There are some things that should never be combined. For instance, a man and his enemy’s mother. Or peanut butter and foie gras. Or the Internet and an opinion.
Yes, there’s a certain irony found in using our favorite digital medium, the world wide whining gallery, to complain about complaining. But I promise there’s a good reason. At least, it’s out of sheer necessity. Because today I bore witness to niggling so petty it can only warrant one response.
An angry WiNRANT.
Every disaster has a backstory
Early this morning, I uploaded a short Team Fortress 2 replay to YouTube. While it wasn’t the TF2 Replay Lesson I’d promised, and it wasn’t a full-on Spy video with commentary as most fans would like, it was some interesting footage meant to show the fun (and perhaps power) of the Saharan Spy set. I’m not going to embed the video here since it’s not really the fucking point. You can just click this link if you’re interested in watching it.
You’d image that, as viewers opened their browsers and found the clip, the comments would start pouring in with fun jokes, or perhaps comments on the actual subject matter. I expected a few “Saharan Spy set is cool” or “WiNG, you suck” type comments, and they did appear. But unfortunately, so did an entirely different set of remarks.
It appears that a small contingent of viewers were demonstrably offended that one of my loadouts shown briefly in the video includes the Enforcer Spy gun. For those of you who don’t recall, the Enforcer grants additional damage at the cost of increased cloaking time. A few comments derided it with the sarcastic “Skillforcer” monicker, while others outright demanded that I never use the gun again.
The hilarious part? I didn’t even use the Enforcer in the whole bloody video. It was on my screen for approximately 8 seconds before being switched out for L’Etranger.
Legend of the Skillforcer
Why do so many people hate the Enforcer? While I can’t physically damage my brain enough to get to a point where I share that line of thinking, I’d imagine it’s because the gun’s downside is muted on the Dead Ringer, making it a near upgrade with this watch. For this reason, people call the Enforcer “a no-skill crutch.” Hell, people call the Dead Ringer that as well.
I have a couple fucking problems with these people.
1. Mind your own business
To start with, who the hell cares what weapons I use or don’t use? I never understood people who get mad at other players for using a Huntsman, or a Sydney Sleeper, or a Razorback (wait… are all the Sniper weapons bad?). It’s a video game for Christ’s sake. Hell, it’s not even a highly competitive one when it comes to this level. There are no persistent stats that matter, no clan rankings, nothing. If your terribad teammate uses a weapon you deem as OP or UP, the worst case scenario is that your virtual team doesn’t capture a fictional control point. If this requires further belaboring than that statement, I give up at life.
2. It’s a tradeoff, not an upgrade
What’s that, you think the Enforcer is a straight buff? That’s a cute opinion. Since I rarely use the Dead Ringer, I’d like you to show me just how easy it is to infiltrate and escape a bloody simulated war zone with the Enforcer’s extra cloak time. It is not easy, at all. So everyone calling the Enforcer a crutch – you’re right, in that it’s a heavy-ass thing that slows down how you have to approach your whole fucking job as Spy. I use the gun because I have personal faith in my ability to dodge and elude enemy fire, but show me how many other Spies feel the same way.
Where are their videos on YouTube? They don’t exist, because the only people on YouTube making a stink about the Enforcer in either direction are people with misinformed complaints.
3. Playing to win isn’t a sin
Even if the Enforcer was an upgrade, who gives a shit? Is there something wrong with using a good weapon? Where is all the deep-seeded hate for the Ubersaw? It’s a straight upgrade from the Bonesaw. Hell, most of the Medic blades are. Where is everyone who’s angry that Daigo doesn’t play as Dan Hibiki in Super Street Fighter IV. Ryu, Guile, and Yun are all better than Dan, so they must be easy-mode crutch characters, right? Daigo should just switch to Dan if he wants to retain any credibility he has left as a Street Fighter player.
Again, I don’t believe the Enforcer is “easy mode,” or even a significant upgrade – it’s a tradeoff. But for those who do think it’s better than the Revolver by leaps and bounds, why does that even matter? The answer is simple: you’ve constructed illusory “rules” of Team Fortress 2 in your head, and anyone who breaks them is “cheating” or “wrong.” There are no rules against using the Enforcer, the Dead Ringer, or anything else for that matter on pub servers, so please just stop.
4. Spy isn’t even that good
What’s that? You still think the Enforcer is overpowered, especially with the Dead Rigner? Why don’t you sit down and eat a hearty bowl of Logic? The Spy is easily one of the weakest classes in the game. There is a reason he’s underrepresented in competitive TF2, as well as general gameplay: he’s weak. His weapons pale in comparison to the damage doled out by the Soldier, Demoman, Heavy, and Scout. He has to expose himself to grave, melee-range danger to be effective. He’s tied for the lowest health in the game, and his primary means of self defense is playing dead.
In other words, even if your fantasy-world came true, and the Enforcer/Dead Ringer combination made the Spy better, I have one thing to say about that: good. The Spy needs a goddamn buff. He probably needs a couple buffs, actually. Along with the Engineer and Pyro, the Spy simply doesn’t have the tools necessary to be more than a situational character in the violent orchestra that is Team Fortress 2. So if two items take him from being a third tier character to second or (heavens forbid!) top tier, then boo-fucking-hoo. Where were all the whiners when Valve gave the incredibly powerful Soldier three updates in a row?
5. Argument of skill doesn’t even make sense
Finally, everyone saying the Enforcer is a crutch just doesn’t understand what a crutch is. The Enforcer takes the exact same amount of skill as the Revolver. Hell, it takes more skill.
Why’s that? Because the Enforcer uses the same firing mechanism as the Revolver. The only change at all is that it deals more damage. But this isn’t always a factor, as basic math (which I’m not going to waste my time typing out) will show that in many cases at various ranges, the guns take the same number of bullets to kill a target. Even when the Enforcer wins out, it’s not like the gun auto-aims for you or anything. It’s still a hitscan weapon with a microscopic fucking hitbox.
And, as I mentioned before, it makes getting in and out of situations a lot harder. Half a second may not sound like much of a hindrance, but when half the enemy team is filling your finely-pressed suit with lead, that’s half a second you might not be alive. In other words, the Enforcer makes your life noticably harder, not easier.
“But WiNG,” a final troll stammers, “there is no downside with the Dead Ringer!”
Dear Troll, please re-read points one through four.
In the meantime, I’m going to put a bullet through my brain. I’m not even going to use a gun. I’m just going to push it against my skull until it penetrates my cranium and I die.