I’ve always been a bit of a purist. For years, I insisted on using stock weaponry on almost all my classes. I still do for Sniper, Spy and Scout, and I use mostly stock on Demoman, Pyro and Heavy. It took me a long time to finally let go of my trusty Bonesaw in exchange for the Solemn Vow. Soldier though has always been different for me. I’ve never been able to settle on a loadout I actually enjoy, and that includes stock weapons. Now I have.
Before I go on about the Liberty Launcher, I want to explain WHY I never strayed away from stock weapons. When I was new to SPUF, I always read that it was better to start with stock, learn those weapons inside and out, then go on from there. That way I’d be able to learn any non-stock weapon a lot quicker, even if it WAS something like the Crusader’s Crossbow or the Loose Cannon. Fast forward to 2015 and I still suck at TF2 and I still can’t carry teams mostly. Really, after all that time, I think I should try and spread my purity wings a bit more. Soldier’s always been the best class to do that with, since all his weapons have their little niches and now is no exception. I still found myself embracing the Stock Only ways, even if I WAS using the Disciplinary Action. The rest of my loadout slowly changed around it. My primary was the last weapon to let go into more permanent non-stock status.
So here I am, with a loadout I like. It fits me. Okay, it carries me a bit. Liberty Launcher, Concheror, Disciplinary Action. A triangle of somewhat unbalanced weapons. That’s not to say that the Concheror and Disciplinary Action are overpowered; the other Banners just need to have similar charge up rates, and the Disciplinary Action is only considered too good because it makes Heavies run faster. Anything that makes Heavies run faster is automatically evil and wrong and bad. The Liberty Launcher though is a different beast. It’s gone from being too good to too bad to too good again.
You can see the Liberty Launcher as being Soldier’s First Rocket Launcher, a bit like how the Quick-Fix is Medic’s First Medi Gun. It’s easier to do all the basic things that a Soldier can do, APART from killing people. The faster projectile makes it easier to hit Scouts (which, because they’re whinging babies who ALWAYS get their way, means it’s automatically evil and wrong and bad); the reduced explosive jumping means Soldiers can practice rocket jumping and can make more mistakes in doing so, and the fifth rocket is icing on the cake.
That fifth rocket means a lot to me. Not only does it remind me of the Cow Mangler 5000, back when it was a weird weapon no one but me liked, but it actually covers me when I need it. You see, I have one major flaw: I ALWAYS miss my first rocket. That extra rocket covers my backside and I love it for that reason. What’s even better though is that I don’t need to build it up, like the Air Strike or the Beggar’s Bazooka, I have 5 rockets at my disposal whenever I want.
Unfortunately, that means it messes with Scouts too much. They can dodge four rockets, they can’t dodge five. Scouts always get their way with these things though, because their class is deemed to be the class that gets what it wants because it needs skill. But I could spend all day complaining how Scouts get whatever the fuck they want, so I’ll save that for another article.
Really, the Liberty Launcher could do with one thing taken away. It is slightly too powerful. Weapons that mess with projectile speeds always tend to be harder to balance. I’d happily not have the reduced rocket jumping damage. I’d happily take a larger damage penalty. A lower projectile speed wouldn’t put me off. I just really, really like the fifth rocket. But chances are, if anything gets changed, it’ll be the one thing I love about this weapon.
Oh well. Time to abuse this weapon while I can.