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The Art of Dropping

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  • The Art of Dropping

    Hey, I don't post here very often but I made a guide and deicided to share it. Most, if not all, applies to you guys too, because I originally posted this on the NS fourms. Hope you guys like it!


    Before I begin, I would like to say thank you for reading this. Itís my first guide to doing anything, and Iím quite proud of what Iíve got so far. If you got any suggestions or comments, feel free to tell me. But before you post, consider these rules:

    1. NO flaming. I absolutely hate flaming because there is usually no point. You may criticize others and disagree, but be polite about it.

    2. Backup any negativity. There comes no useful discussion if you say ďthis is stupidĒ or ďthis guide sucksĒ. If you say something like that, state why you feel that way and if possible give solutions. Also, make sure you follow rule #1.

    3. Donít be afraid to post objections. If you feel that something is wrong or doesnít really work, post it! I want this to be complete and thought through guide, so anything is welcomed. I wonít get mad at you to criticize, if anything Iíll be happier.

    With that done, Iím going to say that this is going to be an ongoing project for me until I get every chamber done. My ultimate goal is to get a sticky and to have as many newcomers as possible read this guide. This is something for the new and the old alike, so I hope you enjoy it! :D

    Part 1: The General Tips
    When you drop a chamber, there are certain things to consider before you drop it. If you donít remember these things, you will end up spending much more res ineffectively and could potentially have a less effective life. Even If you donít read the rest of this guide, please at least consider these questions before dropping.

    Where should I drop it? Is it really worth the res there?

    How should I drop it? What spot would this be the most effective?

    When should I drop a chamber? The answer isnít ďwhen I get 10 resĒ

    Part 2: The Offence Chamber
    The offence chamber is a chamber which is a great force to be reckoned with, if placed properly. It has 1000 hit points, it deals 20 damage per hit and has a ROF of 1 spike every 2 seconds; itís a wonder why we donít use it more. An offence chamber, if placed correctly at the right time can easily take out a marine. Here are my tips to unlocking the full potential of an OC.

    Where should I drop them?
    This question is the most important question to ask, especially for an offence chamber. If you donít answer this question, the offence chamber will most likely be a useless piece of 10 res. Here are my suggestions:

    Medium Combat Areaís are the area where I find the OC is the most useful. The reason for this is because the offence chamber is relatively ineffective in high combat and low combat. In medium combat areas, there are usually small groups of marines (1 Ė 3) which is what the OC specializes in. More marines would spell destruction to the OC and less marines it becomes more decoration than fighting machine.

    Low Combat Areaís are the areas which I wouldnít recommend to place these things, but are still useful. Usually in low combat areas, there are few marines, which is what the OC specializes in getting rid of. Also, the aliens are usually away from these areas, so some early detection is nice.

    Early detection is one of the great things about OCís. It can be more effective than a SC because the hive sight alerts are more noticeable than the red dots on screen and that the OC isnít a passive structure like the SC. The OC forces a marine to do two things, ignore the OC or shoot the OC back. If the marine ignores it, he will be fired upon till death or at least long enough to remove some armour. If he shoots it back (which most players do) he will stop to take cover and shoot it slowly down and an alert will be sent to the aliens showing the chamber under attack, which attracts the fades there.

    Medium-small areas are the best areas to place OCís. Medium sized rooms are good because the OC can use all of its 800 unit radius range. Because of that, itíll land more spikes on the marines and remove more health. OCís placed in open areas are also harder to remove because the LMG is ineffective at long range, the pistol carries a small amount of ammo and grenades donít really reach. Smaller sized rooms make spikes harder to dodge (except at point blank range), which is a disadvantage of large rooms. Thatís why medium-small are the best rooms.

    Open, minimal cover areas are very effective for OCís. Believe it or not, the marine needs the cover more than the OC because a regular marine falls to the OC easily. Itís also hard to find good OC cover in most maps anyway. Big rooms force the marine to take cover far away at the door and donít allow the marine to run past it without taking a large amount of damage.

    Near important things like rts or siege spots are also great places for OCís. They prevent the marines from doing something important without damage or forcibly slow down the marine.

    How should I drop them?
    This is the question that will determine just as much as the previous question how well your OC will preform. This could be even more important than the previous question too!

    Minimal grouping is something that you should keep in mind. Personally, I find that you squeeze the most out of your OC if you spread them out rather than bunch them up. The advantage of this are:

    1. Marines are more likely to run in and get hurt rather than avoid it altogether.
    2. Itís less deterrent to a rambo if it were spread out through the whole area rather than a huge wall of it. More marines would risk ramboing only to die.
    3. If the marine shoots a grenade, it would only hit the one chamber. The other chambers wonít get hit by the splash damage. Same goes for guns, the bullets that miss wonít hit the chamber right next to it.
    4. It covers a larger area, which discourages the comm from sieging and if you place 1 in each corridor, the comm won't siege unless he's filthy rich or just plain dumb.
    5. It covers a larger area, which is always a good thing :p.

    Packs of 2 Ė 3 are ok. Especially with the new way the DCís work, 2 OCís and a DC works now. These are more effective in higher combat areas than 1 in each corner, and are pretty cost effective too.

    Place them on corners!
    This is the absolute most effective and best piece of advice I can give for dropping OCís. The reason for this is because it now covers a HUGE area compared to before. I cannot stress this one enough, because this one makes the OC twice as effective. This combined with 1 on each corner will still make rambos come in only to be caught between 2 OCís and little health. Hereís an example:

    (Picture is supposed to go here, but I cant post URL's until 15 posts, go to my post on the [NS forums > Natural Selection Disscussion > Kharaa Strategy > The Art Of Dropping] for the actual guide and picture included)

    Now, the marine would see the first OC and pass by it and most likely pass by the second one too. By the time he meets the first green line, he canít turn around or he is dead, so he continues ahead. He continues to meet OCís until his death at the second green line. In this formation, he has no place to hide and no place to run either. He can shoot it down, but it will take a long time.

    Place them on high ground. High ground isnít necessary, but sure does help. On high ground the OC has a larger view (most of the time) of the surrounding area. Also, grenades and GL grenades go in an arc trajectory so it would be harder for a grenade to hit. Thatís because most of the time the ceiling is too low for the grenade to reach and the grenade the marines carry explode fairly quickly. They are also harder to knife and harder to avoid. Lastly, they look more scary too :p.

    When should I place them?
    This part is kind of hard to write a guide for. This part is more up to you than anything else. Here are some questions you should pose yourself before you place an OC.

    Can I afford to drop it?
    You want to make sure that you have enough res inflow to balance the price of the OC.

    Would the OC be more valuable in this situation than a RT?
    If you control maybe half the map and youíre not gaining ground very quickly, it probably is worth it.

    Would a DC/MC/SC be more valuable to my team? Remember that your team members are more valuable to you than an OC. An OC can only do so much, but a teammate can do so much more. If itís a high combat area, your fellow aliens would need healing more than a measly OC. If itís a low combat area, it would be worth it because not much fighting happens here and the OC can reduce the amount of fighting needed later on.

    How easily can the marines destroy it? If all the marines have HA/HMGís, then it will be a cake walk for them to destroy that OC. If you got no lifeforms to back up the OC, then it will again be a cake walk. But if your winning over the marines or the marines are equal to you (and donít have HA or HMGís), then it would be more likely to be worth it.

    Would I spend my res better on being a lifeform? Maybe your fellow aliens need a lerk? A lerk can be a powerful asset, especially with the gas. Lerk is supposed to be support, not a fighter, so donít worry about being a bad aimer (like me). Maybe youíre a good fade, because the aliens can never get enough fades. Maybe an onos, because the stomp can REALLY help your teammates get those pesky HAís or HMGís.

    In conclusion, the OC is the most unused but the most useful chamber. It can make or break a game, because it can be the sole thing alerting you to a shotgun rush or the thing that stops that rambo PG from going up. It lightens the workload of the aliens, and piles it on the marines. Basically, the OC cannot and will not replace your team members, but it can supplement them and decrease the workload a heck of a lot.

    Parts 3 Ė 5 (or 6) to come

    Chocolate: For writing this guide
    Ambritenaro (spelling to be checked): For joking around about dropping chambers made me make this guide :p.
    Alite: He didnít do all that much, but I have NS discussions with him every once and awhile.
    Tactical Gamer Server: Heh, I like playing on this server. Itís also the server on which I play on the most and originally played on and got the idea of making this guide.

  • #2
    Re: The Art of Dropping

    I'd just like to add a caution about placement: never place an oc in a door or in the middle of a hall. The point of the oc is to shoot the marine as he runs by, and hopefully cover the spot he'd like to be building a pg at. You're not going to slow a marine down by trying to physically obstruct the door, whereas you WILL kill your lifeforms with a poorly placed oc. Every time you place an oc, consider the path through that room your lifeforms may be using to flee, and make sure your oc is not on that path, or you may wind up killing the wrong team.


    • #3
      Re: The Art of Dropping

      Watch that 'n' word. It'll bite ya.
      Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

      Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.


      • #4
        Re: The Art of Dropping

        OCs are underused as they are now, but that's mostly because the res could be spent better someplace else, especially for 10 res each with limited effect against skilled marines. Although proper placement goes a long way and a deterrent for marines.
        Like the server? Become a regular! TGNS Required Reading
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        • #5
          Re: The Art of Dropping

          I would avoid dropping OCs near an RT to protect it, because a marine can just duck behind the RT. Unless you have multiple OCs, but then the res spent means it must be a pretty important rt when you can just redrop twice for the cost of 2 ocs + 1dc or 3 ocs. If it is an important area then aliens are going to need to be there OCs or not because the marines will be pushing really hard. In that case the ocs are just early detection, which IS a good thing.

          The best advice I can give for OCs is when you have decent map control (usually 2 hives and 4+ rts) and want to have early detection for marines sneaking a pg in either hive OR seigable rooms.

          My favorite OC map is tanith btw (cargo, double, west -> waste, cat, chem, hallways to sat). Thats a great map to show examples of where why and when to drop OCs.

          Also, in small games (4v4) OCs are very good,since you can afford them and slowing down marines hurt more.

          I think it takes 3 lmg clips to remove an oc, 4 to remove an rt.


          • #6
            Re: The Art of Dropping

            you said that OCs can stop that rambo pg from going up or alert the team of a shotgun rush. this is not the role of offense chambers.

            offense chambers are not for defense or scouting; but rather they act as a buffer, giving your lifeforms valueable seconds to defend a given location.

            sensories are much more effective at scouting and also work multiple times, opposed to a OC which will likely only work once.

            think of the alien structures as the human body. deep at the bone are hives. next, there are organs, which consist of RTs. next, the muscle of the aliens consists of DCs and MCs. next is the nervous system which consists of SCs. finally there is the skin, or OCs.


            • #7
              Re: The Art of Dropping

              ocs are effective at stopping rambo pgs. They are only effective in a line of sight manner, unlike scs, but they completely deter anyone from sneakily building a pg there, AND you can build them without devoting a chamber slot to scs. a rambo can still build a pg near a sensory and hope no one notices his dot (or thinks it is somewhere else), but you can't build a pg while taking damage from an oc, and if he takes the time to shoot it, well, gg pg.

              don't get me wrong though, i think mostly the only time ocs are useful is as a band-aid to lackluster teamwork, but that doesn't mean they can't be useful in those situations (which you usually can't control. You can't make your team work together on pubs, even tg).


              • #8
                Re: The Art of Dropping

                a sensory chamber will inform the alien team that there is a marine there, allowing them to take action. an offense chamber will just shoot the marine with low dmg that can easily be medpacked over, and will not inform the aliens of the marine's presence.


                • #9
                  Re: The Art of Dropping

                  We are discussing possible roles of OCs.

                  They are versatile - they can:

                  slow down marines
                  alert marine movement on the map
                  do a little damage / strip armor / kill jps if aliens cant hit them

                  They will not be as good as sensories for alerting marine movement, they will not be as good at slowing marines down than even a decent gorge + skulk, they will not strip armor like a lerk's gas will.

                  They will do all these jobs, pretty reliably, and to a lesser extent than the in game dynamic that was made for it.

                  They can be dropped no matter what hive you have.

                  pub dynamics, tours, not just what works in scrims. I am sure we will see at least one OC during the tournament used effectively :D


                  • #10
                    Re: The Art of Dropping

                    OCs are poor at defending locations without backup. But if you mix OCs and lifeforms together, the OCs can significantly improve the effectiveness of the lifeforms in defending that location.

                    For example, you want to defend a hallway against a marine. One OC will get dodged or shot down. One Skulk has a chance to stop the marine, but will most likely fail as well. But if you have one OC and one skulks, the odds shift in the aliens favor, as the OC will distract the marine long enough for the skulk to get in range, as well as knocking off a level of armor.

                    Add a second marine and the situation gets tougher, but the Skulk + OC still has at least a decent chance of victory, while the lone Skulk would almost certainly die.

                    Add a gorge and the OC isn't going to die unless faced with overwhelming firepower.


                    • #11
                      Re: The Art of Dropping

                      As an alien, I like hearing OCs suddenly firing out of silence when I don't have LOS on them. It lets me know that someone is sneaking about nearby.

                      Unless it's YerMo, in which case I just react to the smell.
                      Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

                      Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.


                      • #12
                        Re: The Art of Dropping


                        Uhm, I think OC's are fine, but usually if the aliens have enough extra res to drop oc's, they're winning anyway.

                        The only place I would recommend routinely dropping OC's is in cargo on tanith. A well-placed OC or two plus a lerk gasing can really slow them down.


                        • #13
                          Re: The Art of Dropping

                          OCs won us the game on machina.




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