Sunday, January 16, 2011

Swarm: Arena #2 - Using the 'Stop' Command

There seems to be some demand for uses of the 'stop' command.  It turns out that it's almost impossible to use Shoot effectively without it!  Stop also has a number of other uses which are great to have in your arsenal of moves.

Using Shoot Effectively

First off, it's important to understand the mechanics of Shoot.  It doesn't simple spread drones everywhere; instead, it accelerates drones in the direction that they're moving at the time that you hit the button.  This means that if we can get our drones moving in one direction, the drones can be fired like a cannon in the direction you choose, often powering right through your opponent's defences.  Let's take a look at a couple screenshots.

First, we tap Stop while moving in one direction in order to get our drones behind us.  I'm the green player, moving right in this picture:
 Pull drones behind you...  (by tapping Stop)

Note that Stop must be pressed less often when Shoot is at a lower level.  This is simply because you'll leave your drones behind if you stop them too often.

At this point, notice that if I release all buttons, my drones will be moving toward me, ie. toward the right side of the arena.  Thus, holding shoot will fire them in that direction!  I've used a higher level of Shoot (and a ton of drones) in this shot to make it more clear:
...And release!  (by holding Shoot)

If this is aimed correctly, few drone setups will prevent this from striking your opponent.

Setting Up Walls

This is a handy trick that can be used to block an opponent in or to safely hold the center of the arena.  I recommend using Stop to clump up your drones in a similar fashion to what was done above, but instead of firing them, be ready to stop them in the desired position.  I've used circulate below:
 Genesis AI had to bust my wall to get to me.  Temporarily safe!

The above picture actually shows Genesis swinging his drones counter-clockwise through my wall.  If we pretend that all the powerups were on *my* side, this would have been a worthwhile move!  Let's move on to my final example.

Drone Control Without Powerups

If you've ever had more drones than your opponent, but been completely out of powerups, there's a chance you still feel pretty helpless!  This is, in most cases, very unnecessary.  Having significantly more drones allows a player to take the center of the arena even without powers.  The trick is to tap the Stop button in the same way as above to get drones to follow you.  If you mess around with this, you'll find that you can lead drones to the center, and sit behind most of them.  Since drones are less controlled, your opponent needs to be careful about running into individuals, and is often contained.
 Just keep those poorly controlled drones in his way!

This works best when, for example, you have far more drones, even if they have level 3 powers.


That wraps up today's basic tutorial.  As always, leave comments and questions if you have any!

1 comment:

  1. I believe in-game, Stop is called Defend. And, because I don't think you mention it, it's activated by default by using Right Shift.