When it comes to favorite classes, most people usually say someone like Soldier, or Demoman, or Scout. Nearly every single class has someone who thinks it’s their favorite: People love Medic, Spy, Pyro, and even Engineer and Sniper. But nobody seems to love the Heavy.
That is, except from me. I LOVE the Heavy.
When it comes to classes in this game, I usually have phases where I play some classes for a long time, but then later don’t play them all that often until I get back to them eventually. But not Heavy: I could always pick him every single time, and never get tired of playing as him. Which must be weird for most people: How can you love a class that, truth be told, has the least amount of options and practically only one viable playstyle with no alternatives? Well, here I attempt to answer that question.
HEAVY CAN WITHSTAND A LOT OF ABUSE
No other class comes even close to having the amount of health Heavy has: The closest competitor is the Soldier, and even then he only has 2/3 of the health that Heavy has. In turn, this makes Heavy able to take a LOT of abuse: He is the only class that can survive a crit rocket from full health, as well as the only class besides Soldier that cannot be killed by a critical melee attack(even then, Soldier is left with 5hp, meaning he has pretty much zero chance of getting out alive). The only surefire ways to kill a Heavy are headshots, backstabs and a concentrated effort by 2 or more people.
Throw in the Fists of Steel, which allow Heavy to survive a fully charged headshot, and he becomes quite a tank. While it has been said that Heavy does not fill this role too well, since 300 health is still not much when it comes to Team Fortress 2 and his slower speed makes it nearly impossible to avoid anything, I think he makes for a fine meatshield. Also, thanks to Heavy’s large healthpool and firepower, he is up there as one of the most common Medic patients alongside Soldier and Demoman, which makes Heavy even harder to kill.
THE MINIGUN SHREDS ANYONE COMING YOUR WAY INTO PIECES
The Heavy’s primary weapon is his Minigun, nicknamed Sasha, and to put a long story short it kicks ass. It has quite possibly the highest DPS in all of Team Fortress 2, and it makes sure any direct attacks on the Heavy from the front are pretty much futile. If you want to kill a Heavy, you need to be sneaky and strike him from the back. And even then good luck, because the high amount of health Heavy has means he has a chance of fighting back even if you get in the initial surprise attack… Unless you are a Spy.
Despite the Minigun’s high DPS, Heavy still actually requires a lot of thought and skill to him. If an enemy is standing anywhere except right in front of your nose, it becomes a lot harder to hit him thanks to the Minigun’s huge bullet spread. You need to be able to know about positioning and such in order to use Heavy to his full effect. However, he is still very easy to pick up and play for newer players, which is what makes me and I bet a lot of TF2 players feel nostalgia towards the Heavy.
THE SECONDARY WEAPONS ARE FUN
Heavy has two different types of Secondary weapons: Shotguns, and food items. The Shotgun isn’t quite as useful of a weapon on the Heavy when compared to the other classes, because you can’t switch to it if your Minigun is revved up and the relative abundance of ammo in TF2 makes it so you’ll very rarely run out of ammo for your Minigun, but it’s still a very powerful and fun to use weapon if you’re not insisting on using your Minigun. You may remember my previous blog entry where I discussed using the Shotgun in conjunction with the Grappling Hook, which was one of the most fun experiences I’ve ever had, and there is also this one by aabicus on why you should heal Shotgun Heavies and why it’s actually a decent joke class. Throw in a pair of Fists of Steel or Gloves of Running Urgently, and it actually works surprisingly well. Family Business is basically the Shotgun, except with 2 more shots and it deals less damage, so no point in elaborating on it really. They both work well.
Then, we have the food items. Sandvich, so moist and delicious. It is quite possibly the most iconic weapon in Team Fortress 2: Why do you think it got it’s own Meet the Team video? It heals Heavy to full health in about 5 seconds, it can be thrown to your teammates or enemies as a medium-sized health pack, it extinguishes said teammates: It’s awesome. The Buffalo Steak Sandvich doesn’t get a lot of love, but it’s actually one of the more interesting weapons for the Heavy. It’s the closest thing Heavy has to an alternative playstyle: Instead of relying on your Minigun, your only option now are your melee weapons. It actually pairs up really well with certain melee weapons, especially Holiday Punch(more on that later), and while not really all that effective it’s still really fun to use.
At last, we have the Dalokohs Bar and Panic Attack, the former which is useless if your team has a Medic and the latter which is useless, period.
THE MELEE WEAPONS ARE BOTH REALLY UTILITARY AND REALLY FUN
Heavy has a rather wide variety of melee weapons, but most of them could be separated into 2 categories: Utilitarian, and combat-oriented, with 1 weapon being basically a hybrid of these two.
Let’s go over the utility weapons first. The Gloves of Running Urgently allow a Heavy to run 30% faster while active, at the cost of dealing 25% less damage and taking mini-crits while the weapon is active. It allows Heavy to move to front lines much faster, and while everyone else is praising it I honestly don’t find the GRU that good. The mini-crits mean a Heavy takes more damage and has a higher chance of dying, and the speed boost is pretty much negated if there’s a Teleporter on your team. With that said, it goes well with the whole Fat Scout playstyle, but I always felt like moving 30% faster when not using the Minigun should’ve been a mechanic on the Heavy in the first place.
Next, we have the Fists of Steel, which make Heavy take 40% less damage from all ranged sources while active, at the cost of 20% slower weapon switch speed and 100% increase in melee damage taken while active. It makes Heavy much harder to kill by Snipers, which is a good thing because F**K SNIPERS.
*ahem* It also makes Heavy able to take a lot more abuse, provided a Demoknight isn’t coming his way. If a FoS Heavy is being healed by a Vaccinator Medic, he’s pretty much immune to all ranged damage.
Then there are all the combat-oriented weapons. Killing Gloves of Boxing give Heavy crits for 5 seconds on kill, which can be made for some pretty cool chain kills and can also be used in synergy with the Shotgun and to a certain degree Tomislav. Warrior’s Spirit deals 30% extra damage, which means a critical hit is enough to oneshot a Soldier, but it takes away 20 of your health, so you need to be careful if you don’t have a Medic. Lastly, we have the Eviction Notice, which turns the Heavy into a Dragon Ball Z character: He punches ludicrously fast, but deals a pitiful 26 damage per hit. It’s basically the Scout’s default Bat on the Heavy. It can be quite fun and even deadly with the Buffalo Steak, but I prefer Warrior’s Spirit and KGB for that.
You remember how I said there was a Heavy melee weapon that combines both utility and melee combat? Well…
HOLIDAY PUNCH IS THE GREATEST WEAPON IN TF2 HISTORY, EVER
There was a time where Demoman surpassed Heavy in terms of playtime with me. That time was just before Smissmas 2011. That was the update where Holiday Punch was released. I have never been the same since then.
I love the Holiday Punch. It is a glorious, fun weapon, that is actually underestimated by a lot of people, but it is my favorite weapon in all of Team Fortress 2. And considering the array of weapons that Demoman has(Loose Cannon, Sticky Jumper, Ullapool Caber etc), that’s saying a LOT.
The Holiday Punch doesn’t deal 3x damage on critical hits. It actually doesn’t deal any damage on crits what so ever. Instead, on critical hits, it causes it’s victim to laugh alá Schadenfreude. It also has a 100% critical chance on hitting your enemies from the back. This pretty much immobilizes your enemy from anywhere between 2 to 5 seconds, giving you plenty of time to finish them off. Especially because Holiday Punch is the only one of Heavy’s melee weapons besides his Fists to have a taunt kill.
So that’s the combat portion out of the way: Basically 1 critical hit, and your enemy is effectively dead. So where does the utility come in all of this? Well, to put it simply, the Holiday Punch can stun übercharged targets. One punch on the back, or one lucky random crit, and all of a sudden that pocket Soldier loses the übercharge he had on him a second ago while the Medic is too busy laughing. Or, you could just go and punch the Soldier: What’s the Medic going to do, switch off his Medi Gun and lose the über, or just keeping on healing the Soldier until the über wears off naturally in like 2 seconds?
Most people probably don’t think much of this because it relies much on being sneaky so you can punch an enemy in the back, or the fact that Heavy is too slow to catch up to most people. This is where the Buffalo Steak Sandvich comes in. The speed boost that the Steak gives you allows you to catch up to anyone besides Scout and Medic, meaning you’ll actually have a great chance of stunning an enemy Heavy, Soldier or Demoman, the 3 most common Medic pockets.
The Holiday Punch is the perfect mix of silliness, fun to use and utility. To all you Holiday Punch Heavies out there, I salute you.
HEAVY IS THE QUINTESSENTIAL “SILLY” CLASS
I like to play a lot on silly servers. You know, stuff like trade_plaza and Orange and such where there isn’t really a set objective, it’s mostly either team deathmatch or just hanging around with the enemy team, doing silly stuff. And boy, there is a LOT of silly stuff to do with the Heavy: Whenever there is a group organized event on a fun server, you know every single person is going to go Heavy unless instructed otherwise. Thanks to Heavy’s hilarious animations and voice lines, a lot of them which have reached memetic status(“Pootis”), he is the most fun to play as on these silly servers, doing stuff like server-wide Conga…
…or hosting Sandvich parties.
THE HEAVY IS VERY LIKABLE AS A CHARACTER
I don’t love Heavy just because of his playstyle: I like him because of his characterization. That is the big thing that makes Team Fortress 2 stand out from most other first-person shooter: Each character has a very distinct appearance, voice and personality. And Heavy is just so damn likable: Gary Schwartz puts out a great performance as the Heavy(and Demoman, for that matter), and he is written in such a way that it’s just impossible to hate him. All of his voice lines have such enthusiasm and passion to them: The Heavy has a great spirit. There’s a reason he’s the most used class in all of those “silly” servers: His voice lines are funny, his animations are funny, his taunts are funny, everything about him is just plain funny.
In the backstory we are given the Team Fortress 2 comics, Heavy joined the team in order to support his family with the money he receives. So, he may be a murdering psychopath to some, but to me, he has a heart of gold.
So, that’s about it, really. There’s a reason Heavy has become the mascot of Team Fortress 2, appearing in all Meet the Team videos and Poker Night at the Inventory.
I love you, you fat, bald Russian bastard <3