OK, you are playing a jetpack game. No more Unreal Tournament, Halo, Half Life 2 or Team Fortress play in two dimensions. Adapting to a dynamic three dimensional environment can be a real challenge. You might even find it impossible to aim at a player who is 75% of the time IN THE AIR ? dozens of feet IN THE AIR.
1. Remember that this is a three dimensional game. You are aiming at where the opponent isn?t. At some times in combat you will even be aiming at points in the air or points on the ground when your opponent is not even in your field of view or FOV (off your screen!). After a while your brain will adapt as it would if you were reading backwards text. It would be difficult at first (and maybe a little annoying) but your brain will adjust. You have to have faith that your shot will hit your target. Fixating on a moving opponent and keeping the opponent?s avatar in your crosshairs will only waste ammo and frustrate yourself further (unless it?s hitscan: it hit immediately ? but thank goodness they took most of that out).
2. Practice, practice, practice. Visit the practice map and try to mid air the bots. Start with the low flying up and down jetjetting bots then work your way up the bots that meander this way and that and never come down. If you can hit them in mid air more than 50% of the time you are getting very good!
3. Stick to your strengths at first. If you are really good at guessing how people will behave, then base defense is probably for you. If you like helping out but your fighting skills ?suck? then repair base defenses. Believe me, trying to cap a flag with two or more turrets with the radar up is very difficult. If you like sneaking around and did that in other games and you have practice in doing so, then do that. Few things are more disruptive to base defense than having an infiltrator or raider with a jammer pack on wracking havoc in their base!
4. Map referencing indirect weapons is a must in this game. If you are using an indirect weapon (one that shoots like a grenade launcher), remember a two dimension point on the map of the map, remember where your projectile lands and take note at what ?tic? that the explosion occurred. The grenade launcher, fusion mortar, MIRV and I think the ARX Buster all have the | | | | | | | | on the HUD (Think of those as vertical). If you remember that a certain box model on the map hits a key point (like the flag stand) at a certain tic mark, remember that and adjust from that point. Until targeting lasers are implemented we will have to reference from stuff on the map. Matching up a landmark with a ?tic? on your HUD can turn a frustrating, ammo burning and time consuming ordeal trying to hit that stupid sniper into a one shot satisfying +500 point kill. Landing a mortar round moments before a flag capper is about to cap is satisfying too and demoralizes the opposing team while bleeding off alert players from protecting the flag to go hunt YOU. This gives your other players a better chance at capping the flag as the ones coming for you cannot be in two places at once!
5. If you want some good kills stay inside the base and get good at predicting when they will come into your base. When a light rushes into a base they cannot see you with a smile on your face and a loaded Fusion Mortar in your hand. You can see their chevron when they are close to the base sensors and this can you predict when they will come close to the front door. I get over 1/3 of my mortar kills this way.
6. Keep the BM (Bad Manners) to a minimum. If someone is playing poorly, help him out if he seeks advice. Don?t tell someone they are really bad or ?suck? or trash on them. They have a /mute function and communication is important to team play, which this game IS. Remember, switching from a two dimensional to a three dimensional first person shooter can make a n00b out of almost anyone. Also remember that these are the people that help populate servers and help make this game a more popular one. Besides, trash talk an opponent or taunt him viciously and next round that player might be on your team?
7. Experiment with the Field of View option. Changing my field of view to 120? helps ME see opponents on the sides of me at the cost of reduced detail in the front of me and distorted center of view to side of view (the side view has different distances than the front view). Again, your brain will adjust automatically after a time. Of course, if you play better with 90?, then stick with that.
8. The use of your grenades at the same time as your weapon in close or near close up dogfighting should be a habit. I play as a heavy A LOT and love letting loose a Fusion Disc then a fraction of a second later letting loose a belt disc grenade. Experiment with the different grenades ? they augment your combat chances a lot. There are even grenades that reduces an opponent?s energy, makes them drop the flag and even blinds them for a short time!
9. Skill progression takes time. Realize it?s not the points that tell you that you are a good player, it?s how many points more than your last time that tells you how good you are GETTING. There is no magic formula that will get you 100% free, unskilled kills 100% of the time. Work at it and have fun!
10. Have fun and if you get frustrated, mad, furious or just plain bored get off of the game and do something else. The last thing you want to do is discard a game from one frusrating experience.
11. Don?t rely on automatic weapons too much. This is Tribes. Using these weapons may be easy to use but it will erode your dogfighting and predictive timing skills. I know you need to use predictive time a little when leading a target with the SubMachineGun, pistol, assault rifle or chaingun but when you are using more powerful 300-900 damage weapons that shoot one shot at a time you can damage the player (or even take them out) with ONE shot instead of multiple hit/miss shots. Get good at predictive timing with one shot powerful weapons and the automatic weapons will seem like pea-shooters?
If you so choose to use automatic weapons exclusively be prepared for a lot of BM from other players who hate being pecked to death in a place with hardly ANY cover.