I'll assume you've played some marines. Being successful as a n00b marine is simple: FOLLOW THE COMMANDER.
Now you're ready to play Kharaa. You may even have had a couple games already, but was confused as %!#% for the whole game. Now you've discovered the forums, and somehow happened onto this post.
I'm no playtester, but I've been playing since Halloween, and I've noticed a lot of the same questions. =========================== 1) WHAT'S THE POINT OF THE KHARAA?
Unlike the marines, who has an active goal (Seek And Destroy, Slooowwly But Surely), your goal as an alien is reactive: Delay the Marines From Expanding and Exploring. That's really about it. Everything else revolves around this, mostly.
So no, your point is not to score the most kills, or put up the most defenses, although those certainly help. Your MAIN goal is to prevent THEM from expanding- this not only prevents them from getting things like heavy machine guns, jetpacks and motion sensors, but it also allows your gorges to run more freely, build more resource towers/hives, and spend less time/money sloooooowly building defenses everywhere. ============================== 2) WHY CAN'T I BITE ANYTHING IN COMBAT?
If you're used to CS, think of it as a knife fight instead of a gun with a 1-foot range. What would YOU do in CS in a knife fight?
That's right, CIRCLE STRAFE. You're learning. It also helps to learn to jump around. When you get enough practice to leave n00bdom, work on your leap and your super-stealthy-**obscenity**-bite. From behind is the way to do it. =============================== 3) MY RESOURCES ARE GOING SO SLOW! STUPID GORGES!
There are several reasons why your resources are going slow. Understand the resource model for Kharaa: The resource towers all put into a pool, that then gets drawn equally by any player who's not yet at max, with gorges getting extra. This means your "income" slows if:
a) You don't have enough resource towers. Though the rule of thumb is you should have one tower per player, in practice you want as many as possible for a number of reasons- read the Kharaa forum for details. b) You have too many gorges, each taking up extra "shares." Usually one or two is enough. Resist the temptation, when you see an open nozzle, to evolve gorge "just to cap it, and then turn back." That's a lot of the team's resources you've spent evolving and back. Call for a gorge instead. c) A lot of people on your team have just evolved. If everyone stayed skulk long enough, their resources max out, and their "income" isn't lost but rather given to the others who need them (like you). If they all suddenly spend, they'll "reclaim" their income which makes you seem to suddenly get resources SLOWER.
So no, it's not always the gorges' fault. Cut them a break.
By the way, do NOT go back into the readyroom just to "give resources" to the builder. This is considered an exploit, and as you will see, it'll keep getting switched on, off, changed. ============================ 4) HOW DO I GET UPGRADES? HOW DO I BUILD THEM?
The Kharaa can upgrade themselves with special abilities. To do that, several things must happen: a) You must have the appropriate number of hives. b) You must have the appropriate number of the appropriate chamber. c) You must actually select the upgrade. You cannot cancel or overwrite an upgrade until you die, at which point you start with NO upgrades.
There are three kinds of upgrade chambers- Movement, Sensory, and Defense. They each serve a purpose as a building, but having them also allows ALL alien players to do certain upgrades.
You can only have one KIND of upgrade chamber for every hive. So, at the start of the game, you have one hive, and you can build any one of the three, for example Defense Chambers. Once you build a Defense Chamber, however, you CANNOT build a Movement or Sensory Chamber until you get a second hive, and so on.
Each kind of chamber allows you to pick one out of three upgrades. For example, if your gorge teammate built a Defense Chamber at the start of the game, you can then choose ONE upgrade between the Defense upgrades, which are Carapace, Regeneration and Redemption.
(To build the chamber to provide upgrades to EVERYONE, go to the Popup Menu, go right, and then either go up, left or down once, and let go. To evolve an upgrade for YOURSELF, go to the Popup Menu, go one step beyond, into the upgrade of your choice.)
(You can tell which upgrades are avilable by looking in the top right corner. Each hive has an associated upgrade chamber, or none if none are built yet. Which hive has which chambers is mostly unimportant- the exception is if the hive that is associated with Defense Chambers goes down, you can no longer build any more Defense Chambers, and so on.)
The FINAL complication is that once you GET the upgrade, its POWER depends on how many of those chambers exist, in the WHOLE MAP. Let's say you built the first Sensory Chamber in the map. Now you can select one between Advanced Hive Sight, Scent of Fear, and Cloaking. Let's say you pick Cloaking- with only ONE Sensory Chamber in the whole map, however, the Cloaking upgade will only turn you into a refractive shade- still somewhat visible.
If someone now builds, ANYWHERE on the map, two more Sensory Chambers, your Cloaking will now function at the maximum power level of three- you're completely invisible.
(Look on the right side of the screen. If an icon is flashing (of a Sensory, Defense or Movement Chamber), that KIND of upgrade is available but you haven't personally evolved it yet. Once you spend the resources and evolve that upgrade, the NUMBER of icons showing that ability is your power level. If there's only two Sensory chambers in the world, and you upgrade Cloaking, you'll see two darkened onos icons stacked on top of each other- the "black onos icon" represents Cloaking.
5) HOW DO I USE ABILITY [BLANK] ??
Skulk's Parasite- Aim the crosshair on an enemy player or structure, and press fire. If you hit, you'll hear a solid thwock- else you'll hear a miss. You can also use it to operate doors and such.
Skulk's Xenocide- You basically explode and hurt everything around you. Remember it has a fuse time of about 2 seconds, depending on your lag. Experiment.
Gorge's Web- It looks just like your Spit attack. Fire at one spot, and then fire at ANOTHER spot to create a strand of web between spot A and B. You can fire at a third spot to create a strand between B and C, and so on. Remember it takes three strands to fully immobilize a marine, and you can keep webbing an already webbed target. Also note that there is both a local area limit (You CANNOT put too many webs in one area), and a game map limit (You can only place so many webs in the WHOLE map!).
Gorge's Babblers- It fires a miniskulk that attacks on its own. The AI is spotty and sometimes it doesn't fire right; always AIM upwards (or jump) when you fire, and try to fire it into view of an enemy player or structure.
Lerk's Umbra- Those yellow clouds you see around. The umbra is formed around the lerk when you "attack" with this ability, and it protects all Kharaa within the cloud from most bullets. It FADES IN ABOUT TEN SECONDS. You'll see the words "In Umbra" when you're in an umbra, at the bottom of the screen.
Lerk's Spore Cloud- These green clouds act like poison gas to marines. Unlike umbra, this is a ranged weapon, so aim at a spot and shoot.
Fade's Blink- A lot of people think there's no weapon 3 cuz nothing happens; this ability is basically "Teleport to Wherever I'm Aiming". Blink is NOTORIOUSLY finicky, so help your chances by aiming upwards (head level or above), and jump-ducking when you use it.
Onos' Paralysis- It is a RANGED attack that freezes a marine from moving. PRACTICE. A LOT.
Onos' Charge- This isn't a charging up maneuver. When you activate charge, anything you TOUCH takes damage. You don't actually have to run or jump or anything, just touch them.
Onos' Primal Scream- This drains a lot of your energy, but it's VERY useful. It makes you faster, attack faster, and your teammates around too. When you activate Primal Scream or someone near you does, you'll the words "Primal Scream" appear at the bottom of the screen.