Grappling hooks would be balanced in Medieval Mode. Seriously.
Alright, why are we discussing this? Why bother considering balance in a stupid game mode? Why bother discussing Medieval Mode at all? Because 1. it’s fun and 2. it’s currently a very one-sided game mode because the only classes with mobility are Scout and Demoman, and the only classes with range are Medic and Sniper.
Of course, Medieval Mode’s one single official map doesn’t help. It has giant walls. Really high walls. The RED team are locked up safe inside until they venture outside, and once they do, there’s no way back in. BLU has to deal with Snipers ruining their day with a storm of arrows and the occasional Medic with a crossbow. Let’s not forget that Demoknights and Scouts are the only classes able to leap over those walls. Until A and B are captured, you just have to let the people who can move deal with them.
Outside of Demoman, Scout and Sniper, with the occasional hint of Medic, it’s all incredibly one sided. Heavies are meat shields, Soldiers are only good for speed boosts as it’s hard trying to get a banner filled with melee only, Spies, bless them, try their best and Engineers are totally 100% worthless. The game mode itself is also rather slow, consisting of, well, Demoknights and Snipers and nothing else. We could spend ages allowing more weapons or even creating new weapons for Medieval Mode, but why should we when we already have options available to us. We have the grappling hook.
Think about it. Medieval people used to use ropes and ladders to get over giant walls like that of Degroot Keep, so why can’t our medievally stuck mercenaries do the same?
The idea sounds good. Now Heavies can rope their way up those walls and punch those Snipers in the face on their own instead of having to bribe Demoknights and Scouts to do it for them. It gives a bit of mobility to every class, which helps out a lot when ranged weapons are so scarce and everyone’s got to get in there and fight. It also gives BLU more of a place to fight in Degroot Keep. What’s that? Snipers are raining pointy death from above B? Get your Soldier to grapple up there and whip them all to death.
Another side of this is that the problems of having a 500DPS tank monster coming towards you at super speed no longer really apply here. Heavies are meat shields in Medieval Mode, so if one is whipping around on a grappling hook, you still have a chance of taking him out with skillful melee strikes.
Of course, tweaks would be needed. The current grappling hook isn’t very, well, grappling-hook-y. It’d need some bending in the rope and all that. Make it a tad more realistic. And a new map for Medieval Mode would help too.