Don’t worry, Airborne Armaments, not all of us have. It seems that whenever I decide to write an article about changing weapons or changing MvM, the very next day, Valve will release an update! So… let’s try that again! This time, I’m here to talk about the Soldier, my #2 class and go-to Rage class. Specifically, I’m here to talk about the Liberty Launcher, the Gunboats, and the Market Gardener.
In the Two Cities Update, Valve rolled out some weapon changes that brought weapons like the Baby Face’s Blaster to the forefront, and took the Crusader’s Crossbow out behind the shed and [REDACTED]. In this update, a curious effect was added to the previously “Oh boy, another Soldier unlock to scrap” weapon, the Liberty Launcher. At the cost of a 25% damage penalty ( a direct hit at close range deals something on the order of 84 damage) , the Liberty Launcher fires rockets that travel 40% faster than the default launcher, and these rockets deal 25% less damage to the Soldier. When you read that last part, you probably thought of another interesting Soldier weapon…
The Gunboats. These steel-toed shoes will grant the wearer 60% less damage from their own rocket jumps. Some simple math tells you that while rocket jumping with both the Liberty Launcher and the Gunboats on, you’d only receive 15% of the total damage from your rocket launcher. This amounts to about 13 damage taken per jump, not counting fall damage. 13! That’s hardly anything! Thus, I’d like to introduce my new Trolldier setup: The Liberty Launcher, Gunboats, and Market Gardner.
In making the Trolldier a viable class to play in actual TF2, not just idle servers, you either have to be very, very skilled with an intimate knowledge of how melee weapon hit detection works, or be the luckiest kid ever. But now, you can have TWO weapons with offensive viability, and extend yourself beyond melee range! Amazing! The Liberty Launcher’s increased projectile speed and no longer included clip size penalty make it an awesomely viable primary replacement for the Rocket Jumper. Sure, you don’t get to wear those Mantreads, but if I had the choice between no primary damage and situational secondary damage, and substantial primary damage and no secondary damage, I’d take the latter any day.
Another thing to consider: what counters a Trolldier? Does this new loadout alleviate any problems that Trolldiers have had? In fact, yes it does.
The primary enemy of Trolldiers, from my experiences, are Scouts, Heavies, and Sentry Guns. The Liberty’s 40% increased projectile speed, with some adjustment, makes hitting those pesky jumping Scouts all the easier. A Trolldier’s prime concern with the Heavy is simply his health pool. He doesn’t die in one hit from a 195 damage flying pile-driver. Instead, after you smack him, use your Liberty Launcher to blast yourself away, and deal him 84 points of damage. Whilst fleeing the scene in style, use your faster rockets to pick off the last few shreds of his health as he flees. As for Sentry guns? You’ll enjoy having a weapon capable of actually dealing damage to buildings, compared to the Rocket Jumper. Hell, even other Trolldiers will be shocked to see you actually shooting things with your primary weapon.
Even if Trolldiering isn’t your scene, you may consider this loadout for the sheer increase in mobility this new loadout offers. With the negligible damage you deal to yourself, you’ll gain the ability to rocket jump into and out of situations without the worry of an embarrassing suicide.
So the next time you want to spice up your TF2 experience, give this loadout a try. If you do, drop me a comment and tell me how it works. Personally, I’ve had a blast with it so far, and I can’t wait to try it some more.