Home Editorial The Triad Pack: Cleavers and neon and fire, oh my!

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s that time again. Time to look at the new additions to the TF2 arsenal and quash the “This weapon is OP and needs to be nerfed omg” arguments before they even start!

Just to begin with, though, with the theme being the Triad, how the hell were Valve able to resist the urge to put something referencing Rush Hour or Final Fantasy VIII? It was the triad in Rush Hour, right? The first one, that is, not ‘Jackie Chan does stuff in a Casino’ or ‘Why why, god why, I paid money for this.’ I don’t think the triad were mentioned in those two.

But enough irrelevant movie banter. WiNG is starting to look angry at me and is tapping* his watch impatiently. I didn’t even know he owned a watch.


The Neon Anihalator

100% crit on wet enemies, 20% lower normal damage and no crit hits. Finally the Pyro has a viable weapon whilst under water alongside the shotgun and fireaxe. I say underwater but it also counts if an enemy is Jarate’d, Mad Milk’d or standing in any kind of water source’d. In terms of realism, it should probably also hurt the Pyro if it’s being used underwater (If there’s one thing that Pokemon taught me it’s that water and electricity don’t play nice) but this game has teleporters, cloaking devices and only two beard based items. Criminal. For those interested, the Chinese translates to ‘Bar’ or literally to ‘Bar’.


Huo Long Heatmaker

Anti-backstabification for spun up Heavies. While spun up, you sustain a burning ring of fire around yourself which deals damage to other players but not buildings. However, as you move down, down, down (toward the enemy) the flames go higher (by depleting six ammo per second) so make sure to only spin up when absolutely necessary to properly (Johnny) cash-in on the flames. Huo Long translates as ‘Hiryuu’ or ‘Fire Dragon’.


Flying Guillotine

Projectile which has 100% crit on stunned enemies, mini-crits over long distance and causes bleeding with the downside of no random crits. Whilst lobbing meat cleavers is always good fun, I don’t think that it’s a better choice than the Scout’s pistol. When are you really going to need to inflict bleeding on an enemy as a Scout? How often do you really come across stunned enemies to take advantage of the 100% crit bonus? Plus, unlike the Scout’s other projectile weapons, it can’t be picked up to replenish the ammo so you’re stuck with the six second recharge time.

Whilst it can be deflected by the Pyro, it will cause no damage when doing so at time of writing. The Chinese characters translate to ‘dead’ and ‘meat’ meaning that this should be kept separate from areas where live meat is being prepared.


Red-Tape Recorder

Possibly one of the more interesting weapons I’ve seen for a while. A replacement for the Spy’s sapper, it simultaneously disables and reverses the construction process of sentries but deals no damage to them. To go from a level three sentry to a toolbox takes nine seconds (three for each stage of deconstruction), which is slightly over double the time it would take a normal sapper to just blow it up but that’s not really the point of the weapon. The main objectives of this weapon are to disable sentries and to make the engie burn through his supply of metal.

The Chinese on the front of the weapon translates quite aptly to ‘Anti-Sentry Device” as that’s all it can really do; the weapon currently doesn’t disable dispensers and pops off teleporters after one deconstruction cycle. Annoying bugs, right? This is alleviated by a bug which allows the appearance of the long elusive level two minisentry (and also one that allowed sentries to basically have infinite health).


Your opinion actually matters

So what do you guys think of these new weapons? Interesting? Waste of time? Tell us what you think in the comment section below and let’s get our discussion on!



16 replies to this post
  1. Given the choice between all of them, I like the pyro’s sign and the sapper the best. I don’t play scout enough to care, and spies will be endlessly annoyed by the fire-GUN. Though as a counter for spies, which the heavy sorely(?) needed, it’s something.

    Without having played, or with plans to play, TF2 for any significant time, I can’t speak to the balance, but I think the ideas are solid.

  2. Neon: Eh. Water is pretty rare in TF2, so most of the time, you’ll want to rely on other sources of… liquid to get your enemies wet. Maybe you could pass out 50 Shades of… sorry.
    That being said, it’s obviously a weapon that relies heavily on teamwork, and I can imagine the fun of getting together with a buddy who tags enemies using the Sidney Sleeper while I then finish them off with a crit, but in 99% of the games, such cooperation just doesn’t happen. Also, you’re not the fastest of all classes as a Pyro, and when people see two enemies coming at them while they’re already soaked, they’ll probably either run away with their superior speed or kill you because approaching anything with more base HP than you that has any idea you’re there as a Pyro is generally a BAD IDEA.

    Huo Long Heatmaker: Bad. It sounds good in concept and I don’t know the exact range, but unless it’s at least 3/4 of normal Flamethrower range or you’re facing a team made entirely of Doctor Spycicles, there won’t be much difference whether you get stabbed by a Spy or you get stabbed by a Spy ON FIRE. Sure, your teammates will have an easy time tracking him down if he doesn’t have the DR ready, but unless you’ve got a reaction speed like a Korean SC player, this weapon won’t help YOU survive spies. Jumping into a fray like the one around the cart would surely be fun, but as a heavy, you’d kill everything in that fray that close to them within seconds ANYWAY.

    The Flying Guillotine: How many sources that make you stunned are there in TF2? I can come up with exactly one, and you’d have to land a pretty long shot with the Sandman to make it be of any use. That being said, if you’re a projectile god, this is essentially Axtinguishing, only with the added benefit of being a scout and possibly having a FaG to get around, picking off people with your harassment combo whenever they’re not looking.

    Red-Tape Recorder: As soon as it’s fixed, I’m sure this’ll make for a decent weapon. As Bin has mentioned, it should be great for depleting metal resources on the enemy team. The only problem is that a broken Sapper restores 100 metal each, if I recall correctly.
    However, using this allows you to force Engineers into a loss-loss decision, as I assume buildings will stay on the lowest level they’re downgraded to once the Sapper is removed. As soon as he turns a corner, you put up three Sappers, guaranteeing that he will lose at least one level off of one of his buildings and two off the other. And that is without you eating a buckload to the face to distract him while his stuff degrades to level one or, you know, stabbing him to then shoot the aforementioned stuff while it’s trying to get itself free from those phone recordings you made from its line.

      • Well okay then!
        Do you think I have all of the statistics availabe in my head?

        If bleeding counts as wet, which can be seen either way when derived from logic, then it’s good, otherwise there aren’t enough applications for it. That being said, in moments where you can’t use the Axtinguisher, it’s great. Wet status remains for a few seconds after exiting a water source, so you could easily punish spies thinking they’re invisible if they cloak after using the shortcut on Well.

        Still, setting up a wet finish is pretty tricky, as Heavies, Soldiers, and (possibly) Demomen will just shred you with their superior close range punch if you approach them openly, Scouts and Medics will outrun you unless you manage to blast them somewhere they can’t escape, which is a situation where they’d be just as fucked if you had the Axtinguisher, and Engineers, Spies, and Snipers are easy kills no matter what if you manage to get into melee range.

        That leaves us with a single class against which this weapon could excel, but most of the time, Pyro vs Pyro fights will either be fought with the Flamethrower or end in one blasting the other (you) away while retreating since you’d need a teammate’s support to get them wet and, as mentioned, fighting about anything above 125 HP that can see you is bad if your class’s number is divisible by 3.

        Also, 20% slower swings doesn’t sound like much, but in matchups where both parties have the same basic swing timer, it’ll lead to you both initiating fewer hits and having a smaller chance of connecting them. Just believe me, the faster your weapon is, the more likely you’re going to hit. BTW, Bin, it’s 20% slower firing, not 20% less base damage, at least according to the official teaser site.

      • It just feels like a melee weapon that (like most melee weapons) is just too situational to equip. The one out of 1000 times you need it, you will need it for 6 seconds in a situation you could never have seen coming. Compare that to the Axtinguisher or the Powerjack, which both have defined uses that you control.

  3. My personal opinion on the items

    Neon: The best weapon in the game, 10/10, and I’m totally not just saying that because I crafted #7 and now I’m forced to use it.

    Huo Long Heatmaker: People complaining about it being a hard counter against spies should get slapped across the damn face. It’s easy as balls to counter it, it’s not a permanent shield, and you can jump over it to avoid 1 blast of the fire.

    Cleaver: It’s a fun gimmicky weapon, but as said, it’s not better than the pistol. But it’s fun as hell with the sandman, and if you can aim it, it is an amazing finisher.

    Red tape: I really have no idea. It’s more of to help your team, as a level 2 sentry will give people less trouble than a level 3. Or you can take the sentry down with a clean stab and sap. But then the sentries don’t pack themselves back into boxes! You’re a professional, you shouldn’t leave a damn mess.

    • Something I forgot to mention is that the new sapper must really be pissing off Eureka Engies, especially when someone saves their poorly placed sentry gun.

  4. While the cleaver is absolutely stupid as a weapon due to the fact that you can’t retrieve it, and it’s not nearly as versatile as the pistol, for me it’s a breath of fresh air, for me, to the game simply because of the fun I have with it. I often find myself learning enemy movements like a spy just in order to sneak around them and bombard them with cleavers, leaving them confused and light-headed. Do I die a lot, sure. But then I never claimed the strategy was a tryhard one. It’s simply a way to screw with the enemy and enjoy your time in-game. Of course it’s also great for kills; simply cleaver the opponent before they have a chance to see it coming, and one shot from the scattergun puts them six feet under. Also, as a quick note, the enemy doesn’t need to be completely stunned for the crit chance to proc. Just running around slow and disabled is enough.

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