The Infinite Zenith

Where insights on anime, games, academia and life dare to converge

Tag Archives: Heavy

The Huo-Long Heater

The Huo-Long Heater (火龍, literally ‘flaming dragon’) is an antique wooden machine gun with a traditional Chinese dragon’s head is mounted on the muzzle of the gun. While deployed, a flashing ring of flame and smoke surrounds the user, lighting enemy players on fire and inflicts afterburn damage. Maintaining this ring of fire costs the weapon six ammunition units per second while spun up, even if not firing. In addition, the Ring of Fire will not take effect if the weapon is out of ammunition.

  • The Huo Long Heater was introduced during the Sleeping Dogs update. As a new heavy weapon, I was tempted to craft one because of its unique attributes. Unfortunately, the drop system did not provide me with one, nor did it provide me with the three Family Businesses required to craft it. I eventually traded a for one from a fellow who was interested in acquiring a Beggar’s Bazooka and had a spare Heater on hand.

  • The Heater is an incredibly amusing weapon to wield, setting fire to that which is still alive, but chews through ammunition very rapidly. A heavy wielding a Heater can nonetheless use this weapon to great effect on smaller maps if they kill groups of enemies and picking up their weapons.

The Huo-Long Heater deals the same amount of damage as the Minigun and offers some protection from most spies (skilled spies may jump over the ring of fire to perform a Backstab without being ignited). Because the weapon consumes ammunition while spun up, it is advisable to pay attention to nearby resupply kits or stay near an engineer’s dispenser. I typically carry a shotgun or Family Business as a secondary weapon to engage enemies rapidly, switching to the Heater when in close proximity with a group of enemies. The ring of fire provides additional firepower at close range and deters spies from closing the distance for a backstab. Given that the Heater runs out of ammunition extremely quickly, it is suited as a defensive weapon at close quarters close to a dispenser, or for payload, where the constant resupply offered by the cart makes it viable to use this weapon almost non-stop.

The Brass Beast

An antique machine gun made almost entirely of brass, the brass beast bears a striking resemblance to the original 1861 Gatling gun made by Richard J. Gatling. This is the single most powerful weapon the heavy can wield, but the additional firepower comes with a pair of caveats: the spin up time is 50% longer, and while spun up, the user will move at 40% of their normal walking speed. These factors make the brass beast particularly suited for defending objectives at close quarters: a heavy with this will be able to eliminate almost anything that falls behind the crosshairs.

  • I’m more of a high-mobility player, and as such, I prefer the Tomislav over the Brass Beast for most situations. I remember encountering a player who fell repeatedly to my Tomislav, threatened to pull out his strange brass beast on me. Sure enough, several kills and a domination later, he did just that. I conclude his victims weren’t particularly familiar with the WASD movement configurations, as his aim was surprisingly poor. A strange brass beast accumulating kills isn’t particularly impressive, given that it’s easy to do so.

  • Choosing a suitable loadout requires a degree of foresight: players with the brass beast are essentially mobile sentry guns. For instance, players wishing to have more forward offensive power will opt with the shotgun, while players intending on defending a particular target (like a capture point of intel) may do better to equip the Sandvich: a single heavy with a source of health regeneration and ammo is all that is needed to hold off the opposing team long enough to force a stalemate in the worst case.

For all its powers, the brass beast is impractical as an offensive weapon. The weapons massive firepower requires a long spin up, making it difficult to engage enemies rapidly. Furthermore, the near-total loss of mobility while wielding this weapon makes the operator vulnerable to snipers and spies. For these reasons, the brass beast is ideally paired with the conventional shotgun. Opinions of the brass beast change rapidly when the weapon is applied in defensive situations. An operator in a defensible (that is, wall to back, indoors) position with a spun-up weapon will cut down any enemy, even an overhealed heavy with very little effort.

Remember when they made Team Fortress 2 Free?

The most fun you could have online…is now free!

It’s been over a year since Team Fortress 2 was made permanently into a free-to-play game, and a year later, the multiplayer FPS is as popular as ever. The Meet the Pyro update was released just a few weeks ago, completing the “Meet the Team” series, and from a personal standpoint, this move was correctly foreseen by Valve to be a successful one, considering that I originally got on board with the entire TF2 business because it was free to play. For your amusement, and mine upon the viewer’s reactions when they see the following Team Fortress 2 art, I’ve presented some rather interesting takes on the playable classes in TF2. I just hope someone doesn’t get mad as a result.

  • Grass grows, birds fly, sun shines, and brother, I hurt people. 

  • If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight!

  • Mpphhh mphh mph mphhhh mphhh mhh!

  • One crossed wire, one wayward pinch of potassium chlorate, one errant twitch…and kablooie! 

  • Some people think they can outsmart me. Maybe, *sniff* maybe. I have yet to meet one that can outsmart bullet. 

  • Hey look, buddy. I’m an engineer — that means I solve problems. Not problems like ‘What is beauty?’ because that would fall within the purview of your conundrums of philosophy. I solve practical problems.

  • Let’s go practice medicine. 

  • Snipin’s a good job, mate! It’s challengin’ work, outta doors. I guarantee you’ll not go hungry, cause at the end of the day, long as there’s two people left on the planet, someone is gonna want someone dead.

  • This Spy has already breached our defenses… you’ve seen what he’s done to our colleagues! And worst of all: He could be any one of us.

A year later, I now have a premium account because I was compelled to enhance my experience in the game (actually, it was a consequence of purchasing items from the in-game Mann Co. Store for a friend), and I can attest to the success of the free-to-play model. Valve developer Robin Walker stated in an interview that there would be no hidden fees as with other multiplayer games. Instead, the entire game is funded by micro-transactions in the Mann Co. Store, much as the small payment I made. This model is hugely successful compared to other games in its implementation: as there are no hidden costs associated with getting game-necessary gear, players only pay to purchase aesthetic elements like hats. By making the game available to most anyone, this mechanism minimises piracy in that if the game is already free from the developers, there is no need to obtain an illegal copy.

With this in mind, this model would hardly be applicable to Valve’s other games, or MMORPGs. Nonetheless, this decision was a good one on Valve’s part and got me into the entire business of Team Fortress 2. Given I’ve had a year to mess around in TF2, I cite the game as one of my favourite means of blowing off steam after a week of course work, whether it be dominating F2P players or aggravating the more serious players with high-value items.  The only negative side effect of this is that my Halo 2 headshot skills have pretty much dissipated over the past year.

Offensive Classes

Defensive Classes

Support Classes

There is quite a bit of artwork out there depicting the classes in TF2, although not in a sense you’d expect. I’ve tried looking for unique art of the classes as they are in-game, but artists seem to have other ideas in mind. Nonetheless, I do believe that TF2-themed artwork, accuracy or not, is suitable for decorating this page. Who knows? Maybe I decided to talk about how I’ve enjoyed Team Fortress 2 for the sole purpose of showing off some TF2 artwork?

The Tomislav

As promised, here is a presentation about the Tomislav, an over-sized, heavily modified Thompson submachine gun with two handles, an ammo drum connected to its underside, and a carrying sling hanging from the drum to the hand-guard. The weapon sports a 40% faster spin-up time and has no spin-up sound besides a quiet jingling sound as the weapon is lowered, making it ideal for ambushing opponents. However, this comes at the cost of a 20% reduction in firing speed, lowering damage per second.

The Tomislav theoretically is the weakest of the heavy’s primary weapons owing to its reduced rate of fire. However, in practise, it is easily the most powerful, beating out the other weapons in versatility when wielded correctly. This is primarily because of the reduced spin-up time, allowing a vigilant wielder to easily get the first shot off to damage an opponent. Furthermore, the lack of a spin-up sound allows a heavy to camp around a corner and ambush unsuspecting enemies. This combination allows the Tomislav to get the first shot off, often on a short notice, without being noticed, making it a highly viable weapon for most situations, except perhaps an enemy Heavy wielding a conventional mini-gun.

The superior speed offered by the Tomislav gives it the power to decimate entire enemy positions, allowing one’s team to rapidly capture objectives or overcome a choke point; in past experience, the Tomislav is probably the best of the Heavy’s primary weapons. A skilled Heavy with a Tomislav and a sandvich is nigh-invincible, being able to turn the tides of a battle independently. Because of a Heavy’s inherent survivability, teams facing a Heavy would be advised to rush him, or else request firepower from a sniper or spy, both of which can kill even an overhealed Heavy in a single shot.