Baby Face’s Blaster has always been one of those weapons in TF2 that I liked, but never actually used. The speed boost idea was very novel and I liked the visual design of the weapon, but it was just too ‘gimicky’ for serious use, and whenever I tried to equip it I’d find myself reverting to Vera, my Strange stock Scattergun, pretty quickly. That’s all changed, however, since Valve surprised us all in the most recent update with a complete overhaul of Baby Face’s Blaster!
So what’s changed? The core idea of the gun is, thankfully, still the same – that the more damage you do, the faster you run. However, the original movement penalty has been radically reduced to only 10%, maing that you’re no longer moving at barely-above Heavy speeds. in fact, you’re moving faster than Pyros, and that’s before you’ve even fired a shot!
Secondly, the damage penalty has been removed. This is fantastic news for two reasons – firstly, you’re actually doing regular scattergun damage rather than the original 40% less. This keeps the BFB as a proper offensive weapon, and combines with the speed boost to make Scout a true hit-and-run force. Secondly, since you’re doing more damage you’ll be filling the boost meter that much faster – I’ve been playing with it since it was updated, and the speed your boost fills up is astoundingly different. It makes the weapon so much easier to use rather than the more situational / gimicky features of the original, again making it a viable choice.
Finally, the third change might even be the most important – you don’t lose your boost on jump. You’ll only lose boost if you use Scout’s double-jump ability to jump while in the air, and even then you’ll only lose 25% of your boost rather than all of it. Given how quickly you can build boost thanks to the increased damage, this really doesn’t matter much – as you’ll see in my gameplay video below, I’ll double-jump and be able to quickly build up that little bit of speed I’ve lost.
The gun does now suffer from a -33% clip size, which I think balances it well – I found myself having to hit-and-run quite a lot due to the missing two shots, which helps complement the playstyle I see this gun as having now. In terms of loadouts, I’ve been using it with the stock Pistol and the Wrap Assassin (rather like a previous Scout loadout I’ve discussed), since the Pistol helps offset the smaller clip size – again, the gameplay video shows this – and both the Pistol and the Wrap Assassin can do damage at longer ranges to help quickly build boost.
I’m really enjoying this gun now, and have had great fun so far on various gameplay modes. It’s also brilliant to see Valve still updating this game, and in particular adjusting weapons that were seen as less-than-ideal – alongside the BFB, the Soldier’s Liberty Launcher got a buff so you now take less damage when rocket-jumping. I’m all for this, and would much rather see Valve balance current weapons before adding any new ones.
Let me know what you think of the new BFB, and what weapon you’d like Valve to change next :) Personally I think the Reserve Shooter could do with a couple of tweaks – whenever I use it as Soldier, the mini-crit window (and indeed damage) doesn’t match up to having the full 6-shot clip of the regular Shotgun, and the extra weapon switch speed doesn’t really make much of a difference. Still, I’m happy to sit back and see what Valve does next. We’ve still got Smissmas to look forward to, of course…. (come on festive Kritzkreig come on festive Kritzkreig come on festive Kritzkreig!)