The Infinite Zenith

Where insights on anime, games and life converge

Tag Archives: Pyro

Remember when they made Team Fortress 2 Free?

The most fun you could have online…is now free!

It’s been over a year since Team Fortress 2 was made permanently into a free-to-play game, and a year later, the multiplayer FPS is as popular as ever. The Meet the Pyro update was released just a few weeks ago, completing the “Meet the Team” series, and from a personal standpoint, this move was correctly foreseen by Valve to be a successful one, considering that I originally got on board with the entire TF2 business because it was free to play. For your amusement, and mine upon the viewer’s reactions when they see the following Team Fortress 2 art, I’ve presented some rather interesting takes on the playable classes in TF2. I just hope someone doesn’t get mad as a result.

  • Grass grows, birds fly, sun shines, and brother, I hurt people. 

  • If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight!

  • Mpphhh mphh mph mphhhh mphhh mhh!

  • One crossed wire, one wayward pinch of potassium chlorate, one errant twitch…and kablooie! 

  • Some people think they can outsmart me. Maybe, *sniff* maybe. I have yet to meet one that can outsmart bullet. 

  • Hey look, buddy. I’m an engineer — that means I solve problems. Not problems like ‘What is beauty?’ because that would fall within the purview of your conundrums of philosophy. I solve practical problems.

  • Let’s go practice medicine. 

  • Snipin’s a good job, mate! It’s challengin’ work, outta doors. I guarantee you’ll not go hungry, cause at the end of the day, long as there’s two people left on the planet, someone is gonna want someone dead.

  • This Spy has already breached our defenses… you’ve seen what he’s done to our colleagues! And worst of all: He could be any one of us.

A year later, I now have a premium account because I was compelled to enhance my experience in the game (actually, it was a consequence of purchasing items from the in-game Mann Co. Store for a friend), and I can attest to the success of the free-to-play model. Valve developer Robin Walker stated in an interview that there would be no hidden fees as with other multiplayer games. Instead, the entire game is funded by micro-transactions in the Mann Co. Store, much as the small payment I made. This model is hugely successful compared to other games in its implementation: as there are no hidden costs associated with getting game-necessary gear, players only pay to purchase aesthetic elements like hats. By making the game available to most anyone, this mechanism minimises piracy in that if the game is already free from the developers, there is no need to obtain an illegal copy.

With this in mind, this model would hardly be applicable to Valve’s other games, or MMORPGs. Nonetheless, this decision was a good one on Valve’s part and got me into the entire business of Team Fortress 2. Given I’ve had a year to mess around in TF2, I cite the game as one of my favourite means of blowing off steam after a week of course work, whether it be dominating F2P players or aggravating the more serious players with high-value items.  The only negative side effect of this is that my Halo 2 headshot skills have pretty much dissipated over the past year.

Offensive Classes

Defensive Classes

Support Classes

There is quite a bit of artwork out there depicting the classes in TF2, although not in a sense you’d expect. I’ve tried looking for unique art of the classes as they are in-game, but artists seem to have other ideas in mind. Nonetheless, I do believe that TF2-themed artwork, accuracy or not, is suitable for decorating this page. Who knows? Maybe I decided to talk about how I’ve enjoyed Team Fortress 2 for the sole purpose of showing off some TF2 artwork?

The Phlogistinator

Released during the Australian 2011 Christmas Update, the Phlogistinator is a primary weapon for the pyro. It appears as a retro-futuristic ray gun and fire energy waves that function identically to the standard flamethrower. Unlike the standard flamethrower, it lacks the compression blast. Instead, all fire damage dealt charge the mmmph meter. When this is filled (around 221 points of fire damage), the Pyro can unleash a taunt that restores all his health and guarantees critical hits from the flame-thrower for a ten second duration.

In combat situations, a pyro equipped with the Phlogistinator should pair it with the Manmelter, which can put out fires on burning team mates. In general, the Phlogistinator can be wielded as a standard flamethrower offensively (the same tactics of strafing and jumping around opponents holds, as well as performing spy-checks with quick bursts). However, the lack of a compression blast prevents the Phlogistinator from being useful as a defensive tool.

The mmmph meter can be thought of as a limit break: once it is charged, a player can access a powerful taunt that restores your health and ensures critical hits. While taunting, the wielder is granted a 90 percent damage resistance. These attributes make the mmmph an immensely useful tool for smashing through another team’s ranks: skilled pyros can clear out an entire objective area on their own using this mode if the conditions are correct, such as preventing an opposing team from capturing a point or pushing the cart. The offensive power of a charged Phlogistinator is most effectively countered by the ÜberCharge: while an ÜberCharge only lasts eight seconds, the time it buys in blocking damage may be sufficient to save a team from annihilation.