My thoughts on the Demoknight changes

I am really not a fan of Demoknight. I think it’s a stupid, gimmicky class that interferes with the roles of Pyros and Spies, essentially doing their job better. And because melee hit detection is so bloody awful, you end up having your head chopped off through walls.

“But Medic you can just dodge them or kill them before they get close!”

I’m a fucking Medic. I can’t kill them, and you try dodging something that moves at 250% speed when you’re already watching out for everything else trying to murder you. The Tide Turner made things worse, as they’d charge round a corner, kill me then use their refilled bar to kill my pocket too because they’re too oblivious to turn around. And even if I’m skilled enough to be able to kill a Demoknight, the majority of them feed off the idiots on my team, so I’d find myself fending off some grenade-spamming, tide-turning prick with 5 heads. A good player ends up being punished because of other people on his team.

The worst thing? Jumping into a server, seeing Demomen, cheering because I can play Medic, then realising that they’re all Demoknights. All of them.

"What am I gonna do now?"
“What am I gonna do now?”

That is, until the Tough Break Update. Demoknight received nerfs across the board. Big nerfs too. They basically got Vaccinator’d, the nerfs were that bad.

The gist of it, all sword melees have been given longer weapon switching times, but only when switching to/from that weapon. Then there’s the myriads of other changes, like the Targe losing its afterburn immunity, the Tide Turner only dealing minicrits and the Persian Persuader being absolutely useless.

There was only one upside to all of this. All shields can bash at any distance, but they scale upwards – at 20% they do minicrits and at 60% or more they do full crits. No one wanted that though. If we were going to split one shield’s ability among all shields, surely the ability to turn would have been better?

Alright, yes, Demoknights were a pain in the ass. No one enjoys fighting a Demoknight, apart from Scouts (who, as always, never have a problem with Demomen) and the occasional airblast-happy Pyro. Nerf were of course going to head their way, or at the very least changes to make them not easier to fight, but perhaps more interesting to fight. On top of this, their popularity was stupidly high, you never saw normal Demomen in pubs (because blowing people up is “boring” apparently) and with matchmaking around the corner, I can see Valve wanting to push people back to using Bomb-Using Scotsman rather than Sword-Swinging Scotsman, especially if we’re going to be playing Highlander in matchmaking.

What we got though was a complete stripping down of the Demoknight subclass. Not a light spanking, but some sort of horrific torture thing. Some of the nerfs were plain stupid as well. The Half Zatoichi being able to be holstered is good, but the switch speed is stupid. The idea of the Persian Persuader turning ammo into charge would be understandable if it didn’t mean you can barely even reload your primaries.

I didn’t expect it to be this bad. And while I’m happy with Demoknight nerfs because I hate Demoknights, if I was Valve, I wouldn’t go THIS far. But as always Valve goes over the top with these things.

It’s sad, really. Not at all needed. Stupid even. I can hear poor Reima sobbing from here.


Also known as Doctor Retvik Von Schreibtviel, Medic writes 50% of all the articles on the Daily SPUF. A dedicated Medic main in Team Fortress 2 and an avid speedster in Warframe, Medic has the unique skill of writing 500 words about very little in a very short space of time.

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