According to my Steam account, I have now officially played Team Fortress 2 about 70 hours. I think that’s about long enough for me to write a post detailing my experiences and thoughts of the game’s different classes, and what I like and dislike about them. We’ll start off with the Offense group, keeping the other two groups for future posts.
The scout is the game’s biggest glass cannon. Get him up close, and his Scattergun can take down almost any class in one or two shots, provided he’s not killed first. His handgun is good in a pinch, while the baseball bat is one of the weaker melee attacks in the game.
Once you’ve got your basic extra weapons, the Force-A-Nature spices things up by providing a gigantic knockback when fired. This doesn’t just send your opponents flying back, if you know what you’re doing, it can be used as a fantastic evasive maneuver or as a triple jump. In turn, it can only fire two shots before reloading, and has a lower max damage than the regular Scattergun.
Another weapon I’m quite fond of using is the Sandman, which grants you a ball to throw at people at the cost of 10% less max health. It sounded like an unfair trade at first, until I became better at hitting people with the ball. If you hit anyone, that player gets stunned for a short period of time. There are so many uses to this, from stopping a Medic from activating an Uber, stopping an annoying Heavy from capturing a control point, to just regular trolling.
I’ve also messed around with the Shortstop and Crit-a-Cola. During some special moments the mini-crits and higher firing rate can be a blast to use, but in most cases I tend to stick with my trusted handgun and Force-A-Nature.
I used to suck as a Scout, until I learned the hit-and-run nature of the class. Since then I’ve been loving the crap out of it. Jumping into a room with enemies, Bonking one player with the Sandman, obstructing another with a quick Force-A-Nature blast, and then making your way out through a window, only to return through another route after healing is amazing.
The Scout is really not a class you choose to get quick kills, and certainly not a class you choose to fight people and survive with unless it’s another Scout. Instead, you jump in and out of battles, trying to outlast people by evading their fire, obstructing them, and distracting them.
The fact they capture control points twice as fast as regular classes makes them perfect to run ahead and initiate the capture of the next control point the second it becomes available, or on some maps, capture that other hard to reach point ahead of time, before the other classes can get there.
The first class I really enjoyed. Probably one of the classes with the biggest gap in purpose on public and the more serious private servers. On the public servers, nobody expects the fast movements and insane jumping heights that rocket jumping gives the Soldier, making him the perfect class to get ahead and take everyone by surprise. On the smaller, more serious servers, he’s often considered to be a weaker, less versatile Demoman.
The Soldier’s biggest drawback is how easily the Pyro can counter him. Unless you’re using a Direct Hit to counter their timing, or one of the useless laserguns, Pyro-happy servers often almost force you into using your shotgun over your rocket launcher. Their slower speed often makes them a loved target for spies almost as much as Heavies. Although on the bright side this improves the chances of accidentally killing one with a rocket jump.
This doesn’t make the Soldier a bad class though, jumping into the heat of battle by perfectly rocket jumping is, literally, a blast. Racing away from harm’s way using an Equalizer, slashing past enemies with the increased damage and speed while low on health is intense.
Plus, personally, I feel the Soldier has the best taunts.
That’s got to count for something, right?
The biggest newbie class in the game. Of all the classes in the Offense grouping, the Pyro is easily the one who requires the least amount of skill. Run up to someone, click anywhere near their general direction, watch them burn to death. That about sums up the entry-level Pyro.
It’s sad, considering the Pyro can be so much more than that. if you start using your air blasts to help team members who have been set on fire by another Pyro, you’re already a better Pyro than half of the players playing as him/her/it. And that’s just one of the many uses of the air blast. Returning a Soldier’s critical rocket back to sender and clearing out a Demo’s sticky grenades before capturing a control point are easily amongst the most useful things you could (and should) be doing as a Pyro.
Unfortunately, most Pyros tend to overlook the strengths of airblasts, and run around using the Backburner. Sure, the extra damage from behind is extremely effective in some situations, but the added cost for airblasts don’t make it worth it. In that case I’d much rather go for the lower damage output of the Degreaser for the faster weapon switch. And yes, that does mean I’ll switch to the Axtinguingisher for bonus melee damage on enemies set on fire. Or, if I can’t get close enough, the trusty shotgun.
Another major strategic use of the Pyro that I’m quite fond of is taking control away by airblasting players. Trying to capture the control point? Now you’re not standing on it anymore. Walking around the corner as a Heavy while being Ubered by a Medic? Enjoy walking around the corner a second time, wasting your Medic’s entire Uber on absolutely nothing. Environmental damage. Just. Environmental damage.
That about wraps up the Offense group. Tune in next week when I talk about the Defence group!