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Random tips and tricks for skulks

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  • Random tips and tricks for skulks

    I have been analizing my skulking lately, and thinking about what works in general.
    As all you Kharaa friends of mine know, most of us spend more than 50% of our lives as skulks. As a skulk we are much more vulnerable in terms of health than the other forms, and have a shorter life expectancy in battle than any other form except maybe a gorge.
    This thread is dedicated to different things that may help you be successful in your marine hunting career.

    Parasite. You probably all know that parasite can finish off whats left of a vanilla marine after two bites, but did you know that if you can remove 5 armor of a marine with parasite, then it won't matter if they recieve meds or gets some health from his armory? He will only be able to take two bites for the rest of an unwelded and unupgraded life. (This also means commanders who drop meds early to marines who have more than 75 health are wasting thier precious resources). I know the damage calculator on the site is off, but I'm willing to bet the magic number of parasites is somewhere between 1 and 3, my money is on 2. I will test this theory on some marine test subjects that have been captured in a future date.

    Nodes. Most marines are unable to shoot you while you are directly on the other side of a node. Some are good enough and familiar with the res tower hitbox to kill a skulk. You must try to either keep the rt between you, or flee for a place with more cover. Often you can get a marine to come closer to the node, and right into your jaws. My favorite node is Beta Deck on ns_lost. There is quite clearly nowhere to run as a skulk, but at the same time for a marine to get to you they have to come very close. Make sure, whatever node you are on, you keep biting the node at least some (you want to have a little adren incase they do approach you). This will give them a sense of urgency, and make them more likely to move in without thinking or waiting for backup. In Beta Deck, I often manage to take out as many as 3 marines, and still kill the node. Later in the game if marines have grenades, it can be very hard as a skulk to take rts down. I would suggest silence as an upgrade so you can hear when they pull the pin over the sound of your biting.

    Groups. Skulks work better in larger numbers. This isn't true for all the life forms (they get big and block each other) but it is most definitely the case for skulks. More people means more targets. The marines are less likely to have focused fire, and this should afford both of you more distance than you would otherwise get. It might just turn that marine from a menacing serial killer into your next meal. More successful alien teams often have a group of about three skulks moving through the map together to clear things out.

    Evade. Striaight lines, though often the fastest way from point A to point B, are not likely to get you close to that marine. Any form of moving around and not going directly toward a marine will likely help you not only evade thier bullets, but get them all the closer to an empty clip. Remember you can use the walls too. Often if in the middle of fighting a marine (close distance) I jump up on the wall before coming back to bite him, he becomes confused and can't seem to find me.

    Pick your battles. If a marine just saw you run into a vent in a nonessential area, go back, find something else to do. If your up for it, parasite him before you run away. The worst thing you can do is hide in a vent regenerating your 1 hp per tick (1 second?) and not do anything for a minute. The only time I would consider waiting there is if the ent was near an rt, and I wanted to hit it as soon as the marine left. The odds are against you if you are plotting the death of a marine who already knows where you are.

    Leap! Leap is an incredibly useful weapon. If you are dancing with a marine, running circles around each other, leap up to the ceiling and then back down. If you do this with silence they probably wont even know what happened. Leaping straight for them might get you with your back toward them (they step out of the way), but if you get to the ceiling, you will be able to see exactly where they are and even if they dodge your leap you will be right next to them. It makes me sad when I see people not using thier second hive abilities.

    Jetpacks. I have found cloaking and silence to be very effective at killing jetpackers in random locations around the map. Often if you pay attention, there are places where jetpackers have a tendancy to walk instead of fly. If you can get in the first two bites most of your work is done. You don't have to worry about focus quite as much, because unlike in combat it is very hard for a marine commander to drop meds to the jetpacker. If the ground doesn't work for you, clinging to the top of a relatively small doorway, or any place the jetpackers tend to glide along the ceiling. If they fly directly into you, they will lose thier momentum, and much of thier fuel before they realize what happened and have a chance to take flight again.

    I'll figure out about the parasite stuff removing armor, and might make more posts later. Anyone else have any skulk advice?

  • #2
    Re: Random tips and tricks for skulks

    Also some more tips on skulking as well as other lifeforms:

    http://nslearn.nsarmslab.com/

    Nice job irish
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    • #3
      Re: Random tips and tricks for skulks

      Well done, Irish.
      Originally posted by Irish Pirate
      Anyone else have any skulk advice?
      When attacking multiple marines alone, imagine lines between you and every nearby marine. Go for the marine that crosses the greatest number of those lines, and put yourself on him opposite his teammates. Now you're chomping him from the front, and his buddies are shooting him in the back.
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      • #4
        Re: Random tips and tricks for skulks

        Originally posted by aeroripper
        Also some more tips on skulking as well as other lifeforms:

        http://nslearn.nsarmslab.com/

        Nice job irish
        Nice link, I did not know of this site. I look forward to reading it when I have the time.

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        • #5
          Re: Random tips and tricks for skulks

          Originally posted by Irish Pirate
          Parasite. You probably all know that parasite can finish off whats left of a vanilla marine after two bites, but did you know that if you can remove 5 armor of a marine with parasite, then it won't matter if they recieve meds or gets some health from his armory? He will only be able to take two bites for the rest of an unwelded and unupgraded life. (This also means commanders who drop meds early to marines who have more than 75 health are wasting thier precious resources). I know the damage calculator on the site is off, but I'm willing to bet the magic number of parasites is somewhere between 1 and 3, my money is on 2. I will test this theory on some marine test subjects that have been captured in a future date.
          Each parasite deals 10 damage, of which 3 is dealt to health, 3.5 is dealt to armor, and 3.5 is prevented. 2 Parasites will remove 7 armor, so theres your magic number: 2

          2 parasites is once again a magic number when marines get Armor 2. At Armor 2, marines take fully 4 bites to kill (an eternity for skulks), but 2 parasites (or 1 parasite and a leap touch) will knock that back down to 3 bites. Very few comms bother to get armor 3 unless they are flush with res, so this is a useful tactic even into the late game.

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          • #6
            Re: Random tips and tricks for skulks

            Thank you Kero.

            Easy way to see armor (instead of saying damage prevented) is armor counts as 2x the amount of damage as health does. (marines only, aliens are 2x at 1 hive, 2.5x at 2 hive, and 3x at 3 hive)

            I believe that to make the medpacks no longer matter at armor 2 it would take 3 parasites. 100 hp is a given (full health after med) and they have 70 armor (worth the same as 140 health, totaling 240)

            75 x 3 = 225, so obiously two parasites and three bites will do it with no extra health involved, but if you do 3 parasites you will make sure thier armor is low enough that it won't matter if htey make a quick pit stop at the armory. If one para takes 3.5 armor, thats equal to 7 damage off the total, the other three can be healed back. So you take it from 240 down, 233, 226. Two para, one medpack, and three bites later they are at 1 hp. One more para will doom them to only 3 bites or less until they die unless they get welded. If you don't think the marine will get a med of course, you are fine with two.

            It takes about 6 parasites to remove armor equivalant to one armor level (slightly less total damage than one normal bite)

            Final notes; It's usually not practical to use more than three parasites on a marine, and at armor 1 there is no good and low number of parasites that will make an impact enough to make one bites difference. The closest you can get is with 5 parasites.

            When taking into consideration if the extra para to eliminate armor incase they med is worth it, consider how close the marine is to base (for example, if they are standing in base) since they might get the extra health that way. Other times they might get meds that would be relevent are if there is a large fall they are likely to take (elevator, stuff like that), and would probably be practical to use in any combat map due to the prevalence of resupply.

            When in doubt, two feels like a good number.

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            • #7
              Re: Random tips and tricks for skulks

              - Hide inside alien nodes.
              - Match your upgrades to meet the needs of the situation. Being sieged or jetpacked? Get celerity or adren with focus. Patrolling/rec destroying? Silence/SOF. Straight killing? Silence or celerity with cloaking. Etc.
              - Lerks and gorges are your best friend, and they need your chompers.
              - It's always better to stop a marine from buiding a res node than it is to kill a node he just built.
              - It's always better to kill a res node than to die trying to kill a marine that you probably won't kill.
              - Be patient. It's always better to let a marine hurt a res node while you wait for backup than it is to die rushing.


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