Crag Hive 1st?

DrPastahDrPastah Join Date: 2012-12-29 Member: 176624Posts: 14 Fully active user
Is starting crag hive first as alien commander viable? How do you make it work?
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  • cooliticcoolitic Right behind you Join Date: 2013-04-02 Member: 184609Posts: 1,608 Advanced user
    In pubs, especially since silence moved to shift, not so much.
    When life gives you lemons, throw it back and demand chocolate.


  • DrPastahDrPastah Join Date: 2012-12-29 Member: 176624Posts: 14 Fully active user
    Why is that? I hear stacking 2 crags on top of each other on an RT is a good strategy.
    2coughcoolitic
  • The_Welsh_WizardThe_Welsh_Wizard Join Date: 2013-09-10 Member: 188101Posts: 572 Advanced user
    Crags healing doesn't Stack, also you don't need a crag Hive to place crags.

    Imo crag Hive is the most useful right now, it gives your skulks carapace which makes ambushes and Group engagements much more likely to be successful and it gives them regen for healing after engagements without returning to the hive. For that reason your Lerks will be more effective too. The only real advantage of shift hive is Enzyme. However if you are a comm who doesnt Spam Drifter abilites, dont go shift or shade first.
    Kasharic
  • DrPastahDrPastah Join Date: 2012-12-29 Member: 176624Posts: 14 Fully active user
    edited January 14
    Crags healing doesn't Stack, also you don't need a crag Hive to place crags.

    Imo crag Hive is the most useful right now, it gives your skulks carapace which makes ambushes and Group engagements much more likely to be successful and it gives them regen for healing after engagements without returning to the hive. For that reason your Lerks will be more effective too. The only real advantage of shift hive is Enzyme. However if you are a comm who doesnt Spam Drifter abilites, dont go shift or shade first.

    You can use crag's healing activatable and with 2 crag activatables, you can indefinitely keep your RT and crags alive against early marines. No?
  • The_Welsh_WizardThe_Welsh_Wizard Join Date: 2013-09-10 Member: 188101Posts: 572 Advanced user
    No. Crags cannot keep something alive, only aliens can. The healing wave ability doesnt do much. It helps a bit, of course, but it cannot outheal marines. And even if they could, look at the amount of Tres you would need to invest: 26 for the crags and LOTS for the healwaves. That's a huge Investment for only 1 RT that delays everything else.

    It is good to place crags next to important locations or important rts but that is only to slow marines down and making it easier for the aliens to defend it. Regardless of which hive you choose first.
    coolitic.trixX.
  • IxianIxian Denmark Join Date: 2014-03-16 Member: 194783Posts: 182 Fully active user
    DrPastah, you have stumbled upon a gold mine for commanders, that many commanders are unable, or simply refuse to see. Crags are maybe besides drifters you most valuable tool. The discontinuation of the need to return to the hive for healing is a great asset to any alien team -however, dont buy the same thing twice. Going crag hive, getting the shells gives your field players regeneration, which already does the job of the crag, which means that the crag isn't as needed. On shift hive however, crags are invaluable, and you can easily get away with having 1-2 healing stations on the field, especially after the lerks pop, which should be at the 2:30 mark or before (NB. if you echo harvesters, that basicly 30 extra second before lerks comes up, dont echo starting harvesters!).

    TLDR: Crags are great, but dont get everything regeneration, as you would be buying the same thing twice.
  • SantaClawsSantaClaws Denmark Join Date: 2012-07-31 Member: 154491Posts: 987 Advanced user
    DrPastah wrote: »
    Crags healing doesn't Stack, also you don't need a crag Hive to place crags.

    Imo crag Hive is the most useful right now, it gives your skulks carapace which makes ambushes and Group engagements much more likely to be successful and it gives them regen for healing after engagements without returning to the hive. For that reason your Lerks will be more effective too. The only real advantage of shift hive is Enzyme. However if you are a comm who doesnt Spam Drifter abilites, dont go shift or shade first.

    You can use crag's healing activatable and with 2 crag activatables, you can indefinitely keep your RT and crags alive against early marines. No?

    You misunderstand how heal wave works. It has a GLOBAL cooldown. Meaning you can only activate one crag's heal wave at a time. So it is completely pointless to stack crags like you suggest.

    The only reason why it would ever be defensible to stack crags, is if you have a room with a ton of structures - since (iirc) crag healing has a limited amount of targets.
    coolitic
  • DC_DarklingDC_Darkling Join Date: 2003-07-10 Member: 18068Posts: 4,330 Advanced user
    Crag hive first can and is viable even in pubs, assuming the pubbers do not go into rage for getting crag first.

    Its powers come with the skulks. As the others said, crags themselves do not require the combo with the hive.
    * Skulks can pick carapace to get somewhere while taking more damage.
    * Skulks then swap to regen to heal (because skulk upgrades are free, swapping is viable.)
    * When ready skulks swap to crush and just waste the RT. Crush does a good solid increase in damage vs both armour and structures. So its even viable vs marines in combat.

    The moment your skulks do not just use a upgrade, but start swapping them, crag hive first becomes all that more dangerous.
    .trixX.
  • DrPastahDrPastah Join Date: 2012-12-29 Member: 176624Posts: 14 Fully active user
    Already lost 3 times in a row with crag first hive. I don't think crag first hive is viable unless you have a really good team.
  • The_Welsh_WizardThe_Welsh_Wizard Join Date: 2013-09-10 Member: 188101Posts: 572 Advanced user
    DrPastah wrote: »
    Already lost 3 times in a row with crag first hive. I don't think crag first hive is viable unless you have a really good team.

    Because you can't read. Otherwise you would know by now why it is viable.
    StarkKasharicsoccerguy243SplatMan_DKBeigeAlertIronHorse
  • KasharicKasharic Hull, England Join Date: 2013-03-27 Member: 184473Posts: 404 Advanced user
    DrPastah wrote: »
    Already lost 3 times in a row with crag first hive. I don't think crag first hive is viable unless you have a really good team.

    Because you can't read. Otherwise you would know by now why it is viable.

    Seriously home... seriously... you need to get rid of this crappy attitude you have.

    And you need to learn how to use shift hive, if you honestly think its not worth using, you're not worth having in the hive.
    I don't know why but Mephilles is an NSL Admin

    #blamehefty

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  • 2cough2cough Rocky Mountain High Join Date: 2013-03-14 Member: 183952Posts: 1,015 Advanced user
    edited January 15
    I'm not sure if it was mentioned but 2 crags healing does not stack. so if you have 2 crags on an rt, it's as good as having one. only time it makes sense to have 2 in a room is, as was mentioned, if they are in 2 parts of the room and are not overlapping range. another time to consider having 2 crags in a room is if you're being arced and you need to have one out of arc range, so if you cant pull or echo the one that's being arced out, you can plop one just out of arc range.

    Anyways, I'd say crag is definitely a viable first hive if your players are competent enough to make good use of their upgrades, but if only for healwave, you may be disappointed. While healwave can keep structures alive a while, and is really helpful if being arced (combining ink w/ healwave can prolong a hive's health long enough for appopriate response), personally I find that it's better to have it later game, when you've got lifeforms w/ higher hp, who need to heal fast. In that case, healwave is very useful. But frankly, i dont see enough comms using drifter or structure abilities in pubs almost ever, so as with any hive, mucus membrane's viability can also be limited to the commander's prowess, just like echoing, enzymes, hallucinations, inking, etc.
    _INTER_
  • The_Welsh_WizardThe_Welsh_Wizard Join Date: 2013-09-10 Member: 188101Posts: 572 Advanced user
    Kasharic wrote: »
    DrPastah wrote: »
    Already lost 3 times in a row with crag first hive. I don't think crag first hive is viable unless you have a really good team.

    Because you can't read. Otherwise you would know by now why it is viable.

    Seriously home... seriously... you need to get rid of this crappy attitude you have.
    Many people explained why crag hive first is strong. The response to this is: "Yea no I don't care what anyone is saying, crag is not viable." Why did he even make this thread when his response to it is this.
    And you need to learn how to use shift hive, if you honestly think its not worth using, you're not worth having in the hive.

    I didn't say shift hive isn't worth using, I only said in my opinion crag hive is stronger opening hive at the moment and shells are much more effective than spurs.
    soccerguy243_INTER_
  • Legend_BossLegend_Boss UK Join Date: 2014-02-27 Member: 194394Posts: 123 Advanced user
    I find the healing ability from carapace to be slow. Much faster to heal with crag or at hive. A tactic I would recommend at the start of a round is to select shift hive and use echo. Either to echo a few eggs on the far side of the map where you costed or there is a tunnel. This allows for immediate response and cover in that area. Also much faster then spawning at main and getting a tunnel or running there.

    I will also be echoing a crag to places under attack and there are aliens to defend. If there is a gorge there, I would also echo the shift for energy (or if there are leeks or other life forms that need the energy). Crag is much better way to heal. If the room is lost I echo as much out. I rarely see anyone else Echoing eggs early game, generally done late game for faster exeno.

    Later on in games I would keep the shift back from the direction of the attack to avoid a flamethrower stopping me from echoing.

    I would always have a shift hockey. Later on in the game. If there are 2 shifts out I would have them both hotkey. Double tap a hotkey to go straight to the structure to know you have the right one.

    So shift hive used well means aliens spawn at forward points have portable healing stations that are more efficient then carapace; aliens have the ability of spurs; you can save structures by moving them around the map; and it keeps alien commanding more engaging and interactive.

    If the team is doing good, I would treat them with veil hive second as it's fun and under used.

    I will say however, I command on arcade server with more than 24 players. It's a lot more fast paced, but I generally win as commander (without a mic
  • DC_DarklingDC_Darkling Join Date: 2003-07-10 Member: 18068Posts: 4,330 Advanced user
    Surely you mean regen and not carapace?
    Cara does not heal.

    The goal of regen is not a fast heal, but a heal in the field so you do not have to go back.
    Note, a heal in the field where a crag can not survive.
    Nordiccoolitic
  • NordicNordic Long term camping in Kodiak Join Date: 2012-05-13 Member: 151995Posts: 4,297 Advanced user
    edited January 15
    I have always been a fan of crag hive. Regen is by far my favorite upgrade. I can be so much more useful with it. Maybe that is because it suits my play style better than others.

    Saying that, shift hive has been the go to hive for years now. What is more interesting is that shade hive has recently become more used as the first hive than crag hive.
    b7y3qPA.png

    When you aim for perfect balance, you discover it's a moving target.
    Perfect balance is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellent gameplay.
    NS2 is a moving, breathing thing. We have to be willing to constantly evolve. Perfect balance is constant transformation.
  • meatmachinemeatmachine South England Join Date: 2013-01-06 Member: 177858Posts: 1,550 Advanced user
    edited January 16
    Nordic wrote: »
    I have always been a fan of crag hive. Regen is by far my favorite upgrade. I can be so much more useful with it. Maybe that is because it suits my play style better than others.

    Saying that, shift hive has been the go to hive for years now. What is more interesting is that shade hive has recently become more used as the first hive than crag hive.
    b7y3qPA.png

    That's interesting, I wonder if it's because people want to see how useful the /new/ shade hive is as a starter, and will presumably settle once they realise shade hive's best early game alien upgrade got moved to shift hive.

    In the same vein I'd imagine crag has fallen so far (even lower % than shade's old %!) because since shift is now by far the most useful starting hive in 90% of pub situations, the no-brainer is to go shift hive, with a select group of dedicated contrarians picking shade hive for whatever reason.

    In any case it certainly feels to me like shift is miles better as a starting hive than it ever was before simply because of silence, and since the crappiness of the rest of the shade hive used to be offset by having silence, shade is more or less relegated to ONLY be the contrarian pick now.

    My question to you, @nordic , is what do the winrates by starting hive/ 1st+2nd hive look like now, compared to the old values? My prediction would be that shade and shift have exchanged a few % points in favour of shift hive in all situations, and shade+shift has lost some win% points compared to shade+crag (in either combination); I'd like to see if the data reinforces that.
    Too weird to live, yet too rare to die
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  • NominousNominous Baltimore, MD Join Date: 2012-02-18 Member: 146518Posts: 305 Advanced user
    That's interesting, I wonder if it's because people want to see how useful the /new/ shade hive is as a starter, and will presumably settle once they realise shade hive's best early game alien upgrade got moved to shift hive.

    In the same vein I'd imagine crag has fallen so far (even lower % than shade's old %!) because since shift is now by far the most useful starting hive in 90% of pub situations, the no-brainer is to go shift hive, with a select group of dedicated contrarians picking shade hive for whatever reason.

    In any case it certainly feels to me like shift is miles better as a starting hive than it ever was before simply because of silence, and since the crappiness of the rest of the shade hive used to be offset by having silence, shade is more or less relegated to ONLY be the contrarian pick now.
    True, khamms usually go shade hive first just to switch things up if they've already went shift multiples games in a row. Shade is nothing to sneeze at, though. Its main strength in early game is vampirism. Although the cloak's shimmer can give you away even if you're still, it can be effective because, let's face it, even veterans will not check every single corner in pubs. Best of all is the heal-on-attack, which heals 14 HP per hit for skulks. If you have high accuracy, vampirism can often top off your HP in one-on-one fights or let you survive fights vs. multiple marines that you wouldn't otherwise. It's very much like an offensive regen that depends on how effective you are as a skulk.

    As a fade, I don't mind shade hive first due to focus. This lets me kill A1 marines with only two swipes. Energy conservation is greater since swipe's energy usage stays the same for 50% increased damage and 50% decreased attack rate. The delayed attack rate encourages less sticking to marines and more jukes. Hit and runs, such as getting one swipe in on a shotty and having to retreat, are more effective because I've left more damage before retreating.
    BeigeAlert
  • DC_DarklingDC_Darkling Join Date: 2003-07-10 Member: 18068Posts: 4,330 Advanced user
    From a commander perspective you go shift hive in pubs, no brainer.
    I am fully confident crag hive is far superior if used well, but thats the point.. Pubbers are idiots.

    Echo can fix incompetence of your aliens to a degree.
    A click and never change upgrade, unlike crag upgrades, fit the pubbers less thinking mentality.
    And lets not even begin of the upgrades like celerity as most pubbers cant aim, you dont 'need' carapace.
    .trixX.BestProfileName
  • VetinariVetinari Join Date: 2013-07-23 Member: 186325Posts: 3,166 Advanced user
    I am fully confident crag hive is far superior if used well, but thats the point..

    Please enlighten me how
    formerly known as F0rdPrefect
  • .trixX..trixX. Budapest Join Date: 2007-10-11 Member: 62605Posts: 584 Advanced user
    @F0rdPrefect erm... read? x)
    Its powers come with the skulks. As the others said, crags themselves do not require the combo with the hive.
    * Skulks can pick carapace to get somewhere while taking more damage.
    * Skulks then swap to regen to heal (because skulk upgrades are free, swapping is viable.)
    * When ready skulks swap to crush and just waste the RT. Crush does a good solid increase in damage vs both armour and structures. So its even viable vs marines in combat.
    Pubbers are idiots.
    ^

    NO Cyril, when they're dead they're just hookers!
    Vetinari
  • VetinariVetinari Join Date: 2013-07-23 Member: 186325Posts: 3,166 Advanced user
    .trixX. wrote: »
    @F0rdPrefect erm... read? x)
    Its powers come with the skulks. As the others said, crags themselves do not require the combo with the hive.
    * Skulks can pick carapace to get somewhere while taking more damage.
    * Skulks then swap to regen to heal (because skulk upgrades are free, swapping is viable.)
    * When ready skulks swap to crush and just waste the RT. Crush does a good solid increase in damage vs both armour and structures. So its even viable vs marines in combat.
    Pubbers are idiots.
    ^

    He wrote that way up there, you can't just expect me to remember previous parts of the conversation like that!
    formerly known as F0rdPrefect
    .trixX.cooliticSplatMan_DKIronHorse
  • meatmachinemeatmachine South England Join Date: 2013-01-06 Member: 177858Posts: 1,550 Advanced user
    @Nordic つ ◕_◕ ༽つ giff stats
    Too weird to live, yet too rare to die
    coolitic
  • NordicNordic Long term camping in Kodiak Join Date: 2012-05-13 Member: 151995Posts: 4,297 Advanced user
    edited January 18
    That's interesting, I wonder if it's because people want to see how useful the /new/ shade hive is as a starter, and will presumably settle once they realise shade hive's best early game alien upgrade got moved to shift hive.

    In the same vein I'd imagine crag has fallen so far (even lower % than shade's old %!) because since shift is now by far the most useful starting hive in 90% of pub situations, the no-brainer is to go shift hive, with a select group of dedicated contrarians picking shade hive for whatever reason.

    In any case it certainly feels to me like shift is miles better as a starting hive than it ever was before simply because of silence, and since the crappiness of the rest of the shade hive used to be offset by having silence, shade is more or less relegated to ONLY be the contrarian pick now.

    My question to you, @nordic , is what do the winrates by starting hive/ 1st+2nd hive look like now, compared to the old values? My prediction would be that shade and shift have exchanged a few % points in favour of shift hive in all situations, and shade+shift has lost some win% points compared to shade+crag (in either combination); I'd like to see if the data reinforces that.

    Nordic つ ◕_◕ ༽つ giff stats

    Shift hive has been used significantly more than the other two hives for at least 4 years now. Shift hive is peaking at about 80% of as first hive choice. Shade hive has remained stable as a first hive choice in about 8% of games. Crag hive has fallen from about 20% to about 6% of games starting with crag hive. This is what we know. Everything else is pure speculation. Speculation can be fun though.

    Silence has certainly had an effect. I don't know when shift hive on silence was, but by looking at the graph it was about june or july. I don't really know, but it appears crag hive was in decline before then.

    I refuse to look at winrates by starting hive because they can be so easily skewed. Aliens have a higher winrate than marines. They always have. Shift hive first has a higher winrate than the other hives, but is that because it is shift hive or because aliens win more often? Nobody knows.
    I also only have data on first hive choice. It is not possible to do multi hive type analysis.

    On top of that, I don't have as much time for NS2 data projects right now. You will have to live and look to others for NS2 stats stuff. Use wonitor. Lots of great stats from wonitor.
    When you aim for perfect balance, you discover it's a moving target.
    Perfect balance is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellent gameplay.
    NS2 is a moving, breathing thing. We have to be willing to constantly evolve. Perfect balance is constant transformation.
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  • ZdrytchXZdrytchX Australia Join Date: 2016-02-06 Member: 212662Posts: 93 Fully active user
    edited January 20
    * Skulks then swap to regen to heal (because skulk upgrades are free, swapping is viable.)
    * When ready skulks swap to crush and just waste the RT. Crush does a good solid increase in damage vs both armour and structures. So its even viable vs marines in combat.
    Crush doesn't deal any more net damage. All it does is increases the ratio of armour to health damage. Iirc when all three shells are available, it deals damage against armour only or at least until the target runs out of armour. It's useful against marines that don't use welders but that's about it
    .trixX.
  • IxianIxian Denmark Join Date: 2014-03-16 Member: 194783Posts: 182 Fully active user
    False. Crush deals 21% more damage to structures.
    VetinariDC_Darklingcoolitic.trixX.
  • DC_DarklingDC_Darkling Join Date: 2003-07-10 Member: 18068Posts: 4,330 Advanced user
    Exactly what Ixian says, its true power is the structure damage.
    The armour damage is the 'doable added' part.

    Skulks why bite res should basicly live with crush, it makes them do their job just so much faster.
    .trixX.
  • IronmanIronman Join Date: 2012-03-22 Member: 149184Posts: 95 Fully active user
    Regren is sweet, but speed kills. Celerity is superior to cover early ground.
  • DC_DarklingDC_Darkling Join Date: 2003-07-10 Member: 18068Posts: 4,330 Advanced user
    clerity means nothing if your opponent can position and aim enough.
    Pure added armour however..
    .trixX.BestProfileName
  • RevanCoranaRevanCorana Join Date: 2015-08-14 Member: 207125Posts: 504 Fully active user
    simple: echo and enzyme too strong/reliable in the early game heal wave? mucus? meh
    2cough
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