I had a lot to share so I just typed this down in one go. Didn't take much time to proofread it so if anything is unclear just point it out and I'd be glad to elaborate.
I'm aware that some of this isn't exactly in detail but I assume most of you can take care of yourselves at this point.
I may add visual references to battle tactics in the future.
If you have any gripes about this let me now, and I'll try to fix it.
For the sake of reference, my gear, which I believe is the most effective Striker set;
--The damage boost and resistance to Flourish-type weapons and Shivermist
Weapons: Flourish-type, Heavy sword, Polaris
--Flourish chases like a dream, Heavy sword can take down crowds (theoretically, but picking them one by one is more reliable) or pack a bit more punch, Polaris is very effective against large numbers and the shock effect is deadly.
Trinkets: Med ASI x2
The Skolver and Trinkets add up to Very High Damage Bonus And Very High ASI. However, with the Striker boost active, you recieve a Medium bonus to both, thus Maxing out both stats.
Try to avoid weapons such as the Callahan. The slowness of the weapon (i.e. the immobility when firing) makes you very vulnerable.
Additionally, unless you're EXTREMELY quick, try not to fight a Heavy sword with a regular 3 hitter like a brandish. I've used an Acheron in PvP, with success, taking down heavier swordsmen, but it's extremely hard since your range is much shorter.
Edit: New brandish charges make it worthwhile if it's status-inflicting.
So, you want to become a striker, do you? You wish to be the brawn of your team, the valiant blade to cleave apart your foes? You wish to be the agile fighter, first in the fray, dashing in and out between enemy blades, taking down your enemies one by one or the ruthless killer, cutting down all between you and your victory?
The job isn’t easy. Oft times you will stand alone against many, and all that you have is a blade and a life to be used wisely in order to stand victorious. To best your opponents, you will need to outwit and outplay them, to anticipate their moves and take them down when they make the slightest fault.
The good news is, I can help you with that. As some of you might already know, I'm particularily able as a Striker in Lockdown. I dare say I've bested many of the hotshot tough guys in the past, packed full of UVs while I used nothing but standard gear.
In the following guide I’ll make light of the tricks and tactics I employ to dominate the battlefield. Some of them are obvious, some are not. Some are easy to grasp, others take lots of practice.
This guide will be divided in multiple sections. I will begin with the simple basics of attacking and defending a point, followed with anti-class and anti-style methods for each enemy.
[Note that I won’t discuss Anti-bomber tactics regarding Strikers and Recons because… let’s face it, those classes are extremely squishy when bombing, and their combat style doesn’t work well with standing in a bomb haze.]
1- Assaulting a point
2- Defending a point
3- Class combat
-----Assaulting a point-----
- Approach the point from below if you can. The camera angle means any potential defenders won’t notice you until you charge.
- Conserve your booster on approach! You may use the boost to get closer to the point, but never attack with anything less than a full charge. Boost until you are near the area then walk on foot until you are poised to strike.
- Using your boost, charge the point. The high movement speed often allows you to take defenders off guard and sneak in a hit, if not a full kill. Be careful, though! Do not boost in a straight line to the point! Instead, rush the point, but at the last moment, break to the side to flank the point. If the opponent has reacted to your approach, chances are that they tried to intercept you with a swing of their sword. Not only are you avoiding a potential hit, but you are able to counter in the opening it makes for you.
-----Defending a point-----
- Once your enemies are cleared, capture the point. It’s no use to kill them and leave the point to them. Points get wins, not kills. (Duh.)
- While keeping on the point, NEVER stand still. Standing still makes you a perfect target. A recon can easily approach you and strike you down before you even have time to react, and a striker can do the same with a quick rush. Try to move around the point in a semi-erratic pattern, or simple circles around the perimeter if you’re not feeling imaginative.
- Staying mobile has an added benefit. It makes you react faster when needed. This is the part where you need your ears. You need to pay attention to the sounds of incoming enemies. In other words, listen for the Striker’s boost and the Recon’s mark. Should you hear either, activate your boost and get the hell out. Chances are, if they are enemies, they will not anticipate your quick reaction and attack where you were, which both reveals their position and leaves them open to a counter.
- If you carry a Polaris or Supernova, you may choose to fire twin shots at potential enemy approaches as a defensive measure. Two shots are the most you should fire, because reloading leaves you horribly open. The bursts from the bullets tend to keep the weaker-willed enemies at bay and offer a wide arc for intercepting any assaulting foes.
- On a special condition, if the point is on the lower part of the map, you can fall back the the lower edge of the map under the point. If you stand off the point like this, but keep it in your eyesight, your enemies will not see you defending it which allows you to take them unaware as you would when attacking.
Preface: The most important tip I can ever give you is to never ever finish your combos.
(Exceptions viewed at end.)
However, you should always keep a defensive attitude when engaging in combat. Anticipate and react to your enemy.
The Guardian is the primary enemy to the Striker. At least to me it is. A stalwart defense to bolster the morale of all surrounding allies, and a near-impenetrable wall for you to break down.
A typical guardian swordsman will carry a heavy sword. What he expects you to do is relentlessly attacking his shield. That is the worst thing you can do. Wether you carry a heavy sword, a regular light sword or a flourish, if you perform a full combo on his shield you're dead. The second of recovery it takes for you to be able to react at the end of your combo is enough for him to drop his shield and double-slash you with his sword, often resulting in a swift death.
The safest method, by far, is to simply wear down his shield with a gun. However this can be slow and unreliable.
If you choose to engage in close combat, there are two possible scenarios.
In the first, the Guardian will intentionally lower his shield to attack you. That is a prime time to evade to the side and counter with the booster. These guardians are fairly easy to tackle, if not time-consuming.
The second scenario is a bit more frustrating. The Guardian will stubbornly keep his shield up, challenging the point with nothing but his presence. Your tactics should be to strike once, then withdraw before his counterattack hits you. The shield wears down quickly like this.
Keep in mind that the armor that a Guardian uses strengthens his shield! A Guardian in Skolver has a shield more resistant to pierce damage, and a Guardian in Vog resists Elemental.
There are few things that command more control on the battlefield than a Bomber Guardian. The attack style is typically to slowly approach a point while slowly advancing their bomb haze, be it Voltaic or Shivermist or any other. If they reach the point, they can simply spam bomb said point until it is theirs, and all melee attemps are fruitless.
Not all is glum, though. If you have wisely chosen Skolver and the opponent is using a Shivermist, well, get in there and show them who's boss! Don't worry one bit, the armor grants you practical immunity to the Shivermist so you can shatter that Bomber's hopes of staying alive. Same applies to the Voltaic Tempest and shock-resistant armors. (Never tried though, but I see people in the Mercurial set once in a while.)
If you don't have armor to take on the bomber, though, don't try. Your options are to try to gun down the Guardian, since you can stay out of reach, and a bullet with fast projectiles (Argent Peacemaker/Sentenza) can easily hit to stop his next bomb from charging up. The Polaris' slow moving shots are largely ineffective here.
If shooting is not an option, well... Either wait for the enemy to move to the edge of the haze (potentially to drop a new bomb) or... Abandon. There's no shame in that. It is better for you to spend your life taking a free point than to waste it by rushing into a bomber's haze.
This is the time to test your mettle. Are you a skilled enough fighter to face down the one who would fight like you? Actually... The answer is often yes because some people just have no idea...
The tips are to stay on your toes and to stay mobile.
The most wonderful duels you will ever find. Two skilled Strikers clashing together is worthy of song!
Seriously though. Your enemy is as quick as you are, so you have to think fast and act faster.
Stay defensive! Opening a combo leaves you open! Know this, and use it against your enemy. ('cause they sure as hell won't.)
When your opponent attacks, count on quick reflexes to dash right out of the way as fast as you can. Since most people don't have the self-control not do perform a full combo, this is the best time to make one or two hits strike home in your enemy's flank.
Try to dash behind your enemy, and only counter when you are clear of his blade.
Now for the good strikers...
Good Strikers are extremely fast. They typically don't perform full combos. What that means is that you have to counter in the space of a single strike from your enemy. Never get overzealous in your attack.
Somehow, when I'm getting hit, I can never counter, however, my enemies can and do happen to counter during a combo. So play safe.
Don't underestimate the Gunslinger Striker. You might not think that guns are particularily fearsome weapons, but you'd be wrong. See, gunners might deal low damage, but they'll hit you a whole lot more than a swordsman. They don't have to worry about the whole dodge-and-counter thing, they can just fire volley after volley.
That said, Gunners of any kind are priority targets. In a fray, where the gunner is firing at the point, strike it from the side repeatedly until it's dead. Easy enough.
If the Gunner is facing you and actively firing at you, then the tactic is simple enough.
He runs as fast as you do, so don't try cutting him down while he dashes. Your best bet is to hit him after he fires a volley. Careful, though, don't just charge right at him, you'll take more than a few bullets to the face. Immediately after he fires his volley, you should dash sideways to avoid it and arc around to hit his side. Once you get in range, it's hard for the gunner to start firing again, but a bullet to the face will stagger you so always keep alert. If he runs, repeat the tactic.
Occasionally you may run into a much faster gunner, who won't make the opening of firing a volley for you to cut him down. I had this experience, where I could simply not land a hit. In this situation, your best bet it so get either some help, the element of surprise, or try to burn down his striker boost. Once it's down, he's a dead man.
Most Recons are worthless. However, some patient hunters will indeed cut your life short in less time that it takes for you to say "Oh, muffins."
A quick tip though is to avoid striking blindly too much. If the recon has JUST cloaked, you may allow yourself one or two blind hits to try to unmask him. Any more puts you at risk.
The swordplay is very similar to the Striker once they've revealed themselves. Dodge and counter.
If the Recon is making a single hit before recloaking, then you're in for a bit more of a challenge. Use your ears, and your eyes. Depending on the situation and the recon, you may be able to use the Recon mark to your advantage. When it appears, dash out, and if in luck, the Recon will have revealed himself by attack the place you were before. If the recon stays close, however, the Mark stays and you can't use it as reference. This is much harder since you have to react at the same time the Recon performs his attack, which leaves a very small margin of error.
However, if you did as I mentionned earlier, which is to stay mobile on point, it's half the battle because he has to hit in a way that you will actually take the hit.
Most are pushovers, just dodge the bullets and stab them a few times.
If they prefer to fire a single shot before cloaking (often using Alchemers, which cause a lot of damage.), then you need to react fast. At the first sight of him, you have to dash to both dodge the shot and move towards him as he cloaks. If you're fast enough, you can manage to hit him before he completely vanishes and then finish him off. If he's faster, then keep playing defensive until he shoots again and try to hit him.
Aside from mixed groups, the only tag-team I'd be wary of is a team of strikers. It's extremely hard to outmanoeuvre more than one strike at once. If victory is unattainable, then just cause as much damage as you can before going down. I mean, if it's three versus you alone, and you manage to kill one and wound the other... You've won in my book.
In any situation, if two or more foes cannot kill you without having one or more losses... You win.
Anyways, mixed groups. The trick is to prioritize your kills, and hope that the rest of your team backs you up.
The rule of the battle is "Divine and Conquer". Don't take on everyone at once, that's just dumb. If you cut an enemy off from the pack, it's much harder for them to assist. Pick a target, single it out, and take it down. Doing so will make the team gradually weaker as you trim down their numbers, and each kill makes the fight that much easier.
The first target you should go for is the gunner, if there is one. He'll lay down a barrage on the point like you have no idea.
Next up are the strikers or any combative recons. Strikers are the primary threat you'll face, and a recon that reveals itself is an easy way of removing another threat. Go for it!
The last target should always be the guardian. You might think that the shield is what you have to bring down first, but I don't think so. The guardian requires time and focus that leaves you open to the other enemies. Additionally, if you attack his allies, the guardian's shield also takes damage. Two birds with one stone. Lastly, if you strip the guardian of all his allies, but cannot finish him off, then at least take comfort in knowing that he's practically dead already. It won't take much to topple the lone Guardian.
Here's a bit of a cheat for you; if you can't take 'em head on, pack a Polaris. AoE spam is dreamy.
*Exceptions for a full combo:
Heavy swords: The second swing is a strong force that can bring a quick kill. It should only be used when guaranteed to hit, otherwise you are open to counterattack.
Any fleeing opponent is also a prime target for a full combo. Chances are they're not ready to counterattack and therefore it's easy to use all hits.
Last edited by Schwarze on Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:30 pm; edited 4 times in total