Is the Molotov Cocktail too unbalanced?

What’s fun and what is actually balanced are mutually exclusive. Sure it doesn’t affect my gameplay, but speedruns and youtube videos of gameplay are shared around, and people do see them, mimic them, oftentimes en masse, and recommend people do it a specific way. We have the benefit of hindsight, after all. As I’ve said for a third time now, people like what is fast and best for their specific run, even if it’s OP. It may be fun, but that’s not the same as being balanced. That’s why the e-phone was so controversial. Either you found it fun and ignored the fuss, or you found it OP and wanted it removed. There was very little middleground in the debate.

Also, cheats are deliberately unbalanced. They are there to break the game, and you have to be “in the know” as it were, to use it. Yes, “motherlode” is a well-known cheat, but there are many other cheats I don’t know from the sims. And even then, the game is not centrally balanced around that (or others) cheat code. The same cannot be said for the weapons and tools and such in Hitman.

For example, Hitman 2’s levels quite deliberately have less doors with locks, either resorting to keycards or just not having doors at all, which is in response to the lockpick being seen as OP (which it kind of is). Locked doors still exist, of course, but they were considerably rarer than they were in 2016. Weapons, tools, and other things you bring in influence the game and level design. Hitmans’ design is reactionary to players, and that’s a good thing in a stealth game.

Do not confuse this with me be persecutory of different playstyles. Generally speaking, If you want to take in the iridescent Katana to kill Jorge Franco, have at it!


That’s… debatable.

But again, and just speaking about me right now, other people’s gameplay decisions do not affect my gameplay decisions or the way I decide to have fun in a game (or what I consider fun in the first place).
I don’t take the fastest approach, like, ever. I roleplay. I listen to every single conversation along the way to pick up information (that I as a player already have because I’ve spent over 1,000 hours playing Hitman in the last three years :upside_down_face: , but 47 as the protagonist doesn’t), I blend in when I don’t have to blend in because it’s more realistic to nip on a glass of wine than to obviously eavesdrop on a conversation. Yes, I can play the game way faster than that, I’ve practised different techniques for funsies, but I decide not tro use them, because for me it’s more fun to spend an hour in Sapienza than to get everything done in a minute, or even ten or fifteen minutes.

And yes, you have to be in the know to use a cheat code, but you also have to be in the know to shoot a dart gun at a molotov cocktail or use a muffin and a breaching charge to jump over a wall that you shouldn’t be able to jump over.
All of this is okay to do in a non-competitive environment, and as long as there are more balanced approaches to play the game, the mere possibility of using items that are overpowered or make completion easier than the rest of the items doesn’t really matter.


But this isn’t a multiplayer game. The argument that people are restricted to using a Molotov for leaderboards applies to anything that is the best. In every game, there’s a meta. If it’s not the Molotov, it’ll be micro shockers, or Emetic Gas in a case, or Seiker or back in the day the wall bang sniper. They are all optional items to use, in which you aren’t typically forced to use.

If people choose to use it so what? How does that impact your gaming experience on Hitman? The balance in this game revolves around You versus the AI and how they perceive the world limitations through game mechanics.

The phone was just as of an unnecessary outrage as this and to this day, I still want it back - I unlocked it. And fun is subjective - People have fun via times, people have fun via casual gameplay, People enjoy wiping the map out, People mod for fun.

So? How does that affect you and another person who chooses not to do it that specific way? The only thing it affects is times, and that’s always a never ending change anyways. Leaderboards aren’t the sole purpose of Hitman. The freedom of approaching your targets in various ways is. You’re just “rewarded” for completing it faster with more points.

If someone wants to use a Molotov, let them. The freedom is the point.


That’s… debatable. A good single player game still needs balance at the core of it’s gameplay. Playing a game is not only about fun, it’s also about overcoming obstacles in a challenging way that hopefully leads to that good feeling of accomplishment. Your argument, taken to it’s logical conclusion, would be rewarding players with a couple of killswitches at Mastery 20. But you can just choose not to use them! What a fun game!

Honestly, I don’t care if the Molotov is nerfed or not, but in my opinion there is no denying that a game at it’s core is always better when it’s gameplay is well balanced.


Thank you for taking this out of context and away from the point I was making about how games of all stripes rely on weapon balance as a backbone for good game design.

No it was not. It was a badly thought out item that could kill any one person on the map with minimal risk. It trivialised any target that had a walking routine, almost all ET’s, and worse, was constantly recommended in walkthroughs people of all skill levels looked up. And it was an accident. It was not balanced in the slightest. Had they rebalanced it to only work in puddles, then the issue wouldn’t nearly be as bad (as it’d require puddles to be made and/or found), and probably would’ve been seen as a bit underpowered. Seems like they had the right idea replacing it with the ICA Elec Device, which does basically what I said, with additional risk of catching others in the puddle.

That’s why I’ve repeatedly said I only care about the balance part of it in this conversation. If you had fun using it, fine, but that has no bearing on whether it’s OP in my opinion.

As I mentioned above, I don’t have any issue with it from what i’ve seen. There’s risk of it going wrong, something the E-phone notoriously lacked.

Logical conclusion or obvious strawman…?


Taken to it’s limit to test if the arguments holds true then.

I agree this part of the argument is a slippery slope fallacy, but there is some element of truth to it.

The difference between a Molotov Cocktail that can be used in a certain way to grant a free accident kill and a kill switch is that you can still decide to use the Molotov Cocktail in the way it was intended, whereas a kill switch is … a kill switch.

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I only dislike it if it ruins puzzle contracts by acting as a portable fire accident. We don’t have a way to blacklist items (or groups of items) in contracts mode - if we did, even the electrocution phone could make a return.


it is OP, but it’s hard for me to care when the game has many OP items that IO never fixed

yeah fuck it, add a button that kills your target instantly. idc anymore. let the tryhards have their fun while i stick to SO fibre wire


When I brought up the killswitch, it’s because you compare having OP items to using cheat codes, effectively saying that balance does not matter when people can just opt out of the options given to them. But with cheat codes you are intentionally not playing within the confines of the game, so that’s entirely different. It does not shake the inherent gameplay balance.

So, if they gave you kill switches as a mastery 20 reward, that wouldn’t make the game even a tiny bit worse to you? It’s relevant because, if one agrees that it does make the game worse, then that also means that the balance in items does in fact matter, and there are limits to how OP an item should be, even if you can just choose to opt out. Where to draw that line, everyone has an opinion.

IOI certainly seem to think it matters as well, having patched out E-phone and wallbangs.

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The thing is, this is also what I said in the reply that you originally quoted:

I don’t know if you genuinely missed that or chose to ignore it intentionally… I do understand that a game has to have some kind of challenge, otherwise it’s pointless, but in a single player game, it’s up to the player to choose the challenge they want.

I wouldn’t care about a kill switch as a mastery reward, just the way I don’t care (but also don’t complain) about assault rifles or shotguns as mastery rewards and unlocks. These are items I don’t use, and their existence (or the fact that they take up an unlock slot) doesn’t affect me.


You based your point upon multiplayer games and how people have competitive tendencies in there. In which Hitman is not a multiplayer game. The only part where competitiveness stands is within the leaderboards and that resides on metas anyways. 99% of the game is down to the player, and their choice. If IO brings out a wall penetrating Desert Eagle that’s also integrally silenced with 50AE Subsonic Rounds - so? The game is designed to be open, the world is your playground and choose what you wish to.

Instead we have an EMP you can drop in a puddle which is basically the same thing. If people want to use that method - so? Why gatekeep what deems “too easy and unbalanced” and advocate banning of items when… you can choose to not use them. You know what else the phone did? Amazing assassination styles - Having Novikov on stage answering the phone and getting shocked and everyone surprised. Explosive phone doesn’t give the same NPCs reaction due to the explosion triggering alarm evacuations.

But your advocating for it to be changed (or removed) does impact the gameplay of every single person - just like the phone. Two options:

  • You have it taken away / or redesigned, resulting in content that people were having fun gone.
  • Leave it in the game and anybody can choose to use it or not.

One impacts us all, the other is up to the player.


Actually - it’s an interesting unlock. Remote Poison Pill Bubblegum.
Target eats the gum and you can trigger the poison. I’d have it.

I misread that as Remote Explosive Bubble Gum… My god, the mental image… :exploding_head:

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I don’t think the Molotov unbalances the game at all. There’s a video somewhere of 47 in the Rolf disguise having the meeting with one of the ICA agents and he kills all of them in one fireball. That has been used as evidence that it’s overpowered. The player still had to get down there, still had to take out the real Rolf, still had to arrange the meeting, and still had to get out without doing anything else stupid. It wasn’t like they loaded the level, tossed the thing and exited.

I’ve seen a lot of tutorial or walk through videos (or speedrunning videos for that matter) where they recommend shooting walls or NPC’s legs. I will turn those videos off right then. I don’t play that way and refuse to use those (what I think are) glitches. Do I wish IOI removed those techniques? No. I just don’t use them.

The single most important element of a game isn’t balance anyway. It’s fun. If I can have fun playing a level, I don’t care what items are in it. If any player is saying that their enjoyment of this game is lessened or removed because one item exists, then I would argue you were on the fence about it before that item came along.

Challenge can be important to a game but sometimes it’s fun to just cheese the thing and go big.


I did read that part, yes, and that is probably where we fundamentally disagree.

It’s true that with a single player game, and especially Hitman, there are a million ways of challenging yourself in different degrees of difficulty. That’s part of what’s so great about it. But, in my opinion, there should be some kind of cap on how easy the easiest option is. There should be some base level of challenge, and it has to be moderately challenging to be fun. It’s ok if we disagree on that.

Throwing a Molotov from a floor beneath the target and getting an insta-accident and a perfect rating… that kind of thing kind of undermines the whole puzzle of figuring out how to isolate/kill your taget silently, which is at the very core of Hitman. Anyway, it is a fun item though, and I am having fun watching what people are doing with it already. So have at it.


No. I did not. I used it as evidence of how single player and multiplayer games have similar patterns when it comes to OP item use and how meta’s form. That’s it.

How? First off, it requires finding a puddle. At that point, you could argue car batteries are OP, which they are not because of how situational puddles are, and how you have to oftentimes make them. Not even close to comparable.

Ignoring an unbalanced item does not stop people from using it. That’s how you get bad meta’s and bad game design. You can choose not to use the item, but many more will use it. And again, with the benefit of hindsight, that’s exactly what happened with the e-phone. I disliked using it, and almost never did outside of grabbing footage for videos, and yet, people still did use it, oftentimes recommending for use in ET’s.

Yes, because the e-phone was OP.

Having fun with an item has nothing to do with this debate. If a weapon is powerful and/or Overused to the extent it trivialises target kills, then that is bad for the game, and very bad game and weapon design. Whether or not it’s fun has no bearing on game balance.


Nevermind hat was originally here, I just saw you explain my question above. So “OP” items affect speedruns, so they, because they encourage others to use it? So, the whole reason I said the ICA electric phone was removed was true after all, then, because it affected how people played with speedruns? Well, screw speedruns. There ya go. Who cares how it affects them. Let everyone use “OP” items in speedruns. Think of it as professional sports getting around one player using performance enhancing drugs by having every player use them.