TF2: Why All the Mini-Sentry Hate?

Paragon Fury

The Loud Shadow
Jan 23, 2009
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So I just started playing TF2 heavily again when MvM came out, and I have to ask....WTF is with all the Mini-Sentry/Gunslinger hate lately?

I always found the Mini-Sentry a great choice for the more mobile Engineer who is focused on helping his team and keeping pressure on. The Mini-Sentry's fast build time, low metal cost and easy use mean you can toss one wherever whenever, and it will help. It gets rid of the need to lug around a Level 3 Sentry for set-up, or making yourself vulnerable while trying to build one in the field.

I understand that the Regular Sentry is more useful for hardcore defense, but for the mobile Engi on the front lines with his team, it seems the Mobile Sentry is more useful in every way.

Even in MvM, I find the Mini-Sentry's fast set-up, low cost and easy use invaluable - it doesn't matter if the machines destroy them, and Sentry Busters don't mean anything anymore. And its super easy to just get the Extra Sentry upgrade, and just set-up deadly crossfires with the little things.

But everyone calls it useless, and says only the Regular Sentry should be used, and a lot of people say that anyone who uses the Mini-Sentry is stupid or a noob.

Why is there suddenly so much hate for this little guy?
 

Benedict

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Feb 21, 2012
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It's mostly people who main Scout being bitter- they don't have very good options for taking them out without taking a lot of damage, and when it was introduced it fucked with the scout metagame and made people angry. Full sentry is more useful to the team when you're on RED defense, so sometimes people get angry when they're losing on red, and it's easy to point at minisentry engies. Honestly, though, it's a great tool if you don't have a point that really needs defending- with the Frontier Justice you'll be able to distract people and punish them when they fall for the distraction, as well as shutting down the aforementioned scouts. I personally use a full sentry as I would mini, though, since the look on the enemy's face when they realize they let someone set up a lv2 on active lines is priceless.

In MVM, however, minisentries are much less useful. Without rockets and the faster fire rate, you'll end up letting bots through chokepoints even with a backup disposable. With instant setup between rounds, you end up with less reason to rely on its quick construction speed. Put points into your wrench swing speed, and you can easily make up the difference in construction time even if you get sentry busted (note: if you have a competent pyro, sentry busters are barely a problem anyway). You really are crippling yourself with gunslinger in MVM- and I'd suggest listening to your team if they're upset about it. Lv3s are ludicrously effective against predictable waves of bots, and a team that spends most of its effort supporting its engineer will do really well.
 

yuval152

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Jul 6, 2011
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I hate it because 90% of all the engineers that uses the mini sentry always uses the frontier justice which is very annyoing and cheap.

But I think people hate it because it sucks at defending.
 

Erttheking

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Apr 23, 2020
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Eh, I don't play TF2 but I've done a lot of looking around about it and people seem to hate every last change made to it. It's that kind of game.
 

Soviet Heavy

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Jan 22, 2010
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erttheking said:
Eh, I don't play TF2 but I've done a lot of looking around about it and people seem to hate every last change made to it. It's that kind of game.
The game was always best when you first played it. I just found it hard to get back into after I took a break.
 

ModReap

Gatekeeper
Apr 3, 2008
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My take:

The people who decry mini sentries in regular pvp are just whiners.

In mvm though, I would question your use of a mini sentry, especially when regular sentries build instantly in set up mode and you have an upgrade that gives you a free additional mini sentry. In my experience, sentry busters were never really much a problem, just pick up your lv3 and run straight through it. I also would say that the increased firepower is much better and if you ever need an instant lv3 sentry there's a canteen you can buy at the store for extremely cheap. Also if you took the 2 way tele upgrade, and don't want to spend money on lv 3 upgrade canteens, then you can work on the lv3 sentry back at base in your spare time.

In short, the dmg upgrade with a lv 3 is too valuable.
 

Owyn_Merrilin

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May 22, 2010
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Benedict said:
It's mostly people who main Scout being bitter- they don't have very good options for taking them out without taking a lot of damage, and when it was introduced it fucked with the scout metagame and made people angry. Full sentry is more useful to the team when you're on RED defense, so sometimes people get angry when they're losing on red, and it's easy to point at minisentry engies. Honestly, though, it's a great tool if you don't have a point that really needs defending- with the Frontier Justice you'll be able to distract people and punish them when they fall for the distraction, as well as shutting down the aforementioned scouts. I personally use a full sentry as I would mini, though, since the look on the enemy's face when they realize they let someone set up a lv2 on active lines is priceless.

In MVM, however, minisentries are much less useful. Without rockets and the faster fire rate, you'll end up letting bots through chokepoints even with a backup disposable. With instant setup between rounds, you end up with less reason to rely on its quick construction speed. Put points into your wrench swing speed, and you can easily make up the difference in construction time even if you get sentry busted (note: if you have a competent pyro, sentry busters are barely a problem anyway). You really are crippling yourself with gunslinger in MVM- and I'd suggest listening to your team if they're upset about it. Lv3s are ludicrously effective against predictable waves of bots, and a team that spends most of its effort supporting its engineer will do really well.
Speaking as a scout main, those have got to be some terrible scouts doing the complaining. Minisentries and level 1 regular sentries are the only sentries a scout can reliably take out on his own, using the pistol at a distance. Anything bigger will kill him before he can do much damage.
 

TimeLord

For the Emperor!
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Apr 5, 2020
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I don't mind Mini-Sentries, I just think they are not the best choice for MvM.

Mini-Sentries are great in control point maps where advancing is the key objective. But in MvM advancing isn't the key objective, it's holding ground for as long as humanly possible before having to fall back or redeploy to counter a group of enemies that come out from the side of the map (I'm looking at you Decoy). One of the advantages of a MS is the short build time. An advantage rendered utterly useless by the fact that you get building upgrade canteens and the fact that your first sentry for each wave auto-builds so if you keep it safe and moving then you can redeploy instantly.

Also Minis lack the stopping power, armour and missiles that a Lv3 sentry can muster.

Plus you can get an extra one in addition to your Lv3 for only 500 pokedollars TF2 pounds.
 

scorptatious

The Resident Team ICO Fanboy
May 14, 2009
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People hate the mini-sentry?

I find it really useful when playing on offense, it goes up quickly, it doesn't cost much to build, and it works well with the frontier justice. On defense though, I definitely prefer the default sentry.

So would sentry busters actually go after the extra mini sentries? If so, that could come in real handy in MvM.
 

Tohuvabohu

Not entirely serious, maybe.
Mar 24, 2011
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Paragon Fury said:
But everyone calls it useless, and says only the Regular Sentry should be used, and a lot of people say that anyone who uses the Mini-Sentry is stupid or a noob.

Why is there suddenly so much hate for this little guy?
That's funny. Because over at the steam forums, the sudden opinion of the thing is that it's overpowered. I remember when the Gunslinger was first added into the game, the mass opinion of the thing is that the mini-sentries were nigh useless. This was at the steam forums. When the Gunslinger was added into the game, immediately, threads claiming it's uselessness began popping up left and right, many people agreed. At the steam forums. But now through the magic of nothing changing whatsoever, mini-sentries are now OP. At the steam forums. lol

For a recent example of the Steam Forum's intellectual credibility, [a href='http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2859915']this[/a] happens. Anyone who has ever frequented the SPUF will know of the rampant stupidity that goes on there, the only other game forum I've been to which was even more insanely stupid was the WoW forums.
But even there, the stark contrasting opinions usually occur when things are buffed/nerfed. In this case, the Gunslinger was never changed in any significant way since it was added. IT'S THE FUCKING SAME. It's like I fell asleep and woke up in an alternate dimension where people believe opposite things.

On one hand, people believe the thing is UP. On the other, people believe it's OP.... I think we're best off not listening to these people at all.

OT: In my opinion, mini-sentries are fine if a little on the weak side. But they do have their valid uses, and can come through in a pinch if you are quick and smart with them. The only time I get bothered is when I'm playing defense on linear attack/defense map (Goldrush, Badwater, Dustbowl, etc.) and the only engineer on my team is using the Gunslinger.... As cool and useful as that little gun is. It cannot defend. It just can't.
You need the power of a level 3 stock sentry to keep BLU from barreling into your territory when they come rushing more than half a dozen at a time. Mini-sentries just don't do this, and this is a more important role for engineers to assume on these maps. Especially if you are the only one on your team.

But if you are the 2nd engie, and the other is already making good use of his stock sentry. Mini-sentries might be a good pick to throw off your enemies, annoy the crap out of them long before they reach the front line. (Although just having another level 3 sentry defending the point might be much more of a credit to team)
 

TimeLord

For the Emperor!
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Apr 5, 2020
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scorptatious said:
So would sentry busters actually go after the extra mini sentries? If so, that could come in real handy in MvM.
Sentry Busters don't usually target Mini-Sentries. However I like to put my additional Mini in a doorway or at the top of a ramp that is the only entrance to my current position as the Sentry Buster will sometimes walk up to it and explode for no adequate reason. However 9 times out of 10 it runs straight through the MS. That does give me an extra couple of seconds warning that the SB has targeted me though when my Mini combusts for no reason. At which point I'll grab my Lv3 and leg it.
 

Paragon Fury

The Loud Shadow
Jan 23, 2009
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ModReap said:
My take:

The people who decry mini sentries in regular pvp are just whiners.

In mvm though, I would question your use of a mini sentry, especially when regular sentries build instantly in set up mode and you have an upgrade that gives you a free additional mini sentry. In my experience, sentry busters were never really much a problem, just pick up your lv3 and run straight through it. I also would say that the increased firepower is much better and if you ever need an instant lv3 sentry there's a canteen you can buy at the store for extremely cheap. Also if you took the 2 way tele upgrade, and don't want to spend money on lv 3 upgrade canteens, then you can work on the lv3 sentry back at base in your spare time.

In short, the dmg upgrade with a lv 3 is too valuable.
I find the set-up, re-usability and obscene amount of Revenge Crits that the Mini-Sentry gives me more than makes up for the lack of direct firepower the Regular Sentry would've given me in MvM.
 

DustyDrB

Made of ticky tacky
Jan 19, 2010
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It's a little worthless in MvM, especially since there's an upgrade that gives you a mini-sentry (in addition to your regular one). In normal play, it's useful. Definitely not OP, and I don't think the Wrangler is OP either, since I can strafe around most Wranglered sentries even better than I can normal ones.

There's only one weapon I really hate...
The Pomson. It replaces the shotgun for the Engie. In comparison to that weapon, The Pomson:
+Has a hitbox the same size as a Flamethrower's particle, while also doing more damage at long-range.
+Doesn't use ammo (and is therefore infinitely spammable)
+Penetrated enemies before it was patched in the last week or so.
+Drains a Medic's ubercharge
+Drains a Spy's cloak
-Has a smaller clip (but this is negated by the fact that you can spam shots from an empty clip at a tiny bit slower rate of fire than you can shoot the Shotgun starting from a full clip.

One of the most unbalanced weapons (in relation to the weapon it replaces) in the game, even without the penetration.
 

Not G. Ivingname

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Nov 18, 2009
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Paragon Fury said:
So I just started playing TF2 heavily again when MvM came out, and I have to ask....WTF is with all the Mini-Sentry/Gunslinger hate lately?

I always found the Mini-Sentry a great choice for the more mobile Engineer who is focused on helping his team and keeping pressure on. The Mini-Sentry's fast build time, low metal cost and easy use mean you can toss one wherever whenever, and it will help. It gets rid of the need to lug around a Level 3 Sentry for set-up, or making yourself vulnerable while trying to build one in the field.

I understand that the Regular Sentry is more useful for hardcore defense, but for the mobile Engi on the front lines with his team, it seems the Mobile Sentry is more useful in every way.

Even in MvM, I find the Mini-Sentry's fast set-up, low cost and easy use invaluable - it doesn't matter if the machines destroy them, and Sentry Busters don't mean anything anymore. And its super easy to just get the Extra Sentry upgrade, and just set-up deadly crossfires with the little things.

But everyone calls it useless, and says only the Regular Sentry should be used, and a lot of people say that anyone who uses the Mini-Sentry is stupid or a noob.

Why is there suddenly so much hate for this little guy?
Well, a lot of people don't use it in the correct modes, or simply ignore all their other buildings.

For example, if your the team engy on offense (if your playing payload or a similar modes), your primary objective is getting up and protecting your teleporter. You want a regular sentry in this scenario, since it is best at keeping a single area defended. A mini sentry can be taken out by almost any class if they know where it is, even if your right next to it. You can heal a level three sentry, and it takes a skilled spy, skilled Demoman, or an uber to take out a well placed level three Sentry if your right next to it. On maps like Goldrush and Dustbowl, where the walk between the blu spawn and the last point is a VERY long walk, losing a teleporter can easily lose your team a match.

On defense, you have the time to set up your level threes and denying an area makes mini-sentries basically worthless.

Mini-sentries also place many players in the wrong mind set. Being able to instantly build an aimbot cheaply that can't be upgraded means many engies just don't make dispensers or teleporters, which are often more important.

They do have their uses. On game types such as king of the Hill or Arena, where teleporters is far less important, and you never have the chance to set up a level three, having a mini-sentry is EXTREMELY useful.
 

V8 Ninja

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May 15, 2010
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The problem with mini-sentries in MvM is that they are a bit worthless; other than the sentry powerup that allows engineers to deploy a mini-sentry along with their normal sentry, fully-upgraded sentries are surprisingly plentiful. Not only do sentries deployed in set-up period instantly become level 3 sentries, but one of the canteen powers is to instantly upgrade all of the engineers buildings to their highest level. Not only does this speed up the sentry building process during waves, but it also turns recently-deployed sentries in waves into damage-dealing forces within a maximum of two seconds.

So yeah; mini-sentries are an unpopular choice because there are no good trade-offs compared to a normal sentry.
 

Roxor

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Nov 4, 2010
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Amusingly, I don't even know what Mini Sentries are like. The bots haven't set any up (as far as I know) and I haven't unlocked them because I don't know how.
 

Vidiot

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May 23, 2008
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What the hell did I miss? I was thinking of coming back to TF2 when I heard there was a "humans vs bots" mode, but now I'm hesitant. How much am I going to have to grind to get this crap?

I've only really played vanilla TF2, but I always played Engie. Is it even worth it to come back now? it sounds like the game has gotten bogged down in all these items and weapons. (I facepalmed at a screen of the DemoPan)
 

Don't taze me bro

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Feb 26, 2009
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In MVM mode, people tend to complain when any spy, sniper or Gunslinger Engineer gets picked. I had a team complain when I picked Spy the other day. Complain is an understatement, seeing they whined for 4 waves straight, saying they would votekick me if the server had the option. I wasn't going to change, as it was the last class needed for the achievement.

We still cleared everything in a single run.