7. WARZONE TACTICS (Continued)DEFENSE: THE LAST MAN STANDING
Speaking of Disappearing Act, this ability all but guarantees that you can hold a door well past the deaths of your entire team. The trick is using it at the right time and positioning after your allies are all dead.
The moment that you are one of the last 3 defenders alive, you are going to run behind some LOS and pop Disappearing Act. At this point, your allies are probably going to die and the door will be wide open. Find a place to stand where you wonít get noticed. Wait until the bomb is at 7 seconds of planting before acting. At this time, you have three options. If you are close enough to the planter that you wonít get intercepted, run up and SF+FR him in the back. Yeah, you will probably die, but you will die so fast that you will probably be up in the respawn right as the doors open, having bought more than enough time for your team.
If you are far away from the planter and/or worried about his allies, just poke him with Flurry of Bolts from afar. Again, you will probably get vaporized in about 3 seconds, but hopefully you will be right out the doors on the next respawn.
Finally, if there are multiple planters, just throw in a Thermal Grenade. Make sure you throw it at 6.5 or 6 seconds instead of 7; the grenade actually has a travel time and you donít want to get beaten by lag, graphical or otherwise.
DEFENSE: BOWDAAR TO THE RESCUE!
In between Disappearing Act CDs every 90s, you still might need to hold the door from lots of attackers. Thatís where your Freighter comes in. Run behind a pillar so you are out of LOS and then drop the flyby right on the door. Put it out a bit in front so it maximizes AOE. If you have a bunch of guys around you ready to interrupt, throw down Flashbang before you use Flyby.
It isn't a bad Scrapper map, but the relative openness of the terrain can sometimes make it hard to kite and focus enemy targest without yourself getting focused. The real problem is that it is very difficult to take a side node. On your own (as when you solo a defender) it will take an outrageous 18 seconds to cap a node. This can make it very difficult to 1v1 a defender and claim your prize before help arrives or he force speeds/charges back from the spawn, . But on the other hand, because teammates can take a node so quickly when working together, your awesome CCs (Flashbang, Kick, and Dart) give your team an appreciable edge in defending against a respawn.
OFFENSE: WAIT FOR HEALERS TO REVEAL THEMSELVES
Right when the door opens you are going to head mid. Run BEHIND the little hit (along the sandbags) to flank the enemy position. Wait about 2 seconds while you mark your target and any oher healers. Once all the enemy DPS has engaged your team and your healer is at the back lines, you are going to strike.
Why do we wait? The Novare nodes are very open and it is very easy to get focused. You need to minimize this chance by letting the Marauders/Jugs charge ahead, and letting the Sins/Ops flank your own lines to hit your healers. If anyone notices you right away it will be a Merc or Sniper (easy) or a Pyrotech (oh god), but even that is better then getting instantly jumped by 3-4 Marauders on top of the Sniper and Pyro.
Even if you start to get focused, this isn't a bad thing. If a premades DPS rotates to deal with you, your team can push ahead and set up further on the node. Healers can duck into the hut and your team can take the high ground while the Imps focus on you for a moment.
KITING WITH LIMITED COVER
There aren't a lot of good places to kite on Novare. Some of them look good but are actually traps (NEVER GO INTO THE HUT TO HEAL), and others look silly but are actually awesome (crouching and healing at the base of the artillery). Because healing and kiting is something that separates us from Sins, we need to take advantage of our unique class strengths. Here is a quick list of the dos and do nots of kiting on Novare.
OFFENSE: CHAIN CCS WHILE ALLIES CAP
- GOOD: Outside of the Hut. Hug the wall and throw down a heal before heading back out. If you get caught, TB and run around the corner to the back wall and heal there.
- GOOD: Base of the Artillery. This really seems like a silly place to hide because it is totally exposed in the middle of the map and it just isn't very big. But upon closer examination, it's actually quite decent. If you hug the base of the artillery, where the big metal post connects the gun to its giant base, you can't be seen from the other side. If you crouch down as you do so, you are even less visible. This gives you a great opportunity to break LOS from any Snipres or PTs, toss down a heal, and keep on moving. It is also the only cover that is available to you if you get in trouble while out in the open.
- GOOD: Walls at side nodes. On both side nodes, there are 2 giant, flat pieces of metal that look like big walls. You can hug these for some LOS and kiting opportunities if you need to heal up or lose pursuers.
- BAD: Hiding in a hut. At first glance, the huts seem made for hiding. Your back is protected, you have a high ground advantage, your allies can stand in front of you, etc. In practice, however, it is an AOE nightmare. Getting CCd while you kite is frustrating on its own, but if you only have 1 attacker, you can still recover. Getting CCd in the hut puts you at the mercy of every Force Storm, Orbital Bombardment, Smash, and Death From Above on the enemy team. I have ducked into a hut with 40% health to heal, thrown down 2 heals, and left the hut with 30% health JUST from AOEs.
This is true on a lot of maps, but moreso on Novare because of the long cap time. You will rarely, if ever, participate in a node capture. Because of your 30s CD single target stun, 12s CD single target snare, 60s CD AOE 5 target mezz, and your Sleep Dart, your job is almost always to prevent respawners or reinforcements from reaching a node that your allies are capping.
The trick is to use your CCs in the right order to maximize their effectiveness. Open wih a Sleep Dart on a NON-TANK (tanks have Guard, and if they guarded a target that takes damage, they will wake up). Then toss down Flashbang at a clump of at least 2-3. Next, activate Sneak and run up to any stragglers that you missed. TB them and stick them in place while running up to the node. Finally, get ready to kick anyone that breaks CC and charges your capping allies.
OFFENSE: THE SOLO SIDE GAMBIT IS VERY RISKY
As a scrapper, our job is almost always to pressure a side node. Unfortunately, Novare makes this difficult because of the cap time. Even if you kill your target, you still need an uncontested 18 seconds to take the node. Against a competent team, especially a premade, you are never going to get this time without some good luck and/or good allies. That doesn't mean you shouldn't go for the node. It just means you need to be careful when doing so.
First thing is first. Wait for the respawn doors to open and let out reinforcements before you attack. If no one is heading your way, you are going to strike RIGHT AWAY. You need the extra time. Let's assume that you kill your target, but that you can't do it in under 10 seconds.
Now comes the hard part: Taking the node. Get as far inside the hut as possible before trying to cap. DON'T RECUPERATE! You don't have enough time. You want to maximize the distance beween reinforcements and yourself, and I can't count the number of times I have capped a node the second before I got hit.
Next, don't be afraid to stop capping if you realize that reinforcements are coming. Once they get over the hill they are about 1 second away from hitting you. Instantly pop Stealth and juke away from the node. They will drop an AOE to catch you, so you need to be smart and avoid it. DO NOT GET CAUGHT OUT OF STEALTH. You almost assuredly won't have full health from your last fight. You now have two options depending on how much the node has been capped and how many reinforcements arrived.
IF IT'S JUST 1 DEFENDER, Sleep Dart him. He probably used his CC break in the last fight. Go back to capping the node. If you still need more time, restealth and Dart him again before going back to cap.
IF IT'S 2 DEFENDERS, Sleep Dart one, flashbang the other, and try and cap the node. You will have 5 seconds to do so, maybe 6 if they are slow. If you need more than 5-6 seconds, don't even try. Just break off and head mid. By pulling 2 defenders to the side you ensure a 7v6 at mid with the favor going to your team.
DEFENSE: DON'T BE AFRAID TO LET YOUR ATTACKERS PARTIALLY CAP THE NODE
Let's say you are solo guarding a side node when 1-2 attackers come. If it's 1 attacker and you can solo him, just kill him and move on. But if it's 1 attacker who you can't kill (you are undergeared) or 2 attackers period, you need to stall for time.
IF 1 ATTACKER THAT YOU CAN'T FIGHT, call "inc" and Sleep Dart him. If he breaks it, Sleep Dart him again. If reinforcements STILL haven't showed up, let him cap the node for 9 seconds (half) before either CCing again or opening the fight. The node can be partially capped without actualy hurting your team's performance, so use that time to wait for help.
IF 2 ATTACKERS, call "inc" and Sleep Dart one of the attackers. DO NOT ENGAGE THE OTHER. If you do and the other guy has his CC break up, you are going to be in a 2v1, and if these guys are decently geared or skilled, you are dead. Instead, let the other guy start capping the node. When he has capped for about 5 sceonds, Sleep Dart him. His friend will then wake up and start capping. Let him cap for 5 seconds and then Sleep Dart him. His friend wakes up and starts capping. Let it channel for 1 second before darting again (that first second of channeling doesn't do anything). At this point, if your team isn't coming to help you. you weren't going to win anyway. But if they are, you need to hold out a little longer. Open up on the second guy and fight for your life.
This is by far the best map for Scrapper DEFENSE. As I will argue, Scrappers can defend nodes against 2-3 attackers for long periods of time if they know what they are doing. The defense area has an awesome mix of cover and open space, which lets you kite but also hide from incoming attackers. You can clearly see the respawn from the node, which lets you know who is coming long before the shields open. So why isn't this a green-colored WZ? Scrapper offense is a lot harder on this map. The mid battleground is extremely chaotic and you will really notice your survivability deficits, especially if you get marked. After Gunslingers, you are probably the worst class to collect orbs. Moreover, those same reasons that make your defense so robust also totally mess up your offense. This is still not a bad map (unlike Huttball), but it is no Civil War.
OFFENSE: DON'T GO MID ALONE
This applies to every class in the game, but because we have stealth and lack decent survivability CDs, it applies doubly to us. NEVER GO MID ALONE. You are just feeding the enemy team points without having any positive effect. If you are tempted to sneak mid on a "scouting" mission, rethink your statement and stay out; does your team really need to know that there are 6 guys mid? Can't you see that from outside the middle area? If you absolutely must venture through an uncontrolled, uncontested mid, use Sneak and hug the edges.
OFFENSE: AVOID ORBS
There is an argument to be made for ALL CLASSES to avoid orbs, but I don't want to get into that. Of all the classes that could carry an orb, whether or not you think it is a good winning strategy, you are probably the worst or second worst. Your only redeeming quality is Sneak which gives you a 6s 50% speed boost, but you can't stealth without the orb falling off, so you can't even maximize that ability. Moreover, if attackers are paying attention, it is just so easy to kill you. Shield Probe and Evasion will not save you from charging smashers, pulling Shadows, or grappling PTs. Through your superior DPS output, you have probably already made yourself a target of enemy attention. Why would you want to increase that attention by grabbing a huge target sign that even shows up on the minimap!? Finally, and perhaps most importantly, people that grab orbs are people that don't care if they get opened on. Juggernauts, Pyrotechs, Snipers, and even Sorcerers can all rapidly counter an enemy opener, whether they shoot from around the corner, charge, pull, etc. But if YOU get caught without stealth, you have lost your best ability and buff (Flechette Round). Let other people collect orbs. You stay stealthed and prepared to kill things.
OFFENSE: AVOID THE RAMPS ABOVE THE ORBS
The big problem with Hypergate is the openness of the fighting area at mid. But at least if you stick around the big datacron/holocron in the center, you can kite around its edges. Or if you stick near the entrances, you can use the wall protrusions or corners to LOS. There are a surprising number of kiting points around those areas, so you need to learn to use them.
But the one place that you can't kite are the ramps above the orbs. You see a lot of fights happen there, and for your own safety, you are going to do everything possible to NOT fight on those ramps. There is zero cover, zero kiting, and zero mercy if you get caught up there. Our survivability is bad enough before we decide to remove all option of kiting and LOSing/healing. If you got marked for whatever reason, or are against a capable premade, you are especially screwed if you get focused in that open killzone. Stay away if you can!
You might observe that healers and other priority targets sometimes venture onto these slanted ramps. Do you follow? That's a judgment call that I leave to you. If you are confident that you have healer backup, taunts, and enough friends around you, then you can go for it. But don't just charge up the ramp to get focused and murdered.
OFFENSE: IF YOU CAN SEE THE NODE DEFENDER, TRY AND TAKE IT....
This is part 1 of a 2-part rule. If you can see the defender from middle, then feel free to stealth over and go for the 1v1. Do your due dilligence (count mid attackers, confirm whether that defender has Guard on him, don't be seen, assess whether you can actually kill the guy in a duel, etc.).
OFFENSE: ... BUT IF YOU CANNNOT SEE THE NODE DEFENDER, DON'T EVEN BOTHER
BUT, if you cannot see a defender and you also count 6-7 mid, don't even try and go for the node. Chances are good that a stealther is lurking on one of the many columns or corners of the node area just waiting to jump a hapless attacker. Because the node area is so big, it is extremely difficult to find stealthed defenders. You are of more value to your team mid than you are doing permanent reconaissance at their node.
OFFENSE: DON'T TRY AND CAP UNTIL THERE ARE LESS THAN 50 SECONDS REMAINING
How often have you seen this scenario. Your team captures the node with 1:45 left in the round. The entire enemy team rotates to the node (all 8 of them) and hammers your 2 attackers. In a frenzy, you scramble ad-hoc teams of 3-4 defenders to pour to the node. Of course they are all dead within 60 seconds, the node is back in enemy hands, and all you have done is feed points and kills and ignore mid objectives.
The solution: DON'T START YOUR CAP UNTIL THERE ARE <50 SECONDS LEFT IN THE ROUND. This means you need to also figure out how long your fight with the enemy will last. Some tankier opponents might need 30 seconds to kill. Others you can drop in 10. Know your matchups so you can time your cap.
OFFENSE: DON'T START YOUR SIDE NODE DUEL UNTIL ORB CARRIERS ARE GONE
One of the reasons it is so hard to take the Hypergate node is because defenders are actively encouraged to visit it every 30 or so seconds, bringing orbs in from mid. Unless your team is actively controlling orbs or stopping carriers, a stray carrier can really mess up your otherwise perfect 1v1 and cap. Never start a fight with a defender unless you know that enemy orb carriers will not interrupt.
DEFENSE: SAP/FLASH AND CAP
This advice is almost too basic to include in the guide, but I figure I should mention it. If you and another ally, preferably a stealther, approach a node, there is really no reason you should not cap it. Have your ally start capping it BEFORE you Sleep Dart the defender. If he cracks it, wait until your ally starts capping again before you Flashbang the lone defender. Timing is important here, especially against defenders with spammable ranged attacks with fast travel times (Pyrotechs come to mind) or charges (the interrupt happens immediately, stopping a cap).
DEFENSE: THE ONE MAN FORTRESS
A lot of my offensive advice is just cautionary and pessimistic. Time for the good stuff. I will go out and say that this is the single best map to defend on as a Scrapper. As mentioned earlier, a unique combination of factors unite to give you a huge defensive edge. First, you can see your attackers through the shield before they come. This gives you enormous advance warning in calling out incomings and preparing your position.
Second, there are tons of good hiding spots where you can still see the node and evade any enemy detection, especially by other stealthers. Remember: Offensive stealthers get to pick the time and place of their Sneak stealth level increase. That's when they find you and catch you. Don't be a fool and stand right on top of the node. Don't even stand, necessarily, where you need to accumulate defense points. Your goal is to win, not farm defender medals. Hide appropriately.
Third, the long approach lets you CC attackers as they approach the node as opposed to when they are on top of it. This can buy you extra time if you need to have a node fight.
Finally, unlike in Novare, attackers have to cluster around a node to cap it. Anywhere that one attacker stands you can be virtually guaranteed to hit his fellow attackers with a single Thermal Grenade. Freighter Flyby is particularly powerful, especially if dropped directly on the node. All of these factors combine to give you an extremely potent defense on this WZ.
You know all that garbage about how Shadows are just better Scrappers? Well it isn't true, so don't buy into any of it....UNLESS you are playing Huttball. The song "Anything you can do I can do better" really comes to mind, because almost every single role that we might have in Huttball is something in which the Shadow can outclass us. We can stealth into the EZ, sure. But they can Resilience, Speed, and Kinetic Ward to survive incoming damage. They have knockbacks for better defensive and offensive plays. They have taunts and guard to protect the carrier. And if they are tank speccd, or respeccd at the beginning of the WZ, they gain access to the almighty Force Pull. All of our small shortcomings become glaring inadequacies in this WZ. Our offensive and defensive game lacks knockbacks. We make terrible ball carriers with bad defensive CDs and no gap closers. Our melee range is a huge problem given the amount of AOE you see in HB. To make matters worse, the ramps and ledges of this map make it impossible to stay in combat with some of our otherwise easiest targets. This is truly our worst WZ, and although we can win it and can even do well in it, we will always do worse in HB than in any other map.
OFFENSE: FOCUS HEALERS
In no other WZ is it so important for you to focus healers. For one, healers will make or break an enemy offense. Taking down a guarded, taunt-protected, tank, ball-carrying Marauder is difficult, but doable with enough focus. Taking one down who is also being healed by an enemy Operative is just not going to happen. Your job is to keep that healer otherwise occupied. You might not be able to kill your target in 30 seconds. You might not be able to kill him period if he is protected. But in keeping on him, you prevent that healer from doing the more important role: Keeping the Ball Carrier alive.
OFFENSE: AVOID SORCS AND SNIPERS
One of the worst parts about Huttball is that it turns 2 of our best matchups into pretty tough ones. Sorcs go from green to blue. Overload is annoying and, if well aimed, will completely mess up your fight. Nothing is worse than getting knocked off the highest platform down into the speed-boost pit. Sometimes you will get knocked into the dumpster down there and just feel badly. But at least with Sorcs, they have to a) aim their overload (we can avoid its cone by being mobile) and b) ignore you once you get knocked down; you are too far away to be hit. Once you get Overloaded away, the Sorc will probably just speed into the distance, but at least you aren't constantly taking damage.
UNLIKE WITH SNIPERS. Sniper goes from a green to a red in Huttball. For one, unless the Sniper is a complete moron, it is extremely easy for him to knock you back and off of a platform. Even worse, unlike the Sorc, the Sniper knockback doesn't have to be aimed and has a gigantic knockback distance (if talented). This makes it extremely difficult to gap close on our otherwise natural target. Making matters worse, Leg Shot keeps us at a distance while the Sniper can pick us apart. The platforms and elevation just makes it too hard to handle decent Snipers, and your efforts are better directed elsewhere (unless you know your Sniper target isn't the most talented). If you absolutely must fight and kill these guys, just watch your angles. Keep your back facing DOWN the platform so you just get knocked back on the same level, not lower. Of course, a good Sniper will knock you down anyway, but at least you can kill the bad ones.
OFFENSE: PASS ASAP. DON'T GO FOR THE TOUCHDOWN UNLESS NECESSARY
Most classes are good on offense, although some are better than others. Sorcs are squishy, but at least have bubble, speed, and a knockback. Mars and Juggs have the awesome charge, whether to an enemy or an ally, and tons of defensive CDs. Sins are of course kings at this map. Even BHs can spec into charge and movement impairment resistance, not to mention their innate defensive CDs. SCRAPPERS, however, are terrible ball carriers. Shield Probe absorbs 3k damage (i.e. 1 single GCD of 2-3 attackers if you are lucky). Evasion grants ranged/melee immunity, but doesn't do anything against CC, tech, or force. Sneak gives speed, but it is just worse than Force Speed or a charge. And of course, Stealthing just drops the ball. Even Snipers can use knockback and shielding to reach the endzone.
If you have the ball, your goal is to pass it as quickly as possible. Literally any other class, except maybe a healer, is a better carrier than you are. Stick to killing things. Even if you think you are good at Huttball and the game, just by virtue of our abilities, there are almost always better ball carrier options.
GENERAL: BE CAREFUL OF AOE
If you are taking down the ball carrier you need to be extra careful of AOE abilities. Players generally ignore all the Smash, Orbital Bombardment, Death From Above, and other giant damage AOEs in Huttball. Some classes, like Juggs and PTs, might be able to take that kind of punishment. We really can't. I have seen Scrappers/Ops just sit in these AOEs eating 12k damage before getting out. Then they get noticed, focused, and killed. It's a waste of your time and bad positioning. Avoid it by being conscious of AOEs around the carrier.
GENERAL: SAVE TENDON BLAST FOR VENT FRYING
TB is amazing on this map because it goes through resolve. Normally, that is just a hindrance, but in Huttball, that can become an insta-kill. Save your TB for those times when you need to fry someone on the vents. One of my favorite combos is kicking a ball carrier on the vent and watching him CC break. Immediately follow up with TB, stand back, and watch the fire do the work.
GENERAL: AIMING FREIGHTER FLYBY EFFECTIVELY
This ability is a monster in Huttball. You can easily hit 5 targets with a good flyby, dealing as much as 5-8k damage to EACH of them over 9 seconds. Entire offensive pushes or defensive stands can be ruined with a well-placed Flyby, and you can easily score or turn around a scoring push with just this one ability. Unfortunately, because most Scrappers recognize its value, they are also squeamish about using it. They don't want to waste it and/or don't want to mistarget it; nothing is more embarrassing than a Flyby with no one sitting in it. Here are a few tips aimed at helping you maximize this ability and knowing when to use it at all.
As a general rule, you almost always want to be dropping Flyby in front of fire pits. This is the only place on the map that a large group of people will stop in front of for an extended period of time. It is also the place where most of your team is likely to start using CC, so it will be even easier for you to catch enemies in the AOE. Wait until the ball carrier starts has started climbing the second ramp before channeling. By the time they reach the top of the second ramp, your channel will be done and the Flyby will begin. At that point, fire off TB/Flashbang and get everyone stuck for a moment. Your allies will descend on the clump of opponents and have a massive, laggy melee in the Flyby flames. There are, of course, exceptions to this rule, but it is a good one to have in mind generally while playing Huttball.
DEFENSE: DISAPPEARING ACT FOR THE KILL/KO
I rarely advocate using DA just to kill something, but in Huttball it is often your last line of defense before getting scored on. Use DA aggressively to pump out damage, knock your target down without filling up too much resolve, and reapply FR in a critical situation. Be judicious in its use, but know that you have this as a tool. By a similar token, ask yourself whether or not you need the DA to survive an unimportant battle. Let's say that an enemy Marauder and Pyrotech catch you in their speed-boost pit after a failed scoring attempt. Do you really want to restealth to survive? Or would that DA be better used defensively in 45-60 seconds. Remember, a death in Huttball can often be a free ticket back to the defensive side, and you don't want to misuse your DA when you are going to need it to kill a BC in a minute.
DEFENSE: ALWAYS STEALTH OUT OF THE SPAWN
Getting charged by a ball carrier while in the endzone platform is a sure way to make your team hate you. Avoid that by always stealthing out of your spawn when the game is in full swing. This is a great example of "Better safe than sorry".
: COUNTER ENEMY STEALTHERS AND PASS INTERCEPTION[/b]
Sins especially like to sneak into the Endzone or onto the lower ledges of the speed-boost pit (in between the two fire pits) to get passes. It is your job to deal with this. Keep track of enemy stealthers and watch for pass setups. because enemy stealthers have to unstealth to catch the ball, you can often get a free SF+FR on them without them noticing your presence (even with enhanced detection levels). Moreover, the knockdown plus your sitting next to them can interfere with the HB pass and give the ball to you. The specific huttball catch algorithm is always a bit of a mystery, but in my experience, SF + knockdown on a target, plus repositioning yourself to the center of the throw, is a great way to ensure that you intercept a pass. Of course, once you get the ball you need to ditch it asap, whether grounding it or passing it to a more robust ball carrier. But your defensive role has already been fulfilled.