Balance vs. Novelity: What do we do with the Pomson?

The Pomson is a subject of innumerable controversies, some want it nerfed to the ground, some want it as it is, some want it to be dat Bison reskin, and et cetera. But which one must we run with, and how can we understand which perspective one will prefer?

The Issue

The Pomson, when first released, was a spammy weapon of mass destruction (not that far to my opinion, but still). One issue was that it was very deleterious to Medics and Spies, removing well-earned (or not so well-earned) Übercharge and Cloak. It was a mundane concept at first, not appearing to serve too much interest, until engineers discovered that they could simply remove two of the engineer’s foils by simply spamming the shots through the medic buddy. A tactical engineer could wreck a potential push by denying the Übercharge by draining away 10% right before it was deployed,  allowing the Pomson user’s team to gain a significant advantage of not only having a charge advantage, but a second window of opportunity to pick off the Medic.

In the Pyromania Update nearly two years ago, the Pomson gained the debilitating nerf of the loss of it’s penetration. Now Medics were able to roam the field without the fear of random losses of übers as much as before. Later the Pomson was also given a damage buff to become the Pomson it is today.


Here I will explain two germane concepts of the Pomson that are proposed, since I have yet to understand some of the more bizarre ones…

Two different ideas for one weapon.
Two different ideas for one weapon.

The Bison Reskin

The Bison is a rather underestimated weapon in the bunch of backpacks, two shotguns, and two boots that is the Soldier’s secondary arsenal. First things first, it resembles a pistol. It even somewhat resembles a pistol in function, where it tends to do better in long range than the Soldier’s shotguns. But we aren’t talking about the Soldier are we?

By removing the drains on the Pomson and readding penetration to it, perhaps slapping on a faster reload speed, the Pomson could become dat bison reskin. By putting a relatively versatile weapon to Soldier and setting it on Engineer can’t do too much problem, now can it?

The Pros

-Engineers would be able to have a decent sidegrade to the stock shotguns.

-Medic would keep a major component of the game more intact.

The Cons

-The Pomson would lose a lot of originality.

-The Bison’s strategies would be viable on Engineer. To elaborate, the Bison works best on retreating enemies, as it will hit them for more damage then if they ran through it. Now imagine if the engineer used it. He could set up a small sentry, perhaps even a bush sentry, and players surprised by it will try to retreat from it. By firing the Bison reskin on the retreating enemies, the Bison reskin would find a lot more niche with Engineer. An Engineer could simply hide near his sentry to deal more damage than if he were to risk himself by firing close range shots with his shotgun.

Smaller hitboxes

The Pomson, like any other energy weapon projectile, is made with fire particles lined up in a cylinder. This allows it to not only pierce enemy players, but also light huntsman arrows. The Pomson is famous for its refrigerator sized hitboxes. Its hitbox does not match the sprite at all. The dilated projectile hitbox on players does not really help either.

By reducing the refrigerator (I’d say apartment) sized hitboxes on the Pomson, would-be victims can avoid the projectile in a much easier fashion. There are many variations to this proposition (Some say that penetration should be reattached, some say that more attributes need to be juxtaposed, etc.)

The Pros

-The Pomson would be a creative and independent weapon in the Engineer’s arsenal.

-Reducing Übercharge would require more effort, but it would still let Engineers have some level of defense.

The Cons

-Pomson wielding Engineers still can single handedly ruin pushes.

-The projectile hitbox cannot be perfected. To elaborate, even if the hitbox was perfectly aligned to the sprite, which would take lines of code, would still suffer from client-server lag. One can think of it as a Pyro’s flames hitting you from a mile away.

So which one do you prefer? Or do you prefer something different? I like hearing constructive criticism, fire away.

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