Versus Saxton Hale
Versus Saxton Hale, also styled as VS Saxton Hale or VSH, is a community-created game mode added in the Summer 2023 Update with the July 12, 2023 Patch. It features Saxton Hale (as the BLU team) pitted against the RED team's mercenaries in a large-scale arena.
- 1 Gameplay
- 2 Strategy
- 3 Maps
- 4 Update history
- 5 Unused content
- 6 Notes
- 7 Bugs
- 8 Gallery
- 9 See also
- 10 References
When a round starts, one player is chosen at random to play as Saxton Hale on the BLU team, and the rest are assigned to the RED team with one goal: to kill Saxton Hale on behalf of their new boss, Gray Mann, who acts as the announcer. The gameplay is similar to Arena mode; players have one life and are unable to respawn once killed. Players who join a server after a round starts must wait until the next one in order to participate. There are no protected respawn areas or resupply lockers on the map, but health kits or ammo boxes can be found across various locations.
Both Hale and the mercenaries have an arsenal of abilities that can be used against each other. Saxton Hale (BLU team) wins when all the mercenaries are killed; Mercenaries (RED team) win when Saxton Hale is killed. Each game also has a 4-minute timer until the middle control point unlocks, when the control point unlocks, mercenaries or Hale can also capture the control point and win the game. Saxton Hale's health is visible at all times near the top of the screen.
Both Saxton Hale and Gray Mann are voiced by Matthew Simmons.
As Saxton Hale, players have several different abilities to help take on the mercenaries. These abilities display most of their information on the HUD. A regular melee hit from Saxton does 195 damage (157/117/77 damage to buildings depending on their level) and creates a small explosion ( ) that damages anything nearby for 50% of his damage (97 damage to both players and buildings) and his health scales with the amount of players on RED he is fighting. Saxton Hale can use all-class taunts, several of which have unique animations on Saxton.
Saxton Hale has a set of attributes that persist throughout the round. By default, Hale has a 25% resistance against all damage sources (including Crits) and knockback forces, and has a 3x damage multiplier for his only primary weapon. Random critical hits are disabled on-wearer, and Hale has an increased melee range and a bound multiplier of 1.2x and 1.1x, respectively.
Saxton Hale cannot be impacted by fall damage, nor can he be healed by a Medi Gun or through health kits. Saxton has a 3x control point capture rate multiplier, but is additionally not able to pick up flags from any team.
Initiating the Flippin' Awesome or Skullcracker taunt as Saxton acts as a taunt kill against the mercenary it was used on. Additionally, the Rock, Paper, Scissors taunt can insta-kill Hale should he lose, regardless of the amount of health he has.
Saxton Hale's movement starts at 107% speed () when moving forward. Saxton's speed ramps up to as he takes damage, reaching max speed at 25% of his health left.
Saxton Hale's health is dependent on the number of opponents he faces. If Saxton Hale has only one opponent, his health is set to 1000. Otherwise, the formula for Saxton Hale's health is 40n2 + offset, where:
- n is the number of opponents on RED team.
- offset is equal to 1300 for 5 opponents or less.
- offset is equal to 2000 for 6 opponents or more.
The formula result is rounded down to the nearest multiple of 100. Saxton Hale's health is determined at the end of setup time.
|RED players||Saxton Hale's Health|
Saxton charges up his fist as he yells out in preparation for a rushing punch that knocks opponents away and slams them into walls for extra damage (default key: ). The charge can be held for as long as desired, making Saxton's fist glow blue and freezing him in place, even while in the air. The charge attack can be used to send Saxton in any direction that he is facing, allowing him to reach high places if needed. The charge attack has a 10 second cooldown and does 55% of the target's total HP with damage falling off with distance. Additionally, the charge attack deals damage to Engineer buildings every tick that it is active; effectively destroying them almost instantly on contact. Saxton moves at about 467% speed (1400 HU/S) when using the Sweeping Charge.
Saxton starts a 30 second countdown from when he spawns, slowly charging up a devastating attack. When fully charged, this attack turns Saxton's left forearm bright red with critical hit sparks all over it. Saxton also gives an audio cue when the attack is ready, alerting the mercenaries. Upon striking an enemy with Saxton Punch, a shockwave is sent out, damaging every enemy around the target based on their proximity. Saxton Punch automatically applies to the next melee hit when available and does 326 damage before going on cooldown.
When Saxton becomes airborne, he has the ability to perform a ground pound, slamming himself back down to the ground with great force. This ability ignores knockback and is triggered by holding the crouch button while in the air (default key:). Upon hitting the ground, a big shockwave is sent out in every direction from the point of impact, and every merc close to the landing site takes damage based on their distance from the point of impact. The big shockwave from the slam can easily destroy any buildings on its range as it does double damage to them. This ability is on a cooldown for 15 seconds, however, Saxton can hold the crouch key while on cooldown in midair to fall faster.
Similar to Scout, Saxton has the ability to perform a double jump, although his second jump allows him to reach significantly greater heights, far beyond any classes' typical abilities (even the Soda Popper's six HYPE jumps or rocket jumping). Useful as a general mobility and evasion tool, this ability launches Saxton forward and upward with no cooldown, only requiring the player to touch the ground to be performed again.
As the mercenaries, players have a few abilities to aid in fending off Saxton. All classes have voice lines specific to Versus Saxton Hale, although all of the new lines are voiced by James McGuinn rather than their official voice actors. These trigger automatically under certain conditions.
Every mercenary has the ability to scale surfaces with the use of a melee attack. Upon striking a surface, the player is launched upwards to reach advantageous positions with ease.
Last Mann Standing
The Force-A-Nature deals increased knockback, which applies within a range of up to 600 Hammer units.
The Direct Hit and Reserve Shooter always deal mini-crits on Saxton Hale while he is in the air.
Landing a successful hit with the Market Gardener while rocket jumping deals damage based on player count. The formula used is (maxhealth / mercs) / 2.5, where maxhealth is the health that Hale started with and mercs is the number of players on the RED team that were alive when the round started. This number is multiplied by 3 due to being a critical hit, then multiplied by 0.75 due to Hale's innate 25% crit resistance. This always deals a minimum of 500 damage and causes a crowd cheering sound effect to play.
Telefrag damage is calculated the same way as the Market Gardener, but (maxhealth / mercs) is multipled by 2 instead of divided by 2.5.
Sentry Guns are awarded 1 assist for every 200 damage inflicted to Saxton Hale.
Medics have a 30% damage resistance against Saxton Hale's attacks, 100% faster Übercharge rate, and are knocked back with an extra 300 Hammer unit force.
The Hitman's Heatmaker has an added 7x Focus multiplier for each hit.
Spies take 50% less damage from Saxton Hale while cloaked.
The Diamondback receives 2 critical hits every time Saxton Hale is backstabbed.
The Conniver's Kunai gives a minimum of 180 health and a maximum of 270.
Melee weapons for all classes (except the Spy) deploy 25% faster, have guaranteed crits (except for the Market Gardener and Holiday Punch), and have a 60% increased melee range in a 350 Hammer unit proximity between Hale and the player (the Disciplinary Action and Demoman's sword weapons are unaffected by this range increase).
On-kill effects are now triggered on-hit instead. Demoman sword weapons, the Killing Gloves of Boxing, the Warrior's Spirit, the Candy Cane, and the Powerjack are triggered every hit. The on-kill effects of the Ali Baba's Wee Booties and Bootlegger also trigger on every melee hit. Spy knives trigger on every backstab, the Bazaar Bargain triggers on every headshot, and the Air Strike triggers on every 250 damage done to Saxton Hale.
Demoman's shields provide a one-hit immunity against Hale's primary attack; after absorbing an attack, the shield breaks and the player loses any effect from the shield, like the ability to charge.
Weapons and cosmetics utilizing Pyrovision are forcibly disabled in order to prevent Saxton Hale from playing Heavy voice lines.
The Rocket Jumper and the Sticky Jumper have their bonus reserve ammo removed.
The Scottish Resistance's stickies feature a 20% damage penalty.
Demoman's sword weapons deal reduced knockback.
All Miniguns deal 40% less damage.
The Natascha has an 85% reduced chance of triggering the slowdown-on-hit ability.
Sentry Guns have a 50% damage penalty.
The Wrangler's damage reduction does not apply to attacks from Saxton Hale.
Backstabs do not instant kill and instead deal damage based on player count. This is calculated in the same way as the Market Gardener.
After a backstab, Spies cannot cloak or attack for 2 seconds.
Versus Saxton Hale maps carry the vsh_ prefix; community maps are identified with an italic font.
- Saxton Hale's model includes two unused bodygroups, one that hides his hat (which in turn shows his hair), while the other hides the Australium Macropus buckle on his shorts.
- No voice lines are present for identifying Saxton Hale as a disguised Spy; attempting to identify Hale as one instead triggers a generic response.
- Saxton's player model may sometimes become entirely invisible, leaving only particle effects floating in the air where his model should be.
- Inspecting Saxton as he is performing the Saxton Punch or Sweeping Charge ability may show him equipped with a Hale's Own Sandvich instead of the Fists. When performing the Mighty Slam, it may appear a Hale's Own Frying Pan.
- On rarer occasion, a Sandvich model in Saxton's hands may appear on the Spectator cam after inspecting him when he uses an ability. It does not show in third-person view and stays in his hands, but disappears upon switching the camera to another player then back.
- Backstabbing Saxton with the Your Eternal Reward (or Wanga Prick) without having disguised during that round may list your disguise's weapon or name as
- Every time a player uses the command
autoteamin the console, they are automatically assigned to BLU and then immediately back to RED and a message is displayed in chat.
- When Colorblind mode is enabled, two Jarate symbols appear above Saxton when soaked; the top being the default visible to all users, the bottom being the colorblind symbol.
- Occasionally, the game creates equal teams on RED and BLU, resulting in Saxton Hale not spawning.
- The Hale portrait still shows up at the top part of the HUD.
- Sometimes, a player may appear as Saxton Hale despite not being chosen as Saxton Hale.
- Saxton Hale Taunts
- Video demonstrating the Flippin' Awesome taunt
- Video demonstrating a Rock, Paper, Scissors victory against Saxton
- scripts\vscripts\vssaxtonhale\mercs\merc_traits\single_class\engineer_sentry.nut; Awarding assists to the Sentry Gun based on damage is done to allow Engineers using the Frontier Justice to get revenge crits
- scripts\vscripts\vssaxtonhale\mercs\merc_traits\all_class\no_pyrovision.nut:L14-25; Hale is technically a Heavy with Voice Pitch shifted to 0. Pyrovision overrides that shift enabling Heavy's lines.
- Video of Saxton being invisible
- Video of Saxton carrying a Sandvich
- GitHub Issue which demonstrates the autoteam bug.