Alright, so its been a good 5 or so months since Tough Break at the time of writing this article. It’s no news flash that Tough Break severely crippled Demoknight like a sledgehammer to the kneecaps. The Tide Turner went from being amazing and threatening to mediocre and a joke, since it can no longer get those precious charge crits. And the Claid, bless its soul, lost its ever-so-valuable charge duration increase, and fell from stardom, into the realm of obsolete weapons. Not to mention how the dear Persian Persuader, one of the more fun and unique melees, went from being all about health to being all about charge, a change that nobody had ever asked for.
Most people agree that these severe Demoknight nerfs were cast upon us to prepare the game for Matchmaking and whatnot; can’t have Demoknights running around in 6s, since in a serious mode like Matchmaking, Stickies honestly are better in most cases. There’s a problem here though. I still see the same amount of Demoknights in servers as I ever did before Tough Break. The nerfs did not make people stop playing Demoknight. People still play it, it’s just that now they’re even less effective because of the nerfs.
These Demoknight nerfs were clearly meant to move people away from Demoknight, and to push them more towards conventionally Sticky Demo. But there was no incentive added to stop playing Demoknight and use the Sticky Bomb Launcher. They just made Demoknight a lot more hard to play as. I, as a longtime Demo and Demoknight main, can clearly see why even after countless major nerfs people still play Demoknight. It’s because Demoknight is, 70% of the time, infinitely more fun than using Stickies. Stickies are fun, but they can get boring. Whenever I was bored, I used to be able to hop onto a KOTH server and play Demoknight. People want to play the game and have fun, even if their playstyle isn’t as effective as another. It’s the entire reason why people use the Jumper weapons or the Holiday Punch. They’re fun.
If Valve wants people to use the Sticky Bomb Launcher and not the Tide Turner and to not play Demoknight, then they need to make Stickies more appealing to players somehow. Or if they really don’t want people to play Demoknight in Matchmaking, all they need to do is put item restrictions. It’s understandable that they don’t want Demoknights in Matchmaking, but for the love of Gaben, don’t nerf the subclass into the ground. Let people have it in pubs, at least.