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I've really enjoyed the Pyromania Update and Pyrovision in particular. Meanwhile, my game has improved. I used to be slaughtered on public servers and now I'm regularly getting a kill/death ratio around 1. (Both before and after the update I gravitate toward playing as a Pyro.) Maybe that's not the best metric, but I do feel like I'm scoring more points and helping the team better with Pyrovision enabled. I have three theories:

  1. The simpler graphics of the mode improve my framerate, which improves my game,
  2. The simpler graphics of the mode make finding enemies and other important game objects easier, which improves my game, and/or
  3. I've just gotten better/lucky since the change.

I'm looking for answers that either demonstrate objectively the plausibility of #1 or #2. Basically, I'd like to know if there really is a difference or if I'm being fooled by all the balloons, lollipops, rainbows and whatnot.

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Regardless of the fact that you're looking for objective answers, the mere fact there are differences between humans and how we experience things puts this into subjective territory. Voting to close. –  MBraedley Sep 26 '12 at 18:09
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Subjective territory isn't a problem, "bad subjective" is. Since this calls for proper evidence to support any subjective impression it seems perfectly valid "good subjective". #1 is also answerable 100% objectively –  Prinny Brocka Sep 26 '12 at 18:21
    
@MBraedley et al: Well, I tried to re-word the question so that it focused on the objective portion. Personally, I think pointing out that the best answers are going to come from folks who play the game a lot will result in less debate/polling and so on. But I'm pretty happy with badp's answer. If it stays closed, so be it. –  Jon Ericson Sep 26 '12 at 20:17
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closed as not constructive by MBraedley, StrixVaria, BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft, Kotsu, pixel Sep 26 '12 at 19:55

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1 Answer

up vote 7 down vote accepted

It is objectively wrong to say Pyrovision graphics are simpler:

  • Pickups (both health and ammo) have a lot more detailed models in Pyrovision (and birthday mode.)
  • Some models are only shown in Pyrovision, such as the ballonicorn or the rainblower — both are rather complex.
  • Some particle effects are more complex; for example bubbles rocket trails while sparkles replaced fire effects. Think of the rainblower rainbow effect: in my experience that's an instant framerate killer.
  • Some models get added visual noise, such as otherwise dull grey rocks or cables gaining light adornments. Maps themselves gain flowers and stripes all over the place.
  • Finally, you get the (optionally animated) pink border around your viewport, which also encourages tunnel vision.

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However! The graphics are certainly much brighter. Dark enemies, may they be blu or red, stand out much better against the bright pastel Pyrovision palette. This certainly can improve situational awareness... if you can discard the additional visual noise.

I've personally found that while it's nice to have enemies stand out more from the battling ground, the bright colors also get in the way of critical game features such as the cart or the intelligence brightly glowing behind walls. Some particle effects, like the rainblower's, are also rather obnoxious.

At the end of the day, however, what a self-respecting Team Fortress 2 player must consider first and foremost is the fashion criteria. And let me tell you, my Professor Speks look much better (from a distance) than these goggles. All-class square shades misc: what's not to love?

Images from the TF2 wiki Dustbowl and Pyrovision articles.

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Upvote for the fashion statement :) (Rest of the answer was nice as well.) –  DJ Pirtu Sep 26 '12 at 19:38
    
I'm glad you're enjoying those glasses ;) –  jmfsg Sep 26 '12 at 19:56
    
Well, this was precisely the sort of answer I was looking for. I only recently got the rainblower, so I haven't seen much of the rainbow effect. Fashion certainly is a concern. ;-) –  Jon Ericson Sep 26 '12 at 20:07
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