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Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 152
# 8
06-23-2012, 12:04 PM
Acknowledgments & Situational Awareness Guide

This concludes the Elite Tactical Briefing; I hope this helps other folks get the MACO Commander accolade. I would like to thank the members of the STFRaiders channel for all the many missions that they've run with me while I've learned and honed these strategies. Additionally, Iíd like to give personal thanks to StarFleetCommander, Meynolt and Mistriever for all the STFs that they've run with me and advice given.

Credit for creating the "Felczer Maneuver" which describes the pulling of heavy tactical groups from rooms 1B & 2B into the preceding rooms goes to Brandon, who came up with the trick while several of us were helping him get the optional objective on Elite Infected Ground.

The below guide to situation awareness is very good, and was written by Phasecloaker and reproduced here with his permission:

SA is an over-used, under-appreciated term. It describes your mindset when you do things, not equipment, tactical procedures, or chain of command. With good SA, youíll be able to do well in any mission, any team, at any stage of the fight. You donít need a mk xii set to play like a pro, all you need is to know whatís going on. Lastly, it is important to know the difference between a poorly executed success, and a well-executed failure. It is natural to not learn from a success, and even worse, not appreciate the good lessons from a good failure.

Targeting Priority
Always gang on the heavy/elite first. The reason is that heavy and elite can kill you, others cannot. You donít get candies for single handedly wiping all the drones early, but you get killed and injured if you donít kill the heavy hitters asap. Most groups come with a heavy, shoot them first. Rank targets in descending order, most powerful first, less drones last. Also, this way will make sure the whole team shoots the same dude, making the fastest kill. You can learn this in 3 seconds, yet most people in EliteSTF still plays like a noob.

Targeting Discipline
Aggro is a two-sided coin, both sides are gold if you do it right. This is one of the most important part in ground STFs.
It is important not to aggro a group that your team is not really to fight. Groups usually come with a heavy, if you touch a drone, the heavy will come after your team. Having to fight two heavies is difficult even for the best of teams, especially when the other team members are not aware of the fact that there is a double aggro. Split-beams and full-autos are okay, just keep the right distance. Also, there are many places (in KA) where you can simply skip entire groups, simply skip those.
There are other times when you actually want to aggro a group, like in time constrained mission, infected. It is beneficial for the most experienced player be a pacer, pre-pulling the next group before the current group is cleared. This saves valuable time while not endangering the team with two heavies.
(at this time, plasma grenades are bugged and has an aggro range of about 50m)

Skills Usage
Use your skills to maximize the combat effectiveness of your team at the right time. Unfortunately, pros donít get a flashing flag when they do the right thing here. For example, a sci should lead with tachyon harmonics, followed by the team killing a heavy in 5 sec; an eng would also lead with weapons malfunction to protect the approach of the rest of the team; a tac would save the tactical initiative and tactical team for an expected long-difficult fight ahead. Tactical placements like cover shields are just as important; place it up front, at a bottleneck. Skills are less visible because there is no huge FX coming out at the end of a barrel, but it makes good team a great team.

You want to keep your shield at max most of the time, otherwise a heavy drone can one-shot you. Find physical obstacles and cover shields for recharge. Pop out to shoot, hide if you get too much aggro. If you aggro the whole group, hide to spread aggro around. It is important here, to read the borg and see which of your teammates it is targeting, that determines where you would go next. Some players naturally generates more threat than others, they keep aggro longer, which can leave more margin for lower threat teammates.

A special little piece for dealing with elite. If you have eliteís attention, you probably want to limit your exposure to less than 1 shot at a time. Kite it around corners, obstacles and cover shields. It will follow you while the rest of the team shoots it in the back. When it turns around, you pop out and shoot it in the back. Cover shields are great, if you make one when you have aggro, it will start hitting the shield. Itís as much skill as it is art, to handle an elite.
In the simplest case, you can simply melee it and have the team shoot it in the back.

Positioning Ė Drones
Cash in the flanking bonus! In general, youíd only worry about this with heavy and elite. The simplest case is to have a 2/3 split, in front and in the back. Following a tachyon harmonic shield disable, you can kill a tac with 2-3 shots in the back, which takes 1-2 sec.

Positioning Ė Turret in Cure
The bomb planting part fails, even in good teams, for two reasons: 1) planter getting shot, or 2) planter getting stuck in cover shields. The key is to have the team spread out surrounding the turret, each coving a 72-deg arc. Shoot the little turrets as soon as they pop so the planter doesnít get shot. If you see the planter getting stuck around shields, destroy the little turret, then step in and shoot at the turret. There is no need to change roles, just help your planter buy more time.

Positioning Ė Armek in Cure
Following the well-trusted ďshotgun?? method, hereís what the shotgunners should be aware of. Armek has this nova aoe attack that take everybody from full shield to half health. This attack is triggered whenever two or more players are within 2m radius of his center, which is different from the damage range of the attack, about 5m. The solution is to stay away just enough. At the beginning of phase 2, move in a little bit, when the cover shields pop, back up against the shields. This way, you will be just far enough to not trigger the aoe attack, but still be inside the shields to do damage. You can kill Armek even if he fires the aoe attack multiple times, but youíd know somebodyís position is off if he even fired it once, and that should be corrected.

Learn on the Fly
The best way to learn is to watch your teammates during the mission. If youíre learning, or not sure what to do, simply wait in the back. Watch what your teammates are doing, and know why they are doing what, then join them. If you get mixed up in the fight early, you canít watch, and you canít learn. Nobody is going to know if you stay back for 5 sec and watch your team kick ***, everybody will notice if you make a mistake and the team spends 40 sec to clean up.

Be Supremely Confident of What You Do/Not Do
Be confident of what to do and not to do because you know exactly why. Over time, you will get familiar with the individual pieces of the mission and learn to gel with any team. You will naturally know what to do, because you know what should be done next. You can confidently proceed because you know your team is ready, and you know the next move, not because commands from Teamspeak. If you are a sci, go ahead and lead with tachyon harmonics; if you are an eng, go ahead and apply weapons malfunction, plant bombs; if you know you should wait, then stand there and do nothing. Know the missions, know the team, and the current situation, and the next step would become clear.

I tried to make this as generally as possible, but some less-aware details are important too. With a good mindset going into STF, you can do well in any team, any mission, and learn faster than the holding-hands approach. You donít need mk xii set or Teamspeak to play like a pro; a good player can make the best decision even in the absence of perfect information.

ē Lack of SA or SA degradation is the main cause of transportation accidents and deaths. People generally donít die if they lack the skills to parallel park; accidents occur when people donít know what they are doing, but proceed anyways without corrective actions, and finally beyond their limits.