Learning to Smoke

L4D » Зараженные » Курильщик The infected team, a fearsome quadruple, the A-team of zombie kind each member with a skill to help this weeks mission (for the undead A-team, or Z-team it's mission is always ‘get brains'). The Hunter a hooded creature of the night, it's hidden bloody eyes ever watching for a moment to let out a screech of pants filling terror creating disorder and panic. The Boomer an obese gargling farting belching sack of flab waddling around projectile vomiting on unfortunates bringing forth the horde, or ready to make the ultimate sacrifice and kamikaze to spread their foul smelling bile over the faces of terrified survivors. The Tank a monstrous behemoth of bulbous muscles, small legs, and fists the size of an end table, with only one goal in it's pinheaded mind; to destroy and smash things into a fine puree of blood and piss. The Smoker. .. he's um. .. well he's kind of the odd one out, the chink in the infected's armour. I mean let's look at him he's hardly a creature that strikes terror into our hearts, he looks like he's suffering from elephantitis, you feel pity for him rather than fear of him. His tongue can limply drag players causing at most a scratch or bruise before quickly being saved and filling the smokers body with more smoking orifices than are needed. As soon as a survivor is released from the Smokers drooling grip he has to stand there for a moment dumbfounded as if he needs a moment to go "Oh, well that's not good," and if he manages to escape to safety there's still that agonisingly long wait to be able to try again. And that's if he can even captures one of the survivors without them swinging round and shooting his face off, only dragging them a mere metre off course. For someone who requires the ability of sneaking around to do his job he seems to have been given two troublesome conditions; coughing loudly and being surrounded by an easily spottable green smoke. Truly you'd agree he's the booby prize of playing the infected right? Wrong! (unless of course you said no, then you'd be right and can disregard that last bit) I've seen a lot of complaints levelled at the Smoker saying that he's underpowered etcetera, and to this I say one thing; LEARN TO PLAY. If you think the Smoker is underpowered or needs a ‘deployable smoke screen' then you clearly have no idea on how to play a Smoker. Though I understand where these thoughts come from, I too once thought of the Smoker as a booby prize and then the director decided to have none of my whining and constantly spawned me as a Smoker at least four times in a row every damned time. But due to that I learned how the Smoker should be played. Ranged not close combat Some people seemed to not know that the whole point of the Smoker is not to be anywhere near the enemy, and call for the Smoker's death smoke to do damage or negatively effect the survivors and be deployable. This idea is at best useless and at worst a retarded idea that has no concept of the Smoker's role, damn fool. As a Smoker you stay away from where the survivors are running towards and pick off the ones at the back, having a deployable smoke screen would completely ruin the whole point of a Smoker, i.e. staying out of sight and striking from afar. Location, location, location Some people hate the fact survivors can free themselves, these same people are usually the ones that never try hiding and always strike from very predictable locations. When you spawn as a Smoker you need to very carefully decide where to spawn, choose somewhere with cover to make it harder to get shoot at. Choose dangerous locations for the survivors like a Witch, alarmed car, or petrol station, this means one simple mistake, one errand bullet from a survivor and they have brought hell upon themselves. You can also drag survivors off sides of buildings making them dangle off the edge needing rescue, or thud to the ground taking an unhealthy amount of damage and a long lonely walk back up. Smokers aren't meant to inflict damage Sure they can be lethal at times, but mostly they have two main roles in the infected team: To slow and to separate. By dragging a survivor back your stopping their team from rushing through the map, forcing them to constantly backtrack and providing time for your infected brethren to set up a trap ahead. When the survivors are getting bogged down it's your time to strike and separate them up, sure you won't kill a survivor but now the rest of the infected can inflict serious damage unhindered. As Smoker you are creating opportunities for the rest of your team, and griefing the survivors as much as possible. Timing This is a big element that is easily forgotten, I understand why you're worried that the survivors are going to run out of range and you'll spend the rest of the match playing keep up, but remaining calm and picking your moment is incredibly important. You can't strike when the survivors are in the open, can see each other, and aren't under attack, your attack becomes nothing more than a mere second of nuisance (although it can be used as a distraction for your infected brethren). Choose moments like when a Hunter strikes a survivor the remaining survivors will concentrate fully on the Hunter they won't see you drag off another from behind. The slow recharge of the tongue is just a reminder that you shouldn't waste your attack, it should be applied at just the right time. Conclusion Playing the Smoker is akin to playing the Spy from TF2, it's unlike any other in the game and requires some forethought, planning and timing. Sometimes it doesn't feel like your doing anything useful for the team, but you slowly start noticing the opportunities you've created for the other infected. I will admit it is hard to play a Smoker but you can do such wonderful things with him, like dragging a once safe survivor off the helicopter into certain doom.
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