Once again, extraordinary things are happening. Old paradigms are being broken and long-held beliefs challenged. My paradigms and beliefs, that is.
I’m starting to like the Scout.
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of interviewing Aabicus about this class. I hadn’t been able to find anybody else who enjoyed Scout enough to learn how to play him properly. Like me, they believed he existed only to irritate and wasn’t worth the time.
Aabicus thought differently. His remarks were positive and insightful. He explained the awesome synergy of the Flying Guillotine and the Sandman. He told us of the almighty power of the Scattergun and its variants. He admitted the Scout is annoying, but that’s part of his personality. He’s a slim, ferret-like scrapper that gets up people’s noses. But he’s certainly a Force of Nature not to be underestimated.
“Well,” thought I, “a while ago it was the Pyro I hated. Now it’s pretty much my favourite class. Why don’t we give Scout another go?” So I found a server on Upward, led my team into battle annnnnnnd was immediately airblasted off a cliff. That’s when I gave up and switched to Heavy.
It’s easy to give up on the Scout. As an Engineer, Medic, Heavy or Pyro, you can do more damage and more easily get points for your team. Sniper and Spy, of course, have their unique and interesting killing methods. It’s tempting to stick to those other classes.
But the Scout still has his place. The speed advantage he carries allows him to complete objectives at twice the speed of any other class. Leg muscles like an emu’s can launch him higher and further than anybody else. Couple this with the often-forgotten power of the Scattergun and you end up with a cheetah that can run up and blast you in the face before you know he’s there.
As I kept trying, I slowly gathered more Scout weapons. First I found the Sandman, with its Stunning Baseball ability. Then came the Pretty Boy’s Pocket Pistol, which negated the Sandman’s health reduction and any fall damage I took. It does invite 50% more burn damage, but I know to stay away from those Pyros.
Recently I also obtained the Force-A-Nature, a sawn-off that does what the airblast can’t do. It sends your enemies flying into oblivion but gives them a hole in their chest to remember you by. It’s also the only healthy way to perform a triple jump, meaning you can get into even higher and sneakier places. If I miss that ledge, the Pocket Pistol saves me from gravity and I can keep flinging baseballs and pushing that cart.
This is one case where my enjoyment has increased hugely with new weapons. With most classes I prefer sticking to the stock loadout. With Scout, the three weapons outlined above are so much more fun than stock. As a result, I’m finally comfortable playing as him. I’m ending that phase most players go through, when they expand from one or two main classes to getting familiar with all nine. If this is some mark of the transition from newbie to novice, from boy to man, then I’m proud to have the right to wear a moustache. In reality and as Engineer; as long as I have the Southern Hospitality to comb it with.
Can’t wait to try out the Flying Guillotine though!