Scout Update Day 5: The Force-A-Nature

By John Walker on February 24th, 2009 at 3:05 am.

Hot dog!

As spoilerised last week, the last Scout weapon upgrade has been officially announced by Valve, the Force-A-Nature. “Anything this baby hits better PACK A LUNCH, ’cause it’s going for a ride!” It’s a double-barrelled shotgun with a kickback so powerful it can rocket-jump.

It seems that if you’re in the air when you fire this monstrous shotgun, the recoil will propel you upward. Bouncy Scouts just got bouncier. It’s going to have a hefty impact on any it hits, balanced out by taking a big long time to reload.

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66 Comments »

  1. Trousers says:

    Is it more powerful than the scatter gun in terms of damage?

    Otherwise wouldn’t sending your target further away from you make it even harder to kill them? Or is this just for those super skilled bouncy scouts

  2. Trousers says:

    oh, er, I guess “hefty impact” also means more damage = /

  3. DMcCool says:

    Non-Sandman Scouts can now Triple Jump, and depending on how long it takes to fire, quadruple jump. Oh dear. Oh dear..

  4. EGTF says:

    Why is there a post at 3:05am John? Dexter get you up?

    Anyway, you can vote which one gets unlocked first on the offical page.

    http://www.teamfortress.com/scoutupdate/force-a-nature.htm

  5. Erlam says:

    I think the only one of these I’d even consider so far is the energy drink.

    Unless this does a lot more damage, I’m avoiding it.

  6. Radiant says:

    So they just re-implemented conc jumping?
    Didn’t Valve write at length somewhere about why they took it out in the first place?

  7. Erlam says:

    I think they wrote at length about how they didn’t want the medic to jump the entire map with the flag.

  8. Oak says:

    They also wrote at length about readability and the painstaking balancing of classes, but needs must, I suppose.

    Anyway. Of all the new toys, this looks like the most fun. Also, that ad is wonderful. Also, look at the t-shirt!

  9. Dorian Cornelius Jasper says:

    Hope the energy drink is the first unlock. Because sentries are a pain.

  10. Arathain says:

    This is going to leave Scouts rather multi-role, depending on load-out. They could act as a highly mobile disruptor. Should be interesting! It all seems to fit the Scout’s role as the skilled twitch players’ class of choice, and also of being a jerk.

    I’m still most curious about the energy drink. Does stuff just miss when you’re at full tilt? Can we sprint into intel rooms and laugh at the Engie’s painstaking set-up?

  11. Rich_P says:

    TF2′s artists are credit to team!

  12. A-Scale says:

    Valve is simply the best company in the business at treating their customers right, and providing great content post-release. Team Fortress 2 is perhaps the most diverse, most fun and certainly the most creatively styled multiplayer game ever devised. The items in the scout update are original, and genuinely solve balance problems that that class encounters in the game. The complainers and the whiners are asses, and should be derided as such. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.

  13. Alex says:

    Glad to see the Sniper Rifle’s pushback made it back into the game in some form.

  14. Esc says:

    DMcCool:

    Yeah especially if you jump, fire the first barrel, double jump, and then fire the second. Although I doubt valve would be crazy enough to allow the scout to quad-jump, i think the triple jump will definitely be there.

    I’ll have to wait to see how much of a kick this weapon gives before saying it is balanced/unbalanced. It could easily be unbalanced if it is anything like rocket jumping or knocking guys huge distances. But, as always, in Valve I trust.

  15. Oak says:

    No one has complained or whined (yet), A-Scale, but I’m sure Our Betters still appreciate your fervent jackbootery.

  16. A-Scale says:

    No one has complained or whined (yet), A-Scale, but I’m sure Our Betters still appreciate your fervent jackbootery.

    I think the only one of these I’d even consider so far is the energy drink.

    Unless this does a lot more damage, I’m avoiding it.

    So they just re-implemented conc jumping?
    Didn’t Valve write at length somewhere about why they took it out in the first place?

    I think they wrote at length about how they didn’t want the medic to jump the entire map with the flag.

    Did you not bother to read the comments, or do we have very different definitions of complaining/whining?

  17. Rich_P says:

    IIRC, one of the first unlocks suggested on the forum was a gun with a high kick back, made specifically for clearing cap points and defending the cart.

  18. Oak says:

    Erlam’s was a bit…much, but otherwise I think I’m in the right. It’s okay to have reservations about Valve making possibly significant changes to their game. We’re not ungrateful for the regular free updates, just skeptical about whether they always make the right decisions with them.

  19. A-Scale says:

    Erlam’s was a bit…much, but otherwise I think I’m in the right. It’s okay to have reservations about Valve making possibly significant changes to their game. We’re not ungrateful for the regular free updates, just skeptical about whether they always make the right decisions with them.

    Then perhaps those criticisms could be reserved until you actually get to play with… or see the weapons? Try to muster a bit of empathy. Imagine you’ve a valve employee who just put three weeks work into modeling, designing and playtesting these weapons to death. You’ve literally dedicated dozens of hours to this endeavor. And then the first thing said on a respected games blog is “Jeeze I can’t BELIEVE they’re just doing what they did in TFC” or “Oh I bet they screwed this up. No way I’m using these crappy weapons, unless this one is super overpowered” or “You’ve completely mucked up one of the other 9 classes now. Thanks a lot.”

    Would you really want to listen to your ignorant yet indignant customers anymore? Would you really want to make more weapons packs for them? I, for one, would not.

  20. FRIENDLYUNIT says:

    I take it Gravatar Oak does not frequent the Steam forums.

    Wise. It’s A Very Bad Place. *shudder*

  21. Arathain says:

    So, one reveal left… I can haz Meet The… video?

  22. I Am Thermite says:

    Would you really want to listen to your ignorant yet indignant customers anymore? Would you really want to make more weapons packs for them? I, for one, would not.

    I have to disagree with you here. Every company makes games that someone is going to hate. If you get seriously bummed by what some random guy on the internet says, you should fix your self-esteem.

    I’ve been playing a lot of Scout recently, and although I am excited for weapons(and gamemode!) I’m definitely not looking forward to the post-update class swarm. I used to main pyro before the pyro update, looks like I’m gonna switch back…

  23. DarkNoghri says:

    I can understand some people not liking things. Even being skeptical. But there’s been a lot of negativity around the steam forums and such places against weapons that haven’t even been released yet. Yeesh, at least try them out before giving up on them.

    Sidenote: Whenever I get unbusy this week, I will not be scouting. I will be mowing scouts down like sheaves of wheat at harvest. With Natascha.

  24. Dave says:

    Unless of course BONK makes them immune to Natascha.

  25. Nick says:

    This will be the first class swarm I’ll actually enjoy, if only for the hilarity when mass baseballs are flying everywhere.

  26. Tei says:

    I have no played TeamFortress 1 in a while, but I remenber one of the 10 classes (the scout) having a “air weapon”, or something like a jet pack in like the 50% of the servers. It was fun for ninja-flag-taking. Walking is for the hwguy, pyro, medic or spy. The scout is supposed to “almost fly”.

  27. DarkNoghri says:

    @ Tei
    Concussion grenade jumping?

  28. aoanla says:

    I suppose I think that this is a success, of sorts – the updates have me bemoaning that Scouts are going to be even more bouncy, hard-to-hit jerks than they were before, which is probably similar to how all the non-Pyro and Heavy players reacted to those unlocks. So, while I’d rather Scouts weren’t encouraged to be even more jerkish, I guess this is in the correct spirit?

  29. aoanla says:

    @Tei: I vaguely remember the Airfist from the Painkeep mod making it into some versions of (original) Team Fortress. Perhaps that was it? Although, that was more like the Pyro’s new “missile deflecting” alt-fire, with optional jump ability.

  30. Uglycat says:

    It just means Natascha now has a firm place on the team!

  31. Rabbitsoup says:

    its funny that valve reveal without giving you any real info, i’l have to try each weapon to have a clue about them.

    also next update is dual PL race thingy

  32. fishmitten says:

    also next update is dual PL race thingy

    Clearly, this. I’m pretty interested to see if this turns out to be anything beyond ‘Payload, but with two carts”.

  33. MeestaNob says:

    These upgrades all sound interesting.

    Next Meet The video should probably be Medic I reckon.

  34. Joseph says:

    The Sandman (You voted for this)

    8226 votes (33.13%)

    ‘Bonk’ Energy Drink

    5835 votes (23.50%)

    The Force-A-Nature

    10765 votes (43.36%)

    Next time somebody asks me to vote for something, I’m going to tape my vote to a cat and send them that. That’ll learn ‘em for making me not win.

  35. Malagate says:

    The vote surprises me in that they decided to let the players decide, but what intrigues me more is that the Force-A-Nature has more votes than The Sandman.
    It just seems counter-productive, as there are many more achievements which require The Sandman than there are achievements that use the Force-A-Nature, so there’ll be less achievements to choose from to unlock all the weapons. Assuming they’re still using that system.

  36. Tei says:

    @aoanla,DarkNoghri
    Re: airfist, ‘hovering’ scout

    No no, seems that on some QW TF servers the scout has something like a very limited jetpack, on others the airfist weapon (that helps to ‘airjump’) and others nothing (:-().
    It was more fun (to me) to play the scout with the limited jetpack, or the airfist.

  37. Rei Onryou says:

    Day 1 of the update is going to be interesting. The Scout horde will be like the L4D/TF2 video.

    Also, it’ll take less than 24 hours for a baseball server to go up.

  38. Nick says:

    “Im pretty interested to see if this turns out to be anything beyond ‘Payload, but with two carts”.”

    Is that not interesting enough already? Mixes the dynamic up a fair bit.. both teams on offence and defence but without the instant lose of control points.

  39. clive dunn says:

    well at least the scout farming servers are going to be more fun than those interminable heavy acheivement ones.

  40. fishmitten says:

    Is that not interesting enough already? Mixes the dynamic up a fair bit.. both teams on offence and defence but without the instant lose of control points.

    True, it will be a pretty fresh mode to play, I’m just wondering if there will be more to it. I’m also wondering whether the carts will start at the same side of the map, or whether Red and Blu will head in opposite directions. I guess we’ll find out tomorrow.

  41. Chis says:

    That many voters just wnt tha nu gun now biatch… or something, I’m no good at leet teen speech. Sandman or the drink would be a better first / second unlock, with the Force last, if you ask me. Something that makes THAT much difference to the class should be worked for. But don’t listen to me, most gamers want it easy these days it seems.

  42. MonkeyMonster says:

    I’m with you there Chris – force should have been last upgrade imho – sandman, drink, gun but hey ho – we have to follow the flock…

  43. fishmitten says:

    I agree. My vote went to the energy drink, for what it’s worth (nothing, evidently).

  44. roBurky says:

    I played some enjoyable scout yesterday, and reflecting on that, I’d much rather have the energy drink first. When the map changed to stuff like goldrush, the main frustration was trying to get past the wall of enemy players to find space to do the hit and run thing. Some bullet immunity would make that much easier.

    The other two weapons are nice toys. The energy drink seems essential.

  45. BooleanBob says:

    @Chis, MonkeyMonster et al: All of the unlocks seem like monumental changes to the way the scout plays. I think you have to give the community more credit than trotting out patronising ‘sheeple’ comments. I think they’ve done a good job in assessing the most stress-free way to bring this patch to light – after all, which of the following seems most tolerable in the day-zero scout frenzies that most pubs are going to be on launch?

    - Baseballs flying everywhere. You can’t move without attracting some scout’s speculative punt, and if you try to hide there’s no class to better run you down and have a go anyway. Every couple of seconds you’re on the end of an aggravating stun. You ragequit.
    - Scouts zooming everywhere. Not only do they make up for 75% of the server pop, they’re all moving at 200% speed. You can’t hit what you have time to train because these weird ‘MISS!’ messages keep popping up everytime you place a bullet square between the bastards’ eyes. You ragequit.
    - Scouts are still everywhere. And they have BIG guns that hurt a lot if you let ‘em get close enough. But that was always the case, right? And at least now, if they miss, you get a whole lot of extra time to dispatch them at your leisure. Plus most of them seem to be using the thing to scour the map for exploits with their triple jumps, which makes for a few easy kills.

    This was, at least, my thinking when I cast my vote. Not ‘oh wantz nu gun lollolz mah scout will ph33r no manZ!’

  46. fishmitten says:

    Fair point actually, Bob. The new gun is probably the least game-changing addition, all things considered.

    Either way, it’s going to be a lot of fun, whichever side of the equation you end up (day zero Scout, or Scout-overabundance-exploiter)!

  47. Gotem says:

    a mix of payload and CP would be interesting, if blu controls the cp, a shorter track is opened for the payload

  48. Goody Two Shoes says:

    I don’t believe the F-A-N will be _anything_ like conc jumping. You could conc clear across the length of a map in TFC, this will likely not be anything near that level of power.

    @ Tei – I think you are remembering NEOTF (some servers implemented this), which was garbagey anyway.

  49. cyrenic says:

    @BooleanBob

    I think you overestimate the skill with which people will be using the new unlocks (other than the F-A-N, of course).

    More than likely, balls will be flying around but not hitting anything; meaning easy kills on the scouts that have a melee weapon out and can’t double jump. And there will be plenty of scouts that have no idea when to effectively activate the energy drink, so the post speed boost slow effect will make them easy kills :D.