You Demoknights are all already grabbing your pitchforks from the title alone, ready to slice my head off. If you are considering such actions, wait until the end of the article. But seriously, Demoknight is wrong. An explosive, high damage, explosive class that exists to blow up nests of Engineers, giving all that up so he can run around with a sword and shield and essentially less mobility (unless you are like Reima and co.) to deal single target damage sounds absolutely ludicrous. It’s DEMOman, for crying out loud!
But the thing is, I am not against a melee-orientated class. The idea of charging around with a sword is a cool idea, and it would work really well if Valve’s melee hit detection wasn’t so awful. At the same time though, a melee based character doesn’t bring enough to the table to warrant being a new class. Demoknight’s main focus, close quarters single-target assassination, already exist in the form of the Scout and the Spy, and they have hitscan weapons to bypass melee fuckups.
But the melee subclass was added to completely the wrong character. You see, we already HAVE a close quarters combat character, someone who already fights in near melee range, who is tankier than Scout and Spy. Why wasn’t Pyro made into the melee character?
It makes so much sense. Pyro is slightly faster than Demoman, and is supposed to be a close quarters combat character. But right now, Pyro fucking sucks at his job. Fire is wholly unreliable and his one strength – the Axtinguisher/Degreaser combo, was nerfed completely the wrong way, ruining the Axtinguisher while ignoring the problem of the Degreaser. Really though, the Axtinguisher was a perfectly fine weapon because Pyros had to get in close. The issue was always with the Degreaser, which allowed too fast a weapon switch (to the point where players would see themselves having their brains bashed in with a flamethrower) and the fact that airblast is all round a shitty thing which doesn’t work the same way mobility in the rest of the game works.
Currently though, Pyro has no job. He’s worse at close quarters combat than Scout and even Demoknight. Demoman though already has a job and really, really doesn’t need to have people distracted from his job. Pyro needs more mobility, so give him the shields. He needs more reliable damage, so have the shields replace the flamethrower and have his secondaries work with the shields. Pyro is a bit squishy when it comes to pure damage dealing classes, so give him some resistances. He relies on combos to execute targets, so use shield bashes and melee combos. He needs to get into melee range anyway, so let him do that. It’s not like things like Pyro’s knockback, spam and alternate mobility are lost, because Pyro can keep them with the Scorch Shot, the Flare Gun and the Detonator.
But using Pyro instead of Demoman also benefits the ‘Knight as well, since the Pyro has a more reliable ranged weapon – the Shotgun. So you’re not relying on wholly unreliable weaponry to get things done.
Really, there is a lot of benefit to be had from this. Pyro gets a decent play style that somewhat works, the ‘Knight has more room for buffs without overpowering the class like what happens with current Demoman/knight, and Medics have more Demomen to heal.