Happy Jump Day! While SPUF itself may be long gone, the Sticky Jumper-themed holiday it birthed has survived six years, almost into the 2020s. Never forget the day they nerfed our Sticky Jumper!
Out of all the cruel, heartless, and unneeded nerfs that Valve have levied on unsuspecting weapons in Team Fortress 2‘s long and checkered past, the Sticky Jumper nerf remains one of the harshest. Valve took one of the funnest and most unique weapons (it’s the only Demoman secondary that isn’t an explosive or a shield, creating an entirely new “scout with a grenade launcher” playstyle) and…um…well, to be honest the nerf didn’t change all that much. I was still flying through the air obliterating snipers and sentry nests for years afterward. It’s the spirit of the thing, you know?
Not to mention it was far from the only time Valve has nerfed the poor thing. It may have more nerfs in its history than any other TF2 weapon. (And I personally count the patch they added the shameful sign and ugly sound effects a spiritual nerf.) Even worse, Valve has repeatedly nerfed other Demoman weapons that used to synergize with it. No longer is it a viable plan to fly around one-shotting snipers since they dumpstered the Ullapool Caber, and forever gone is the “flying health-regenerating grenadier” loadout that I consider my favorite in the history of the game (especially after weapon-dropping added a mechanic to regain ammo). Apparently they prefer a garbage-level Persian Persuader that is only usable with shields.
But in spite of its many nerfs, it has remained a powerful toolkit in the Demoman’s arsenal. It’s the cornerstone to the loadout that turned SilverWolf into a Demoman main. The mighty underestimated secondary that defeats cp_orange_x3, breaks balloon_race, brings sd_doomsday to its knees, and hey, if you really want, can even kill people by shooting pumpkin bombs. There are plenty of Jumper-only Demoman spots on other maps, too. Delirious biznasty puts it best when he says “I think Valve forgot about maps when they made the Sticky Jumper.” (They even forgot about it in MvM, where the +20% damage upgrades don’t work despite basic math saying they should.)
Luckily, since they can’t remove its core function of being a stickyjumping training tool, we shouldn’t ever have to worry about a future where they nerf it to the point it can join the Persuader in hell (coincidentally another place the Sticky Jumper breaks). And even if they remove it from TF2 completely (or listen to the philistines that want it retricted to listen servers or other draconic insistences that it be “for training only”), its legacy will live on in the greater gaming world. Junkrat from Overwatch comes with a pair of concussion mines that don’t self-damage, and they play remarkably similar to Tavish’s 2-clip training launcher. And with Junkrat ported to Heroes of the Storm and possibly future games (maybe Smash? Who knows!), he’ll be taking our favorite playstyle on a cross-genre roadtrip through the gaming world. The Sticky Jumper is going where it’s always belonged: straight to the top!