Blacklight Retribution New Player’s Guide by zourin
If you’re reading this, you are probably a bit like me. You can’t hit the broad side of a barn when it comes to shooters. You’ve probably unloaded an entire clip on someone, only to hear a single ‘THWACK’ and all your 200hp is gone to an assault rifle from.. somewhere.
Lets face it, not everyone is good at shooters, but you’re determined to have some fun and put some effort into winning against kill-*****-commandos and your own poor aiming skills. But first, some out of game basics:
1. Save that GP.
If you’re below level 3, then I’ve caught you at a good time for this. Stop buying stuff. By default, you are purchasing a 1 day rental, and it’s a lousy way to experiment. Every level up, you get 2 emails from the system. One of those mails contains a random ‘token’ you can add to your gun load-out. Open and activate these, they’re permanent.
The second email is a ‘chance package’ containing various equipment and equipment mods. This is your experimentation package. Open one or two of these and play around with what they have to offer, and note which items seem to be helpful. Don’t open any more until those expire.
If you’ve already opened and expired all of those (or don’t like what you get), take advantage of the pre-made weapons. For what would cost 500+ gp to fully customize a weapon, you get an already customized weapon for only 200gp. It’s not cheating if Zombie wants you to use them.
2. Skimp on armor.
Armor is very expensive. If you’re a hapless bullet-sponge like me, odds are you’re going to die in a confrontation regardless of how much HP, so you can skimp here. Right now, heavy armor and a heal-pack is the flavor of the month, but it can take a long while to unlock those without using Zen (cash).
3. Rent before you buy
Once you get a grip on what feels good in your hands, rent a receiver or experiment with your rewards and start perma-buying just the mods you know you’ll use. It will take many, many, many rounds to accumulate those funds, so take your time and continue making use of those level-up rewards. You can change the rental/purchase duration by clicking on the double-down arrow next to “1 Day” in the confirmation screen. Surprise! It’s a drop down!
4. Revival pack
Rent it, keep it, I’ll explain later.
And on to the in-game stuff!
Know your weakness in kill matches
You’ve discovered you couldn’t hit someone from across the room, but have no fear. I can easily go 1 for 11 in a bad match, and regularly 6-12 for wins. The key to mitigating this on kill-happy matches like ‘Kill Confirmed” and “Team Death Match” is teamwork.
If you’re on your own, you’re wrong. If you’re with two other people, you’ve got a fair chance of surviving (barring epic triple-kills). Identify who the ‘Commandos’ are, the ones that look like they’ve got twice as many kills as deaths, he’s your lead-man. If he’s not a ‘kill ***** commando’ he’ll welcome you along by not leaving you in the dirt. Your job? Remember that revival pack? Your life is meaningless. His life is your victory. When he shoots, you cover him.
If he goes down, odds are, whatever killed him is crippled enough that you may be able to clean up, pop a revival pack, and you two are off again. Just make sure the area is clear, because it does count as a second kill if he goes down while he’s getting up. It may be to your advantage (if it was just the two of you) to wind up dying to make sure, because you’ll at least spawn with him again. That’s the difference between three points and two. Assume you’re already dead.
Play the objectives
In less kill-oriented matches, focus on the objectives, not the middle ground. Focus on capture points. Revive nearby teammates if you come across them and HRV is clear. Don’t chase blips of downed allies across the map, you’ll just get pegged. Attack defended positions with grenades and allies. You’re there to revive them.
One match, I scored all three of my teams ‘Capture the Flag’ points because, I kid you not, all fifteen other people were busy kill-whoring in the middle ground. I was the one with top score and I only went 6 for 6. That was top score above the 23-12 commando. Remember, objectives matter. Your life is meaningless in these matches, so die with a grenade in your hand if it means accomplishing the mission.
Tools of the Scrub
Revive Kit – Aside from the odd kill you may get, reviving allies nets you 50 points just for dropping it on their body, whether they accept it or not. This will help your overall score, and more importantly, your GP gains (slightly). Use wisely, it does take around 10 seconds between uses.
Grenades – Get used to throwing these. Your biggest nemesis here will be the horrible collision detection that will have these rebounding into your face more often than not. When you get access to more grenades, pick’m up, and keep throwing them. Why is this important? Every time you die, you get more grenades! With practice, you can bump them around corners or assault clustered enemies for those oh-so-rare kills you see so infrequently.
Stinger Launcher – What to do with all those CP’s? Aside from buying health packs from those rare instances your head -didn’t- explode, keep an eye out for enemy Hardsuits. If you see a hardsuit, buy a launcher and play tag. You may get popped along the way and lose the investment, but it’s cheaper to buy the launcher than it is the suit. Also, if you added in the ‘Heavy Weapons Ammo’ to your depot, you can buy 2 more missiles after you’ve spent the first two. Tons of points can be gained for exploding a hardsuit and a massive relief for your team.
High Speed Weapon – Ideally, an SMG receiver makes for better close-quarters, high velocity arms, but you can do a ghetto AR and get a similar effect. This is a great all-around weapon to have, as it gets you from point A to point B quickly after respawning, and has several functional benefits depending on the match or map.
Medium range Bruiser – Kitting a high-accuracy, low recoil AR is my bruiser of choice. On more open maps where there are a lot of long avenues to cover, having something that can scope in and kill something is a great defensive and support weapon when you’re relying more on your teammates. While they do the heavy work, you’re popping pills and pushing bullets out the far end of the gun and hoping they hit something besides the floor.
Don’t sweat the assists-kills-deaths
This is good advice for everyone, but all too often exceptionally good players like to scoff at this and make crude comments. These are the ‘Kill ***** Commandos’ (KWC’s for short) that don’t understand that not everyone is as good as they are, but still enjoy playing the game. Escort them understanding that you’re probably going to be ‘noobed’ more than once. It’s just that much more rewarding seeing them blame their team when they lose.
Accept that you’re going to have those moments where you really shine, those moments where you may only get a single kill, good maps, bad maps, and so on. you get GP regardless, and that’s the reward you’re after.
Lets face it, nobody likes to lose. You have no commitment to stay on a team that is losing repeatedly. By now, you’ve probably noticed that the server you’re playing on went from being well-matched on either side to having 2-3 KWC’s all on the same team and steamrolling you into the ground. 2 is usually all it takes to scatter the entire team while they roam around in tight orange gangs mowing down the roving stragglers as they spawn all over the map.
In this, you have two options. Leave and find a more evenly matched server, or put in a request to change teams. You know you can do that right? If the teams are evenly matched, or if your team is a body heavy, you can do it. It just won’t work if the teams are full or if there are more people on the (winning) team. Just be careful, since sometimes it may be several minutes before the ‘team swap’ comes into effect, and by then, your team could find itself winning because (gasp!) the KWC’s are off ignoring the objectives and your team is playing the objectives despite being completely mauled. It’s shady, but it’s fair play and a few extra GP at the end of the match if you made a good ‘tactical alignment shift’.
Polishing a Scrub
Sort out your mouse sensitivity, pick your weapon(s) of choice, and go do 20 laps through the training course. You know how much damage you deal, and that most Gumps out on the field are sporting around 240 health, so do the math and practice burst fire while you’re at it.
Complete the course in its entirety, restock on ammo, and do it again. Burst fire even though the target vanishes after the initial hit. Watch the spread behind it. There’s a good mix of mid-range, long range, and Close-Quarters for you to work out when hip-fire is better than aimed fire. Most importantly, do it while moving.
For some gimmick practices, do the entire course while moving. Do it entirely crouched, hip-fire only, aimed mode only, or switch weapons after each kill.
Scrubbing your Matches
The ‘health pack’ has translated well as a sign saying “doesn’t play well with others”. If you see a guy in heavy armor and a health pack, know you are never going to get even a passing heal from him, even if you’re on death’s doorstep. If I would beat someone over the head with a breach hammer for being an idiot, it’s the guy with 23 kills, 4 deaths, a heal pack, and three half-dead guys next to him. In two weeks of play, I’ve seen 3 dopers pass the love to their team, but don’t be upset. They are a useful tool for scrubs like us. You may have the aim of a drunk, blindfolded, one armed man with vertigo and uneven legs, but your mind should be focused on winning. Surviving is just a bonus.
The revival pack, however, is an essential tool of any map-control effort. Those are maps where you need ‘asses on the objective’. That heavy armor guy with the health pack is the perfect *** for the job. Keeping blue bodies moving near a control point in a CTF or King of the Hill is a great compliment to your reflex-savvy companions. Keeping escorts alive in a Capture the Flag or Netwar can break a pursuit. Swap weapon loadouts depending on the map and the location of the control point (and whether your team controls it). Your close quarters/high speed SMG works better for offensive assaults than your slower AR. It lets you cover ground quickly. You do have a high speed SMG handy, right?
When it comes to Kill Confirmed, it doesn’t matter if it’s blue or orange. You’re either scoring your team points or denying your opponent points. I can’t count in 8 bits of binary the number of people who are too busy looking at their KDR to notice the big, brightly colored tokens not two feet away. it’s a math game. If you see a token in the clear, grab it. If you have an opportunity to grab two or more in hostile ground, grab as many as you can before you die. If you pick up 2 tokens, that’s a 1 point advantage. For you, this is a speed match, so break out that high-velocity SMG I mentioned and make like Sonic and grab those coins! The KWC’s all to often never break from their long-range sniping and never even try to confirm their kills, giving you plenty of scavenging to do. KC matches fall under the domain of high-speed, close quarters combat. Anything else is just failure to try.
If you find yourself in a Team Deathmatch, your sole job is to support your team while avoiding the Thwacks of Doom. Your revival-pack is poor comfort, as a downed teammate has already coughed up points. Worse still, if they died in the open, you may wind up providing the enemy a free kill! Still use it sparingly to keep the group together when appropriate, but remember, teammates need to respawn for more grenades, so don’t wait for them if they don’t get up right away.
Have a hardsuit ready, because you can tie up a lot of attention and avoid a swift death if your allies are smart enough to let you lay cover fire and to watch your back. As soon as you can afford it, get it. This is also handy to avoid coughing up unnecessary points in Kill Confirmed matches as well. If you are faced in a 1 on 1 against another hardsuit, eject before you die and use the near-dead remains as a distraction while you run away to buy a Launcher. Use Hardsuits defensively on Domination matches and Capture the Flag, if your team has the lead, to deny space to your opponents. Avoid using it in King of the Hill matches, as you will be left alone and easy pickings when the objective relocates.
All out Death-matches are just for kicks and trying out gun configurations if you’re in the mood to buy a permanent piece. Give it a try every now and again to work out HRV navigation and map familiarization. Having no pressure or expectation can work wonders for personal improvement in a fully live-fire environment.Other Blacklight Retribution Articles
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