Natascha! – Update

By John Walker on August 15th, 2008 at 8:04 pm.

Where exactly is he storing these guns on his person?

Update – The achievement descriptions are up, and they pretty much confirm everyone’s favourite guess for weapon upgrade three, the “Sandvich”. The Konspicuous Konsumption achievement requires that you “eat one hundred sandviches,” which makes them seem a pretty solid bet.

Sasha has a playmate. Valve’s cunning trick of stringing out their update announcement to forty-seven days is working, as proven by today’s Heavy Update Post: Natascha is the new member of the familiy, the second revealed unlockable weapon, and she’s very pretty.

This is a rather fascinating new weapon. When minigun Natascha’s bullets enemies hit a player, they will slow them down, just for a moment. A slightly weaker weapon (25% less), she’s not designed for face-to-face combat, but rather dealing those crowds of weakling retreating opponents, who will find themselves forced to either find a hiding place, or turn and face you, “mano-a-tiny-itty-bitty-mano.”

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68 Comments »

  1. Fazer says:

    You totally forgot to mention the most important – NEW GREEN ENVIRONMENT!!!! :-)))) Just look at the background.

  2. CrashT says:

    So no more choosing between “Territory control in a desert environment, territory control in an industrial environment… or Capture the Flag in a Desert Industrial environment” then.

  3. McCool says:

    I think thats just a generic Heavy picture he’s picked. Just a picture of the new gun by herself on the offical site. Also, as far as I can see, Sasha and Natascha are identical sisters >_>

    Still. AWESOME!!!

  4. Not-a-Bot says:

    No more deserts! Hoorah!

    How dare he cheat on Sasha, etc.

  5. mechtroid says:

    Aww, that’s not grass, that’s just green sand.

  6. Erlam says:

    I must admit I’m fairly underwhelmed. This weapon in no way makes heavies better without a medic. In fact… won’t you need one more given the less damage? Soldiers don’t need speed to kill you, nor do Demo’s, snipers, etc.

    I was really hoping they’d use (‘my’) idea of a faster prime-up-spinning, less damaging weapon, that allowed you to move faster while firing than Sasha, so that heavies could move and fire without being easy pickings.

    Oh well.

    I’m still surprised they chose heavy for this though. Every server I’ve played on has heavies as the top 2-3. Hell, I barely play Heavy and half of my ‘best’ stats are with the Heavy.

  7. Fazer says:

    Erlam, don’t you read official TF2 forums? It is 99% confirmed Heavy will get a sandwich – a portable medkit healing him +100 HP. So they found a way to make Heavy less Medic dependent.

  8. cyrenic says:

    It will actually be nice for some 1vs1′s, because it will help against the heavy’s greatest enemy: corners. It’s always been pretty easy for a soldier or demoman to dodge in and out of a corner and hit you with rockets or grenades, even if you’re spun up the whole time. Natascha will make that a lot harder to do.

  9. CajoleJuice says:

    I’m waiting for the inevitable lunchbox/sandwich announcement.

    /beaten

  10. jon says:

    Sandwich? That’s fucking awesome

  11. McCool says:

    Natascha will be amazingly useful for Heavies, if it does the job it was intended too: stop those blasted demos from dodging about. If I could slow down my enemy to somehting like my speed, I’d be able to do alot more damage without a medic, and actually get some kills, too.

    Oh, and the reason they are doing Heavy now is that Heavy is currently the least played class, apparently. Also gets the most kills, but..

  12. JakeB says:

    Lovely, the background is most likely just a concept for the new environments. But it does have the simple art theme of TF2 if you look hard enough at it lol.

    And hopefully there will be a lunchbox with sandviches, it’s comical and useful…no matter what the other nubs say…

  13. Optimaximal says:

    ^– Disappointed…

    I wanted Ivana… You know, the Flak Cannon :(

  14. darthpugwash says:

    Will probably be most useful for taking down Pyros who try to strafe-kill the Heavy.

  15. Vanderdecken says:

    Wow… was this from my tip off? Fast response if so.

    Yay for Natascha. All I can think of is McElhone at the moment…

    I wonder what kind of taunts and battle cries we’ll get with Natascha and the sandvich?

  16. Dorsch says:

    I hope the new gun won’t make defense too good. just imagine dustbowl 3.2 with heavies firing at you from range… you’ll never be fast enough to kill a sentry. You will need good teamwork more than ever.

  17. Down Rodeo says:

    “We also make good team”

    Also you guys are getting Google ads for gold selling and power levelling. I’m not a WoW player myself but I believe that it is frowned upon…

  18. Predatoria says:

    God damn it Valve, why don’t just remove the scout from the game? Soldiers can kill scouts with one rocket, you can’t kill pyros without catching on fire because you have to close in, you can’t kill medics if they fight back with blutsauger, you can’t kill spies in medium range because their weapon can kill you in 2 hits and they’ll facestab you if you move in to melee, you can’t kill demomen because by the time you double jump they’ll just throw a sticky where you’ll land, you can’t kill engineers if there is a sentry present. You can only kill snipers. If you can evade all of his teammates that is. Only luck allowed scouts to kill heavies and now they have a weapon which will negate your only advantage.

  19. Harriet Jones, Prime Minster says:

    “Heavies that like to jump around corners and surprise groups of startled enemy crybabies will also find her very useful, although they should look for a Sasha-wielding enemy Heavy before they leap.”

    How would one tell?
    As far as I can see the only visual difference between Sasha and Natascha is the bullet chain, and that’s hardly going to as immediately noticable in the average game as Flamethrower vs Backburner, or even the Bone Saw vs Blutsager. First you’ll know is when you are being ripped to shreds!

    Edit: Oops. The magazine. I spose that’s a bit more visible, but still not as much as the Backburner.

  20. AndyGusto says:

    “This weapon in no way makes heavies better without a medic.”
    The hard part is making a weapon that makes a heavy better without a medic, but doesn’t make him a goddamn murder machine WITH one.
    It doesn’t let the heavy get more kills, that was never a problem. It turns the heavy into more of a utility class than an assault class by slowing down enemies, making them easier to hit by nearby comrades.
    This way, he can pair off with a medic, or a soldier or a demo with similar results.

  21. Noc says:

    I’m not underwhelmed. We all know how obnoxious pinning can be from low-level sentries; in anything beyond a 1v1 with a couple classes, I can see this ruining everybody’s day.

  22. Fumarole says:

    “God damn it Valve, why don’t just remove the scout from the game? ”

    You name all the ways Scouts cannot kill other classes. Killing is not and never was their forte.

  23. ascagnel says:

    Fumarole:
    Exactly. Scouts are designed explicitly for capture. Their bonuses (double jump, speed, 2x capture on points) are designed around capturing points and intelligence (flags, natch). The only “best” I have as Scout is most captures.

  24. Chemix says:

    If you can’t kill as a scout, then you’re not acting effectively. You don’t jump around a lot with a demo, you stay on the ground and make use of that 1 second that you get between launch and detonation to jump over him and scattergun him (which can kill most classes in one crit at semi close range).
    The revolver is highly inaccurate, which means, you can effectively dodge it with little effort, just keep zig zagging.
    The medic with a blutsauger is a bit tough, but someone has to be a hard kill, and with enough of their allies around, tracking a scout will be difficult.
    You can circle strafe low level sentries, but you’re not meant to take them down, but to bypass them. An engi without a sentry is a sitting duck for a scout.
    If you are far enough away from a soldier, you can shoot him with the pistol and dodge rocket fire till he goes for health, at which point you can run past him or try and take him down with the scattergun.

    The scout as is has the ability to out maneuver any other class, and a weapon that’s able to kill (with a high crit rate) almost any class except for the heavy and maybe the soldier. If you have 125 less health than normal as any class, except heavy, you’re close to death anyway, so the health isn’t even that high a factor.

    Scouts have been just grudgingly overpowered since release, this takes them down a notch, but only for one class. Without a Natascha around, people are still subject to the scouts annoyance.

  25. CrashT says:

    Valve known what they are doing, that background has got to be from one of the new arenas. They intentionally showed the Pyro’s flare gun in the “Meet The Sniper” video and are doing the same here.

  26. derFeef says:

    Oh shes so black and sexy….

  27. The Unshaven says:

    What the Achievements are has gone up at:

    http://steamgames.com/tf2/heavy/kgb.htm

    Probably late to the party, but I’m still wearing a hat. This pretty much confirms that Sandviches will be involved, too…

  28. Y3k-Bug says:

    @Predatoria

    If you’re a scout, it isn’t your job to kill, or even engage heavies. You’re job is to slaughter the MEDIC healing him. If the heavy sees you coming, you have no business engaging him.

    Scout is an excellent offensive class, you simply have to dart in and out of combat. Use your speed/maneuverability to your advantage.

  29. James G says:

    Party Loyalty: Kill 50 enemies within 3 seconds of them attacking your Medic.

    That took me a while to get, at first I thought it meant ‘in the same three seconds’ until I realised that it was cumulative. I had been worrying that my TF2 skills must have been more underpar than I thought.

  30. Gurrah says:

    I will probably get killed or at least hassled by a lot of TF2 fans, but let me say first and foremost, I am also a TF2 fan, but not like I was when it was released a few months back. To be honest when I saw the first TF2 screenshots I fell in love with the visuals, seriously. When it finally arrived it was exactly what i’ve been expecting, and more, it was FUN. A lot of FUN. It was simple, elegant and, yes I said it before, FUN. And now Valve, as much as I love and respect them for what they do with games, keep on ruining it with their patches and updates. First they cut down the amount of ammo my favourite character can carry with him. Then they started introducing achievements over achievements and new weapons, which drastically changed the way the game plays. It’s becoming complicated. I’ve got nothing against complicated games, quite the contrary, but the great thing about TF2 and TF is and was that they were simple. Every class had a more or less predefined role to fulfill and now it’s getting more and more complex. I have to watch out for flars that set me on fire, medics can make a heavy spit criticals like there’s no tomorrow and now the heavy can slow me down with his minigun while dishing out damage?! Yes, it’s reduced damage, but still. I don’t know, it is stilla great game but it’s not the game I fell in love with, not anymore.

  31. Sum0 says:

    I have to agree with Gurrah (and get slaughtered likewise), but I can’t help but feel a little uneasy about companies going back and fundamentally changing parts of their games – it begs the question, what was broken in the first place? Multiplayer games – shooters, at least – are all about a battle to the death in a big arena where no one has an inbuilt advantage. Whereas now, if you play obsessively – or cheat the system – you get an extra edge with these unlockables. Doesn’t seem true to the spirit of multiplayer combat, if you ask me.

  32. Arathain says:

    There are plenty of fights that it’s hard for a Scout to win, but they have the speed to simply choose not to engage. Act like your class- be a jerk and only pick fights you’re going to win.

    I love these achievements. Valve have obviously learned a lot from the Medic and Pyro days. All of these seem quite attainable with persistence and skill.

    I think Rasputin is my favourite.

  33. yutt says:

    Nothing was broken, but it certainly wasn’t perfect. Expansions and additions for games have existed as long as PC gaming has. Valve certainly didn’t invent it.

    As a regular player of TF2, I’d say Valve has been a little too conservative with the new weapons. They certainly don’t give “an edge”. Other than the backburner, which requires less skill and is less versatile than its alternate, many people don’t even use the unlockables.

    Certainly all of the new weapons are situationally useful, but hardly game breaking, or even team balance altering.

    Further, the unlockables are not remotely difficult to get. You can get at least 2/3 for either class in an hour of play. If you’re paying attention to the requirements, at most another hour for the third.

  34. Fumarole says:

    “… a battle to the death in a big arena where no one has an inbuilt advantage. ”

    That’s most certainly not what TF2 is about, though. The objectives, classes and attack/defend game types do not a team deathmatch make.

  35. Pattom says:

    Out of curiosity, I see that one of the achievements (Crime and Punishment) is awarded for killing ten enemies carrying your intelligence. Probably not a big deal, as it should be easy to get, but I find it curious. Didn’t Valve say they were drawing the emphasis off CTF maps because they didn’t lend themselves as well to teamwork?

  36. matte_k says:

    I find that the good thing about all this new kit is that it IS optional-you don’t have to use it just because it’s there. And as far as fighting opponents wielding the new kit, you just have to develop new tactics to combat it- I’ve stopped using the Backburner as often because when people see you with it they will automatically position themselves in such a way as for you to not be able to light them up from behind, thus losing your advantage.

    So, you can stick to your basic weapon loadout and enjoy the game as is, or you can change (on the fly, I might add) what you are using to any combination of the 6 items.

    The only disappointment I have is this rumored sandwich alternate weapon- I think it’s a foolish idea. Plenty of health packs dotted around a level, medics and dispensers also- why do you need a portable health kit? Also, is it one-shot use, or refillable? (Cue jokes about sandvich fillings)

  37. gulag says:

    “Konspicuous Konsumption: Eat 100 sandviches.”

    I’d say that makes the last unlock a dead cert.

    As for telling the guns apart; One is white, the other is black. It’s a strong visual clue.

  38. matte_k says:

    gulag says:

    “Konspicuous Konsumption: Eat 100 sandviches.”

    I’d say that makes the last unlock a dead cert.

    Yeah, only just seen that. Ah, well, not my job to design this stuff, I just get to play it. :D

  39. kibibu says:

    Also in the news, the list of achievements has been updated with descriptions:
    http://steamgames.com/tf2/heavy/kgb.htm

  40. DragonSix says:

    “what was broken in the first place?”
    Nothing, but it helps being newsed (here, for example) and getting new players to buy the game.

  41. James T says:

    I find that the good thing about all this new kit is that it IS optional – you don’t have to use it just because it’s there.

    Hang on, the ‘availability’ problem is the opposite of this — I don’t see why players should be denied these optional weapons for being ‘insufficiently hardcore’; for all the groundlessly smug oh-my-giddy-aunt-ing about achievement servers in that RPS article/thread from the Pyro’s release, how else is the ‘conventional’ TF2 gamer to even experiment with these weapons? Making the specialised gear available ‘at launch’ would probably ease the ruination of public servers at patch time, too — people would still be trying the updated class out in disproportionate numbers, but they won’t be clinging to that class for ages and ages while trying to milk outlandish achievements out of conventional gameplay.
    Are there any actual upsides to the ‘achievement’ model? Surely these new weapons should reward the ‘hardcore’ by providing interesting new tactical dilemmas, rather than by being solely available to them.

  42. Y3k-Bug says:

    @JamesT

    You can get at least 75% of those achievements within an hour of playing.

    This isn’t like the medic achievement debacle. The pyro and heavy goals are not only easily attainable, but don’t require borderline griefing to get.

  43. James T says:

    That’s true, at least most of these shy away from the ‘achieve [unlikely statistic] in one life‘ type achievement, in favour of accumulated tallies over time. The principle of the whole scheme still escapes me, however; why alienate newcomers intentionally?

  44. isla natura says:

    Yeah, the extra bits of TF2 are generally good, that doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be a classic mode (no-unlocks, no-achievements). Better for noobs and occasional players, it’s a complicated game. And the only way to practice is under live fire, which is not conducive to learning the subtleties.

    Don’t abolish scouts! The other classes feel like playing underwater to an un-acclimatised UT fan, it’s a necessary gateway drug. Could live without snipers though.

  45. Y3k-Bug says:

    @JamesT

    I agree with you there. Is there a single game that really kick started the whole achievement wave that has swept through gaming? The only game that comes to mind for me is COD4, and although I’m sure there were earlier titles doing so, it seems COD did it with greatest affect.

  46. Angel Dust says:

    @James T
    It doesn’t alienate newcomers, at least the ones I have seen, at all though. If anything it gives them an incentive to improve, get the achievments (which are quite good for teaching the tactics of the class they apply too) etc

  47. The Unshaven says:

    I’ve been impressed by the unlockable weapons to the extent that they don’t unbalance things. Hell, for the most part I’ve found myself keeping the original load-outs despite unlocking them – and the unlocking process is fun.

    The part I think is weird is doing Free Weekends to bring in new folks when there is guaranteed to be a terrifying overabundance of a particular class…

  48. sigma83 says:

    That’s precisely how I see the achievements Angeldust: It encourages certain styles of play that are beneficial to ‘teaching’ how to play the class and also have cool ‘ooh I got a shiney’ appeal

  49. Fat Zombie says:

    Also:

    “Show Trial: Kill an enemy with a taunt.” With a picture of the Heavy’s “POW!” pointy finger-gun taunt.

    Does this mean that the Heavy’s finger-gun is now an instakill? If so, hilarious.

  50. Vanderdecken says:

    I say make a game mode that servers can apply which means that no unlockables can be used on that server. So you can have ‘original TF2′ servers for a quiet life.