I recently watched a movie about the Scout. In the film, he was still very fast. He and his friend Benjamin Affleck would run around Boston, bonking people with baseball bats and occasionally using a Scattergun or Pistol. The Scout was looking kind of ugly though. I think he should see a dermatologist.
What I realized from watching this film, other than that nuns are bad people, is that the Scout remains one of the most fun classes in Team Fortress 2.
If, 8 years ago, someone told you you’d enjoy playing an FPS in which you throw milk at people and hit them with a fish, you probably would have punched that person in the face. But that’s you. You have anger problems.
But for the rest of us, we’d just laugh in disbelief. Yet, 8 years and two diplomas later* we’re fish-slapping our opponents till the cows come home.
What made this item so fun? (Just to be clear, only the fish is fun.)
And, more importantly, what new fish will Valve unlock in the next update?
Let’s just skip the bullcrap and get to the important part: FISH KILLS.
In New Jersey, a “fish kill” is a slang term that refers to the semi-common occurrence of going to the ‘shore** and finding that a hundred thousand fish were killed by pollution and are now lying all over the ‘shore. Apparently this term is not in vogue à Boston.
The Holy Mackerel has no tactical purpose. In fact, it is explicitly worse than the baseball bat by simple merit that it announces every hit you score on the enemy team. Imagine the following scenario:
BLU Spy: I wonder where zhe Scout ahz gouhn?
BLU Snoipah: I reckon we’ll never find ‘im, mate.
Scout FISH KILL! Medic
BLU Spy: Quelle espèce de merde.
Having recently finished reading The Art of War, I recall a particularly moving stanza regarding declaring one’s position to one’s enemy: “Don’t do it.”
In summary: the Holy Mackerel is hilarious; use it for trolling, not serious killing.
Non-milk substance. Just wanted to get that out there. Okay, we can move on.
No wait, no we can’t.
What kind of substance could possibly heal you when you put bullets into your foes? My initial guess was that the Scout was some kind of milk-based vampire, but apparently Mad Milk works for your whole team. Plus the Scout wasn’t nearly sparkly enough to be a vampire (based on my extensive knowledge of the species), so I guess it’s just demonic magic?
Okay, now we can move on.
Mad Milk, to me, is an incredibly narrow item among a slew of other similarly-narrow items. Just a reminder: the Scout now has his choice of 3 drink-like secondary “weapons,” each producing an astoundingly specific effect.
Yes, Mad Milk can, in theory, heal your teammates. The problem is that in most scenarios, when you’re at 15 HP, your default strategy isn’t “try to hit that specific person covered in milk.” It’s usually “run like hell while spamming E until it falls off my keyboard.”
In practice, I’ve found Mad Milk to be useful primarily to put out fires. Yes, in Valve’s infinite wisdom, they’re introduced two additional things that weaken afterburn damage this update. (A cookie to whoever names the second.***) That said, I routinely found myself returning to the default Pistol in most situations. While dousing enemies in vampiric darke magiks is fun, it doesn’t get the job done like bullets in the face.
My only caveat is that Mad Milk may be more viable in combination with the Short Stop, since the Short Stop would otherwise share the Pistol’s ammunition. And we all know how plentiful Pistol ammunition is.
The Short Stop
Speak of the devil, it’s the Short Stop!
With the Short Stop, I think Valve truly struck a home run. And I don’t mean that in a punny “the Scout likes baseball” kind of way. The Short Stop is the perfect middle ground between the Scattergun, the Force-a-Nature, and the Pistol.
The Short Stop says it slows enemies, but I’ve never noticed this effect. Instead, I’ve noticed a hidden attribute: it puts enemies in graves.
With 4 shots per reload, this gun falls exactly halfway between the two primary weapon loadout options. However, the Short Stop unloads buckshot and reloads faster than the Scattergun, making it excellent for keeping up constant pressure.
Yes, it does less damage. And no, it can’t help you Force Jump. (if you don’t know what that term means click the link NOW)
But it’s a very fair trade-off: rapid, mid-range damage in lieu of close-range burst damage. If it actually slows any part of the enemy other than the heart, I have yet to care, because at the end of the day, one chucklenut is going to be sleeping with the fishes (him) and another is gonna be slapping with them (me).
I highly recommend the Short Stop for encounters in which flanking specific enemies is difficult, or where a large number of your enemies are undesirable to engage at point blank range, especially now that Degreaser Pyros are a little more difficult to weapon-heckle.
Begging for Hats
Blah blah blah, I don’t have this hat, blah blah blah.
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**In the Garden State, “shore” is an abbreviation demarked by ‘shore. It stands for “Are you sure you want to go to this dump?”
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