Gonna be my thoughts, maybe someone cares maybe not. Quick points are:
- Medic is overall easier without scout speed.
- Winger and solemn vow are overpowered. Disgustingly strong and should be banned.
- QOL changes are insanely good.
- Gunboats change makes soldier incredibly strong. In simple terms, a bombing soldier has an extra 50-100 health, as a raw stat buff, that is insane. Stronger than scout by miles, Basically throwing if you don't always run 2.
- Overall game is faster in some areas and slower in others. Exactly how everyone thought it would be. I still don't know if this meta is "healthier" or not. I'm not as much of a fan though.
Medic speed change made the game miles easier for medic. Positioning is braindead, since it relies entirely on where your team is standing. If they are in the wrong spots, you get punished for it and there is nothing you can do. This was pretty much the only big change to medic. Keeping up with your team is the same as before, building uber is same as before, healing in pushes is harder but that hardly happens so only real new skill medics would need is irrelevant. I know a lot of people are annoyed that the medic is slow in pushing, but that's just a problem in the medic not knowing how to play the game instinctively. This would still be a problem with scout speed as well. You just don't see it as much as people blame the pocket scout instead of the medic.
Winger and solemn vow still busted. Both should be banned. There is no such thing as faking health anymore. There is no such thing as faking uber anymore. If people do not listen to their medic telling them that the enemy is 10 health and that they are only 60% uber then that team is playing itself and they deserve to lose. Winger, free high ground for scouts, still disgustingly strong.
Shooting at point blank range and arrowing someone right in front of you is a godsend and should just be how the game was to begin with. If I play on a non-competitive server without that plugin, it pisses me off to no end. Consider it a bigger difference than a 144hz monitor user using 60hz for non-medic mains. You don't notice it when it's there, but when you go back, you know what you are missing.
Soldier is the strongest class in the game by miles. You take almost no damage at all shooting someone right next to you. I don't think taking 100 self damage is fair, I also don't think taking 15 is fair. Along with scouts having fewer buffs because the medic can't keep up with them in fights as easily, this enables soldiers to dictate the flow of fights way more than they used to, and that is literally what they do in 6s. Soldier dictates the tempo of a fight, making it fast or slow by bombing or spamming. Now, the threat of a soldier bomb does more than just acquire brain space of a pocket scout. It has to take his full focus to even have a chance of denying him. The soldier doesn't even need to bomb, he can do other shit in that time whilst the scout has to be focused on a potential threat. It's actually insane how good soldier is.
Game is exactly how everyone thought it would be without medic scout speed. Mids matter more, and rolling rounds is easier. Stalemates are harder to break because uber trading is less viable. Acting on small positional/health advantages and doing aggressive plays is near impossible. The unforeseen consequences of the patch are soldier being overpowered. Game has a lot less strategy at a high level since soldiers are so overtuned, any deeper mid strats are irrelevant as the correct gameplay is incredibly one dimensional.
If soldier wasn't over buffed, would this meta be healthier? I don't know. Is the game better when mids matter more? Personally I don't think so, I don't think mids being incredibly important matters. I prefer it when they aren't basically a free round 70% the time, and you can fight around other points of the map more often, pulling out more strategies, and deeper strategies with how to play around the slight difference in terrain each team has whilst holding a point in a stalemate. Basically, if you had two equally skilled teams, every mid fight is a 50-50 coin toss, however, each mid-second or second-last stalemate isn't a 50-50. There are differences in spawn timers, terrain, ammo/health pack availability that tilt the odds slightly to one side. I'm a fan of making that 51-49 odd fight flip substantially towards me using every little tool available.
However, others disagree, such as papi saying that he thinks the game should revolve around mids. A coordinated teamfight where both teams have equal footing before it begins, and each advantage gained isn't by the map itself, but rather individual and team skill. Where one team being better than the other has a 70% chance of winning, and how will the 30% chance team play to come back and actually put up a fight? Will it be up to execution, or will there be some crazy mid strats to help tilt their odds? This is the point of the whole patch, to discuss this one point. This is how the game would actually change. Making mids matter more for the tradeoff that aggressive plays/strategies in stalemates are much more risky and rarer to see.