Ah, Geoff.

Ah Geoff, the Medi Gun for the person who hates building Uber and overhealing and wants to make his life needlessly complicated. I’ll be honest, my relationship with Geoff has been veering towards the bad side of things more and more and more. It wasn’t until I completely and utterly fucked up my binds for the Vaccinator (I forgot that I no longer had reload bound to Mouse5) that I realised why no one else was stupid enough to use this thing against hordes of grenade-knights.

I wasn’t even meant to play in that match anyway…

Anyway, rants and stuff aside, let’s have a third look at this complicated little bastard. First off, let’s recap what the Vaccinator does.

The Vaccinator

Level 8 Vaccinator
+50% Übercharge rate
Press your reload key to cycle through resist types.
While healing, provides you and your target with a constant 10% resistance to the selected damage type.
-66% Overheal build rate.
Übercharge provides 75% resistance to a selected damage type. You are healed for 25% of the matched incoming damage on your heal target.
Holy Battle Spies, Batman, it’s the Cow Mangler all over again! Actually, it’s not that bad, it’s just a vaguely new concept. The problem with the Vaccinator is that its added dimension, unlike the Rescue Ranger and the Loose Cannon, adds a lot of complexity that playing Medic doesn’t need. It’s also rather buggy. Let’s now have a look at some of its issues.
Problem the first – Switching resistance is annoying.
The Vaccinator has 3 resistances: bullet, explosive and fire. While playing, you’ll mostly use bullet and explosive resistance. If you are on explosive resistance and need bullet resistance, you have to cycle through fire resistance, wasting precious seconds. Those seconds could mean life or death.
How can we fix this? Either change the Vaccinator so you can switch resistances per button (e.g. bind fire to 4, explosive to 5 and fire to 6) or reduce the number of resistances to 2. That second one though isn’t so useful because…
Problem the second – You can’t resist everything
So you’ve got amazing reaction time and have managed to resist the damage that Demoman has done to you. Great! But that Demoman has the Claid and the Tide Turner. He starts charging towards you. You can’t sidestep him. You can only hope that… Oh yeah, no melee resistance. The next problem here is that the Vaccinator missed out a few things, particularly melee resistance. There’s also several projectiles that avoid this issue, the laser weapons like the Bison, but melee is the main one. Normally melee wouldn’t be an issue if you played TF2 before the WAR! update came around, since meleeing a Medic was a risky thing to do. Today, with your fancy airblasts and Bushwackas and Power Jacks and Splendid Screens and Tide Turners, it’s fairly easy to get between a Medic and his pocket, especially if his pocket is shit.
How can we fix this? Either add melee resistance to the fire resistance or add a fourth resistance. Throw lasers in under explosive resistance or something.
Problem the third – Fire resistance is really, really lame.
This one’s rather simple. Pyros these days don’t just run at you and set you on fire. They run into combat with their Powerjacks, getting nice and close, setting you on fire then airblasting you and firing a bunch of mini-crit pellets into you. Alternatives involve firing crit flares into you. That fire resistance simply isn’t worth using. Geoflettes (Vaccinator Ubers) don’t help much either since most of the damage you receive is crits. It’s also rather lame having an entire resistance for one single class. Alright, the Cow Mangler has fire on it and flaming Huntsman arrows exist, but there’s no point trying to resist the fire damage there, is there?
How can we fix this? Make fire resistance into something more general.
Problem the fourth – No pushing power what so ever.
The Vaccinator wasn’t built for pushing. To be honest, I don’t know what it was built for. I always assumed that the Vaccinator was for the Pocket Medic on Arena or in 4v4, where the fights are smaller and less chaotic, where you can see what’s coming more easily. The Vaccinator’s Uber, whether you use 2 seconds or 8 seconds, can’t do anything at all in your average multi-class game. What’s the point of pushing a point using explosive resistance when there’s a Heavy, a Demoman and a Sentry on the point. Alright, you cancel out 75% of the Demoman, but the Sentry does bullet and explosive damage and that Heavy will still tear you to shreds.
My point is, 75% resistance plus a little bit of healing if your pocket gets hurt is NOTHING compared to invulnerability or megaheal. While the Vaccinator can block the Kritzkrieg, even if you pop second, resisting those crits will make you drain faster than the Kritz Medic. You might as well never use your Ubercharge and abuse the free crit resistance the Vaccinator accidentally provides. On top of all this, you can’t switch resistances during Ubers, which means if that Demoman dies and you pop, you can’t adapt to fight that Heavy.
How can we fix this? Allow Medics to switch resistance during Uber for a small fee (like when switching Ubered targets). Buff that resistance up to 90-100% and give a small amount of resistance from other damage types too.
Problem the fifth – It’s bugged, Jim.
There is ONE particular thing the Vaccinator excels at and that’s pissing off Snipers. Normally, I am quite  happy to piss off Snipers, but rendering their headshots utterly useless is a tiny bit unfair. That’s unfortunately what the Vaccinator does right now if you use bullet resistance and don’t Uber. The Vaccinator continues with this trend of crit blocking for all resistances. That’s why, if you see a Kritzkrieg Medic, your best bet is to NOT Ubercharge, since the Vaccinator will resist all matching critical bonus damage for free.
How can we fix this? Just fix the bug dammit.
Problem the sixth – Overheal? What overheal?
The Vaccinator’s downside, apart from “Not being the Medi Gun, the Kritzkrieg or the Quick Fix) is a -66% overheal rate. This one downside completely and utterly screws over roll-outs. What’s that, you want to overheal your roamer before he jumps off? Sorry, the overheal just takes too long. It’s really bad. Maybe I’m just used to the normal speed of overheal, but it just feels so damn slow.
How can we fix this? Lessen the downside. If that’s not enough, add a second smaller downside or reduce the downside repeatedly.
So that’s all our problems out of the way. Let’s look at what the Vaccinator looks like, then what I think the Vaccinator should look like.
Current version:

The Vaccinator

Level 8 Vaccinator
+50% Übercharge rate
Press your reload key to cycle through resist types.
While healing, provides you and your target with a constant 10% resistance to the selected damage type.
-66% Overheal build rate.
Übercharge provides 75% resistance to a selected damage type. You are healed for 25% of the matched incoming damage on your heal target.
My version:

The Vaccinator

Level 8 Vaccinator
+50% Übercharge rate
Press your reload key to cycle through resist types – Bullet, Projectile and Close Quarters Damage
While healing, provides you and your target with a constant 10% resistance to the selected damage type.
50% max overheal.
Übercharge provides 90% resistance to a selected damage type. You also resist 10% of all other damage types. Bonus critical damage is resisted but depletes Über more quickly.
See? Much better.
It’s not fair for Geoff to be so useless.
geoffagain2

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *