[Tribes: Ascend] In Game Roles
Here's a newby guide for the roles different players can take in your average Capture The Flag match of Tribes: Ascend and the in-game skills you need to fill these roles effectively.
Lets start with the defensive roles, because like they say in the game, invincibility lies in the defence, the chance for victory in the offence.
Two critical areas need defending, the flag and the generator. Flagstand defence stops the other team from getting away with your flag, generator defense keeps the deployable defences (turrets, force fields etc) and the vehicle stand operational.
Flag Defence calls for a quick aiming eye and the ability to ski reasonably well, as sometimes, you might have to chase and finish off a wounded enemy flag capper (capturer.) It also helps if you know the most common Front to Back capping routes enemy cappers will most likely attack from on each map, so you can watch for incoming cappers. It's not a role I play often enough to know what works well, but I like to take a Juggernaut, stand backl off the flag stand, preferably in cover, and be ready to lob a very well timed mortar round onto the flag stand, killing the enemy capper and getting me a flag defender accolade. Doombringers apparently are good for this role too, their force shields are certainly crucial to a solid flag defence.
Generator Defence, talk to Yvnu. He plays a technician, and uses his turrets and sensors with deadly efficiency on Gen D. He knows the best places to put his deployables, to finish off would-be generator killers and he's a dab hand with that machine pistol. To play good generator defence you need to be a very good shot as well as have fast reflexes as half of your opponents will be invisible and the other half have the initiative in almost every attack. You'll also depend on someone having your back, usually a heavy like Shinjo or myself, who just need to be good at rearming, not dying and mortar spam. Helping out in generator defence is a good place to grind for XP, because as long as that generator is running, SOMEONE will want to shut it down. You can get a lot of kills on Gen D.
Chasers usually hang out with flag defenders and provide a frontline to base defence, helping cover entrances to your base until they're needed to fill their main role, chasing enemy cappers. Skiing and map knowledge are paramount skills. If you were a good sniper in other games, you can also play chaser as a sniper, covering the mid ground between the two bases, since flag carriers don't heal until they drop the flag. Two shots and you can force a smart player to drop the flag, a third shot kills most dumb ones. (llama grabbing Juggs notwithstanding,. not looking at anyone in particular me and Shinjo...)
Moving onto attack, obviously, looking at the defence, there's two main kinds of attackers, people who go after flags and people who go after base assets (like generators, turrets etc) or cappers and gener-haters.
Cappers go fast. REAL fast. You want superb skiing skills, thrust packs and the ability to disc jump without almost killing yourself. Map knowledge is also a must, since every map has it's fastest routes into and out of the flag stands. Cappers are very squishy, slow ones don't last long.
Gener-haters come in two main flavours, the dreaded infiltrators and the guts and glory heavies. To play an infiltrator well you'll need patience, good base knowledge and faster reflexes than the enemy technicians. To play a heavy offence well you need the smarts to cross the mid ground in your big, slow, cumbersome armour with the big targets painted all over it, the prowess behind the trigger to make good use of your heavy AoE weapons on groups of defenders dumb enough to bunch up and it helps if you're the kind of person who'll co-ordinate your attack with a capper to lob a few mortar rounds onto the flagstand on your way into the generator room. Yes, flag clearing is an actual thing.
If you're on a team with people playing each of these roles effectively, chances are you're going to be on a winning team. If you're new, play wingman to someone in their role, cover their back and hopefully they'll cover yours too.
I've left out offensive snipers because their benefit to the team is such that they're not worth mentioning in a post about team roles. If you want to be a sniper, please, please, be a flag chaser and flag stand defender, your team will thank you for it.
Nice post Noises!
3 more roles for people to consider;
Flag Clearer means clearing the enemy flag of mines, shields, and other nasty deployables that are hazardous to a capper's health. Can be done by any of the heavy classes, or some of the medium classes like the Soldier and Raider. Can be done in conjunction with Gener-hating duties.
Heavy on Flag (HoF) is a heavy class usually with the Superheavy perk that is standing directly on top of the flag. Cappers coming in fast suffer a rapid (and messy) de-acceleration in a collision with a HoF, making it a useful defence strategy.
Anti-sniper can be either an Infiltrator or a Sentinal. Their role is to continuously harass enemy snipers to allow cappers to escape with the flag. Currently 2 Sentinals (if they are good) can lock down a base to the point where capping is nearly impossible. In most cases, consider Noises comments above in regards to the Sentinal class, however if you see 2-3 Sentinals on the enemy team and your Cappers are having issues escaping with the flag because of their rifle range, consider swapping to an anti-sniper role. Note latest patch has nerfed BX1 rifle a tad, so it remains to be seen if multiple Sentinals continues to be present on the servers.
I think that about sums it up, except to give consideration to how vehicles can compliment each of these roles. But it makes sense. You have big, slow heavy vehicles that do a lot of damage, and you have fast movers that do medium amounts of damage.
It stands to reason tanks lend themselves to both heavy offensive and defensive duties, bikes are awesome getaway vehicles for cappers and shrikes lend themselves well to the chaser's role.
Oh, and you can spawn vehicles in the free roam practice modes to hone your piloting skills and find new and interesting places to park your tank.
It's also worth mentioning, roles tend to be fluid, but remember your main job, because chances are if you're on Gen D and you go outside help on Base D (or repair,) the generator defence will be weaker.
Similarly, if you're on flag D, knowing when to be a chaser and when to turn around and hump it back to the flagstand because the enemy capper is getting too far away for you to get back to fill your flag D role when the flag does come back is important. Ok, the capper might only have 20 points left, but let the chasers get him if you're meant to be on the flag.
Even a capper can use the flexabilty to assist in the role of base defence while you wait for your chasers to reel in the enemy capper and return your flag. Nothing's set in stone, but remember what your role is MEANT to be.
If you win a CTF match, your whole team is awarded more more XP than the losing team for the same kills and accolades, so it's in everyone's interest the team works together to mesh these roles and tactics into an unbeatable multi-tiered defence, and an overwhelming, strongly co-operative offence. Plus it's more fun to win.
I think I left out a role. Pro-duelist. He's the guy who can pick apart anyone, in any role, because he skis like a capper, shoots like a chaser and routinely clocks up 20+ kills a match. He's probably a hard core Tribes vet, and his role is essentially to be a cross between Conan and Robocop. If a tank is spawned, he kills it. If a shrike is spawned, he spawns one too and fights it, and kills that too. EVERY TIME. They used to have female avatars in Tribes, they had to take them out because Pro-Duelists were making them pregnant just by looking at them.
Your best defence against the Pro-Duelist is a few tribesmen around you and hopefully a few scoring shots before your impending death and respawn, because the only way to beat these virile hunks of Chuck Norris flavoured destruction is by ganging up on them. There is no shame in this.
To be a Pro-duelist you have to go back to 1998 and start playing Tribes 2 around about then. If nothing else, dying to them should teach you (slowly) what NOT to do in a duel. If you get tired of dying to one, spectate for a while.
I think you've covered it pretty well, but I'd like to add a couple of notes.
Heavy Generator Defence: Noises mentioned a heavy backing up the technicians on gen D. On most maps, you'll want one or two of these. It's a fun job. You get to lay down lots of heavy damage on the guys trying to have a party in your generator room. However, you need to know your map. Katabatic has three points of entry; watch your back. Temple Ruins is too vertical, don't play a heavy on gen D. Crossfire is so cramped that standing in the generator room is suicide. Arx Novena is slaughterfest. Load up and lay the pain down.
Heavy on Flag: Most often a doombringer. Be careful where you set your force fields. They'll damage incoming cappers, but you want some room to finish them off if (when?) the field doesn't do the job. Be ready to pull out the missile launcher when an enemy vehicle shows up.
Pick a role and get good at it, but be prepared to do something else. If there are three technicians and two juggernauts in the gen room already, you don't need to be there. Try something different, even if you're not very good at it yet.
Some more video, this time all in-game from last night's session. In order of roles, Gener-hating, Chasing (as a jugg, don't try it at home.) Capping (woohoo!) and Flag Clearing. Enjoy :) Wasn't running Fraps when Dexie, Mesar and myself played a round of hard core generator defence, but I wish I had, that one round was better than anything I have here.
edit sorry about the low quality, using cheap hardware so I have to back the graphics right off to play with FRAPS running.
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