NOTE! I did not create this guide. I only recovered it from my colossal cache on my desktop. The original, named poster deserves all of the credit. [hr] Beginner's guide to Assault DISCLAIMER This is a beginner's guide towards Assault gameplay, focused mainly on people with relatively low exp. I play assault (both tank and DPS) a lot, and these are the basic rules that most effective assault players use. Any help to improve the guide to be better is welcomed. My goal is NOT to make a guide on my own, but to create it together with fellow players in the forum. This uses Mudkipzz's old guide as a base, bringing it up-to-date and adding more recent ideas. Please share anything you think should be added in terms of additional content. PS: Anyone who gives contributions that I find helpful will be added to the credits. Contents: Intro & infoJargon Intro & info Protection tree Talents Builds Argument Stats Strategies General Dangerous Mobs Boss Tanking Optional Missions Items Arms tree Talents Builds Argument Stats General Strategies Items Credits Works in Progress JARGON DPS - Damage per Second; often refers to class/tree that focus on dealing damage. Kite - Dragging a mob that is chasing you while avoiding any hit. (similar to playing a kite). Taunt - Forcing target/s to attack you. SF - Suppressive Fire; Available in Arms Assault talent. BF - Blood Frenzy; Available in Arms Assault talent. Vet - Short for Veteran. Players with a high amount of experience. INTRO & INFO: Assault is one of the slowest class in game. But he is tougher than most other class. Often to be designated tank. ROLE: Tank: - Kite/Hold the mobs down long enough for team to kill freely without fear of retribution. - Protect teammates from any unecessary damage, sometimes by taking the damage yourself. DPS: - Deal as much damage as possible. - Kill mobs as fast as possible. General information: 6 Inventory Slots, 3 Enhancement Slots 265 Health, 50 Shields, 75 Energy 2.2 Movespeed, 2 Armor Heavy Weight Class (No xp needed to unlock, avalable only in EASY COMPANY Storyline) -Assault is a very slow class, one of the slowest in game. -Assault recieve increased clip size; They get 10 additional rounds per clip. -Assault suffers only 1/8 of the normal rating loss per hit. This comes out to be pretty much nothing unless you take some 500 or more hits. Protection tree The tree you need to tank and take damage for your team so they can focus only to bringing zombie's down. Useful to simplify team strategy. Taunt: A very good ability, and have saved many teammates from unexpected zombie attack by forcing the zombies to attack you instead. The damage reduction part is crucial for survival. Level 1 - Taunts for 5 seconds. Taunted targets deal 10% less damage. 6 radius. -5%movespeed Level 2 - Taunts for 6 seconds. Taunted targets deal 20% less damage. 8 radius. -10%movespeed Level 3 - Taunts for 7 seconds. Taunted targets deal 30% less damage. 10 radius. -15%movespeed Active, 10 energy, 12 sec cooldown. Defensive Plating: Additional armor is always welcome to mitigate damage. Especially when its passive. Level 1 - Increases armor by 2 Level 2 - Increases armor by 3 Level 3 - Increases armor by 4 Passive. Stun: A nice ability when you need to start running/kiting by forcing the mob to stay still, and giving you a head start. Works on bosses, but not highly recommended to use it while taking damage. Reason will be discussed later. Level 1 - Stun target area for 2 seconds Level 2 - Stun target area for 4 seconds Active, 20 energy, 10 sec cooldown, approx 2~3 radius. Cohesion: A passive aura that give additional armor for you and your teammate. Improve team survival on certain scenario. Level 1 - Increases armor by 1 Level 2 - Increases armor by 2 Passive. 7 radius aura Safeguard: Passive ability that gives armor whenever you got hit. Need i say more? Level 1 - Armor is increased by 1 for each hit taken. Stacks up to 7 times. Passive. 5 sec duration per armor. TALENT BUILDS: Build 1: 1 - Taunt 2 - Defensive Plating 3 - Defensive Plating 4 - Defensive Plating 5 - Stun 6 - Stun 7 - Cohesion 8 - Cohesion 9 - Safeguard 10 - Taunt 11 - Taunt Build 2: 1 - Taunt 2 - Defensive Plating 3 - Defensive Plating 4 - Taunt 5 - Stun 6 - Stun 7 - Cohesion 8 - Cohesion 9 - Safeguard 10 - Taunt 11 - Defensive Plating Build 3: 1 - Taunt 2 - Defensive Plating 3 - Taunt 4 - Taunt 5 - Stun 6 - Stun 7 - Cohesion 8 - Cohesion 9 - Safeguard 10 - Defensive Plating 11 - Defensive Plating Build 4: 1 - Taunt 2 - Defensive Plating 3 - Defensive Plating 4 - Defensive Plating 5 - Stun 6 - Stun 7 - Taunt 8 - Taunt 9 - Safeguard 11 - Cohesion 12 - Cohesion ARGUMENT: Builds 1-3: 2 armor is actually almost as and sometimes better than a 20% damage reduction. I only know of three enemies in easy company against whom the 20% is greater than the 2 armor, and those are banelings, devourers, and erebos. This does not mean maxing defensive plating is better than maxing taunt, as the extra 2 seconds of maxed taunt allows for easier stun and taunt cycling versus tartarus and erebos (will elaborate later). As a first time tanker you should use build 1, then as your skills improve switch to build 2 and then to build 3. This is because the extra 10% movespeed reduction from maxed taunts can kill an inexperienced player. Build 4: Similar with build 3, this build take level 3 taunt for stun and taunt cycle. But it takes max Defensive Plating first as opposed to max taunt, which gives better passive survivability early game. In the end it has same amount of armor as build 3, but the biggest difference is no armor aura. I personally use build 3 unless I'm tired or lazy. Note: Taunt can be used to force the enemy take the long walk. Use it to manipulate his path. If you have level 3 taunt early game, you can stand in the middle of the pack and taunt any mob that is coming at your team, forcing them to walk towards you instead of attacking anything else. Cohesion aura with same level doesnt stack, but cohesion on different levels does stack. IF you have 2 Assault tanks, have the main tank (priority on item and such) take level 1 Cohesion only and the other guy lvl 2 Cohesion to max armor buff aura and give main tank 1 free point to put (maybe Taunt or Defensive Plating if its not maxed out yet). DOWNSIDE OF STUN Stun helps a ton in tanking, especially since you can stun boss. It has good range and decent radius. BUT once you have safeguard you should avoid using it when you are intending to stay and tank for another 5 seconds or longer. Reason being: Stun stops enemy from attacking,and it is good. No damage to you. BUT no damage recieved also means no safeguard stack. To maintain max Safeguard stack (7 armor), you need to get hit at least 7 times in under 5 seconds. By the time stun is over, you have already lost most of your safeguard stack (assuming u stun everything that was hitting you). That is a dangerous position, and you need taunt to get back on your feet (and start collecting safeguard stack again). STAT DISCUSSION Stats option for assault tank: STRENGTH - increases maximum health by 10 per point. ENDURANCE - increases maximum health by 3 per point, increases health regeneration, and grants a chance to give extra lives to the player. AGILITY - increases movespeed and decreases reload time. PERCEPTION - increases vision, gives small area of detection, gives small increase to critical hit chance. INTELLIGENCE - increases maximum energy by 5 per point. STR gives much more max health than END, but as the goal of a tank is to not actually take damage, or heal at a faster rate than you take damage I personally don't recommend strength. It is one of the safer choices, however. END on the other hand only gives small max health, but gives you enough regen to buy your medic time when you get those nasty venom/open wound stack debuff. Additional lives are also welcome as they give you a better chance to survive. AGI makes kiting a lot easier and helps to make up for the slowness of the class and the stupid little movespeed debuff of taunt. PER gives detection which can be helpful for burrowed infestors, but is not especially useful. INT helps a lot with spamming and cycling stun and taunt, allowing you to draw the aggro of bosses without even taking hits. Bonus talent points aren't are also useful, because in pub games it is helpful to have safeguard as fast as possible because of the newbies. In vet games you will probably need to be given the stinger for killstealing eggs unless you got a bonus talent point or two (people generally want you to have safeguard for the broodmothers during eggs or the nydus worm mission after erebos). My suggestion I max out intelligence first and then put my extra points into agility. On higher difficulty games I put one point into perception for the detection of burrowed infestors. Stats are always a point of contention. Skilled players have many different methods including maxing STR or END first instead of INT or AGI. Try out different methods until you find one that works for you. STRATEGIES: Tanking strategy is always situational. I can only tell you the general idea on what to do and on what priority. The basic of Assault tanking that i use is pretty simple; Engage combat with your taunt. (Beginning of combat means 0 armor from Safeguard.) Hold down as much as you can as long as your taunt is still up (Use medkit/Bandage/Anti-venom, apply taunt again if needed). Ask your medic to help too. The moment your health is too low (around orange, red is too late) and your medic/team can no longer help you, Stun whatever you are tanking and start running away with your team if possible. Here is how to kite as a tank: Stun the target if its too far away and to avoid target hitting your teammate. Move just close enough for your taunt range. The moment you see the target start moving again, use Taunt, and start moving away. Make sure theres no one near the target when your taunt is ending. Don't kite vertically (directly towards or away from your allies who are killing it). Kite horizontally. This way they don't have to move and they have more time to deal damage. As long as the target is still chasing you, stop only occasionally to hit, but dont get hit yourself. IF the target has stop chasing you, and is attacking your team, repeat from the top. Dont stun if hes still chasing you, as it would require you to repeat everything again. If this is done correctly and you have maxed level stun and taunt, the target will only be free to change aggro for 1 second every 12 seconds. Note: It is NOT recommended to facetank before you have Safeguard The objective of the assaut tank is not to take damage. Your job is to keep everyone from taking damage, yourself included. If, and only if, this is not possible, do you take the damage for them. Exception: see the note above on safeguard in downside of stun. MOBS YOU NEED TO WATCH OUT FOR (DANGEROUS): Devourer Similar skin to roaches from melee game, zerg unit, with green and red pustules on it. They have good health/armor and spawns 1 Blindlings and 1 Banelings upon death. The moment you see them coming towards your team, stun and alert your teammates. Should not be tanked without RA because of baneling spawn. Carry a stack of flares to give you vision after being blinded. Agron It uses an updated version of the ultralisk skin from the melee game,zerg unit. It has huge cleave attack (aoe) so you have to stay away from your team when tanking them. They also have a high chance per attack to give you open wound. Open wounds make tanking extremely impractical, should be avoided if at all possible and never be attempted without AT LEAST safeguard and C4/C6/RA On higher difficulty, they spawn 3 larvaes upon death. The larvae will spawn approx 2 seconds after agron's death. Parasite It uses larvae skin from melee game,zerg unit. They spawn from dead agron, random nydus and dead infestor. Only appear in higher rating game. Every hit would apply venom debuff unless you still have your shield. Do not tank. Period. A venom debuff would deals damage over time and slows you down, value increased per stack. A huge stack can easily cost your medic all his energy. Be extra cautious. Black Ops (BO) Using same skin as Spectre from melee game, terran unit. BO wave appears before queen fight. Has the ability to throw a timed bomb (Satchel), plant mines, cloak, void prison (campaign zeratul ability), and artillery strike (A.K.A. red dot). Mines are tankable, satchel and dot are not. Satchels will only be dropped if Black Ops is attacked at close range (<2 range). IF your team didnt clear the whole remaining BO when you tank queen, the BO will most likely attack you (with a chance of using his abilities). Even without his abilities, BO + Queen attack is pretty dangerous. Make sure all BO are dead when u fight queen. Alert your teammates if you spotted a BO. Baneling Same name and skin as zerg's melee unit. Deals huge damage on death (and they attack by blowing themselves up if any target is in range of blast). It also bypass lives system (lives make you immune to damage if a hit takes you below 20% health but doesn't kill you. Banelings will often deal more than 20% of your health in one hit). Its possible to tank them if you have RA. But if you dont,stun and run. Note: Dont mistake them with Blindlings. Similar mechanic with Banelings,but they blind you instead of dealing damage. Easy way to tell them apart is by the way they walk. Blindlings rolls (like upgraded bane in melee game) while Banelings walks (un-upgraded melee bane style). Also Blindlings have slightly red color added while Banelings have normal color. Clickling Larger and darker baneling with yellow pustules on it's face. These are hard to kill with weapons, but clicking on them 5 times will kill them. Spawn under tartarus in nightmare games instead of banelings. Slasher Uses modified hydralisk skin from the melee game. Deals 125 damage per hit, but loses 11 damage per point of armor. This means that 11 armor can tank it very well, but your squishy allies will be dead in 2-3 hits. Slashers are also low target priority for auto attack, and should be manually targeted. AoE attack (similar to crowbar) means anyone standing next to you while you tank will die. Brood Mother Uses queen skin from melee game. Deals 90 damage per hit with only a 5 damage loss per point of armor. Not very tankable without RA or safeguard + C4/C6. Appear in veteran games during the egg sequence if squad rating >1800. Also appear on all difficulties in the post-black ops wave, by which point you should be able to tank them easily. BOSS TANKING: AVOID AT ALL COST UNTIL YOU HAVE RA OR SAFEGUARD+C4/C6!! Even tho you have your stun and taunt, tanking boss at extended time is always dangerous. W/o Safeguard you can only hold Boss stationary for 6 seconds max (assuming 4 second stun and another 2 taking damage with full taunt).RA would help if you dont have Safeguard. It reduce enough damage for you to stay up to 4 second with taunt only. After that you need to stun and run. Tartarus (armored,biological,massive,heroic) Big round ugly thing, 1st boss. Deals good damage. Ocasionally summons a few blindlings AND banelings under him (spawns clicklings instead of blindlings in nightmare games). Dont even try to tank it as you're probably level 4~5 by the time you reach him. With Reactive Armor (only found in vet difficulty) Tartarus is tankable with an early reactive armor find, and to do this you should spin him completely around. (you run around him inside the door, giving a much wider angle for your allies to shoot him. You are now inside tartarus's lair, with his backside facing out the door.) However, be careful of any hulks (armored zombies) that spawned inside tartarus's lair. If you are using reactive armor, they will end up killing you much faster than tartarus would. Alert your teammates to them so they will kill the hulks first. Without Reactive Armor Stun, then taunt and run, then stun again. With maxed stun and taunt this gives 15 seconds of no one taking any damage. This should be enough time to kill tartarus. If not, keep kiting him around to keep him in check (not hitting anything), especially when "his carapace hardens". At this point he will only take damage from behind. Make sure he always follows you rather than your allies. If he changes targets stun him, taunt him, or run closer than they are to tartarus and then go back to kiting. Pic. Tank stands right kiting tartar so DPS at left can attack tartarus from behind. Blind/banes spawns near tartarus so try to keep your distance. Tell your team which direction you are going to pull tartarus so they can position themselves. (ex. "taunting left, stay right" or "pulling right, stay left") Capturing Tartarus: Capturing Tartarus would give you +3xp reward, as opposed to +1xp from killing it. You can start trying to capture tartar when he is about 1k health, and general asks you to to capture. Simply stun tartar, and have your teammates to deal a single deadly blow to tartar from behind. Eilythia (Biological,Armored,Massive,Heroic) Flying boss, sometime appears as first boss instead of Tartarus on higher difficulty. She doesnt have any attack, but she runs around the area. Spawn a batch of eggs as she roams. The eggs can hatch into a range of mobs (either mutalisks, seekers, or banelings. She will change color based on what she is going to spawn: yellow = muta, red = seeker, blue = bane). She will enter regeneration mode when low on health for approximately 10~15 seconds. If not killed during this time, she will regenerate to full health and you will have to start the fight all over again. The key to this boss is to stun as much as possible. Stun her as soon as she comes out of the gate and then stun as soon as you see her start to move again (and the cooldown has finished). More organized games will set up an order of stuns (as in: first assault stun, then demo sap, then assault stun again, then demo look!, then engineer tower stun, etc.) Her roaming area is limited to: North limit: Airlock Gate. Place where 1st boss spawns. East limit: Camera between Airlock Gate and bridge. South limit: Starport (A.K.A. base 2) north wall. West limit: Edge of the map. Erebos (Light,Biological,Heroic,Psionic) Skinny and tall with 4 legs and 2 arms, 2nd boss. You will need to kill him twice. Fight 1: Nothing much for him. He will summon some MEATeorite (zerg drop pod skin) that deals massive damage. These need to be avoided. If you have RA you can just tank erebos. If not, follow the same instructions as with tartarus (stun, taunt-kite, stun again). On higher difficulty he can blind your whole team for 8 seconds, which makes it harder to avoid MEATeorites. Carry flares and drop one if you get blinded. Ignores armor in non-newbie games. Fight 2: Same as fight 1,but he can now gain additional abilities. Erebos summons his minions from afar: He will summon banelings at the edge of an area (15 radius i believe) around him. They will self destruct after a short period. Keep close to erebos. Erebos begins to form a regenerative shell: Any damage dealt to erebos will heal him instead. Kite him until he loses his shell. Erebos summons his minions in close proximity (only available in harder difficulty): He summons banelings within about a 2 radius of him. Unless you have RA, run away and be ready to run back in to continue tanking. Ignores armor. Queen (Eos) (psionic,biological,heroic,massive,armored) An oversized boss with big range. She is easily tankable with safeguard and C4/C6/RA. DO NOT STUN HER. This may cause her to change targets and murder one of your teammates. The medic should not have to heal you while you are tanking the queen. Have a stack of medkits and antivenom ready if you take damage, but the medic should stay away from the queen. Watch your health bar on the side (you probably can't see yourself very well) to see if you need to kit or use antivenom. The queen will start running away when dying (approx 1/6 health). Try to keep the queen close with stun, but DO NOT CHASE. Your main objective as tank is to keep the team safe from wave that appears during queen fight. Menoetes (Side Boss; Armored,Biological,Massive,Heroic) His attack is by spawning random nydus under your team's feet that deals damage and apply cripple when dies/explode. He will not confront you personally and will just run around the map, not stopping even when you are attacking him. May spawn after erebos fight #1. Make sure you stun the moment you see him, and alert your teammates. Lelantos (Side Boss; Biological,Armored,Massive,Heroic) Appears during nydus worm sequence of non-newbie games. Uses broodlord skin, attacks with broodlings. very tankable, but do not get too close as your commando may want to nuke it or your subtlety marksman may want to sting it. Your job in Optional Missions Mining Shaft Recruit mode There are five different possibilities of enemies to appear out of the mining shaft. These include: sheep, nydus worms, huggers, spine crawlers, and the two agrons, Zeus and Leto. Sheep: Combat knife will kill them. Pause to explain this if you see anyone of very low experience in the game. Nydus worms: stay in front of your allies, be wary of slashers that will spawn if a worm stays at 25% health or below for too long. These should be stunned immediately. Huggers: spam combat knife and be ready to stun as soon as you see one begin to extend it's tentacle, stun it. Spine Crawlers:These do not respond to taunt as they are structures. They do however respond to stuns. If you see someone taking too much damage, stun as many of the crawlers attacking them as possible. Zeus and Leto:Similar to tartarus, these take extra damage from the back, normal damage from the sides, and reduced damage from the front. As such, you should taunt them and run away from your teammates. kiting horizontally to the team is not helpful in this case as they don't get the bonus damage from shots in the rear. Be careful of rampage, as it will give them increased attack speed and movespeed, and save your stun for if they get close enough to attack you or they aggro to another player while your taunt is down. Other modes: Only one possibility as to what will spawn from the mining shaft: Seth. I won't waste your time explaining his mechanics or how the team as a whole faces him, that's what we have the wiki for. Face tank with the crowbar and either RA or as much armor as you can get. Do not stun him, as it may cause him to change aggro and kill one of your allies. Don't let yourself get below 200 health as his plasma detonators do 200 damage and can kill you. Whenever polarity changes, you may want to quickly type which sign you are to help out your team as you don't actually have to move. Always yell at your team to stack better and target the scvs, even if they've been stacking perfectly and no scv has survived long enough to reach him. Note: If there's a fortitude demolitions on your team and you have found the XS-4 armor, let him tank. He won't even take a hit to his health with proper play. Also, nanoshield (the medic's primary way of helping him) has a longer casting range than nanoweave (the medic's primary way of helping you), meaning she can easily stay out of range of the polarity damage if she's a different sign. If there's a modifications technician on your team, let him tank. If he has march of the machines he will utterly demolish seth, provided people stack on him properly. Communications Tower As the tank it is your job to stand on the hex (you can facetank the agrons for longer than your allies). Note that this does not mean you should just sit there and tank them if you don't have safeguard yet. Wait to taunt until you see an agron, so that you won't be caught with it on cooldown while agrons are charging your squishy teammates. Save your stun for just before someone is about to take an agron hit, rather than as an agron unburrows. Remember that the performance bonus xp is nice, but it is not required. If you're dying, RUN AWAY. The team would rather have you alive to tank later than have the couple of extra xp points for finishing it quickly. Also: If there is a fortitude demolitions on your team, don't taunt. Let him taunt and kite anything that gets close. His taunt is, for all intents and purposes, permanent, and also doesn't have the stupid movespeed reduction. If there is a modifications technician or an order flamer on your team, let them stand on the hex while you kite-taunt anything that gets close. Infestors Stun and use combat knife to slow its escape. Ping the infestor's location, and type in chat "fest" or "inf." Use taunt if any extra enemies are coming towards your group as you are killing the infestor, as your teammates may not notice them. On higher difficulties, infestors will get angry after being shot and (based on time) turn orange and then yellow. After it turns yellow, and is still not dead, it will drop about five eggs with banelings inside. When this happens, run away to a safe distance, hope your allies are too, and be ready to stun or kite-taunt. Remember not to anger infestors (by shooting them) unless your team is there, and can focus on killing it. NEVER SOLO INFESTORS. Also, on higher difficulties, infestors will burrow when damaged enough. You will need to either plant a flare, stun it, have a thermal, have a recon with flare and/or laser designator, or have stat points in perception. Brain Bug Queen Make sure you have your team with you, and organize a chain-stun with whatever other stunners you have in your team. If you have an engineer with towers, a commando with killing me softly, or a demolitions with mines, you don't really have to do anything. Surveillance Cameras Basically just make sure you're the one who triggers the camera spawn (because of agron or baneling spawns), and remember to taunt. If you can, avoid the camera by the airlock entrance until after the tartarus/eilythia fight (an agron spawn combined with the boss deciding to come out before you've dealt with the agrons is painful and probably game ending). Chemical Leak If this is done it is usually done after Seth on the way back to the airlock. You should be on the southern hex with one other person to provide you support and dps (I generally get the rifleman, if there is one). Just stand there and try to kill stuff as fast as possible. Only leave the hex if you have to, but do leave the hex rather than dying. Civilian Escort #1 (from the ship) Taunt as soon as the first civilian turns, and save stun for when taunt is on cooldown. If you stand in the middle of the civilian conga line you can generally taunt every hulk. Civilian Escort #2 (in apollo city) You shouldn't be escorting them. You and all the team besides the designated escorter(s) stand in front of the active dome, and you tank stuff. If you see a yellow arrow, ping it and type "civs" or "arrow." Civilian Escort #3 (in the truck) This is generally either soloed by a mobility recon, subtlety marksman, or fortitude demolitions while you and the rest of the team deal with the queen. If your team failed to hold the queen in position, however, you have already missed the speed bonus (1:25), and the devourer and slasher wave has ended, you may go out as a team and escort the civilians. Just taunt and/or stun whenever anything spawns, and keep an eye out for the queen's infested marines. Additional note: -Stick to team as much as you can as they need you to take damage for them. -Be aware of what is happening around you, and react accordingly. -Stun has a long range and is useful to save a teammate who is being chased by mob. -Face tanking would usually mean you are very close to mobs. spam knife attack in conjunction with your weapon for extra damage and slow. Items Consumables: Bandages: Instantly heal you for 50 health, and remove 1 stack of open wound. use it as emergency item. Medkits: Heals good amount of health over time. Use it to keep your health up (avoiding debuff) and when you're in a position where you wont get any heal from medic. Best part of medkits: as they are a heal over time you can use one just before you start tanking (and should for any extended tanking periods. ex. bosses) and it will keep your health up during the fight. Anti-Venom: Remove 1 stack of venom and heals 10 HP. Helpful if you have a huge ammount of venom stack to ease your medic. Ammunition Box: It stores magazines inside, up to 15. Very useful for DPS, not so useful for tank (since tank mainly uses crowbar). You may be given ammo boxes to carry as you have the largest inventory besides the recon. Modifications: Nano-Health Augment (NHA): It gives you additional .4 health regeneration per second. Very useful. Stackable. Combat Mobility Augment (CMA): Grants increased movementspeed, helps the slow assault to cover distance to engage in melee combat. Other class may need it more, so you're not priority. If a mobility recon or either type of marksman wants it, give it to them. Does not stack with another CMA. Weapons: Crowbar (CB): A melee weapon with 1 range. doesnt hit air but it doesnt use ammo,so no reload needed. Affected by ammo mod. Also bypass target's armor. Very good splash damage. Shotgun (SG): Tank mainly use CB for any tanking business, but it doesnt hit air. SG is preferable against air due to its large splash radius. Short/medium range. Uses 2 rounds per shot. Primary weapon (once you find it) for everything besides boss tanking. Gauss Rifle: Standard gun you start with. Usable only for the range (most other weapon would be needed by other class,so this is your only option for range). Use versus tartarus and during the newbie mode dropship holdout. Not ammo efficient, get one of the other weapons asap. Flamethrower: Safer to use and easier to find than crowbar. straight line splash. Gains damage the closer you are to the target. Primary weapon for erebos as he is light, biological, and the flamer ignores armor. Stinger (TK-3000): Huge splash, massive damage. Uses 10 rounds per shot. Deals Friendly Fire (It hurts your teammates as it hurts your target). In vet games, seth will drop this when he dies. You will probably get it to use on the eggs if you don't have safeguard yet. Note that it doesn't fire if you have less than 10 rounds left. ARMOR: C4 armor (C4): Adds 4 armor. Located in the airlock near the gate to erebos' lair. With safeguard C4 is sufficient to tank 90% mobs in EC storyline. C6 armor (C6): Adds 6 armor. Improved version of C4. Drops in chapter 2 of newbie mode. Reactive armor (RA): Adds 1 armor. Reduce any damage recieved to 25 per hit (100 damage max). Meaning if you take any damage between 25 and 100, this armor would limit the damage to 25. Good against heavy hitter. Allows you to start tanking earlier, but its still far from perfect and not necessary for tanking. Not found in newbie mode. Arms tree Best single target DPS of all 3 starting class, but some classes unlocked from higher exp can deal more damage. Requires a lot of ammo to function properly. Suppressive Fire: A core talent to maximize your damage output. Very good but it also slow your movement speed further down by 30%. Use carefully. Level 1 - Increases attack speed by 50% and sight range by 1 Level 2 - Increases attack speed by 100% and sight range by 2 Level 3 - Increases attack speed by 150% and sight range by 3 Active, 12 energy, 5 sec cooldown, 7 sec duration. Critical Strike: Chances or not, increased damage is always welcome. Level 1 - 10% chance Level 2 - 20% chance Level 3 - 30% chance Passive. Ammo Feed: Allows you to reload 3 magazines at a time,giving you a lot of time to focus only on dps and not manual reload. Level 1 - Increases magazine capacity by 40. 2 magazines are used when reloading Level 2 - Increases magazine capacity by 80. 3 magazines are used when reloading Passive. Blood Frenzy: Another core talent. Combined with SF and Critical strike, it is very possible to perma-stun boss. Level 1 - Increases damage by 20% and grants a 0.1 second stun on Critical Strikes Level 2 - Increases damage by 40% and grants a 0.2 second stun on Critical Strikes Active, 15 energy, 20 sec cooldown, 10 sec duration. Charge: Charges to a target point in 12 range. Knocks back, stuns, deals damage. Useful for running away, saving people, and wiping out smaller mobs quickly without using ammo. Level 1 - Deals 200 damage to all affected enemies, and +50% to Massive targets, increases armor by 5, lasts 0.5 seconds, 15 Range. Active, 25 energy, 8 sec cooldown, 0.5 sec duration. TALENT BUILDS: Build 1 - Suppressive Fire 2 - Suppressive Fire 3 - Suppressive Fire 4 - Critical Strike 5 - Blood Frenzy 6 - Blood Frenzy 7 - Ammo Feed 8 - Ammo Feed 9 - Charge 10 - Critical Strike 11 - Critical Strike After arms: Defensive Plating to level 3, 1 taunt, then stun. ARGUMENT: Not a lot of discussion here. SF is much more superior than critical strike. Critical strike is free and passive, but the capability to deal more damage at will is necessary for a good DPS. Using SF and a marksman rifle is pretty much a rapid fire weapon and is much more ammo efficient than the damage coming from your allies. Getting BF is always priority as it goes very well with SF. Get ammo feed next to decrease reload frequency, allowing easier use of SF and increased dps. After that get charge for an "oh sh**" button and an extra stun besides BF crits. In newbie difficulty you can max critical strike before getting ammo feed, but this is not a good idea on harder difficulties because of the long reload time. Once the arms tree is full get defensive plating for the extra survivability and push on to stun for an extra way to pin down the baddies. STAT DISCUSSION Stat option for Assault DPS: Agility - Increases movespeed by 0.025 and faster reload speed. Perception - Increases sight range, grants Detection in a small radius, and increase critical strike chance slightly. Intelligence - Increase max energy by 5, grants you a chance to gain extra talent point on level up. Even tho PER gives increased critical strike chance that would work very well with the talent's synergy, the increase is so small compared to faster reload time from AGI. And the increased movespeed is nice (meaning: less sprint needed > more energy saved for damage). And since assault only have 75 energy, INT would help you spam SF+BF. TLDR; PER buff is overrated, AGI or INT is the way to go. Get AGI if you have field support engineers or surveillance recons (who can boost your energy). Otherwise INT is better for the chance at bonus talents and the increased energy reserves. 1 level of PER can be good to give close range detection of burrowed infestors and cloaked wraiths for veteran games. STRATEGIES: This part is pretty straightforward. Using SF in conjunction with BF would net you a good dps. With level 3 Critical Strike, its almost a guaranteed perma stun,depending on your weapon. But its also very costly, both ammo and energy wise. Most damage comes from your ammunition, with charge being the only exception. Meaning your DPS depends on weapon and ammo modifiers you have equipped. Knowledge of how they works would be useful. Flamethrowers are very good for BF as each shot is composed of 12 pellets which each have a crit chance and therefore a stun chance. Marksman rifle and barrett are very good for SF because they are long range (movespeed debuff isn't as dangerous), high damage, and slow firing. Ammo feed is very good for barrett and heavy machine gun because of long reloads. Erebos can be taken out relatively easily by an SF/BF flamethrower from very close range (gets better the closer you are to him). Be careful of when BF wears off though, you will need to either charge away or get someone to stun it. Note: Note that SF has longer duration than its cooldown. BF has longer cooldown. The key for good DPS on extended fight is energy management. On a very long fight (e.g. queen), you might want to use SF only when BF is on to avoid energy starving. Items Consumables: Bandages: Instantly heal you for 50 health, and remove 1 stack of open wound. use it as emergency item. Medkits: Heals good amount of health over time. Use it to keep your health up (avoiding debuff) and when you're in a position where you wont get any heal from medic Anti-Venom: Remove 1 stack of venom. Helpful if you have a huge amount of venom stack to ease your medic. Ammunition Box: It stores magazines inside, up to 15. Very useful for DPS, and helps with slow movespeed as you can keep a lot of your ammo in it and deplete as needed. Modifications: Hollow Point ammo (HP): Grants 12% increased damage. Stack with another HP and other ammo mods. Armor Penetration ammo (AP): Allows you to ignore 1 armor from target. Not as helpful with flamethrowers, barrett, and heavy machine gun as they ignore armor. Do not use with laser rifles: it will actually decrease your dps. High Explosive ammo (HE): +3% damage to your attack. Also gives a debuff that deals DoT to mobs for 2 seconds. Gives bonus damage to flamethrower, stinger, nukes, explosives, laser rifles, etc. Operations commando is priority for this, followed by tank, followed by any primary dps (you) using a flamethrower or laser rifle. Full Metal Jacket (FMJ): +15% attack speed at the cost of -1 range. Depends on what weapon you are using. Great with anything of 9 range or greater, bad on shotgun and flamethrower, terrible on crowbar (reducing range to 0 removes splash damage). High-Capacity Magazine (HCM): Same effect as Ammo Feed. Meaning with lvl 2 Ammo Feed and HCC, you will reload 4 mags each time you reload. You're not priority due to the fact you already have Ammo Feed (better version of HCM). Doesnt stack with another HCM. Weapons: Gauss Rifle: Standard stuff. Eats too much ammo for taking down most mobs. Not recommended. Flamethrower (Flamer): Short/medium range, ignores target armor, and deals extra damage based on how close you are with target. Straight line splash. Extra damage against biological (which is practically 95% of the mobs). Heavy Machine Gun (HMG): Highly improved version of your gauss. Ignores target armor. Long reload time. Extra damage against armored. Great splash. Available only on higher difficulty. HK420 Assault Rifle (HK): Improved version of gauss. M5 Pulse Rifle (Pulse): Similar to gauss, better armor penetration, faster firing, and bonus damage versus psionic (note black ops, erebos, infestors). Laser Rifle (LR): Fast attack speed,medium range. Extra damage based on target armor. Marksman Rifle (sniper): Long range, slow attack speed. Great with SF because of ammo efficiency, damage, and infrequency of reloads. Barrett (barr): Long range, slow attack speed, uses 3 rounds per shot. Great with SF because of massive damage and increased attack speed. Eats a lot of ammo. Give it to a combat rifleman that has their T3 or a subtlety marksman (if they want it). Otherwise keep it. ARMOR: Generally any armor that is recommended for tank, but not needed by tank (tank already have it or have something better) is good. Good armor helps survivability while taking out erebos and using charge. MUDKIPZZ'S CREDITS Khorne25 for letting me use his guide as starting point. NiteShade for his insightful explanation regarding how some weapon works. Emperor for his help with the guild's format. Vindicator101 for his arguments that helps me understand mechanics more. Woosa for a refreshing argument and tip. ADDITIONAL CREDITS Mudkipzz for all the work he put into the original guide. GrandMarshall for his posts on additional enemies and weapons. ArcanePariah for technical fixes and numbers. NiteShade for light proofreading. WORKS IN PROGRESS Optional missions for arms (including weapons choice): mining shaft, comms, festors, bbq, cams, chem, civ escort, apollo civs, civ truck Optimal weapons for different enemies for arms: ghouls, zombies, seekers, immortals, hulks, infested marines, stalkers, gargoyles, agrons, banelings, blindlings, devourers, slashers, huggers, stranglers, wraiths, parasites, infestors, brain bugs, miniqueens, BO, sentry, reapers (did i forget any?) Optimal weapons for bosses for arms: tart, ely, ere 1 and 2, queen, parrot, freshmaker, bbq I will make updates to this guide as long as I am active. Constructive feedback is very helpful. Please report any contradiction, inconsistencies, and/or mistakes.