Let’s get this blog off on the right foot; complaining about weapon unlocks!

Pictured: The Half-Zatoichi Soldier taunt. Not pictured: a taunt kill.
Pictured: The Half-Zatoichi Soldier taunt. Not pictured: a taunt kill.

The Half-Zatoichi is a sword for Demoman and Soldier that behaves identically to the stock bottle except for 3 things: (1) killing someone with it heals you to full health, (2) not killing someone with it makes you unable to switch back to your other weapons, and (3) people wielding the weapon can OHKO each other.

First. Let’s deal with the ‘honorbound’ downside. It makes this sword very annoying to use. The number of reasons you might not get the kill is staggering; perhaps a teammate steals the kill. Perhaps they suicide because they have a weapon that self-damages. Perhaps they see you coming with the Half-Zatoichi and hit their ‘explode’ key to spite you. (I’ve done this.) Regardless, if anything goes wrong, you’re now basically stuck with stock melee until you find another distracted enemy or (much more likely) you die.

But I don’t dislike the weapon because of that. I dislike it because of being on the receiving end. When I fight someone and lose, I appreciate the killcam in the end because I can see how much health they had left. Did he have 4 hp when I died? Chalk it up to damage spread, I did the best I could. Did he die with over 100 hp left? Assuming a fair fight, I was definitely out of my league and should revise my strategy when next I fight him. Half-Zatoichi makes this impossible because when I lose to him, he’s got 100% health left. Guaranteed. Also it crits like a mother♥♥♥♥er.

And now I’m going to bring up Medieval Mode. Yes, that mode that ‘isn’t legitimate TF2′, ‘Valve doesn’t balance around’, ‘my argument is now invalid’, etc. Can it. Now I’m going to make my next post in defense of Medieval Mode.

In Medieval Mode, the demoknight wields a variety of swords. Almost unanimously, these swords have extended melee range, no random crits, and a passive downside. Half-Zatoichi has none of these. When wielding a shield and booties, the Half-Zatoichi becomes a straight upgrade against the bottle. I believe this was coded such because the soldier gets it as well, and Valve didn’t want him to have a melee with extended melee range (then again…) but that doesn’t excuse the fact that demosamurai have some of the most insane survivability in the mode.

How would I fix all this?

Simple: Give it the Kamikaze taunt on Soldier. If he successfully kills someone, he’s healed to full instead of being gibbed. I don’t like how demoman gets a taunt kill and Soldier doesn’t.

Honest. Everything else I’ve complained about? Keep it in. It’s not a big enough deal for Valve to fix the weapon.