I have a thing about regenerating health. I like it. If I’m falling back, I can heal some of that damage I just took before I am even close to a health kit. Regenerating health though is sparse, because it counters all forms of damage over time and generally punishes people for not finishing you off. It always used to be that Medics were the only people with regenerating health, but now we have two more sources of this small but appreciated ability.
When it comes to regenerating health, it’s been a bumpy ride. The Blutsauger was the original weapon that messed with regenerating health, but not in a good way. It lowers a Medic’s default regen from 3 to 6 health per second to 1 to 4 health per second. Most Medics didn’t use it outside of Battle Medicing because that lower regen meant fire did more damage to you. Any sort of damage over time stops a Medic’s health regenerating as quickly and the Blutsauger made it worse, in exchange for health on it. Any other class that picks up the Blutsauger receives a nasty surprise, since every other class’s lack of regen= means that this weapon DRAINS people’s health away. While it suits Battle Medics, the Blutsauger is one of the worst weapon to have in Randomizer.
After the Blutsauger, we didn’t have much until the Medieval Smissmas Update, with the addition of the Crusader’s Crossbow and the Amputator. On their own, they were interesting weapons, one a direct upgrade from the Bonesaw, the other a completely new item, wildly different from the Syringe Guns. Together, they boosted Medic’s regen from 3-6 to 4-7 health. It didn’t seem like much, but Medics with great team mates would happily give up their Ubersaws and spray and pray damage to get that extra regen. An alive Medic is a good Medic. Over time, the item set was killed and the Amputator was changed to give regen when held. Today’s Crossbow and Amputator are different weapons now. Probably for the best.
As for non-Medic weapons? That’s where the Cozy Camper comes in. Added on its own as a weapon in March 2012, this weird and random Sniper weapon confused pretty much everyone. In exchange for less jittering and inaccuracy when being attacked, the Cozy Camper offered a tiny bit of regenerating health, +1 health per second. The Cozy Camper also made you walk INCREDIBLY slowly while scoped in. Cozy Camper races became my new favourite pass time, as I ordered minions to race one another across the bridge of 2fort for small prizes. Not many people really thought the weapon was much good, which is probably why its starts were jumbled around. In its current form, the movement speed penalty is all but forgotten, replaced with no flinching while scoped, less knockback from damage and a +20% damage vulnerability from all sources. The regenerating health remains, but the Cozy Camper still isn’t a go-to weapon.
For a long time, the Cozy Camper was alone. It needed a friend. It had to wait until the very end of 2013 for one. This form of regenerating health came in the form of the Concheror. For years, no one bothered with this promo weapon from the Shogun Pack, because it took so long to fill up. Things got better when it started filling up via damage dealt, the same way the Buff Banner charges. But in December 2013, the Concheror was given +2 regenerating health per second. The Battalion’s Backup was given a bit of extra health. Suddenly, both weapons were somewhat more interesting. The Concheror enabled Soldiers to stick around a bit longer and gave them a small edge against Pyros and damage over time.
The Buff Banner was always dominant when it came to Solder backpacks, simply because it was easier to charge up and its effect – minicrits for all nearby allies, is extremely potent both in regular pub gameplay and in Mann VS Machine. While the changes to the Battalion’s Backup and the Concheror didn’t make them any better in Mann VS Machine, they did allow Soldiers to play a more passive supporting role, reducing incoming damage rather than increasing outgoing damage. The small health buffs also helped, allowing Soldiers to stay alive and stand at the front line a bit more.
The extra health is useful in other ways too. While neither backpack is as efficient as the Gunboats, they both help reduce damage from rocket jumping. As rocket jumping is a vital part of playing Soldier, it’s good to see a tad more choice. Should this bother Medics? Not really. Nothing is as reliable as a Medic when it comes to healing, so there’s no need to worry too much.
The Concheror though did something else: it made me play Soldier more.
I needed a second class.