The vast majority of randoms I play with insist on getting in close AND running wildly around trying to get all the kills (more power to them – I don’t need the cash/XP and as long as I don’t have to revive them every 30 seconds, play on)…without team safe though, I wouldn’t be able to use grenades most of the time or I’d run the risk of getting kicked.
Amongst my friends, it’s slightly less of an issue but because I usually stand off the action…it’s usually me that ends up having to revive them. Tossing a cluster right on top of them with team safe usually clears out enough enemies for me to go revive them in relative safety. As long as we stick together in the same general area it’s pretty much the same as having Team Medic. The advantage to Cluster with Team Safe is that its stackable and it can be used offensively as well as defensively.
Protector and Army of Three are good but I find they’re too restrictive in terms of time and the proximity required to the kickback user. You can put the Kickback Endurance booster on but you have to give up Team Safe. TS is pretty much a necessity for me since even one friendly fire death caused by me is too many and one caused by a grenade is unconscionable. As far as the 10m range for Protector or Army of Three, really best for sieges.
So my overwhelming favourite loadout for crushing coop arena matches is:
Regeneration/Team Safe/Cluster Bomb
For easy/normal coop arena matches and on certain maps (and provided I remember to change my loadout):
Beast Mode/Team Safe/Cluster Bomb
For hard, it depends on who I’m playing with but if I know I can count on my teammates (whether randoms or friends) I usually go with Beast Mode in the first slot.
Even though I haven't been using TS much lately, (so it's kinda weird that I'm posting this), I think that lot of people underestimate the usefulness of this booster. They just think of it as a booster that prevents you from hurting your teammates with explosives and sometimes "hurts" their performance because they can't get their kickbacks so often without Bargain, Overstock or whatever. It's not the only good thing about it. With Team Safe you can:
- Spam grenades and other explosives as much as you want with no risk of hurting your teammates
- Save your teammate's life (well, yours as well) if you happen to accidentally grab a nearby grenade (Triangle, it only does everything) with you while you're reviving him/her
- Take out groups of enemies on surrounded, downed teammates
- Save your own butt when you're ramboing around (perfect for those selfish little ******) punching everything and grenade happens to drop but you just in time manage to press triangle before you get downed so the grenade gets TS'd.
- Take out choked players with RPGs and Hammers from miles away (which is more difficult with other weapons besides snipers)
- You're a nice guy
I've had TONS of close calls where my teammate gets downed and soon after a grenade it thrown right next to them and when I'm going to revive them, I accidentally attempt to throwback the grenade (but it doesn't throw it back, just drags it right next to me) and as soon as I revive my teammate, it blows up, but it only downs ME while my teammate is unhurt and can then revive me instead.
In those situations, if you didn't have Team Safe, you both would be dead!
I'm really just that guy who heals everyone and uses long-range weaponry. Yeah, less cash, less kills, less ammo opportunities, but hey, we're alive right? It's a job I gotta do.
It's like me being the guy who has to drive the vehicle and carry a sniper while everyone racks up on points.
I don't even care about cash anymore. I literally just let others do almost everything. I won't make myself useless though, I still provide support for my teammates and since I use beast mode 90% of the time, I carry the idol as well.
Also, whenever choker appears, I let 'em choke me (Free medals, helllooo?), other players would just run away or melee them, wasting everyone's time (running) or medals (punching). I leave power weapons for everyone else (if they realize to actually pick 'em up), weaken enemies (kickback dudes for example, unless it's a cluster bomber, they're dangerous) and let others finish them off.
Besides all this, I just stay out of trouble in general; Don't rambo during Survival rounds, focus on idol during Gold rush, don't challenge enemies (nothing's more stupid than going after PAK brute or kickback enemy and then get killed by him), use the safest spot during Survival, not the fastest, avoid melee, especially during laggy games (A shot from SAS + punch says hello!), and so on, and so on.
I just don't like how I have to actively be near them when I turn on protector. Goddamn it guys, if you're not glowing, you don't got **bleep**. The protector thing doesn't work across the whole goddamn map.
I don't really mind the 10m range Protector and Army of Three has. If people don't realize to stay close to me when it's active, it's their loss.
Though it would have been cool if Kickback endurance (for example) would have increased the kickback range slightly. Like bronze 1m, silver 3m and gold 5m.