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[Guide] A field guide for FNGs

#1
Chapter 1:

Defend Ravenholm

The first Zulus spawn about 1:40 minutes into the game. Be in Ravenholm at the very latest by that time mark. If you spawn near the windmill, take the flashlight with you and distribute it in town.

There are 16 civilians in total while Ravenholm provides 4 major access points. The eastern and northern access need the most firepower – it is recommended to have this area covered by potent classes like the MG or DM.

If you are the Combat Engineer or have found a detonation cord, clear the single tree at the eastern entrance and the single tree south-west of Ogilvy.

At the end of the defence, a flesh composite (FC) will head to town. This is the first unit of the game that requires a concentrated team effort to bring down. Depending on the squad rating of the game, there is a 50% to 100% chance to gain backup by two Cobras and one Apache once the FC falls below a HP threshold (depending on the rating it’s either 90% or 75% HP). Use disabling abilities to keep it away from the civilians and gun it down. If Black Hawk Down doesn’t happen, go to Convoy.
 
Black Hawk Down (Optional, 1/3 chance)

A helicopter crashes at one of the Landing Zones of the map. These can be easily identified as they generally are large circular clearings in the woods. The crew consists of a pilot and two riflemen. They usually have open wounds and fractures, although the total amount may vary. As soon as a player approaches the crash site, he will gain control of the crew. The objective is to escort the pilot to Ravenholm in one piece for extraction. After gaining control grab one/both corpses nearby for +10 rank XP per corpse brought to Ravenholm but vacate the crash site immediately afterwards. The crashed black hawk will explode shortly after the control transfer, killing anyone in proximity of the site.

During the return to Ravenholm, Zulus will constantly spawn in proximity of the crew. Additional support in the forms of sidearms and/or flares and vision abilities can help a lot with this. If a Captain or higher is present, the usage of Tactical Manoeuvres (10 mana cost, 2 seconds cooldown, target becomes invisible for 45 seconds) is highly recommended.
 
Convoy

The first major challenge in the game. You are tasked with escorting five supply trucks and any remaining civilians from the western spawn point of the trucks to either the northern or eastern exit point, depending on the route the convoy takes. As during the escort part of Black Hawk Down, Zulus will constantly spawn around the convoy and attack it.

Above a squad rating of 80.000, Varanus or Poppers will spawn in batches of up to four units and attack the convoy. Once they’re hit by an attack from a standard shot, they start emitting a disease cloud and explode shortly afterwards for massive, non-migitable damage. Being hit by two explosions in short succession is fatal. It is recommended to use flares to spot them from afar and trigger the time fuse as early as possible to cause the explosion before or shortly after they arrive in the convoy ranks.

The first boss unit encountered during convoy is Etaphreven. This is a very fast hellhound, that can reach 15k HP and more while sporting significant armour. On normal and lower squad ratings, it is advised to focus fire and use abilities to slow or disable Eta. Stronger versions of Eta may require dedicated Anti-Tank abilities and/or items or a Fire Mission to dispose of him. There is a 5% chance for Eta to be either invisible or have the feedback ability, burning mana on every successful attack.

If the squad rating is over 70k and there are more than four players, Eta can be replaced by Eris (see Chapter 2 Revelations).

If 3/5 trucks survive the route, 75 XP is awarded. For every civilian alive at the exit point, another 10 XP each is awarded.
 
Surveillance Sentries

After the mission XP for convoy and surviving civilians has been awarded, you have about 45 seconds to a minute before the next mission starts. For this, you will need to place five sentries at random locations all across the map. In total there are six sentries available – two at the windmill (NW corner of the map) and four at the power generator (SE corner of the map). Another FC will spawn during this mission.

It is recommended to stick to roads and areas with decent vision to avoid stumbling into the FC. An unprepared encounter can be deadly. Avoid going through the centre of the map as it will likely be filled with new spawns and survivors of older waves.

Every Sentry placed within the mission timer will award all players 15 XP.
 
Unknown Signatures/Dark Clouds

After Surveillance Sentries are completed or the timer runs out, the team should regroup at the southern Airfield to kill the spawns of the sentry mission. The regrouping can also happen at Ravenholm, although the Airfield is recommended for reasons later explained.

During this part of the game, there is an equal chance for either Hades or Moirae to spawn.

Dark Clouds is a special “modifier” during which also Hades or Moirae spawn, but with a huge difference: vision will be severely impeded and without a flashlight, the entire screen will be completely dark and NVGs will not function anymore. Flares and Ground Illumination Flares offer illumination in a small AoE. This makes navigating the map extremely difficult; to avoid unnecessary death if you’re without a flashlight stick to the edges of the map, play with permanent lifebars and pistol anything that might look  hostile. Move back to the Airfield: if you’re approaching from the south, ask for a flare on the tree-blocked ramp to not hit a deep hole.

If the skies clear, prepare for Delta or Revelations, if they don't it will be Nightstalkers.


After Hades/Moirae, instead of the Independence mission and Loki you have to kill Minos instead.

Note: The USS Independence will not arrive during Dark Clouds and there will be no civilians to rescue.
 
Minos
This is a rather unremarkable boss and appears in higher quantities over the course of a game. It has around 10k HP on normal and nearly twice that on Nightmare. The only outstanding ability of Minos is the ranged attack with considerable splash damage. Use a couple of chain explosive, a Fire Mission or a transceiver charge to get rid of it.
 
Hades
Hades is a relatively weak boss who presents a major threat due to the fact that he drags a single player chosen at random in specified time intervals from any point on the map to his current location. He neither has many HP nor does a lot of damage, but the pull incapacitates the marine for the duration and leaves him vulnerable to attacks by other mobs in the vicinity. This is the reason why you absolutely have to regroup after sentries and take out the majority of Zulus on the map.

Once you were pulled by hades, immediately use a medkit/fibrin bandage in case he drags you again. Always hold medical items that restore a significant amount of HP after you finish the Surveillance Sentries. Use explosives on Hades less than 10 seconds after you were dragged (this is the shortest possible pause between pulls) to prevent friendly fire on players that were just dragged.
 
Diablo
In games with a squad rating above 40k, Diablo can replace Hades. Diablo is basically a souped-up version of Hades who’s simultaneously on crack and steroids. It is not uncommon for Diablo to sport around 15k HP and kill armoured marines with three hits. Dying to Diablo is no shame at all and while his chance to replace Hades is low, if you get him, it is very likely that the game is over.

Diablo requires the use of dedicated boss-killers like Assaultman HEAA rockets, the transceiver or a considerable amount of rifle grenades. Unlike Hades, gunning Diablo is a recipe for disaster as he can shrug off staggering amounts of damage for this early stage of the game. It is highly recommended that the people not dragged converge onto Diablos position to deal with him quickly and with extreme prejudice.
 
Moirae

Unlike Hades and Diablo, Moirae does not have an immediate special ability and instead poses a major obstacle to the team because of its mind-numbing resilience. A Moirae with high SR can easily go into the 45k HP range and comes with extremely tough armour and a lot of damage resistance. Its position is pinged in regular intervals until the tracking is disabled via a notification due to EM interference. After that, you will not receive any additional pings and have to rely on your own scouting and spotting.


Please note that Moirae is invisible and requires flashlights, flares, laser designators and/or Ground Illumination Flares to be visible to the team.

There are several ways to deal with Moirae:

1) With an FO in the game, you dump 60 shells on Moirae and focus enough disable like Monofilament Cartridge, Nanosteel Net and Discharge for the Fire Missions to be successful.


2) Conventional Explosives have a hard time against Moirae, but it can be done. A 35k HP Moirae takes roughly 20 chain explosives and 20 claymores stacked on top of each other and in the centre of the explosion to be instantly killed at full HP.

3) The game may provide an XML-9C “Shiva” tactical Nuke via random drop on the map. While the Shiva offers enough damage potential to kill Moirae in a single hit, it incurs a -50 XP penalty upon firing it. It is also somewhat difficult to handle as the rocket takes several seconds to fire once the fire command has been given and at long ranges it has considerable travel time.

4) The transceiver with 4 to 6 charges offers enough damage to take Moirae out. The Communications Tower at the Airfield and every placed Surveillance Sentry offer 3 charges for Transceiver usage. The Communications Array of the Combat Engineer provides an additional charge.

To use the transceiver, you have to be close to the target and left-click the Transceiver. A message will appear, saying that EM satellites have acquired target X. In this case, the target should be Moirae; if for whatever reason a different hostile was targeted, use the –cancel command to clear the target and try it again. Once Moirae has been targeted, head for a Sentry or the Communications Tower and left-click the transceiver again. If a charge is available, the game will send the notification “EM satellites activating…” and after a few seconds delay, the target will be struck.

Please note that the transceiver has a small AoE and can kill/damage multiple targets if they’re stacked closely. It does not IFF and will kill/damage any unit close enough to the main target.
 
During or after the above mentioned bosses, you will be required to rescue civilians from Ravenholm, the Windmill, Ghost Town (SE corner of the map, above the Power Generator and the single house SW of Ravenholm. The USS Independence will arrive in the river at the southern edge of the map and stay there for a bit until you load the recovered civilians into it. The regrouped team at the Airfield should immediately head for the Independence once the game plays the Radio messages of the Independence entering the sector.

Every Marine who approaches the Independence will receive three clips. The Independence can also take additional armour in the form of Kevlar/Composite Armours. This will substantially increase its resilience and is highly recommended at higher squad ratings and with Nightmare enabled. Composite Armours can be easily salvaged from the Convoy route, as every killed Mini drops one. Try to rescue and load as many civilians as you can – for every recovered civilian, future Zulus spawns have -0.5% HP and if the Independence successfully exits the sectors, Zulu HP will decrease by another -0.5% HP per loaded civilian. Once the ammunition supplies have been received by all/most team members or if you’re running low on time, everyone should head to Ravenholm immediately. Compared to staying at the Airfield, this drastically improves the chances for survival for the USS Independence.


There is also the possibility of the USS Independence stopping at the centre of the map near the mid cave because of a fuel leak. In this case, Independence will hold position in the map centre until its mana has reached the maximum of 100. An Energy Cell can be sacrificed to immediately restore the power and have the Independence moving again. If a cell is not available or too valuable, you can cover Independence during the recharging by permanently covering it in a WP cloud (mechanical units are immune to the burning effect) and send the combat engineer to repair any major damage during a lull in the WP rounds.

Once “New Objective: Escort Transport” appears shortly after the USS Independence starts moving, it takes between 1 to 150 seconds for the next boss to spawn.


Loki

This is the boss that appears during the Independence mission. Loki is a far stronger version of a regular gargoyle, with moderate damage, low health and armour but fast movement speed. Loki can be easily killed if the team is paying attention and netting Loki from afar. Chuck a few grenades or a rocket at it and it should be pretty much done for; any remaining HP can be easily gunned down.

Loki presents a major threat if you have no disable for flying units or get ambushed in the woods by it. That’s why it’s so important to immediately head to Ravenholm when the Independence begins moving. Ravenholm offers good lines of sight in all directions, making a surprise by Loki next to impossible.

Once Loki is dead and the Independence spawns have been dealt with, the transition to Chapter 2 will happen:

Transition chances if Dark Clouds did not happen:


- USS Independence Secure : 80% chance chance for Delta, 20% chance for Revelation
- USS Independence Destroyed : 12.5% chance chance for Delta, 87.5% chance for Revelation

Transition chances if Dark Clouds happened:


- 50% chance for Nightstalkers if the Squad Rating is over 30000 with more than 6 persons alive.
- 40% chance for Delta if the Squad Rating is over 30000 with more than 6 persons alive.
- 10% chance for Revelation if the Squad Rating is over 30000 with more than 6 persons alive.
- 80% chance for Delta if the Squad Rating is less than 30000 or with less than 6 persons alive.
- 20% chance for Revelation if the Squad Rating is less than 30000 or with less than 6 persons alive.

 
Delta

In terms of manpower and equipment, Delta is the prime chapter for an escalation of the level of engagement in the game.
Shortly after the transition, the first boss will spawn on the map.
 
Lyganesh

This is a souped-up version of the flesh composites you have already seen in Chapter 1. Bigger, meaner, tougher, Lyganesh is more resilient than an FC, but still not extraordinarily tough. Once Lyganesh has been attacked by a player marine, Delta will spawn in close proximity of Lyganesh, consisting of SSGT Thompson and 4 mini Delta Operators. They plant 12 chain explosives close to Lyganesh and will automatically launch a grenade once he gets near them. This leads to numerous cases where Delta fails to kill or even damage Lyganesh and the players have to mop up (for the rather high rate of failure, they have earned the nickname “Boyband”).

If Delta fails to kill Lyganesh, see the above section about Moirae for ideas on how to handle him.


If SSGT Thompson is killed within 3 minutes of Delta spawning, the chapter will immediately switch to the ending of Revelations.
 
Airfield Defence (2/3 chance after Lyganesh is killed)

If Thompson and the surviving Delta minis head towards the Airfield, the next objective will be the defence of the Communications Tower at the Airfield against swarms of Zulus spawning in waves. To this end, four .50 Aegis turret with considerable firepower will be erected on each of the major entrances: SE, SW, mid and north/top.

To increase the effectiveness of those turrets, it is highly advised to use Ground Illumination Flares and have an active Communications Array from the Combat Engineer, as the Aegis turrets also profit from the significantly higher vision range of minis and the players. Clear trees in front of the turrets to create a kill zone.

Smoke grenades and flares from the respective classes are a huge asset during this mission.


During the defence and usually before the zombie spawns switch to gargoyle flocks, Atlas and Minos will hit the Airfield.

Once the Airfield has been successfully defended, 75 XP is awarded and the game progresses to Chapter 3.


Atlas

This is one of the harder bosses of the game for the simple reason that he is immune to all spells like Monofilament Cartridge, Nanosteel Net and Discharge and boasts a large amount of HP. The only way to slow him down are the flare and smoke grenade. If Atlas is not slowed before he reaches a turret, he will quickly kill it, potentially dooming the defence efforts. This is a high priority target and should be immediately dealt with. Fire Mission and Transceiver usage are recommended.
 
M242 Bushmaster Drop (1/3 chance after Lyganesh is killed)

If Delta heads to an apparently random point on the map, an M242 drop is coming. This objective requires the retrieval and assembly of a powerful stationary gun that can put the hurt on nearly every hostile unit in the game as long as it is supplied with ammunition.

The gun comes in three parts and a manual. If a combat engineer, be it a player or a mini, is active, he can assemble the gun without the manual, all other classes require the three parts and the manual. Assembly happens as soon as all parts (and the manual) are in the inventory of a unit. At the end of this mission, usually once the gun is assembled, Atlas spawns and needs to be killed to progress the game to Chapter 3.

Upon assembly of the gun, 75 XP is awarded.


The gun is usually assembled either in Ravenholm or at the “Cake” hill west of the starting location where you pick your classes.
 
Revelations

After the initialisation of this chapter, the first to arrive is Osiris. Stay at the airfield until you are tasked with destroying cocoons.
 
Osiris

This is a physically weak, yet quite dangerous boss. Osiris leaves a lot to be desired in terms of resilience and is usually killed with a few M320 hits, but it can nonetheless cripple a team by killing a few players. The great strength of Osiris is the lack of coordination amongst the players when dealing with it, as it has the ability to randomly blink to positions close or right on top of every hero marine in the game while also dealing significant damage and having a splash effect on its attacks. As Osiris frequently teleports right into the middle of the squad, it effectively denies the usage of explosives which are also prone to miss due to the short intervals between blinks.
 
After Osiris, Lyganesh will spawn (see Lyganesh, Delta) except that in Revelations instead of Delta you will have an airstrike targeting Lyganesh, usually killing him instantly. When the game says “Birds are inbound”, it is highly recommended to pull Lyganesh via aggro management to a remote location where the airstrike will not destroy any (critical) items.
 
Once Lyganesh is dead, depending on the number of players alive, up to four cocoons will spawn. In games with high squad ratings, not all of these will be pinged on the minimap. You must destroy these Cocoons within a certain timeframe to prevent them from releasing a Minos for every cocoon that was not killed before the cut-off. Destroying all Cocoons before they can hatch yields 75 XP for every player. If there are invisible cocoons during this mission, the team should spread out and cover as much ground as possible to locate the missing cocoon(s). They can be easily killed with most types of explosives or even gunned down by high-damage classes.
 
After the cocoons are dead, the team should regroup at the Airfield for the final bosses, Eris or Cerberus and Mundus.

Eris

Eris is a nasty piece of work, plain and simple. Not too intimidating on its own, what makes this is a tough nut to crack is the radiation aura of Eris. This acts very much like the WP round of the FO, except that its covered area is far greater. In addition to the rather high HP loss, it also considerably slows any unit caught in it, making escape and evasion that much harder. Vision is also impaired as a red fog descends on the screen.

Eris is best dealt with from a distance, outside the radiation aura. Copious amounts of high explosives such as SMAWs, HEAA rockets or satchels are recommended to quickly kill it. Getting ambushed by Eris in bad terrain and/or sight conditions usually means a quick death.
 
Cerberus/Mundus

These two always spawn in combination. Mundus is pretty much a copy of Atlas, just with a smaller model. Cerberus is similar to Loki except even more squishy and a ground unit. The special ability of Cerberus is the immortal-like respawn a few a seconds after he was killed. This is very important to remember, as few disables have short enough cooldowns to hit Cerberus immediately after the respawn again. Smokes/flares are recommended in combination with additional nets and a few grenades from the M320.

Mundus can be killed easily with satchels, transceiver usage and/or Fire Missions. Conventional explosives are possible, but a large amount of chain explosives is needed.
 
Nightstalkers

Nightstalkers means that the dark clouds during Chapter 1 do not dissipate. They will persist for the entirety of the chapter until shortly before the transition to Chapter 3. This chapter can be split in two major parts.
 
Reactivate the Power Generator

To reactivate the power generator (SE corner of the map, where the four surveillance sentries are), the team has to ferry at most 6 energy cells to that location. At the Windmill and Airfield, Energy Cells spawn in large quantities, surrounded by parasite spores (those do not count towards the global counter).


DO NOT DESTROY THE SPORES OR USE EXPLOSIVES ON THEM UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES! EXPLOSIVES WILL DESTOY THE CELLS OUTRIGHT, WHILE GUNNING THE SPORES DOWN CREATES AN EXPLOSION UPON DEATH WITH THE SAME EFFECT. Just grab the energy cells, apply some anti-venom and head towards the power generator. Use field lights to safely navigate the map.

Reactivating the Power Generator can also be done during Chapter 3 and can be completed with energy cells that were regularly dropped before and not spawned during Nightstalkers. Upon completion, 100 XP is awarded to the players.
 
Class As

The second part of Nightstalkers consists of a swarm of Minoses descending onto the team. For every killed Minos the team is awarded 20 XP. The highest amount witnessed so far was seven killed Minoses. A Forward Observer makes this part extremely easy, as you just flare/smoke a chokepoint (ideally the ramp at southern airfield) and hammer the slowed class As with fire missions. Please note that after a certain amount of time, the Minoses will despawn.
 
After the Class As have been removed from the map, the skies will clear and the transition to Chapter 3 happens.
 
(See http://notdstarcraft.com/threads/some-infos.1209/ for additional information, also the source for the numbers e.g. chances for certain chapters to happen)

The three possibilities for Chapter 3 will be added in a few days.
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