Here's my thoughts on the upcoming Grim Sky DLC (based on TTS so far):
- Unique gadget
- The ability to open reinforced walls in creative ways with the torch will likely start off relatively strong and then reach the point of forcing him to be banned for some maps (Clubhouse) as Pros get better acquainted with how to properly utilize the ability.
- As it stands right now, it will be far too risky to try and deny reinforced walls from being opened in many situations. There are ways to try and counter the ability, but most will not be consistently repeatable. The best that can be done is having safe angles to use impact nade tricks or c4 him.
- Unfortunately the heavy utility of his ability is combined with a crazy amount of stealth in that it makes almost no sound, exaggerated by the fact that this extends to using his torch to quickly and silently destroy other utility like barb wire, deployable shields, castle barricades and even quietly open sight lines in soft walls/floors.
- The only real tradeoff is he can be exposed while doing his work, which is a very small tradeoff in most situations.
- His semi-auto rifle isn’t all that great, and definitely pales in comparison to his great AR that feels pretty similar to Jackal’s. He will be a decent fragger in addition to his support capabilities.
- Secondary gadgets - Smoke, Claymore
- Both extremely desirable gadgets for an operator like this who can use both to help cover himself as he works along with using them offensively. There will definitely be situations where a claymore can be used through a hole he creates to catch a defender off guard. Really no drawbacks here other than he doesn’t get frags to throw through his own holes.
- Being a 3 speed with a good gun in addition to his ability will make him a bit of a one man army in many situations, but he will excel with Thermite, Glaz, Blackbeard and Buck/Sledge.
- I expect him to be played heavily when not banned. Might not be right away, but eventually will be a very high pick rate op like the way Dokkaebi became. This will be especially the case for teams that run Glaz or Blackbeard to really abuse the holes. He will be pretty strong in Ranked as well. Thatcher will definitely see less play and his recent nerfs don’t help, hopefully his future rework will.
- I do like the ideas suggested on the TTS subreddit of making Bandit batteries and Mute jammers placeable like Jager ADS’ to make things more difficult for Maverick and hatch jamming more of a thing.
- Unique gadget
- The shield is not nearly as powerful as any other shield in the game because it can’t be combined with a sidearm. It’s definitely designed to be primarily a teamwork gadget as it will be most useful in gathering information (like a mobile black mirror) and creating distractions for flanks, which is where the taser ability will come into play. It can burn time, but not as well as Montagne due to how vulnerable it is to melee and other utility attacks (grenades, Capitao’s bolts, etc).
- A pistol with a red dot sight and a 2 shot burst machine pistol aren’t the greatest choices, especially when neither can be used with the shield deployed at all. Low firepower means you’ll likely have to depend on teammates to do your killing.
- Secondary gadgets - Wire, Impacts
- Having impacts will definitely aid in acting as an intel or distraction focused roamer, possibly opening up rotations for a teammate to use to flank or to escape. Wire is also useful to help delay a push combined with the taser. Considering Maverick’s ability though, impact nades are a much better choice (both to help deny Thermite, and because he can burn wire quick and silent).
- Being a 3 armor with no acog and 2 pistol like guns makes for a poor solo roamer. The armor will help in resisting damage from grenades and some flank fire, but the slow speed only really works when shielded up.
- Clash will mostly only be useful on specific bomb sites or maps, but overall is pretty low usefulness. Will be much more useful in Casual and Ranked than Pro League.
- Misalignment fix
- The fix will be a very important part of perceptions of “hitreg issues” (far from the only part though) and good for the game going forward. It will take a little getting used to in terms of the lack of visual feedback in the recoil as it used to be, but will be good in the long term.
- Recoil patterns
- Much like we’ve seen in the past 2 attempts at this fix on the TTS, the recoil of some guns is now much easier and “laser like” (Jager’s rifle being a prime example). Others like the SMG sidearms such as the SMG-11, SMG-12, and Bearing 9 will take some serious getting used to. In the short term there may be a small impact on smoke players, a large impact on Dokkabei players (less so on Vigil because he has the K1A), and minor but important impact on Hibana players.
- Having new recoil patterns will definitely mess up a lot of Pro Players (for the same reason they don’t run Finka) and require adjustment. We may see some strong fraggers struggle with some guns, but be even better with others, especially after some practice time.
- Expect to see more whiffed shots and failed kills in the first week or two of PL.
- Hopefully overtime the recoil patterns will be better adjusted to reflect the strength and utility of the operators, but in the meantime Hibana will be more balanced compared to Thermite.
Consulate map buff
- It’s great to have a 4th bomb site option even if it turns out to be mostly undefendable. I have mentioned quite a few times the problems with predictability when there are only 3 bomb sites and the forced 3rd bomb site rotation system in Pro League. Hopefully it ends up being playable, even if only as a pocket strat for a few teams.
Hatch reinforcement changes
- Unfortunate nerf to Hibana as there are multiple situations where not all 6 discs are available to destroy a hatch whether it be due to certain bugs, mute jamming, or denial (impacts, evil eye, etc). Rarely will it be beneficial to only partially destroy a hatch with X-Kairos as opposed to Maverick’s torch. Should really just require 3 or 4 X-Kairos to provide balance as well as options. Maverick will definitely benefit from the partial destruction capabilities however.
- I can imagine this will result in a lot more combined Maverick/Thermite play than bringing Hibana, especially with the Bearing 9 recoil changes.
Improved player muting functions
- Great they are finally allowing muting of individual player text and voice. This combined with the toxicity bans should go a long way to making the game more hospitable. Hopefully in the future there is some server side recognition of how often a player is muted to identify toxic players getting past the automated systems.
- Much like the last 2 DLC releases, we are getting 1 very powerful operator (Lion, Maestro and now Maverick) and one sometimes useful operator (Finka, Alibi and now Clash). Maverick along with the hatch reinforcement changes will definitely shake things up in regards to reinforcement play and likely force more aggressive roaming and site retakes. The sight misalignment changes will overall be positive, but in the short term will definitely throw off a lot of Pro players aim who will take some time to adjust and possibly even shift which weapons/barrels are used. Grim Sky will do a good job at shaking things up, but in the short term will definitely be a struggle for some Pro teams. It's hard to say what will happen during the second half of Pro League Season 8, but Grim Sky will definitely have an impact!