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Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Medic Kit: Review

There's two reasons I"m reviewing only the medic tonight. One, I'm tired (again), but also because it begs a bit of explanation.

When the medic kit first hit, the gun everyone used was the M60. The gun was accurate from across the map and had the most damage of any light machine gun (and still does). The only real drawback was the giant recoil, which didn't really matter at anything other than long range. Add to this that LMG's were generally accurate at any movement speed save sprint meant that medics with M60s ran and gunned, carrying whole teams to victory on the virtue of their overpowered mancannon. It became a polarizing issue in the BC2 community, the first of many. It's damage, fire rate, ammo carried, lack of accuracy falloff and other lesser factors created a class play style that wasn't intended. Instead of staying at the mid-lines keeping everyone alive and reviving, medics took the assault's job away from them to some extent. Another gun like the M60 but not nearly as vocalized was the XM8 LMG, whose increased fire rate and rounds per minute coupled with its own sizable damage output made it a worthy second to the M60's crown.

DICE took their time in balancing the weapon in the major update, wanting to be sure that it no longer carried the stigma of launch. When the patch finally came out, the LMG's saw perhaps the biggest nerf, since rather than a single weapon seeing a reduction in its attributes, the entire LMG category felt the blow of the balancing hammer. LMG's no longer carried near the accuracy when moving, and no crouching gave the best results. The hit was so great that running and gunning medics all but disappeared and medics, if they wanted to go back to their old ways, were forced to choose from the all kit weapons with much more limited ammo supplies. The M60 and the XM8 also saw great reduction in their damage output over range. While the M60 now carries a 16.7 damage at max range, that, combined with its great recoil, does lower its ubiquity somewhat.

With the recent update, the status quo changed the most for the medic kit as well. The intro LMG, the PKM, saw an increase in its damage at range, the T88, which previously received a nice pad to its damage output, found itself reduced back to standard fare. Not surprisingly, perhaps, the MG3, the final LMG rewarded to medics, with the highest rate of fire and lowest damage, received a boost to both damage up close and at range. Originally, I believe, 10 damage up close was the maximum, but now that figure is 12.5 and damage at max range is 10. With rounds per minute at 1000 and .06 seconds between each bullet, it takes approximately 4.8 seconds to kill up close and  at max range, assuming every bullet hits (my math might be wrong).The weapon has, therefore, seen a rise in users. The SPECACT kits released do something for that as well.

Overall, the medic updates are good, but the M60 is still a little over powered. Proficient users still snipe from long range, but its core users, the run and gunners, moved on, thankfully.

The updates get a 8.75.

Thanks for reading,

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