Rambling about the Scorch Shot

So, last night, Medic passed me the prizes on Steam (Thanks Medic!). Then with a swish of her lab coat she disappeared into the night, leaving me alone with a game and a TF2 key.

I decided to use that key to unbox a crate, a #77 to be exact. And I told myself I’ll write an article about the item I unbox. Is it a hat? Or an Unusual hat? Or is it…

Now, excuse me as I prepare to jump off a building.

On the bright side, the Scorch Shot is one of my most favourite weapons in TF2 even before the small buff/rework in the Gun Mettle update. Jumping up things with the self-knockback, setting Snipers on fire to disrupt their aim, knocking back Ubered people from a somewhat safe distance, bumping Snipers off perches and hope they die of fall damage, Spycheck from a distance, harass Snipers and run over to them while they ducked behind cover to roast them alive, make Snipers rush over to health kits and leave me alone, the Scorch Shot is a fantastic utility weapon to disrupt enemies and piss Snipers off. It might be underused back then, but it was, to me, a reliable friend.

After Gun Mettle and a few patches after that, we got the current incarnation of the Scorch Shot:

And now, while I still love this gun to bits, there is one stat that really puzzles me:

100% mini-crits vs burning players

There is a reason for the original stats where the Scorch Shot has a 50% damage penalty and no mini-crits on burning players. It shines because it is so versatile and works for either flankers or Pybros, only falling short if you’re looking to combo (Flare Gun, Reserve Shooter) or want some solid, reliable damage (stock Shotgun). It is a mobility tool (albeit a rather limited one at that) and a harassment tool rolled into one, and it was never meant to be good in direct combat since that was the price of equipping it.

The damage buff and mini-crits on burning enemies attribute is like buffing the Scattergun so that it fires a perfectly accurate pellet every shot that can deal headshots. Does it look like anyone in their right minds will want to snipe with the bloody Scattergun? I personally feel that the Scorch Shot should always have been a pure utility-based secondary, like how the Rescue Ranger is no powerhouse in a fight yet is a boon to Engineers in keeping their Sentry Nests alive.

By the way, while there is a 35% self damage force penalty listed in the stats, IIRC self damage force is proportional to the damage the projectile would have dealt to you, and the Scorch Shot did receive a damage buff from 50% damage to 65%. So if the pre-GM Scorch Shot’s self damge force is 0.5, the post-GM Scorch Shot’s self damage force is 0.65 x 0.65 = 0.4225, or 15.5% less self damage force from before. Truth be told, I did not notice much difference, but I much prefer a Scorch Shot jump buff rather than a damage buff.

I know, I can still use the Scorch Shot the same way as I did pre-GM, and I am complaining about my favourite weapon getting buffed for the most part, but really, I feel that the GM rework is unnecessary. Sure, not many people use it due to its lack of offensive power, but that never was the point of the Scorch Shot. It was meant to be the utility secondary that benefits players who want to play Pyro in a less aggressive and more supportive way. That said, it’s definitely one of my most favourite weapons, and it is still my go-to Pyro secondary. I just don’t think the changes are necessary.

Speaking of which, what about a new Pyro flare gun that’s hyper-offensive? We can give the Pyro dual-wielded Flare Guns that reload at the same time so that the Pyro effectively has a two-shot Flare Gun. Oh, and if that is not enough, we can even strap a Flare Gun on each leg, and the Pyro’s alt fire will have him fire a shot by kicking at whoever he’s aiming at!

Oh wait.

Leave a Reply