The Demoman is by far the most dangerous class around. Unless you’re doing something really, really stupid, if you have a brain and basic game sense, you’ll do well. A bit like the Heavy. But unlike the Heavy, you’re not restricted to only using a minigun (because, no matter how much you try, Fat Scout is not an effective subclass) and you move at faster than a snail. If you know how to sticky jump, the world is your death-filled oyster. You basically rule. Alright, not exactly, in the pro scene, a Demoman needs protecting just like a Medic, but in your standard match, the Demoman is king.
You get a bunch of Medics and Demomen together, you have an unstoppable force. People dread playing when matched against a good Demoman who knows what he’s doing. They don’t dread the good Medic though.
Of course, Demoman has weaknesses. All classes have weaknesses. Heavies are slow and lumbering and dead if you kill them before they spin up. Scouts hate sentries. Medics suck against everything when on their own. Soldiers are an exception but Soldiers are a middle ground, good at everything but crap at everything too. Demomen are weak to people getting up and close in their faces, where their own explosives hurt them. Unless they’re Demoknights, then the exact opposite is their weakness.
The problem is, I don’t like Demomen. What’s that? There’s one on my team? “Oh yay! Someone to Uber!” you might think. But Soldiers are okay to Uber and so are Heavies. You don’t know if they’re going to be crap until you press Mouse2 and it’s all too late. Often though, there’s a certain, I don’t know, feel to Demomen that I dislike. Their inability to defend me. Their selfishness as they jump away faster than a Soldier can. Their almost average speed. All those damn explosives. Or maybe it’s the just being drunk.
If anything, Demoman’s personality is the thing I least hate about him. Alright, his Scottish accent is awful, but the character has been built up well over the years and is actually rather interesting. A heritage of demolitions men, someone who holds down a gazillion jobs and is actually rather intelligent, even when drunk. There’s something still there beneath the alcohol abuse.
It’s more his playstyle. Demoman is essentially the center of attention. You will struggle if you don’t have one and there’s an Engineer on your team. Demomen don’t really need Medics, they can take out most sentries on their own. And they can hit you from around corners or from miles away via sticky traps and cleverly fired grenades. Demoman is almost as Jack-of-all-Trades-y as Soldier. The only thing he doesn’t have is a shotgun or the ability to support a team. Everything Demoman does is for himself.
Demoman also has actual working alternative playstyles. Not many classes can boast that. A huntsman Sniper is still a Sniper. A Shotgun Heavy is just a Heavy ignoring his primary slot. A Gun Spy is a Spy who ignores his knife. Soldiers have the Rocket Knight/Trolldier playstyle and Engineers have the rather-annoying Piss-out-a-sentry Gunslinger playstyle and that’s pretty much it. Demoknights these days have been catered for more than Demoman himself. And there’s always the suicide Sticky Jumper Demoman which is a bit more effective than the Trolldier since you still have a powerful grenade launcher.
Even Demoman’s weaknesses are kinda meh when you think about it. You need to get right into a Demoman’s face to combat him. The best class at doing that is Scout, followed by Pyro, but the skill needed to get there is a tad higher than that required of the Demoman. It’s scary, taking a pipe to the face as a Scout. And once you do manage to get in there, what’s stopping that Demoman from hurting you with his extra-range melee weapons or just blowing everything up with the (very glitchy) caber? And when you’re facing a Demoknight, you find yourself having to switch roles completely, nullifying them from a distance than from up close. Scouts and Pyros, which two seconds ago could theoretically kick a Demoman’s ass, are now his victims.
There’s more though. Demoman is effective everywhere. Playing a hard game of defense on Dustbowl? Demoman is powerful there. Trying to take out a sentry nest on offense on Gravelpit? Demoman. Trying to capture that intel? Demoman. Playing sd_doomsday? Demoman. Playing Mann VS Machine? Demoman is godlike there. Even when you’re playing a joke mode like Medieval Mode, there Demoman is, being as effective as ever. No other class gets that much power without some kind of drawback.
I ought to clarify here, this isn’t because I can’t play Demoman. I can. I’m not the greatest Demoman on the planet, of course not, but I understand the class and the mechanics and all that. This isn’t like my complaints about Sniper and Spy, who I totally can’t play. It’s just an uneasy feeling. It’s the feeling that Demoman is so powerful. That somewhere deep down, he’s just too powerful.
Thing is, Demoman IS overpowered. He probably could do with some tweaks at a stock level. As long as Engineer takes some hits as well. It’s a tricky one, isn’t it?