Two Alien Commander Suggestions

Baron Di JominiBaron Di Jomini Join Date: 2012-02-17 Member: 146385Posts: 9Members
Hi all,

I'm a NS1 vet from years back and I just started playing NS2 this weekend. What a blast! The game is great, good job guys. And the community seems great.

Anyway I had a few quick observations for alien commanding. Firstly, why don't alien comms usually extend the creep any farther than the hives or the res markers. Hive vision is really useful, especially when the marines are shotty or nade rushing hives. It gives you those few extra seconds to get back to base. Secondly, why don't comms put up whips and crags before dropping hives? So many times when I was playing this weekend the hives went down for this simple reason. You can tell the team your putting up a hive, but if the marines don't notice right away, after 5 minutes everyone leaves the area to do other things.

Thats all for now. Also I am a horrible lurk so if someone could point me to a thread on that I would appreciate that.

Comments

  • GrissiGrissi Join Date: 2003-08-28 Member: 20314Posts: 454Members, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow
    QUOTE (Baron Di Jomini @ Feb 20 2012, 12:46 AM) »
    Hi all,

    I'm a NS1 vet from years back and I just started playing NS2 this weekend. What a blast! The game is great, good job guys. And the community seems great.

    Anyway I had a few quick observations for alien commanding. Firstly, why don't alien comms usually extend the creep any farther than the hives or the res markers. Hive vision is really useful, especially when the marines are shotty or nade rushing hives. It gives you those few extra seconds to get back to base. Secondly, why don't comms put up whips and crags before dropping hives? So many times when I was playing this weekend the hives went down for this simple reason. You can tell the team your putting up a hive, but if the marines don't notice right away, after 5 minutes everyone leaves the area to do other things.

    Thats all for now. Also I am a horrible lurk so if someone could point me to a thread on that I would appreciate that.

    If I'm reading this correctly you have 2 questions
    1. Why don't the alien commanders extend the creep father than to res towers/hive areas.
    2. Why don't alien commanders drop chambers such as whips/crags/shades before 2nd hive.

    The answer to your first question is because of the limited hive energy. Even though you have plenty of res you won't have enough energy to extend your creep to all the rt's and for map control til you have 2 hives. You also want to be sure to have a extra drifter available to drop the hive as soon as possible.

    For the 2nd question, it's simply waste of res to get chambers early on. It can sometimes be worth it to get shades to cloak your skulks but crags and whip don't really help your team, getting the 2nd hive as fast as possible is much better.
    The reason for this is that skulks never want to waste 2 res for an upgrade because how short lived they are. The lerks to get more powerful with carapace but it's simply not worth the early investment. You would only get that upgrade if you had an amazing lerk that would be able to keep the marine team at bay, I have yet to see such a good lerk.
    As soon as you drop the hive however you want to put down whips to help against gl's rushes to your hive, also dropping crag to umbra the hive is also worth it.
    While the hive is growing, its best to work towards upgrades for your fades, they usally want frenzy and lvl 3 carapace. If you manage to get a 2nd hive up and these upgrade, then the rest of the game will be simple sim-city.

    About the lerk play, it's best to start simple and get the feel for the lerk. Focus on shooting marines from range and stay away from shotguns. Always focus on staying alive and go back to heal when needed. Also always stay in the air and on the move so the marines can't snipe you.
    When you have gotten the feel for the lerk you can start moving in and sporing the hell out of the marines, when you go inn you need to be unpredictable in movement while keeping your speed. This can be really risky and if you accidentally hit something you can die very fast. This is not very hard vs lmg's but there is always a chance that a marine with a shotgun will be able to one hit you. Remember, the skulks will take care of most of the killing, you will just block the marine vision and waste their ammo.

    The last thing you want to master is lerk alt fire, its very powerful but really hard to use while flying.

    I hope this helps.
    There is no competitive balance or casual players balance. The game is either balanced or not balanced.
    It's the same game after all.


    NS2 gameplay thoughts
    NS1 competitive play


    All my posts are my personal view, I do not speak for a community or anyone else.
  • internetexplorerinternetexplorer Join Date: 2011-10-13 Member: 127255Posts: 1,369Members
    edited February 2012
    For lerk, you should focus on learning to fly the best you can. Never stop moving unless you absolutely have to, glide at max speed whenever you can.

    Everything you do as a lerk depends on how well you're flying. That and working with teammates. You need cannon fodder to stay in combat dealing damage, and they need you to weaken/blind things.

    Practice flying until you can navigate the whole map without ever stopping. Then do it while tapping c to check your minimap occasionally for information.

    Think of it like a fighter plane swooping in to strafe targets and then getting away to safety over and over. The more refined and unpredictable your flight is, the more damage you can do (and the less you need to be a slave to your spores and let teammates get all the action).
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • Heroman117Heroman117 Join Date: 2010-07-28 Member: 73268Posts: 391Members
    As it is right now, the Alien Commander, especially in the early game, rarely has the excess hive Energy to expand the infestation farther and spawn more drifters than needed. Cysts are killed so easily that the Alien commander wouldn't, and shouldn't, place unnecessary cysts as they would not only advertise alien presence, but put invaluable hive energy in the early game to waste.

    About placing defense structures in the new potential hive location, it is reasonably difficult to expand the cyst network all the way to another tech point without active defense and cooperation among the entire alien team. On summit for example, extending the cyst network to an adjacent hive location would involve funneling the line through a resource node room, as well as corridors conjoining those rooms. Also necessary would for a lot of Hive energy, as well as resources being abundant prior to the hive being built, which often isn't the case, as commanders are inclined to build a 2nd hive as soon as possible in order to gain the crucial benefits that having a 2nd have brings to the team.

    Perhaps this would change if you re-structured the game to make static defenses more crucial in determining the outcome of engagement, making making the alien team more inclined to not engage marines or harass marine expansion, but defend cyst networks so the Khammander can place whips and crags in the new hive location. However, i still think that the collaborative effort of the alien players should be the determining factors in the outcome of a hive drop being successful, and that the placement of whips and similar static defenses should only be a deterrent and an aid to the real force behind the alien team.
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  • Laosh'RaLaosh'Ra Join Date: 2011-12-09 Member: 137232Posts: 852Members
    edited February 2012
    if there are some nice gorges, i guess it's okay to quickly rush for a 2nd hive, but i often put up at least 1 crag before placing it as the umbra really helps a lot. it also allows all nearby kharaa to roam the location longer which is another benefit. sure, it is a minor setback in time to place crags first, but if you have ~4 restowers it does not make that much of a difference (if the area is clear, i guess it's okay to place it both at once instead of waiting for the crag to finish building). i mean you are investing 75 res here, now THATS quite a possible setback (also in terms of motivation). imo it's just not worth this major risk for those few extra seconds, any decent marine team will attempt to rush the hive either way. if they by chance don't find it in time, they are probably not a very experienced team which means you could win with either tactic anyway.
    i wish people would at least place some additional buildings after the starting the hive, as soon as they can afford it.

    QUOTE
    About placing defense structures in the new potential hive location, it is reasonably difficult to expand the cyst network all the way to another tech point without active defense and cooperation among the entire alien team.

    you got a point there. i guess the best way is to have a gorge there (i sometimes do this myself and let someone else take over com to place the hive). if you place an unconnected cyst and some hydras as well as a crag, the hive can actually survive quite a while.
    other than that, i often chose a tech point with a connected harvested in the same room, doesn't take many cysts then.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • Baron Di JominiBaron Di Jomini Join Date: 2012-02-17 Member: 146385Posts: 9Members
    Well thanks a lot for the Lerk suggestions. I will keep working at it.

    I can see what you guys are saying about pushing the 2nd hive. If it goes up and the aliens get fades that early the marines are usually SOL because they won't have enough upgrades yet. But this just means the marines have to try and drop the 2nd hive while its going up at all costs. I'm not sure I really like these type of games, because if my team wins then I don't feel like we had to work very hard for it and if we lose then it feels like the game was just beginning. As for dropping chambers before the hive, a whip or a crag is only 10 res and 15 energy for the drifter and it keeps the 2nd hive going down from some axing solo marine so in a lot of cases it seems to me like a good investment.

    Just my two cents.
  • internetexplorerinternetexplorer Join Date: 2011-10-13 Member: 127255Posts: 1,369Members
    edited February 2012
    You also need a second hive really fast to get enough energy flow to make cysts/drifters at a proper pace. Try playing alien commander a bit to see what I mean.

    Personally, I prefer a shade for the first hive in a lot of cases. You can do some obscene damage with cloak attacks, and you don't often have the income that early in the game to max out your shell count and really take advantage of crag upgrades. This is all just a consequence of how the game is balanced right now...when the Shift is added I expect everyone will go shift first 95% of games because it's the general workhorse hive type. It's gonna be great to run super fast and not run out of adrenaline..mmmm. But I digress.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • ScardyBobScardyBob ScardyBob Join Date: 2009-11-25 Member: 69528Posts: 4,983Forum Admins, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow mod
    With more than about 2 harvesters, alien expansion is limited by hive energy rather than TRes. Also, the 2nd hive gives a multitude of benefits including more hive energy, more egg spawns, an additional hive to connect cysts, fades, a new chamber, an additional upgrade. As such, the faster you get the 2nd hive, the better and quicker aliens can win. The 10 TRes/25 energy for a whip or crag might not seem like much, but it can delay that 2nd hive for 30s, which can be the difference between a marine attack with shotguns rather than with rifles.
  • autograderautograder Join Date: 2011-06-24 Member: 106181Posts: 187Members
    QUOTE (ScardyBob @ Feb 20 2012, 06:59 PM) »
    With more than about 2 harvesters, alien expansion is limited by hive energy rather than TRes. Also, the 2nd hive gives a multitude of benefits including more hive energy, more egg spawns, an additional hive to connect cysts, fades, a new chamber, an additional upgrade. As such, the faster you get the 2nd hive, the better and quicker aliens can win. The 10 TRes/25 energy for a whip or crag might not seem like much, but it can delay that 2nd hive for 30s, which can be the difference between a marine attack with shotguns rather than with rifles.


    Yup, fast second hive ftw.

    Depending on where the alien hive spawns you can sometimes get a 3rd RT (maybe even a 4th) which makes everything gravy.. unless of course marines are smart and hunt down your RTs and cysts. Of course if the skulks are out harassing as they should this isn't a problem. Holy crap, game is getting playable :)
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