The Vita-Saw has gone unchanged for a very, very long time. Apart from bug fixes and being added in collector’s form, it has seen nothing what so ever in terms of anything interesting. It’s a boring, ugly, dull weapon. No one cares about it apart from Medics.
You can speculate forever as to why Valve won’t change the Vita-Saw, but I feel it’s for two reasons. First, it’s a community weapon, which isn’t much of a reason, but Valve has a thing about accepting community changes, they’ve only recently been accepting them for hats only. Second, it’s very reminiscent of things from Bioshock. Valve had to sort some stuff out to release the weapon in the first place, and to this day, you can’t actually BUY one in any form – you can only get one via free methods.
Thing is, it’s not that hard to change the Vita-Saw into something still Vita-Saw-y, but also distinct and somewhat unique. The pictures below are random things I made in like 10 minutes (with the original Vita-Saw as a comparison). Of course, modelling a new Vita-Saw would take longer than a little concept art.
As for actual game play, that’s a harder thing to deal with. The Vita-Saw, like the stock Medi Gun and the Crusader’s Crossbow, is one of those weapons where you kinda have to use it, because it’s so good. Except, unlike the other two, the Vita-Saw is really, really, really fucking boring. It has a health penalty no one notices and an upside that only works when you die. It’s a weapon you don’t even pull out. The Solemn Vow is a weapon you never really use either, but at least it doesn’t look like a rip-off of the Ubersaw and something taken out of another game. It also has the added bonus of being funny, like hitting someone with a frying pan, a skull or a Roman standard.
And because the Vita-Saw is so tedious and boring, no one uses it. Newbies are more excited about other weapons and are put off by the health penalty, while people who know what they are doing refuse to use it because of a sense of honour.
So we’ve got a weapon that has never actually grabbed Valve’s attention in order to be fixed. The reason why other weapons, like the Phlogistinator, get changed is because they become popular, people work out why they’re so strong and then the weapons get overused. The Loch N Load wasn’t that popular until it was being paraded around Youtube. The Vita-Saw though, who goes around using the Vita-Saw when you can get awesome plays with the Ubersaw?
There we have it. We have a dull as heck weapon with boring stats that no one uses, no one is allowed to change because of community/developer shenanigans and no one even cares.
Seriously Valve, just make it an Ubersaw reskin, as it was originally intended to be.