I adore the Team Fortress 2 shotgun. Sturdy, reliable, and intuitive, it’s the only weapon shared by four different classes and until the BASE Jumper was added, the only weapon to occupy different slots on different classes. I consider the shotgun TF2’s tenth signature weapon due to its ubiquity and recognizability. There is a sort of elegance in the fact that Valve has never added any sort of reskin or retexture for the shotgun. Every player since 2007 who’s wanted to make use of its six-clip buckshot backup has used the same simple gun; no golden, festive or botkiller variants with increasingly garish skins.

Picture by BemoGames.
Picture by BemoGames.

But I think the time has come for Valve to bestow this classic stock weapon with some recognition for its years of service. I’m imagining a whole update revolving around the shotgun. Wouldn’t that be awesome? New shotgun unlocks for all four classes, Australium and Botkiller shotguns added to the drop systems of respective MvM tours, festive shotgun this Christmas and a non-holiday shotgun reskin you have to craft with tokens a la Sharp Dresser. Most of these aspects wouldn’t be hard at all to add. Just imagine what a new MvM-wide rare drop would do; suddenly there is new motivation to play every single Mann Up campaign from Mannhattan to Mannworks!

The part that would need the most work is the balancing and devising of new shotgun unlocks, but even then I don’t think that would be too difficult. The shotgun framework is quite easy to springboard off of, not to mention that at the end of the day it’s a stock secondary weapon. If they really feel bankrupt on ideas, they can just repurpose some pre-existing weapons; the Family Business and Widowmaker in particular have very straightforward concepts that could bridge the gap between classes. Also they can go for broke on heavy, his shotgun is considered underpowered anyway.

Food for thought. And while I’m throwing it all out there, how about a semi-automatic “shotsgun” for Medic that fires multiple syringes per click at the cost of firing speed and reload time?

Maybe that's taking it too far.
Maybe that’s taking it too far. Picture from aceman11100’s Workshop submission