The Tough Break update was amazing. I love almost all of the balance changes, especially because pretty much every class was buffed in cool ways. Especially my Medic! Holy crap! Ubercharge on Crossbow and Amputator? I’m so excited, except that part of me that fears a complimentary nerf now that those wholly-unneeded buffs were added. Thank god for the alt-fire addition to the Amputator, by the way, now I don’t have to juggle stupidly around with the taunt menus to use my AoE heals.
But this article isn’t about Medic. As great as the majority of changes were, the only weapon adjustment I’m 100% sad about is the new Persian Persuader. Gone are all of its old blue stats (I actually think this is the first time Valve’s done that to a weapon) and now it regenerates charge on hit. In addition it gives 20% charge on melee hit and has huge penalties to carried ammo. It seems wholly unusable. -80% reserve ammo on primary and secondary means you get to carry 3 reserve pipes and 5 reserve stickies in total. That’s less than a full reload for each gun. Remember you can’t get more until you die because ammo converts into charge.
(Update: TheOnlyGuyEver spotted an error; the sword does actually let you keep collected ammo while simultaneously converting it into charge. This means the grenade launcher regains 1 pill from a small ammo pack, 2 from a medium, and only 3 from a large. The fact that Valve removed all the unique upsides and downsides to this sword really makes me wonder why they didn’t just add these stats as a new weapon.)
But clearly the weapon is designed for use with shields and booties, since it now replenishes charge instead of health. Thing is, Booties + Tide turner = 100% charge regained on kill, the extra charge from your persuader is useless. That means it can only be practical when using Splendid Screen or Chargin’ Targe, though I wouldn’t bother with it on the Screen, with its new charge bonus that shield regenerates on its own perfectly fast. That leaves Chargin’ Targe and I guess BASE Jumper? And even then, I don’t feel like any of that is worth not getting to pickup ammo or waiting an extra half-second for your shield to finish recharging on its own.
Thing is, the ammo nerfs hurt the charge regain too. You can barely pick up any ammo from ammo packs, which is why you get a really tiny amount of charge back from anything that isn’t a large ammo kit. I’m just not seeing a use for this weapon anymore. And really, charge is a thing that comes back on its own. As already explained, there are a plethora of ways to regain your charge, including just standing there, and I’m not seeing any reason to use a sword whose only claims to fame are some tiny charge-boosting capabilities.
Not gonna lie, the death of my favorite sword makes me very sad. But I see a silver lining in the removal of my favorite subclass, because it’ll make me play the actually-useful primary class function more. Now I’ll probably bust out my stickybomb launcher more and be a good pocket. Plus, holy crap did I get my money’s worth on the old Persian+Sticky Jumper, it was practically the only TF2 class I played for the last 500 hours. Also I’ve written so many articles on the loadout it practically counts as its own series. I suspect Valve is intentionally murdering the demoknight subclass in order to prevent players from using them in the upcoming competitive matchmaking, so I have a feeling all these new changes are here to stay in spirit if not exact wording.