Up until recently, every Soldier and his pet raccoon used the Escape Plan. And why shouldn’t they? Giving you a huge speed boost depending on how little health you have, the Escape Plan was basically a get out of jail free card. A tentative one, but one nonetheless. But in the big Move That Gear Up! update, the Escape Plan was nerfed. Using the Escape Plan now leaves you marked for death, making death even closer than usual. To many, this left a huge hole in their loadouts.
Now, it’s the Disciplinary Action’s time to shine!
Yes, you heard me. It’s time to whip your team mates into shape. And yourself. For a meager 25% less damage, whipping your team mates gives you AND your buddy a temporary speed boost.
I can hear you all now. What’s so good about that? Why should I use this instead of rocket jumping and escape planning into battle? My response is this: Why are you being so selfish? The Disciplinary Action is about teamwork and helping your friends. See that Heavy there? Help him get into battle faster. See that Engineer hauling buildings? Give him a hand. See that Medic spamming E, trying to catch the attention of that Demoman who sticky jumped away? Whip him and he’ll catch up in no time.
Let’s be fair though, it’s not always useful. While the Escape Plan compliments roamer Soldiers, people who play on their own, nabbing health kits from enemy Scouts and Spies, the Disciplinary Action is for the kind of Soldier who leads (or follows) his team right into the thick of it. It’s also great for roll outs, giving your entire team a speed boost before you rocket jump off into the distance. Getting your team to battle faster means you can start capping those points faster.
Hang on a minute, there has to be a downside, right? Of course. There always is. And it’s not that -25% damage reduction. The problem is that melee detection isn’t very good. This means that sometimes, or maybe all the time, you’ll hear that familiar whipping sound but won’t get the speed boost. The same goes for any melee weapon, but when you’re trying to use an ally to escape, it might not work. Oh, also, there’s a -25% damage reduction, but if you’re trying to melee people, you’re obviously either desperate or playing Medieval Mode.
There is a nice, hidden advantage here though, and it’s not mentioned in the stats of the Disciplinary Action. This wonderful weapon has a +70% longer range than normal melee weapons. That’s more than the Eyelander. If you’re not very good at Trolldiering, try switching your Market Gardener with the Disciplinary Action for a bit, as that extra range might be handy. That extra range is also great in Medieval Mode, as you can get an edge on all those pesky Demoknights.
On a final note, because of this extra range, it seems that you can hurt people who are directly behind you. This isn’t always reliable though, so you’re better off turning around than trying to tele-whip that sneaky little Spy.
So, overall, the Disciplinary Action seems like a nice loadout choice, especially if you’re put off by the Escape Plan’s recent nerf. As for the Equalizer? That’s a whole different story…