The Theory of Gaming

May 15, 2008

Soldier? More like captain useless.

Filed under: Game Analysis — Tags: , — spotpuff @ 14:10

Soldier is my most played class in TF2 and I’d like to think I am pretty good at it. Soldier was my favourite class in TF1: if you were good, you could take out a whole team and cap the flag on many maps by yourself. TF2 is a bit different: you need a medic and you can’t really do a whole lot to most of the classes. There are a lot of issues I have with the class. Some of them may be a weakness in the soldier class, while others may be other classes being too strong, but the points are usually a mix of both.

The main issue with soldiers is they’re worse than a demoman in almost every situation. Whether or not this means the demoman is overpowered or the soldier is underpowered is a larger question on the balance of the game, but nevertheless there are distinct cases where soldiers are clearly and irrefutably weaker.

1. You can’t kill sentry guns

So soldiers are supposed to be this well rounded offensive class that is capable of dealing with all sorts of obstacles. I guess when Valve designed the game, they thought soldiers should be able to deal with challenging obstacles like staircases and hills, and just those two, because as soon as you run into a sentry gun it’s basically game over.

It takes three unanswered rockets to kill a sentry gun. It’s 3/4 of your clip and requires at least 3 seconds. If an engineer is hiding behind his gun with a dispenser, and they are not against a wall, you are not going to kill the gun. You may get two rockets in, but an engineer is capable of repairing both his dispenser and his sentry in that time span, so again, you can’t kill either one.

The biggest problem though is that rocket splash damage doesn’t go through sentry guns. Or other people, too, for that matter, but that’s another issue entirely. So an engineer can duck behind his gun and heal his sentry while you shoot it ineffectually, without fear of being killed.

The only real solution is to shoot the ground near the sentry gun and try to kill the engineer first, then take out the gun, but this is problematic at a range that allows you to outrange the sentry. First of all, rockets are slow, so the engineer can dodge the rockets if they’re smart. If they don’t crouch behind their gun, dodging is easy at range. If you’re close enough that they can’t dodge rockets in time, then you’re in sentry range and taking fire. Keep in mind here I’m talking about well placed sentries, not ones built near doorways or something similar. Think the elevated platform or covered enclave at the 2nd capture point of the 2nd map of Goldrush. There is no way you can hit an engineer or the gun without being shot at; at best you’re going to have to shoot a wall near them, but the healing from their dispenser will take care of that damage and you’re still not going to kill the sentry.

A laughable “strategy” for killing sentry guns is apparently firing at the sentry until the engineer runs out of metal. I don’t know what game the people who suggested this strategy have been playing, because apparently they didn’t notice you get 20 rockets to start with now and that’s it. Assuming you have full ammo by the time you reach the sentry gun, you still require 6 seconds every time you want to fire 4 rockets at the gun. That’s 26 seconds for all 20 of your rockets, during which time no one can come interrupt you in your sentry destroying quest. Dispensers generate 40 metal every 5 seconds and hold 400 metal max. I’m not sure of the exact numbers but each rocket hit requires approximately 25 metal to repair. Over 26 seconds a dispenser will regenerate 200 metal. So the engineer has about 800 metal to play with including the 200 he’s got on him. That’s 32 rockets worth of damage that can be healed (assuming my numbers are correct, which they might not be; comments are welcome if you know the exact numbers). How many rockets do you get as a soldier? 20. So, slight problem there.

So basically, there’s some maps where you run into a sentry gun and you are totally useless. Even if you are ubercharged running straight into a sentry’s coverage, blowing your whole clip will basically only let you kill the engineer with rockets. Then you have to whip your shovel/shotgun out to finish off the gun, or suffer through the painfully slow rocket reload which is great for wasting that 10s of uber. And if you planned on making it out of there alive, well, too bad for you because most likely your ubercharge will run out just as the gun goes down, and chances are the rest of the enemy team is waiting for that to focus fire and kill you.

Why the demo is better:

Demos are better at sentry killing because they can burst damage and because their splash damage goes through sentry guns. They have two options: fire 3 stickies at a gun and detonate them all at once to kill the gun, the engineer, and the dispenser at the same time, or fire grenades directly at the sentry gun and barring the annoying bug where your grenades just bounce off engineer buildings, the splash from 2 grenades will kill the engineer and then the gun is easy pickings.

Demos can also lob grenades at elevated platforms around corners and have them land near the gun, whereas a soldier cannot, which allows the demo to kill the guns I mentioned on Gold Rush 2-2 as well as numerous other locations where sentries are built on elevated ground. The best counter an engineer has against a demo is to wrench/shotgun the stickies away, but using the wrench for that is a quick way to die and the demo can fire stickies faster than you can shoot them away, so really it’s just a stall tactic rather than a counter.

2. You can’t kill Heavies with a Medic unless you crit

A Heavy and a Medic is one of the most difficult combos to take out in TF2. If they’re the two players are good, spies are ineffective, and on some maps sniping is effective or possible to take out heavies. Especially on Gold Rush, where you can just duck behind the cart, sniping becomes a very difficult counter against heavies. Heavies can also cause a sniper to flinch constantly with fire from across the map, so there may be further balancing issues required there.

As for the soldier, well, soldier cannot kill a heavy with a medic without crits, period. According to tf2wiki.net, a splash damage rocket does about 60-80 damage at close range and only about 40-50 damage at medium range Heavies have 300 health, and when you add in the +50% hp Heavies get 450 health. Your rockets do 240-320 damage total at close range and 160-200 damage total at medium range. Then you have to reload. So at close range it would take at least 6 splash rockets to kill a buffed heavy, and at medium range it would take at least 9 splash rockets.

Now that’s assuming the medic just buffs the heavy and then leaves. If he continues healing the heavy at a rate of 20 health per second and you fire around twice per second the situation gets even worse. To fire 6 rockets at close range takes at least 4 seconds (due to reload) which means the heavy doesn’t have 450 HP, he has 530 HP (450 + 20HP/s * 4s). At medium range under the same assumptions, it takes 9 seconds to fire 9 rockets, which means you have to deal 630 damage to the heavy (450 + 20HP/s * 9s). Good luck with that.

Now some of you might be thinking ok, that’s with splash rockets but what about direct rocket hits? I’ll touch on this more later, but direct rocket hits are harder to get than they sound.

At medium range, direct hits are out of the question. Even with reduced speed, hitting a heavy directly with rockets is hard if they’re constantly strafing. You’re also going to be taking fire, and maybe it’s just me but it seems like heavy damage has been upgraded in the recent patch, so it seems like you go down even faster than before to heavy fire.

At close range, you’re only going to get off 4 direct hit rockets on a heavy before he kills you if the heavy is terrible. Assuming he’s not, you’re toast.

At long range soldiers suck. Period. Rockets are slow. The heavy isn’t going down at long range unless he stands perfectly still and lets you shoot him with direct-hit rockets repeatedly. This is not a situation that arises frequently.

To top that all off, according to tf2wiki, a direct hit rocket deals 112 damage (which seems low to me, but I can’t really test right now so I’ll go with it). 4 direct hit rockets on a heavy will deal 448 damage. How much HP do buffed heavies get? 450. 448 < 450. Doh. Granted you could still reload and shoot off one more rocket to kill the heavy, but again, that’s 3s of fire and a heavy with a medic under fire for 3s essentially has 510 HP. Ugh.

Unless you get a magical 225 damage splash crit, that heavy/medic is not going down before you do no matter how many times you shoot him.

Why the demo is better:

I’m going to start sounding like a broken record here, but the reason demos are better than soldiers at heavy killing is because they can burst damage and because their grenades fire faster than rockets. Their grenades also don’t lose damage over distance. You can lob 4-5 stickies at a heavy and unless he spins his gun down and runs, he’s basically dead. Even if he does do that, your stickies have cut off the medic from him, so the medic has to back off, or take a long route around them to continue healing the heavy. You can det those stickies and then continue placing more to try to kill the heavy and your damage output is greater than the medic can heal. Plus you have 8 stickies and 4 regular grenades to get the job done. So 12 rounds vs 4 rocket rounds and a shotgun.

Grenades also fire slightly faster than rockets, and are capable of doing more damage, so the medic has less time to heal the heavy before you have to reload. In my experience, a heavy with a medic can be killed in 3-4 direct hits with the grenade launcher. If you run out of regular grenades, switch to stickies.

As an added bonus, if you get a crit grenade and the medic is standing close enough to the heavy, you can kill the medic with splash damage, since demoman splash damage goes through people and engineer buildings.

To top it all off, if the medic hits his ubercharge, your stickies can still launch the heavy or medic out of uber range even if the heavy is firing or has his gun spun up at the time. Soldiers on the other hand are totally worthless when a heavy/medic ubers.

3. Your splash damage doesn’t go through people/engineer buildings

Soldier crits are everyone’s favourite punching bag. True, there is some element of luck involved, but it’s not like that luck aimed the rocket for you. If there’s a crowd of people and you fire off a crit into it, you might initially feel pretty darn good as that rocket leaves your launcher, but you’ll be surprised to see that you kill just one person. If a person at the front of the crowd is hit with the crit rocket, they absorb the full 270 damage, and none of the splash damage goes through to nearby enemies. So one guy eats the crit and everyone else tries to kill you. True you could splash the ground, but then you’re only dealing 225 damage, not 270, and if people are buffed and you crit splash them they just go flying in different directions, which makes landing a follow up hit even harder in some cases.

Even if we ignore the case of critical hits, a direct rocket hit will only injure the person you shot, not anyone around them, which is aggravating in and of itself since you only get 4 rockets.

Lack of splash through buildings is also the main reason why soldiers suck against sentry guns. Engineers just duck behind them and laugh at you.

Why demomen are better:

Demo splash goes through people and buildings. A crit grenade will kill pretty much everyone around your target. It’s common to see 2 kills per crit and not uncommon to see 3 kills per crit if people are bunched at bottlenecks as in Gold Rush/Dustbowl.

Also, demos can take out sentry guns with regular grenades fired directly at the gun. They’ll get the engineer too.

4. 90% of the time rockets don’t do full damage, they do splash damage

Unless you are the god of leading shots and aiming, and your opponents don’t know how to dodge, you are going to be hitting people with splash rockets. This means rockets for all intents and purposes will not be doing 112 damage per hit. They do either 70 or 50. Looking only at direct-hit rocket damage is like looking only at sniper headshots and spy backstabs; it ignores the other cases in which you will be doing damage.

Did anyone notice the spy knife damage buff in the last patch? Previously spies could never critical strike with their knife from the front, and it did something like 30 damage. I thought this was fair since a backstab was a one-hit kill, but evidently Valve thought differently and buffed the spy knife damage so it does about 50 damage per hit now.

So Valve understands that even though full charge sniper headshots and spy backstabs are one hit kills, not every hit is going to be a full charge headshot or one hit kill. Evidently though they do not understand that rockets don’t do 110 damage per hit, they do either 70 or 50. Go figure.

Why demomen are better:

This one’s a toss up. Demomen can be hard to play because you have to be good at leading and aiming. My friend CdTrix taught me a trick as a demo though: just aim upwards with your grenades so you lob them. Grenades are incapable of getting direct hits as soon as they hit the ground. This is a change from TF1 where you could bounce grenades off the ground into people and was actually a good strategy in some cases since the bounce actually took some forward velocity off the grenade and made it possible to sort of create a “screen” of grenades where a scout or other fast class couldn’t run past for fear of collsion.

As soon as I started aiming upwards with my grenades, I started getting significantly more hits than when I was just aiming straight ahead (due to grenades not landing on the ground first). The hit box also seems to be pretty large for lobbed grenades as well. And don’t forget they do full damage at range, so you can lob a fair distance and still be quite lethal if your grenades strikes anything.

5. Your rocket damage decreases with distance

No one gets hit at long range with rockets unless they are terrible players. Rockets are slow. If you see one coming, you move out of the way. This is known as dodging. Good players know how to do this.

Long distances are not really the concern here, it’s the medium distances that really kill you. You’re already can’t get direct hits and so you’re relegated to splash damage, and then to add insult to injury your splash damage decreases if you’re any distance from your target.

This is in addition to the above point regarding killing engineers hiding behind sentries and heavies.

Why demomen are better:

Grenade and sticky damage does not decrease with distance. Other than crits and snipers, they’re the only class with this distinction. QED.

6. Self rocket damage is too high

Soldiers have great mobility because they can rocket jump. Too bad it takes off 1/4 of your health. I hate to compare to TF1, but just as a reference, in TF1 soldiers had 200 armor and 100 health. A rocket jump would cost you about 40 armor and 10 health. Not a big deal. In TF2, though, a single rocket jump takes off a quarter of your health, and puts you in easy-to-kill range for a number of classes from demos to scouts.

The other big problem with rocket self-damage is that an easy counter to soldiers is to just hug them. Being backstabbed by a spy is bad enough, but now with increased front melee damage, I get spies stabbing me in front for 50 damage. If you rocket them direct hit, you take about 50 damage as well, so now you’re down to half health… and the spy isn’t dead yet. He’ll stab you again for 50 damage. Now you’re at 50 health and another rocket self-hit will kill you. Another stab will kill you. You can’t run away. No matter what you do, you’re dead and there is no counter. So much for the mighty soldier.

The same problem is true with scouts, snipers, or any other class that just runs up to you, which isn’t as hard as it might sound on most maps. Keep in mind the soldier is the 2nd slowest class in the game, and is only slightly faster than a heavy. Backpedalling incurs a 10% speed penalty, so if you are backpedalling against a heavy that isn’t firing his chain gun, he actually moves faster than you. Essentially once someone gets close to you, you cannot get them away without incurring some self-damage, and it’s not a trivial amount of damage either. 1/4 of your health per hit is a lot, and considering it takes 2 non-crit rockets to kill any full-health enemy in the game, you’re really only playing with half your full health, or about 100 HP. If your enemy takes off 100 damage of your life, you’re basically dead unless you whip out the shotgun and can kill them before they kill you. As far as I know none of the other classes have this problem.

It’s not so much that rocket self-damage on its own is a problem, it’s that combined with soldiers’ inability to get people away from them once they are close, resulting in you killing yourself along with the enemy. On all maps this is a losing situation; your respawn timer is longer if you’re on defense than the opposing team, and most likely you’ve killed a “lighter” class such as a scout or engineer than you, a soldier. Once people are close to you, you no longer have 200 health, you essentially have 100 health.

Why demomen are better:

This one’s pretty close. Demos take pretty much the damage damage from self-splash as soldiers do. They have slightly less health too.

Where demos have the advantage is in using stickies to cut an enemy off from even getting close to you. If someone’s rushing you, you can just look down fairly close to yourself, drop a few stickies, and continue backing away. Your enemy has to go around the stickies or die, as 2 stickies is enough to kill any unbuffed class in the game other than a heavy, and a heavy can’t catch a demo even if he’s backpedalling. So demos can really avoid having people get in close on them, whereas soldiers have a bit of a harder time since you have to score a direct rocket hit to bounce someone, whereas demomen can deny a fairly large area to an attacker quickly and effectively with sticky grenades.

7. Your are constantly running out of ammo

I’m still not sure why Valve found it necessary to reduce the soldier rocket count from 40 to 20. All it seemed to change was that I can’t do anything without running out of rockets now, or I’m constantly looking around for ammo.

This is exacerbated by the system Valve uses for ammo collection. You have 4 rockets in the clip but only 16 in reserve, and when you pick up a weapon, the ammo only goes into your reserve. This makes perfect sense, but it also means that you typically only get 1 or 2 rockets when you pick up a weapon after a kill. The reason being, you most likely used 3 or 4 of your rockets to kill your enemy, but by the time you grab their weapon you’ve only reloaded 2 of your rockets from your reserve into your clip, not 4, so you go from say, 2/14 (clip/reserve) to 2/16 rockets. This takes 2 seconds to do with reload time, and if you want the full 4 rockets you have to reload for 4 seconds. Maybe it was Valve’s intention to make soldiers wait around 4 seconds after every kill to collect the full ammo amount. Net result is the first time you kill someone and don’t wait around their corpse for 4 seconds you are down 2 rockets at the least and potentially 3 or 4 if you were closer to the weapon when it dropped and accidentally picked it up. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s 10-20% of your ammo reserve you are missing out on. That makes it sound a bit worse, no?

The other big thing is that your rockets push dropped weapons away, so when you kill someone, their weapon potentially goes flying into a corner across the map or into enemy firing lines. This makes it rather difficult to pick the ammo up as you kill things without you yourself being killed, and you slowly run out of rockets.

Granted other classes are affected in the same way by the ammo pick-up system, but realistically because their ammo reserve is larger, it isn’t as much of a problem. The rocket change was immediately felt by myself and others, and I can’t count the number of times I’ve run out of rockets since then, without even realizing it just because I’ve been backpedalling and laying down suppressing fire against a superior number of enemies or I’ve just been under constant pressure as I kill things and haven’t had the opportunity to pick up ammo.

I’m not Valve so I don’t know why they made the rocket capacity change, but apparently it was to reduce doorway spam on some maps. I would argue they’ve done nothing but cripple soldiers as an offensive class. Doorway spam is still a problem since most maps are set up to provide ammo resupplies to the defensive team, and they are close to their respawn and ammo closet. On top of that you usually have a few dispensers around to replenish your ammo on defense. These conditions have led to doorway spam not being fixed at all; grenade spam is just as much a problem as it was before, but soldiers are stuck always looking for ammo.

Why the demoman is better:

You get stickies and regular grenades. So twice as many explosives. Both are replenished when you pick up ammo, so if you fire a mix of stickies and grenades, you can replenish both with one ammo pick up. Maybe they should give the demo 20 grenades and make stickies and grenades fire from the same reserve…

A soldier having to rely on the shotgun is stupid if the rocket launcher is his main weapon. Switching to the shotgun in combat before you’ve exhausted rockets can be effective but also takes a full second now (they fixed the “quick shotgun shot” when switching weapons in the last patch) and lets the enemy get in more shots than you. It’s also like telling snipers to switch to their SMG to finish people off to conserve sniper rounds because they only have 25 of them; it’s not really a fair suggestion. The rocket launcher makes the class, not the shotgun. Soldiers are not engineers.

8. You are effective at exactly one distance: medium range

Close range you self-splash. Long range your rockets get dodged. Medium range is the only range at which you can kill things without getting hurt, but it also means your rockets do less damage. Ugh. This seem stupid to anyone else?

Even at medium range, other classes may still be more effective than you. The other day I was killed by a spy with a revolver at medium range because he was strafing around higher ground on Gold Rush. You have to stay at medium range against a spy due to stab issues, and that revolver is pretty accurate and does about 60 damage per hit at medium range. They also reload faster than you. Now maybe it’s just me, but I don’t feel like spies should be better than soldiers at medium range even if they do have higher ground. Scouts and engineers also give soldiers huge problems at medium range if they have a slight terrain advantage.

Why demomen are better:

Demos are better at medium and long range because their damage doesn’t decrease over distance. Your stickies make it easy to cut off terrain where enemies can run at you. You have enough speed to actually outrun things, unlike a soldier.

At close range, it’s pretty even. At medium range, I’d give the demo the edge because of pipes, and at long range I’d give the demo the advantage because of damage.

9. Soldier mobility sucks

Rocket jumping eats a quarter of your HP, excluding falling damage. For all intents and purposes you are the slowest class in the game. Yes, heavies are slower, but only marginally; you basically move at the same speed. Everyone can outrun you if they want to, which essentially means you are always fighting on someone else’s terms.

Why demomen are better:

I’m not sure if this is a recent change or if it’s always been this way, but demomen can sticky jump ridiculous distances. Gold Rush has no forward-moving respawns, so on the 2nd and 3rd map the respawn walk begins to matter significantly. As a demoman on either of these maps, you can sticky jump from the respawn to almost the first cap point. The travel time is ridiculously longer for a soldier, not to mention it consumes more ammunition and you require a med pack due to the damage you’ve taken. You also have to be moving backwards to get maximum rocket jump range whereas demomen can place a sticky and detonate it on their terms while still being able to see what they’re sticky jumping into.

OK this sucks, but how do we fix it?

Offering a bunch of complaints about problems without offering any solutions is pretty lame, so I’ll try to give some suggestions here. My main concern is that demomen are just as good as soldiers in the majority of situations and better than soldiers for offense and defense a lot of the time. Each class should have a specific role to play and should have advantages or disadvantages in certain matchups; one class should not dominate the majority of match ups and pull even in the rest. If one class is clearly better in almost all situations, then why bother playing the inferior class?

Fix #1: Increase damage

The soldier needs to be able to kill things that have a lot of HP or that are being repaired/healed. A sentry gun should not be unkillable by a soldier, and yet killable by other classes (heavy, demo, etc.) without aid. It puts the soldier at a disadvantage. Either increase the damage so a soldier can kill a sentry gun after say 6 hits, or increase the amount of metal required to repair guns dramatically. 800 metal is a lot of metal to burn through if you’re a soldier with 20 rockets, and I showed above why it may not even be possible if my assumptions were correct.

A heavy with a medic is a trickier situation. That’s two players working together, and so one player shouldn’t be able to kill them. Two soldiers can kill a heavy, so it’s balanced enough. I wouldn’t have a problem with this if it weren’t for the fact that an individual demoman can kill a heavy, and a soldier can’t.

Direct rocket hits should kill light (125 HP) classes at close range, to prevent hugging and melee mutual kills.

Fix #2: Reduce self-splash damage

If soldiers aren’t going to move faster, then make it so they won’t die if people melee them twice and they shoot themselves twice. This would also let soldiers rocket jump more than twice without putting themselves in one-shot range of basically every other class in the game.

Fix #3: Change rocket splash to go through other players/objects

If Valve isn’t going to increase damage if rockets over distance or damage to sentry guns, let us at least kill the engineer. Again, the demo is stronger in this situation than a soldier, which would be ok if they weren’t already so much stronger than the soldier in almost every other situation.

Fix #4: Increase soldier movement speed slightly

This is mainly so other classes can’t hug you as easily, which gives you more time to backpedal and fire rockets to stop their forward movement without splash damaging yourself to death. Other classes can still catch you, but not quite as easily, and they’ll take more damage doing so.

Tying it all up

I’m sure there are other possible fixes to the points I mentioned. Not everyone is going to agree with the points I made. But other than “crit rockets”, does anyone have any problems with the soldier class? Anyone feel they’re overpowered? If so, feel free to leave a comment, because I haven’t seen anyone who thinks that. Most feel demos are overpowered, and I feel pyros and heavies are a bit strong right now, but I haven’t talked to anyone who thinks soldiers are too strong.

What exactly is the soldier’s role supposed to be? The demoman was supposed to be for defense and support, but it’s turned out on the majority of maps that a demoman is more useful than a soldier in a large number of situations. If that’s the case, there’s no reason to play soldier; anything a soldier can do a demo can do better.

In which cases should he be better than a demo, and in which cases should he be worse? That’s a pretty subjective question, and one that only Valve can really answer definitively (since they make the game) but right now it seems like the soldier’s role is to play second fiddle to the demoman, waste rockets on sentries and feed points to heavies.

If Valve does decide to patch the soldier and address some of these issues, I hope they do it to the base soldier class, not with soldier unlockables.  That just makes the unlockables mandatory instead of bringing the soldier to where he should be by fixing the underlying problems with the class.

102 Comments »

  1. You suck noob learn to play.

    Comment by cdtrix — May 15, 2008 @ 20:32

  2. We can’t all use auto aim jackass!

    Comment by spotpuff — May 15, 2008 @ 20:35

  3. All you have really pointed out is that the demoman is better at taking out sentry guns, and that demo bombs should not splash through players and objects.

    If you can’t kill a heavy medic combo as a single soldier GOOD! This is supposed to be a difficult combo to deal with. Find a medic then use your rockets knockback to separate the heavy medic combo. Aim for the medic you can kill with two rockets if your aim doesn’t suck.

    You complain about running out of ammo and only being effective at medium range. Clearly you need to learn to use your other weapons. You have a shotgun for a reason, use it.

    Self rocket damage is fine. If you have a medic on your TEAM (yep this is a team game) you will be able to shrug off that self damage. Could you imagine if soldiers could launch themselves without having to worry about health. It would be a death from above massacre.

    I could pick this apart for days, but instead I will just say is “You suck noob learn to play.”

    Comment by sickwookie — May 16, 2008 @ 11:14

  4. [...] received an article submission this morning from SpotPuff, owner and author of The Theory of Gaming blog. Some of his points seem [...]

    Pingback by TF2 Digital Jedi » Interesting Soldier Theories — May 16, 2008 @ 11:19

  5. sickwookie

    what you are doing is not “picking it apart”

    what you are doing is being a moron. Read through the post again, wait 10 minutes, form a logical and reasonable explaination to why you disagree with his points.

    Demoman ARE better than Soldiers.

    Are you dense sickwookie? What if you kill the medic? The heavy is still going to kill you. even if you have a medic with you as a soldier.. you cannot kill a heavy medic simply because the soldier lacks the firepower to do so.

    Running out of ammo is a huge issue. Maybe you’ve never lived past you’re first clip and have never been able to kill more than 1 person in 1 life, you’ve never really had to run out of ammo.

    Soldier’s only real range is midranged. Long range rockets do 50 damage. short range you do 120 + 40 damage self damage. why bother even shooting long range rockets if they only do 1/3 full damage. Why even play short range because 40 damage per self rocket will kill you faster than the enemy will when they hug you.

    At mid range you’re rockets will do 80 damage. which is not effective enough to even kill a sniper. it takes 3 splash rockets to kill a sniper and takes 3 direct rockets to kill a soldier. How broken is that? you have 20 rockets. 5 clips. each time you encounter an enemy and if you’re super leet sickwookie, then you’ll be able to kill 6 people with out going for ammo right? how many times have YOU killed 6 people as a soldier efficently?

    Don’t talk about learning to use other weapons when the rocket launcher, the MAIN weapon is useless.

    Only noobs bring up the “TEAM” bullshit in tf2, not everyone is a team player, that’s why we have 6 medics on 1 team or 4 snipers and 2 scouts… you think these people are “team” players? don’t give me any of this team bullshit.

    you say IF you have a medic. These days medics are way to concentrated on getting achivements and only heal heavies. no one ever heals soldiers cause people know that they do not produce the same results as a heavy or demo would in battle. Unless you have a friend that is willing to live through the disappointment when you fail at killing the sentry gun.

    You’re a noob sickwookie that obviously does not play soldier enough to realize how broken it is.

    Let say you were in a real war with real strategy, who would be you’re main attack force? that’s right SOLDIERS… same thing in TF2, who is the main attack force? SOLDIERS well that’s how it’s SUPPOSED to be… if the main attacking class cannot kill a sentry gun, then what’s the point in even having soldiers? just run all demos and support classes and you win!

    Don’t tell spotpuff to “learn to play” only i can do that.

    Comment by cdtrix — May 16, 2008 @ 12:09

  6. I don’t claim to be an uber soldier. I play pyro, sniper, engineer and medic mostly, but I have 11.5 hours as a soldier so I have an idea how the class is played.

    The problem with this article is that it compares the soldier to the demoman. This is an unfair comparison since they are meant to be different. If you try to play a soldier like a demo you will fail miserably. If on the other hand you play to the soldier’s strengths you will do quite well.

    The soldier needs to use the knockback and speed of his rockets to his advantage. You are right that the splash damage of a rocket is ass, but it will launch and opponent into a predictable arc. Anything that can be predicted can be punished. Score a direct hit on your opponent since you know where he will land. Also, predict where your opponents will likely be such as doors and other choke points. If you play the odds you will find that you score a lot of “lucky” direct hits on your enemies.

    As for this being a team game you need to accept this as a reality or you will be forever stuck with your scrubiness. By working with your teammates you can overcome some of your weaknesses.

    For example one soldier may not be able to take out a sentry, but two at the same time are usually up to the task. A single soldier will never beat a heavy medic, but again two should be able to handle it. You can’t expect to be at an advantage in every situation therefore you need to play in a way to put your self into situations that are to your advantage.

    Complaining about how where the class fails will not make you a better player, but thinking about how to overcome those weaknesses will.

    Comment by sickwookie — May 16, 2008 @ 12:40

  7. I forgot to add that you are way off cdtrix. The rocket launcher is the soldier’s primary, but it is far from useless. It does great damage on a direct hit and launches opponents into the air. If you use it only for its splash damage you are doing it wrong. You need to change your tactic to use the weapon more effectively.

    Also, the shotgun really should be used a lot. Just look at the pyro. You would never think of trying to use your flame thrower in all situations would you? Instead you end up getting most of your kills with a shotgun. As a soldier you should switch to it anytime you have used your four initial rockets.

    Comment by sickwookie — May 16, 2008 @ 12:57

  8. Sickwookie,

    Some interesting points. If we are comparing time played for a class, I think I have you beat as I have around 70 hours played as a soldier. If 11.5 hours gives you an idea of how the class is played, then 70 hours should give me a slightly better idea (in theory).

    OK first off the medic issue. #1 is that medics won’t stick with you if there’s a heavy around. It just doesn’t make sense; a heavy is a better class to heal because they can break through defenses. Soldiers can’t; crits don’t do double damage to buildings and you only get 4 (which can’t take out a sentry anyways) to do anything with before a reload. Medics may top you up, but they will stick with heavies and they SHOULD stick with heavies because it’s just a better choice to heal. If you have friends who will heal you as a soldier, that’s great, but it’s better for the team if they heal a heavy.

    You say the problem with the article was I was comparing the soldier with the demo. The reason I did that is because I wanted to show that in a vast majority of situations the demo is BETTER than a soldier. If that’s the case there is no reason to play soldier and the soldier has no role. If anything a soldier can do a demo can do better, then we can remove the soldier from the game and not miss anything. You say they are meant to be different and I agree, they are, but different should mean (as I pointed out in my article), that the soldier is better at certain things and the demo is better at others. This isn’t the case; the soldier is worse than a demoman most of the time (in my experience).

    As for weapons, I also addressed that. As a soldier if you take out your shotgun, you are essentially an engineer. Does that seem right to you? If so, ok fine, we disagree on that point. The PRIMARY weapon of the class, in my opinion, makes the class. The shotgun does not make the heavy. The pistol does not make the scout. The needlegun does not define the medic. The rocket launcher is supposed to define the soldier, and as it stands right now, it’s weak. When you pull out your shotgun you’re as strong as an engineer, and to me that seems wrong.

    Trix and I tested rocket damage last night; long range rocket direct hits do around 50 damage. It’s super hard to get a direct hit rocket, and it does pathetic damage. It’s the same as getting hit by 2 or 3 heavy rounds from across the map. Now which is harder to pull off: soldier direct rocket hit from across the map or heavy? Medium range has the same problems; you can’t hit someone with a rocket directly unless they’re standing still or don’t know how to dodge, that’s why you rely on splash damage. Yes, it arcs people predictably, but it’s still really hard to get a direct rocket hit. Trix and I can both air rocket people. We’re not terrible with the class. But a direct hit rocket does a maximum of 112 damage; it’s possible for you to splash and direct hit some classes with every single one of your rockets and even if they don’t have a medic they don’t die. I feel that’s imbalanced.

    As for firing rockets blindly around corners and choke points, I do not feel this is a great strategy. It’s good for suppressing fire on defense, but on offense if no one is there it just gives your position away. Also the majority of the time on offense you aren’t really trying to prevent people to come to you, you’re the one who has to push forward to an objective. Giving away your position to anyone watching a particular bottleneck for the chance of a direct rocket hit is not a viable strategy, it’s a good way to get yourself killed.

    I already stated in my article that I think the fact that a heavy medic can survive a single soldier is ok. 2 players should ALWAYS beat one player given equal skill. However, I also said I think it’s imbalanced that a single demo can take out a heavy with a medic healing him. I also said this may be an issue of the demo being overpowered rather than the soldier being underpowered. I left that up to the reader to decide for themselves since it’s really a matter of opinion.

    Again though that just goes to show the demo is better in that situation than the soldier. So why play soldier? You mention shooting rockets around corners… what about grenades, which deny an area for essentially the whole time from when they are fired to when they explode (rather than just an explosion like a rocket) and stickies? Aren’t those even BETTER for covering a corner area? Again, if this is true, why play the soldier in this case?

    Regarding the pyro/shotgun, yes, this makes sense. Pyro fire keeps burning after someone’s lit and then they can outrange you sometimes as well, so you can pull out the shotgun for more damage and to kill them faster. They did however buff pyro fire in the last patch to make it both do more damage and burn faster. So they realized pyros running around with shotguns is a bit stupid when the flamethrower is the “pyro weapon” that should define the class. At least that’s how I saw it; I don’t really know why they patched it.

    The fact that you have a shotgun also doesn’t really change the rocket launcher being underpowered. I have killed people numerous times after firing 4 rockets and 2-6 shotgun rounds. The reload time after this is absolutely ridiculous. For a soldier to have to spend that much ammo, primary and secondary, and then be out of commission for 8 seconds for reloading is broken. It’s unfair given the ammo reserves of the other classes and the damage caused by their weapons as well.

    I think you’ve brought up some valid points, but they’re also points I’ve already considered and having played the soldier a fair amount both with and without a medic and on pubs and in scrims, I think I have a decent understanding of the class. I’ve tried tons of things in various situations, and certain situations expose weaknesses in the class that are not present for the demoman.

    Again, central point: if the demoman is better than the soldier in almost all situations then why play soldier at all? Fun is one of the reasons, but fun doesn’t really win you games or rounds.

    Thanks for the comments, and I hope you do respond. I’ve put a lot of thought into a lot of these situations, and myself and several friends have run into the same problems. Unfortunately for all of us, solutions are harder to figure out than problems themselves.

    Comment by spotpuff — May 16, 2008 @ 14:12

    • I have about 60ish hours as Soldier, and about 30 as Demo, plus a few more hours from using my friend’s computer, but I adapt really well, so I think I may have enough playtime to figure out how the classes work. Soldier as actually amazing at close range. You can shoot a rocket slightly behind your enemy, they fly into the air and you can switch out to your shotgun or just airshot them, and they’re dead. The main problem with Demoman is that they suck at close range, and their weapons travel slower than a Soldiers. They’re a bit slower than Soldiers, who are probably the #1 mobility class in the game (asides perhaps a scout. A rocket jump isn’t much of a problem if you know the map and the health packs, like any good player should know. And Heavy-Meds are no problem at all. A good soldier can Rocket Jump to get by the combo, and have enough health to fight the Medic, hide, wait for the Heavy to notice his Medic’s gone, then Rocket Spam a corner. Plenty of Heavies have died to me like that. Since most TF2 maps are decently-made and have alternate routes, for example on Gold Rush, the Heavy Medic can’t just hide in that Tunnel thingy, mowing down anyone stupid enough to come in, because there is a window to the left of them where an experienced Soldier can rocket jump up to. I will admit that the Demoman has more firepower than the Soldier, but the Soldier is more reliable, with an Explosion-Projectile weapon for good damage and corner spam, and a Hitscan with a fast reload and actually quite good damage for when the rockets run out and you need a way to quickly finish the person off. It’s not the easiest thing to do, but once as Medic my Heavy pocket actually shot the Stickies before the Demoman could detonate them.But I do not find it fair to compare Demoman and Soldier. I like to think of them as a door and a window. You can use a window as a way to enter/exit (climbing through it), but a door would be a better choice for that. You can use a door as a way to see outside, (opening the door and looking outside) but a window would be better for that. The Soldier CAN, and actually probably WILL take down a turtled Sentry if he can get good angles on it, but the Demoman is clearly better for that unless the engineer has MLG shoot tiny balls out of the air skillz. Even then, if the Engineer is amazing at that, the Demoman has grenades that he can shoot around a wall. I know, I did mention something that sounded like the Soldier is better at that, but what I meant is that he can take out people just hiding around a corner due to the Rocket’s good direct damage, but the grenades will have to bounce off the wall and wait a second or so, long enough for the player to move out of the way. However, the grenades are good for blocking off a hallway while hiding behind a corner. They are both perfectly balanced classes, and I’m sorry for the impassable wall of text you see before you. Bye!

      Comment by Someone — May 30, 2013 @ 11:37

  9. i don’t think 11 hours is enough to really understand how the soldier works.

    i have 75+ hours and so does spotpuff. we’ve seen it all and are constantly fustrated when it comes to the stuff mentioned in the original post.

    obviously a soldier isn’t suppose to kill stuff by themselves, it’s just that demoman are a lot better than soldiers in almost every aspect.

    sticky jump > rocket jump
    demo speed > soldier speed
    36 round of ammo > 20 rounds of ammo
    12 rounds without reloading > 4 rounds with out reloading
    no diminished damage over distance > diminished damage over distance
    2 sticky pipes > 3 direct rockets
    1 crit grenade kills 3 people > 1 crit kills 1 person
    demo rate of fire > soldier rate of fire

    Comment by cdtrix — May 16, 2008 @ 14:23

  10. “I have killed people numerous times after firing 4 rockets and 2-6 shotgun rounds”

    I am not sure if I read this correctly, but if you are saying that it takes you 4 rockets and 2-6 shotgun rounds to kill an opponent you need to improve your aim before declaring the class broken. I will assume this is not the case though.

    The medic issue: Heavies are better to heal in certain situations. When you need to break through a stalemate or a choke point for example. If you are rushing to the next objective the soldier is a better choice since his mobility is superior to the heavy. The demonman is the best choice for the uber to destroy sentries though. Also, if there is only enough medics for the heavies on the team there are too many heavies or too few medics. It is often a better choice to stop playing your favorite class and pick up the medic. This will win games.

    The demoman situation: You have to accept that the demoman is better than the soldier when it comes to clearing anything that gets healed whether this is a heavy or a sentry because he is able to dump all his damage at once where the soldier has to spread his damage over time allowing the target to heal in between. This does not make the demoman better than the soldier in all situations. Specifically head to head with the demoman a soldier should be able to win. Both of the demomans weapons can be avoided at mid range which is where the soldier should be when facing the demo. If the demo tries to draw you in close or open a gap he is trying to get you to fight on his terms, and you should not continue that fight. The demoman is going to have a tougher time dodging your rockets at mid range, but assuming he can you switch to the shotgun which he cannot dodge. As long as you keep this fight on your terms you win. The soldier matches up well not only against the demoman, but every class provided he fights on his terms, and does not allow his opponent to dictate the fight.

    The rocket launcher/shotgun situation: You need to come to terms with the fact that the rocket launcher has strengths and weaknesses. There is no primary weapon in the game that does not have drawbacks. Every class has a secondary weapon to help them deal with the drawbacks of their primary. The pyro has the shotgun since the flamethrower is such short range. The demo has the stickies since the pipes are hard to hit a moving target with. The engi has the pistol since the shotgun has a relatively short range. The sniper has the sub since the rifle does not work well up close. The scout has the pistol since the scattergun is short range. The heavy has the shotgun to avoid the spin up on their gat. I don’t feel that the spy or the medic really fit here because they are actually defined by their secondaries the knife/sapper and the medigun. You get the point though they all have drawbacks.

    The main benefit of the rocket launcher is the knockback. If you are not able to juggle and kill your opponents with 70hrs played you really need more practice. JUGGLING IS WHAT MAKES OR BREAKS A SOLDIER. The only reason to not juggle is if you are rocket jumping and scoring directs from above. Also, use the slow speed of the rockets to your advantage. Fire a few at a door as you are moving towards it you can in essence provide your own covering fire.

    In short realise what your weaknesses are and force your opponents on to your terms and don’t let them lure you onto theirs. I am sure that you are familiar with the article on playing to win so I won’t post it, but if demoman is such a superior class dump the soldier and play demo. Above all play to win.

    Comment by sickwookie — May 16, 2008 @ 15:40

  11. I’m totally able to juggle people, but I’m confused now. You said you should use rocket direct hits… but now you’re saying soldiers should juggle people? Which one is it? Direct hits don’t juggle.

    Saying you should only fight on your terms is great in theory, but terrible in practice. You can almost never fight on your own terms when pushing on dustbowl/gravel pit/gold rush; you’re always walking into a fortified position.

    As for only having enough medics to heal heavies, that’s actually ok if they can top up the other classes. If you’re suggesting EVERY offensive class needs a medic on them all the time, well, that sounds a bit unbalanced. 6 medics + 6 other on offense? That’d be the ideal team according to what you said. I have 65 hours played as a medic… how many do you have?

    What exactly are the terms that a soldier has to fight under to have the advantage, and how do you create those terms? I accept the demo is better in several situations. That was half the point of my post… you seem to keep missing that point. The demo is better than the soldier in many situations and that renders the soldier useless, or less useful than a demo, a lot of the time. That was the whole point of my post: the number of situations where a soldier is less useful than a demo are so numerous that you’re better off not playing soldier at all.

    As for my aim, well, You can look me up on Steam if you want and look at my stats; I think they speak for themselves. I’m not the best soldier, but I’m not terrible either. Hell, I’ll make it easy for you and provide a link: http://steamcommunity.com/id/spotpuff/stats/TF2

    Having played soldier for over 80 hours, I think I can safely say I realize what the weaknesses are better than you would, having only played 11 hours. Playing a soldier practically and saying things theoretically, like “always fight on your own terms”, are two totally different things. The article was basically a laundry list of things that need to be fixed with the soldier. Of course it’s just my opinion, but I know it’s a view shared by at least a few other people as well. You’ve made some contradictory points, though, so I suggest you re-read the article or rethink some of the examples/points behind what you posted, because as mentioned above they’re contradictory.

    Comment by spotpuff — May 16, 2008 @ 21:34

  12. First, Juggling is used to score a direct hit. The first hit knocks your opponent into the air allowing you to predict where he will land and punish with a direct hit. If you don’t know this or with so many hours played there is know help for you.

    Second, My point was not that there should be one medic for every offensive class, but that there should be enough for the total offense or defense. If you are breaking a stalemate there should be one medic for each heavy. If you are holding a choke point you can get away with one medic for several people just topping people up as they fall back to reload.

    Third, The soldier is an anti-personnel class so his terms are any situation head to head with another player. If the other player has a medic, the soldier better as well. You will own any other class head to head.

    Fourth, I am not going to diss your stats at all, and I was not trying to say that your aim was bad. The statement I quoted made it sound like you frequently have to expend all your ammo in order to get one kill. If that is the case your aim sucks. Even with my measly 11 hours played as soldier I can easily kill people without completely depleting my ammo.

    You have played this game way more than I have, but you must be playing on crappy pubs because all of the problems you sight are fixed by playing with a decent team. Hell why are so many competitive teams running matches with soldiers at all if what you are saying is true? In a 6v6 every class needs to pull its weight and yet there is always a soldier around. If they were as broken as you assert they would not be part of that format. Christ just look at your stats. Your soldier does better than your demoman in just about everything accept destructions, which the demo should be better at.

    Finnally, elevate your game and leave your scrubbiness behind. The soldier is not a tf2 god, but neither is any other class. Each one is a tool that when used effectively helps the team accomplish its goal. If you are in a situation where the soldier is getting owned switch classes. If you use this strategy exclusively and you find that you are using the demo more than the soldier maybe you have a point, but I just don’t see that happening.

    I tend to use the pyro which means there are many situations in which I am at a disadvantage, but I don’t whine about how unbalanced it is. Instead I focus on what I can do well with the class and help my team as much as possible. If I find that nothing I am doing is helping I switch to a different class that will help turn the tide. I find that I end up playing most classes equally when I do this.

    Comment by sickwookie — May 17, 2008 @ 8:13

  13. Wow forgive my bad spelling and grammar, I did not proof read until after posting =(

    Comment by sickwookie — May 17, 2008 @ 8:15

  14. It’s ok my spelling/grammar suck too! Can you not edit after posting? I can edit (since I’m the blog owner I guess) but I wasn’t sure if users could.

    Comment by spotpuff — May 17, 2008 @ 9:40

  15. I don’t have the option to edit =(

    You have the beginning of a great blog though, and I will be sure to check back in the future.

    Comment by sickwookie — May 17, 2008 @ 10:57

  16. You greatly underestimate soldier. Soldier, medic, and demo are the three most powerful classes in TF2. Playing a medic competitively, I can tell you that a good soldier is nothing short of a wrecking ball. Rocket jumping is about 1/4 your health, but sticky jumping is about 1/2 your health. Soldiers are actually pretty good at close range too. Soldier can use the mobility of rocket jumping and their insane bursts of damage to generate momentum like no other class.

    Even in 8v8 no class limits play, good teams tend to competitively lean towards soldiers over demos due to the soldier’s stronger pairing with the medic and general versatility.

    Comment by Warskull — May 17, 2008 @ 13:45

  17. With regards to sticky jumping: for mobility, it seems a bit ridiculous that a demo can sticky jump from the respawn all the way to the first CP on most gold rush maps in one jump. There’s health nearby, so this taking off half your health isn’t a big problem. Soldiers on the other hand have to rocket jump about 3 times to cover the same distance as a demo with 1 sticky jump. A medic can walk almost as fast as a soldier rocket jumping his heart out.

    It’s not really a combat move, but then again, neither is rocket jumping really due to the health/ammo costs. It uses a quarter of your clip, assuming it’s your opening move, and later in the fight you aren’t going to waste a rocket to rocket jump if you only have 1 or 2 rockets in your clip.

    I don’t think I’m really underestimating the soldier. I play soldier enough to know there are situations that you run into that are pretty tough to overcome.

    Player limits can artificially change which classes are good or bad. In 12v12 you tend to see a certain class mix and in 7v7 you see another class mix. Also it depends on the map; gold rush is very different than say, Warpath (ugh). I can’t comment really on the competitive play since I don’t have a lot of experience with that, other than a few scrims which probably weren’t league quality. Well, maybe a crappy league.

    I would say though that soldiers do not have “insane bursts of damage”. Their damage is in fact rather not insane, at something like 70 damage per splash rocket, and especially not against sentries/heavy+medic. Demo’s better in those cases and has even more insaner burst damage.

    The one big issue with rocket jumping is in TF1 medics used to be able to conc/grenade jump, but now because they took grenades out, they have no mobility other than walking. So on maps like 2fort, you know where the medics have to go because they can’t go any other way; they will have to go through the ramp room to get to the flag room, and if you’re a soldier that rocket jumped into the battlements/grate room, you aren’t going to have a medic. Survivability in TF2 is awful and you really need a medic to succeed, so rocket jumping and taking away your own ability to have a medic with you is a really bad move most of the time.

    Comment by spotpuff — May 20, 2008 @ 10:47

  18. How terrible do you have to be at this game to complain that the soldier is too weak?

    Comment by sparkle — May 24, 2008 @ 14:11

  19. agreed with sparkle

    Comment by kanexls — May 26, 2008 @ 14:39

  20. well, people seem to be perfectly content with ad hominem attacks instead of counter arguing. Damn you, internets!

    Comment by spotpuff — May 26, 2008 @ 15:02

  21. very well.

    1. Versus engineer? The soldier should have no problems against one if hes got a medic w/uber. Medic takes the knock back, soldier advances and kills the engy. The soldier can kill both the engineer and the sentry in just 3 rockets if hes smart, and he does it about as fast as a demo. If he doesn’t have an uber, he can often take out the dispenser and engineer from long range better or faster than a demo can from there. Sentry guy falls quickly after that. Otherwise, the demo has the advantage. But big deal, hes a freakin DEMOLITION man.

    2. OMGWTF, I CAN’T KILL TWO PEOPLE USING TEAMWORK BY MYSELF. Learn to play. First, they have two people, so 2 on 1 isn’t a fair comparison. It ought to be 2 soldiers vrs heavy+medic, and two soldiers can easily kill a 450 health heavy. If you are whining why a demo can kill a heavy standing still, but a soldier can’t, the answer is the heavy is stupid for standing still in front of a demo. A 450 health heavy being healed running toward a 175 health demo while he shoots him with a shotgun (something the demo lacks) is not going to lose. He might not kill the demo, but he won’t get killed by him.

    3. WTF? You are honestly complaining about the WEAKNESS of crit rockets? A weapon that flies perfectly straight and has unlimited range and will vaporize almost anyone it hits and you are complaining that it wipes out groups of people less often?

    4. This isn’t even a comparison. Soldiers win this easily. Soldiers deal guaranteed damage. Grenades are all-or-nothing damage and they are easily dodged when the target is paying attention.

    5. Finally, you got one right. Oh wait, not quite. You mentioned its the medium distances which kill you. Soldiers are the kings of medium distance with juggling and guaranteed damage. Demos are just average or above average being just inside sticky range and just outside the range where nades are easily dodged.

    6. Self damage is perfect. None of this section makes any sense at all. Did you know you have a shotgun can deal out 90 damage a pop at close range? Press 2 to use it. It works surprisingly well.

    7. On offense, you should be killing so many people that picking up dropped ammo should never be a problem. On defense you can fall back to dispensers. P.S. Soldiers that never use their shotguns are stupid.

    8. Soldiers aren’t just effective at medium range. They are the gods of medium range. They are also great at close range. Spies revolver is very underrated, but it doesn’t change the fact that you completely screwed up. Rocket jump up to his face and fire 1 rocket at his head while landing. Finish with a shotgun blast and you have a dead spy for the low low price of 1 rocket, one shell, and 50 health. L2P. No one should have the high ground on a soldier. Face it, you messed up.

    9. Soldier has some of the best mobility in the game. Sticky jumps are too slow and damaging to be used in the middle of a fight. Rocket jumps are not. Soldiers land with enough health to be a threat when they drop in the middle of a group of people. Demos do not. Rocket jumping distance versus sticky is almost exactly equally balanced. Two good rocket jumps = 1 good sticky jump. You’d take more damage if you hit the ground after the first rocket jump, but you don’t have to. Rocket jump off of a wall and the overall damage % and distance is pretty much equal.

    Furthermore, you completely ignore the power of juggling. Demos can do it too, but its not as easy or dependable. Pop your target up in the air, and its much much harder for them to do any damage to you. It throws off peoples aim or negates their damage entirely, and sets them up for a second killing shot. The soldier doesn’t need to one-shot 125 classes, since a juggle + second rocket or shotgun does exactly the same thing.

    Your complaints are as lame as your suggestions. In the words of the fatman, “CRY SOME MORE!!!”

    Comment by sparkle — May 27, 2008 @ 20:06

  22. Wow Sparkle simply wow

    1. Demo can take out a sentry gun with out having to kill the engy or dispenser first with 3 direct grenades. It even splashs through the gun and kills the engy for an added bonus. 1 soldier vs 1 sentry + engy = epic fail, the rockets are too slow and every time teh gun takes a rocket hit, the engy can heal it.

    2. Reason why demo can kill a heavy is because the demo’s grenade rate of fire is faster than the soldier. it takes 3-4 grenades to kill a heavy with a medic, but it takes 5-6 rockets as a soldier because the damage is easily healed back faster because of the slow rate of fire.

    3. 1 crit grenade kills a field of people… 1 crit rocket kills 1 person in a field of people…. grenades crits are more deadly than rocket crits. medium to heavy classes can survive a crit rocket, but only the heavy can survive a crit grenade.

    4. You think good demos can’t hit soldiers? it takes 2 grenades in the face to kill a soldier, but it takes 2 direct rockets + shotgun to kill a demo… It only takes 2 stickies to kill a soldier… who’s got the upper hand now?

    5. seems like you’re counting on the soldier being better at the demo because of your comment “easily dodge grenades”. If the demo is good too, dodging grenades is not easy.

    6. what does the shot gun have to do with self damage?

    7. Soldiers usually shoot at the feet. if someone dies, the blast will most likely knock the weapon away.. you only get 8 rockets per weapon you pick up. Shoot those and you’ll have to find more ammo.

    Demo can switch to sticky and back pedal to lure into stickies as a last resort. Can you seriously compare sticky to a shotgun?

    8. Soldiers cannot do enough damage at long range simply because they do 50 damage. it’s better if you just shot gun them at that range and rockets are easily dodged.

    Everyone seems to like giving “scenarios” for 1 time when they did this. think overall and not “i did this once and it owned this guy in the face” kinda moments. it doesnt work every time so please don’t use it as part of your arguement.

    9. 2 rocket jumps does not even come close to 1 sticky, 1 sticky can let you clear the entire map, soldiers running reverse rocket jump does nothing. the arc and distance in a sticky jump is alot more efficient then a soldier rocket jump. The angle is way to high when soldiers rocket jump making them jump HIGH but not FAR.

    rocket jumping off the wall is not always the greatest idea since most of the time… THERE IS NO WAL.

    juggling is flashy and just makes you look like a show off. you can juggle someone all you want at long range, but they’ll only take 50 damage per rocket. hardly anything for wasting 2 rockets out of your clip.

    Juggling is not that great simply because soldiers can hit you in the air as well, making you take damage. In TF1, when you get hit, you flinched, preventing you from spamming you’re opponent. in tf2, there is no such “flinch” there fore by the time the enemy lands on the ground, you’ve been spammed with everything.

    you should think out of the box and learn to read. soldiers have their uses, but when it comes to area denial or offense.. a demo by himself is > soldier in a team based game. 1 on 1 demo vs soldier is completely different. soldiers will win hands down in a 1 on 1 fight, but when you’ve got a whole team to fight against.. demos win hands down.

    Comment by CdTriX — May 28, 2008 @ 3:38

  23. The soldier is perfect, as he is, or why do you see top-tier-clans playing with a soldier?

    If a demo would be better, they would play with a demo.

    We are not a top-tier-clan, but there is nothing as good for medic-protection as a good soldier.

    And how come, Demomen are rarely the top-scorers in clan-wars?

    And the soldier has no time-delay when he wants to hit, the Demoman has. You haven’t mentioned that.
    You have a one second delay between firing stickies and blowing them up.

    The classes are balanced (well, except for the splash-through-buildings-thing, maybe).

    Comment by Notger — May 28, 2008 @ 4:00

  24. 1. Soldiers shouldt take down sentrys just like the demoman. he’s supposed to be the class to take down sentrys

    2. solys have 1on1 advantages angainst every class except for a HW compared to the demo. he also has a big 1on1 advantage against demos. just watch some replays from high-skilled clans if you want proof.

    3. the soly’s rocket jump istn as fast as the demoman’s, but you can do it way faster. demoman = place sticky, run over it, detonate. soly = shoot on the ground. it’s quite self-explanatory that the rj is more useful when you already are in a fight.

    4. pipes are actually easier to dodge if you’re a good player, cause it’s just pure prediction. in general you always know when the demo is going to fire his next pipe and just change your moving direction.

    5. the reason why rocket dmg decreases with distance is to avoid people getting killed by high-range rocket-spamming, which in fact is not possible with pipes.

    6. you cant kill HW combos with a demoman either. you cant kill the hw with pipes even if you hit with 4 of them in a row, and you cant kill him with stickies if hes just smart enough to MOVE in any way. against a moving HW you need like 6 stickies or so and the chance that youre dead after firing 6 stickies is pretty high.

    you shouldnt shoot the HW anyway, and in killing the medic soly and demo are either as good or soly has an advantage cause medics are easier to hit with rockets + you can rocket jump towards him.

    7. self-damage is fine. you shouldn’t be able to rocket jumo the whole map without a medic. with a medic you can. with good rocket jumps you shouldnt get falling damage either. compared to that even the good sticky-jumps cause falling damage most of the time + solys have far more hitpoints. when i do the stickyjump with the demo to the middle i arrive with 70-80 health.

    8. in wars and on public, medics rather heal solys than demos.

    9. it would be pretty sick if rockets always would do full damage. wheres the skill supossed to be if they’d do. splash damage is just fine. if you land just one good hit you kill almost every target if you are good, cause its easy to predict where the enemy lands. anyway, neither stickies nore pipes kill full-hp scouts in 1 hit, which is a bigger problem actually cause its way harder to hit scouts with pipes or stickies than with rockets or even a SHOTGUN

    10. shotgun.

    Comment by ralle32 — May 28, 2008 @ 6:07

  25. “well, people seem to be perfectly content with ad hominem attacks instead of counter arguing. Damn you, internets!”

    In all honesty, your friend cdtrix seemed to set the precedent for that with his reply to sickwookie. At any rate, games related topics in particular seem to bring out the most rabid instinctive protection drives for whatever console/game/class people play, posting responses filled with vitriol and hatred!

    For what it’s worth I agree that the demoman is generally the better class, but he does seem harder to play until you get the ‘knack’ of aiming with grenades.

    I do too agree with what others have said regarding the jumps of the soldier vs. the demoman: the soldier’s can be much more spontaneous and useful, the demoman’s requiring longer time to invoke (which can make all the difference in the heat of the moment) and a larger penalty. The soldier’s RJing is much more useful generally, for instance propelling yourself above the combat where many players don’t notice you or can’t hit you if they did (whereas the demoman’s stickies would send him too high, too fast, to be useful when he’s up there, and would absolutely destroy him on the fall damage).

    The soldier’s shotgun is also widely ignored by many players, and it shouldn’t be. Just like the Pyro, the class’s primary weapon can throw you off to a class’s potential at other ranges.

    On those who have invoked the ‘clans use soldiers not demomen’ argument, I really don’t see it. I _do_ play competitively, in both 6v6 and 8v8 leagues, and what I have generally found is that the weaker teams play more soldiers and the stronger teams have a very skilled demoman or two which makes all the difference. Matches are often more about holding your enemy back than racking up kills and the demoman is much more suited to doing that.

    Comment by Mike Tomasello — May 28, 2008 @ 7:52

  26. Learn to play, all of your arguments are crying that you can’t kill everyone and everything by yourself, it’s called TEAM Fortress 2. People might not be team players, but that does not mean the game is going to be changed to a one man show for you.

    Comment by Streak — May 28, 2008 @ 8:07

  27. “The other big problem with rocket self-damage is that an easy counter to soldiers is to just hug them. Being backstabbed by a spy is bad enough, but now with increased front melee damage, I get spies stabbing me in front for 50 damage. If you rocket them direct hit, you take about 50 damage as well, so now you’re down to half health… and the spy isn’t dead yet. He’ll stab you again for 50 damage. Now you’re at 50 health and another rocket self-hit will kill you. Another stab will kill you. You can’t run away. No matter what you do, you’re dead and there is no counter. So much for the mighty soldier.”

    That is why you got a shotgun. And that is why you won’t end up dead. To me it looks like you are trying to do stuff the other classes are doing better. Soldier is by far useless, as his straight on attack is dangerous, as well as his ability to lay down supression fire.
    The sentrygun already has a lot of enemies, the soldier has other powers, it’s easy math actually.

    Comment by AltF4 — May 28, 2008 @ 8:16

  28. The whole article wreaks of BAAAAW.
    1. Get a Medic to heal/uber you, or let another Demoman do his job.
    2. Medics are supposed to prevent the death of another teammate, pop the Medic.
    3. So, fire should go right through people?
    4. That’s what the splash is there for. Personally, I love the splash, and splash damage gets me over 90% of my soldier kills.
    5. Get closer. You’re not using a sniper rifle.
    6. Part of the health-for-height trade off. If you can’t take it, don’t use it.
    7. You’ve got your sidearm, use it.
    8. So, the sniper’s good at only long range. Does that sound stupid to you?
    9. That’s what teleporters are for. Teleporting slow teammates.

    Fix #1: lrn2aim plox
    Fix #2: Did that sting a little? Well suck it up and move on!
    Fix #3: Let’s give the spies the ability to sap stuff through walls, that would be sweet!
    Fix #4: If you get hugged, you are most certainly DOING IT WRONG.

    FYI, your teammates aren’t team players because you ain’t one. If you’d actually communicate…

    Comment by Dickweed — May 28, 2008 @ 9:17

  29. Some good comments for discussion. Just a quick post regarding demo sticky jumping vs soldier rocket jumping.

    Generally speaking yes during combat soldier rocket jumping is more useful than sticky jumping. I would argue both are not really that useful given the damage you take (1/4 or 2/5 of your health), which has to seriously give you a huge advantage in the current fight in order to be useful.

    Where the demo has a gigantic advantage over the soldier is in map mobility. While neither rocket nor sticky jumping is terribly useful in combat (soldier has the edge there), OUT of combat on long-walk maps, demo has a gigantic advantage. On Gold Rush and Dustbowl, the soldier can sticky jump from the respawn to the first CP on almost all the maps. On all those CP maps other than Dustbowl 3, there are either 50% or 100% health packs sitting around. So the self-damage done isn’t relevant as long as you don’t kill yourself. What is relevant is how quickly you can get to that health pack without dying. In some cases such as Gold Rush 3, you can be at the front lines a significant amount of time ahead of a soldier that spawned at the same time of you. That’s less time for your opponents to set up their defense again or charge uber, which is a big difference given the respawn timers and map sizes built into the game.

    Soldiers have a much harder time at it than demomen do. You have to rocket jump backwards about 3 times to get the same distance a demoman does in 1 sticky jump. You take more self damage, more falling damage, and cover slightly less distance. In addition to finding a health pack you need to find an ammo pack because you have less ammo than a demo does (20 rockets vs 20 grenades + stickies).

    This is pretty easy to test. Play demo and have a soldier buddy wait for you at a respawn. Start trying to reach the front line on Dustbowl 2/3 or any Gold Rush map as fast as you can. Watch as the demo wins by a huge margin and takes the health pack, forcing you to wait for it to respawn while he goes forward into combat. For those saying this is a team game, yes it is, but a team can only move as fast as its slowest component. A soldier/demo pair is only going to be as fast as the slowest person can move, in this case the soldier.

    Mobility during combat is a huge part of the game, but given respawn timers and how big some of the maps are, mobility out of combat is also huge. Getting to the front lines and rejoining combat after a death is one of the biggest balancing issues for Valve since it affects map size, layout, respawn timer, class selections, etc. You can make a huge map, but then snipers will rule and every other class will be terrible. On larger maps, engineers become key because they shorten your time from death until combat significantly. There’s a 10s cooldown on teleporters for a reason and Valve realizes that getting to the frontlines quickly is a significant advantage.

    If demos out sticky jumping soldiers and getting to the front line twice as fast is not an issue, consider why it’s so annoying when a scout takes a teleporter. Aggravating isn’t it? Why is it aggravating? Because the scout is fast enough on his own and you have to walk slowly to the front lines. If non-combat speed was not an issue, then a scout taking a teleporter wouldn’t be an issue, but it is. Demomen getting to the front line faster than soldiers is just another form of this.

    I’ll respond to the other comments when I get a chance and have had some time to think of a decent response. Some of them are constructive, some of them are 100 words of “you suck noob learn to play”, and seemed to ignore a lot of what I wrote in the article.

    Comment by spotpuff — May 28, 2008 @ 9:55

  30. 70′ish hours on soldier and demo here.
    I just wanted to add in a few things…

    #1, I am personally stunned that a class called demolitions man would be better at blowing things up, like buildings…

    #2, 2 guys using teamwork in a game and you’re frustrated you can’t take them out? Its like an engineer calling foul when a spy and soldier coordiante their attack.

    #3, To be totally honest I’ve never noticed this problem.

    #4, If after 70 hours of you playing soldier you can’t learn to lead a vast majority of your shots well…all I can say is I’m sorry, but soldier may not be for you.

    #5, And with the exception of 2 classes so, everyone elses’ damage decreases aswell… If there was no decrease it would promote long range soldier spam.

    #6, If you can’t learn to handle a scout/spy that is in your face…then well, soldier may not be for you. I mean seriously you have the chance to insta-gib either of these classes with the rocket launcher. On top of that 2 shotgun shots put either down. Also as mentioned before if you do hit someone they take knockback. If you honestly can’t figure out how to get out of melee range of some one just…ya… Oh and finally you accidently left out the idea of rocket jumping (if they are melee, suprise they get hit!) and then death from above them.

    #7, Dead people drop ammo? what…? No ways…

    #8, Mobility gained from rocket jumping more than overcomes the fact that it seems you waddle like a penguin. I’d go so far as to say only the demo and scout are competative to soldiers level of mobility.

    ***in closing***
    I’ve spent 70′ish hours in both demo and soldier. Both classes have pro’s/con’s (read areas where they excel) that is what definately makes this game interesting. The OP wants to patch this game into a spam riot of soldiers which will seriously hamper any other class or gameplay fun.

    (just in case the 33 on demo was made before the ammo nerf, the 53 on soldier was after the ammo nerf. )

    Comment by mykungfuis — May 28, 2008 @ 10:34

  31. I read your atical, and some of the comments below it. so here is a nice reply for you

    Short: you are very, very wrong.

    long:
    Sentry gun you already said kill the engi first, then you mention magicly placed sentries on high ground but still with full view and you cant hit the engie, etc etc etc. well its magicly placed what do you expect. for the “your damage is poor at long range and any other range the sentry shoots back” come one man, use a corner, your a human being, be smarter than the aimbot brick. On the not splashing through the sentry, I will give you that, either all explosives should splash through, or none should. Demomans is better at killing sentries: why yes yes he is, why you would think demolitions was in his name

    heavy medic: one, your one guy fighting two, it should automaticly be twice as hard, also remember medic first, also remember the heavy is slow as balls, if you cant hit him directly you need more help than a class buff. also heavy damage fall of is insane, seriously, stay out of short range and your golden
    demo is better: debatable, the heavy is slow making a sticky stack easier, but the amount of stickes it takes is enouph that the heavy can sweap them away with sasha, the extreamly varialbe damage on grenades means its a crap shoot goin for pure direct gl. All in all I would say the demo has an easier time of killing the heavy first, the soldier has an easier time of killing the medic first.

    3. splash though stuff. I have never tested if demo nades splash through buildings so I cant say with with certanty, but your probly right.

    4. if only 10% of your rockets are direct hits, you should work on that some. Take a physics course, im not being rude or making fun either, my ability to get direct hits is better for my physics background, it realy does help.

    5. I’m not sure what to say there, its more of a statement than a complaint. its not like gl/stickes are harder to dodge at long range than rockets (aka both very very easy), and trueth be told, gl cant even reach long range withought signifigant high ground, (and the fire rate on stickes goes to nothing for long range)
    6. and this one is realy just foolish. soldiers take reduced damage from their own rockets, demo have no such advantage, between the jump and the fall damage a stick jump puts you to ~ half, a second one can kill you (thoug normaly just leaves you low). A soldier can normaly get 4. aka a rocket jump is signifigantly more combat aplicable than a stickie jump. And on the “huging” bit, use your shovel or shotgun, problem solved.
    demo is better: due to splash fall of and soldiers reduced self damage, that 50 damage your talking about is normaly 30-40 unless your models are bumping, again the demo tends to take more (because he takes full damage from his own atacks). Also stickies have a minimum time before they can det, so huging is just as effective if not more (as they lack the shotgun option at point blank).

    Ammo: while yes the demo does have more ammo, I run out of ammo with the soldier less, Soldiers are more often in the thick of it (and are much better suited for that postion) and thus I find it much easier to stock up on ammo from the weapons of fallen foes. you get 8 rockets for killing some one, sense rocket spam has little tactical aplicaiton, you shots should all be aimed.

    Mobility: Soldiers arnt that much slower than everyone else, and while it is enouph to be annoying its not nearly enouph to “allways be fighting on someone elses terms” unless you play that style (meating the enemy on their ground), in wich case your speed wont change that. as long as you dont get yourself way in the open soldier can disengage with ease, after all, chaseing a soldier is the second most dangerous thing to chase (first is a demo, but demo needs a lil more time to set up, so a “huging” chase is less dangerous). Also rocket jumps ARE combat aplicable, stickie jumps are not. Counting rocket jumps soldiers are arguably the most mobile, I would still give it to the scout mind you, but its arguable.

    Things i dont think you understand. grenade damage is very variable, to kill a light (125)class it takes 1-3 grenades, or 2 rockets, med (150) 2-3 grenades, 2 rockets, combat (175) 2-3 grenades, 2 rockets (unless your hiting far splash instead of close splash then its 2-3) soldier (200) 2-4 grenades 2-3 rockets, heavy (300), 3-5 grenades, 3-4 rockets.

    Honest advice. Play another class, as a matter of fact play ALL the other classes. You sound like someone whose time stamp is something like 70, 12, 3,.5,.4,.3,.3,.1,.1 Let yourself become well rounded so you can look at the big balance picture, and not just from stance of a soldier.

    On a side note, i do think the demo is likely the strongest class, though its not by a huge amount, and it is one of the harder to play, wereas the soldier is the easiest to play.

    Comment by Frosty The Pyro — May 28, 2008 @ 11:38

  32. everyone is saying the same crap over and over again. Do you people not read other comments before posting?

    The data gathered for this theory is based on public game play on public servers.

    All you people using clan play/scrims as part of the arguement does not apply here. Simply because the average joe that wants to play soldier isn’t super elite like everyone that’s posted on this blog.

    Clan matches and organized play is a whole different story when it comes to TF2.

    Defensively, Soldier is strong because of the resupply and dispensers.. on offense, all of these weaknesses come into affect.

    Does everyone think we’re talking about Defensive soldier? Defensive soldier is crazy powerful simply because they will always get the first rocket damage, after that it’s who hits each other the most. Offensive Soldier is sadly too weak and too under powered to do anything alone… especially when you rocket jump where a medic can’t heal you.

    Enough of the Whining/learn to play/don’t suck/learn to aim. If you don’t have anything constructive to talk about, don’t post a comment.

    Comment by CdTriX — May 28, 2008 @ 12:11

  33. We do read what other people say, and we still agree, there is nothing wrong with the soldier. I am also a mostly pub player and I can say that if you know what you are doing, there is nothing wrong with the soldier. I would like it if rocket jumps did less self damage, but only because it would make the soldier and even more powerful force, but it’s not needed.

    L2P

    Huggy.

    Comment by Huggybear — May 28, 2008 @ 12:35

  34. I think Spotpuff sounds intelligent.

    Comment by Noc — May 28, 2008 @ 12:36

  35. Wow CDtrix, wow. Your replies are as much of a joke as the OP.

    RE 1. You didn’t read my post. Do you have problems reading? I said, the soldier just rushes forward around the sentry and shoots the engineer in such away that the sentry takes splash damage. Dead engineer + damaged sentry means 1 more rocket to finish it off. The demo is slightly faster because he can do it from range. You don’t realize this, which probably means you are a bad soldier.

    re 2. Yeah, the demo has higher DPS. That doesn’t change the fact that if the heavy is moving around and using his shotgun, he will be able to dodge and inflict damage in return. Only a bad heavy is going to stand toe to toe with a demo at longish range trying to feebly take him down with the minigun. And so what? Snipers and spies eat the heavy/medic combo for breakfast as well.

    re 3. Crit rocket does 270 damage. Thats enough to kill every “medium” class in the game, overhealed or not. Only heavies and overhealed soldiers can survive. And guess what, crit grenades do 295, so they are in the EXACT same boat. They don’t kill heavies or fully overhealed soldiers either. Regardless, crit rockets have infinite range, grenades don’t. Thats a pretty equal tradeoff when you are talking about crits. Especially when aiming at groups the soldier can choose a point on the ground where the splash damage will occur. Thats VERY important when you have the high ground or are up in the air.

    4. On average, it takes 3 grenades to kill a soldier. You could at least get your facts straight before posting. And at the range grenades become hard to dodge, the soldier can kill the demo with just 2 rockets. Furthermore, at close range the first rocket will likely juggle the demo, making it unlikely his followup shots will hit. At close range, the soldier almost always wins. At medium range, its a pretty even fight. At medium-longish range, i’ll the demo has the advantage. Thats pretty balanced.

    re 5. I’m counting on both players not sucking. As soon as you see them track onto where you are going to be moving, you change direction. You don’t exactly need a phd in astrophysics or esp. Being good has nothing to do with it. Good players don’t make their grenades fly any faster. They just get just close enough where their opponent doesn’t have enough time to dodge. That means very close for a scout, mediumish range for a heavy, and long range for a minigun-shooting heavy.

    Re 6. “what does the shot gun have to do with self damage?” Because it doesn’t deal any you stupid twit, and at point blank its almost as damaging as a rocket launcher. l2p.

    7. Again, its easy to find dropped weapons. And if its that much of a problem, just run back a bit to one of the numerous ammo boxes littered throughout the level. P.S. Shotgun kills don’t scatter ammo.

    “Can you seriously compare sticky to a shotgun?” At close range? I sure as hell can. 2 shots can come out and kill you before you’ve detonated your first sticky.

    Re 8. “Soldiers cannot do enough damage at long range simply because they do 50 damage. it’s better if you just shot gun them at that range and rockets are easily dodged.” WTF? Where did this come from? NO SHIT SHERLOCK. At what point did I every say the soldier should just spam from long range (although with crits that can actually work) The soldier isn’t good at long range. Thats why every TF variant has seen fit to give the soldier the ability to cross long distances and heights almost instantly by virtue of the ROCKET JUMP. LEARN TO USE IT. If a soldier spotted a spy from higher ground, and did not attempt to rocket jump up and rain down death from above, the guy just flat out doesn’t know how to play soldier. End of story.

    re 9. “2 rocket jumps does not even come close to 1 sticky” Clearly if you believe this you aren’t good at rocket jumping. Thats pretty much all I can say. For comparison, go find the map ctf_bball. A demo with a perfect sticky jump can go from the marked corner of the court to just barely touching the fence on the opposite corner. A soldier with the perfect rocket jump can go from marked corner to just short of half court in one jump. Doing that again leaves him just 1 body length short of the demo’s jump.

    “The angle is way to high when soldiers rocket jump making them jump HIGH but not FAR.” Lol. You can adjust the angle by shooting a little further behind you. Way to look like a fool. l2rj.

    “juggling is flashy and just makes you look like a show off. you can juggle someone all you want at long range, but they’ll only take 50 damage per rocket. hardly anything for wasting 2 rockets out of your clip.”
    This post makes 0 sense. Juggling is not for long range. They can just dodge out of the way at long range. It is a precisely aimed shot directly at an opponents feet, and it isn’t much harder than hitting someone with a grenade. It is as close to a stunning effect as you can get in the game, and it is a vital tool for any decent soldier. It stops ubers, and sets up any class except soldiers and heavies for an easy kill. Only a bad soldier could ever say “its not that great”. Its in my opinion the dividing line between the good soldiers and the rest. Being able to render an opponent helpless is what makes soldiers the kings of short-medium range.

    Comment by sparkle — May 28, 2008 @ 14:58

  36. holy lol you are so wrong

    its really terrible how wrong you are

    Comment by jo mama — May 28, 2008 @ 15:45

  37. Interesting article. However, the soldier really isn’t near as useless as you make him out to be. Pub/scrim or offense/defense the soldier pwns. Sure, he’s simple and the default n00b easy class. But that doesn’t mean he’s useless. Far from it.

    I’ll go as far as to say the soldier is versatile as well. Yeah, I said it! He comes out on top in most situations thrown at him. The soldier is one of the most powerful classes in TF2.

    Comment by Wormbrain — May 28, 2008 @ 16:06

  38. I’ve played the Soldier on pubs. He’s well and away the easiest character to play, in fact so much is he that he feel bad about playing him, and usually swap to something else and let the nubs have him. He’s a swiss army character; he’s not meant to excel at any one thing, just be generally effective at everything.

    If anything, he and the Demo need a nerf. What is the direct counter to the Soldier? There isn’t one, as there is for every other character. Also, at the mo it’s FAR too easy for them to blindly spam nades and rokkits at Pyros and Scouts, who have done what is supposed to be the real work and got in close, and get an easy kill for a bit of damage to themselves.

    Also. Crit Rockets. End of story.

    Comment by Bogworth — May 28, 2008 @ 17:40

  39. Jesus christ. If there’s a heavy/medic combo, only spies and snipers attempt to shoot the heavy first. Anyone with half a brain will kill the medic first.
    Also, it’s very easy for soldiers to kill sentry guns. You don’t just stand in front of it and fire until you die, you pop around corners, fire, and go back out of sight. Truly, you are the worst soldier ever.
    Learn to play, retard.

    Comment by Adam — May 28, 2008 @ 17:43

  40. The only thing you need to fix about the Soldier is the endless volley of rockets you can perform while standing next to a cabinet.

    THAT IS BROKEN.

    Crit rockets at medium and long range take out an entire group.

    With the addition of the kritzkrieg you can really rake in some points.

    Comment by Ninja — May 28, 2008 @ 17:47

  41. Yes demomen do have their points on certain things.

    Ok how hard is it really to dodge a demo grenade? Maybe if you were a heavy spinning the gun then sure. Since we are talking about Pub players with pub skills then the average/below average demoman can’t hit anything worth his life. Sure stickies are fine, but who is running after the demoman while he is laying down the stickies.

    The thing on juggling. It’s just flashy and for show? Wait what? So…the fact it is a useful tactic and can kill enemies effectively means that it is just flashy? I agree with sparkle it separates the good soldiers with the bad ones.

    Also, if you are trying to take out a sentry gun lvl3 with an engy by it then WOW you must either really be bad or just plain stupid. Plus the demoman should be better than the soldier at taking out the sentries. That’s his class’s purpose even the name insinuates that he is a demolitions person.

    Generally I disagree with you. There is no need to buff soldiers

    Comment by Frozen — May 28, 2008 @ 18:23

  42. soldier is totally fine. i have over 200 hours on solly and i’m pretty sure i have more experience than most of you guys, no offense at all.

    now if you rely on splash damage to kill, you aren’t playing the soldier correctly. you really have to get a feel for rocket travel time, so you can get those middies ;D

    for those of you that don’t know, you can easily (at medium and short distance) juggle your opponent in the air, and rock him right in the air with another rocket. juggling is the most powerful technique the soldier has. just get em leading a predictable path when you get your first rocket off, and then fire off another where they’ll land, or in the air (you feel soooooo much more badass when you mid air gib em ;P)

    i noticed that a lot of people complain because they can’t play as good as reptile or some shit like that. i’m not assuming you are one of those people, but like it gets old.

    soldier is fine.

    demo on the other hand, needs to be looked at. i don’t think we need any one-man-teams. crit rockets are the problem? more like crit stickys imo.

    feel free to critique ;P

    Comment by SALAMANDER — May 28, 2008 @ 18:38

  43. All you have done here is show that the soldier is inferior to the Demo in terms of killing sentries, and otherwise bitching about how you can’t seem to figure out the basics of TF2′s Soldier. I don’t main soldier in the game, but if you had played more than a couple hours of the game you’d know that you (as soldier) are meant to be the all-around class; not excelling or lacking in any area of the game. You’d know that you’re supposed to lead and rocket juggle opponents, hitting them with the splash rather than going for direct rocket hits (which is incredibly difficult to do consistently) to be effective in killing; you’d know that a good soldier can still take out a sentry if done right; you’d know that his slow speed is in exchange for the ability to rocket jump great distances. According to your logic, the soldier should be an incredibly overpowered class, that can to just about anything as good or better than anything another class excels in (damage output, CQC, mobility, Sentry killing); this sounds like you want the TF2 solly to be exactly like the TFC solly, who was a pretty broken class in that game.

    Comment by Majin Vegeta — May 28, 2008 @ 21:33

  44. “If demos out sticky jumping soldiers and getting to the front line twice as fast is not an issue, consider why it’s so annoying when a scout takes a teleporter. Aggravating isn’t it? Why is it aggravating? Because the scout is fast enough on his own and you have to walk slowly to the front lines. If non-combat speed was not an issue, then a scout taking a teleporter wouldn’t be an issue, but it is. Demomen getting to the front line faster than soldiers is just another form of this.”
    Scouts using the tele is frustrating because it gives him mobility that he doesn’t need at OTHERS’ expense, however, Demomen blasting themselves around is at their own expense, decreasing their own health.
    And what’s with soldiers taking more falling damage than Demomen? If you know how to RJ, you should know how to adjust the angles.

    Comment by Dickweed — May 28, 2008 @ 21:39

  45. DID YOU JUST CALL THE PYRO OVERPOWERED? AGAINST THE SOLDIER? The soldier can kill a pyro easily even though the pyro is ‘the master of close range’.

    Comment by MementoMori — May 28, 2008 @ 21:43

  46. I updated my “about me” page with my Steam ID so hopefully people stop bitching about my playtime. I have a decent amount of playtime, especially as soldier.

    Carry on.

    Comment by spotpuff — May 28, 2008 @ 22:38

  47. And you consider yourself “pretty good” at soldier?

    You have got to be kidding me, Soldier is arguably -the- most balanced and well rounded class in the game.

    What I basically got off here was “Oh, demo is better than soldier, fix it plz!”

    Learn2play? The soldier is supposed to be an all-rounder, not every class-in-one like you want him to be.

    Comment by lmao — May 28, 2008 @ 23:55

  48. Demo > Soldier was sort of the point of the article. If demo is more useful than soldier, then play demo.

    Demo was supposed to be support, not better than soldier.

    I guess we differ in opinion on the way things “should” be.

    Comment by spotpuff — May 29, 2008 @ 0:36

  49. How is demo suposed to be support when it’s CLEARLY under “Defence”?

    I think many people who read this realize that they could spend maybe one or two afternoons bickering with you and trying to convince you.
    But most of those people just don’t think it’s worth it and I agree.

    If you really think, in your mind, that soldier is so much worse than the demo why don’t you PLAY demoman? Prove us all wrong!

    Just don’t post another book on how some lowly soldiers keep RJing behind you and critting you please.

    This is a team game if you want to play alone go install counter-strike.

    Comment by Pirat — May 29, 2008 @ 12:00

  50. Pirat, I don’t know whose comments you’ve been reading, but the vast majority do not agree. I also don’t remember posting about soldiers RJing and critting.

    Oops, Demo’s under defense, so now a defensive class is better on offense than the soldier, an offensive class. OK then.

    Comment by spotpuff — May 29, 2008 @ 12:12

  51. Only idiots and noobs take that Offense, Defense, Support to mean anything more than what it is. A very quick way for playing TF2 the very first time to get acquainted with the classes. Why do people bitch about demos going on the offensive, but not heavies? Why don’t people cry about defensive scouts on gravelpit, or offensive engineers on granary? In a game where you can go from being offensive to playing defense at the drop of a hat, and each class has something unique to offer, those distinctions are completely and utterly meaningless.

    And the demo is not a better offensive class than the soldier. They are as balanced a pair as you can find in this game. You are just a bad soldier.

    Comment by sparkle — May 29, 2008 @ 17:11

  52. They’re not better on offense, it’s clear that you just want to be controversial and drag people into your pseudo-discussion.

    I won’t have it, this is silly and petty.

    Comment by Pirat — May 29, 2008 @ 19:59

  53. Define “pseudo-discussion”. :T

    Well, whatever, you post something, I comment, feel free to not respond or whatever. Not everyone’s gonna agree. I’m surprised things are this civilized given it’s the internet.

    I still contend the majority of comments have been in disagreement, valid or otherwise.

    Comment by spotpuff — May 29, 2008 @ 20:59

  54. Seriously, you are complaining over that Soldier can’t kill EVERY SINGLE OTHER CLASS IN THE GAME?

    ….

    That was exactly what you said. Now, who gave you this idea sonny? Let me tell you, a scout cannot beat a sentry gun either, nor a medic heavy combo. A pyro cannot beat a medic heavy combo, only get the medic if he is lucky (but so can the soldier). And so on for all classes.

    And that’s the way it ment to be. It’s true that the soldier is an all around class, but it’s still not ment for you to be able to beat all other classes on a regular basis. Just like how soldiers have problems dealing with sentry guns, demo has problems with pyros often (where soldiers beats pyro really easy).

    I also noticed you failed to mention the benifits soliders have, problaby to make your case appear stronger. Soldier can rocket jump, but so can demo. However, demo hurts himself a lot more doing this, and already has less health. not to mention demo’s sticky jump takes longer time to do, so you can’t do it in combat.

    Secondly, soldier can juggle enemies, especially pyro. This ability is so fantastic that it often lets you kill other classes without being touched.

    Comment by Drakim — May 30, 2008 @ 6:57

  55. Drakim,

    The soldier should be able to kill every other class in the game. What gave me this idea is that basically every class can kill every other class in the game, under certain circumstances. That’s a fairly reasonable assumption.

    I’m not saying a heavy should be able to out-snipe a sniper at range, or that a scout should be able to take out a sentry gun. But if you are seriously comparing a scout’s sentry destroying ability to a soldier’s, you’re missing the point entirely.

    I addressed the soldier RJ vs demo sticky jump in a previous comment; in combat it is more useful under certain circumstances, but out of combat it’s far less useful a lot of times on certain maps.

    Demos also don’t have problems with pyros if they are good and know how to aim; I get the feeling most of the people on this board have never played against a good demo that knows how to aim because most people seem to think that while the rocket launcher is great if you know how to aim it, the grenade launcher is terrible no matter how good you are.

    Comment by spotpuff — May 30, 2008 @ 9:17

  56. I think you forgot about the juggling ability. A demoman can’t do that. Also about the sentry thing, SHOOT THE DISPENSER FIRST if you can’t see the engineer directly. And of course the DEMOLITIONS MAN would be better at DEMOLISHING buildings. And seriously try the shotgun more often. From reading this arcticle it sounds like you think it’s useless.

    Comment by NO U — May 30, 2008 @ 15:17

  57. get on a server as an observer… watch what the top players do with the soldier. I think you will see him in a new light.

    Comment by poopface — May 30, 2008 @ 17:28

  58. The learning curve for demomen is steeper than the soldier. Demomen may have a higher skill ceiling, but there aren’t many of them around compared to good soldiers. Only demomen I’ve ever seen in pubs with enough skill to hit the fastest moving targets are ones that belong to clans (and usually working with complementary clan medics). They’re rare.

    Comment by Nanosheep — May 30, 2008 @ 18:39

  59. @poopface: Yeah definitely observing players is a great way to learn; I don’t really know what servers “top” players play on to spectate, though. Clan matches are usually out as well.

    @Nanosheep: Right, they’re out there, and it definitely takes more skill to use the grenade launcher. But if you know what you’re doing it is absolutely brutal.

    @No U + others: Yes, demolitions man is better at demolishing everything; buildings, other players, sentry guns, respawns, walls, everything…

    Comment by spotpuff — May 30, 2008 @ 20:10

  60. hmm I play both classes enough to realize their weaknesses and strenghts.

    i never thought much about a compare of demo and soldier but as you talk about it it seems clear…

    the only reason why I not just play demoman is THE LACK OF A NORMAL WEAPON. you have to have strategy with both stickies and pipes. if you are in fight with a good scout you have to choose either stickies and pipes depending on the surounding area. to kill him with pipes requires aim and a bit luck since he moves very quick and stickies need to be well placed.

    but in all points i agree with you since i think skilled soldier will loose against a demoman.

    balancing classes in my opinion is rather hard since tf2 is a very complex game. In my mind you cant balance it for public (low level public…) but only for wars.

    ps:
    if I see a medic heavy combo I rocketjump away or just hide and even on the worst public there will be at least 1 other guy who starts shooting at the combo. then when i think i have a chance with my weak soldier i come out and try to (not) die! but still the demo is better cuz he can do that on his own…

    hmm what about a 6 rockets clip?

    Comment by hansen — June 1, 2008 @ 4:27

  61. Yeah for sure the Demo’s lack of a shotgun-type weapon is his biggest weakness. It requires great aim to hit anything with the demo, so a scout or other fast moving class in close will give you fits.

    TF2 is complex and for sure additional game types make it more challenging. You have payload, CP, CTF and 6v6, 7v7, 8v8, 9v9, 12v12 to balance. What’s balanced in 6v6 is not going to be balanced in 12v12.

    In general, the demoman requires a very high skill level to play compared to the soldier. You can be good as a soldier with a decent amount of skill, but demo is much harder to play. You also have to think a lot harder; leading shots with the grenade launcher requires a lot of brain-power and concentration.

    And right, most people missed my point re: heavy/medic vs soldier. I said very clearly in my post that a soldier SHOULD lose to a heavy/medic. It’s 2 on 1. But what makes it a bit strange is the demo can take a heavy/medic on his own, so even though it’s 2 on 1, the demo still wins. Soldier underpowered or demo overpowered is a matter of perspective; they’re both applicable.

    I think a 6 rocket clip would be too strong in a lot of cases. 5 rocket clip might actually be ok. They can’t be achievements, though. They have to be implemented as base changes in the game, or the class will be remain broken and achievements will still be mandatory.

    A 5 rocket clip doesn’t really solve a lot of the soldier’s issues which are lack of burst damage, lack of crowd control, etc. Whether you shoot 4 rockets at a sentry or 5 rockets at a sentry, if an engineer is repairing the gun it isn’t going down because your rate of fire is too slow and you don’t have splash through objects. You still can’t kill a heavy/medic while a demo can. It won’t increase your mobility or RJ range. Your damage still drops off with range. You still have 20 rockets total. So while a 5 rocket clip would be nice, it still wouldn’t fix any of the issues with the class (assuming you agree they are issues in the first place).

    I believe next up are pyro achievements, so who knows how long until Valve gets around to looking at the soldier achievements. I’m sure they’re looking at balance issues all the time, but achievements are going to open up another can of worms when they happen.

    Comment by spotpuff — June 2, 2008 @ 10:37

  62. are you kidding me? i play in the TNR community sometimes (im part of raged, the real team) and i cant wait to talk to you. You embarassed yourself here, please stop, it makes me feel bad for you.

    Comment by Squee — June 6, 2008 @ 10:21

  63. There are multitudes of ways to contact me. Feel free to use any of them.

    Comment by spotpuff — June 6, 2008 @ 11:47

  64. Wow, what an idiot. A Soldier’s best friend is the splash damage you deal with your rockets, unless you’re amazing at sniping people with them. If you don’t aim at the ground near an enemy when firing a rocket 90% of the time, then you shouldn’t play a Soldier at all.

    Comment by tototo — June 7, 2008 @ 20:13

  65. You sure spent a whole lot of time writing a whole lot of irrelevant fanboy whiny bullshit

    Comment by Matt — June 7, 2008 @ 20:36

  66. ROFL.

    First off, I think it’s .. commendable that your trying to establish an opinion based on experience. However, your experience and comments clearly are directed towards the common pub. TF2 (as mentioned by other players) is a team game. Meaning that not all classes are designed to be able to do everything by themselves. A single soldier taking out a sentry gun, for example, is designed to require 2 or more people if the engie is defending the gun. Demo is the only exception. Why? Because he’s a demo, he makes things blow up. If you can’t understand this utterly simplistic concept that each class has a ROLE and they perform certain ROLES better then other classes, then your an idiot in addition to being a noob.

    That said, sentry guns are pathetically easy to destroy. Whining about self damage in rocket jumps because you either a) don’t have a medic (because your playing in a pub) or b) have an incompetent team (probably because your playing in a pub, or just on a bad team with other bad people like yourself) is the reason for this. Soldiers are pretty reliant on having a medic to be effective. That effectiveness though does not dramatically decrease without one, as a soldier you still lose no offensive capabilities, your just easier to kill. This means mistakes cost you more, and you’ll die more often if you make them. The status of ‘effective’ by being teamed up with a medic only means that are you capable of bouncing back from mistakes easily, making you more powerful in general, and making it far easier to not suck at this game.

    In conclusion: You can never balance a game around the concept of what playing in a pub is like. Things happen in a pub that are not rational because people don’t perform jobs, they fuck around and have fun. Therefore people don’t focus on concepts like teamwork, which are paramount to winning in this game. The individual is far outweighed by the tighter controlled formation of supporting classes. The reason you have not seen this, is because your playing in pubs and not playing in the competative aspect of the game. Bottom line: Learn to fuckin play and stop being retarded. Your wasting your time posting about concepts that you have no understanding of whatsoever. That time instead could have been spent learning to play better. In fact, you could have done almost anything with your time other then waste it making a nonsense post that only expounds on your utter lack of skill and understanding about this game. Play against a real team, or watch demos of some decent players to give you an idea what you could improve on, instead of whining about valve needs to change the game because you suck and can’t adapt. Assuming your capable of analyzing the thought provoking aspects of this post, and not getting enraged by the fact I called you out for being an idiot, you should delete this article and instead write another about how much of an idiot you were to draw conclusions based entirely on public servers. There is a small chance this road might help you learn something, but I doubt it. If you want to get back at me, prove me wrong and do what I recommended.

    Comment by Xaj — June 8, 2008 @ 15:02

  67. I thinkspotpuff is able to ignore you swearing at him.

    If i subtract all the evilness and subjectivity from your article i can see a well thought baseline.

    Your arguments are clearly structured and mostly correct.

    i wont argue with you here cuz i have better things to do.

    i just wanted to reply on an other post:
    Wow, what an idiot. A Soldier’s best friend is the splash damage you deal with your rockets, unless you’re amazing at sniping people with them. If you don’t aim at the ground near an enemy when firing a rocket 90% of the time, then you shouldn’t play a Soldier at all.

    Comment by tototo — June 7, 2008 @ 20:13

    tototo that was not ment… he only minded that soldiers splash damage cannot go throught bodies and engineerbuildings. FOR SURE IT CAN AND DOES GO THROUGHT AIR!
    On the other hand the demos splash dmg goes through all of the listed.

    since my last post here i always minded the facts stated here and in conclusion i found out that:

    a heavy+medic on granary (pro& new) has no chance against me if i am soldier (with full hp to (~180hp)), but he does have a little one if i play demo (lack of skill?!)

    destroying a sentry, lvl3, turtled is capable to destroy with both.. depending on the position. (and the time)

    !!!! IMPORTANT
    i divide rocketjumps in 2 sorts:
    *)movement jumps (~40-30 Hp dmg)
    *)height jumps (dmg 40+)

    if I use them i am much more flexible and even faster than the demo since his sticky jumps waste enourmus ammounts of health.
    (talking about situations without a medic, because if i have a medic i cant to such enourmus rocketjumps cuz i have to get heel from him and secure him :D)

    and finally i DO have to agree with xaj in that he means that you’re not playing a 1on1 but team vs team

    THEY ARE PLANNING TO DO CHANGES ON THE PYRO CLASS OUT OF THE RANGE THE ACHIVEMENTS. THUS THEY ARE WILLING TO BALANCE CLASSES (since pyro sucks :D)

    kindest regrets

    Hansen

    Comment by hansen — June 13, 2008 @ 10:52

  68. Hansen,

    Thanks for the response. Unlike most comments it’s actually got some thought behind it, and takes a more logical approach to responding rather than “lolnoob!!!!111one”.

    I mentioned in another comment (but not the article) that demo jumping is mainly an advantage in mobility on maps like gold rush, where you can do one sticky jump to get to the first CP almost. You can double sticky jump on top of the Goldrush 1-2 CP as well. How the sticky lets you jump further is unknown but I think it has to do with class “weights”. The soldier is the next heaviest class after a Heavy with his gun spun up, I believe. Pyros and most other classes are “light”.

    The other issue is unless you have a medic, rocket jumps just eat a lot of health. So while yes, rocket jumping is more useful than sticky jumping in combat situations, that’s with a big * that says “if you have a medic”, because otherwise the health and ammo cost just isn’t worth it to use mid-combat.

    Comment by spotpuff — June 13, 2008 @ 11:21

  69. In reference to the crit moan, it’s wrong, I don’t know if this was patched in the last month or so but one crit took at least 5 people out on a control point for me.

    Comment by crazy pyro — June 13, 2008 @ 14:58

  70. Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation :) Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Congruence.

    Comment by Congruence — June 18, 2008 @ 20:46

  71. [...] Pyros have made Critzkrieg basically useless because if you get jumped and you’re on a soldier or demo, you’re both dead unless you bust out the uber, and you’ve wasted the charge. Half the time soldiers are self-rocketing to death on a pyro now because of the increased pyro and self-rocket damage. Makes sense, soldiers were so overpowered before. [...]

    Pingback by On the new pyro changes… « The Theory of Gaming — June 23, 2008 @ 11:35

  72. [...] Analysis — Tags: team fortress 2, TF2 — spotpuff @ 14:31 It’s my belief the soldier is underpowered. Not everyone agrees (as evidenced by the comments), and in general I argued the demoman is [...]

    Pingback by You know you have a balance problem when… « The Theory of Gaming — July 14, 2008 @ 14:31

  73. Er, I know I’m late, but I actually agree on some of your points. I’m surprised at how brutal everyone’s being though…you can still counter-argue/disagree/tell him your honest thoughts without being a douchebag. I think the guy is nice and respectful, and am surprised at how well he handles these attacks..ANYWHO, I suck at Soldier/Demoman either way, but I’m actually better at Demo than Soldier…why is that? I THINK it’s because the Demoman has more at his disposal and is better at doing them, that’s just in MY experience. Maybe I’m a noob and I will discover for myself that I am wrong, I don’t know, but currently, this is my feeling.

    Comment by ThisGuyIsPosting — July 17, 2008 @ 12:51

  74. I will not accept posts without personal insults! Post something with “You suck at soldier noob l2p!” or something! Quick!

    If you look at my latest post, Valve considers stickies to be overpowered. They call them “winbombs” internally. That’s a pretty strong indicator that they know somethings wrong with them, but they continue to nerf the soldier instead of fixing the demoman.

    Latest changes like rockets being reflected back by the pyro and increased self rocket damage are just icing on the cake for an already weak class; you rarely find people playing soldier anymore because it’s pretty hard to play now.

    Rockets are easier to reflect because they move slower than grenades.

    Comment by spotpuff — July 17, 2008 @ 13:43

  75. Again, I know I’m late and no one really cares anymore, I really wish I got into this in the heat of it all, but, I also notice some flawed points people are making. They keep saying a soldier vs a demoman, the soldier should be victorious, especially since the soldier can juggle. Since I doubt the demoman and soldier are going to be going head to head at long range, it’s probably going to be medium or close. If this is correct, the grenades might as well be faster firing rockets, with a faster reload too. In my experience, a close/mid-range grenade behaves exactly like a rocket as long as it hits someone. Sure the soldier can still get splash damage on non-direct hits, whereas nades just miss and bounce away, the demo can just switch to stickies, and voila, burst/singular splash damage. Sure, the soldier has 25 more hp than the demoman, but if you calculate the faster firing time of the demoman’s nades, does that even out? I have also seen demoman juggle exactly like soldiers do, and while I’m not nearly that good to consistently juggle (and even when I do, I certainly can’t get direct hits, midair OR where they land xD), I’ve juggled people my self with a lucky nade or two. But the fact is, demoman can still juggle JUST like soldiers do. Except for the fact that as a demoman, you can juggle someone, and place a crap load of stickies where you think they’re gonna land. If a soldier miscalculates, he either misses, or gets decent splash damage. The demoman can spread his stickies in the GENERAL area where he calculates the person to land. So, the demoman (theoretically of course, wouldn’t be practical in my case) also should have an easier time at getting juggle kills. I know I sure as hell sound like a noob ranting, and yes, I DO suck at demoman/soldier anyways, but I think this article actually leans more toward the demoman being OVERPOWERED rather than the soldier being UNDERPOWERED. However, I still agree with spotpuff, unless I misunderstood, that the soldier COULD use a little small buff. Maybe faster rockets, higher direct damage, or SOMETHING? At least take away the demoman’s ability to juggle, I mean, that should be the soldier’s territory (and it sounds like everyone else thinks that as well). There’s even a youtube video of a demoman doing the EXACT same thing as a soldier, juggling, and getting an aerial direct hit. I dunno, this is all just my two cents, and I’m bored and tired, but don’t wanna go to bed, so I figured I’d just post a useless opinion ;)

    Comment by ThisGuyIsPosting — August 31, 2008 @ 6:43

  76. okay, soldier sucks. this is clear. his speed sucks, his damage sucks, his slow rockets suck. but what can we do… ur points are good, but i think this is not enuogh. I hope valve will manage the problem, maybe with fire rockets, who knows^^ i want some “explosion armor” to protect him from suicide and as balance to that weaker shotgun or something like this….

    Comment by PowerL — November 2, 2008 @ 17:02

  77. That is why it’s called TEAM fortress.

    Comment by King — January 17, 2009 @ 10:19

  78. you’re all terrible, soldier is a great class and you all just suck at it

    Comment by eckm — January 17, 2009 @ 10:47

  79. Yes it’s called team fortress, but if one class is weaker than the others it’s hard to imagine how he contributes to the team. Medic and heavy a bit weak on their own but add them together and they’re pretty strong.

    Soldier is weak on his own, but for reasons that can’t really be solved by adding a medic i.e. he can’t take out a sentry gun (or even a dispenser since the level 3 upgrade) and adding a medic isn’t going to help that. Any other augmentations by teaming with another class i.e. spy to sap, sniper to shoot the gun, demo, etc. could easily have just been augmenting a different class other than the soldier, and individually the soldier is weaker than those classes anyways, so again, soldier still ends up being a bit too weak.

    I sort of stopped playing TF2 for 3 months and came back to it and nothing appears to have changed other than scouts are getting the next update, engineer guns/dispensers are almost impossible for soldiers to take out now, and spies can run around permanently invisible on some maps.

    Comment by Spotpuff — January 17, 2009 @ 15:25

  80. Someone clearly only plays pubs. L2 play real TF2.

    Comment by Benny — January 19, 2009 @ 5:02

  81. Someone clearly has a massive case of elititis. I was unaware the game was solely designed for a specific mode of play. Please, fill the rest of us in on the “real TF2″ so we can join in on the fun.

    Comment by Spotpuff — January 19, 2009 @ 7:59

  82. A soldier can take out a sentry just fine actually, you just have to be very good at it. Try killing the engineer with splash damage, then go for the sentry. Making mistakes is PUNISHING for soldiers since you only have four rockets and the reload time is so darn harsh, whereas the demoman has practically 12 explosives to work with, plus he don’t even have to take out the engineer first, since his grenade damage travels through buildings. Even if it didn’t though, they fire fast enough to out damage the engineer’s repairing. Anywho, I don’t expect the soldier to take on a whole team, or even two people, nor do I expect him to excel at sentry killing; that’s the demoman’s territory. That’s perfectly fine, I just wish the rocket launcher was actually better at dealing damage than the grenade launcher, that’s all. The rocket launcher is definately easier to use than the grenade launcher, so of course I respect a demoman who’s good with it, but that’s like giving another class a slightly different sniper rifle, but make it better at getting headshots if you’re really good. I’ve tried thinking up so many things to try and keep the demoman from playing soldier, but it’s so hard to think of something that wouldn’t ruin it. I’ve wondered how he’d play if they made it so the grenades couldn’t directly hit someone, but instead of four, he had six. This would give him NO means of direct fire, sure, but in my opinion would define his class more and put the grenade launcher in it’s proper place: shooting into doorways/disputed areas for access denial. Heck, maybe they could reinstate a previous function of the grenade they removed a long time ago, that is make it so stepping on a grenade causes it to detonate. Then it would at least make overwhelming an unprepared demoman easier. Anyways, I’ve come to think the soldier’s damage, reload speed, run speed, and health are perfectly fine. Not sure about the rate of fire or rocket travel speed, but the main thing that needs to be done is to keep the demoman from being able to usurp the soldier’s role. I think the biggest reason why a lot of people think soldier sucks though is because of the skill required to fully take advantage of him. Look up some soldier videos on youtube, ala reptile etc etc. I had never even had a clue of how good he could be until I watched them. That’s pretty much it I guess, I apologize for the wall of text. Oh, and one last thing…I know it’s gonna sound like whining, but I really feel the pyro’s flamethrower should have a LITTLE shorter range. I think the damage and everything else is perfect, it’s just the range just seems…a bit much sometimes. Too many pyros can just rush without setting up anything because of the range, at least that’s what I think. Or maybe just shorten the high damage area of the flamethrower, either one I guess.

    Comment by ThisGuyIsPosting — April 11, 2009 @ 13:48

  83. Jeebus, all the hate for stating your opinion.

    I agree with Spotpuff that soldier sucks compaired to demo. Pretty much everyone who has counter argued this blog has made up lies and/or bullshit of some sort.

    Let me begin: Tf2 is a team based game.. WRONG! The only real team based gameplay i see is a medic. That’s it (maybe teleports as well). The heavy is quite dependant on a medic to survive, but nowhere near as much as the soldier due to slow movement speed combined with ridiculous self rocket damage. You see good soldiers in clan matches because 1) they’ve spent a sick amount of hours as soldier and 2) they have a medic on their ass constantly.

    2) You have to base the balance of the game on clan matches. Bullshit, you MUST balance the game on pub matches, why? because otherwise you won’t actually get to see how 1/2 the classes perform in combat and also because otherwise your counter argument is invalid because you are only allowed 1 demoman in 6v6, yet 2 soldiers. Go figure

    3) Soldier > demo in 1v1 combat, you cant just base it on soldier v other team against demo v other team.
    Guess what? that’s right. MOAR BULLSHIT! Demo is better than soldier in 1v1. Shocker, huh? Someone in a pub went 1v1 against me as soldier, I as demo. And i won 4-2. Crappy soldier? Insane demo? He was certainly not a crappy soldier and I am not an insane demo. This script here: http://www.fpsbanana.com/scripting/3862 just dominates the soldier every time, because the stickies detonate at midrange, where the soldier wants to be. As soldier, i am constantly dominated by demos using rapid stickies (2 stickies detonated in midair is night night) Is that balanced? And for those who whine about scripts, if valve did not want it in the game, you would certainly NOT be able to do it by scripting.

    4) You have made a good argument for nerfing the demo, not buffing the soldier.
    This is a matter of opinion, but i feel that the demoman is only slightly overpowered. You are and should be at the mercy of scouts and pyros, yet i also feel that so is the soldier, which isn’t good.

    5) you obviously aren’t skilled enough.
    /facepalm. Not a valid argument, and I have about 4x the time as soldier than as demo, and i am 4x more credit to team as demo than as soldier, using 1/4x the effort.

    Spotpuff, you do have friends, just not many judging by the comments.

    Comment by Takoda — April 17, 2009 @ 12:11

    • I stopped reading at TF2 isn’t a team based game. You are a idiot and should uninstall now pls. Learn to not comment on things you know nothing about. If you disagree save me as a friend on steam R1PP3RM4N… come 1v1 me with your demo. GL HF

      Comment by R1pperm4N — July 7, 2009 @ 11:47

  84. Takoda,

    I only recently started playing TF2 again but not much, IMO, has changed (other than pyro fire burning a lot faster), and you need less engineers on offense now to win thanks to teleporter upgrades.

    Balance is a tricky thing. I see a lot of people argue for balancing for league play but that’s almost impossible, not to mention stupid. I guarantee everyone that more people play 16v16 for more time than 6v6 or 7v7.

    I did talk to someone else who mentioned demos were capped at 1 per team in 6v6 and some other leagues, and soldiers were not, so that kind of basically solves that portion of the argument for me. Pub play still has significantly more situations where soldiers are less useful than demos.

    Ugh, and yeah self rocket damage. You shoot a pyro, he burns you a bit and zergs you, and you kill yourself with self damage. Fun times.

    Well, at least 1 person agrees with me, compared to the 9151537897 that don’t. I don’t feel alone any more.

    I should really write some more articles… it’s been a while.

    Comment by spotpuff — April 17, 2009 @ 13:12

    • Demos are capped at 1, sollys are capped at 2 in most every league. Again, a good soldier sees pyros as a free kill unless surprised. 16v16 is a no skill spam fest which is why they work there… in 6v6 pyros are almost never used.

      Comment by R1pperm4N — July 7, 2009 @ 11:44

  85. Actually, they also nerfed the demo a bit, so Valve at least was listening partially if not to me then to their own metrics. His stickies no longer do full damage out of the barrel (takes 5 seconds).

    So there’s that. Soldiers are great if you have a medic on your ass, but otherwise, most of the time out of league play you’re not going to accomplish much.

    Comment by spotpuff — April 17, 2009 @ 13:34

  86. Yeah, they did nerf his offensive capabilites with stickies, so I don’t know how changing his grenades that drastically would work out. Out of ALL this complaining on my part though, the thing that frustrates me the MOST…is how tricky it is to aim rockets. I’ve been playing for QUITE some time now…and maybe I’m just retarded I don’t know, but I still don’t hit what I want to. I’m not talking about far away, as I can see why I miss like if I don’t lead enough. But the damn rockets travel so slow that even shooting at stuff at close to medium range becomes tricky…which is suppost to be my territory =( It’s mostly noticable when I get rushed by a pyro…which I’m not complaining about you know, pyro’s a simple class and it’s suppost to be, I understand that. The problem is everytime I try to shoot at him, it goes right past him, though from where the reticule is, it almost looks like I should’ve hit him, it’s weird. And usually when you’re trying to avoid a pyro, you backpedal and rocket, and they run forward, and you end up eating fire and your own rocket damage trying to juggle/rocket them away =( Ugh. Anyways, this time I just felt like whining. I had a bad day losing to pyro rushing and missing with rockets badly, lol. I just wish it was easier to aim with them, I feel like asking Valve what they expect of me =’(

    Comment by ThisGuyIsPosting — May 16, 2009 @ 10:19

    • Yes, pyros are a problem. It’s almost impossible for you to keep them out of flamethrower range because of how slowly rockets move. Like you said: aim too far back, and the pyro avoids the rocket; aim at them, and they can jump and the rocket pushes the pyro into you. From there, one self rocket combined with the fire damage is enough to kill you.

      The speed rockets move is definitely frustrating.

      Valve’s ideas now seem to be having classes counter the classes they have problems with. Pyros got the air blast which really screws soldiers at mid-range, which given their speed is usually not a huge problem anyways (and as mentioned above sometimes as pyro can use the rocket splash to their advantage).

      Scouts got the bonk juice to counter sentries, and bonk tanking sentries is absolutely ridiculous because unlike uber you can’t push them with anything from the gun. They’re actually more effective for tanking a sentry than ubers are.

      Sandman counters ubers as well, just to make them slightly more useless I guess.

      Comment by spotpuff — May 16, 2009 @ 10:52

      • Just so you know, a good solly sees a pyro as a free kill (unless surprised around a corner). You need to learn to set-up a perimeter with your rocket fire. A pyro has no real way to get inside tha perimeter if done properly.

        Comment by R1pperm4N — July 7, 2009 @ 11:41

  87. All these can be negated with the fact that you can work with your team. Clearly this is taken from a pub angle and not a competitive angle as the basis behind all of these is that the soldier in question has trouble with logic/aim

    Comment by thisisstupid — June 8, 2009 @ 3:16

  88. My problem is pyro is way easier than Soldier to play, that’s all.

    Comment by ThisGuyIsPosting — June 8, 2009 @ 23:10

  89. First of all, I would like to say that I am a mid level soldier that is active in the competitive scene.

    This whole article seems to be why demo’s are better than Solly’s, which is just bull. This guys has spent a lot of time writing about something he knows nothing about. Sollys are considered by most comp players to be the most balanced class in the game. In a comp environment, the solly is the second most important class on the team, not the demo or scouts.
    Yes, demos take out sentries better in most cases… but if you can’t take a sentry out as solly then you are a noob. As far as the heavy medic combo… kill the med first then line of sight the heavy, this is something else noobs have trouble with. I will agree with having to manage you ammo a bit more with the solly than other classes, but if you let yourself run out of 20 rockets without picking up metal on the ground… you are a noob. You saying self rocket damage is too high means you are letting people close in on you too much. You know that the solly is most effective at mid range right? Use that to your advantage! Don’t engage in situations where the solly’s weaknesses are exaggerated. This is called playing smart. All the things you have pointed out are either bull or obvious facts about solly’s. Yes solly’s have weaknesses… so do demos.

    Who do you think is most effective in keeping #1 on the team alive? The solly keeps the med alive not the demo. The solly keeps the scouts at bay and has the ability to set up a perimeter of spam at mid range around the team in a way the demo cannot. As far as 1v1 demo v solly… hard to say there.

    Comment by R1pperm4N — July 7, 2009 @ 11:36

    • After reading most of your comments, I now see that most of you are pub star wanna be’s. Disregard everything I have said because you will never get to the level where you understand any of it :D No offense but most of you are complete morons lol!

      Comment by R1pperm4N — July 7, 2009 @ 11:50

      • So what you’re saying is we should only balance the game for certain types of play? As in only 6v6, or 7v7, or 8v8 but not say 12v12?

        You realize that there are likely more people playing pubs than there are playing tournaments; if Valve was catering to as wide a player base as possible, then you’d only see balance for 12v12 or in fact 16v16 fast spawn since that seems to be the most popular type of server.

        Yes, the elitists will always argue that “their game” is the only one that matters, be it 6v6 or 8v8 or end-game WOW raids. I’m not saying one is better than the other, but for sure the two are completely separate games.

        When you artificially change players per team to something other than what was intended (12v12), and add other restrictions such as only 1 or 2 per class, and ONLY play on certain maps, then of course balance issues are going to crop up.

        Another huge point that everyone arguing for 6v6 or 8v8 soldier being balanced fails to mention is that soldier almost always has a medic strapped to their ass. If you’re only fighting 1-2 people, yes a soldier can be quite powerful, especially with a medic. But after you blow your rockets and shotgun shells, you require a lot of time to reload, and other classes that don’t have that need (pyros, heavies) and have greater survivability with a medic (heavy) are generally preferred and superior to soldiers.

        In 6v6 or 8v8 most maps are CP with advancing spawn, which means you never, ever see engineers. So sentries aren’t a problem, and you can take that factor out of the argument. In 12v12 maps like Dustbowl, though, you do get engineers, and that’s where things change. It should be obvious we aren’t talking about the same type of play here. In 6v6 or 7v7 advancing spawn maps you never see engineers, so engineers must suck right? That’s not the point; the point is in the most common, intended format (no class restrictions, 12v12, valve official maps), the soldier is not as effective as the demo in most situations. I didn’t write an article about mid level competitive play (har).

        I’m glad you’re a super leet soldier who is totally awesome at being mid level in the competitive scene. It’s unfortunate we will be unable to understand your awesome level of play enough to formulate a coherent response.

        Comment by spotpuff — July 7, 2009 @ 12:18

  90. Without even reading the article, I see what you’re saying. The demoman doesn’t have a 4 clip…err…rocket limit (you know what I mean). The thing with the demoman, though, is that you need to plan things a bit. I like to think I’m a decent demoman, and one thing I always do is shoot off 5 or so stickies in an escape route (behind a wall or something) just in case things don’t go well.

    They dont tend to stay long, since I end up throwing stickies, but its a luxury of a demoman. An escape route. Otherwise, they’re similar. Aiming at the ground, playing a mental game with the opponent on where they will be. But the demoman has 8 shots while the soldier has only 4.

    I agree, but I don’t think the soldier is useless at all. A team of three soldiers can really tear shit up.

    Comment by Shake — June 28, 2011 @ 8:27

  91. I’ll immediately seize your rss feed as I can not in finding your email subscription link or newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Please allow me realize so that I may just subscribe. Thanks.

    Comment by How to trade — December 13, 2011 @ 9:12

  92. this is the most mediocre guide ive ever seen. you suck at this game

    Comment by dummeh — May 29, 2013 @ 19:00

  93. lulz

    Comment by Captain Cuntsworth — May 30, 2013 @ 8:26

    • Wow, the soldier is definitely not an under powered class. If anything the soldier is over powered because it has so much potential. Sure, many classes can destroy sentries better then a soldier can and a heavy and med combo is a bit of a pain but those are only minor inconveniences. You don’t have any idea of how amazing the soldier is doing everything else. You 2 shot 4 classes and 3 shot all the other classes (excluding heavy). As a soldier you can are effective in more situations then any other class.

      You keep comparing the soldier to the demoman, like the black scottish lad is better in every way but i can assure you that this is not the case. The demoman is very slow because his sticky jumps are a lot slower then a soldiers rocket jump. A demoman has less health then a soldier and suffers from long range combat. You’re complaining that the soldier deals splash damage but that is a good thing. You can damage enemies outside your view and you can displace and damage multiple enemies with only one rocket.

      If you find self rocket damage to high, use gunboats. Problem solved. Rocket jumping is EXTREMELY USEFUL. If you play soldier and you don’t rocket jump at all then you will never realize how much your missing out on. You never forget your great market gardener kills. Rocket jumping is the reason why the soldier is so strong and if it costs you quarter of your health to escape from certain death or to get an easy kill or to fly across the match to reach your objective then so be it. Try to land on a health kit if you are rocket jumping, it saves lives.

      BTW: A crit rocket one shot anything except a full health heavy, that mostly why they have no crit servers because soldiers are just way too dangerous.

      Comment by guywhoknowseverythingabouttf2 — July 31, 2013 @ 7:26

  94. Good day! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be ok. I’m definitely enjoying your blog
    and look forward to new updates.

    Comment by ashton kutcher and mila kunis kiss — August 3, 2013 @ 13:13


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