Skulking 101

IdlerayIdleray Join Date: 2012-10-04 Member: 161464Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 154 Advanced user
edited November 2012 in NS2 General Discussion
New players, please read.
Now, I don't claim to be an expert on Skulking, but I have played NS1 since 2004 and played aliens in 80% of my games, which remains true today. I am still overall a pretty bad player, so I've had to adapt to that which means most of the time I'm either Gorging or Skulking.
Since you will spend the majority of your time as a Skulk on the Alien team, it's pretty important to learn the ins and outs of this particular class and be as effective as you can.


Combat Tips

Obviously, part of the Skulks role is combat: engaging and killing marines. Try to keep the following in mind when you do so.
  1. Move Unpredictably

    Don't charge at marines in a straight line (unless you're approaching from behind unnoticed). This makes you easy to shoot. Try to approach from a ceiling or wall and then once your target starts shooting you drop down to make them readjust aim. Keep using jump.
    If you have leap, try not to leap directly towards marines, as this is almost identical to moving towards them in a straight line, and makes it REALLY easy for a shotgun blast to connect without even meaning to. During the heat of combat, you can leap towards a ceiling or wall to momentarily disengage and make a marine lose his bearings, as well as allow you to regain yours before jumping back in(thanks to Gorgenapper for pointing this out).


  2. Timing and Teamwork

    Try to time your attacks with your teammates; try to act as a distraction if you're the first of a pack of skulks to engage. Being a distraction means jumping around, on and off the walls, climbing across the ceiling and generally being hard to shoot. Force the marine(s) to have to shoot at both something above and below them.
    This principle works well with Lerk teammates: Stay behind them and wait for when they go in for a spore bombing run. The majority of the marines attention will be focused on the Lerk, which also happens to be above their heads. Their vision will be obscured by gas too. Perfect time to go in.

    Another readily available opportunity is to work together with gorges: A heal-spamming gorge with a skulk (or multiple skulks) is an almost uncannily effective marine-killing combination, as people often become confused and try to switch targets mid way as they realise the skulks are getting healed. You can also wait and hide near a gorge until it comes under attack, then hop in while the marine has tunnel-vision on the Gorge (as they invariably do). This is an excellent way to provide support to vulnerable Gorges.

  3. Noise gives you away

    Sound is a major tool a marine has to defend himself against you. A vigilant marine will listen out for approaching skulks, and so you want to deny them this tool.
    Hold shift to move without making sounds. Combine this with wall and ceiling climbing and you will be able to sneak up to marines that are building res nodes without them noticing for easy kills. Silence makes this trivial and awesome.

  4. Aim your bites

    Do not hold down M1 during combat, unless you have achieved superior control and you're fighting an exo. 90% of the time you want to consciously aim your bites for both maximum damage and to retain orientation - the biting animation briefly covers your screen and by holding it down you can easily lose track of your position relative to the marines for a few fractions of a second which is all it takes to lose.

  5. Vault from walls and ceilings often during combat

    There are plenty of youtube videos explaining wall-jumping, so look it up. This will 100% help you with your combat effectiveness. In particular, I recommend this video by Elodea here.
    To put what you've just seen into practice: initiate every engagement with a wall-jump towards the marines, and try to do it afterwards too. Establish a rhythm whereby you vault from a wall towards the marine and bite. A good marine will strafe-jump away making you lose your bearings, which means instead of staying on the ground and "dancing" with him, you want to run up the nearest wall again and repeat, each time forcing him to look for you instead of you looking for him.
    This may not sound like the best way to engage a single marine, but it is absolutely the best way to engage multiple contacts: “leg-humping” a single marine makes you extremely easy to shoot at by nearby marine buddies (thanks to PHJF for pointing this out).

  6. Flank the enemy, especially when they are attacking your hives

    One of the worst things that can happen is that a forward base (phase gate, armory, mines etc) is set up outside your Hive and you rush in one by one into multiple Marines camping a hallway like lambs to the slaughter. From the marine’s point of view, they are actually waiting for you to do this enough so that you run out of eggs and skulks start waiting a long time to respawn: that’s their cue to come in and finish off your Hive.
    There is a reason why most Hive rooms have a vent leading into them: it is to prevent you from being boxed in and give you a route to flank marine squads attempting to lay siege. You will often be able to approach many marines from behind this way: take out the Grenade Launcher users first.

  7. Evade until they're out of ammo

    When engaging multiple targets, it can be prudent to move evasively for the first few seconds or so as inexperienced marines "blow their load" and miss most of their shots. Try roughly estimating when marines are about to reload and then turn up the aggression (thanks to imbalanxed for pointing this out).


Hit and Run tactics

Now a lot of the previous section comes down to experience and practice, but a surprisingly large portion of Skulk effectiveness requires no combat skill at all. Combat is only half the story, and your role as a Skulk also involves scouting, hit and run and, for lack of a better term, "guerilla warfare": that is to move behind enemy lines and hit them where they are weakest, and be gone by the time they arrive.
You can plain ignore marines in many situations. Marines cost no resources and re-spawn quicker than Aliens to make up for their lack of mobility.
The only times when you really want to fight them are:

a. When they're attacking your base/res nodes
b. When they’re trying to build structures/res nodes.

The rest of the time you have 1 clear goal: destroying enemy extractors. You will almost never go wrong by finding and destroying undefended res nodes on the map. Do not destroy power nodes if all they are powering is an extractor in the room. Power nodes are free and extractors cost 10. In the time you've taken down a power node, the extractor will have provided res for the marine team.

So that's the fundamental role of the skulk: scouting for undefended extractors/bases and taking stuff out. Pretty easy and requires almost no skill. That's not all though, and you want to keep the following in mind:

  1. Be aware of your surrounding

    Attacking extractors and power nodes makes you extremely vulnerable, power nodes even more so as you will not be able to use the extractor as a shield. The key to avoiding getting killed is to

    i. Keep an eye on where the entrances and exits to your room are. If the extractor is obstructing your field of vision, simply climb up the extractor slightly (though this exposes you).

    ii. Stop biting every once in a while and listen for marine footsteps.

    iii. Strafe left and right when biting a res node. Never stand still. (as Sooty points out, the NS2 netcode "predicts" your position by taking your current one and extending it about 100ms into the future. This is what you are experiencing whenever you die when clearly on your screen it looks like you've gone out of LOS of the marine - on their screen you were standing still for 100 milliseconds more than you actually did.)

    In fact you may want to circle strafe the extractor in order to constantly scan your rooms for marines entering. When a marine does come, you can repeatedly position yourself so that the extractor is always between the both of you, until he gets overconfident and comes within striking range. This only works with single marines(Thanks to Gorgenapper for pointing this out).

  2. Bide your time

    Hide out of sight near an uncaptured res node and wait for marines to start building. This works especially well for nodes directly next to the marine starting base, and especially for nodes with a vent leading into them. Listen carefully for the telltale sound of marine building with "e". Then slowly crawl out of your hiding spot and catch them unaware. This works really well for West Skylights in Veil and Reactor Core in Summit, to name a few.

  3. Upgrading for hard-core res-harrasment

    Regeneration is actually quite useful for you in this role instead of Carapace. Consider the fact that you will be running away from marines most of the time when they come to defend their node. Regeneration keeps your downtime to a minimum, and escaping alive is alot easier and risk free than engaging. If you are a good escape artist, Regeneration effectively keeps you a menace to marine resources for the entire game.

  4. Laugh as you tie down multiple marines

    If you find certain marines dedicated to defending res and hunting you down, don't despair, but be smug in the knowledge that they are forced to deal with you when they could be elsewhere. Heck, I often find myself hiding in a vent knowing a marine is just outside and expecting me, but I patiently wait because really, you're the one tying them down.
    Doing this is even better with parasite. If you have vision of a marine, you can crawl away and attack another spot while knowing he is camping that vent for nothing. Vent systems that lead towards two res points are ideal for this; in particular the one connecting Skylights and Overlook in Veil.

  5. Request drifters from your Khammander

    This is actually more Alien Khammander tip than a skulk one, or rather it is a tactic that requires teamwork from both. Khammanders often neglect to do this for the good reason that they do not have as much of a sense of whats going on the ground compared to Skulks. As Skulk, tell your khammander to send a drifter into relatively uncontested res nodes (where marine presence is likely to be light and only when res node needs putting up), and you will find yourself suddenly much more effective than normal - able to pinpoint the exact window of time when an enemy res is weak and undefended, or being set up by unwary marines.

  6. Counter-attack and zerg-rush their base

    If your team becomes aware of a particular large number of marines setting up close to one of your hives in preparation for a siege, the best response sometimes is actually not reinforcing that area (if the room is full of marines they automatically enjoy a defensive advantage), but to instead quickly organize a base rush. Make sure to attack the Observatory(looks like a radar dish) first BEFORE the power node to prevent a distress beacon. This will lead to one of two possible outcomes:

    a. They beacon before you can destroy the observatory. Now you can get back to the room they were trying to set up(hopefully the phase gate is not already up) and try to take it out.

    b. They fail to beacon and you take their base, effectively winning you the game or denying them a tech point.

    Both of which are favorable. NOTE: this is one of the MOST effective ways to counter large number of Exos bearing down towards one of your hives, as Exos cannot be distress beaconed and so you should always be able to get outcome (b).
    Thanks to Swiftspear for pointing this out.



There you have it. Being an effective Skulk is alot more making marines come to you than you charging them. There are many variations of the tactics listed above, but this should give new players a sense of how to be effective as a Skulk. I welcome suggestions.
Post edited by Unknown User on
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Comments

  • PHJFPHJF Join Date: 2005-07-13 Member: 55898Members Posts: 62
    QUOTE
    Establish a rhythm whereby you vault from a wall towards the marine and bite. A good marine will strafe-jump away making you lose your bearings, which means instead of staying on the ground and "dancing" with him, you want to run up the nearest wall again and repeat, each time forcing him to look for you instead of you looking for him.


    I actually haven't figured out if this is better or not than leghumping. All I know is when I'm a marine I want some, any, distance between me and a skulk. I have the most trouble hitting skulks that are glued to me. But if he's even two feet away I will drill him.
  • MestaritonttuMestaritonttu Join Date: 2004-07-29 Member: 30229Members, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Gold Posts: 1,194
    Nice guide though, pretty concise and not a pain in the ass to read. :p
    image
  • BicsumBicsum Join Date: 2012-02-27 Member: 147596Members, Reinforced - Gold Posts: 1,014 Advanced user
    Good post.


    You should add that communication is vital (announcing incoming marines, pgs, etc) and the amount of damage needed for different armor upgrades.
    (
    A0 = 2 bites + 1 parasite
    A1 = 3 bites
    A2 = 4 bites
    A3 = 4 bites
    )

    A little more formatting and color and this could be a sticky thread.
  • current1yoldcurrent1yold Join Date: 2012-09-10 Member: 158911Members Posts: 266
    Thank you! This will help. After reading this I realized i was getting stuck in a dance with marines after my first bite. I would always loose them and would seem to die after a few frantic moments of jumping around frantically trying to find him again. I saw some one do what you are describing last night and he was a formidable skulk which could easily take out 2-3 of us at a time. He was clearly biting us then jumping around being impossible to hit and then reengaging.
  • yehawmcgrawyehawmcgraw Join Date: 2012-09-16 Member: 159694Members Posts: 169 Advanced user
    +1 this a very useful resource and addresses what really matters. Should be sticky!
  • [AI]-infect[AI]-infect Join Date: 2012-10-31 Member: 165121Members Posts: 18
    You got it covered.

    Don't see enough people who sit about doorways and drop behind marines, esp early on when marines have no armor. By the time the marine turns around they are dead.
  • GorgenapperGorgenapper Join Date: 2012-09-05 Member: 157916Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 329
    QUOTE (Idleray @ Nov 7 2012, 10:09 AM) »
    Now, I don't claim to be an expert on Skulking, but I have played NS1 since 2004 and played aliens in 80% of my games, which remains true today. I am still overall a pretty bad player, so I've had to adapt to that which means most of the time I'm either Gorging or Skulking.

    Since you will spend the majority of your time as a Skulk on the Alien team, it's pretty important to learn the ins and outs of this particular class and be as effective as you can.

    Now a lot of it comes down to experience and practice, but a surprisingly large portion of a Skulks effectiveness requires no combat skill at all, by which I mean the ability to engage and kill marines.

    First of all I'm gonna get the obvious ones out the way: These mostly apply during combat and are a matter of skill and practice.

    1. Don't charge at marines in a straight line (unless you're approaching from behind unnoticed). This makes you easy to shoot.


    I would also add that sometimes its useful to sneak walk from behind until the last minute, if possible. It makes you slower, but it works sometimes if you know that the marines are going to slow down or stop to build something.

    QUOTE
    2. Try to time your attacks with your teammates; try to act as a distraction if you're the first to go in. Being a distraction means jumping around, on and off the walls, climbing across the ceiling and generally being hard to shoot.

    3. Hold shift to move without making sounds. Combine this with wall and ceiling climbing and you will be able to sneak up to marines that are building res nodes without them noticing for easy kills. Silence makes this trivial and awesome.

    4. Do not hold down M1 during combat, unless you have achieved superior control and you're fighting an exo. 90% of the time you want to consciously aim your bites for both maximum damage.

    5. Vault from walls and ceilings often during combat. There are plenty of youtube videos explaining wall-jumping, so look it up. This will 100% help you with your combat effectiveness.

    Initiate every engagement with a wall-jump towards the marines, and try to do it afterwards too. Establish a rhythm whereby you vault from a wall towards the marine and bite. A good marine will strafe-jump away making you lose your bearings, which means instead of staying on the ground and "dancing" with him, you want to run up the nearest wall again and repeat, each time forcing him to look for you instead of you looking for him.


    I would add that when leap is available, leaping towards the marines is an obvious tactic, but sometimes you might want to use leap as a way to confuse the marine (ie. leaping straight up in the air or up towards a wall).

    Also... AMBUSH! Too many skulks just run straight at the marines... turn off your alien vision, find the dark spots on the doorway and wait there... drop or wall jump down to the marine and bite just before you land.

    QUOTE
    Now for the really advanced stuff Surprisingly, being an effective Skulk does not necessarily involve having to do much combat at all. You can plain ignore marines in many situations. The only times when you really want to fight them are

    a. When they're attacking your base/res nodes
    b. When you're preventing them from putting up res nodes.

    The rest of the time you have 1 clear goal: destroying enemy extractors. You will almost never go wrong by finding and destroying undefended res nodes on the map. Do not destroy power nodes if all they are powering is an extractor in the room. Power nodes are free and extractors cost 10. In the time you've taken down a power node, the extractor will have provided res for the marine team.


    Totally agree with the extractors vs power nodes

    QUOTE
    So that's the fundamental role of the skulk: scouting for undefended extractors/bases and taking stuff out. Pretty easy and requires almost no skill. That's not all though, and you want to keep the following in mind:

    1. Attacking extractors and power nodes makes you extremely vulnerable, power nodes even more so as you will not be able to use the extractor as a shield, forcing the marine to come closer. The key to avoiding getting killed is to

    i. Keep an eye on where the entrances and exits to your room are. If the extractor is obstructing your field of vision, simply climb up the extractor slightly (though this exposes you).

    ii. Stop biting every once in a while and listen for marine footsteps.

    iii. Strafe left and right when biting a res node. Never stand still. In fact you may want to circle strafe the extractor in order to constantly scan your rooms for marines entering.


    I like using the 'squirrel tactic' when a marine comes to shoot me off the extractor (this only works with 1 marine). As the marine approaches, keep biting the extractor. If he starts to move around for a better shot, move in the opposite direction. If he gets too close, switch to biting him instead, unless the extractor is almost dead.


    QUOTE
    2. Hide out of sight near an uncaptured res node and wait for marines to start building. This works especially well for nodes directly next to the marine starting base, and especially for nodes with a vent leading into them. Listen carefully for the telltale sound of marine building with "e". Then slowly crawl out of your hiding spot and catch them unaware. This works really well for West Skylights in Veil and Reactor Core in Summit, to name a few.


    I prefer waiting for the res node to be dropped and for the marines to leave the room, unless there is just one marine and I have complete surprise on my side. Otherwise, once the marines have left, I bite the RT and that forces one or two of them to backpedal to deal with me.

    Sometimes I bite it down a bit and run away as soon as I know that the marines are coming back... but I stay close by in the shadows waiting for them to either try hunting me down, or to leave the room again. It confuses them to see the rt with missing health, but the perpetrator is nowhere to be seen.

    QUOTE
    3. Regeneration is actually quite useful for you in this role instead of Carapace. Consider the fact that you will be running away from marines most of the time when they come to defend their node. Regeneration keeps your downtime to a minimum, and escaping alive is alot easier and risk free than engaging. If you are a good escape artist, Regeneration effectively keeps you a menace to marine resources for the entire game.

    4. If you find certain marines dedicated to defending res and hunting you down, don't despair, but be smug in the knowledge that they are forced to deal with you when they could be elsewhere. Heck, I often find myself hiding in a vent knowing a marine is just outside and expecting me, but I patiently wait because really, you're the one tying them down.

    Doing this is even better with parasite. If you have vision of a marine, you can crawl away and attack another spot while knowing he is camping that vent for nothing. Vent systems that lead towards two res points are ideal for this; in particular the one connecting Skylights and Overlook in Veil.

    There you have it. Being an effective Skulk is alot more making marines come to you than you charging them. There are many variations of the tactics listed above, but this should give new players a sense of how to be effective as a Skulk. I welcome suggestions.


    Parasite marines when you can, it does 10dmg and multiple parasites can weaken their armor enough to make them easier to kill. Parasites may occasionally annoy a marine enough that he comes towards you and your buddies hiding around the corner.
    Gorge Napper Skinner
    Gorge pelt procurement specialist


    oMe:
    Without heal/bile the would be 0 reason to go gorge.

    Defending against Bile Rush
  • ImbalanxdImbalanxd Join Date: 2011-06-15 Member: 104581Members Posts: 1,803
    The best advice I would give to new players it to take advantage of the vast majority of marine player's itchy trigger finger. Even experienced players are highly reluctant to stop firing once they have started, so become evasive once the bullets start to fly, and become offensive when the clip is nearing empty.
  • BorisVolkovBorisVolkov Join Date: 2005-03-05 Member: 43340Members Posts: 11
    I can add one thing I think.

    Use map OFTEN.
  • GorgenapperGorgenapper Join Date: 2012-09-05 Member: 157916Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 329
    edited November 2012
    I agree, incorporating the suggestions and formatting it into a post with headers, colours, bold/underline and it would be a very useful sticky for new skulks.

    Marines are easy enough to understand, but maybe this is what is needed... a guide on how to play each alien lifeform. It won't turn someone into a super skulk overnight, but it'll address the main issues.
    Gorge Napper Skinner
    Gorge pelt procurement specialist


    oMe:
    Without heal/bile the would be 0 reason to go gorge.

    Defending against Bile Rush
  • HeatSurgeHeatSurge Some Guy Join Date: 2012-09-15 Member: 159438Members, Reinforced - Supporter Posts: 1,188 Advanced user
    QUOTE (Imbalanxd @ Nov 7 2012, 01:49 PM) »
    The best advice I would give to new players it to take advantage of the vast majority of marine player's itchy trigger finger. Even experienced players are highly reluctant to stop firing once they have started, so become evasive once the bullets start to fly, and become offensive when the clip is nearing empty.


    Yeah, something more advanced is to learn how long a "clip salvo" lasts, so if someone's emptying a clip, try to get out of cover and close the distance while he's reloading. If you do it right, you can run in a straight line just fine (or leap straight towards him), because the marine can't shoot while he's reloading.
  • SwiftspearSwiftspear Custim tital Join Date: 2003-10-29 Member: 22097Members Posts: 7,019
    Great guide!

    One thing I'd like to add, although I don't know if it's so much a "skulk skill" thing as a general alien knowledge thing. Marine bases are paper thin in NS2. I feel like aliens are doing a bad job of the game if they don't rush the powernode at marine start a couple times throughout the game. As a skulk, you're the lifeform that doesn't cost your team anything if you die, you MUST be there for those rushes unless it's absolutely impossible. If someone is organizing a rush, and whatever you were doing before wasn't absolutely vital (halfway through biting down a node, killing a marine inside your hive), go join the rush.

    If you want to organize a rush, try not to pick too predictable a time (right after the start of the game is a little too soon usually). A good time is during a largeish marine push into an area of interest. If you trade the second hive for marines entire first tech point, well, gg, you still have a hive and you've won. Even if they have a second tech point, they probably lost a marine or two on their push in, now they can't respawn and all the skulks that died are still respawning... they're at a MASSIVE disadvantage. The best defense in NS2, is a counterattack, as counter intuitive as that sounds.
    O_O image
  • GorgenapperGorgenapper Join Date: 2012-09-05 Member: 157916Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 329
    QUOTE
    The best defense in NS2, is a counterattack, as counter intuitive as that sounds.


    This guy speaks the truth. It is instinctive to fight and push back a marine advance, but take advantage of the great alien mobility and hit a base that is hard for the marines to get back to and defend. Killing structures can greatly hinder the other team and even win the game for you - killing scores of marines looks nice and it can help, but ultimately it's a turf war between the two teams.
    Gorge Napper Skinner
    Gorge pelt procurement specialist


    oMe:
    Without heal/bile the would be 0 reason to go gorge.

    Defending against Bile Rush
  • COJICOJI Join Date: 2012-11-07 Member: 168091Members Posts: 2
    +1 great info, learned a bit here, also what I didnt see was info on the Parasite and what it can do, i heard people talk about parasiting buildings? stuff like that, other than that did learn things, thanks!
  • SwiftspearSwiftspear Custim tital Join Date: 2003-10-29 Member: 22097Members Posts: 7,019
    edited November 2012
    QUOTE (Imbalanxd @ Nov 7 2012, 02:49 PM) »
    The best advice I would give to new players it to take advantage of the vast majority of marine player's itchy trigger finger. Even experienced players are highly reluctant to stop firing once they have started, so become evasive once the bullets start to fly, and become offensive when the clip is nearing empty.

    This is risky. Good shooters will be able to kill you even while you're trying to dodge. The closer you are to the marine the more wild your movements in relation to his cursor are. Most good marines play with reasonably low sensitivity. That can be hard for them to deal with. The obvious downside is that your hitbox is relatively bigger as well... but at least when dodging while close you can also punish with damage to his person.

    I can only speak from my own competitive experience... but generally we looked at trying to get your opponent to waste ammo as unreliable because it gave him control of the situation, where as killing him gives you control. This is mostly true at the highest levels, but even in general, you almost always want to be the control broker, rather than relying on your opponent to make a mistake.

    [edit] not that it's not a valid thing to do, or that I'd NEVER recommend it. Just that it feels situation and I'd generally recommend against it, as opposed to recommending it exclusively.
    O_O image
  • FunkyFungusFunkyFungus Join Date: 2003-09-09 Member: 20691Members Posts: 609
    very nice 101 :)




    vote for sticky :D

    -Remember, If The World Didn't Suck, We'd All Fall Off -

    l..l,

  • SouthernSouthern Join Date: 2012-10-13 Member: 162276Members Posts: 6 Fully active user
  • TurnRiverTurnRiver Join Date: 2012-11-05 Member: 167240Members Posts: 2
    The only thing i can disagree with is the use of regeneration over carapace. I almost never use regeneration with skulk because they become too squishy. In any case, engaging and disengaging constantly is no way to apply pressure. Using regen with lurk and onos on the other hand is a much different story.
  • Uh-OhUh-Oh Join Date: 2002-11-04 Member: 6917Members Posts: 262
    Good info in general.
    It's not smart to run rambo-straight and head-first in marines, but do not play too conservatively. It will usually lose you the game.

    Walking around, waiting for the perfect ambush often does not help your team expend, and win. This is all situational, and as a player, you need to be able to tell when ambushing is what you need to do, and when expending, and being offensive is what's needed.

    It is not true that skulks primary goal is to destroy RTs. It's A goal. Defending your own RTs is just as vital. Pushing back marine expension is EVEN MORE vital.

    There are no golden rules to playing a skulk, other than: don't be a solo, run-straight dumb-dumb. Use walls and ceilings, and run like freaking mad dogs.

    Other than that, you cannot simplify the skulks role to "rt muncher" because 90% of the time, you will be a skulk, and munching RTs does not directly win you the game. Munching the command chair does. Its all about knowing when to munch rts, when to defend your own rts (almost always btw), when to push, when to retreat, when to counter-attack and when to do something so stupidly unexpected that it works.

    1. Stay in packs.
    2. Use your walk (shift) key to make no sound.
    3. Use ceilings and walls.
    4. COMMUNICATE, like, always.
    5. Always get your trait upgrades (carapace, silence, celerity, etc.) they are free. A lot of newbies forget this. Get them every time you respawn.
    6. Don't be shy. When your fellow skulks rush, you have to follow.
    7. COMMUNICATE.
  • SootySooty Join Date: 2002-12-23 Member: 11416Members Posts: 119
    This guide is really awesome and required reading for all new alien players. I would suggest making it even clearer with some formatting to make it easier to absorb.

    Also, do you think these few points could be worth adding in?

    1. Leaving power nodes at low hp (especially those in areas where marines would be unlikely to travel to as a pack for the moment) to force the purchase of welders, or risk whatever they will build disabled from a single bite to the node. There is of course an opportunity cost in that takes quite long to chew the darn thing early on, but it seems like a sound tactic to me I have not heard people talk about much yet.

    2. The netcode or whatever you call the latency mechanic which cause aliens to often die even after they have seemingly escaped the marine(on their screens) should be mentioned, perhaps in relation to moving while biting rts and if you want to talk about peeking out for parasites. Aliens in general simply cannot risk staying still because once the marine shoots at them it will be too late to move due to the way latency affects movement, even if they are at low ping..

    3. A more comprehensive walljumping tutorial, and links to the YouTube videos related to them. Elodeas walljumping thread is also a good source of information.
  • Katana314Katana314 Join Date: 2012-11-03 Member: 166379Members Posts: 122
    QUOTE (Swiftspear @ Nov 7 2012, 03:17 PM) »
    As a skulk, you're the lifeform that doesn't cost your team anything if you die

    This is incorrect, unfortunately.
    While dead, you do not generate personal resources. It's an utterly stupid way of encouraging people to play conservatively and stay alive for their own personal gain, from my point of view.

    The guide is awesome! I slowly figured this stuff out on my own, but you phrased it all much better than I would. I think the worst thing for Skulks is paying too much attention to your Kills/Death counter. If there were a counter for how often you made the marines yell "God D%$#IT, ________ is down again!!" I'd be all for that.

    One note in response to Uh-Oh: I have generally found that when both teams are all clumped up in one huge mass, the marines are better; which is why full-on defense can't be entirely encouraged all the time. Anytime my team is surviving some big marine push, as long as it looks like we'll survive it with acceptable losses, I tend to use the time to attack something important the marines forgot about, hopefully even prompting some of them to leave and go defend that. (Of course, as usual, you can't have more than a few people doing this. One huge skill factor in the game is being able to deal with multiple parts of the map at the same time.)
  • SootySooty Join Date: 2002-12-23 Member: 11416Members Posts: 119
    I forgot to say this too: might be useful to talk about the differences between fighting 1 marines and multiple marines, in that the more marines there are, and the more teamwork they have, the less likely it is that you will ever have a downtime in which all marines are releasing and you are free to get in bites with maximum safety. Also, it would be helpful if you can remind skulks to head towards nearby gorges for heals, and balance between staying alive and going back for heals and just "suiciding" while still being as annoying as possible based on what the team needs at that moment.
  • IdlerayIdleray Join Date: 2012-10-04 Member: 161464Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 154 Advanced user
    I've edited and added in sections into the post as well as done some formatting and coloring, but I've never really done it before so would welcome suggestions.
  • SwiftspearSwiftspear Custim tital Join Date: 2003-10-29 Member: 22097Members Posts: 7,019
    edited November 2012
    QUOTE (Katana314 @ Nov 7 2012, 07:46 PM) »
    This is incorrect, unfortunately.
    While dead, you do not generate personal resources. It's an utterly stupid way of encouraging people to play conservatively and stay alive for their own personal gain, from my point of view.

    The guide is awesome! I slowly figured this stuff out on my own, but you phrased it all much better than I would. I think the worst thing for Skulks is paying too much attention to your Kills/Death counter. If there were a counter for how often you made the marines yell "God D%$#IT, ________ is down again!!" I'd be all for that.

    One note in response to Uh-Oh: I have generally found that when both teams are all clumped up in one huge mass, the marines are better; which is why full-on defense can't be entirely encouraged all the time. Anytime my team is surviving some big marine push, as long as it looks like we'll survive it with acceptable losses, I tend to use the time to attack something important the marines forgot about, hopefully even prompting some of them to leave and go defend that. (Of course, as usual, you can't have more than a few people doing this. One huge skill factor in the game is being able to deal with multiple parts of the map at the same time.)

    pres and tres aren't the only resources in NS2. You have a limited amount of time in order to accomplish all the things you need to do. You're correct that it's not worthwhile to die for absolutely no reason, as you do lose a very small amount of res for every death. However, your team incurs as signigant loss to map control ever time you choose to not be somewhere where you are harrassing marines. If a marine comes along and you choose to run off and circle around the map for another 3 minutes. That 1-2 pres you possibly saved cost your team map control, and player time spent. Now of course half the time you'll push the attack and your investment doesn't pay off... but GENERALLY it's better to invest in keeping the harassment heavy than it is to be overly conservative. In one case you lose a small amount of valuable resource to accomplish absolutely nothing, and in the other you risk a slightly larger amount of valueable resource to play for a very high payoff.

    It is much more expensive for marines to move throughout the map than skulks. Marines can't take vents, marines are slower, marines can't rely on as much support just sort of showing up for them. If you kill a marine fairly deep out into the map, you cost him far more value than you lose by dying. If you manage to kill the extractor as well, you've basically bought yourself 10 deaths as a skulk AT LEAST.

    If you try a base rush and your whole team dies, well, it maybe cost you as much as an extractor and an upgrade chamber... But 50% of the it actually works, and you either cost the marines a HUGE amount of structure investment. Even if you try and your whole team dies as skulk to literally 1 pack of mines, the cost of those mines made your rush worth it. Also, don't fail to account for the psychological cost of a rush that was BARELY held off. It's not surprising if there are sentries in marine start the next time around... and those barely do anything for quite a high investment :P

    Beacon is EXTREMELY expensive to a mid game marine team in map control and time spent. You waste a minute or so of time running out on the map for pretty much every marine on your team. If you have to beacon you have to beacon but you really only save yourself from dying, it's not cost effective to beacon pretty much ever. It's just less expensive than losing your IPs for 1 minute.
    O_O image
  • 1dominator11dominator1 Join Date: 2010-11-19 Member: 75011Members Posts: 1,171 Advanced user
    QUOTE (PHJF @ Nov 7 2012, 11:16 AM) »
    I actually haven't figured out if this is better or not than leghumping. All I know is when I'm a marine I want some, any, distance between me and a skulk. I have the most trouble hitting skulks that are glued to me. But if he's even two feet away I will drill him.


    If you got mad skillz and can land every one of your bites leghumping is probably better, otherwise it is better to fall off and reorient for another direct bite rather then miss many in the cluster###### of melee.

    Sage guide is sage.
  • Bullet_ForceBullet_Force Join Date: 2012-11-02 Member: 165952Members Posts: 92
    edited November 2012
    I find baiting Marines to work quite well. Pop your head out around a corner let him see you then more often then not he will close the distance with you rather then you needing to do it. Once he goes around that corner you pounce.

    Also baiting them of their ammo is vital. Make them waste their bullets then when they almost dry you charge, often they won't have enough bullets left to kill you and will need to reload if you time it right.

    Another important point is raiding. If your team has a player near their main base constantly keeping Marines back there looking for you, it's a great help to your team. Distraction is an important tool for the Aliens as Marines in a group are incredibly strong.
  • bonoryebonorye Join Date: 2002-11-10 Member: 7998Members Posts: 17
    Excellent post, thank you.
    "Did I ever tell you about the time an onos was on my tail and his horn is now where my buttocks used to be?"
  • kalvkalv Join Date: 2004-09-04 Member: 31339Members Posts: 60
    Good guide, didn't read everything but all the main points are certainly what I think about as a good skulk. New players will play skulks like an FPS and charge everything head on, but that is not how you play skulk.

    I usually go 10-1 as skulk. My simple tactics I do every time as skulk is I always attack right after my team mate goes in. I'm basically using my team mate as a shield and distraction. And if the marine is too far away then I always parasite and wait for them to stupidly walk in.
  • current1yoldcurrent1yold Join Date: 2012-09-10 Member: 158911Members Posts: 266
    I attempted your suggestions on sneaking up for the first bite (obviously) but then after that instead of doing a dance with the marine I went to the nearest wall and jump around for a little bit just trying to make them miss. It absolutely works! I was able to take on 1 or 2 marines numerous times and come out on top. Before I usually couldn't kill even 1 marine once I bit him the first time. Thanks!
  • GorgenapperGorgenapper Join Date: 2012-09-05 Member: 157916Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 329
    QUOTE (Sooty @ Nov 7 2012, 07:43 PM) »
    This guide is really awesome and required reading for all new alien players. I would suggest making it even clearer with some formatting to make it easier to absorb.

    Also, do you think these few points could be worth adding in?

    1. Leaving power nodes at low hp (especially those in areas where marines would be unlikely to travel to as a pack for the moment) to force the purchase of welders, or risk whatever they will build disabled from a single bite to the node. There is of course an opportunity cost in that takes quite long to chew the darn thing early on, but it seems like a sound tactic to me I have not heard people talk about much yet.


    I disagree, welders are cheap and research in seconds. Most comms get welders even if they don't immediately need them right that very moment. Power nodes cost nothing to drop, and a couple marines with a welder can get a destroyed power node up in seconds. I prefer to ignore the power node for remote RT locations because it takes too long to bite down (your time is better spent going to another RT and biting that down instead), and you're very vulnerable while biting a power node anyway.

    If the power node is near death for whatever reason, or if it is unbuilt and has very little hp/armor, then by all means quickly take it out in order to plunge that area into darkness followed by red emergency lighting - harder for the marines to track you and your team mates.


    @IdleRay

    I like the orange text for the top part, it's a colour that looks like the alien hive/gorge tummy. It also stands out nicely on the dark background of the forum. The teal-blue text is hard to read...maybe change it to a different colour that differentiates it from the combat section, but still stands out well. Light grey, maybe, or a 'marine-themed' colour to tie it in with the non combat aspect of being a skulk (ie biting down RTs, etc.)
    Gorge Napper Skinner
    Gorge pelt procurement specialist


    oMe:
    Without heal/bile the would be 0 reason to go gorge.

    Defending against Bile Rush
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