Kneejerk Thoughts on TF2’s Uber Update (Day 3)

23 Jun

Only one class – the Soldier – got a full complement of stuff today, along with a single flaregun replacement for the Pyro and a saddening message: “We only left out the Engineer!” As he himself would say, well don’t that beat all. This most likely means we’ll see some new Medic gear tomorrow, along with his Meet The.. short. Onwards!

World War Wednesday

The General’s Formals (Soldier): Hmm, The Mantreads. Another pair of boot, the only drawback of wearing being that you can no longer carry a shotgun, just like in real life. As someone who frequently, if completely silently, argues against the sheer degree of knockback that half the weapons in TF2 inflict on enemies, I can see the appeal. But you’ll still be left without a backup piece once your rockets run dry, and the various buff-giving backpacks that also occupy the secondary slot tend to be both more useful to the team and interesting to strategise around than a passive set of shoes. The riding crop, however, looks brilliant. Hitting a teammate with it briefly boosts both your walking speeds, and I can’t think of it without a hilarious mental image of a team of twelve bursting from their base with a single Soldier running between them, thwacking everyone.

Airborne Armaments (Soldier again): Hooray, a new shotgun. Boo, it’s not very good unless you’re an incredible shot. It compensates for a half-size slip with the guaranteed mini-crits on airborne targets, presumably so you can blast them into the air with a rocket before whipping the Reserve Shooter out and nailing them before they land. It’s a nice idea, and encourages a very entertaining way to end someone’s life, but once again looks too situational for my tastes. Besides, if you’re that accurate why not just shoot them with a rocket? On the contrary, the Liberty Launcher (faster rockets, one less rocket in the clip) might be the only thing to tempt me from my beloved Black Box. A clear compromise between the big blast radius of the standard launcher and the speedy projectiles of the Direct Hit, it’s almost tailor-made for people like me who can’t quite master either.

Again, the new shovel is practically a comedy item – rocket jump to the skies, insta-kill someone on the way down. While I’d no doubt have to quit out due to hysterics if I ever saw this happpen, the incredibly slim chance of actually meeting an enemy during a rocket jump is enough for me to keep my Equalizer.

The Detonator (Pyro): Only one new item, but it looks awesome: a flare gun, but with remote-detonated explosive flares. There must be some kind of terrible tradeoff they haven’t mentioned, because based solely on the info on that page it looks like a straight upgrade for the existing flaregun; something that hasn’t really happened since the invention of the Ubersaw. My only real worry thus far: what, the Pyro can blow things up now?


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