Blackshot General Guide
Blackshot General Guide by Velinna
– A Word from the Author –
As I play Blackshot, I often come across newer players who are often too inexperienced to understand certain mechanics and strategies in game. They often wow in awe at the presence of the more experienced and skillful players. Of course it takes a while and lots of practice to be really good, but it isn’t really that hard to improve your play-skills. As I look through the forums, I notice that amongst the many map advice threads available, there isn’t a lot of guides helpful to an individual’s general play-skill. This guide, available in multiple parts, serves as a helpful insight, advice and opinion to those newer players out there looking to improve their game-play.
– Introduction –
From Wikepedia (2010), ‘a First-Person Shooter (FPS) is a video game genre which centers around gun and projectile weapon-based combat through the first person perspective’.
Popular games of this genre include Blackshot and Counter-Strike. Such a game in an intricate blend of elements where your character (you) interactive with the environment in order to achieve certain objectives. Most common objectives include killing players of the opposing team, bombing a certain location or capturing a flag. Blackshot is one such game, and if you’re reading this, you should roughly know what the game feels like.
– Skills & the Misconception –
The term ‘pro’ is often used on someone who kills a lot of people, and seems to be unstoppable. So what makes him ‘pro’? Is it his darn good accuracy? Or maybe its his high rank? What if he’s just so thick he doesn’t die? However, even the most accurate player could be taken out by a newer player when he’s reloading. What happens then? It the new player just ‘lucky’ for catching him off guard? Or was it the pro’s fault for not watching his ammunition level? Most players will feel that the new player is just lucky, and that most would rate accuracy as skill.
However, I feel that this is a misconception. In my opinion, experience is the ability to know when to be in the right place at the right time. When you add the ability to ‘exploit the situation’ into the mix, you have skill. Thus, I would define skill as the ability to be at the right place at the right time to exploit the situation.
I will go further to explain each of the elements:
Timing is knowing when to do things in game. It can be aggressive moves such as breaking from cover, engaging an enemy, supporting your teammate or going for the flag. It can also be defensive ones such as going under cover, moving out of a certain location or throwing a grenade to slow down an advancing enemy to buy time.
Positioning is another crucial element that is underutilized in game. It requires a good knowledge of the map you’re playing on, and common play-moves your teammates and opponents will make. Examples of positioning can include hiding behind a crate to ambush an enemy, taking cover behind an object, standing at a location which provides good visual on important locations and being in a good position to set up a backstab ****************** on the opposing force.
Players often find themselves in a situation where their actions will affect the flow of the game. They can affect it in a positive or negative manner for their team. To exploit the situation such that it generates an advantage for their team would be the difference between an experienced player and a skillful one. Exploiting the situation can come in many forms like taking the opportunity to kill a player from behind, covering the flag carrier while he’s running or grasping that tiny window of opportunity to toss a grenade at an enemy sniper.
– Conclusion –
The ability for players to gain an advantage in a situation is crucial to netting a win for the team. Such advantages are often the result of the many small actions players make throughout the course of the game. By being there at the right time to take advantage of a situation, a player can turn the wide of the battle in their favor.
What Guns Should I Use?
– What’s Old & New –
Last article, I covered what I felt made a player experienced and skillful. To recap:
skill = timing + positioning + ability to exploit situation
For this article, I will share my insights to the different playstyles available in game, and answer the age old question – What gun should I use??.
– Playstyles –
When you stand behind a player and watch him play, you’ll notice that there are certain habits he or she will do. If you watch enough players, you’ll notice a trend emerge. I will like to call these trends playstyles. As the name implies, playstyle is the style that which you play (How enlightening is that?).
Some people favor a very defensive (reactive) method of play. They like to wait in ambush, possibly behind a crate, wait around a corner to shoot you in the head as you come around, or camp near the base, where it is safe for them to take you out from afar with a sniper rifle. All of these scenarios all share something in common: they wait for you. Such a player relies heavily on the ability to create & exploit a situation while being in a favorable position.
A stark contrast to these type of players would be the aggressive ones, or as I like to call it, being ‘proactive’. Such would be the hunter type of player where they run around the map hunting down enemy players. It can be the person that takes a rifle to face you head on, or the sneaky ninja that runs behind your lines to shoot your team from behind with a submachine gun (SMG). Regardless, all of these players share a similiarity: they go to you. These players need to be able to get into a good position, and be familiar with their weapons (accuracy, recoil, fire-rate etc)
A combination playstyle would be one that switches to and fro from proactive to reactive, depending on the situation. Such a person is often a team player, opting instead to support his teammates and fight for an overall team victory. Such a person isn’t different from the Midfielders in soccer teams. A good knowledge of timing and positioning is crucial for these players.
The last style of play would be the flagger, or as I like to call them, the Zhao Yun(s) of Blackshot. These players only goal it to capture the flag. As only Team Flag Match (TMF) games have flags, you’ll only find them there. They are very aggressive, relying on coverfire from teammates, their innate ability to see a flagging opportunity and a wonderful sense of timing.
– What Gun Should I Use? –
A lot of people ask the question ?What gun is good??. Well, most of the time, I’ll reply ?It depends on you.?. If you asked a carpenter if you should use a saw, screwdriver or hammer, he’ll probably first ask you what you’re trying to do.
Which is kind of true, as I feel that your playstyle determines the general type of weapon you pick. Guns tend to perform differently under different conditions and you have to pick the best tool for the job. Certain guns, like SMGs have a low recoil, a high firerate but low damage (MP5, P90 etc). Such guns are wonderful when you need to be constantly on the move. Players that require lots of movement tend to be flaggers and players that like to ‘backstab’, as they need to get into a position fast. A player that likes to take you on face to face often needs an accurate fast firing weapon with high damage. Such a gun might be the M24 sniper, HK416 & AK47 rifles or Uzi SMG.
Likewise, a camping sniper type of player often require high damage guns that fire long distances like the AWP Black. A reactive player ambushing players from behind crates or around corners might need guns that are higher damage, but with a more rapid rate of fire, such as the AK47. This is because such players often aim at the head level, and shoot their opponent’s heads as they come round a bend.
Flaggers will probably need light weaponry, as speed is more of an important element for them. They seldom get into pro-longed gun battles, choosing to leave that job to their teammates. Midfield type of players may prefer guns that are useful in multiple scenarios. Such guns allow you a flexible play style. Examples include benchmark rifles such as the HK416 and FAMAS.
– Conclusion –
When choosing what guns/tactics/gear you should use, take into account the scenario you often find yourself in. Visualize the situation in your head to find out the traits of the tools you require ? do you need a long range weapon? Or a rapidfire light gun? Is ammo quantity an issue? What about recoil or damage? Do you need to stay in the field for extended durations to support teammates and thus require higher life totals (guardian tactics)? Once you have decided on the traits required, purchase the equipment for a short while to try them out and tweak accordingly.
So You’re A Little Better
– What’s Old & New –
Last article, I talked about the type of playstyles and how it affects the choice of equipment you chose. To recap, there are proactive, reactive, support and flagging players out there. These players often find themselves in a certain type of situation more often than others, and thus will need the correct tools to answer it. Once you’ve discovered what kind of playing style you prefer and have tried out your equipment in a few games, you’ll become accustomed to your gear and role in your team.
In this article, I will share with you what I feel are some of the slightly more advanced things you can do in-game to improve your performance.
– I’m a New Player. What Can I Do? –
We were new players once. As BlackShot is a team-game, sometimes we feel like a total liability to the team. So how can a new player learn the ropes of this game, and still try to maintain as good as score as he possibly can?
The easiest thing to do in game, in my opinion (as compared to flagging, bombing, support etc) is to kill the opposing players. This is because when you encounter a player, it is your skill VS his skill. Compare this to flagging, when taking a flag means you’re pitting your skills against every surviving player in the opposite team. The easiest way, by far, to take out an opponent is to camp/ambush him. This is because it allows you to use the least amount of resources (life, ammo, enemy points etc) to score a point for your team. That being said, there’s camping smartly, and camping stupidly. Many players do not check blind spots. A good ambusher exploits this oversight. A bad ambusher tries to exploit this again on the same person. Do not think your opponents are stupid: they will check that spot the next time. Always move to a new camping spot to catch them off guard.
Camping is a battle of wits, where one player tries to outsmart another. So if you’re new, and you’ve still yet to master the basics of BlackShot, my advice would be to camp (smartly) the crap out of your opponents!
– Map Knowledge –
Knowing the layout of the map is crucial to being a successful BlackShot player. Certain areas of the map are prone to grenades, while others are prone to ambushes. Some parts of the map favor a particular type of gun. For example, narrow winding corridors favor shotguns, long straight paths favor sniper rifles, areas with a lot of cover favor rifles, while looping areas for backstabs favor SMGs. Knowing about the area of the map you favor and preparing for it will give you an advantage.
– The External Environment –
The game is full of clues as to what’s going on around you. Sometimes, you do not need map-hack to know where an enemy is. The most obvious of such an asset would be your radar. The radar shows green arrows for friendly and spotted enemies appear as red dots. The radar allows you to know where the enemy is, allowing you to plan ahead and create situations which you can exploit. For example, in an scenario, your teammate spots an enemy and it appears in your radar screen. Both of you haven’t seen each other, but you know he’s approaching you. You can hide behind a crate to ambush him.
Sometimes, the radar isn’t very precise with where the enemy is. In BlackShot, you can see the names of your team members through walls. Friendlies that just died appear as grayed out names. You can use these gray names, together with the radar to deduce where the enemy location is. An additional information source could also be the type of gun that killed your friend. A SMG might mean that the enemy was close by when your friend died (as SMGs are poor at long range), or a knife/pistol kill might mean that the enemy was reloading.
Remember when I said that certain areas of the maps favor certain guns? Well you can even pair the sounds of the weapons you hear to guess approximately where the enemy firing that gun is. It is seldom you’ll see a sniper at the front of the gun battle, and hearing a AWP going off in a certain direction would mostly reveal where the sniper is. Other audio and visual clues include the path the enemy grenade flies (revealing where the grenadier is) through the air, the direction of enemy bullets travel, the sound of footsteps, the sound of gunfire/gun switching/ gun reloading, the presence of bullet holes in the walls, the presence of scorch marks on the floor left by grenades and the bodies of teammates on the floor.
– Conclusion –
As you become more familiar with the game, and practice watching out for these visual cues, you’ll be able to prepare yourself for what’s coming ahead. This preparation is often what gives you the edge by allowing you to set up the ambush, or allowing you to firing the bullet that crucial split second faster than the enemy. Maybe then people will start calling you a ‘cheater’ =)
What’s Old & New
Last article, I’ve talked about how you can make use of ingame cues to better your skills. Ive also touched on how you can do your best to help out your team if you’re new. To recap, to start improving yourself, you need to know the layout of the map and its environment. You need to know the uses and limitations of the weapons and equipment available ingame. To be good, one needs to have the mentality of a team player. Do you role, and help your team win.
In this series of articles, I will look at the different types of weapons and equipment available ingame, share some tips on how to use them well, the role they perform, and how they can help you can help your team win when you’re using these weapons.
The Sniper Rifles (SR)
Snipers are the kings of the battlefields. They can take out the enemy without them even knowing of their existence. These guns often have a very high damage output, often killing in one or two shots. They have superior zoom magnification which lets you take clear shots on targets far away. However, all these benefits do not come cheap, as most SRs have a insanely slow rate of fire. Once exposed to enemy fire up close, they often find themselves at a disadvantage to the faster firing guns in the game. If you’re picking up this gun, you’ll need a steady hand, a calm mind, patience and a good sense of what’s happening around you.
The Different Sniper Rifles
There are many different types of sniper rifles. These range from the faster firing Dragonovs to the quick M24, to the high damage AWPs. Although there are many types of sniper rifles available, this article will only discuss about what I feel are the 3 best ones: AWP (Black), Dragonov (Black), M24.
Each gun has different properties. Some guns zoom faster, while others have quicker weapon switch times. As a result, certain SRs fit certain roles better than others.
The AWP (Black) has the highest damage output per shot of all 3. It can kill a 109 HP person wearing sniper armor.. It has a fast zoom speed (2X Zoom) but is slow to switch to. As such, I would feel this gun would be well suited for a sniper that doesn’t move around often. This could be a person guarding a lane or the flag.
The Dragonov (Black) is a single zoom semi-automatic sniper rifle. It has the highest fire rate of all 3 SRs. Its damage per shot is dependent on the range of the target. The damage decreases the further the target is from the firer. However, at relatively close ranges, it does kill in 1 hit. It has a fast draw speed, and you can still aim while the weapon is zooming in. As such, I would feel that a close combat sniper would benefit from the advantages of this gun.
The M24 is more of the jack-of-all-trades of the sniper rifles. It has double zooming capabilities, a very fast zoom speed and draw. It still does a 1 shot kill, assuming the target isn’t wearing a sniper armor. Due to its fast speed, combat (close range) snipers like to use it in med-short range combat.
As a sniper, positioning is a key element to contributing the most to the team. A sniper out of position is vulnerable and weak. This is because the weapon is heavy, and movement is slow. Most snipers switch to a knife or a pistol when transitioning from firing spots. However, this leaves the player vulnerable to ambushes. As a result, the sniper has to anticipate events and proactively position himself well. Examples could be noticing your teammate about to grab the flag, or an enemy player close to your flag position.
Snipers often have certain favorite camping positions. Staying in a certain area which gives you good vantage could be advantageous. However, this leaves the player open to grenades, as good players know where to throw a grenade to take out a persistent sniper. Thus, the clever sniper would try to change his/her position around 10 seconds after each kill to prevent the respawned victim from ‘nading him.
Outfitting the Sniper
The sniper should try as best to stay hidden. As such try to equip your character with camoflague suits and helmets and stay away from helmets with bright striking colors (@#$% CREA!!)
The most important equipment for the sniper in my opinion is the ‘elbow grease’ gear. This allows you to switch weapons fast. ‘Quickswitching’ allows the sniper to get more rounds out than normal. Other equipment that are important include the T1 grenade. This grenade has a short fuse and is handy for killing enemy that try to get near you. Should the unthinkable happen and someone sneaks up right beside you, the Kukuri is a life saver. There has been many a times when I managed to take someone out with 1 hit from the knife.
Your playstyle is just as important as your equipment. Being a good sniper means playing to your strengths, and helping out your teammates. Try to know what you’ll be doing ingame, and use the best gun for the job. Actively seek out opportunities and reposition yourself constantly. Do not get too comfortable in one spot (unless its a REALLY good one).