The Pyro achievement pack is out today, so got about over the night to play Pyro over my few favorite public servers such as the 32 player  Yen Japanese server, and got my Axtinguisher already!
It’s remarkable that most of the achievements for the Pyro are easily obtainable this time, contrary to the Medic pack which many are almost impossible to get on public servers, having the need to realistically grind them on closed server to get them. It’s also pleasing to know that Valve allows milestone 3 to be locked this time by simply getting 22 and not all of the 35 achievements. I will provide a rundown of the new achievements I’ve got so far in case you are wondering how to get them
Just as all the server full of Pyros now, no one will be an idiot to play a spy this time round. It’s also commendable that Valve has contributed much to the PC gaming platform than any PC developer has done in year, also with the recognize of community based contributions (which too made Counter-strike too) such as the introduction of maps CP_Fastlane and CTF_Turbine. Without further ado, lets talk about the new weapons.
The Flare Gun – Milestone 1
The first weapon to be unlocked at milestone 1, this is a single shot reloadable weapon with only 16 ammo store which replaces the shotgun, and no you can’t get fireworks or a light show firing this up in the air. Given it’s lightweight projectile, it’s trajectory is almost straight and allows the Pyro to only ignite an enemy at very long range. Damage is minimal and this weapon serves more of a distraction tool than one to kill, especially to messing up camping sprees of snipers and superflourous Engineer beehives, sending back for health. You will most of the time able to employ this weapon as assist tool, though the chances of you able to get a clean kill with this weapon largely low. You do need to aim it very carefully on your part, having test fire rounds on where it land before releasing you barrage on distant foes. It’s also good for retreat runs on corridors where the fire splash damage can catch and foe running up on you.
The Backburner – Milestone 2
The second Pyro unlockable, this flamethrower is Valve’s definition of what the original “left click only” flamethrower should be. Taking some hints of the spy’s critical back attacks, this weapon guarantees critical hits whenever it’s used on an opponent from behind, able to mow healing medics or even heavies from the back with ease. To aid in survivability, it grants the Pyro an extra fifty health from 175 to 225, which can be topped up to 150% it’s value with a medic. I can say this variant of the flamethrower is very much built for the thinking Pyro who knows every nick and cranny of the map at the back of hand and likes to ambush their opponents. The bad is that unless your foes are weakened, it’s not a recommended frontal assault weapon as there will be no critical damage on enemy frontal damage. There is also no compression blast capability (which I will touch on later) contrary to the old flamethrower.
The Axtinguisher – Milestone 3
The third and final Pyro unlockable is The Axtinguisher. This mighty axe guarantees critical hits on any enemy only when they are currently on fire, otherwise it’s just like any small meat tenderizer with fancy barded wire wrapping. There had been significant changes to this planned weapon- it was planned initially only be able to guarantee a single shot critical kill on a foe lighted by your flamethrower, but now you can get it to work as long as any enemy is on fire- a great combination with the another Pyro buddy riding alongside with you doing the igniting, or say coupled with a The Flare Gun and covering you from a distance. Now will the spies feel challenged!
My thoughts on the new weapons
Personally after using the Axtinguisher, I still feel that the old Axe is still up for the better job unless you are playing on a server full of Pyros on your side. And given most situations, you will most probably whip up your shotgun than your Axe to finish any foe. The Axtinguisher is also mostly useless on other Pyros as their flame retardant suit makes them impossible to ignite for long and changing an Axtinguisher kill on them, so in all yup unless you demand the bragging rights, I find the old Axe still a better choice with usual criticals.
The same applies for the flare gun as well. Usually in a team based map, we will leave the long distance attacks to team snipers or soldiers who are better at picking enemies from afar. Moreover, personally as a Pyro I find myself faced in more situations with a close to medium range foe where a shotgun will be more effective in finishing them off than whipping up a flare gun which only lights them up and my next other better choice being a melee weapon? The flare gun is impressive, but remove the all-roundedness of the Pyro to attacking Long and Very-close range only, given the big gap and lack of medium range attacks, I will choose the midrange shotgun anytime over the flare gun.
However, the backburner is a great weapon and the 100% guaranteed critical hits from the back will cut out most of the chance factor in your attacks, especially for those who prefer not to take a calculated chance on when your critical rounds are coming. The additional 50 health comes very much of a welcome as well and aided me in survival in many situations, to the extent of running back to spawn with only 1-5 health on few occasions, something I would never have done if I had 175 maximum health!
I have to give honorable mention to the Compression feature (right click) on the old flamethrower now. Valve mentioned about the long awaited series of balancing for the Pyro, with rumors ranging from assists points ignition to doubling flamethrower attack kills. Their answer to the balanced Pyro is the compression defense system. It takes 25 ammo of your 200 to initialise one and does a very good job in protecting yourself- only if you know how to use it. I was so amazed by this new feature that I got up on a “compression training server” with a group of friends where we perfected the art of compression- rockets, stickies, etc you name it all deflected. It was here where I accidentally got the “Hotshot” achievement as well as fully realizing the ricochet offensive capability and killing your foes with their own ammo!
Besides the defense power, it’s strong in offense as well- no more having to whip up a shotgun to clear sticky traps or clearing sticky ladened control points, one wisp and they are all gone! For flying projectiles, the key is to compress early the moment your enemy fires the rocket or you will miss it. An enemy coming too close to you with a melee? Backstabbing spy? Compress them! They will get pushed away and if you get them in the air, compress at their feet when they land to get them up again! It’s fun (to you) and frustrating (to them). Now try to whisp enemies into your team sentries, now thats cool!
In all, my recommendations for a balanced Pyro loadout will be either the Backburner/Old Flamethrower, shotgun and Fire axe.
Last but not least, here are all the Pyro achievements explained and tips to get them based on my experiences in getting them. I got most of them playing maps Dustbowl and Goldrush. There are few of them which I was unable to get and will post updates when I get them. (* denotes easily obtained on casual play).
- *Spontaneous Combustion: Ignite 10 cloaked Spies, they have to be completely fully cloaked, as in completely invisible. When you are so anxious to light them up before they are fully cloaked up, or taking damage with a flicker, if won’t count, so it takes quite alot of accidental luck when you suddenly see flames appearing walking around out of no where in front of you. A great place to catch cloaked spies will be routes leading the red Sentry spots in Dustbowl, thats where I get alot of them.
- *Trailblazer: Simply light up 10 enemies that have recently used a teleporter on their side, though I patiently have to resist the urge to destroy enemy teleporters I see, waiting for some enemy to use it, but it always don’t seems to work on all servers as well. (Bugged)
- *Combined Fire: Have your shotgun ready on “previous weapon” or enable fast weapon switch to quickly finish off players you’ve ignited and run out of range, takes time and effort and can be done overtime, instead of going flamethrower happy all the while. You need to kill 20 enemies for this.
- *Firewall: Light 5 enemy spies, after they had placed a sapper on your team’s (friendly) building. This achievement strangely works on few servers and not all. The key is to set them on fire (or kill them if you wish) after they had sapped an engineer building, you can get this very easily while being the spy checker for your team engineer’s sentry beehives.
- *Cooking the Books: Ignite 5 enemies carrying your intelligence. You can get this very easily on Well and 2 Fort (CTF), just always be waiting beside your intel where ever it is.
- *Camp Fire: Kill 3 enemies in a row, all within the same area. You can get this on Goldrush or Dustbowl very easily with an uber when the gate opens.
- *Lumberjack: Kill 3 people with your axe in one life. Work with a medic to heal you constantly, an uber will help greatly at an enemy spawn.
- Clearcutter: Kill 6 people with your axe in one life. Rather difficult on public servers, same as “Lumberjack” but the main key to this is to stay alive! Was told you can get this in like 3 seconds on a grinding server.
- *Firewatch: Ignite 10 snipers while they are zoomed in. You can get many of this playing the map “Well”, where you can make your way up the enemy’s sniper’s nest from the center small stairs after entering their base and go trigger happy! Otherwise, this achievement works with the Flare gun as well, and is great for catching snipers still zoomed-in from a distance.
- *Burn Ward: Ignite 3 medics that are ready to deploy an Uber-charge. Get the attention of medics on Goldrush or Dustbowl at the gates by taunting during setup and ignite them easily when they come in front of it! Otherwise, usually medics will hold their ubers on CPs especially CP 2 on Dustbowl stage one, sneak by the side gates and light them up before they uber up.
- *Makin’ Bacon: Kill 50 Heavies with your flamethrower. Takes time, assists kills counts as well.
- *Plan B: Kill 10 enemies while you’re both underwater. You can get this done together with the “Baptism by Fire” achievement. Follow enemies into the water with your shotgun in the map “Well” after you get ignited and finish them from there, axe kills count as well.
- *Pyrotechnics: Kill 3 enemies in a single uber-charge. Get a medic to uber and rush into blue spawn at Dustbowl final stage when the gates open, you can easily catch all the players in there by surprise and get 5 kills with no sweat.
- *Arsonist: Destroy 50 Engineer buildings. You can get a great deal of this achievement completed if you can get a medic to uber you at the sentry defences on Goldrush or Dustbowl. When you win the round, there are always many teleporter entrances at the enemy spawn to toast before the next round starts.
- *Controlled Burn: Ignite 50 enemies capturing one of your control points. Great on any CP maps, like Dustbowl and well, just stay firmly planted all all your CPs open to enemy capture.
- *Dead Heat: Kill an enemy in the same second that he kills you. This came to be as a laughing stock for me, I was attacking a solider when he killed me with his critical rocket and next moment, he burned to death by my flame.
- *Pilot Light: Ignite a rocket-jumping Soldier while he’s in midair. I got this on Goldrush 2nd stage at the blue gates where many blue soldiers like to rocket jump up the ledge on their right when they come out of the gates. Just stay at the corner waiting and light them up when they are mid air. Use the health and ammo at the top observation shack to keep your efforts going.
- *Freezer Burn: Provide enemies with freezecam shots of each of your taunts. This one is super easy, it does not matter which weapon you kill them with, just switch to any of your 3 weapons and taunt the moment you kill you them.
- *Hot on Your Heels: Very do-able but just takes time with no special rules- Kill 50 enemies with your flamethrower, from behind.
- *Next of Kindling: Ignite an enemy, and the Medic healing him. I got this on Well (CP) where I attacked a medic healing a soldier from behind. The key is that both of them have to be already healing and light them both up.
- “Second Degree Burn: Kill a burning enemy who was ignited by another Pyro. All you need is only one kill, especially with team Pyros everywhere now, this can be one of your first achievements.
- *Weenie Roast: Have 2 enemy Scouts on fire at the same time. You can get this when you light a bunch of scouts (2 and above in one flame) pushing the cart on payload maps.
- *Baptism by Fire: Force 10 burning enemies to jump into water. You can get this very easily on both “Well” maps, just always keep hanging around the water bridges area by hiding behind the container trains and lighting any unsuspecting enemy which comes by, they will be greeted with a body of water right in front of them and it will be too irresistible to jump in to extinguish your flames.
- *Fire and Forget: Kill 15 players while you’re dead. Very much those unexpected kills you get after dying where your previously kit enemy burns to death. Stay footed at places far from their spawn with no health pickups and just keep lighting every enemy you see everytime and you can go wrong in a matter of no time form there. Health pickups, no matter what the size, extinguishes your flame completely.
- *I Fry: Ignite 10 disguised Spies. As simple as it sounds and can be done overtime, just chase after them and set their butts on fire. Some servers do not register this achievement though, so take note.
- *OMGWTFBBQ: Kill an enemy with a taunt. This is the most funny achievement after “Dance Dance Immolation” you can do it on snipers in the “Well” map when you sneak up behind them via the small staircase after entering their base. One taunt is a confirmed kill. OR when you are in a CP map ending in a stalemale, usually both Blue and Red will crowd around and start taunting, simply have shotgun/flare gun previously selected before the timer goes up and run up in front of an enemy when the match ends (before the score screen comes up) and taunt kill them!
- Got A Light?: Ignite an enemy Spy while he’s flicking a cigarette. This is one of the harest achievements to get. The only time where the spy flicks a cigarette is when he’s taunting while viewing his spytron cigarette case (Disguising). You can get this when an enemy spy loses his disguise when he tries to kill any of your teammates, and tries to quickly re-disguise and taunt, go after him and light him up- but only when the cigarette is being thrown.
- BarbeQueQ: Cause a dominated player to leave the server. I got this one purely out of luck and the thing is that you have to be a Pyro when the player leaves the server.
- *Dance Dance Immolation: Kill 3 enemies while they’re taunting. This achievement is both wicked yet very funny- riding on the principal that alot of players tend to taunt at each other at the Goldrush or Dustbowl gates during setup, do a taunt at the gates and get an enemy on the other side to do one too, when they are at it, flame them through the gates for a spawn kill!
- Hotshot: Kill a Soldier with a reflected critical rocket. I got this when practicing Compression on a closed server, otherwise I can say it very very Dependant on luck. Even if you see a critical rocket coming for you, theres 50-50% chance you can compress it immediately. The trick is to line yourself up long narrow passage ways like defending your 2-Fort courtyard area, where theres a long passage way where enemies can make their way from the sewers or main entrance. Deflect their rockets there.
- *Firefighter: Kill 500 enemies. Both kills and assists counts here, the key is to just keep playing Pyro to rack this up over time.
- *Fire Chief: Kill 1000 enemies. Same as Firefighter, but only that you are only half-way there from 500 for a 1000.
- *Attention Getter: Ignite 100 enemies with the flare gun. As simple as it sounds, but it does and takes time. Otherwise still very much doable here, you can easily get about 10-20 enemy lit on a single map round, especially by always spamming the flares at the cart in the payload map. Just avoid other team Pyros (as they don’t seem to be able to be lit) and you will get a count.
- *Pyromancer: Do 1 million points of total fire damage. This is an endurance achievement which gives you the reason to play Pyro everytime. Just like the tedious “Chief of staff” Medic achievement. Just keep roasting and this achievement will be in reach toasty. I am quite disappointed that all my previous Pyro damage before the update were not factored in unlike the Medic achievement, so everyone have to start from 0 Damage no matter how much they played Pyro previously.
- *Hot Potato: Reflect 100 projectiles with your compressed air blast. The easiest way to get this is to compress sticky mines or traps you see from their intended traps/places or at Demoman guarded Payload carts or Control Points before pushing/capping the point respectively. The compression can deflect rockets, etc, but can’t block heavy bullets effectively though and don’t seem to count.
One thing worth noting that the Pyro’s Huoduken in the “OMGWTFBBQ” achievement also works on engineer buildings as well, and as how human players can be killed on one blow, it’s the same for buildings as well. I hope Valve fixes some of the bugs for few of the achievements. Ok that is all I have for now for my comments on the new Pyro achievement pack, don’t you feel that with all the heat on the servers now, its the best to release the Spy achievement pack next? Followed by the Engineer? Feel to to share your comments and how you get them otherwise too. Cheers!