Stock Weaponry Deserves More Love

Aw, look at the poor, unused weapons...
Aw, look at the poor, unused weapons…

Stock weapons are wonderful. They’re some of the best weapons around. Well-built, fairly easy to use, fairly balanced and, best of all, they’re free, unless you want a strange version. But some stock weapons are completely wiped out by their unlockable counterparts. These lost weapons will be what we’re looking at today.

The Fire Axe
The Fire Axe has no use, unless you enjoy putting out fires. Firefighters use them to break down doors and the like to help save people. Pyros use them to kill people. That is, if anyone ever used the Fire Axe apart from Huff and people who haven’t found an alternate weapon for Pyro’s melee slot yet. And why would anyone use it if they had the choice? The Axtinguisher rewards risking getting into melee range and, um, doing your job. The Homewrecker makes a Pyro the perfect pet for a busy Engineer. The Powerjack gives a nice speed boost. The Third Degree is a straight upgrade, allowing you to hurt anyone connected to a heal beam with no downside at all apart from the fact that you may be on the wrong end of a Heavy-Medic combo. Then again, no one uses the Third Degree either. Maybe the other melees just need bigger downsides or something.

The Bonesaw
The Bonesaw is in exactly the same situation as the Axtinguisher, except worse. The straight upgrade of a Medic’s arsenal is the Solemn Vow, which allows people to see enemies’ health, even when not equipped. Not much can compete with that. Well, except for the Ubersaw, which is the epitome of high risk, high reward; and the Amputator, which is for more passive Medics, using the huge regenerating health boost to hide in corners and quietly reduce the damage of fire. And let’s not get started with the Vita-Saw, which rewards, um, dying.

Personality, I think the Bonesaw could do with an awesome taunt kill. Better than the Ubersaw’s and faster and quieter too. Maybe killing someone with it could reward you with full overheal or something.

The Pistol
Being the stock secondary of the Engineer has its benefits, like never ever running out of ammo. But the problem with the pistol is that it’s just a pistol. Actually, that’s not the problem. The pistol is an amazing tool, capable of seeing off enemies who get too close, especially when your shotgun is empty. The issue is with the two pistol replacements, the Wrangler and the Short Circuit. Both are just hideously powerful. One helps you counter your main enemies, the other also helps you counter your main enemies. Being able to destroy any projectile apart from syringes and being able to double your sentry’s health and range are just ludicrous. So yes, nerf naow plox.

The Flamethrower
Actually, the Flamethrower isn’t that bad. Neither are the Phlogistinator or the Backburner. It’s all the Degreaser’s fault, being so stupidly powerful with its almost instant switch speed and its perfect synergy with the Reserve Shooter and the Axtinguisher. No, making the Degreaser do less flame damage will not help the issue. All other flamethrowers will be left in the dust while the Degreaser and its crit-shot combos make it easy for a Pyro to kill slow or laggy players. Yes, I am sick of being whacked over the head with a Degreaser because the weapon switch is so fast.

So there we have it. These stock weapons all need hugs. And I wish Valve would give them some love.

 

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