Versus — The Tank

L4D » Зараженные » Танк Yes, I know that it's only 6 days since release, but this is begging to be written. Behind my retinas, my mind is bulging with indignation, frustration, and a deeply-held belief that common sense is not, after all these years, very common. Simply put (and to start off), I am in love with Versus. More specifically, I'm in love with the Infected. The feeling that comes with the ability to single-handedly render someone helpless time and time again, grinding them down until they have nothing left, then systematically slaughtering them is an emotion I have not felt since the glory days of Alien vs Predator 2. The mobility of the Hunter, the assassinatory abilities of the Smoker, and the sheer chaos of the Boomer all combine to form the best (and possibly the most disgusting) team in any game of this millenia. The power of them combined is awe-inspiring. But it appalls me me how daft people can be when playing them. It doesn't seem to occur to them that the Infected rely as much on teamwork as the Survivors, arguably even more so. I understand that people may be only trying it for the first time, but there are several things you just shouldn't do that I thought were obvious. So I'm going to do something about it. I, with the omnipresent name of General Balls, will give people advice. I'm starting here, with the most important, game-changing Infected of all... *in-your-face-rant-mode OFF* The Tank He is a behemoth of rock-hard muscle, twisted sinew, and short legs. His mere presence on the battlefield is a cause of extreme elation for the Infected, and sends Survivors scattering. The sheer force he generates with each swing is enough to send cars spiralling through the air, and Survivors flying about half as far (strangely enough). Incredibly strong and nigh-on indestructable for anything less than 3 Survivors, he is the one that turns the tide. He is the saviour, the messiah, the herald of destruction. He stands tall where others fall, and all twitches in his wake. Unless, of course, he's being controlled by a monkey. What wasn't mentioned in that beautiful sentence above was the Tank's distinguishing feature of being a popular target, and his crippling weakness to withering amounts of fire. The Tank may be able to take a lot, but so can the Survivors, and they can dish out much more than he can swallow if he doesn't dispose of them quickly. Unfortunately, a lot of people don't seem to understand this. They think the Tank is a one-man army, equipped to kill the Survivors nomatter what, and they make so many mistakes in this mindset that you seriously begin to wonder if you're better off with the AI. So I will list some of the mistakes I've seen, along with some advice, so that hopefully your play will be improved when you ever have the honour of piloting such a beautiful creature. DO NOT interfere with the other Infected A Tank relies on the other Boss-Infected almost as much as they rely on him. Concentrated fire from all four Survivors on you will make short work of your monstrosity, so you need those Infected to incapacitate or hinder some Survivors so they're not shooting you. When there's one less Survivor shooting at you, your life expectancy gets longer, thus you can dish out more pain, and thus you can slaughter the Survivors. I've seen Tanks ignoring perfectly healthy Survivors to go and smack the one that's been pounced, killing the Hunter while knocking that particular Survivor away, giving them a chance to get up and pump some bullets into them. It is not a smart way to play, and all it does is give the Survivors an extra gun. Any Survivor these guys have roped are one Survivor that isn't shooting at you and so, are one Survivor you do not have to worry about. In the case of the Smoker and Hunter, the Survivors they have are completely helpless, they do not need your help. A Tank is better off distracting and smacking about the healthy Survivors so they cannot assist the Survivors in need of help. Overall, this will result in a much larger damage output and even instant loss for the Survivors (if the Infected team's good). There is one rare instance in which you should hit a fellow Infected (apart for kicks after the Survivor team's dead), and that's a Boomer denied his spew by a meleeing Survivor, but still within explosion range. Hit him to blow him up, get some bile on the Survivors, and create some mayhem alongside your devestating run (as well as stopping the Boomer from getting melee'd and shot at a safe distance, rendering his attack a failure). Use Cars and Forklifts to your Advantage This is a simple aspect of learning the game, but it can mean the difference between a win and a loss if you don't know this. Cars, forklifts, and similarly sized objects are all hittable, meaning punching them will send them careening through the air. The important thing about this is any Survivor hit by these will be knocked immediately to bleed-out, and they can hit multiple Survivors without slowing. Granted, these projectiles aren't common, and are hard to control, but they are devestating when used effectively. Hitting a Survivor with the blinking car will even trigger it's alarm, adding another horde of Infected into the mix. Roofs and Ledges are your Friend Here we have you, a lethal fall, and a Survivor. Place one in front of the other, swing your fist, and listen... can almost hear the splat from here. DO NOT run the wrong way Use your Health as a resource counter (a.k.a. to kill, or to incap?) As a Tank you should always keep an eye on your health, and as such your death should not come as a surprise to you. Use your remaining health as an indicator of what you should do. Make plans around it. What you have left will influence what you can effectively accomplish before it runs out. A full-health Tank should focus entirely at the start on incapacitating Survivors, always. Don't try to kill them right off the bat, you'll just waste time. Once all of them are on the ground weakly trying to gunslinger you, or screaming in the grip of a Hunter or Smoker's tongue, you've won. But, depending on the skill of the Survivors, and possibly bad luck, that may not become a viable option to you. In this case it may be more to your advantage to quickly smash off a Survivor to make it easier down the track to finish the team as a whole. Because of changing circumstances and the general randomness of the Tank spawn itself, it has to be left to you to decide what to do for yourself, but this is to just let you know of the choice in the first place. You should always be thinking of this, of when to change your priorities. Just make sure you make your decision with plenty of health to spare. DO NOT run in front of the Minigun Just...don't. Try to keep in constant contact with other Infected As much as I'd like to say "This goes without saying", it doesn't. At the very least other Infected players should be typing/talking to you, telling you what they're about to do so you can plan your attack around them, and if you've got a microphone, you should be doing the same. I cannot stress it enough, playing the Infected requires just as much, if not more, teamwork than that of the Survivors. Keep each other posted, make up plans on the fly, but most of all make sure that everyone knows what the others are about to do. This alone gives you a tremendous advantage over a team who doesn't, regardless of skill. The arrival of the Tank brings about possibly the largest amount of damage the Infected can do to the Survivors in a single area of the map, but they need to work together for that damage to stick, or to turn that damage into a victory. The responsibility is as much on the lesser Infected as it is on the Tank. They have to pick off the individuals (or blind and bring in an extra 50 or so Infected) to allow you to concentrate your attentions on a smaller number without the danger of being shot mercilessly in the back. Even if they only distract two, the odds swing dramatically in your favour when you turn towards the other two. It is this type of systematic assassination, this kind of deadly teamwork, alongside the frontal attack, that Survivors truly fear in a Tank Assault. And if they do not fear it, make them fear it. Happy Hunting.
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