It's not the long-awaited competitive matchmaking that has been talked about for literally years, but Valve is still shoring up the game in other ways. The free-to-play shooter is getting a major patch soon, and it's going to make some major changes to the game's balance.
Classes like the Scout and the Heavy are getting the bulk of the focus in the upcoming update, while the Demoman, Engineer and Pyro aren't being tweaked as much. The Spy has gotten a couple of key nerfs as well, particularly in regards to how effective the class can be at range, while the rate of Ubercharge for the Medic's Crusader's Crossbow has gotten an adjustment.
As per the official blog, here are the changes:
- First-shots are no longer perfectly accurate. Bullet-spread is instead reduced by 50%. This makes head shots less reliable at long range, while still very viable at close and medium-range.
- Ammo kits and dispensers no longer refill the Spy's cloak meter
Your Eternal Reward
- Removed: "Cannot disguise" penalty
- Added: Non-kill disguises require (and consume) a full cloak meter
- Backstab-based disguises are still free
- Increased cloak drain rate by 50%
- Long-range ball impacts no longer remove the victim's ability to fire their weapon (but the victim is still slowed)
- We've updated achievements that were looking for disarmed players
- Max range balls now do 50% increased damage (from a base of 15)
- The flight time required to trigger the "max" effect has been reduced by 20%
- Ball regeneration time reduced to 10 seconds (from 15)
Bonk! Atomic Punch
- Apply a slow effect to the player after phasing wears off, based on the amount of damage they absorbed: from -25% at low damage, to -65% at 200+ damage. Lasts 5 seconds
Pretty Boy's Pocket Pistol
- New design: +15% firing speed, Up to +7 hp per hit (from +5), -25% clip size (9 shots)
- Added: Each attack while active adds Marked-For-Death debuff for 5 seconds (does not stack)
- Removed: Marked-For-Death when effect expires, +25% move speed bonus, +10% damage taken penalty
- Triple-jump is now only possible while the bat is deployed
- Removed: Self-inflicted damage when triple-jumping, attack speed penalty
- Added: Melee attacks done while airborne mini-crit, 50% deploy time penalty (to prevent quick-switch by-pass)
- Reduced damage penalty vs players to -15% (from -20%)
- Removed: Crit vs stunned players, mini-crits at long range
- Added: Long range hits reduce recharge (by 1.5 seconds)
- Reduced amount of air control while deployed by 50%
- Removed the ability to re-deploy the parachute once retracted (until the player lands on the ground again)
- +75% push-force reduction now includes airblast
- Added: +200% air control when blast jumping
Darwin’s Danger Shield
- Counter ranged burn attacks (e.g. flares), and strengthen melee fights vs Pyros, afterburn immunity, +50% fire resist
- Added: -100% overheal penalty, shield regenerates after 30 seconds
- Added "Organs" collecting concept (... you know, hit someone with a saw, and out pops a vital organ which you then take, and hold). Each hit with the Vita-Saw harvests the victim's organs (shown on the HUD)
- Added: On-death, preserve 15% ubercharge per Organ harvested. This effect caps at 60%.
- Ubercharge gain rate reduced in the same way that the Medigun's healing (and therefore, Ubercharge build rate) is - based on the last time the target was in combat
- Reduced by a third when 1 - 10 seconds outside of combat, and scales up to normal over 10 - 15 seconds
- The 1-second damage and accuracy penalty now applies to the first second of spun-up time, whether or not the Heavy is firing. Previously, the 1-second damage penalty would only be removed after 1 second of firing. Accuracy and damage penalties now reset when the Heavy spins down, rather than when the Heavy stops firing. This means if you stay spun-up beyond one second, and fire in bursts, damage and accuracy will remain at 100%.
Gloves of Running Urgently
- Added: Max-health is drained while item is active (-10/sec), and regenerated while holstered
- Removed: Marked-For-Death effect while active, 25% damage penalty
- Added: Max-health is drained while item is active (-5/sec), and regenerated while holstered. Health will regenerate only the amount drained while active - minus any damage taken during that time.
- Removed: 20% damage vulnerability
Fist of Steel
- Added: 40% overheal reduction while active, 40% healing rate penalty while active
- Ranged repairs now consume metal (at a 4-to-1 health-to-metal ratio, e.g. repairing 60 damage costs 15 metal)
As always, the developers outlined the thinking and goals behind each individual change on the TF2 Blog.