NS2 Strategies

NS2 Strategies

Postby Dreya » Wed Oct 24, 2012 4:29 pm

I'm sure we all remember such standbys as the pg-shotgun rush and the siege turrets outside the hive as the primary means to slowly destroy the Kharaa menace, but in my brief times attempting to pick up NS2, it seems that things have changed a fair amount in the past few years. The very existence of the alien commander means that gorges take on a vastly different support role and map control by individual players has become an even bigger priority.

Given that, though, I have hardly seen the ARC make an appearance in NS2. Exosuit/JP shottie rushes seem far more prevalent. What then are some of the more dominant strategies that you've seen? What do we need to know to acclimate to the NS2?
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Re: NS2 Strategies

Postby mooseman » Wed Oct 24, 2012 5:31 pm

The game has been changing radically with each patch, so I don't think there have been too many dominant strategies yet. At one point the lerk was the one with the bile bomb, fer cryin out loud. Last time there was a Q&A, Charlie said that the win/loss balance had swung by 15% with the last patch.

I have seen some very effective Frontiersmen egg camping. Also saw a game in the last tourney that was won by an early Onos (pre-fade, even). Heavies seem to mean the game is over.

It's going to be interesting to watch people try different strategies.
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Re: NS2 Strategies

Postby shipwreck » Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:19 am

I'm with Moose: tough to say anything definitive until at least next week.

But, in the few games I've played of the recent build, the PG/Shottie rush is a classic. It worked especially well when I had a Marine or two attack one hive to draw off a few aliums, then sent the rest of the team through the PG with GLs and shirtguns.

Man, I can't wait to play more Fogie NS!!
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Re: NS2 Strategies

Postby mooseman » Fri Oct 26, 2012 12:03 pm

I got to pilot a Heavy suit last night and boy does that make the aliens RUN! Even an Onos will turn around and head the other way when they hear the chaingun noise. A single heavy with a couple support troops can block off a section of the map for a long time.

Bile bomb is very strong right now.
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Re: NS2 Strategies

Postby Niteowl » Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:25 pm

Who has BB now? It's no longer the lerks, right?
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Re: NS2 Strategies

Postby BigDXLT » Sun Oct 28, 2012 6:15 pm

It's back on the Gorge. With the right support, exo's will turn and run.
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Re: NS2 Strategies

Postby mooseman » Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:16 pm

It's launch night and suddenly my performance has improved. I am much more likely to be able to eat that tasty marine I have my eyeteeth set on.

I still think aliens are woefully underpowered. I commed a game and very quickly lost map control, but my guys were pretty good at defense and it took a good 45 minutes for the aliens to win. Shouldn't be that hard for the team that owns the map to win.

On the other hand, I do remember some epic last stands in NS1
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Re: NS2 Strategies

Postby Faust » Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:02 am

I don't know Moosey, I think it might be too early to tell. We must not forget the massive influx of new players right now. As I was saying to people during a game tonight, marines generally take conventional fps skill, whereas aliens require an experienced, specialized skill set. New players are going to have a much easier time adapting to the marine play style as opposed to aliens.
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Re: NS2 Strategies

Postby Niteowl » Wed Oct 31, 2012 6:50 am

And god, alien commanding is sooooo weird. So, really, that entire Kharaa side is quite a transition.
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Re: NS2 Strategies

Postby mooseman » Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:10 pm

I hear you with regard to aliens requiring a different skillset, but every beta game for the last two weeks has gone to the marines....almost every one, anyhow.

Fades don't come with blink and lerks don't come with gas. I think that's a problem. Your next higher lifeforms are useless unless you have two hives and res for upgrades. Gorges are useless. I can't fathom what they were thinking.
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Re: NS2 Strategies

Postby Cpt.Shwan » Fri Nov 02, 2012 12:06 am

Strategies:

1. Yell at the morons who can't take the 20 minutes to do the in-game tutorials until I'm blue in the face.


Aliens:
1. Just like early NS1, delayed skulk rush seems to win 90% of the time. I'll usually send a scout or scout ahead myself to see if they're leaving anyone in the base, then call for the Calvary and eat'em'up.
2. Immediately drop 2nd hive. It seems the average player's attention span is as long as the "______ HIVE IS UNDER ATTACK" so if marines push early they'll at least be drawn to it.
3. Crag -> Shift -> Veil. Unless I have a team full of people who know what their doing then Shift -> Crag -> Veil. Unless I'm with a group of veteran aliens then Veil -> Shift -> Crag.
4. Flash Mobs. Just picking random points to amass your entire team and hit random spots seems to be very effective.


Marines:
1. Seeing how everyone playing has COD aim, I'd much rather prefer to rely on turrets to do my heavy lifting. As many might recall I'm a very SLOW marine commander, and I'm more than happy to secure the map room by room and resource starve aliens until my base looks like an exosuit dealership.
2. Rarely drop Ammo/Health, especially if they're off on their own. The reduced costs in this game mean 5 ammopacks = 1/3rd Armory. If I'm about to have a big fight I'll drop an armory and have them just fall back.
3. 'Nade launchers. 60 = more troublesome than 1 exosuit at 50, plus when the hapless retards die the next one can pick it up. Take advantage of the huge splash damage and no FF by just having the GLs lay into the pointman staggered so there's always nades going off.
4. ARCs.
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Re: NS2 Strategies

Postby Faust » Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:09 am

Greetings Shwan, it's been a long time man. You gonna be hero of the TSF now? :)

1. Yell at the morons who can't take the 20 minutes to do the in-game tutorials until I'm blue in the face.


Well, I try to be more patient with people than that. The tutorial system isn't very good in this game. I myself find video playback to be atrocious in the steam overlay. I wish they would have a tooltips option for the game in general, like they do in explore mode. It would be start for a better learning process.

I do however get annoyed by people who don't listen, like a commander the other day who would constantly spam turrets every 5 feet late game... when he could have been using those resources to drop weapons or get jp's/exos faster.

I do like your other strategies here. I agree crag first is good with newbies. Extra armour will help them tons. I played some games the other day where the commander got celerity first. It's an interesting strat as it not only allowed us to close the distance that much faster in combat, but also get around the map far quicker, which makes the difference in NS2 I find, as the maps are smaller than NS1 maps. I agree that with experienced players, silence first could be very useful.

Do you really find turrets useful? I find them worse than NS1 turrets. It seems I can easily kite them and take them out as a lone skulk. I do find shoving the battery and couple turrets right in the wall makes them a bit harder to deal with. Late game I don't think they have any use.
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Re: NS2 Strategies

Postby Cpt.Shwan » Fri Nov 02, 2012 5:30 pm

Howdy! I'd still be TSA because I'm old school, but unfortunately it's too long of a name so it's cut to just Cpt. Shwan these days.

As for turrets I find them enough of a distraction for Aliens to justify their point costs, and I can rely on their aim better than most marines right now. I'll usually jam it against a wall like you say, or I'll put the 3 turrets in a diamond formation pointing inward so they cover each-other and the battery. I find that the resource tick rate in this game is just super speedy so if I can spend early game locking down resource nodes and make the aliens fight for that 2nd/3rd hive then they'll make their points back and then some. Maybe when I get a group of disciplined marines who understand that just holding a few rooms while we rake in early nodes will give us victory I can re-adjust strategies, but for now all these clowns want to do is meander about a map and get eaten, no matter how many pings or orders I put up and how much I yell at them. Late game I'll put them up but usually to support my 'rines, so 3 in a line pointed towards the enemy. By then if everything's gone to plan I have the aliens locked down.

My biggest problem in NS2 is as a Marine Commander is that I've lost all means of coercing compliance without hurting the team as whole. If you had a clown in NS1 who wouldn't follow orders, you wouldn't give him anything. No shotguns, no JPs no HMG. Now with NS2 the commander is at the whim of the marines now that they leech resources off the nodes. They can just lone wolf the entire game, save up for a exo and get blown up when they lone wolf it. My only recourse is to NOT research stuff and yell at them until I'm blue in the face. I've had people just flat out tell me no when I tell them to go to an empty hive and just secure the room for a few minutes while I have the rest of the team push forward, in NS1 that would of been a simple "Hope you like that SMG and light armor then champ, that's all your getting for this game" now in NS2 is like "err, well, okay then?"

You have the same problem with the Alien Commander, but in NS1 we didn't have an alien commander so it was always the matter of getting the aliens to be cooperative to win the game. Something all of us would do in spades. Now in NS2 with though the Alien commander you have to double down on the cat herding because of the new mechanics. Last night we're going back and forth trying to get into Atrium to finish off marines, I've got Onos on Crevice and Reactor core just bleeding their resources. It took me rampaging in an Onos just spawn killing for 1:20 yelling at my team to get in atrium to win this game. Another Onos came and that was about it, luckily we finished them off. in NS1 at least you could make due with Gorge 1 going off and doing his own thing and Gorge 2 wanting to do a completely separate thing, because marines would have a fight on two fronts. Now getting someone to gorge is a pain in the ass (I've wanted to try a strategy where everyone on the alien team cycles through gorge to drop hydras and see how that fares but I haven't found a server anywhere near the cooperation level needed for that). At least on the Alien side if you have someone trying to lone wolf and quickly evolve to Onos/Fade you can tell them "Have fun without Stomp/Blink" to force them to start listening.

In regards to upgrading, it's usually Second Hive -> Crag Carapace -> Leap in terms of my priorities. If I can keep my resource intake going that means at about 3:00 in I have my second hive and immediately go into Celerity. Having Carapace/Celerity skulks running about from 5:00 to 10:00 mark can mean utter domination if I have a team that knows how to play. If this is the case I'll hold off researching leap and fortify my positions to secure my Node Intake and start planning for end game. If my Team is sucking I'll shift strategy to my Flash Mob strikes to try to disrupt their main base.

Another strategy I have is telling my skulks to not bother with the Power Nodes. It's quicker to eat the node and fall back, and not waste 45+ seconds on something that takes 4 seconds to replace for free. You also run the chance of having the Marine Commander just try to rebuild with a lone marine, and thus have him waste another 10 points of resources when you kill the hapless fool staring at the RT while welding it. The alien team needs to be everywhere at once because if the marines in masse they'll more likely than not just steamroll skulks with volume of fire.

MACs/Lurkers. I can trust a MAC to repair a Exo more than another player, and the most underrated tool endgame for marines is the MAC's emp ability. Once you get in those locked games where you're sitting on a ton of resources, the points for a MAC and it's ability to just shut an onos down is phenominal even if you have to sacrifice for it. Lurker is the same. 2 Onos and a lurker's go-go spray, they can total a marine base in 20 seconds flat. Many people overlook the lurker's observatory qualities too. Hiding it in a corner and I'll know for sure what's in that room, not just the black mist I see when they walk on my infestation.

That's all the strategery I can think of for now.
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