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i feel i gotta

i feel i gotta published on No Comments on i feel i gotta

…post something here.

Fuck, I haven’t posted in so long that the server needed updates.

So… What to talk about? Video games?

Video games.

There’s a free to play game in beta on Steam. Crossout, think entirely made-up stock-market and faction warfare within a vehicle combat game, using post-apocalyptic vehicular legos and weapons. It’s a surprisingly complete game for being in beta, and has a full-featured market system and crafting table for the components used to build your ‘rig’.

Builds vary from lightweight buggies carrying turreted shotguns to something I can only describe as a backwards-built pickup armed with an artillery cannon. There are even “Leviathons”. These brutish giant creations often have dozens of weapons, and oodles of armor. Some even walk! Legged walking robots are possible, thanks to the modular building system and ‘leg’ components.

Combat in the game obviously creates it’s own meta when building a vehicle. Since you design your own vehicle out of a continually growing and changing garage of parts, there are tons of ways to prepare for vehicular combat. Some frequently used combinations I’ve seen include:

Ridiculously overpowered weapons on an otherwise underbuilt vehicle, used to obliterate noobs. As matches are paired based on total vehicle build (performance score or ps), you can end up against pickups with machineguns in a vehicle with laser cannons, or worse in the pickup with just a few machineguns facing someone with laser cannons. This is called “seal clubbing”.

Gobs of mediocre weapons on a heavily armored chassis. Tank builds or tower builds are common. The higher you can get your weapons, the more easily you can hit ranged targets while hiding behind cover. It works, if you care to put the time in to develop the skill required. A close-range tank might be heavily armored and carrying four shotguns a bit lower, while a long-range tank might carry 2 or 3 heavy cannons up higher to get over cover. If you can do it with a lightweight, fast vehicle and spare the armor that fits the next category:

Lightweight assault builds are somewhat common. A lot of matches include bots to fill out an even number for the match. These bots frequently drive little lightly armed/armored pickups or buggies depending on the match ‘class’ or ps score. The more energy points you have in a lightweight vehicle, the more weapons you can support. A quick buggy with half a dozen shotguns can rip a tank to shreds in a few passes. Keep in mind, destroying their weapons renders lightweight, fast vehicles almost useless except for…

Ramming damage vehicles. Wedge-shaped, blades, spikes, ram bumpers, etc. These vehicles sometimes use rocket or jet boosters to get up to high speeds and ram the enemy. Lightweight assault buggy type vehicles may include ramming spikes as a failover when their weapons are destroyed. There are powered melee-type weapons as well, such as buzz-saws, chainsaws, harvester inlets, and boring-machine drills. Nobody likes being on the receiving end of these, as they rapidly tear away wheels and armor, leaving you stuck and exposed to whatever their teammates care to dish out.

Lastly, your vehicle is armed with a bomb that you have the button for. A 5 second timer is started by holding the correct button, and your vehicle’s cabin now has a flashing red light warning others that will you soon explode. This can be used as a last-ditch to disarm, disable, or even destroy another vehicle should yours become disarmed.

All of this is combined with a level system, factions, and a market for nearly every component in the game including an in-game currency. Values for various resources and items fluctuate on the market as well, providing another level to an already interesting gameplay mechanic.

Lastly, there is racing. Just the other day I unlocked and stumbled into racing mode, then hit the market buying jet boosters (the earliest one you can get is called an avia booster). after about ten of them, your vehicle will spontaneously explode upon contact with uneven terrain or stationary objects.

I’d like to share a few lessons I’ve learned about this game as I’ve figured it out.

Firstly, never sell weapons. Do not sell any weapons, ever. They are useful for crafting, and they’re useful for fighting.

Next, learn how to drive. Practice against the bots in test-drive, practice against the bots in the early missions. Learn to drive and shoot accurately at the same time.

A lot of early crafting supplies can be had cheaply on the market, or won in pvp battles. Scrap is a commodity, and can be traded as such. If you’re patient, and buy low/sell high, you can build yourself up a nice little pile of scrap for crafting, or sell to purchase crafting supplies.

Coin (I’m not sure what the in-game currency is actually called) is useful. However, scrap is more useful. Scrap is used in crafting, and many things you can craft are cheaper than if you buy them.

Extremely rare items sometimes artificially inflate your ps by a large margin, considering what special abilities they may possess. Is it worth it to freeze your opponents turrets when you hit them if it’s double the ps increase compared to a regular version of the same weapon?

More wheels. Wheels wheels, more wheels! You will lose wheels in battle. Some asshole seal-clubber will get you with an artillery gun and blow a few off. Or, some nutjob in an unarmored buggy with shotguns will rip them off. Either way, redundancy in steering and drive is important. Happily, all wheels are drive wheels.

If you find a game type that suits you, such as raids, be sure to investigate what resources and build/weapons are required to compete. As an example, raids require gasoline. You can earn gasoline by surviving a battle with a fuel barrel in your build. Fuel barrels are a gamble… if you survive, you’re great: +5 gas. If you don’t, it’s like carrying a bomb on your vehicle.

You may earn bonuses by completing raids with specific weapons as well. There are early bonuses for using shotguns through x number of raids, or cannons, or etc.

Faction choice determines some of the parts you get. Everyone starts with the engineers faction. They are a peace-seeking faction that builds vehicles. From there, you are offered the opportunity once you advance far enough to enlist with another faction.
…I chose the lunatics. They have spikey armor and cool buggies.

Constantly keep building new vehicles. Try different and oddball weapon configurations. Try armor layouts that don’t make sense aesthetically, but might save your hide. Experimentation leads to some interesting discoveries. It’s worthwhile to keep the swing-radius of a turreted weapon in mind as well.

So, hopefully if you give this game a try, you won’t be as blind stupid in the beginning as I was.

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