Electrify your RTs

CrazyBrettCrazyBrett Join Date: 2007-03-06 Member: 60260Members
<div class="IPBDescription">Please?</div>Electrified RTs are one of the most valuable, yet underused, tools in the marines' arsenal. I've watched teams lose 3, 4, 5 RTs to skulks in the early-mid game. They dutifully rebuild each one, only to have it knocked down again a few minutes later. I've begged commanders to electrify, to no avail. Then, after our first big offensive falls apart, we hear the dreaded "Guys, we have 1 RT." Electricity is almost always a win-win option for marines. The more aggressive the alien team, the more you benefit from electricity. And frankly, if the aliens aren't going after your RTs, you're probably going to walk all over them anyway.

<img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/nerd-fix.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid="::nerdy::" border="0" alt="nerd-fix.gif" /> <!--sizeo:3--><span style="font-size:12pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->Case Study<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec--> <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/nerd-fix.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid="::nerdy::" border="0" alt="nerd-fix.gif" />

Many commanders are hesitant to electrify RTs because of the cost. Admittedly, 30 res up front seems like a lot. However, looking at the numbers over time paints a much different picture.

Let's look at a single hypothetical RT over the course of 6 minutes. We'll assume that the RT is in a somewhat vulnerable spot, and that the aliens are moderately aggressive in attacking it. We'll also assume that replacing a destroyed RT takes about 1 minute, on average. Two scenarios are presented: in scenario 1 we don't electrify the RT, and in scenario 2 we do.

<!--c1--><div class='codetop'>CODE</div><div class='codemain'><!--ec1-->
| Time |    | Res | Scenario 1           |    | Res | Scenario 2           |
+------+    +-----+----------------------+    +-----+----------------------+
| 0:00 |    | 45  | (Initial Res)        |    | 45  | (Initial Res)        |
|      |    | 30  | Build RT             |    | 0   | Build RT, Electrify  |
| 2:00 |    | 60  | ... (2 min) ...      |    | 30  | ... (2 min) ...      |
|      |    | 60  | Skulk kills RT       |    | 30  | Skulk ignores RT     |
| 3:00 |    | 60  | ... (1 min) ...      |    | 45  | ... (1 min) ...      |
|      |    | 45  | Rebuild RT           |    | 45  |                      |

Even after just a few minutes and a single skulk attack, we already see a benefit. In both scenarios the net res is the same, but in scenario 2 the RT is still electrified, while in scenario 1 it's not. Furthermore, scenario 1 requires sending marines back to rebuild the RT, while scenario 2 requires no extra attention after the initial placement. Now let's add a few more minutes and another attack:

<!--c1--><div class='codetop'>CODE</div><div class='codemain'><!--ec1-->
| Time |    | Res | Scenario 1 (cont.)   |    | Res | Scenario 2 (cont.)   |
+------+    +-----+----------------------+    +-----+----------------------+
| 5:00 |    | 75  | ... (2 min) ...      |    | 75  | ... (2 min) ...      |
|      |    | 75  | Lerk kills RT        |    | 75  | Lerk ignores RT      |
| 6:00 |    | 75  | ... (1 min) ...      |    | 90  | ... (1 min) ...      |
|      |    | 60  | Rebuild RT           |    | 90  |                      |

Now we really start to reap the benefits of electricity. In scenario 1 we're now behind by 30 res compared to scenario 2, in addition to requiring yet another trip back to rebuild the RT. Plus, scenario 2 still leaves us with an electrified RT, while scenario 1 doesn't.

If you look at the numbers, you can see where the expense is coming from. Not only does it cost 15 res to rebuild the RT each time, but that ~1 minute of downtime between each rebuild is another 15 res that the node doesn't produce for us. Viewed in that light, electricity is easily worth the 30 res to ensure that the RT doesn't get destroyed in the first place. Multiply that savings by 3 or 4 vulnerable mid-map RTs, and suddenly you're looking at over 100 res in savings during this ~6 minutes.

There are even more intangible benefits to electricity as well. Your marines won't have to defend or rebuild nodes, so they can concentrate on destroying alien assets and capturing hives. It forces the eventual fades to waste valuable time killing RTs instead of killing marines. It's also quite demoralizing to the alien team, as there's not much they can do about it before they get bile bomb or a fade.

<!--sizeo:3--><span style="font-size:12pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->What to Electrify<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->

Under the right circumstances, any RT (except the one in marine start) is a potential candidate for electricity. There are several major categories to bear in mind:

<b>Nodes in locked-down hives</b>: This technique is fairly obvious, and is even practiced by many commanders who don't electrify elsewhere. An electrified RT in a hive can provide effective cover for a phase gate, turret factory, or defending marines.

<b>Nodes near marine start</b>: While they may seem like the easiest to defend, these nodes are actually the most vulnerable, because they're natural targets for aliens on their way to marine start. Candidates for this category include West Skylights and Topographical in ns_veil, Hera Entrance and Cargo in ns_hera, and Miasma in ns_nothing.

<b>Nodes near enemy hive</b>: If you're fortunate enough to capture a node near the enemy hive, electrify it immediately to deny the aliens an easy node and force them to overextend themselves.

Thanks for reading, and happy zapping!


  • TOmekkiTOmekki Join Date: 2003-11-25 Member: 23524Members
    here we go again...

    electrifying 4 nodes = 120 res
    what else could 120 res buy you?

    a phase gate in their hive, 15 res
    5 shotguns, 50 res
    5 welders, 25 res
    and a ishload of medpacks
  • MerkabaMerkaba Digital Harmony Join Date: 2002-01-24 Member: 22Members, Retired Developer, NS1 Playtester
    But on the other hand it also saves you the res for a replacement RT, the lost res in the time where you have no RT, and also 'hogs' a resource node which is resources that the aliens can't get, and also lets you concentrate on attacks rather than defending/rebuilding nodes.
  • Rapier7Rapier7 Join Date: 2004-02-05 Member: 26108Members
    A 3 minute recoup on an RT is disastrous. You're basically relying on RFK for the first 6 minutes of the game if you try that strategy.

    It's not hard to tell a certain marine "Hey, so and so node is going down. Go save it."

    With hand nades you just prime before they can hear, then throw and GG.

    In fact, nodes close to marine start, you could just have 1 person relegated to protecting those nodes and let everybody else put pressure on the aliens. Once an unelectrified RT stays up for 1 minute, that's a recoup and everything else is pure profit. How hard is it to keep an RT up for 1 minute? Even if it gets built and gets immediately taken down by a skulk, it takes around 30 seconds for them to take it out.

    Electrification, along with two hive lockdowns, only seem good because the aliens you're facing against suck ######.
  • exoityexoity Join Date: 2003-03-17 Member: 14620Members, NS1 Playtester, Constellation
    To electrify your nodes really depends on how the aliens are pushing. In the long run, if you electrify nodes fades will have to be the ones taking them out and then it once again works for marines because it is a that less fades working on your marines. Or gorges will have to oc them down, which does take time and resources from the gorges.
  • MerkabaMerkaba Digital Harmony Join Date: 2002-01-24 Member: 22Members, Retired Developer, NS1 Playtester
    So I guess resource towers that are beside a heavily trodden path but are too far from the MS to effectively defend on foot would benefit from electricity? I suppose the effectiveness of electrifying towers depends largely on the map and which node is electrified, which seems good to me.
  • enigmaenigma Join Date: 2004-09-11 Member: 31623Members
    the effectiveness of electrification depends mainly on the coordination of the alien team, which actually makes it a worthwhile tactic on pubs.
  • StixNStonzStixNStonz Join Date: 2006-11-06 Member: 58439Members, Reinforced - Shadow
    I pull the electrification strat every now and then, and it works well enough, but there are two reasons i rarely use it.

    1) Its defensive commanding. The game will be long and drawn out, since your marines wont be seeing any kind of upgrades until like the 7 min mark, and once that first fade or lerk comes out, the marines will start dropping like flies. You'll probaby win in the end anyways, but your marines will pay for it heavily. And if the aliens are smart enuogh to get the 2nd hive as soon as physically possible, 2 hives = bye bye elec nodes.

    2) Its horribly lame. I dont think theres a worse situation for the aliens than an electrification strat. The skulks will run around, see every node is elecd, and just not have anything to do, no chance of progress, and no hope. As a commander, i do not want to do this to the aliens, and its all my choice. I'd much rather put up a wicked offensive strat, and either win the game earlier, or have an awesome loss with guns blazing. You simply cant get that with elec.

    I'm not saying electrification is without its uses, of course. You simply cant get a better way to defend a PG (aside from the obvious; marines.)
  • ZiGGYZiGGY Join Date: 2003-01-19 Member: 12479Members
    Ive always said I would only consider electrifying a node if it also got a health boost for the upgrade, but as always to dismiss something as useless without trying it would be pretty weak. There are tactical applications to doing this, as someones pointed out youre never going to electrify ALL your nodes, but that doesnt make it useless it just makes it not useful all the time.
  • Voodo_HUNVoodo_HUN Join Date: 2006-11-29 Member: 58773Members
    you forget, while the skulk is eating the rt he is busy, he cant hide, you know he is there, and your team has to deal with 1 less skulk than it should
  • MrBenMrBen ns_eclipse, ns_veil caretaker Join Date: 2002-11-14 Member: 8575Members
    There is no denying that electrifying nodes increases their longevity but it comes at a heavy resource price.

    For marines there are the following <b>required</b> upgrades before 5 minutes: Armour 1, weapons 1, phasegates. If possible you should also upgrade the following: advanced armoury, weapons 2 and a second IP. For every node you choose to electrify you remove the resource cost for one of the structures and/or an upgrade. In the case of electrifying one node you're using 30 res which could be used on an observatory and phasegates. For every node you electrify you greatly slow down how quickly you can tech.

    In the long run yes you will save resources not having to replace nodes and the electricity will pay itself off, but maybe not before an organized alien team takes apart your unupgraded marines. Most commanders would prefer to simply task one or two marines with saving nodes whilst the rest pressure aliens. It saves them resources and their pressuring marines are more effective thanks to their upgrades than they would be without them, even with the assistance of one or two more marines.

    Yes, your nodes are protected with electricity from skulks and yes, you do force fades or even a gorge to take them down which means they aren't taking down your marines, or they're spending res. The problem with electricity isn't with the defense of your nodes, it's extremely effective at that, it's with the aggression of your marines. You ultimately end up diverting too many resources into defense early game. Resources that most feel would be better spent on upgrades and so your team isn't decimated in the field by fades, lerks, upgraded skulks and then the second hive. Should that happen then your electrified nodes won't matter, aliens will have too much map control and will easily deal with them when the second hive goes up.

    However, given the change to marine node HP I would like to see a more viable electricity option. The current issue is that it totally destroys skulks, even multiple ones; they have no chance on their own. It also costs too much for the marines. If the electricity instead did something like, I dunno, removed your adrenaline? self welded? and cost say 10-15 res then maybe you'd see a more viable upgrade otions. It still makes the upgrade useful for defending nodes as you have longer to save them, but it doesn't totally break the bank. It also offers skulks an opportunity to take down an electrified node rather than waiting for the second hive or the fades.
  • Femme_FataleFemme_Fatale Join Date: 2005-06-21 Member: 54310Members, Constellation
    i've only found electrification useful if you have a hive.or the nodes close to marine start/chokepoints.
    and mostly it alerts you if a higher lifeform is present, or a 2nd hive is up.

    i like alerts...
  • StixNStonzStixNStonz Join Date: 2006-11-06 Member: 58439Members, Reinforced - Shadow
    Now thats an innovative idea Ben. Im thinking, a second type up upgrade for the RT (only that or elec, not both), costing mabe 15, where the rt self-regens? Slowly enough so that it would hamper a single skulk for an extra 15 seconds or so, but that could mean the world, especially with rts being defended decently (its pointless to weld rts really).
  • legolego Join Date: 2003-06-30 Member: 17819Members, Constellation
    Really the only strat which works on a larger scale with electrification in pubs is only doing 1 rt. Anything past that becomes really hazerdous to the marines. I say this because if aliens reach second hive and marines still aren't doing very well, those rts are toast. Having 2 rts to tick res from is great though allows the marines to push around the map without loosing very much time. Other then that though unless marines are dominating its generally just a last minute well we are winning anyway might as well electrify everything. Its in the same category as catpacks only used at last minute to say hurray we used catpacks.

  • MrBenMrBen ns_eclipse, ns_veil caretaker Join Date: 2002-11-14 Member: 8575Members
    Actually the only real viable strategy isn't an option anymore. Simply rushing your marines out and dropping every node on the map was surprisingly effective. If your marines can speed build the ones aliens tried to drop and electrify straight away then aliens are forced to drop other nodes, which are also blocked. Any node they chomp down continue to redrop until your marines appear. A highly roffles way of keeping aliens on 1 RT all game, because their rate of tech would be have been equally slow but you'd have a strangle hold on the resources, it'd be GG if carried out effectively. Only requires 2 minutes of marine dominance early game versus unupgraded skulks and before lerks.
  • CraZyIvanCraZyIvan Join Date: 2006-11-05 Member: 58395Members, Constellation
    Probably would only do it to guard a pg in a strategic position, and this is only for large games where it would be too costly for multiple mine packs. So would never consider it in a 6v6.
  • PriestlyPriestly Join Date: 2006-10-30 Member: 58098Members
    edited March 2007
    Spend the res on your marines, they'll thank you for it. If you get the electricity bug do it sparingly and only in strategic locations. If the game ends badly at least you wont have the entire marine team calling you a nub for electrifying all the nodes instead of getting upgrades.
  • ChurchChurch Meatshield grunt-fodder // Has pre-ordered NS2 Join Date: 2002-12-31 Member: 11646Members, Constellation
    Can you still RT block in 3.2? Aren;t eveyrthing starting out a ghost structures now?
  • IHOP7IHOP7 Join Date: 2005-01-07 Member: 33435Members, Constellation
    That's why he said that it isn't an option anylonger.
  • NSismylifeNSismylife Join Date: 2007-03-11 Member: 60323Members
    That's pretty much the only way I could win 2 v 2 and 3 v 3 games.

    Drop the nearest alien RT's and relocate to a hive.

  • StixNStonzStixNStonz Join Date: 2006-11-06 Member: 58439Members, Reinforced - Shadow
    nah, just heavy pressure, early shotties, and rush jps asap.
  • Splinter_SteveSplinter_Steve Join Date: 2005-03-20 Member: 45881Members
    I could see doing a node close to one-hive aliens when you're already winning...but at that point it's pretty hard to screw up anyway.
  • NSismylifeNSismylife Join Date: 2007-03-11 Member: 60323Members
    I see electrification on a large scale as a severe waste of time, borderline prolonging the game.
  • HazeHaze O RLY? Join Date: 2003-07-07 Member: 18018Members, Constellation
    I'd like to be able to build turrets by the res node so long as I have a turret factory in my base.
  • the_x5the_x5 the Xzianthian Join Date: 2004-03-02 Member: 27041Members, Constellation
    <!--quoteo(post=1611902:date=Mar 6 2007, 07:51 PM:name=TOmekki)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(TOmekki @ Mar 6 2007, 07:51 PM) [snapback]1611902[/snapback]</div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec--> here we go again...

    electrifying 4 nodes = 120 res
    what else could 120 res buy you?

    a phase gate in their hive, 15 res
    5 shotguns, 50 res
    5 welders, 25 res
    and a ishload of medpacks
    <!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->And then some of them die or all of them if it's a fade + support. <!--quoteo(post=1611910:date=Mar 6 2007, 08:09 PM:name=Rapier7)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Rapier7 @ Mar 6 2007, 08:09 PM) [snapback]1611910[/snapback]</div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->It's not hard to tell a certain marine "Hey, so and so node is going down. Go save it."<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->And you are assuming that the commander has mic on and the player is listening (or speaks english at all), which is often NOT the case on public servers <!--quoteo(post=1611919:date=Mar 6 2007, 08:26 PM:name=enigma)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(enigma @ Mar 6 2007, 08:26 PM) [snapback]1611919[/snapback]</div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec--> the effectiveness of electrification depends mainly on the coordination of the alien team, which actually makes it a worthwhile tactic on pubs. <!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd--> My point exactly. It really is hard without good gorges. You could have a fade or onos go after the electrified RTs but that's wasting a valuable offensive resource.
  • Gerald_R_FordGerald_R_Ford Join Date: 2003-11-11 Member: 22544Members
    I've done that in scrims and pugs a few times, but only cause the situation warrented it. after a short fight in cargo on ns_tanis, we held it, but had all the upgrades going (armslab, AA) and phasegates just ended. I had a surplus of like 120 res for some reason, so i dropped a phase gate next to the res tower, and 2 tfacs around the phasegate to make an electrified circle. The fades couldn't even touch it because they'd get zapped by 3 things, plus having the rines fire at them. as you probably guess, that game was an easy win (holding cargo = win).
  • That_Annoying_KidThat_Annoying_Kid Sire of Titles Join Date: 2003-03-01 Member: 14175Members, Constellation
    Don't forget to electrify the resnode of shame...
  • the_x5the_x5 the Xzianthian Join Date: 2004-03-02 Member: 27041Members, Constellation
    <!--quoteo(post=1616949:date=Mar 26 2007, 01:35 AM:name=That_Annoying_Kid)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(That_Annoying_Kid @ Mar 26 2007, 01:35 AM) [snapback]1616949[/snapback]</div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec--> Don't forget to electrify the resnode of shame... <!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd--> <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/confused-fix.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid="???" border="0" alt="confused-fix.gif" /> You're going to have to explain that one I'm afraid.
  • JohnieJohnie Join Date: 2006-10-09 Member: 58062Members
    When you take over the last alien hive, you build a rt on that hive's resource node and electrify it.
    I think that's what he means.

    At least, I've seen gorges do it in Marine Start.
  • RushakraRushakra Join Date: 2004-03-25 Member: 27523Members
    I've seen a lot of games that could have been won if certain nodes were electrified.

    Sometimes it helps you out, sometimes it doesn't; depends on the situation. A good Commander would be open to a strategy that involves electrification, instead of writing it off as one of those "things that should never be done" because it's commonly accepted to be a "bad" idea.
  • ChurchChurch Meatshield grunt-fodder // Has pre-ordered NS2 Join Date: 2002-12-31 Member: 11646Members, Constellation
    There is no situation that warrants electrification since you could always be doing something better with that 30 res.

    3 packs of mines will defend a PG much better than electrification. I'd also much rather have 2 HMGs than electrifcation. HMGs scare fades away. Electricity doesn't.
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