Baby Face’s Blaster. No, not Baby Blaster. Not Baby Face Blaster. Not Baby’s Face Blaster. Baby Face’s Blaster. Named after a bank robber of all things. Scout’s not exactly the person to rob a bank, not when he’s smart enough to invest in Tom Jones merchandise. The weapon though is something of a masterpiece – it combines an interesting concept with some stupid as heck implementation. Baby Face’s Blaster – why is this still a thing?
Let’s start off with the basic stats. Dealing damage increases boost, which increases movement speed. This is in exchange for 10% movement speed, -34% clip size and losing 25% of your boost when double-jumping (i.e. using your second jump, third with Atomizer). On paper, somewhat simple sounding. In game, a fucking monster.
Scouts are fast. They have 133% movement speed. Next up among fast mercenaries is Medic, trailing behind at just under 107% movement speed. A good Scout is hard to hit, as they move so fast, and in three dimensions rather than the two that everyone else uses. No one else can so easily change their direction while in the air. Alright, there’s air-strafing, but that’s no where as efficient as what Scout does.
So what’s the problem? It’s not just one problem, it’s tonnes of problems. Little tiny ones and giant ones, that come together to make an idea stupid. For now, we’ll overlook the stupid name. Brawler’s Blaster sounds way better.
The very first issue is that the Baby Face’s Blaster has crappy downsides. It’s only got 4 shots instead of 6? Boo fucking hoo. We’re talking about Scout, the class that does Spy’s and Pyro’s job way more efficiently than them. A Scout with the Scattergun will kill most enemies in two or three hits if he lands his shots correctly, so unlike the Force-a-Nature or the Soda Popper, this is a meaningless downside. Then there’s the movement speed reduction. Using this weapon will slow you down by 10% of your normal speed. MATHS TIME! Scout’s default speed is 133%. 10% of that is 13.3. So a Scout with the Baby Face’s Blaster has a movement speed of 119.7%. Let’s round it up to 120% for funsies. But 120% is still a LOT faster than Medic with his 107% movement speed. Scout is still the fastest class in the game by a mile. Another pointless downside.
The upside is where it sounds good but falls down. Build damage to gain boost, to run faster. Sounds great, but building boost is really easy. Anyone can do it. You only need 100 damage to completely fill up the bar and get the maximum speed of 173%. You only need to deal 24 damage to get back to your normal speed!
This is also where the last downside comes in. Originally, BBF Scouts could never jump, or they’d lose ALL their boost. Now, you only lose 25% of your boost if you use your second jump. That’s a HUGE change. It also means that, as long as a Scout keeps 25% boost available, they’re just as mobile as a normal Scout. Accidentally do four air jumps? Just pepper someone from across the map with your gun and boom, you’re back to normal.
Let’s go back and summarise the main problems here:
1. The downsides are meaningless.
2. It takes pitiful damage (not even 1 kill) to fill up your boost meter.3. You can still jump plenty and not lose your boost.
4. Isn’t Scout fast enough?
Thing is, as I’ve said before, the concept is sound – You lose initial speed and jumping to become a blur later on. Sacrifice vertical speed for horizontal speed. But the current implementation means that you only lose out until you get 25% boost, then you’re only losing out on a smaller clip size, which you don’t need for most targets anyway.
The fixes would be relatively simple as well. Just make the downsides bigger. Make it so you lose 50% boost on a double jump, or maybe 25% on every jump, not just air ones. Increase the initial movement speed penalty, so Scout runs at 100% like the other 125hp classes, or 107% like Medic. Increase the amount of damage needed to fill your boost. Do a combination or variation of all of those. It’s easy! And if you make it too weak again, then just tweak the numbers until you get it right.
Baby Face’s Blaster – why is this still a thing?