Home Editorial Balance Stop whining about the Enforcer or the Dead Ringer

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

Can't we all just get along? And have sex? Please?

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.


83 replies to this post
  1. And I am vindicated! Rage for all!

    Anyway, I do understand your points, and they’re valid ones. I think the main reason people complain is that they don’t like the way some players play, and because they don’t like it, all those other players are obviously so much worse than they are. That, or they’re idiots.

    It’s also annoying to be killed by a weapon no one likes, and don’t dare to use it yourself. A generally held opinion is easily transferable, like Ghost in Black Ops or Carl Gustavs in BC2.

    Skill is, of course, the real tipping point here. People’s perception of what the word means vary widely, and to some everything is skill based and if you aren’t skilled enough, you suck.

    Regardless, sometimes people just don’t like logic. I think this is one of those times.

  2. Should I call a WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMBULANCE for the TF2 community? Saying dead ringer is op is like saying Übercharge or Kritzkrieg is op.
    If you’re gonna nerf anything, nerf the goddamn Tomislav. I feel guilty for using it.
    And is it really even possible to make a completely balanced weapon?
    And now, let’s all agree. To disagree.

  3. WiNG, I’m sorry, but if you’re trying to make a case out of this, your argument fails miserably.

    Let me explain to you in detail what exactly is wrong with this combination and the Enforcer in general

    1. Dead Ringer completely ignores the downside of the Enforcer

    Pretty straight forward, if you have an item that ignores the downside of another, then what reason do you have NOT to use it?

    The Enforcer is a direct upgrade from the Revolver when used with the Dead Ringer, a weapon that since the beginning of the game has been pretty damn solid. Why get something that does the exact same thing, but better? How is that in any shape or form balanced?

    2. The weapon does not force or offer a new style of play

    This is another straight forward argument, the Enforcer, as I said before, is basically the Revolver, but better. So what does the Spy have to change about his or her play style? Nothing, not a single thing needs to be changed, if you can use the Revolver you can use the Enforcer.

    With the other Revolvers, there’s a distinct play style or player preference that they are designed for. The Ambassador is for players who like a long range approach, as well as a increased skill ceiling as well as an increased risk (ala Direct Hit for example). L’etranger is made for escape artists, who prefer to avoid direct combat as often as possible and use feigns and illusions to their advantage. And the Diamondback is great for Saboteur Spies, who wreak as much as havoc as possible on enemy Engineers.

    The Enforcer does not offer a new style of play, it just buffs one we’ve seen over a dozen times, and is typically about as effective as a Combat Medic. It’s bad for your team, and deters you from doing your job as a Support Class.

    3. The downside it not equivalent to the upside

    This one I can describe very simply, look at Your Eternal Reward.

    It offers Silent Kills, instant disguises, and allows you to chain stab multiple people without their team ever knowing what hit them. It’s a lot of power for a weapon to have, and what keeps it balanced? The downside.

    The lack of being able to disguise at will is pretty harsh as being uncloaked at any point in time can blow your cover or get you killed. It’s a high risk, high reward weapon that’s right up the Spy’s alley. It’s without a doubt my favorite knife by far.

    The Enforcer, the upside is great, sap a gun, 2 shot the Engineer, bail out. See a Scout? Two shots and he’s down, it makes the Spy tougher in direct combat. But what’s the downside? What does the Spy trade in for this kind of power?

    Nothing, not a damn thing. The downside is easily as laughable as the fire vulnerability on the Bushwacka, or the slower firing speed on the Tomislav. In order for this weapon to be fair, there has to be a REAL trade off. It’s current downside does not provide that.

    4. It was unnecessary to begin with

    This one is another that speaks for itself, why did the Enforcer need to be added?

    Seriously? Why did we need a combat weapon when the Revolver was already the king of fast and reliable damage output? Since the Enforcer is in the game, now we have to figure out how to balance out the other weapons. Because of the arguments I stated earlier, the Enforcer is easily the most powerful Revolver in the game, period.

    Easy to use, negligible downside, and overall very powerful, it’s an overpowered piece of shit and you know it.

    Getting pissed off at people trolling and bitching in your video is going to change the fact that it’s a broken weapon, all it’s going to do is make you lose all your credibility as a player.

    I know you’re smarter than this WiNG, you’ve proven it before.

    • WYD, while i respect your opinion, reading it makes me feel like you didn’t consider my 4th point at all.

      Your entire argument is that the Enforcer is too powerful. My counterpoint is: Why shouldn’t the Spy get a more powerful weapon? What is the colossal downside, that he would become a competitive class?

      The “effect” on the game is that Spies can kill people 25% more easily (maximum… in reality it’s probably closer to 10%). Why is this bad in the context of the Spy’s general neglect in the competitive scene, and the manner in which he’s crippled by Teamspeak/deathtalk/alltalk?

      Secondly, I don’t agree with your assessment of the other revolvers. Sure, the ambassador is great for long range, or for picking off certain types of targets, but the other guns are just “shoot at the enemy like the normal gun.” Yes, they have pros and cons, but they don’t really change your playstyle that drastically. If I’m being chased with L’Etranger I never think “I should do something other than shoot the enemy and/or run in a manner similar to the normal Revolver.” It changes how you use cloak/ammo as a resource.

      But that’s not the point. My point is that “More powerful is not equal to overpowered.” Until someone actually demonstrates to me that Spy is overpowered as a class because of the Enforcer, it’s basically saying “it’s the best weapon, so it’s bad.”

      Is the Enforcer allowed in Highlander? Have there been matches in which Enforcer spies kill everyone and win every round? If not, I daresay the Spy needs even more “overpowered” tools. Until that time, I guess it’s cool Soldiers and Demos can essentially play the game solo.

      • “Why shouldn’t the Spy get a more powerful weapon?”


        Cause he’s a stealth and support class, not a combat class.

        His job is to kill people with backstabs, sap and destroy enemy buildings, and if necessary, use his Revolver as a backup

        Key word there: backup, not main weapon

        I honestly don’t think I see any Enforcer Spies who stab, or sap, or do any of the things they should be doing as a Spy because killing things with the Enforcer is so much easier.

        You can argue all you want to WiNG, but until you can give me one good reason to not use the Enforcer over the Revolver, or the Ambassador for that matter, I will have to disagree about the Enforcer being fair or fine in any sense.

        “If not, I daresay the Spy needs even more “overpowered” tools. Until that time, I guess it’s cool Soldiers and Demos can essentially play the game solo.”

        If you honestly think they can win the game single handedly, you’re wrong. Everyone pulls their weight in highlander, including Spy, whether you believe it or not, Spies can have the biggest impact on the game if they make the right kill. Killing a Medic with an uber for example, or getting rid of an Engineer nest, that alone is enough to net your team win.

        Trust me

      • I have no qualms with making the other Revolvers stronger for every Enforcer Spy out there gunning people down, I’ve seen hundreds of failspies who never use their revolver, ever. We’ve all seen them ineffectually flailing their knives in enemies’ faces once discovered.

        So if you want a reason to use the Ambassador or Revolver, I can’t give you one. They should be stronger. I don’t think it means the Enforcer is unfairly strong. I think it means these guns are unfairly weak.

        Sure, the Spy can 2-shot 125 hp classes. Almost every class in the game can do this. The difference is that most of the other classes’ weapons, hitscan or not, have much larger areas of impact making them much easier to use in a frantic firefight.

        Think of it this way: right now there is no reason to use the Flamethrower over the Degreaser. The “down side” of the Degreaser is negligible since almost nobody ever dies to afterburn anyway. Yet you don’t see people asking for Degreaser nerfs. They want the Flamethrower to be better, and for good reason: the Pyro is highly underpowered. His power level shouldn’t be evened out to “weak.”

        Notice how the Backburner got an airblast, making it a key part of being a Pyro, even though it was never intended as his original playstyle. What’s so wrong with that? His original playstyle was underpowered. And his new one still is, but less so.

      • “So if you want a reason to use the Ambassador or Revolver, I can’t give you one. They should be stronger. I don’t think it means the Enforcer is unfairly strong. I think it means these guns are unfairly weak.”

        You literally JUST described what makes this weapon overpowered, it “makes all the other guns unfairly weak”.

        Isn’t that enough of a reason to nerf it? On that alone?

        As for the Pyro, yes, he is under powered in that his stock load out is completely obsolete.

        Is this the same for Spy?

        No, not by a long shot, ALL of the Spy’s weapons can still be used VERY effectively. Vanilla Spy is still a very strong load out. That has never changed in the 3 years that I’ve played this game.

        The reason why Pyro is underpowred is because Valve REFUSES to fix the core class mechanics. THAT is why he is broken atm. Spy is not in this condition, he is perfectly able to do his job as intended.

        The only thing he needs is more side grades to fit specifc scenarios or situations. More unlocks means increased versatility for the class. The enforcer does not offer this in a fair manner. Until the downside affects all watches equally, and offers a fair trade off, it’ll be unbalanced.

        If they want to make Spy have a better chance in direct combat, fine, but force the player to make a trade off for it.

        THAT is the problem people have, and why they bitch about it in combination with the Enforcer. There is no downside or trade off, period.

      • More unlocks means increased versatility for the class.

        So whats the problem with giving spy 2 things that increase his versatility with a few drawbacks linked to the dead ringer?

      • If more unlocks give increased versatility, why not give the Spy unlocks that take him from being a behind-the-scenes support class to being a more James Bond combat class?

      • To both of you

        “If they want to make Spy have a better chance in direct combat, fine, but force the player to make a trade off for it.”

        As I said before, there is no trade off being made, Hence why it’s unbalanced.

        And having a downside that the Dead Ringer can ignore is not balanced either, the Dead Ringer was already a powerful tool to begin with, it didn’t need another buff per say.

      • Is the Ubersaw or the Amputator unbalanced? Is the Degreaser unbalanced? All of these weapons have either no downside or a downside (like the Enforcer’s) that is negligible.

        I never said Valve shouldn’t add an interaction between the Enforcer and the DR, but when people flipped out after SEEING an Enforcer in my video (I didn’t even have a DR equipped), it is troubling.

      • watsyurdeal-

        “You literally JUST described what makes this weapon overpowered, it “makes all the other guns unfairly weak”.”

        What a complete failure of logic. Nowhere did he say the Enforcer made the weapons weak. Obviously the weapons are weak to begin with. Learn to read.

      • Yea because a gun is totally balanced when we HAVE to buff all other unlocks it to make it make it fair. >__>

        And thanks WiNG, and I still have my respect for you, despite the argument.

      • Okay, this is going to sound really weird and super gay…

        But you guys just made my fantasy fight come true. WiNG Vs Wat’s- a match that will go down in history.

        Sorry, had to say it. Thank god yaoi fangirls don’t play TF2 or they’d be all over this

      • Everyone keeps telling me that

        Really it’s just a simple disagreement

        It’d be like me saying Pokemon is better and him saying Digimon is better. :\

      • WYD I knew you were a fucking Pokemon fanboy. Digimon aren’t just better than Pokemon, they are real. My friend Tommy saw one in his backyard, and Tommy’s dad is a cop so it has to be true!

      • Considering an embarrasingly large number of my friends are both yaoi fangirls and TF2 players, I’d have to claim otherwise.

      • amputator and ubersaw don’t change the way medic is played. enforcer changes the way spy is played.

      • I wholeheartedly disagree. As Medic, your default run speed and regenerating health encourage you to run from certain engagements. Having an Ubersaw, however, encourages you to run towards them.

        Even seeing the “double Uber Medic” pairs proves it changes how Medics play, since that whole strategy doesn’t exist without the Ubersaw.

        Likewise, the Amputator makes Medics weigh “being a sitting duck and taunting” against standard healing.

        Par contre, the Enforcer functions exactly the same as the Revolver. I think many people would complain that’s the real problem, is that it DOESN’T change it enough!

      • less passive heal for medic doesn’t encourage you to run towards your opponent. that’s a silly thing to say. if the scenario arises where a competent ubersaw medic with 0% ubercharge stored decides to go in for a melee kill, i can guarantee you that a competent bonesaw medic would have made that same decision.

        double uber medic thing isn’t a serious tactic, while ‘shoot twice, deadring, shoot twice’ has turned out to be a very effective tactic.

        the enforcer has a higher dps at short and medium range than getting 100% crits with the ambassador.

  4. Hahaha…. I was reading your comments in that last video and saw it coming.

    I just thought you wil wait for a new spy lesson.

  5. When Sirlin’s Playing to Win gets referenced, you know someone dun goofed. I have that book, and it saddens me that a hardcover hasn’t been released for it… it would make a compelling argument if I tossed it at my roommate’s head next time he got butthurt about some cheap tactic.

    Seriously though, good points Wing. If a game is broken to the point where there’s only one strategy that everyone will play, then that game’s community would of dwindled to nothing already. For all it’s faults, TF2 pub play still exists because its fun and balanced for the most part. It’s comp team needs alot of reworking to figure out how to make it more accessible for pub players, but highlander matches seem to be helping with that.

  6. as an avid spy player i hate the Enforcer because it makes the “battle spy” so much easier to accomplish, i dont play the spy because hes the strongest or the most used in competitive play when i want that i go soldier. i play the spy because sneaking behind people and causing mayhem among their ranks is fun to me and the enforcer completly negates that, ill agree with you that the spy needs buff but not buffs like this he doesnt need a buff that lets him kill most classes with 2 shots and god forbid if he crits. anyone who plays spy and really enjoys the spy class for the for the actual spying will tell you the enforcer gives spies a bad name and IS a blatant crutch for people who arent good enough to actually avoid detection also if you think an increased cloak time is a downgrade youre doing something wrong if an enemy discovers you and youre not using the dead ringer youre dead right there, being invisible .5 seconds quicker will not stop that because most classes now have a way to reveal you. also i want you to play as a dead ringer spy and tell me it doesnt become insanely easy compared to normal or cloak and dagger, you get a get out of death free card every time you pick up ammo and you usually can throw people off youre scent entirely. so yes the spy needs buffs but he doesnt need buffs that completely change the class from its original purpose.

  7. To the gentlemann above my internet-telegram, I believe you might have missed the message sir. I do not wish to call into question your line of logic my good sir, but if I may say the following…

    Part of the beauty that comes with weapon customizing would be the pairing of weapons with benefits that can complement each other. The enforcer and dead ringer combo is indeed a very powerful choice, but not always the best of choices. I would argue that in any situation where the revolver would be in the loadout slot might be better to take the enforcer for extra damage, on the other hand, for stealth players, I would recommend l’estranger or an embassidor for escape or a silent finisher. What makes it fair I believe is the fact that this powerhouse cannot be used with the spy set, which provides client cloak as well.

  8. I can see how people think more damage + instant cloak = cheap as hell, but for the instant cloak to turn on, someone needs to shoot you first and this makes getting in range to shoot someone more difficult without a good disguise and decent acting or some half blind enemies.

    Then again, I don’t really use mine because I couldn’t hit the RED spawn if I was inside it, so the bonus doesn’t help me that much but the downside kind of helps because I actually slow down enough to think about how not to be turned into a pile of giblets. It still happens but at least I can plan ahead for my next life.

  9. I gotta say, this article makes no sense. The complaint isn’t so much that’s it’s OP, the complaint is that it is a direct upgrade from the pistol when used with the DR. Surely you’re clever enough to realize this? I mean, it’s one of the first things you say and basically negates all of the other reasons. And then you just dismiss it in point 5 by pointing to the first 4 points, which aren’t relevant to the basic argument.

    The other thing is, except butthurt 13 year olds who get mad at anything that kills them, I would imagine most people don’t care what you use, the care whether or not Valve gets around to fixing this (i.e., find another drawback or whatever).

    • I suppose my rebuttal is that I acknowledge that’s partly true, but the solution is probably to buff the Spy up to the Enforcer’s power level, not nerf him down to the previous level.

    • “The other thing is, except butthurt 13 year olds who get mad at anything that kills them, I would imagine most people don’t care what you use”

      I know people older than me (putting them in their mid-twenties) who STILL completely flip their shit over the compression blast. Brushing off complaints as “Oh, it’s just butthurt kiddies” isn’t addressing the real problems here: Most gamers wouldn’t know balance if it hit them in the face and the immaturity amongst older gamers is beginning to spread like a virus.

  10. You’re a cheap asshole if you have to resort to using the DR and Enforcer.

    If it’s not OP, why do you use it? You obviously use it because it has an upside that is no where near as big as the downside, right? Just shows that you’re being a complete dick when you know yourself that it’s OP as fuck

      • ^This basically. Degreaser Pyro hasn’t needed a buff… since the Degreaser came out. If anything, Degreaser should still have the slower, more expensive airblast while Flamethrower gets the faster, cheaper one. Degreaser shouldn’t even mini-crit reflects since it’s so much easier to reflect and then switch to Shotgun or Flare Gun to attack people in between their shooting. Now with Reserve Shooter, a decent or better Pyro with airblast can practically one-up every class in the game except Scout, Heavy, and Sniper. I’m all for a Flamethrower damage buff, but fix fucking Airblast first. I don’t think there’s anything else in the game with as much utility and usefulness in so many situations.

  11. Oh goody, another flame war. At least it isn’t a console flame war, those are worse than fighting with the rocket jumper.

  12. I don’t really see an argument, just a set of random statements put together. None of it makes sense. But have no fear, Enforcer will be nerfed and then you might actually have a choice on your hands. I hope you are looking forward to this.

  13. Im agree with wing.. the enforcer is perfect for spy..
    Many a time have i had to resort to getting my pistol out to kill someone just to get roflstomped by an smg, pistol or other gun..

    • So basically… you failed as a spy because you had no option but to use your revolver.

      You deserve a more powerful gun.

      • Yes, using a Revolver is a sign of failure. That is why no “pro” Spy has ever used a revolver.

        If you think every situation can be solved with the knife alone, you are kidding yourself.

  14. enforcer=/=Op. Even if it is a straight buff, people complain about it being a crutch.
    Would people really be complaining if you were in an actual war that the other person has a better gun?


    Spy was never meant to be a combat class, but a specialist in stealth and assasination. A support class. The enforcer+dr have NO downsides at all, it’s literally just shooting your cannon, bring up DR and receive no punishment for not playing the class the way it was intended. You sound like an angsty 12-year old who just wants a buff to his favorite class so you can kill people easier without learning the required skills to do so. While I may agree that spy is underpowered in high-skill environment, adding an overpowered weapon is not going to solve anything. They should instead buff his core and/or fix the backstab glitches. This would make him better without just making him annoying as hell to fight with hitscan…

    This is not some random MMORPG-game where unlocking things are supposed to make them more powerful. This is an FPS where the unlocks are supposed to be sidegrades, while the enforcer+dr combo is certainly more than that.

    The enforcer deserves to be nerfed, and it will be so one day.

    • Fixing backstabs won’t make Spies powerful, because the basic mechanics of Spy are undercut by things outside of the game’s core mechanics: teamspeak, deathspeak, allchat. Getting behind enemies and catching them by surprise gets harder the more teamwork your enemies have, and they can have infinite teamwork and communication, while your abilities have a sharp maximum cutoff.

      There are a lot of changes necessary to the Spy. But lowering his damage output is insane when every class in the game can 2-shot a 125-HP character.

      Yes, the DR should have a downside with the Enforcer. But that wasn’t the basis of the ridiculous whining that preceded this article. People were whining without me even using the Enforcer, and without it even being paired with the Dead Ringer.

      • No matter what you say, a spy should NEVER be allowed to gun down a decent soldier from the front, midrange, down to red hp and get away alive – saying that is okay is ridiculous. That is not what the spy is about, but that is what the dr+enforcer encourages. I have seen countless of spies just running around and shooting, and never trying to backstab or get rid of engineer toys, and 99% of all those spies seem to use the enforcer+dr combo. Coincidence? I think not.

        About all other classes being able to 2-shot a spy – yeah, of course. That is what makes him balanced ,since he can instakill people with his knifes or headshot people with the ambassador, and he can become temporarily invisible. All I’m saying is that turning a stealth-class into a semi-combat class is ridiculous, and I dont’ think there is any kind of way to justify it. The core of the class should get buffed instead, so he becomes more useful while still keeping his original intended role.

        I think it’s very hard to buff the spy’s core though, since his success almost always depends on the enemy team’s lack of communication and awareness. A useful buff could be being the only class who has a map showing where people are, so he can use that to plan and prioritize his attacks, or maybe maybe giving him +25 HP which makes him able to survive a little better, but still makes him able to be 2-shotted by people who can aim well. Or maybe giving him a function that makes him able to uncloak faster and slightly quieter instead of normal decloaking, but as a downside makes him lose 45% of his current HP when used (It should of course be something you can use without changing watches, so you have both the option of this fast decloak and the regular decloak in one watch). That way he can be used much better to take out key targets which should be one of his main roles, while still not becoming overpowered in those situational encounters.

        I’m gonna say it again: DR+Enforcer is overpowered compared to normal setup in every single way related to combat and survival, and it is NOT okay.

      • You say a Spy should never be able to fight a Soldier head on and win/escape, but there are two problems with that.

        1. Assuming equal skill, the Spy still takes fewer hits to die and does less average damage than the Soldier. In essence, the Soldier will only lose if he is worse, as it should be.

        2. You cite the Ambassador as an acceptable weapon, yet it can 2-shot a Soldier. Regularly for anyone with good aim. And yet this is acceptable, when 3-4 shotting him with the Enforcer isn’t? Why?

        Yes, the Dead Ringer needs tweaking, but that is wholly divorced from the situation of the Enforcer’s overall damage output.

        Also, regarding a Spy core buff, I believe a good solution would be to offer sidegrades for the Sapper. While the Sapper is very good at what it does, it is a 1-class counter. The only other 1-class counter item is the Razorback. If the Spy had 3-4 hi-tech utilities available to choose from, he could adapt to enemy team compositions better than “I hope I get to use the Sapper.”

      • 1) Assuming equal skill means you are assuming only the math of the situation (which more often than not involves a partially damaged soldier with ~140 hp getting 2 shotted by a class that has ambushed. Here’s the math- enforcer discharges faster than the stock rocket launcher, with no delay between it leaving the barrel and it entering it’s intended victim. .58 seconds between each shot, causing ~50 damage per shot. At the same range the rocket launcher deals ~70 damage per rocket, with the amount subject to diminishing returns with splash distances. Average human reaction time is about .25 seconds, and time to turn to find the target is estimated to be around the same. These are numbers dealing with a damage class and a support class.
        I’d never expect a medic to deal with a soldier from the same range, or an engineer without a sentry to do so, but the spy seems the most likely to be able to do so with this weapon, which is already awful, since the soldier is the second or third best target for backstabbing.

        2)The ambassador is acceptable. It’s downsides are clear. It poses little threat from a spy in close proximity with the damage debuff. Headshots are only possible after “cooling down” and therefore cannot be done in rapid succession and the pistol shot must be incredibly accurate, (not to mention no scope.) It’s a high skill high reward weapon- and when you are unable to pull off the headshot you are after, you WILL pay for the mistake. Ambassador is fair, because in 600 hours of playing tf2, i have never been double headshot by a spy. And if that does happen, it will be because of the immense skill or luck of the enemy player, which I will not dispute.

        3) What are you smoking, spy has 3 loadout spots. sniper has 3, engy has 3, and so on and so on. Spy get’s a FREE 4th piece of tech. It’s not, and should not be interchangeable.

        All in all enforcer is clearly overpowered. The Bonesaw is underpowered. The Degreaser is overpowered, the Tomislav is overpowered. The Backburner, Liberty Launcher, Soda Popper and Phlogistinator reward unskilled playstyles(which I feel only diminishes the game’s fun, which is of course, disputable). The huntsman is pure anguish for the receiving party (largely due to borked hitboxes).

        People have Rules about what they use, and what they want other people to use because thinking in this way is the only way to achieve some sort of balance, that valve deprives us of. I do not scorn the people for using these things, but every time I get gimped by a shitty weapon, I get a little more fed up with the people who use them. I want Tf2 to be balanced, because I love the atmosphere of the game, and it’s nothing like, or offered by anything else i’ve seen before.

  16. “The dead ringer and enforcer combo have no downsides”
    Neither does the scout, soldier, (arguably pyro and spy), sniper, demoman, medic, or heavy polycount packs. What’s the downside to all of them? Oh yeah.

    You’re stuck to a single loadout with weapons that, while are synergistic, do not remove the weaknesses that already exist. Any team that has one person with half a headset will hear a dead ringer decloak on badlands spire from the upper lobby. EASILY. The enforcer provides little comfort in circumstances where everybody can time and predict exactly when and how you’ll attack. And that’s assuming you’ll get that far in 6.5 seconds without anyone following you. The enforcer, while powerful, will not fend off any decent power class. Even if you’re incredible with it. Battle spy is only a viable strategy against players who aren’t taking the game seriously and don’t actually play to “win” so to speak. Note: Rocket jumper, gunboats, paintrain on ctf is a viable strategy against those players. Refer to star’s worst loadout video for evidence of that.

    The deadringer is easy to counter, and limits a spy more than it helps him. It’s useful to get passed random crits and spam, both of which you should either be avoiding ANYWAY or, if the map is filled with it, you shouldn’t be playing spy.

    “It takes less skill to be equally effective.”

    Oh god, the skill whores. Skill means, hmm, how do I phrase this, oh yeah, NOTHING in a team based strategy game. Knowing how to quickscope, no matter how useful, won’t mean anything if people don’t stay in line of sight of snipers. Not the point. The point remains “skill” is not a valid argument for weapon balance in A. A team game, B. A game with the map “Dustbowl” and “Random Crits” and C. A game that has neither reliable hitbox nor an incentive to be “skillful” to be effective. If you’re going to make the skill argument, go toss off on a different blog. Might I point you to a CoD forum?

    “It changes the way spy is meant to be played”

    “It changes the way spy is meant to be played”

    Alright, alright. Jeez, stop making me write paragraphs, self. Problem 1: I have yet to see or be a successful spy purely as a battle spy where the players were taking TF2 seriously AND the play would have been degraded had it been with any other revolver. The spy has a powerful revolver, there is no denying. The enforcer is a buff, in many respects, and a nerf in many others. L’etranger mains will find switching to the enforcer VERY difficult. Not the point. The point remains that battle spy was never effective, not then not now. Sure, there are some brilliant 1v1 survivals that can be made with it, but I have never found myself in a situation where the vanilla revolver would have done me worse. And I’ve been in a LOT of situations with it.

    Problem 2: What the fuck do you mean by “how it’s meant to be played”. If you can point me to one class that doesn’t have a loadout that changes the way it’s played in comparison to vanilla, I will stab myself with my own YER. (I’ve always wondered what happens when you do that). TF2 has had unlocks that change metagame mechanics since 2008. I’ve yet to see people give too much of a fuck. Every class has a direct upgrade over a vanilla functionally, some more than others. Scout has a direct upgrade over one of his own weapons: The fish. Dead ringer glitch. Soldier has a direct upgrade: Equanigger.* Pretty much every pyro unlock is a direct upgrade to the vanilla, with a few exceptions. Demoman has a direct upgrade: Ulapool caber. Heavy has almost nothing but direct upgrades. Engineer has the jag, the short circuit, and the widowmaker. Medic has EVERY melee. Sniper has the bushwaka. While it’s not technically useful without jarate, I have yet to find the burn damage increase a problem, so finding the occasional minicrit opportunity is worth it. Spy has…..before the uber update, nothing. He gets one slightly more powerful revolver, and it’s OP, period. Until you fix/remove any and every op weapon listed above, all unlisted op weapons, AND determine that spy is in fact NOT a UP class in principle, as requiring a much higher level of gaming understanding than your opponent to HOPEFULLY get a kill definitely doesn’t make a class balanced, even if it is instant, AND remove all forms of random crits from unmodded servers, then maybe I’ll start understanding the whining.

    Kinda went off topic there: Case in point, every class has something that changes the way it’s supposed to be played, INCLUDING THE SPY PRIOR TO THE UBER UPDATE, and I have yet to see too many reason based QQ’s over them.

    “I can’t fight enforcer spys”
    Practice. That’s your problem. I had problems rolling out as demoman on badlands. Did I remodel badlands? No. Did I go back and actually learn the rollout? Yes. Why? I didn’t know how to do it, it helps me to know how to do it. Period. If you can’t fight enforcer spys, practice fighting them. Get a friend to 1v1 you. There’s tons of things you can do, thinking that a weapon is OP because it can kill you is not it.

    That should some it up. The Enforcer has no problem mechanically with the rest of the game, and makes spy’s influence on gameplay no larger. If you still have a problem with it, you must really hate the ubersaw**.

    *What WAS valve smoking when they came up with the equalizer? Buff an already universally considered powerful, if not OP, class?

    **Hundreds of games have been clutch won due to a single ubersaw swipe, a weapon for a class that in many ways controls the entire game. 0 games have been clutch won due to an enforcer spy doing anything different than a regular spy, a weapon for a class that is, by definition, naturally weak against experienced players unless he totally outclasses them.

    Final point: Spy has naturally a much larger knowledge necessaty over other classes. Being an effective soldier, or demo, or medic requires significantly less mechanical knowledge, even at competitive levels, than does a spy. Spy’s have to be above and beyond their opponents to be effective to any measurable degree over another class. The enforcer hasn’t changed that.

    Ok, done for today. I’ll place another request for a lesson video for any class here before I bid you au revoir.

  17. Just because there are conflicting opinions does not mean they’re a troll, it just means they are not you.

    Most people don’t complain is because they are users(abusers cough cough) of the weapons themselves.

    Example: Ubersaw is a popular weapon. Most people use Ubersaw. Not many complain about the comparison from Ubersaw to Bonesaw. But there was complaints. In fact I believe they still exist.

    There were complaints about weapons sets, there were complaints about soldier’s three updates in a row, there were complaints about the sticky launcher, there were complaints about the equalizer, there are ALWAYS complaints about clear upgrades. “Why should I try to be different if I know something is already much better and easier to use?” Gee, you make it seem like Enforcer is like this sad red headed stepchild who is the only one blamed.
    Spy in competitive? Its used, and it’s not the least played class, I believe that’s the pyro, but competitive is the very paragon of teamwork, communication, and quick reflexes, and not to mention skill, which counters the very design of the class. Its sort of unreasonable.

  18. At first, I found the Enforcer OP, but I’ve come to realize it’s not gamebreaking nor is it evil.

    I completely agree with point 4 in every way. There has been a power creep for all classes except spy lately. He needs that extra OOMF to keep up. And seriously, with the accuracy of the Revolver and Enforcer being super reliable whenever you need it, you should be doing more damage per shot.

    Other then that, I can only say the difference between the revolver and enforcer is close combat, from medium to long range they do 3-5 damage apart. But with the enforcer, close combat will be risky due to your cloak. Dead Ringer or no dead ringer, it’s still a dangerous tactic.

  19. Thank God, finally. All my internets, WingspanTT.

    Their responses are both canned and predictable and it’s pretty clear they’re less interesting in having a discussion about the future of the game and more just shouting the other person down.

    Trying to find their point whilst wading waist-deep in the ad hominem attacks and appeals to tradition is tiring to say the least.

    And don’t forget, if they absolutely cannot refute your position they’ll parrot the same ol “Well, when your precious gun gets nerfed I WILL HAVE THE LAST LAUGH!”. Next time Gadget. Next tiiiiiiiime! MRRROWWWWWWW!”

  20. Oh god this again. If you’re using the DR with it, everyone seems to forget the fact that you’re LOUDER THAN A FUCKING WRECKING BALL SMASHING THROUGH YOUR MONITOR AT TERMINAL VELOCITY.

    Also, the easiest fix possible to just shut the fucking pissing and moaning bitches is to just make it .5 increased DECLOAK time instead of cloak. But since it’s been this long without change, wouldn’t you think VALVE FUCKING WANTS IT THIS WAY?

  21. I dunno. I think You’re missing the point.

    The problem is similar to the milkman set. The argument is not whether someone using the milkman set is wiping whole servers. The argument is that Milkman weapons + Hat >> Milkman weapons sans hat. We can’t have a meaningful discussion about whether the Enforcer is OP, UP or ballanced, if it’s a straight upgrade in one of the possible setups.

    If You feel the enforcer is not unfairly good with the DR, then the way to go is to remove the enforcer altogether and add 20% damage straight to the revolver. Since the DR was always a -sidegrade- to the other watches, there’s no reason to include a weapon that is a straight upgrade with the DR.

    Even if it wasn’t the case, even if the enforcer was introduced to buff the DR (lollery!), that’s the wrong approach. If the DR needs a buff, buff the DR. If the spy needs a buff, buff the spy. Don’t introduce straight upgrades that only work with one of three watches, because that’s either lousy ballancing or lazy, inattentitive design.


  22. One of these days I’m going to sit down and actually do the math. I’m going to make a damage versus time function and see exactly how long it takes the spy to kill certain classes at certain ranges, then average all of it out to see exactly how much more powerful the enforcer is. If I got out of point blank range, it still took 3 shots to kill a 125 hp class. Until I do the math, I’m going to reserve my judgement about the enforcer.

    I honestly have never had a problem killing people with my revolver if I got the jump on them. Sure, the enforcer makes it easier, but that extra cloak delay makes the other two watches pretty damn gimpy.

  23. My Ambassador makes snipers cry and wish they had a medium-range weapon.

    My Enforcer? I carry it on the off-chance I use Dead Ringer since I MIGHT encounter, say, an enemy spy and hopefully, hopefully, that extra 6-10 damage might kill him first.

    My point is I have no point.

    Here’s to the gentlemen. (also, a hearty thank you to WiNG and all the spy pioneers who showed me that the Spy is actually a worth a try.)

  24. This is my favorite class to play in highly populated servers. Its a gamble class that if you play right will reward your team or you will just be steam rolled by the enemies pyro or random spam. I have never had the Enforcer but an additional time taken to just become cloaked makes a spy much easier to kill. Heck, its hard enough to make a clean get-a-way with the dead ringer alone. I personally don’t understand why people have so much hate for this class in particular. I believe that this is the most hated on class. Just because we have a one hit kill and a way of becoming semi invisible for maximum 8 seconds moving does not mean we are overpowered in anyway. Its hard enough to kill some one with a melee weapon and even harder to get behind enemy lines with out taking random crit spam. I love the game and I really have only been playing for 3 months. Another point is that every single one of the spy’s armory is extremly situational. You can only use the YER in a highly populated server because your first stab has to be an unsuspecting enemy. The Big Earner makes you vulnerable to any crit explosive because your health is at 100. The stock knife is great when you want to use something that doesn’t give you a negative attribute. I can keep talking about the weapons but I would rather not waste your time reading something you already know. Just a quick side note I am a new player to the game and i did get it free but I dont go laughing at people who are worse than me i actually try to help them while playing. To your rules thing, I agree that people seem to have preconceived ideas on how they believe that the game should be played. Such as scouts when i am a scout i am the biggest distraction I can be and if me dying will tie up the other teams people and help my team to win i will gladly do that because i don’t need to be alive to enjoy winning. I enjoy the fact that i distracted a key player enough for a spy or sniper or anything to kill him and i get an assist.

    P.S. I love your blog its got some really good content on a subject that people are finally realizing is a great topic. Master spy (Wing) I am small little Grass hopper trying to learn your ways. LOL

    • Just to mention, the *TOTALLY BALANCED* crit explosives will kill even overhealed heavies from 20 yards away.
      Also, if you want risk (and to die to random boredom pistol spam), you should take the Kunai.

      Also, you should really get premium. It’s as cheap as getting one of the oldest weapons of the game, which are like, a 20th of the price tf2 USED to be, and you will be treated like you paid 10$.

  25. Great weblog here! Also your web site quite a bit up fast! What web host are you the use of? Can I am getting your associate hyperlink on your host? I desire my web site loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  26. I do agree with all of the ideas you have offered to your post. They are very convincing and will certainly work. Nonetheless, the posts are very brief for starters. May just you please lengthen them a bit from next time? Thanks for the post.

  27. I love how a virtual game in a machine can cause SO much arguments between people. Don’t get me wrong, if someone accused i was wrong at a game, i would wholeheartedly defend it so everyone who plays games has to had been in an argument at least once, whether it be in real life, or over the internet.

  28. I personally use the enforcer, but its not like I just go around shooting everything I see. I look for ways around the enemy and backstab as much as I can for my team to push. If my cover is blown and have to make a quick escape, of course im going to switch to the enforcer just so I dont die and if my dead ringer is recharging. It depends on the player who uses these weapons.

  29. Wait. People are using the Enforcer+DR combo and running around SHOOTING? What planet do I live on? I’m an enforcer+DR spy, and I only use the enforcer when someone is hunting me down, or from when I’m desperate.

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