So I’ve had some time to play with the pyro now that the update has been out a while, and my opinion has changed somewhat. To what, exactly, I’m not sure, but it’s definitely less favorable than it was. Valve conceded he was slightly overpowered, and made some adjustments to the pyro, including restoring damage fall off (though less than before the update). I’m inclined to agree
I’m not too sure about the 50 hp buff still. 25 would have put him on par with the Soldier; a much faster, more powerful at close range with zero splash damage class makes him a pain in the ass to deal with on Hydro. Before the update I was typically in the top 3 or 4 as pyro, and now I am still in the top 3 or 4, but competing with two or three other pyros for MVP. The worst part, is that four or even five pyros on a team of 12 doesn’t hurt the team at all. It used to the the slow moving Soldiers who acted as tanks, with people referring to it as “Soldier Fortress 2″…. now it’s Pyro Fortress. I recently played a match of four pyros vs. four players of varying classes… our Team Pyro won flat out.
Perhaps the next player buff, the Heavy, will help balance this out, but as it stands, the Pyro still needs some nerfing to rebalance the maps and classes. Couple last thoughts: flare gun vs. shotgun is highly situational. Someone made a script to switch between the two, I might start using that. Not only situational from map to map, but from control point to control point, or offense to defense. Also, I’d like to see a better visual indicator of who has the backburner and who does not – it’s hard to tell if you’re going up against a 175 hp pyro with a defensive compressive blast, or a 225 hp pyro who you can’t just run away from.
I guess my biggest gripe is that the pryo throws off defensive balance the greatest. A pyro’s greatest strength before was suprise, it still is, but he can singlehandedly halve six of the opposing team immediately before they’re mowed down by a heavy or soldier… or simply clear out a congested passageway. Prior to that the Pyro’s best skill was dropping in on a group of foes and simply to distract them before running away, or clearing out the intel room of hostile sentries while ubered. Now he’s the scourge of Goldrush.