Hawken New Player?s Guide?by Marauder66
OK Recruit, you?ve got your Mech, you?ve done the training and you?ve been on the battlefield and had your ass handed to you. Now you are thinking, should I get on the next shuttle out of here, or should I stick around and try again. My advice, stick around, don?t listen to the Pay2Win posts and guys saying if you don?t have credits you?ll always get stomped, that?s just bull. Give it time, read the tips and tricks that the other guys have been posting, and you?ll grow to love this game just as much as some of the Alpha/Beta Vets and Vanguards.
To try and convince you I?ve put together some of my own thoughts here, it?s a guide, but with a bit more of a focus for a new pilot during his or her first few forays. I hope it helps as you guys are the future, and we want you to hang around.
The recruit mech is a very good all round starter for the new recruit. Don?t worry about all the posts saying that all you?ve got is the CRT when other guys have purchased Berserkers and Grenadiers, etc. this mech has the rookie internals, good weapons, great health, which combined make it a tough proposition on the battlefield. Put a LVL1 CRT against a LVL1 Infiltrator with two similarly skilled pilots and the CRT wins 90% of the time in my opinion. People crying Pay2Win are wrong, as Elix put it (and read all his posts he knows what he is talking about) it?s PayNotToGrind. None of the mechs are better than each other purposefully in vanilla form as all are supposed to be balanced, and the devs keep listening and working to ensure that as much as possible this continues to be the case, and everything that can be bought with cash is also available with HC as long as you put in the time.
Make sure as you get Optimization Points you use them, every little helps! But be aware that they make very little difference, i.e. 0.16% additional damage per shot, even for a weapon that gives 100HP only gives you 1 more damage point, i.e. 101 HP! Someone has also calculated that the extra firing rate for the secondary weapon only gives you an increased fire rate from 2 secs to 1.93 secs, etc. so not a great difference. My main advice on this, go for movement or defence. the 3.5% boost to health in defence takes you from 500 to518 health in an A class mech ? now that can make a difference, and being able to boost away at speed with extra fuel is also going to help you stay alive.
One big point to note which a lot of people miss. Your mech loses health if you take a big drop. If jumping down to another level use your jets to cushion the landing.
The reason your mech may have been stomped early on could be one or all of the following
1. You came across a skilled pilot who 1v1 will most likely win until you get more practice
2. You came across a leveled up mech ? you don?t pay for levels, this is obtainable by all, but some have a week?s headstart. A level 20 mech using the optimization tree could have more health, better maneuverability and give greater damage. I say again though, this has only been paid for with time, you can?t buy levels!
3. You were shot by more than one mech ? I have been able to do damage with the assault rifle from half a map away without the guy noticing in the heat of battle. Situational awareness can help, but sometimes there is nothing you can do about it you will get shot!
4. You came up against a coordinated team. In most modes teamwork is key and if you play as a group of loners you will most likely lose, especially as new recruits ? but more on this later.
Starter weapons are good on the CRT and the TOW may be my favourite in the game. Things to note however
1. Your primary weapon will lose its focus if you just keep your finger on the trigger causing less damage. Try it in training. Stand a distance from a wall and fire at it and you will see the shots start to spread as time goes on. Try to shoot/pause/shoot/pause, etc. This also manages the heat.
2. The TOW can be detonated in mid air (airburst) so you don?t actually have to hit the target, although this gives the most damage. Once the missile gets alongside your enemy hit the mouse button again to detonate. This is also good to damage guys hiding around corners or in structures. Fire the TOW and as it passes the corner detonate to surprise the enemy.
3. If you catch someone unawares, TOW should be your first shot, it causes most damage, make it count.
4. Remember your cooldown function (F key). Make sure you use it if you get close to overheat, as it takes a second to reset if you do it after overheat which can be critical mid fight.
5. You get a shield to start off with which doesn?t protect you from everything, but can assist to block off bullets during escapes and protect you or your team mate during healing. You can still get splash damage from expolsive weapons so don?t stand too close to the sides! If you get a turret it is also a good weapon. Drop it next to you in battle to chip away at the enemy or at flanking positions to warn you of danger creeping up. When it starts to fire you will hear the noise and a yellow damage light will come up on the HUD.
Teamwork and the Enemy
OK, you are new and keen to get into the fight. Run straight into battle and 9 times out of 10 you will die. Here are a few tips to help
1. When you enter the map hit the scoreboard key (Tab) This not only shows you the number in each team and the scores, but also the type and levels of each players mech. This gives you an idea of what the balance is like, and what kind of game to expect. Until matchmaking is fixed 50% of the times the teams won?t be balanced, if not more. Don?t quit! The best way to get better in my opinion is to play better players. Use it as a learning experience and try to have fun. In these games I don?t worry too much about the overall score as it may be inevitable you will lose, but more on the moments where you have a great kill, a good escape or saved a teammate ? and who knows, mid game things may swing your way with additional players joining or good players switching to assist. Then on to the next match.
2. Find your teammates. The best teams are coordinated ? no one goes in alone. Sometimes you have to depending where you spawn, but it?s always best to try and coordinate so that you attack as a team or at least as a 2 or 3. Most times 2 v 1 the 2 come out on top and even 2 recruits against a veteran should still get the kill even if one of them gets killed in the process too. Some feedback I?ve had is that new pilots like to latch on to experienced pilots and act as their wingman, or as a distraction to the enemy even though they know they will probably get killed, they?ll still pick up the XP and aid their team.
3. If going in as a team don?t stand in the front as a LVL1 or 2 mech. Support from the back and disengage and heal as required. It?s common sense, not cowardice as other more leveled mechs can take more damage and more skilled pilots can dodge more bullets than you. Se above, another option I?ve been told new pilots use is to flank as a distraction to draw fire and attention away from the rest of the team. A word of caution, 2-3 mechs will kill you in an instant, but if you can draw a couple away to chase you down, especially in siege mode, then always a good tactic.
4. Keep your eye on the radar. It is easy to get drawn into the fight and not notice a guy sneaking up to flank or from behind. This is fatal.
5. Sometimes you have to run, but if you do, try and run the enemy towards your teammates who are visible on the radar and also show up on the HUD. When running try and steer clear of long avenues. It?s an easy missile shot in the back. Get round corners, put obstacles between you and the pursuer. Get height if you can and remember the 180 degree spin if all else fails and try and surprise the pursuer.
6. The radar can also be your enemy. When in enemy range if you shoot or boost you show up on radar. An enemy can be standing still, not showing up and you are lit up bright as day as you boost towards him. No element of surprise for you. Also if you boost to the fight you?ll find you have none left should you need to escape in a hurry or dodge a TOW, so manage your fuel.
7. Call for help. If you see you are in a bad situation hit the Z button ?help requested? and it usually comes running ?even if not in time to save you if your teammate arrives in time and gets the kill you still get XP, see below for further details.
8. Assess the opposition, is it an A class, speedy but low health, or a C class, slow but needs a lot of hits, and adapt your style accordingly. For an A Class, it should buzz about you but any hit will make a big dent in its health so you just need to make sure that when you shoot your big damage weapon you hit. For a C class its slow, so keep moving and keep firing, if you can get cover between you and it even better, dodge in and out and around and run if you have to, he shouldn?t be able to catch you.
9. Your weapons are in either hand. i.e. if near a wall you don?t have to expose yourself fully to get a shot round it. Also it can be easy to forget and detonate the TOW right in front of you and give yourself splash damage.
10. Glowing orbs are health left after a mech is killed, but you can only pick it up as you stand on it or walk over it. Boosting over it won?t work so if being pursued stop boosting just before it, but assess the risk. More health, or a shot in the back.
To level your mech and improve your chances of survival you need XP. Best way to get it is
1. Shoot a mech. You don?t have to kill it, as long as someone does before it heals up, you still get XP for the damage you have done. So even if it looks like you are going to die, do as much damage as possible before you do as if your teammates come along and finish a mech off you?ll get the XP, i.e. 120 XP for a full kill, I have been awarded 90 to 100 in the past even though I died and didn?t actually kill the mech. Being on the assist role of honour is just as important as being on the kills.
2. Play siege and missile games. You get XP for other things than damage, i.e. collecting energy, shooting the battleships turrets, capturing a silo. Also in these objectives based games the opposition is often more focused on that than killing you.
3. If you have friends with similar level mechs you can friend them and join servers together for a more level playing field.
4. If you find a decent bunch of guys on a server and balance, don?t quit. Play a few rounds with them.
One point I?ve noticed in recent Seige games ? once the battleship launches you have to take the AA to launch missiles. No point hanging back shooting at the enemy on the AA. You have to coordinate an attack and get in there. Or, if this looks like an impossibility then you can shoot the ship. Shooting the turrets will eventually take them out so they can?t shoot you, and shooting out the engines will eventually bring it down. A couple of times I have been standing firing at the ship on my own trying to bring it down as it was obvious the opposition were entrenched at AA, either due to good play or inbalance.
With a bit of luck, training and hopefully some innate skill, you?ll be leveled up in a week or two and showing the new recruits how it?s done. So remember how you started out and don?t diss your teammates when you get to that level, we all started somewhere, and this doesn?t encourage people to stay in the game!
Good Luck recruit, YOU ARE FREE TO FIGHT!