I’m tired of it. “Medic, use the Crusader’s Crossbow! It’s better!” everyone says to me. Yes, I know it’s better. But it’s only better if you can actually hot anything with the damn thing. Friend or ally. There’s no point equipping it if you’re going to miss almost every shot, and the ones you do land happen to be on enemies that your team mates would have killed anyway.
You can’t avoid it. Every newbie Medic who comes along to SPUF always ends up asking what the best primary weapon is, and all everyone says is the Crossbow. There’s no getting around it. Even though I want new players to try out all weapons and make their own decisions, I can’t bring myself to give people wrong information, that’s just unfair. Then again, newbies don’t always listen and there’s always someone around who will joke about it. The lesser damage, the more awkward reload, the single bolts, it means nothing to a professional Medic. Having a weapon that can heal from any distance is just far too good for a smart player to say no to.
Which means that I’m not a smart player, because I really don’t enjoy using the Crossbow. It’s a mentality thing. A torrent of syringes, 40 of them in a giant stream, seems so much scarier than a single bolt, even if it means you have to land 5-10 syringes to do the same amount of damage. That’s assuming that you even hit anything though. With smarter Medics come smarter enemies, so you become less and less likely to hit anything at all, whether it’s big syringes or little ones. But if you miss with the Crossbow, you might do good anyway, accidentally healing a team mate. You often need to be a mind reader to work out where to aim if you’re going to hit friend or foe alike. Those crutch crossbow heals are always good entertainment, but depressing when you never manage to do them yourself.
Being the best weapon for a Medic to use actually does create problems. There is a problem with the Crossbow’s strength. You can’t actually go and nerf the Crossbow now, because it would piss off the majority of the smart Medic userbase. According to Stats.tf, 37% of people who have the Crusader’s Crossbow (and 56% of people who own the festive variant) have it equipped. At the same time though, you can’t really go and buff the syringe guns either, because there’s the risk that you’ll make Battle Medicing too strong. So we’ve ended up with an unwinnable scenario.
The big problem though is weapon diversity. You want to play Medic to the best of your ability? Use the Crossbow. No buts. You’re not playing Soldier (Stock, DH, Original, Beggar’s Bazooka, Airstrike) or Scout (anything apart from maybe the FaN and Short Stop) or Demoman (Quickie Bomb is just as good as stock, all grenade launchers are viable, not to mention alternate playstyles!), you have no choice in the matter. This isn’t like Heavy or Sniper either, where your best choice is a stock primary weapon. We’re like Pyro, who can only ever use the Degreaser if he wants to be effective. But with ALL our weapons.
It’s not just the Crossbow. It’s the Medi Gun. There’s nothing better than the Medi Gun. Which is fine, because stock is supposed to be the best. But Kritzkrieg is incredibly niche-y, Quick-Fix only sometimes compares due to the lesser overheal and the Vaccinator doesn’t compare at all unless you’ve got MvM upgrades. Same thing applies to melee. The Vita-Saw is THE best Medic melee weapon, but everyone hates it and forces you to use the Ubersaw. You play competitively, your ONLY choice is the Ubersaw. The best, the professional and the smart Medics only ever use the Crossbow, the Medi Gun and the Ubersaw. Everything else is null.
Heck, Medics might as well not have other weapons.
THAT’S why I don’t like the Crusader’s Crossbow.