Tip series Part 4 - The demon
(Demoman for those of you not convinced by my slang)
Ok, now this is an unusual tip. You *can* disagree with it, *I* have been wrong before.
I had a bad game, four defencive demons, clearly none were any good at it, and it caused me to decide that demons werne't much use on defence.
People complained. BOY did they complain. And a couple of them argued ratinally, and gave examples of good uses.
So I retracted it, and rewrote.
So - here's my conclusion (at the start of the rant, no less)
Demons are HARD to play.
If you are good at it, you can be VERY effective.
If you are middling at it, you are fairly ineffective, and if you are bad at it, you can be a positive liability to your team.
So - my advice is NOT to play this class early. This tip series isn't really aimed at newbies - I'm not sure I'm entitled to write about newbies any more.
Here goes then. This will be a bit of a mish mash.
The demon. Middling armour, middling speed, STUPIDLY huge weaponry close up, *no* long range potential, great grenades and detpacks.
I won't bother comparing him to pre 10.16 (4 mirvs! *4*!) suffice to say he was even better then.
So - what are a demons advantages?
A demon has two real advantages. First is a good ability to stay alive. He can move pretty quickly, so can avoid being hit, though not as well as a scout or medic - but he has more armour, so that helps him stay alive too.
Has to be said that this 'middling' combination of speed and armour makes him a pain to use effectively - sometimes you have to run, sometimes stand your ground, and it's hard to know when to do which.
His second advantage is his weaponry. Close up, NOTHING can deliver the alpha strike punch a demon can.
Lets list the weapons one at a time, it's more juicy that way.
Crowbar. yawn. NEXT.
Single barelled shotgun. An embarrasment to the game, it take 12 shots with this thing to take out a SG from out of it's range. This gun MIGHT be useful underwater, but is a complete waste of time.
Blue pipes. Long reload time, but 6 shots before reload. Blue pipes move faster than rockets, do more DAMAGE than rockets, have no wind up time - and can basically deliver an instant punch that nothing except a charged up sniper can manage.
They also detonate and do splash a few seconds after they are fired (I'll get to that later) They aren't perfect - they are a parabola weapon, damn hard to hit with - and they don't detonate on contact with the floor, unlike rockets.
Yellow pipes. Same reload, less damage, but they can be detonated by hand. This lets you lay traps, time jumps with them, airburst (MUCH harder to do now that a bug has been fixed) and otherwise harass your enemy. Their disadvantage is that you can't detonate them until a short time after you fire them - long enough that the enemy can get too close for them to be useful.
Gren1. normal grenades, Kills light classes handily, and really helps finish off medium classes, and even heavy classes.
MIRV. gren1 explosion. Then a delay. then 4 explosions in he surrounding are, each larger than a gren1. NOTHING survives a proper mirving, few things can survive even being near to one.
Disadvantage is that it locks down an area for a time, which can prevent your team using it, removes some areas you might want to dodge through, and can blatantly be spam.
'Spam' Ok, demons are, by far, the spammiest class in existence. Every weapon they have explodes. They can keep a point on the map exploding for upwards of a minute.
SPAM is throwing grenades at an area for kills, not really caring who is there or wants to be there. Spam is annoying because someone who gets killed by it had no chance to evade it, and rarely helps your team.
'area denial' is like spam, but you deliberately choose to block off an area that you know your team doesn't need - perhaps to buy a few seconds to resupply in, or to give some more teammates time to arrive.
The difference is subtle :)
Throwing an explosive in an attempt to kill a person you are aiming fo is never spam. Throwing 40 tonnes of explosives in the hope it might kill someone *is*
Right now, how to play the demon:
With gl_grenades (the blue pipes) you *really* need to anticipate where the enemy is gonna be - and bounce them at them.
There's another little trick, which is to miss with a few. Remember, they blow up a few seconds after they stop, and its timeable - if you can pen your opponent in so that they are standing on a couple then....
Primary thing of importance.
You life is expendable - and when you come back you are reloaded - that means all your grenades (not that I use MIRVs too much) but most importantly your launcher - you only get 6 shots at a time, and reloading takes forever...
MIRV. HOLD IT.
Don't throw it until the count of three and then it blows up in the enemies face.
Exactly like a normal grenade, but bigger. Also, if the enemy sees a grenade land in front of them, they often assume it wasn't primed, so try to run over it. Dropping a MIRV in a doorway gives you time to reload while it explodes.
That's about the only legal use of spam. (MIRV is the fastest way to take out HWG - they take too many rockets or gl - but if you throw the MIRV, gl then with a circle strafe, they either die from you because they've stopped firing and run, or from the MIRV because they didn't stop firing.)
WATCH what is going on.
If someone else is dealing with an enemy, throwing a grenade into the fight is as likely to put off your man as the enemy - see if you can engage another target, often the enemy will try to sneak a crafty one past you while someone else is tying you up. Also remember, a demon NEVER wants to engage in a fight - they want to charge in and blow the enemy up, and then run away if it didn't work - you don't have any safe (non explosive) weapons to use at close range, nor any long range - and you don't have terribly much armour.
Use the speed you have over soldiers and HWG to your advantage,
and get to the next choke point. Oh looky! I've not even touched on:
pipebombs OK. You can lay a trap.
Well, lets lay one properly.
A couple of grenades somewhere else on the run, so that the enemy runsv past and thinks he's bypassed your main field.
Then a trail, with a couple hidden wherever you reckon he's gonna dodge past to.
(either in front of or behind the field) Guard your field - and try not to die. But pipebombs are mush better than setting an obvious trap.
Scatter them wildly about an area that you are guarding.
When you die, the entire area goes up, and your (hopefully wounded) opponent goes with it.
That gives you time to get back into position. Direct fire pipebombs:
Fire them at or near your enemy, and hit space (or whatever your det pipebombs is)
They explode in mid-air - nearby is all you need. You opponent is circle strafing you?
Fine - wait until he's done an entire rotation, THEN detonate your
Throw some in front of you as you seemingly try to run past.
Then 'realise' that you're gonna have to fight, and turn, and throw some at them (missing, landing behind them probably)
Then run away again - cross over your pipes, and detonate.
Enemy either followed you, or fell back - and died.
His only safe action is to stand still, in which case you get away.
Fire some in front of you as you run, then detonate them after you've run over them - opponent crispies.
*you* know where all of your pipebombs are.
Or you ought to.
What you've got to do is throw a few somewhere your opponent forgets about them, and then use them at an appropriate moment (like when he's on them) in combat.
(To non demons - when fighting a demon *do* remember where all his weaponry is, and when its going to explode)
If you are wounded, your team doesn't need the area, and you just fought off a wave of attackers, set a detpack before you run for resupply - it will clear any body who comes in while you are gone off the map. Note: *IF YOUR TEAM DOESNT NEED THE AREA* For Eris' sake don't set one in your own yard. Similarly for MIRVing a zone - don't do it on the bridge on 2fort - but your spiral is probably fine.
Pipebomb jump, but be aware that you tend to be a little obvious about it, better to just use a pipe that seems left over from a fight, than firing one ahead and then using it.
OTOH - it might be a good way to draw off a rocket - pretend to be about to jump, and then don't bother.
Never. Ever. EVER. take the grenade pack in the respawn room.
You start with full grenads, what the heck more do you need?
Don't MIRV an area just because you're about to die.
Only do it if you are SURE your team-mates aren't about to swarm through. Beware engineers - you are a walking EMP magnet.
You do have speed to dodge with, USE it.
Or blow up the eng before he throws the emp, then stay away from his pack. Its not that you are an easier target for an engineer or anything (a HWG is far easier to hit) its just that they have less time to hit you (they get 3 or 4 runs at a HWG before he's threatening their base) and you make a more impressive gib shower.
Do remember to use your detpack (default key is m I think) to:
Open the enemy grate in their water tunnel on well.
Don't blow the enemy grate until your team is about to use it, because they then get time to guard it - conversely, it may be worth guarding your
grate even if it isn't blown, and blowing the enemy grate may draw resources away from other areas of their play. ]
Opening the enemy tunnel on rock2. Pretty much *always* worth doing.
Blowing the enemy yard on rock2. Not so clear cut, it makes an extra
base exit for them, and means they are more likely to reseal your hole.
Against newbies / uncommunicates, don't blow it - against an organised team? Its often worth it. Especially just before a big attack (whether you intend to use the route or not - someone always pops down to investigate / kill the demon - that's one less defender in their yard for the 5 seconds it takes to cross...)
*RESEALING* the tunnel on rock2.
Do this as often as possible - it pisses the enemy off.
Don't get too predictable, doing it right after a demon opens it - they'll ambush you, or just reopen it.
Instead let them think they've got away with it, then reseal it just before reinforcements (sans demon) arrive.
Command point on cz2.
Don't bother - it doesn't usually gain your team much, and takes a lot of effort to do.
OTOH -*threatening* to do it usually draws off 4-5 enemies for a few minutes, allowing your team to recover, and can even cause an eng to build a SG in their base (what a waste!) pipebomb jumping down into their roof is the best way in to cause havoc.
WARNING: Scouts defuse your detpacks by running over them.
This is embarrassing. And is a good reason to rarely use the long fuse detpacks.
(Whose uses include pretending you are about to come in the water route when you aren't - set it for 50 seconds, then go wait in the enemy attic.
10 seconds after it blows, attack the enemy flag room - and find that one of the defenders (at least) is in the water, waiting for someone to come in that way.)
Detpacks as a weapon:
Detpacks are line of sight, and do enough damage to gib anything. They take 5 seconds to lay, and then go off 5, 10, 20 or 50 seconds later.
Don't blow your teammates up with them, they won't thank you.
So, only do it to cover an area that you know needs covering, and really only when you can time when the enemy will be arriving.
A classic example is the attic in well - you know exactly when the enemy will arrive up the lift, so set adetpack to take care of them, and leave to guard elsewhere for a while.
Ok, so thats (basically) how to fight as a demon, now, what do ou DO?
Demons can EXCEL at midfield. They *will* damage everything, they are pretty hard to kill, thy can do area denial on request (like when your D screams they need a few second to rebuild)
They can dodge, they can kill HWG, the only thing they really have a problem with is the fastest classes - demons have real trouble hitting scouts.
It's your best chance. And if the enemy is jumping, yellow pipes and low earth orbit beckons.
Defence. A demon can lay a pipetrap. Frankly, this isn't so useful, and I'd rarely put a demon on last line defence, there's just too many ways to fake out a pipetrap.
(EMP it, conc over it, just distract the demon, kill the demon...)
Exception to this is badlands, where getting the flag out of its hole quickly is kinda hard.
Forward defence works fine though.
Offence. Heavy support, of course. Also they are faster than soldiers, so if they DO grab the flag, it aint such a disaster.
Demons are incredible for taking out certain SG positions, or any other hardpoints - since they are the only class with real firepower they can bounce off walls.
(All classes can with grenades, but demons get the most of those, too)
Active defence - demons can really move - which means they are able to harass ALL of the forward defensive positions, pretty much simultaneously.
This means that they can disorganise and annoy a whole lot of enemies at once, which makes MANY holes for your attack to use.
Also their area denial comes in handy here - enemy attackers have only so many routes out of their base, and if one is filled with explosions, they either come out damaged, or have to wait a while. Either is good for your team.
Since I did it for the others, I'll do it for the demon. How to fight each class.
But demons are pretty similar t the soldier, except terrain is even MORE important, and the weapon is harder to use.
Demon vs Scout
Backpedal. If he's chadsing YOU, use yellow pipes. Really you want to herd him onto your field and kill him that way.
Scouts are a real pain.
Your best bet is to try and make him walk into line of sight of a sentry gun.
Demon vs Sniper
You're dead. Dodge dodge dodge, and hope he can't hit you. If oyu get close up, make his life miserable with explosives, but at range, you're dead.
If he's close up and using autogun, he's a scout with weaponry, a REAL pain, but you've got a bit more chance of hitting him.
Assuming the sniper is good enough to know what he's doing, and use grenades, you're probably dead.
A soldier vs demon fight.
(demon on D)
Soldier stays at range.
Fine - tell your team, and dodge to your hearts content - he is using ammo, you aint dying, nothing is going wrong - soon a team-mate will come along and help you out.
Now, a problem occurs if he is tying you down, and someone fast comes to get the flag -
Kill the fast guy (the soldier will come in and kill you, almost certainly)
You don't care, the soldier was the slower of the two attackers, if someone's gonna get the flag, it had better be him.
Also, you *did* drop a MIRV or two before / as you engaged the fast guy, didn't you?
It will at least slow the soldier down, may even kill them.
Soldier charges in to close range.
You both die.
Prime a grenade (normal or MIRV) and fight him, when he runs out of rockets, and pulls back, throw it.
But probably, you both die.
Soldier engages cautiously (circle range)
Engage him, but be aware of other enemies.
Use your gl_grenades to try and herd him onto a nasty surprise (MIRV or pipebombs)
Be sure to scatter some ordinance widely, in case he makes a break for the exit, or you die.
Also be *very* aware of when another enemy is in the area.
When one enters, jump up, and MIRV straight down (if you were holding one, else drop one un-primed) soldier will probably back off, break the fight and go for the new guy.
Again, you probably get nailed, but the uncertainty of how long the MIRV has been held for gives you an edge.
And for laws sake, don't forget about the soldier once the new enemy has been dealt with, and dodge constantly - because the soldier sure aint forgotten about you. I still figure a soldier has the edge, but its more map dependant (are defenders or attackers strong)
Demon vs Demon. Deathmatching, with enough explosives to fill the level!
The 'both die' result is kinda easy to attain.
Keep dodging and jumping, don't get predictable. Use blue pipes, and try to catch him on ayellow pipe he's forgotten.
Don't sync your gren's to his - you don't want to be in range when throwing time comes along.
Use grenades to herd him into scenery you can bounce shots off.
Shoot at the ceiling, aiming to bounce down onto him.
Demon vs Medic
Arg! Annoying as heck. If you are good, you can keep the medic at range with blue pipes, and kill them with grenade / yellow pipes.
If they get close and infect you, then you'll blow both of you up. That may be worth doing though.
If they stay at range and use nails, dodge - they'll run out of ammo.
If they stay at a bit less range and use SSG - you're in trouble - use cover, and try to trick them onto a pipefield / mirv.
Demon vs HWG
Similar to a soldier and his nail grenade, the HWG either takes you out and dies to the mirv, or runs from the mirv, and you take them out.
Just hitting a stationary (or slow dodging) target with blue pipes is hard though :)
Remember that these puppies have mirv too - but you can dodge :)
Demon vs Pyro
Problematic, since it's not as easy to play keep away as it is for a soldier.
However, the flames blind THEM as much as they do YOU close up, but you KNOW where you aimed your yellow pipes...
Det blind, use grenades, it's your best chance.
Demon vs spy.
RECOGNISE IT AS A SPY DAMMIT
Ok, doin't get tranqued, and you'ver got lots of dodge speed to avoid it.
the problem is that they have enough speed to dodge your pipes, get behind you, and kinfe you.
And explosives at something close up is bad.
Best bet is just to throw explosives at where they WANT to be (to gren th SG or whatever) and then in the time that buys you, get close and mirv them from right next to them.
Killing the both of you is *probably* the best you can get. If you are good with blue pipes, then treat as a medic.
Demon vs Engineer.
Don't get EMPed :)
Really, you'll regret it when you ake up in the respawn.
Blow them up before they can EMP you, or take out your target, ignoring their blasts - SSG won't kill you before you can toss the MIRV.
If they're on offence, make them concentrate on you rather than their SG target (they'll be happy to oblige) and backpedal, blowing them up
Hope that helps someone, somewhere. Demon is hard - and I definately need to improve at it - but many MANY people are VERY bad at it.
'duh, shall I det my field? Yeah, why not, the scout is no where near it, and a teammate is walking over it. duh'
Additional tips, contributed by :
I'd like to add that the easiest way (except on a pipetrap:P) to kill a scout is to back off until you reach a choke point and stand in it. Wait for them to try and run past you and hit them with a blue pipe. You only need to hit once and cos the pipe launcher is fast and the scout is right in your face, you hit them and they die:). It even works on scouts in mid-air. If you were really weak, you might die from the splash damage, but at least you get to respawn with full pipes and grens again.
Of course, in practice this is slightly more difficult, you have to time it so you and the scout end up at the choke point together, standing in a doorway is a good way to get killed uselessy.
Another thing to think about. If you are doing area deffense(ie, chokepoint or doorway) and have a pipetrap layed out. It only is there as long as your alive. Don't be afraid to retreat but still be where you can see your trap.