Gun Mettle came, Gun Mettle saw, Gun Mettle conquered and then got you to spend a ton of money on crap. At least, that’s the case if you have been playing Medic throughout this update. Medics got the short end of the stick, almost as much as Engineers. But unlike Engineers, Medics didn’t really see it coming.
I’ll be blunt, Engineers have had it coming for a very long time. The Short Circuit, the Wrangler, the Gunslinger. All weapons that were hated almost everywhere by competent players. Engineer has always been a speed bump of sorts, but before Gun Mettle he was more like a 10-car road block rather than the speed bumps and speed cameras outside of a school, slowing people down briefly before they finally beat him and push onwards. But stacking multiple Engineers on a control point was a surefire way to grind the game to a halt.
So out came the nerf gun. But, for a change, Engineer actually came out of this smelling of roses and not fucked up at all in any way. All his weapons still work fine. The Jag got fixed to actually be usable. The Wrangler got its longer shield when killed thing reverted, which is good because the extra time drastically reduced the punishment of an Engineer dying while using the Wrangler. The Short Circuit was reverted to its more airblast-like ways, rather than the Spammy McSpam Spam weapon it used to be. Sentries were made weaker against Heavies for some reason as well (they previously had a stronger passive resistance against miniguns), possibly to try and make them more viable instead of having to always rely on Demomen and Ubercharges. The building repair costs will probably hurt a bit, but the boost in construction and redeployment encourage less turtle-y gameplay.
But Engineer got some compensatory buffs, despite him really deserving almost everything he got. The Eureka Effect got some changes but heavens knows if they really do improve the weapon, the damn thing makes no sense. For a long time the Jag was bugged to be not actually very good – its upside didn’t actually do what it was supposed to. Now the Jag is better than the stock Wrench. Whether Valve will fix this properly or leave it in a Pyro-Degreaser situation is anyone’s guess. The Rescue Ranger got an undocumented reduction to its teleportation cost. Engy also received a quality-of-life change which means he can now change wrenches much more freely.
The Pomson is broken though. Oh well, no one liked the Pomson anyway.
Medic on the other hand doesn’t often see much time in the patch notes, unless it’s to fix yet another infinite Ubercharge bug. I won’t really linger here, because we’ve already seen the horrors that befell the poor Vaccinator. Valve will probably never let that Medi Gun be strong, yet at the same time, they don’t seem to want to touch the Quick-Fix, which hovers on the line of being underpowered and overpowered. The Solemn Vow also got what it deserved, but it’s a really stupid downside. Doesn’t even fit. The Solemn Vow is the PERFECT weapon for a stupid damage penalty. And really, even a 90% damage reduction wouldn’t be enough of a downside to make the Vow somewhat balanced.
Then there’s the dropped Medi Guns retaining Uber thing. My thoughts about that can (and will) fill a separate article.
Medic’s problem isn’t that his nerfs were bad (Vaccinator was bad but few people used it outside of pissing off Snipers), it’s that the changes he received were really utterly stupid and failed to do anything of any use. They might as well left Medic as he was and no one would have cared. Or noticed. Why do stuff if it doesn’t make the game better?
Spy though? He got it good for a change.