sniper pick generally leads to countersniping and gridlock. that being said OP is way off base i think, amby nerf is kinda dumb granted but its a band aid of a weapon that only existed to artificially prop up a class thats not capable of killing good players with its basic skill set well enough, and dead ringer is (imo) just a fundamentally flawed weapon concept.

also i am totally a proponent of the generalists and specialists argument, but there is a difference between a class being a specialist and a class being almost universally a less flexible and less capable version of another class (i.e. spy vs sniper)
13
#13
-2 Frags +

giiVE
S PY

https://i.imgur.com/26Es4EE.png

GLOck

[b]gi[/b]iVE[s]
S[u][s] [h]PY[/s]
[img]https://i.imgur.com/26Es4EE.png[/img] [b][u]GLO[/b][i]ck[/i]
14
#14
2 Frags +
nitei've made the (poorly received) argument before that a sniper nerf and spy buff would have a positive impact on 6's, because a failed spy pick often results in a spies death and an opportunity to push, whereas a failed sniper pick generally leads to countersniping and gridlock. that being said OP is way off base i think, amby nerf is kinda dumb granted but its a band aid of a weapon that only existed to artificially prop up a class thats not capable of killing good players with its basic skill set well enough, and dead ringer is (imo) just a fundamentally flawed weapon concept.

also i am totally a proponent of the generalists and specialists argument, but there is a difference between a class being a specialist and a class being almost universally a less flexible and less capable version of another class (i.e. spy vs sniper)

spy shouldn't be put on the same level as sniper in 6s. sniper is a long range threat that forces the enemy into decisions and positions that allow for him/his team to get picks or a tool to catch enemies out of position. the spy is meant to gather info and get a key pick when the enemy is distracted. they are useful for two different and viable scenarios and as such do not deserve equal treatment.

a "missed pick" for a sniper lets the other team know a sniper exists, and they maybe sack to try and get someone up on a sniper or spy. but the whole "sniper vs sniper" stigma is often reserved for last pushes, which are already stalematey as-is. a failed spy pick typically means a 1 man ad which isn't pushable unless another example exists (uber, health, etc.). you're overestimating the impact a spy pick has to a large degree and just assuming that because one team runs a sniper the other is forced to.

not all classes should be equal, despite what r/tf2 would like to think, or else each class would lose its usefulness in unique circumstances that make them useful to begin with, or just become weaker versions of already generally applicable classes. spy is fundamentally weak and should remain that way or else we get everyone whining about dead ringer, amby (even though amby was fine), or any other option the spy might gain in order to make him more versatile or escape when he's discovered.

[quote=nite]i've made the (poorly received) argument before that a sniper nerf and spy buff would have a positive impact on 6's, because a failed spy pick often results in a spies death and an opportunity to push, whereas a failed sniper pick generally leads to countersniping and gridlock. that being said OP is way off base i think, amby nerf is kinda dumb granted but its a band aid of a weapon that only existed to artificially prop up a class thats not capable of killing good players with its basic skill set well enough, and dead ringer is (imo) just a fundamentally flawed weapon concept.

also i am totally a proponent of the generalists and specialists argument, but there is a difference between a class being a specialist and a class being almost universally a less flexible and less capable version of another class (i.e. spy vs sniper)[/quote]

spy shouldn't be put on the same level as sniper in 6s. sniper is a long range threat that forces the enemy into decisions and positions that allow for him/his team to get picks or a tool to catch enemies out of position. the spy is meant to gather info and get a key pick when the enemy is distracted. they are useful for two different and viable scenarios and as such do not deserve equal treatment.

a "missed pick" for a sniper lets the other team know a sniper exists, and they [i]maybe[/i] sack to try and get someone up on a sniper or spy. but the whole "sniper vs sniper" stigma is often reserved for last pushes, which are already stalematey as-is. a failed spy pick typically means a 1 man ad which isn't pushable unless another example exists (uber, health, etc.). you're overestimating the impact a spy pick has to a large degree and just assuming that because one team runs a sniper the other is forced to.

not all classes should be equal, despite what r/tf2 would like to think, or else each class would lose its usefulness in unique circumstances that make them useful to begin with, or just become weaker versions of already generally applicable classes. spy is fundamentally weak and should remain that way or else we get everyone whining about dead ringer, amby (even though amby was fine), or any other option the spy might gain in order to make him more versatile or escape when he's discovered.
15
#15
4 Frags +

this is more of a consequence of highlander being a bad game mode. you're taking the one class who relies on surprise the most and making it known that he'll be in play 100% of the time, it's like intentionally shooting yourself in the foot. based off of that fact alone spy will always be a bottom 2/3 class in hl, you just have to accept that it's an unfixable flaw of the mode.

honestly the only reason u can do anything as spy in hl is cause having 9 apes in mumble is enough to cause enough noise/distractions to actually get kills. but if your team can't apply any pressure you're nearly dead weight because, again, enemy team always knows that there will be a spy. barring an enormous class rework this will always be the case.

(also i would argue engineer is worse in hl, literally the most broken unlock in the game is allowed just so they can actually pretend they're doing something)

this is more of a consequence of highlander being a bad game mode. you're taking the one class who relies on surprise the most and making it known that he'll be in play 100% of the time, it's like intentionally shooting yourself in the foot. based off of that fact alone spy will always be a bottom 2/3 class in hl, you just have to accept that it's an unfixable flaw of the mode.

honestly the only reason u can do anything as spy in hl is cause having 9 apes in mumble is enough to cause enough noise/distractions to actually get kills. but if your team can't apply any pressure you're nearly dead weight because, again, enemy team always knows that there will be a spy. barring an enormous class rework this will always be the case.

(also i would argue engineer is worse in hl, literally the most broken unlock in the game is allowed just so they can actually pretend they're doing something)
16
#16
-9 Frags +
3680962134679021i aint read anything of this but spy isnt good and isnt supposed to be

In sixes, absolutely this. Spies natural counter is mobility, e.g. scouts and rocket jumping soldiers or medics healing scouts. Spies aren't meant to go light speed to get picks, that'd be awful to play against. I don't see spies ever seeing any real play in sixes, outside of stalemates, since that's when mobility isn't that much of issue.

creeprootYou could say "but spy isn't supposed to be sniper! If you want to land headshots just play him instead!" And that's a fair point. But if you are able to hit a tiny constantly moving pixel on the other side of the map I think 102 damage is well deserved.. even if it may be hard to prevent.

Because spy isn't a sniper (low risk, high reward). Though the TF Team has given many classes options for how to be played, they generally don't fundamental change the classes design.

Demoknight - Demos have always been somewhat mobile through blast jumping. You give up that form of mobility (stickies) to gain a different version of mobility. Though the melee killing is new, it's not like he's a spy who can instant kill everyone through melee.

Medic Crossbow - Still fundamentally a healing class, now just a ranged healing one.

Rescue Ranger - Engineer is even moreso a class based around his sentries with this weapon. Though like medic it gives the engineer range, he's still fundamentally an engineer. Plus the weapon is hard countered by spies.

Scorch Shot/Dentonator - This does change pyro to be ranged, but it's also not a serious damage dealer at range. It's a nuisance weapon. So this does fundamentally change change pyro from a pure close range class to a long range nuisance. Still though it's not like he's doing 102 damage every time a scorch shot hits. Let alone this is easy to quickly mitigate the light damage: (medics, dispensers, health packs.) Getting scorch shot doesn't prevent you from pushing.

Blackbox - Soldier is still fundamentally a soldier, same rockets. Just is a side grade, the choice to give up one rocket to gain some heals on damage.

So despite the weapons in the game giving classes some play style variance, the fundamental design of the class is still the same.

What is the spies fundamental design in the game, he's a High Risk/High Reward class. Meaning than for him to get the benefit of doing well, he needs to be up close a personal (high risk). The amby alone was bad, but not horribly broken. The problem was that a spy at long range with the amby/dr had literally no simple counter. A sniper can't headshot him because he spams a shot with the DR instantly, blocking a death from being headshot. Pyro's don't counter him since the spy is at range. So the only way to deal with that spy was to send mobility at him, scout or soldier. To chase him down. That's only if he's in the back lines. If he's fighting at the front lines, where he just DR's to safety to heal. The only counter he has really is to just hope you catch him when he didn't have his DR up.

So the change that was made to the amby was to switch the spy to it's original fundamental class design. The amby is now only effective at close range. Making the weapon and the class again, a high risk/high reward class.

Now there's the question of was the nerf to the DR and Amby too far, yeah I think so. I think both could use a slight buff, but given the strength of the weapons prior. I'd rather them nerf too far and then slightly move the dial back until they get to a healthy point. Then not nerf them far enough.

creepshotbut I also think they missed the main reason why it's so annoying to try and kill the spy: It's because of the damn speed boost!

I would disagree. The main reason the DR has always been annoying - prior to the the speed boost - was the ability to spam the damage mitigation. Shoot-DR...Shoot-DR, back with when you had the DR and it had 90% damage mitigation... yeah that was bad. A spy could take a bad fight, be out of position, lose it and then have 11hp and scout couldn't kill him and the spy would get away. That's not great design.

I've given this thought for a while, since I really love spy and I would love to see him used more. Though part of the problem is that spy is inherently a class which isn't good on it's own and it really shouldn't be. Spy becomes good with game sense, timing and communication. Obviously all classes need that to do well, but if a spy is only relying on DM to be played. Then it's not really a spy anymore, it's just a worst version of another dm class.

springrollshonestly the only reason u can do anything as spy in hl is cause having 9 apes in mumble is enough to cause enough noise/distractions to actually get kills. but if your team can't apply any pressure you're nearly dead weight because, again, enemy team always knows that there will be a spy.

Spy obviously relies on some surprise factor. Now spy can be ran full game at a high level and be effective, but it's harder since the enemy team knows that a spy is out there. Though I'd argue more that spy is less effective in HL due to the number of bodies (easier to get found/bumped/someone hears your decloak), lack of surprise and full time pyro.

[quote=3680962134679021]i aint read anything of this but spy isnt good and isnt supposed to be[/quote]

In sixes, absolutely this. Spies natural counter is mobility, e.g. scouts and rocket jumping soldiers or medics healing scouts. Spies aren't meant to go light speed to get picks, that'd be awful to play against. I don't see spies ever seeing any real play in sixes, outside of stalemates, since that's when mobility isn't that much of issue.

[quote=creeproot]You could say "but spy isn't supposed to be sniper! If you want to land headshots just play him instead!" And that's a fair point. But if you are able to hit a tiny constantly moving pixel on the other side of the map I think 102 damage is well deserved.. even if it may be hard to prevent.[/quote]

[i]Because spy isn't a sniper (low risk, high reward).[/i] Though the TF Team has given many classes options for how to be played, they generally don't fundamental change the classes design.

[b]Demoknight[/b] - Demos have always been somewhat mobile through blast jumping. You give up that form of mobility (stickies) to gain a different version of mobility. Though the melee killing is new, it's not like he's a spy who can instant kill everyone through melee.

[b]Medic Crossbow [/b]- Still fundamentally a healing class, now just a ranged healing one.

[b]Rescue Ranger[/b] - Engineer is even moreso a class based around his sentries with this weapon. Though like medic it gives the engineer range, he's still fundamentally an engineer. Plus the weapon is hard countered by spies.

[b]Scorch Shot/Dentonator[/b] - This does change pyro to be ranged, but it's also not a serious damage dealer at range. It's a nuisance weapon. So this does fundamentally change change pyro from a pure close range class to a long range nuisance. Still though it's not like he's doing 102 damage every time a scorch shot hits. Let alone this is easy to quickly mitigate the light damage: (medics, dispensers, health packs.) Getting scorch shot doesn't prevent you from pushing.

[b]Blackbox[/b] - Soldier is still fundamentally a soldier, same rockets. Just is a side grade, the choice to give up one rocket to gain some heals on damage.

So despite the weapons in the game giving classes some play style variance, the fundamental design of the class is still the same.

What is the spies fundamental design in the game, he's a High Risk/High Reward class. Meaning than for him to get the benefit of doing well, he needs to be up close a personal (high risk). The amby alone was bad, but not horribly broken. The problem was that a spy at long range with the amby/dr had literally no simple counter. A sniper can't headshot him because he spams a shot with the DR instantly, blocking a death from being headshot. Pyro's don't counter him since the spy is at range. So the only way to deal with that spy was to send mobility at him, scout or soldier. To chase him down. That's only if he's in the back lines. If he's fighting at the front lines, where he just DR's to safety to heal. The only counter he has really is to just hope you catch him when he didn't have his DR up.

So the change that was made to the amby was to switch the spy to it's original fundamental class design. The amby is now only effective at close range. Making the weapon and the class again, a high risk/high reward class.

Now there's the question of was the nerf to the DR and Amby too far, yeah I think so. I think both could use a slight buff, but given the strength of the weapons prior. I'd rather them nerf too far and then slightly move the dial back until they get to a healthy point. Then not nerf them far enough.

[quote=creepshot]but I also think they missed the main reason why it's so annoying to try and kill the spy: It's because of the damn speed boost! [/quote]

I would disagree. The main reason the DR has always been annoying - prior to the the speed boost - was the ability to spam the damage mitigation. Shoot-DR...Shoot-DR, back with when you had the DR and it had 90% damage mitigation... yeah that was bad. A spy could take a bad fight, be out of position, lose it and then have 11hp and scout couldn't kill him and the spy would get away. That's not great design.

I've given this thought for a while, since I really love spy and I would love to see him used more. Though part of the problem is that spy is inherently a class which isn't good on it's own and it really shouldn't be. Spy becomes good with game sense, timing and communication. Obviously all classes need that to do well, but if a spy is only relying on DM to be played. Then it's not really a spy anymore, it's just a worst version of another dm class.

[quote=springrolls]honestly the only reason u can do anything as spy in hl is cause having 9 apes in mumble is enough to cause enough noise/distractions to actually get kills. but if your team can't apply any pressure you're nearly dead weight because, again, enemy team always knows that there will be a spy.[/quote]

Spy obviously relies on some surprise factor. Now spy can be ran [url=http://logs.tf/2004316#76561198004630011]full game[/url] at a high level and be effective, but it's harder since the enemy team knows that a spy is out there. Though I'd argue more that spy is less effective in HL due to the number of bodies (easier to get found/bumped/someone hears your decloak), lack of surprise and full time pyro.
17
#17
2 Frags +

euro spy
ambassador dead ringer

ive seen enough already

euro spy
ambassador dead ringer

ive seen enough already
18
#18
2 Frags +

A real spy buff especially for 6s would be making footsteps have an even lower volume while cloaked.

Amby needed a nerf, but not this kind of nerf or at least not this level of nerf. There really shouldn't be a range where you no longer headshot people at all, and the max damage range needs to be a minimum of 2.5x further than current.

DR might need a super small buff to cloaked time but that's about it.

A real spy buff especially for 6s would be making footsteps have an even lower volume while cloaked.

Amby needed a nerf, but not this kind of nerf or at least not this level of nerf. There really shouldn't be a range where you no longer headshot people at all, and the max damage range needs to be a minimum of 2.5x further than current.

DR might need a super small buff to cloaked time but that's about it.
19
#19
1 Frags +

nerfing amby was dumb, nerfing DR was justified but a bit overdone, spy is perfectly fine otherwise

nerfing amby was dumb, nerfing DR was justified but a bit overdone, spy is perfectly fine otherwise
20
#20
-1 Frags +

.

.
21
#21
0 Frags +

It's a very unfun class to play against, and very luck based when playing as or against it, I'm glad it's weak.

It's a very unfun class to play against, and very luck based when playing as or against it, I'm glad it's weak.
22
#22
0 Frags +

Spy isn't supposed to be "good" in any game mode, but he's supposed to be an impact player. Getting crucial picks, sapping buildings, etc. I mained highlander from the fall of 2014 until last summer, and have subbed platinum since then. Never once did I look at a spy destroying my team and think "wow he's so good". It was always "ok what are we doing wrong that is allowing the spy to fuck us this hard?". It's not a class meant to go positive/be good in the traditional sense. In terms of nerfs/buffs, dead ringer is fine. Actually making spies use more watches and have variety to their play-style isn't a bad thing. The amby nerf was a bit much I think but having played against good gun spies, shit was close to broken fam. Spy is fine as he is right now.

Spy isn't supposed to be "good" in any game mode, but he's supposed to be an impact player. Getting crucial picks, sapping buildings, etc. I mained highlander from the fall of 2014 until last summer, and have subbed platinum since then. Never once did I look at a spy destroying my team and think "wow he's so good". It was always "ok what are we doing wrong that is allowing the spy to fuck us this hard?". It's not a class meant to go positive/be good in the traditional sense. In terms of nerfs/buffs, dead ringer is fine. Actually making spies use more watches and have variety to their play-style isn't a bad thing. The amby nerf was a bit much I think but having played against good gun spies, shit was close to broken fam. Spy is fine as he is right now.
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