Sometimes, Geoff isn’t as good a name as it seems. Not because it’s not a good name, but because people go “WTF are you talking about?”, especially when I accidentally call a Vaccy Uber (or a Vuber or a Vaccination or whatever you want to call it) a Geofflette. Names based off an in-joke from a tiny group of people don’t always make for good names. Anyway, let’s talk about the Vaccinator.
The thing is, the Vaccinator is quite niche-y. Its Uber isn’t the most powerful thing around when it comes to pushing, as you’re generally fighting a Soldier, Spy, Sniper, Scout, Pyro, Demoman and Engineer all at once, and you can only pick one resistance at a time. But in smaller combat, 2v1 or 2v2, it’s great. That’s where the Vaccinator shines. Or does it?
Think about it. You’re a Medic with a Soldier, fighting against a stock Medic and Soldier. You’ve just met, you’re both overhealed. But already you have an advantage, as your Soldier is resisting 10% of the enemies’ damage. And so are you. Oh yeah, you also gain health when your patient takes damage. In these little situations, where it’s just you, your pocket and an enemy of a single type, the Vaccinator rules. And with that bonus resistance, it makes it just a bit harder for people to kill you, as long as you’re healing an ally. With the added bonus of the Vaccinator’s passive resistance against critical hits, including nullifying Kritzkrieg charges and pissing off Snipers, you’d wonder why everyone’s not using it.
Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? But sadly, it doesn’t work. Simply because we’re talking about Team Fortress 2 here. It’s not very often that you find yourself on your own, with a pocket, fighting people of a single damage type. Normally, you’ll be fighting a few people all at once, as Medics are often at the front of a battle. And even if you do find yourself fighting 2v1 against a single damage type, possibly a Scout or a roaming Soldier, you probably would have won anyway, since it’s 2v1.
There’s also a huge downside in the slower overheal. It’s just so slow, yet it disappears at the same speed as normal overheal. By the time you’ve finally managed to buff your team’s Demoman for his sticky jumps, your Soldiers are already crying for more and your Scouts have probably already run off. Coupled with an Uber (I think Vuber is the best name for it) that isn’t strong at all and only effective against one damage type, it drags the whole concept of the Vaccinator down.
That’s what the Vaccinator is. A great idea, not implemented correctly. Like a lot of TF2 weapons then. The problem is, on paper, it should all work! But the downsides, the slower overheal and the fact that the Uber is useless as long as you’re fighting more than one class, destroy the concept completely.
Plus, let’s face it, we’re trading invulnerability and pushing power for 75% resistance and 2v2 combat. I think we’d all rather have invulnerability, right?