The Tide Turner: The awkward guy at the Demo weapon party

Hey there reader, welcome to the Demoman weapon party, come on in. Bottle and Scotsman’s Skullcutter are providing us the drinks, the life of the party Stickybomb Launcher over there is trying to get our beloved introvert Scottish Resistance drunk to celebrate his recent fix, the Grenade Launcher is muttering a few obscenities but its ok, Loch N Load and Loose Cannon are watching him. Eyelander and Chargin’ Targe are just on the balcony over there heckling everyone (especially the drunk clown Sticky Jumper), Claid is wooing over the Splendid Screen whilst Persian Persuader is busy trying to getting Wee Booties a drink and the Ullapool Caber is on watch so no unsavoury types break in. All things considered things are going well, hey we are expecting the new guys to come over for the party too, B.A.S.E Jumper told us in advance he’s planning to come by after visiting the Soldier weapon party to pick up Half-Zatoichi and Pain Train (poor guy’s been having a major identity crisis ever since he was told that he was an adopted Pyro weapon) so that would just leave-


Oh no, Tide Turner! We better leave, grab as much stuff as you can reader, we are not sticking around!

Looking at the Tide Turner by itself, it is hard to see how it has caused any upset. I mean, look at it:

How could THIS be any worse than the stock Stickybomb Launcher?
How could THIS be any worse than the stock Stickybomb Launcher?

Well true, it doesn’t really cause much upset on face value, but once the Demoman straps this ship wheel to his arm not unlike a skeletal pirate from a completely different game, the weapon suddenly turns from another stupid non-explosive weapon for the “Demo”man into a weapon that threw so many weapons off balance in the Demoman’s arsenal, you may as well call it the Degreaser 2.0.

1. It brought everyone access to a higher skill ceiling for the Demoknight.
Ruining: The Chargin’ Targe, The Splendid Screen, Ali Baba’s Wee Booties

“Oi! Targey, ya old coot! You gained so much weight you cannae even turn, no wonder you are afterburn resistant!”
“Ey Screen, you think your picking skills are worth anything? That’s flippin’ cute! Go make me a toasted Sandvich IF YOU GOT THE RESISTANCE FOR IT!”
“Sweet Smissmass, emphasis on the Mass! Booties, you are one pudgey beast of burden! Can you really even turn? I have no clue!”

Readers may remember a minor update in Team Fortress 2 where the notorious joystick turning that made Demoknights spin as though they were a one knight carousel was cut out, causing some uproar to occur. Some said it was awful, others felt it was the right thing, and the spies were wondering where their weapons were, a hypothesis was however formed by some savvy members of the community, concluding that given Valve had finally tackled this function in the game, it was likely that any major updates would be covering the Demoknight, possibly outfitting him with the mobility officially.

When the Love and War Update came around, the Tide Turner was released, officially bringing about the first stage of awkward.

Rather than having the weapon’s ability become universal like say the Scout’s double jump or the Medic’s health regen or the Spy’s capacity to see enemy health, the turn ability, once available to all weapons (just add joystick/script/frames/joyscript frames) was instead forced onto one weapon only, limiting the improved skill ceiling to only those with Tide Turner, kind of like what happened to the Pyro’s Degreaser and almost every non-Minigun inspired Heavy weapon suggestion on the Heavy SPUF sub-forum ever.

This means we have at least three weapons whose purpose is reserved for pubstomping at best, kind of like what happened to the Eyelander once the Claidheamh Mòr was released and people realised a melee weapon dependant on kills to be viable with a class typically weak at close range or very situationally strong (charge available = strong, else = weak) didn’t exactly make for a great weapon. The typical response to this has often been similar to the response with the Degreaser. “Don’t nerf this one weapon, let’s buff the other weapons!”, essentially granting the shields the same powerful turning of the Tide Turner (with some extra tweaks to no doubt avoid a leap frog of weapon balance to occur with the sheilds) and have the Wee Booties hold explosive jumping resistance, essentially turning them into the Demo’s Gunboats because I guess their loss during the War update still leaves a bitter taste worse than whenever the Scots see banners celebrating the World Cup because England’s in it.


"Seriously, you guys should learn to just Let it Go!" - Queen Else, probably (not) a Soldier Main
“Seriously, you guys should learn to just Let it Go!”
– Queen Elsa, probably (not) a Soldier Main

Essentially, they want these secondary weapons to become highly viable replacements to the Stickybomb Launcher…which is actually a liiiiiltle bad to start doing timing wise as…

2. The Stickybomb Launcher is being targeted for rebalancing while Tide Turner roams.
Ruining: Stickybomb Launcher or Tide Turner

“Better no get attached tae that crown of “most viable weapon in game” Mr Winbomb, ’cause one day, I’m takin’ it from ya!”
“Ha! Valve already tried to humble me you rotting craft of wood, and my legions laid waste to them in record time. If they cared for their profits, they’ll have you and other rabble rousers silenced with a quick and harsh nerf!”

So hey, do you remember that thing that happened to the Stickybomb Launcher? I can’t blame you if you didn’t, it was really never talked that much about versus the Axtinguisher nerf or especially the Heavy nerf that also occurred at the same time. Totally not something that completely changed the competitive TF2 meta and cause such polarising uproar that Valve actually defied Valve Time to remove the change, vowing to seek better measures to change the Stickybomb Launcher. Ok, I am a horrible and blatant liar, all of that did happen, absolutely, 100% true, even Ultiduo was compromised, and nobody even knew how that happened, it was that big a change!

The change demonstrated that Valve wasn’t treating stock weapons as sacred anymore (if they ever did) and their first target for changing was the Stickybomb Launcher, a weapon considered to cause such polarisation that the Devil’s Advocates that defend it and the Crusader Lawyers that condemn it are said to be preparing for a war to finally decide its fate with such vigour only a heavy metal album cover of pure awesome could capture its intensity. After almost killing the Stickybomb Launcher entirely (and probably the Scottish Resistance too, but it never piped up that much to complain) during the few days it was nerfed, Valve reverted their changes and swore they were still watching over for changes, fundamentally keeping an intense spotlight on the Stickybomb Launcher and waiting for something, anything, that they could leverage for balancing. With the fear of nerfs on the Stickybomb Launcher happening whilst people rally up for the other secon prima Stickybomb Launcher replacement weapons to get buffed to the point they could take away the “most viable” slot from the Stickybomb Launcher, there is potential concern for the community to revolt against future meta changes and, with the same pressure that salvaged the Stickybomb Launcher, scrap the Tide Turner and the other secon prim weapons that replace the Stickybomb Launcher via nerfs to return order.

So those are the couple of reasons Tide Turner is an awkward Demo weapons party guest, when he is not demonstrating the redundancies and inadequacies of his related kin, he’s getting in fights with the Stickybomb Launcher over weapon viability and the future. Also he runs too recklessly down the halls and that’s just bad patter that is.


Ok, an out of character ending I know but, editors, if I ever make house party analogies out of the Team Fortress 2 class weapon sets and humanise said weapons ever again, you have my permission to hunt me down and Market Garden me (as a Soldier, I feel I deserve such a death at the very least).

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