Heavy Toys

by Steve Bowler on July 3, 2008 · 2 comments

in combat,design

So by now you’ve heard that everyone’s favorite Russian is the new crewmember to get the update treatement in TF2. While reading 1Fort today at lunch, I noticed that Chris was discussing ideas about what kind of weapons the Heavy might get, following Valve’s internal criteria for the Heavy update.

I figured that I haven’t done enough designing lately, so I threw together two of my own. The bottom line here is that they want the Heavy to not be so dependent on the Medic, which means that he either needs to give himself health (which is kinda crappy since there’s already a bunch of health in the levels, and hey, wtf is the Medic for, then?), or more likely, he needs to mitigate damage.

With those primary criteria in mind, I came up with two ideas. I’m not sure which is my favorite, because lawdy, both were hella fun to paint and design.

The first is Sasha’s Skirt:


The idea behind it is that the armor plating on the gun (and his shoulder/arm) would fold out whenever the Heavy entered the barrel spinning mode. This way, he’s normally vulnerable when he’s just toddling around the level, but if he’s deploying the gun he has some increased resistances to gun/grenade/explosives/flame damage. I’m not going to make any absolutes regarding the effectiveness of the damage mitigation; that’s for game balance and knob tuning to decide that comes from extensive gameplay testing. Maybe it’s 100%, but maybe it’s only 10%. But at least on a high level, he has a way to keep from needing a medic tethered to him every time he rounds a corner. If he becomes too powerful in this mode (with this up and a medic tether you probably wouldn’t need an uber to bust Lvl 3 Sentries), you could easily make any attacks that hit his back in this mode crits.

It also fills the secondary design criteria for the weapon as it changes the Heavy’s commitment with the weapon. Sure, he’s more invulnerable to front hits now, but he really needs to make sure that someone’s got his back when he deploys or he’s going to get pwned by a Scout or Pyro. Granted, it doesn’t make the Heavy a solo player (I don’t think anyone should be in this game), but it removes the need for the Medic, and forces the player to use the gun a bit differently.

The second weapon idea I had was for some boxing gloves for those fists. Let’s face it: Heavy boxing is hilarious. Let’s make it more hilarious while still fulfilling the design vision. Meet Hammer and Critzkle:


The idea behind these is that since the Heavy has a left and right punch, you can use this in the design of the gloves. The left hand (the one with the hammer on it) delivers a higher percentage of crits (again, I’m not going to say 100% chance crits; that’s for game balancing to determine), and the right hand (the sickle) gives health for every successful blow that lands with it. In this way, the gloves meet multiple design criteria: they allow the Heavy to last longer in a melee fight without the aid of a Medic, and they also fit the fun secondary design criteria of making the player change how they play the game with the new weapon. Does he go for the killing blow? Or maybe he wants to try and steal some health back? Can the heavy switch to fists to steal some health and then get back to his secondary weapon?

I wish I had an idea for the Shotgun, but jeez, the shotgun itself is almost a “default” weapon in TF2. The Heavy has it. The Pyro has it. The Engy has it. Am I missing anyone? I’d love to give him something else here, but I’m just coming up with blanks. Maybe a killer one shot potato gun that knocks players back 100 feet and takes even longer than the flare gun to reload? I just don’t know. I got nuttin’.

What do you have in mind? I thought this guy’s idea for the fists is one of legend, but I’m pretty sure everyone would be pissed if they dropped all of their gear everytime they hamfisted the keyboard in spaz mode trying to get out the shotgun and came up with bare hands and their crap on the floor.


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