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Old 11-05-2010, 04:29 PM
silent skies silent skies is offline
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Default [G] Guide to Reverse Whale (RW)

[NOTE: My apologies in advance that I can't provide a video to go with this post, but my current laptop is too low-end to manage movie-capture software like FRAPS. Hopefully the images I've prepared will suffice for this guide. If anyone wants to try and make a companion video to this guide, I would be happy to link it here]


Introduction



Hi all,

From reading other Explodet guides and player opinions posted on this forum, it's pretty evident that most people think Reverse Thrust on an Explodet (a.k.a. reverse fatty; reverse whale) is a 'worthless perk'. I started playing reverse whale while crunching through the ace ranks; I had read Beagle's Sniplane guide and had wanted to practice that, but since one can only unlock HC at level 56, and then tentatively reset the ace rank just four levels later, I didn't get much play time with the RT + HC combo. Also, I'd generally been playing regular Director whale during most of my Ace cycles, so I figured what the heck, I'll learn RT on the whale, just for fun. I eventually found out that having RT opens up a lot of interesting tactics that are unavailable to a 'standard' whale.

It sounds absurd (and Kuja will probably need to take migraine meds while reading this), but I think that reverse whale is a surprisingly good setup if you're willing to practice with it. On a good day, I'm able to manage a 2-1, 3-1 or even 4-1 ratio on Official servers using this setup; on ladder, I can at least manage a decent 1-1 ratio, which is still pretty good for a 'worthless perk'. That said, it's obviously not for everyone, since adding RT into your whale tactics makes flying twice as complicated, if not more. But it's very rewarding and fun. I can't even picture myself flying whale without reverse, it seems like a step down...

The reason I've decided to write this guide is because I've seen a lot of people try reverse whale, but they usually do it the wrong way (quite literally):



Okay... why is using reverse whale rewarding? Why is it fun? Here's a list of reasons why you should consider learning reverse whale (from here on out, referred to simply as 'RW'):

1)RT only uses a fraction of your energy: Normal whale, being the heaviest and slowest plane in the game, is awful at doing the vertical climb. You either take your slow, slow time going up, try a tricky little mine-hop where convenient, or otherwise completely drain your energy on afterburner if you don't have time to waste. Why bother? You can sustain reverse thrust while only using a fraction of your energy, allowing you to travel at full speed and pop off a mine or rocket if you really need to.
2)RT doesn't deactivate repair drone: Repair drone is easily my favorite green perk on whale, and it's even better on RW. Once being comfortable with using RT, you can travel around at full speed while still repairing very useful during retreats.
3)Thermo is less effective against you: While moving forward, if a thermo rocket explodes near you, the result is that you usually do a fatal nosedive into a nearby rock. Have you ever noticed that, in a free-fall stall, all it does is rotate your plane? This applies to RW, which spends most of its time in stall you can be reversing at full speed, let go of RT before the rocket hits, and all the thermo will do is rotate your plane your trajectory remains unchanged.
Note: What is far scarier to a reverse user, though, is the 'regular' missiles of Director or Remote. While in normal stall, an explo missile will send you careening off at a speed too fast to recover from. This applies to RW as well.
4)Make the great escape: RW is all about dealing the heavy blows and then living to talk about it. Yes, laying down a mine field is still a good way to kill one or two pursuers, but with RW you can accidentally run into a group of 10 enemies, fire off a rocket and get the hell outta there, faster than you can say 'OH &%*# IT'S 10 ENEMIES'. Simply put, RW can move in ways a regular whale never could, which, used correctly, makes you difficult to hit and your escape movements difficult to predict. You can also move surprisingly fast in some situations (more on that later).
5)The 180: With subtle control of the RT, you can execute a hairpin 180-degree turn in some of the tightest spaces, usually only the territory of the Miranda (more on that in the 'Tactics and Tricks' section). When most whales often find themselves in a tight hallway, the end of which is surrounded by three enemies, their only course of action is to go in guns-a-blazin' and hope against hope that they survive. RW can pull off an otherwise impossible turn and head off in the opposite direction. Nifty.
6)'Nothing gets by reverse fatty!': Well, okay, sometimes donk or lag bombs get by reverse fatty However, RW can go backwards, RW is the biggest, fattest target in the game, and RW comes equipped with momentum-ruining mines and rockets: RW IS (potentially) THE MOST EFFECTIVE SETUP FOR BLOCKING BOMBS, PERIOD (according to me).
7)Plenty of new ways to use your weapons. (See 'Tactics and Tricks')
8)People hate getting killed by explodet, and it boils their blood if said explodet is piloted by some jackass flying backwards half the time.
9)Number nine Number nine Number nine Number nine

There may be even more good reasons that you come across on your own while playing this setup. Please share!

Last edited by silent skies; 11-05-2010 at 04:34 PM.
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Old 11-05-2010, 04:29 PM
silent skies silent skies is offline
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Guide to Reverse Explodet
Perks

The blue perk is a given...


Blue Perk


Reverse Thrust: You are able to fly backwards. It is incredibly hard to learn, but extremely fun. All other blue perks are inferior to reverse thrust, because they don't let you fly backwards and are thus not fun.

Green Perks


Rubber Hull: DO NOT USE RUBBER HULL. (And on a similar note, do not play in bouncy servers). To paraphrase Beagle's Sniplane guide, using rubber hull doesn't help you learn how to use reverse effectively, and only encourages you to develop a lot of bad habits regarding its use. You may crash a LOT while learning RT, but this is all part of the learning process.

Heavy Armor: It has moments where it's very good, but I am far less of a fan of HA on explodet in general, because it doesn't seem to be of much help against the explodet's most feared weapons. A Laser+Warp combo is gonna kill you whether you have HA or not, and getting a spam of 4 bomber nades in the face is gonna kill you whether you have HA or not. It's still effective against smaller weapons, though. Also, if you are (A) really good at picking up those health packs and/or (B) okay with returning to your base to heal when needed, then you should consider using this perk.

Repair Drone: This is by far my favorite green perk on RW. Not only does it repair you, which already goes well with whale since the whale has the most HP to begin with, repair drone still keeps on repairing even if you're using reverse thrust. Thus, you can be moving around or retreating at full momentum and still be healing yourself. Huzzah!

Flexible Wings:
Using this in conjunction with RT makes your explodet handle like a sports car. You already turn slightly faster in a stall (that's why dogfighter/recoilless users often go into stall to take on loopys), and adding Flexi into the equation makes you turn even faster. Almost too fast. However, this is my 2nd-least favorite perk on the RW, since you lose the health bonuses of either HA or repair, and turning faster isn't always necessary since you technically fire explodey things out of both sides of your aircraft, and since, you'll find out eventually, RW is already very maneuverable as it is.

Red Perks


Note: I consider the red perks equally good whichever one you use is completely up to you and what suits your playing style best.

Director: Concussive missiles and multiple proximity mines. This is the red perk I use the most. The director missiles are very good at halting an advance (exploding a rocket in front of a bomb runner will cut his momentum to zero), and the prox. mines can easily be stacked when used with RT, clogging up even the tiniest spaces with lots of deadly goodness. An advanced RW tactic is also to use your reverse momentum to quickly place mines in two paths, very useful when making a retreat.

Thermobarics: Thermobaric missiles pull planes towards them upon exploding. When exploded in tight spaces, the result is often one or more planes doing fatal nosedives into the nearest rock. Also good at screwing up bomb throws, and making people really, really angry. Less effective against reverse users (but, as you know well enough, reverse users are few and far between to begin with).

Remote Mine: Concussive missiles (as on director) and a single mine that can be detonated remotely. Can't use some of the mine tactics available to RW-Director/Thermo users, but remote mines are nevertheless very good once you get used to them, especially since you have more control over when they explode.


My preferred setup for RW is:

Director Repair Drone Reverse Thrust

I highly recommend Repair Drone, but feel free to try out HA or Flexi if you feel it suits you better. Director and Thermo are both great choices for red perks, and remote is nothing to shake a stick at, either.

Last edited by silent skies; 11-06-2010 at 02:30 AM.
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Old 11-05-2010, 04:30 PM
silent skies silent skies is offline
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Guide to Reverse Explodet
Learning the Basics

In this section I wish to mainly cover the quirkiness of rockets. Regarding 'getting good with explo' or 'getting good with reverse', there are already other guides on this.

I highly recommend you read Beagle's Sniplane guide for its information on learning RT. Most of the info regarding RT is just as applicable to RW as it is to Sniplane.

I would like to highlight some important info from his guide:
- Don't use rubber hull while learning
- Come to terms with the fact that you are going to die and crash A LOT while learning RT, but don't get discouraged
- Try practicing flying around difficult spaces to improve your general reverse skills. A new community-driven game mode available for reverse users is the Reverse Race (look in the map section of the forum for downloads, also available on certain servers...) ... most of them aren't built for RW, but for reverse biplanes or loopys, but the practice is invaluable nonetheless.

As an addendum for RW, I would like to point out that reverse thrust on a Whale is less about being a fancy acrobat (though, as you will see, there are some instances where being a fancy acrobat is great) and more about extricating yourself from deadly situations.

The problem that most new RT users have is that they get too nervous or excited about RT and overuse it, resulting in lots of crashes. It's a habit you need to break yourself of. I use the reverse-afterburner as much as I do the normal afterburner - relying too heavily on one or the other is bad form.

Subtlety is the key - in tight spaces, tapping the reverse thrust repeatedly will help you navigate more treacherous areas.

---

Carbon also authored an Explodet Guide. This will help you learn a lot of the basics. Also, a lot of other great explo players have thrown in a lot of very good comments worth reading (I highly suggest reading SkyTiger's information on Thermo missiles, if you are interested in learning Thermo).

Ignore the part where he says Reverse Whale users are weird. RW is a beautiful thing <3

Read 'em? Good. Now we get to the stuff that's even more interesting: what happens when you put them together.

Anyone who plays around with RW for more than a few minutes will realize that the missiles act really crazy if you fire them while using reverse. This looks confusing at first but, like any other skillset in Altitude, is able to be mastered. I've gotten to the point where I can flip around in a wide, 180-degree arc with reverse, fire off a missile (which has its own weird arc) and have said missile smack into the nose of a bomb runner who everybody else missed, and I do this routinely.

Step one: Learning regular missiles
[Note: Anyone who already considers themselves good with explodet can skip to step two, below. This info is for beginners only.]

I've helped train a few new people who wanted to learn explodet, and what I noticed in each case is that the reason they have difficulty firing Explodet rockets is because they don't orient themselves correctly:



The missile actually comes out from the little missile bay attached to the bottom of the explodet. You can see a little white warhead sticking out from this bay before firing. Once you focus on that area as the starting point of your missile (as opposed to the nose of your plane), your aim will most likely improve.

Once fired, the missile will immediately go off in a straight line in the direction fired, even while doing a hard turn. This is confusing, since one might assume the missile would be slightly affected by the turning momentum (and indeed, reverse-turning momentum effects it greatly), but normal turns have no affect upon the missile's trajectory.

If you want to get very accurate with missiles, I suggest finding an empty server with no bots, and practice firing missiles into difficult areas, both while traveling in a straight line and when flying in circles. Such areas include the middle of Cave, the main building of tbd_lostcity, and the middle of obj_arena:



Once you get consistently good at this, we can move onto step two...


Step 2: Freefall missiles


This step is actually much easier than step 1, in fact, I'd say just knowing about it is enough. Generally speaking, a missile as affected by the momentum of your plane when it is released, but since it accelerates constantly, it will eventually 'level off' into a straight path, like so:



The direction the missile 'levels off' into is the directional orientation of the missile itself. “Well yeah, that's obvious,” you say, but in step 3 it's completely different.

You'll come to use this mechanic a lot while using RW, whether falling downwards or floating upwards, so it's best to familiarize yourself with it.

Knowledge of this mechanic is most important when retreating. When flying in reverse, missiles are initially affected by your backwards momentum and thus fly very slowly, but due to their constant acceleration they will eventually level according to the mechanic above and increase in speed, eventually behaving like a normal missile would. Explodet missiles are, for this reason, the most effective weapon to use while flying backwards, even more effective than the fabled heavy cannon.

Step 3: Tomahawk missiles

[Edit: I had originally given this technique the working name of 'circle missiles', for lack of anything better, but G00SE had apparently coined 'Tomahawk missiles' for this technique already.]

This is the most complicated missile technique to learn for RW:



This maneuver is performed while using reverse thrust to flip around in a circular motion. This affects the missile in such a way that it will be traveling in a direction completely different from the way that the missile is facing (and completely different from where you're facing). It requires a lot of practice to get consistent with the accuracy of this, but it becomes second nature to you once you learn it. In my head, I equate the motion of flipping around and throwing out a missile more or less the same way someone would crack a whip, if the Explodet was my hand and the missile is the tip of the whip that unfurls to strike its target.

Generally speaking (as you can see from the picture), the direction of travel for the missile will be about 35-55 degrees different from the way the missile is physically facing. I have many times had a missile that was facing diagonally downwards at 45 degrees, but moving horizontally.

One might assume that the missile will eventually straighten out and move in a regular direction, but the time required to do so is long, and practically speaking you'll never actually see it happen. So for all intents and purposes, assume the missile will move in the way described above.

Thus, if you are defending the left-side base, and a bomb-runner is coming up from the bottom right, you would spin in a clockwise direction and fire the missile right about when your plane is facing horizontally to the right.

This might sound too difficult to learn and too pointless to master, but in fact it's very handy. In many situations, a bomb runner will break away from the defenders and make a mad dash for the base. It's a lot faster to double back and stop him with reverse equipped than it is to turn around and use your afterburner, and as mentioned previously, using your afterburner eats up all your energy, meaning you can't fire your missile right away, while reverse doesn't. However, if you want to rely on reverse to pull off such defensive tactics, learning to control the 'tomahawk missile' is imperative.

Last edited by silent skies; 11-06-2010 at 03:33 AM.
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Old 11-05-2010, 04:30 PM
silent skies silent skies is offline
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Guide to Reverse Explodet
Tactics and Tricks

Dancing around and being effective with RW is more an artform than it is a collection of cheap tricks. That being said, however, here is a collection of cheap (and not so cheap) tricks (and tactics) to get you started, all taking advantage of the reverse thrust.

1)The Tomahawk Missile
[See explanation in previous section]

Difficulty: Easy to do, hard to master ; Usefulness: Essential

2)The Mine Stack
While using RT to float in a single area, lay down multiple proximity mines into a tight corridor, completely blocking it off. This will allow you to cut off a single area to intrusion, while you cover an area below you with missiles:



The first time I used this tactic in a public server, someone got angry at me and said “wow, didn't know you could %$&*ing camp in alty.” Well now you can. You're welcome.
As a camping tactic, though, it is only mildly effective, and in only a handful of situations at that. I've highlighted some areas above where it can be used, sometimes, though usually you only want to use it when you know a bomb carrier is coming that way, or you want to deter a moderate push. However, anyone with a shield will screw you over so hard...

Difficulty: Very easy ; Usefulness: Limited/Low

3) Death from Above
Somewhat similar to the mine stack. You hover in place, but instead of focusing on mines, you rain down rocket after rocket upon victims below, who, in many cases, can do precious little to retaliate, especially if you have a shield handy. You're essentially treating yourself like a stationary rocket turret. There are very limited scenarios where this is a viable defense tactic, but when it is useful it's very deadly. The best places to use this that I can think of are when there's a bomb push from the low route in Middleground or Mayhem. I have on many occasions single-handedly thwarted enemy pushes (at least 3-4 enemies all charging in) using this tactic.

If you are using concussive missiles (Director, Remote), try to hover a decent distance away from where the missile will be exploding. Many times I've gotten too close to the action and accidentally sent myself sailing off in the opposite direction, preventing me from raining down multiple missiles.

Difficulty: Very easy ; Usefulness: Limited/Moderate


4) Bait & Switch
Best used when you're moving parallel to an enemy bomber or biplane that's below you, but separated by an obstacle. (Best example of this is in the middle of the map of TBD_asteroids, but there are plenty others):



This is actually a bit of a role reversal to a common tactic used by biplanes/bombers in situations like this. To quote tyr's biplane guide:

Quote:
Forced engagement around a corner
This is a technique every recoilless user should master.
You wait, flying slowly behind a corner until the enemy comes just in front of you. There is absolutely nothing he can do, and you have the perfect target just in front of you. In the image it's a loopy, but in this case, you have enough time to destroy even the toughest opponent. Once you master this, you can use it even in the fastest fights. For instance if a loopy is chasing you, run behind a wall and make a small loop. Your nose is just facing the corner when the loopy crosses it. With this tactic, your enemy is forced to turn through a large angle to point towards you (and he may over or under turn), while you are automatically aimed right at him without having to turn much at all.
Note that the more experienced players can see what you're up to, and may slow down as well to try to counter this so that YOU would be right in front of him crossing the corner. Make sure that doesn't happen by slowing down far from the corner itself if you see that this kind of situation is coming. You can also try to start going at full speed just before crossing the corner so that you surprise your enemy long enough to escape.
This 'forced engagement' tactic gets turned on its head if you have reverse. Being able to move both forward and backward, you get to dictate when you move across such a space. A lot of players won't expect you to move backwards, so when they move in for the kill, that is your moment to strike. Pop off a missile and fly backwards at the same time. Where before he was on a direct course for your soft underbelly, he's now on a collision course with your missile.

Steps 1 – 3 pictured above is the core maneuver of this tactic. Steps 4 – 6 aren't always necessary or even always viable, but merely a suggestion of how things can sometimes turn out. You'll learn with experience how to manipulate the advantage given to you by the first three steps, whether to move in for the kill and how, or whether to use the opportunity to retreat.

There are dozens of variations on this, of course, depending on the enemy, your skills, and the terrain.

Difficulty: Moderate/Hard ; Usefulness: High

5)The Swan Dive

Because it's so damn elegant.
This is a full-on retreat tactic (no weapons), using the torque of circle-rev in conjunction with gravity to make a hasty getaway. It is worth mentioning because this method enables you to move noticeably faster than if you were to just use normal afterburner. It's also a little unpredictable to the enemy, especially since normal whales rarely move this fast. This is a great tactic if you need to get away from a swarm of badguys.



You start off with a circular motion using RT, arcing downwards. As soon as you're out of the turn/facing downwards, throw on your regular afterburner and get the hell out of there.

Such an escape tactic is obviously easier if you're equipped with Flexi wings. You can try to use reverse throughout the entire manuever, but unless you're Beagle-standard pro at reverse, chances are you'll smack into a wall, which is very counterproductive. Also, RW isn't as nimble as Sniplane to begin with, anyway...

Also, this reverse-to-forward maneuver is useful on a smaller scale when doing backflips in tight corridors.

Difficulty: Moderate ; Usefulness: Essential; Sexiness: Ya didn't know whales could bend like that, did ya?

6) The 180

Sometimes you're traveling in a narrow space, and at the end of that narrow space is death. Mirandas can pull a 180-degree hairpin turn, so why can't you?
Oh wait, you can. You have reverse:



You go into reverse and angle yourself downwards. Once you're almost facing straight down, let go of reverse and finish the turn. Your plane will use its current momentum to 'swing' out of stall. Use your afterburner if you need the extra push.

This is of course messier than the Miranda's elegant 180 warp, but elegant little Mirandas can't drop mines after doing it, now can they?

Alternate: If you flip over your back, you need to use your afterburners halfway through the maneuver, much like a miniature version of the Swan Dive.

Difficulty: Moderate ; Usefulness: Essential

[Continued below...]

Last edited by silent skies; 11-06-2010 at 03:41 AM.
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Old 11-05-2010, 04:31 PM
silent skies silent skies is offline
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Guide to Reverse Explodet
Tricks & Tactics II

7) The Reverse Shield Trick
Picture this: you're hurt and fleeing from a pursuing bomber. Laying mines isn't going to save you. You wish to hell you had a wall, but instead you have a shield. The shield is useless. Oh, wait, you have reverse. The shield will save your life:



Pull up fast, then cut your engines. (You can go into stall a lot faster than someone without RT can). Don't gun the RT just yet... turn around while you float in the air, until you're facing where the enemy will be following you from. Activate the shield and either float in place or continue moving upwards, firing off a rocket. Few enemies expect to see this and will usually have instinctively fired off a salvo of bomber nades, HC, etc.

This tactic, I think, is most effective against pursuing bombers, but is also useful against other planes.

Difficulty: High ; Usefulness ; Limited (I have only pulled this off a handful of times, myself)

8) Cover Your Angles

This is a tactic I've developed only recently and put into use on TBD_grotto. May also be effective on Focus and other maps, but haven't tested...
This is an escape tactic, but instead of focusing on getaway speed, this focuses on laying mines. Not only that, but it focuses on laying down mines to block multiple routes.


While going backward, you release the first mine while flying backward, and the second mine while executing your backflip, angling yourself in such a way so that you can cover both those routes with a single mine each. Not terribly effective against expert players, but worth a shot in a pinch, when you want to escape quickly and lay down some cover mines. I consider it more effective than trying to do the same thing without reverse.

Difficulty: Moderate ; Usefulness: Moderate/Low


9) The Mine Thwomp

So named after the block-shaped baddie from Mario who likes to fall on you. This is a defensive mine trick (prox. mines, so Director/Thermo only) to use in a pinch, especially if you mess up an intercept:



Sometimes a good bomb runner will just outwit you. It happens.

If you don't have enough time to turn around and fire a missile, and your proximity mines won't reach if you deploy them, then this method is a last-ditch effort at defense.

Turn on the RT, full blast, flying directly at the runner, and slam a mine or two into the bomb runner below (prox. mines explode on impact, as opposed to remote mines). If you hit, the explosion will cut your momentum (saving you from a crash death), and force your opponent downwards, messing up his bomb-running momentum and giving you/your teammates a better chance at finishing him off (sometimes it will just smash him into the ground for a kill, depending on the terrain).

If you miss, well ... you slam into the ground for a humiliating death, and the bomber gets by and scores his 32 points of base damage. Way to go, champ.

Do not use this against Mirandas (especially TA), or any other plane that has reverse thrust equipped. You want to be able to predict the runner's flight path for this to work.

You can try to perform something similar to this tactic with remote, but it's very dangerous since the mines don't explode on impact. There's a good chance you'll just accidentally boost him.

Note: This can technically be performed in any direction - the diagram is just an example. However, the assistance of gravity makes the downward Mine Thwomp the most effective.

Difficulty: Moderate/High ; Usefulness: Moderate

Last edited by silent skies; 11-07-2010 at 05:00 PM.
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Old 11-05-2010, 04:32 PM
silent skies silent skies is offline
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Guide to Reverse Whale
Plane Match-ups


Plane match-ups for Whale have been thoroughly covered in other guides, so I will only write how RT changes the equation and when.

vs Loopy:
[Note: I have yet to see any serious reverse-loopy players, so this guide assumes a standard Turbocharger-Loopy]

I recommend holding back on the RT when against EMP-Loopies. While not completely disabling your RT, an EMP does cripple it quite badly. If you find yourself trying to pull off a reverse maneuver and get slammed by an EMP, 9 out of 10 times it will result in you not being able to finish the turn properly and slamming into a wall.

It's best to resort to standard whale tactics vs Loopy: lure them into tight spaces where your mines or missiles can easily slam them into walls. Avoid finding yourself caught in the open, where a loopy will dominate you.

Additionally, most of the tactics I use with RT are less effective against Loopy, because a loopy doesn't really have to aim, just point and spam. Trying to be unpredictable and do crazy maneuvers to retreat isn't viable when the opponent doesn't have to actually aim.

vs Bomber:
[Note: Very rare to see reverse-bombers, and even then only used as a joke.]

I find RW to be most effective against the bomber.

The Bait & Switch and Shield Trick described in the Tactics and Tricks section are both very effective against bombers, when the opportunity for such a thing arises (and I find it arises when bombers are concerned, more than any other plane).

You basically want to pull out all the stops and be as mobile and unpredictable as possible when fighting a bomber … the goal of which is to get them to waste most of their initial 3 or 4 grenade salvo. Flying backwards while releasing a rocket on them is also a very effective way extricating yourself from a fight you're losing, since it will cut their momentum and the missile (if you're using director) will send you flying backwards pretty fast.

Be careful of the bombers who actually know what they're doing, i.e. the ones who actually know how to use their tail-guns.

vs Explodet:
Director & Remote:
Be vary wary of using your reverse around director whales. While in stall, a director missile will send you careening off in any which way, which can be very difficult to recover from and gives them a huge advantage. This goes without saying, but don't follow them down dark, narrow alleys … focus on attacking them from blindspots, and then reversing away before they can retaliate.

Thermobarics:
The opposite is true against Thermo whales. When in stall/reversing, a thermo missile will only affect your orientation, but have little effect on your trajectory. If you are not holding the RT-afterburner (just kind of 'gliding' in stall) when hit by a Thermo-missile, the effect is almost negligible. Use this to your advantage when applicable.

Other reverse whales
(a.k.a. “the whale mating dance”)

This is poetry in motion.

A fight between two Reverse Whales is almost as much about positioning as a fight between two biplanes is. Each will be trying to manipulate the blindspot of the other, while preventing the opponent from manipulating theirs. A reverse trick countered by a reverse trick, the counter itself countered by another reverse trick...

In all the dancing and rocket-firing, though, remember to lay down a mine or two every now and again, which can really catch the opponent off-guard when trying to pull off some fancy crap.

vs Biplane
Recoilless/Dogfighter

Their main objective is going to be to hit you with their F+D combo, so your main objective is to stay the hell away from them. Use reverse tricks when applicable, but some well-placed mines are better if they come in from behind.

Skilled Recoilless/Dogfighter pilots are very good at closing the distance quickly, so stay alert.

A very skilled Recoilless/Dogfighter user will also be able to whittle away at your health from a distance. Their main cannon has a range of about a screen-and-a-half, so if they know where you are they might just lay down some serious cannon-spam. If it comes to this sort of situation, focus on using your rockets to knock them about - you can take the hits better than they can.

HC
This is actually one of the more terrifying opponents to come across, in my opinion. An HC biplane with turbo or ultra can pop off 3 HC shots in quick succession, which is enough to kill you if you're sporting flexi or repair, and from a decently far range, as well. In this situation, it's all about using reverse tricks to position yourself so that they can't get off the first shots before you do.

Sniplane (HC + RT)
Sniplane won't be able to get off that instakill 3-hit combo due to smaller energy reserves, but what it lacks in killing power it makes up for in maneuverability, which it will try to use to stay in your blind spots or get away from your retaliation strikes. For reasons stated previously, you'll want Director or Remote when facing anything equipped with RT, and this includes Sniplanes.

vs Miranda (all kinds)
[Very rare to see RT mirandas, and even rarer to see anyone good with it]

This is one of the hardest match-ups for RW, because Miranda is so maneuverable, and weapons like the laser so powerful that if you're not careful the fight will be over in a second flat (esp. if they use laser + warp combos). Using reverse to get away from them is also extremely difficult … in most cases, the reason you get away from an opponent is because they can't use afterburner to keep up and fire at you, but Miranda's afterburner/warp is an attack.

This is another situation where, most (but not all) of the time, you'll want to be using more regular whale tactics to handle the miranda, though keep your eye open for the occasional good opportunity for a RT tactic. Also, since you want to use normal whale tactics, this is a situation where having smaller energy reserves (when compared to turbo or ultra) is an extreme disadvantage. You'll want to keep your distance as long as possible, hitting them with rockets. As far as a Miranda is concerned, your most dangerous side is your rocket-spewing side, while the mines are easier for them to avoid.

Thermo will be more effective against lasers than Director/Remote, because it will make it hard for them to keep the full burst of the beam on you.

Laser users, due to their short range, tend to move in close for the kill, but Trickster/TA users are the exact opposite. A good user of the bouncy shot will cut your health in half before you can even get around a corner to fire at them, from halfway across the map, many times when they can't even see you on the screen. When you try to get in close, a quick warp or pew-pew-pew will finish you off.

Luckily, though, the mantra of 'Don't follow the whale down dark alleyways' is drilled into the heads of good players, and this holds especially true for TA/Trickster Mirandas, which have the lowest HP of the game (and in most cases aren't sporting Heavy Armor, since the most popular Trickster/TA setup is Repair Drone-Ultracap). If you have a good escape route (let's say the fight occurs on the bottom of TBD_core, for example), they'll try to get off a lucky bounce shot to whittle your health away or finish you off, but 9 times out of 10 they won't follow you (exceptions include if/when you have triple gold bars, in which case people become almost suicidal in trying to finish you off). This allows you to return to base or wait for your Repair Drone to heal you, so you can try again. Thus, in many instances, if you're losing the battle you can potentially redefine it on your own terms.

If you see a Miranda coming straight for you, confidant that they will get an easy shot-warp kill, don't panic.

I have in many cases come up against Mirandas that won't shy off from their potential shot-warp kill, even if you turn to face them, which is a grave mistake on their part, because now you get to use everything against them. The general Miranda shot-warp strategy against Whales is:
1) Shoot+Warp, bringing you down to almost nothing
2) 180-degree turn (TAs very rarely try to shoot-warp you, because they know it's not a 1-hit kill and pretty dangerous, unless you're very exposed/vulnerable or already smoking badly)
3) pew-pew-pew FTW

Your counter-strategy
1) Have full health Y/N? If Y...
2) Face them!
3) Lay down a mine (before they warp) behind you.
4) Fire a missile
If you time things well, you will hit the Miranda before they warp through you for some damage. When they warp, though, it resets their momentum and trajectory (laaame).
5) Miranda shot-warps you, but in doing so plants their face directly into your mine. In many cases this will give you a mine-boost. The end result for your foe is:
a) insta-death
b) the Miranda getting hurled against a wall ( = insta-death)
c) the Miranda coming to a dead stall mid-air.

If (c), a Miranda will either:
- Retreat
- Get greedy/desperate to finish you off, 180 and try to warp or pew-pew-pew you to death.
So...
6) After they warp-shot you, lay down a second mine. If they come in for the kill, victory will be yours. Or at least a stalemate, I guess...

More cunning Miranda users will confuse you and open you up to attack from your underside or topside. To prevent this, make sure you are in good cover at all times. If you discover that you a) are exposed to attack or b) are about to expose yourself to attack, which would result in death, try pulling the 180 maneuver, or if you're more confidant in your revving skills, just put on full rev. (You can also lay down two mines while revving, you have enough energy, but this is very tricky and may result in you just blowing yourself up).

Last edited by silent skies; 11-06-2010 at 03:08 AM.
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  #7  
Old 11-05-2010, 04:32 PM
silent skies silent skies is offline
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The End

And all the the King's Horses
And all the kings Whales
Lived together in harmony
...or so goes the tale.

I've had fun writing this guide and editing those images, but I know that this guide is far from perfect. Hopefully it's inspired you to at least give Reverse Whale a chance.

Critiques welcome. I know there will be many...

Last edited by silent skies; 11-06-2010 at 03:26 AM.
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  #8  
Old 11-05-2010, 04:55 PM
Evan20000 Evan20000 is offline
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You only talk about laser in the randa section. I am disappoint.... (Inb4 jrath grammar nazi)

In all seriousness, this was really well written, but only time will tell how useful a rev whale will be in a srs game.
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  #9  
Old 11-05-2010, 05:01 PM
Pieface Pieface is offline
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Haven't played many people besides Nathor who use this often in TBD, but it's definitely a legitimate tactic in 1DM. Unpredictability's definitely a plus, since speaking as a miranda whales are generally one of the most predictable planes as far as flight pattern goes.

Well written guide, look forward to hearing other people's comments and eventually moving it to the completed section (though as sin said you might want to mention the trickster/TA matchup). Which reminds me, there's still a bunch of stuff to look through for other guides too - better get cracking!
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Old 11-05-2010, 05:06 PM
tyr tyr is offline
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Thats actually surprisingly good.
I still think reverse explodet is one of the worst setups in the game but I enjoyed reading the tactics section and I'll be sure to watch out for explodets trying to avoid my forced pwnage around the corner even though even if that happens I already have a few ideas on what to do.
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Old 11-05-2010, 05:29 PM
silent skies silent skies is offline
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Thanks for the nice comments!

Yeah... the plane matchups were the hardest part of the guide to write, since most combat situations are complicated melees of doom and not 1v1 situations.

I'd actually like a chance to face off against the pros in specific planes in a 1v1 duel match so I could flesh this section out better / develop tactics, if anyone were interested.
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Old 11-05-2010, 05:30 PM
Mt.Vesuvius Mt.Vesuvius is offline
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Great job!!!
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Old 11-05-2010, 05:48 PM
banana banana is offline
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I've messed around with reverse whale quite a lot and it definitely has its place in pubs, but the vast majority of time other perks are more useful imo. Definitely a few styles of reverse whale out there, you get people like Nathor who use it sparingly and others like me who overuse the reverse

Reverse whales have to be wary of the time period where you are 'floating' in the air as they are very vulnerable as it takes a while to accelerate away even with reverse. Typically you'd float in position to try and get one or two rockets off.


Also another tactic I've tried to make work but just isn't very effective at all is to reverse across the map and plant mines in other planes' faces. You can get off a mine or two but that doesn't usually kill them and by then you've lost most of your momentum and are floating and so an easy kill.
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Old 11-05-2010, 06:03 PM
silent skies silent skies is offline
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To elaborate: I think RT on the whale is best used to get yourself out of sticky situations and to make yourself a harder target.

I used to try doing the fly-in-ass-forward-and-mine-them tactic when I first started learning RW, and I actually got it to work a handful of times.

I have dubbed it to the Goomba stomp:



The first mine you lay on them kills your momentum, and theirs, and the second mine sends you careening off in the opposite direction, while sending them into the dirt.

There have actually been many instances where it's been more viable for me to use this goomba stomp than it would be for me to turn around and use a missile (wouldn't be able to turn around in time) but those instances are few and far between.

Generally speaking, the 'business end' of the RW, like a regular whale, is the one that shoots the missiles. Charging in with mines doesn't work.
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Old 11-05-2010, 07:20 PM
sunshineduck sunshineduck is offline
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this is actually really good, the "circle missile" has already been dubbed the tomahawk by our very own G00SE though
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Old 11-05-2010, 07:46 PM
mled mled is offline
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I'm very impressed with this guide. Nice details and overall information make it well revised and easy to read.
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Old 11-05-2010, 07:46 PM
Considered Considered is offline
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I approve of this thread. Also of the verbiage "tomahawk."

SWAN DIVE!
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  #18  
Old 11-05-2010, 07:58 PM
Beagle Beagle is offline
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I'm too scramblebrained to read the entire thing as I've already flown revwhale for a while but browsing through it, I have to say it looks very well written.

I've always been a fan of rev on whale because in my opinion whale is the plane that depends on energy pool least, what with the missiles being next to nothing in cost, Rev's only downside of course being that you have less energy in one way or another.

Great idea for a guide and good execution, the tomahawk section looks sweet with all those diagrams!
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Old 11-06-2010, 02:21 AM
silent skies silent skies is offline
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- Renamed the Circle Missile to Tomahawk Missile
- Fleshed out the section about dealing with trickster/TA
- Fixed a bunch of stupid typos.

Last edited by silent skies; 11-06-2010 at 02:24 AM.
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Old 11-06-2010, 02:27 AM
Evan20000 Evan20000 is offline
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You can't kill tricksters, don't even try. :3

But that strategy looks good for people who spam their shot+warp.
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Old 11-06-2010, 03:02 AM
Goose Goose is offline
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silent skies this is an excellent guide and i'm glad you included the section regarding the Tomahawk shots. I had intentions of creating a guide solely based on this phenomenon, but you have done such a tremendous job with this guide there is pretty much nothing left to say. Well played sir, well played. PS: your inclusion of the diagrams is excellent.
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  #22  
Old 11-06-2010, 03:15 AM
silent skies silent skies is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan20000 View Post
You can't kill tricksters, don't even try. :3

But that strategy looks good for people who spam their shot+warp.
That sums up about 90% of trickster users, imo.

I wanted to flesh out the section even more to include how killing Sinstar20k is impossible, but I actually hit the 10,000 character limit for that post :x

Quote:
silent skies this is an excellent guide and i'm glad you included the section regarding the Tomahawk shots. I had intentions of creating a guide solely based on this phenomenon, but you have done such a tremendous job with this guide there is pretty much nothing left to say. Well played sir, well played. PS: your inclusion of the diagrams is excellent.
Thanks for the kind words!

Last edited by silent skies; 11-06-2010 at 03:20 AM.
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  #23  
Old 11-06-2010, 07:29 PM
Fartface Fartface is offline
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Bwahahaha this is awesome dude. A lot of great work went into this and I love that. I can't say I read it all but I loved the little comic strips where the other planes were blown away by your mad skills. I'd love to see more of those :D
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Old 11-07-2010, 04:01 AM
XX1 XX1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fartface View Post
Bwahahaha this is awesome dude. A lot of great work went into this and I love that. I can't say I read it all but I loved the little comic strips where the other planes were blown away by your mad skills. I'd love to see more of those
Haha, my fav picture was with the whale reving and saying weeeeee while those biplanes are making fun of it.
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  #25  
Old 11-07-2010, 05:02 PM
silent skies silent skies is offline
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- Added another tactic, the Mine Thwomp which I use a lot but kinda forgot about. Little comic-image to go with it
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  #26  
Old 11-07-2010, 05:15 PM
Kuja900 Kuja900 is offline
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Oh lordy. Well I will say this is well written and some of your ideas sound fun, fun being the key word not good. Rev whale never exceeds the turbo whale in terms of effectiveness, its been almost 2 years and there has been no precedent to date to suggest otherwise.
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Old 11-07-2010, 05:18 PM
classicallad classicallad is offline
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i disagree, rev rubber explo is and always will be awesome
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  #28  
Old 12-03-2010, 09:30 PM
Zombi Zombi is offline
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Best guide EVER
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  #29  
Old 12-07-2010, 09:55 PM
GraveDigger GraveDigger is offline
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How about some credit to my guide on XGames Fattying? XD
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  #30  
Old 12-08-2010, 12:27 AM
silent skies silent skies is offline
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Your guide:
- "The stuff I use is nooby."
- Video of you crashing into walls and doing everything I recommend people don't do.

D:
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  #31  
Old 09-25-2012, 06:31 PM
Post775 Post775 is offline
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Good guide! but the images? pls reupload the images
Cheers.
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