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Tuesday, 2 October 2007

TF2 - class specific tips/guides/thoughts [Brit]

Right, so we're cranking out a TF2 blog at the rate of one a day right now, and thats indicative of just how well EED has taken to this game. What I've noticed is that I and my fellow clannies have all pretty much settled into one or two preferred classes, out of which we rarely step (unless we're literally subsumed by peons).

With that in mind, I thought now would be a good time to look at class specific tips and tricks, and then perhaps revisit them in a months time when the official launch has happened and the wider playing public get their mitts on things. So to kick off, I'll start with my favourite class and the one I'm inevitably seen playing.

The Heavy

The heavy is not a long range class; so it really isn't worth wasting ammo shooting at anyone or anything more than a few yards away. At closer range, it is absolutely devastating, with the ability to completely destroy 3-4 opposition with or without a medic in tow (although the latter is unlikely). It is worth noting that unless you have 3/4+ health before wading into battle, you should find a dispenser or medic to heal you, otherwise (and guaranteed) the first opposition you run into will pretty much screw you over completely before you can take them down.

A heavy becomes almost unstoppable at close range, due to the critical hit mechanic the game employs. Closer range engagement means virtually all your shots hit, and at the rate of fire, this means you go critical quicker than any other class (based on observation). This in turn results in most of your shots landing crits, which means you can essentially destroy the _entire_ opposition team in one go, plus all their turrets if you find them. Of course, this works best in close quarter situations/chokepoints but is a phenomenal thing to behold; personally speaking I have regularly obliterated absolutely everyone on screen in one go, all the while operating closely within the confines of the assault team.

Remember - you don't have to kill anything in order to add value. In corridor/T-junction/chokepoint situations, the heavy can simply act as a supression player, using well timed bursts of their main weapon to draw enemy attention to themselves. Even without a medic, this means that up to 3 enemy players will undoubtedly focus their efforts on taking you down - with a medic, probably more - which leaves openings for fellow team members to sneak through to the control point or grab the intelligence.

As a heavy, your most lethal enemies are: the pyro (since the tweak, these guys have become seriously annoying), the demo man (because of his range and ability to lay down a lot of firepower with area effect damage), and the sniper - two shots, even at less than 100% power, and unless you're with a medic you're pretty much finished. Note that I don't mention the spy here - there is little you can do to avoid these folk when you're moving into position.

Killing scouts is extremely easy even though the little blighters move fast and can double jump. Taking these folk down is easier still because pretty much every scout I've ever seen thinks it important to take on a heavy in what can only be described as a weird David v Goliath moment... whilst some people claim the heavy moves/turns too slowly to be effective, this is just a skills related issue - a decently spec'd machine that keeps things moving freely in terms of FPS and a precision mouse is all you need here, and of course practice. Learn how a scout's arc during a jump works because it is always the same gentle upward curve and in doing so, learn how to hammer them from the moment they take off to the moment they die - which is inevitably before they start their downward journey.

In defensive posture (i.e. guarding a control point or the intelligence), the heavy can operate independently. In offensive mode however a heavy should always be accompanied by a medic, preferably one who understands how to communicate with the heavy up front. Some pointers are: a) stay close, and right behind the heavy. Use him as a barrier as people are finally working out that its easier to take down the medic first. Understand that by remaining close, you reduce your most obvious signature - the medic 'ray' which opposition use to find your location and take you down. b) use voice comms to inform the heavy of where other players/objects are. When the main gun is firing, and ordnance is coming in, the heavy can lose the tactical 360 picture.

Now, some tips for attacking.

You've got to focus; focus on one enemy and try and prioritise based on the order in which they should be taken down: pyros first, then demo men, then anyone else. Leave engineers alone - they are easy to kill and will probably try and deploy a turret right in the middle of the battle (so just wait for the turret to begin its deployment and therefore the engineer having used up his metal to do so, and blast it).

I cannot stress this enough - it is one of the reasons I regularly end up in the top 3 "MVP" per round and in the top 3 leaderboard after a map... pick your target, and go solely after him until he is dead, or you're dead. Rely on the medic to do their job and only respond to them if they pass information to you concerning someone behind you, and only then if you've been told its a pyro or demo man. There is of course method to this...

I have seen too many heavies taken down by groups of opposition without taking down a single enemy player. This is a complete waste of time; it takes ages for a heavy to get into position, and longer still to hook up with a medic. If you're going to die, make sure you take people down with you - the overall aim is to take the objective; individual points are nice, but secondary. FOCUS on your target and ignore all else - in doing so, you help get additional crit shot %, which means by the time he is dead, you're likely to be in a position to rub out the remaining opposition with little bother.

If the enemy has gotten to a control point, do not hang back. Wade straight in and again, focus based on your target priority list. I have seen people hang back in a misguided attempt to wait for backup and consequently lose the control point. As a heavy you can cause significant damage even if you're solely on your own and your team are on their way or waiting respawn - in doing so, you reduce the oppositions group health levels, meaning your fellows can swiftly make light of removing their grip on the control point once they arrive back on scene.

So for now, thats it. In summary:

- Understand the target priority list- Focus your attention on one target at a time- Work closely with a medic and learn how to interpret the "damage indicator" flashes, and the direction they indicate- Remember the point of Team Fortress - personal glory is a bonus. Achieving objectives as a team is the goal!


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