No Angle In My Wrangle

7 Jul

Being British has failed me – whilst the Engineer’s high-tech pistol replacement was being shown to thousands of wide-eyed Americans and probably a few excited Germans, I was sleeping. GMT failures aside, it looks like The Wrangler finally solves the most infuriating element of the sentry gun – picking the wrong targets.

Using it sends the sentry into manual mode, so less passive Engies can make sure that when a Heavy and a Sniper come round the corner, it won’t focus on the skinny bloke with 125 health. In exchange for losing your backup weapon (as well as a three-second cooldown after holstering the Wrangler, where the sentry is utterly defenceless), there’s a host of other benefits – chiefly a shield that absorbs two-thirds of incoming damage and an increased firing rate.

Right, that’s the objective stuff out of the way: this sounds brilliant! Much as I love the sentry (when I’m not up against it, natch), it’s stubbornness when picking targets from groups is often what ends in it becoming an array of sparking pieces on the floor. Sometimes it even tries following them after they’ve turned a corner, leaving it firing impotently at the edge of a wall whilst the invulnerable Pyro incinerates my sentry and flesh. That said, I worry for the possible loss of legitimate anti-sentry techniques, like the Ubered Medic running in front of his patient so they can push up, unhindered by knockback.

Spontaneous thought! Having a groups of Engies all Wrangling their guns in different directions could greatly reduce the effective of annoying, impenetrable sentry farms, without making any particular one useless. And, of course, with every new update comes the flood…

Artist's impression of post-update madness

There’s also a new Valve map: Upward, a mountainside Payload map that evokes fond memories of Offblast, a map for the agonisingly funny PropHunt mod. There hasn’t really been any Payload maps that can match the balance and tension of Badwater Basin since Badwater Basin, so here’s hoping this professional effort can make the most of an excellent game mode.


One Response to “No Angle In My Wrangle”


  1. MOVE GEAR UP « The Talking Stove - July 8, 2010

    […] to the fully mobile sentrybot that was the subject of whispers a while back. This, combined with the Wrangler, suggests Engineers will have the chance to be more tactical and flexible with their buildables, […]

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