SGs and pipebombs as Offensive Weapons?

Hi all,

As you know, AGR development never stops. Gameplay is always assessed, and I am always looking for potential improvements. On the other hand, I appreciate that the imperfections and ‘illogical’ stuff add to the fun and unpredictability of the game, so I’m careful to not do anything that potentially makes the game less fun. Two issues today, both involving weapons which are ‘supposed’ to be defensive, used for offense. Lets start w the one that’s a ‘bigger deal’:


AGR stalwart Doc has been doing something which I don’t like, and I’m not sure what do to about it. He’s been building Sentry Guns (‘SGs’) outside of the Blue base. Sometimes in random spots, often turreted. Why is this a problem?

A: Many maps have wide open areas between the bases, with plenty of places to build a SG, many of those places are hidden, in darkness, behind obstacles, and on some maps (yes this is the ‘fault’ of the map), behind clouds, ie these SGs are literally ‘not visible’.

B: So Red Attackers spawn, leave their base, get killed by the SG before they get near the Blue base, and have to try again, and focus on killing the SG. Finally after a few minutes the SG is destroyed, but Blue can build another one, equally difficult to spot (before being killed), and Red has to spend a LOT of time killing SGs. This is frustrating, annoying and repetitive. In a nutshell, it is (in my opinion) NOT FUN, and is not what the gameplay is supposed to be about. If we had say..  8+ Reds, the ‘offensive’ SGs wouldn’t last long enough to be a big deal, but in (eg) a  3 vs 3 game.. forcing a Red to go ‘random SG killer’ for 50 minutes, turns it effectively into a 2 vs 2 game.  Meanwhile:

C: Blues are sitting there in their base wondering where the Reds are. Ok, it is a good feeling for an Engineer to get enough peace and quiet to build and hack everything 100%.. but .. then what? Sitting around waiting for the occasional Red. I’d rather lose an action packed game, than ‘win’ a boring one.

The thing is… I’m not sure what to do. It isn’t against the rules to build SGs outside the base, and I’ve done it myself on occasion. Currently I’ve asked Doc to please not to it ALL game EVERY game, and he’s been (usually) pretty decent about it. But the game shouldn’t *need* an admin to deal with this, and shouldn’t rely on peoples good will. So… what are the options? Just brainstorming:

  1. Make it take longer to build SGs.. 10+ seconds(?)
  2. Make SGs not fire while they are being turretted?
  3. Enforce ‘zones’ where Blue are allowed to build SGs?
  4. Make it take longer to upgrade SGs? (iirc TF2 makes you whack w a spanner a few times before the upgrade happens)

I dunno… So I need ideas/feedback from you guys, the players. This is especially a big deal because if experienced players get annoyed at this, how will newbies react? Yes, I know AGR is for experienced players who have been playing for years, but I believe that children are the future, teach them well and help them play, show them all the power they possess inside, give them a sense of pride, to make it easier for them to get to Blues base where the flag is, and where the action is supposed to be. Seriously the last thing we want is new players trying AGR, and their first experience is A: frustration and/or B: Boredom.

Anyway, I’ve already implemented idea 1 and 2, its easily switchable on/off, I’m not sure if it will make a difference. They tell me that even professional AAA multiplayer games can be ruined by people ‘not playing them properly’, so maybe the only way to enjoy the freedom AGR offers is to actually have an admin there, making sure people are playing ‘properly’. Maybe the only alternative is to make everything idiot proof, and this dumb everything down, but this is NOT what AGR is all about, not why we’ve been there every week for over a decade now.


The original idea of pipebombs is to place them on the ground and blow up enemies walking on them. However people have been using pipebombs to attack for years..  by throwing them at enemies and detonating them mid air. Is this a good thing .. or not?

Attitude A: It’s good. It’s fun, we’re used to it the way it is, don’t change it if it ain’t broken.

Attitude B: It’s bad. Pipes are supposed to be defensive weapons, people using them to throw at enemies directly is lame, too powerful, and gameplay will improve if they can only be blown after they’re in the ground.

I’ve coded it in (we’ll test it occasionally on Saturdays until further notice), but I think opinion will be divided on this one – “Thanks OMC, about time” and “Damn you OMC you ruined demoman”. I can see both points of view. Hm.

14 comments to SGs and pipebombs as Offensive Weapons?

  • Jonan

    A mid air pipe is no worse than a rocket. Although cheaper, it is harder for the piper to do it. Slightly more damage if perfect though. It typically followed with a normal hand grenade. Which can rip you apart fairly quick.

  • Jonan

    For me, pipes should be there normal 100 or so damage each. With a limit of pipes being 1 full clip, clip extender to give extra.

    Original TF used to limit total pipes for team, to help with lag. Something like 7 per team. Doubt that is needed these days. The 10 or so seems too much IMO. However Blast Armor is available. Really comes down to the map though.

  • Jonan

    Perhaps the speed of the building could be relative to how close / far you are from team spawns. Once you get half way between the average distance between team spawns, you should be penalized.

  • Doc

    What specifies what is determined as an offensive or defensive weapon? They’re weapons. You can use them however you want if you are creative enough. A medic is usually classified as a support class in TF2, but there are plenty of battle medics that go on the offensive and fight against everyone else, and sometimes win. As for engineer, flanking is essential in so many situations. If you can get behind the enemy and distract them, it gives blue time to regroup if they are in a situation. If red can’t handle a simple sentry gun flank, that is not my issue. That is a skill issue for them. I’m slowing them down from attacking and helping my team. The simple fact that you feel something needs to be nerfed because the other team doesn’t know how to handle it makes me sick. That is not what this game is about. You adapt and learn, improve your skill. Not nerf something because you’re bad. I was on a payload game of TF2 a while back on defense, and red had multiple teleporters and were overwhelming us. I went engineer and got behind them, destroyed their teleporters, and set up a mini sentry to annoy them so they would have a harder time attacking. Long story short, we won that game and several of my teammates were applauding me for harassing them at their spawn. It works. Should valve nerf their engineer because a few players can’t handle a mini sentry? No. Should you nerf engineer because red can’t handle a sentry gun? No. Get better at the video game and stop crying

  • Jonan

    Perhaps bring back red turrets

    Most of the time with the blue sentries in red base, is more because of a map flaw. Some can be easily fix too.

  • ShakaUVM

    I’ve always considered a forward sentry a valid tactic. It’s somewhat hard to pull off since you’re far enough from your resupply that getting it up to level 3 requires you to hide a dispenser or set up teles or just make long runs, and level 3 sentries can still be killed in a matter of seconds

  • Jonan

    Shaka. Currently you can overload your ammo, and have 750 cells from spawn. Enough to have a Level 3 Turreted Sentry, spare cells for a second Sentry (or some other building).

    Some of the maps even have free supplies in them, including in the spawn.

    These two things make it much easier for that strategy.

    I’m not against it, and I do think it is a viable plan.

    • OneManClan

      Thanks for the feedback guys!

      Jonan – I think you found the solution! I completely overlooked current bandolier bug (where currently you can get 750). If players had to return to the respawns a few times before they could build a L3 SG that would make building such SGs away from ‘home’ more of a challenge; even with teleporters or dispensers (which would have to be built/protected/and hidden). I think this solves the issue!? Case Closed? 🙂

  • Jonan

    I’m curious if this will backfire for defenders.

    • OneManClan

      It *did* backfire for defenders! 🙁 Only being able to (initially) build a L1 SG, and having to go back to get armour to upgrade to L2 cost valuable seconds, and.. yea.. unworkable. I’ve reverted for now .. but am considering an alternative – making the dispenser stronger, and more generous.. So the first thing an Engineer would do is build a Disp, and then a L1 SG (ie and have enough ammo to do both in one go) .. and make the ‘wait until the dispenser gives enough ammo to upgrade’ shorter… say .. 20 seconds(?) This is (of course) all map dependent, team-size dependent, and team ‘working together’ dependent.. Hm.

  • Jonan

    This is where discarding and leaving packs is useful.

  • Jonan

    Revert ammo and put turret cost up?

  • ripednail

    I personally use the mid air pipe alot, I think i started that a couple years ago and it caught on. Don’t change it!

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